Key forward kicks seven goals to spearhead the Magpies to victory.
Collingwood’s 16.17 (113) to 11.13 (79) victory in front of more than 81,000 fans burst Richmond’s unbeaten bubble and showcased Collingwood’s finals credentials on a day the Tigers hoped to show their own.
On Friday, Travis Cloke put his dislocated finger back in its place.
On Saturday, he put Richmond back in theirs with a stunning seven-goal haul to lift Collingwood past the Tigers by 34 points at the MCG.
Cloke had suffered a finger injury at training on match eve.
But after two quarters of arm-wrestling, Cloke put Richmond away in the third term with a stunning display of forward play.
He booted the opening three goals of the quarter, then soon after gave his side a 30-point buffer with a quality 50-metre goal from deep in the right forward pocket.
It was part of a run of eight unanswered goals to start the term – the Magpies upping their tackling pressure and forcing Richmond into error after error.
With Steele Sidebottom also prominent with two of his four goals in the term and midfielder Dane Swan brilliant, the Magpies battered Richmond to take a 36-point lead to the final change.
The Tigers didn’t give in, battling back to give themselves a sniff with goals to Jack Riewoldt and Ivan Maric to open the final term.
But Collingwood gained breathing space with a Swan mark and goal soon afterwards, before Cloke iced the match with a set shot from the left boundary line.
In his 200th AFL game, Swan had 35 possessions – 13 coming in the final quarter.
Collingwood’s effort was made all the more meritorious with five of their best 22 missing through injury.
Magpies defender Nathan Brown might add to that list, with a groin injury sustained in the final term and just a five-day turnaround until their next game – the Anzac Day clash with Essendon.
Riewoldt booted three goals for the Tigers, who also lost key defender Troy Chaplin when concussed by a teammate, and small forward Jake King to what appeared to be a hamstring injury.