Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has lauded life in a Sydney bubble, after his side emerged from a rough fortnight to reassert their AFL premiership credentials with Friday's easy 32-point win over Hawthorn in Sydney
The Pies jumped the Hawks early leading by 25 points at the first break, kicking five of their eight goals in that opening period.
They enjoyed more ball through advantages in contested possessions and clearances and in four-goal Brody Mihocek had the game's dominant forward.
The win was a welcome tonic for the Pies after successive losses dropped them to tenth and they were rocked by off field issues involving stars Steele Sidebottom and Jordan de Goey and an injury to influential defender Jeremy Howe.
"Coming to Sydney and being away from families is not easy for all our people, players and staff, but it came at a pretty good time for us," Buckley said.
"We were really literally in a bubble and a lot of the focus and speculation and opinion that has taken place back in Melbourne didn't really get to us.
"And with Steele and Jordy over in Perth, those guys are already there and preparing to contribute as best they possibly can
"It was a good solid week for us just to knuckle down on what's important for us on he field.
"The fact that the boys were able to spend more time together. We were around each other's space a little more than the last couple of weeks since coming back to training: it felt more normal."
The win sets up a mouth-watering clash with Geelong in Perth next week, with the prospect of a decent sized crowd to watch the Victorian heavyweights clash.
"We are satisfied with our performance, but we know there's still a lot of improvement in us", Buckley said.
Buckley was heartened by the performances of the three youngsters promoted to the senior side for Friday's game
Debutants Atu Bosenavulagi and Will Kelly each had an impact as did fifth-game defender Isaac Quaynor.
Kelly booted a goal with his first kick but suffered an elbow injury late in the game, with Buckley hoping scans will conform a dislocation rather than a fracture
Quaynor supplied run out of the back and Bosenavulagi provided energy and.ball-winning grunt
"There was three really encouraging ins for us on the night," Buckley said,
Australian Associated Press