COLLINGWOOD survived its sternest test of the AFLW season so far and maintained its perfect record with a tough 36-point win over the Western Bulldogs.
Star duo Brianna Davey and Chloe Molloy stood up when it mattered most as the Magpies sent a strong message to their premiership rivals, breaking a finals-like contest wide open during the third quarter.
They piled on four unanswered goals, two of them through Molloy, to set up the 7.9 (51) to 2.3 (15) win at Victoria Park.
The result extended Collingwood’s club-record winning streak to six and left the Bulldogs with plenty of work to do if they are to play finals.
Dogs forward Elisabeth Georgostathis kicked the only goal of a tense first half, pouncing on Stacey Livingstone’s dropped mark as the wasteful Magpies kicked 0.7 at the other end.
The home side trailed by two points at the main break.
But co-captain Davey lifted to lead a dominant Collingwood midfield unit that generated a 14-1 advantage in forward entries during the third quarter.
Molloy was one of the main beneficiaries in attack, eventually beaking the shackles of tight-checking defender Eleanor Brown to hit the scoreboard.
Debutant Abbi Moloney also chimed in, running into an open goal with her first kick in senior football, and later added a second.
Davey pushed forward to kick the first goal of the final quarter, effectively ending the contest.
The former Matildas goalkeeper finished with 28 disposals and seven tackles in another superb performance as she stamped herself among the leading AFLW best-and-fairest contenders.
Midfield partner Brittany Bonnici (22) was the only other player with at least 20 disposals.
Bulldogs tall Kim Rennie required attention on a lower right leg injury but played out the match as her side was completely outclassed after the break.
Captain Ellie Blackburn (18 disposals) and Ashleigh Guest (16) worked hard for the Dogs.
(C) AAP 2021
COLLINGWOOD 0.5 0.7 4.8 7.9 (51)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.2 1.3 1.3 2.3 (15)
Goals: Collingwood: A Moloney 2 C Molloy 2 B Davey S Norder T Brown. Western Bulldogs: E Georgostathis J Fitzgerald.
Umpires: Nick Jankovskis, Michael Pell, Luke Porter.
Official Crowd: 3,017 at Victoria Park.