Wasteful Magpies see off Tigers, lose ruck Cameron

Early flag favourites Collingwood are relishing a 3-0 start to the AFL season but their 14-point win over Richmond has come at a cost, with ruckman Darcy Cameron suffering a serious knee injury.

In wet conditions at the MCG on Friday, the Magpies gritted their teeth to claim a 8.15 (63) to 7.7 (49) victory in front of 85,241 fans and spoil Richmond coach Damien Hardwick's 300th game at the helm.

But the night was soured by ruckman Cameron limping off with a knee injury just before three-quarter time to join Mason Cox (haematoma) on the sidelines.

"We've had a bad week in the ruck stakes," coach Craig McRae said.

"We've lost Mason for a period of time and now it looks like Darcy will be out with a significant period.

"We'll find out more but initial diagnosis is a high-grade MCL (medial collateral ligament). I don't know how long that is but we'll wait and see."

Collingwood held the Tigers to just nine points in the opening two quarters - their lowest half-time score since recording eight points against GWS in round 19, 2016.

Substitute Noah Cumberland sparked a Tiger resurgence early in the third quarter, playing a hand in two out of three goals as Richmond drew within three points, before the Magpies lifted, then saw out the game.

"We kept the opposition to one goal for a half and you're not going to lose too many games when that's the game," McRae said.

"But when you don't kick accurately then you give the opposition hope.

"So it was just about knowing they were going to come but then being able to manage that and then go again."

Richmond were without injured trio Dustin Martin, Jayden Short and Jacob Hopper, plus suspended defender Nathan Broad, and lacked their normal punch through the middle.

Martin, Short and Hopper should all return next week against the Western Bulldogs.

Steele Sidebottom (24 disposals) and Jordan De Goey (35 disposals, 10 clearances) looked ominous throughout and Nick Daicos shook off attention from Jack Graham to rack up 33 touches.

Tom Mitchell and Josh Daicos were typically reliable while Billy Frampton kept a wasteful Tom Lynch quiet.

Nick Vlastuin marshalled Richmond's defence while Liam Baker (33 disposals) and Tim Taranto worked hard and Shai Bolton was clean in slippery conditions.

But on the whole, Collingwood were stronger around the contest and handled the conditions far better.

"We fumbled and bumbled in and around the contest and I thought they were just cleaner," Hardwick said.

While they dominated territory, Collingwood's failure to make it count on the scoreboard kept the door ajar for a Richmond resurgence.

While the Tigers bit early in the third, the Magpies responded in kind with their own run of goals, including a lovely shimmy and snap from skipper Scott Pendlebury, to seal victory.

"To their credit they had some great tackles, some great forward pressure," Hardwick said.

"We knew that was coming - we just didn't handle it that well ... Collingwood to their credit played a lot better than we did tonight."