Collingwood have ended their challenging summer with a morale-boosting 33-point AFL win over the Western Bulldogs in Moe.
The Magpies rallied from 27 points down at quarter time to beat the Bulldogs 16.17 (113) to 12.8 (80) on Saturday in 30-plus conditions.
Under pressure after four years outside the finals, the Magpies reviewed their football operations after last season and re-signed coach Nathan Buckley.
They had a rash of injuries through the pre-season to key players and then banned Jordan De Goey when he was caught drink driving.
After losing heavily to GWS in their first pre-season game, the Magpies looked much better on Saturday after quarter time.
Midfielder Steele Sidebottom starred for Collingwood and Mason Cox kicked four goals, while Tom Liberatore and Marcus Bontempelli (three goals) were best for the Bulldogs.
Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy will come under video review for a late bump on Tory Dickson early in the second term.
Dickson looked groggy as he went off the ground, but soon returned and played out the match.
Fellow Magpie Travis Varcoe also was involved in an incident off the ball with new Bulldog Hayden Crozier in the last quarter.
Bulldogs ruckman Jordan Roughead was hurt a couple of times in the opening quarter and he was benched at three-quarter time.
Collingwood recruit Sam Murray will surely make his AFL debut in round one and similarly, Bulldogs newcomer Aaron Naughton continued to make a strong case for an immediate senior berth.
The Bulldogs kicked the first two goals of the match in as many minutes and dominated early.
The Magpies had plenty of chances but their forward system, the glaring weakness of the last couple of years, was again an issue.
Collingwood had sprayed 1.10 early in the second term.
But with Sidebottom and Josh Thomas eading the work around the clearances, the Magpies steadily worked back into the match.
They kicked four out of five goals before the long break, briefly hitting the lead and were only three points down.
The Bulldogs again tried captain Easton Wood in attack, but he had minimal impact.
That was in contrast to Magpies key position player Darcy Moore, whose move from attack to defence in the pre-season is showing great potential.
Moore, Jeremy Howe and Adam Treloar returned from injury on Saturday and all had solid hitouts.
With Moore in defence, Collingwood need Cox to have more impact in attack.
The tall American, like the rest of their forward line, impressed after a shaky start.