Collingwood surge late to pip Crows by one point

Collingwood coach Craig McRae says there's method in the madness of pinching yet another victory with a stunning last-term surge.

The Magpies climbed to the top of the AFL ladder with their latest great escape, a one-point win over a wayward Adelaide in a Sunday twilight thriller.

After being 22 points down in the fourth minute of the final quarter, the Pies kicked the last three goals to win 8.11 (59) to 7.16 (58) at Adelaide Oval.

Stalwart Steele Sidebottom scored the match-winning behind with 25 seconds remaining - the only time the Magpies were in front in the match.

Collingwood trailed by 16 points at three quarter-time. Of the last 12 games they've trailed at the final break, they've now won nine times.

"It's incredible, isn't it?" McRae said.

"There's just admiration for the never-give-up attitude and today was a different version of it again.

"We have got good method. So players go to a system that goes, 'We're behind, we need to win, so let's do this'.

"And they all know what they need to do through repetition of it."

The Pies are now the sole team boasting six wins from seven matches.

Adelaide tumble from fifth to eighth, their four-game winning streak ending with coach Matthew Nicks lamenting the goalkicking yips.

In the second quarter, the Crows led 3.10 to 0.2 - a period when Nicks' team was in control but couldn't cash in on the scoreboard.

"We had our chances and we got the harshest lesson there is in not kicking straight, or not being composed in key moments," Nicks said.

"Even in the second half just at the end there, we had our chances still to hold on and win that game. And we didn't get it done.

"We are so disappointed as a group because we let that one slip."

Nicks conceded Collingwood's reputation as fast finishers was a factor.

"I have got no doubt there's a massive mental part to the way they finish the game off - they have done it too often for it not to be," he said.

Collingwood's Josh Daicos collected a game-high 31 disposals and captain Darcy Moore was brilliant in defence despite being in doubt because of illness just 20 minutes before play.

Brownlow Medal favourite Nick Daicos was relatively subdued by a Ben Keays tag yet still had 26 touches, though five were kick-ins.

Magpie Tom Mitchell (29 touches), Jordan De Goey (24) and Sidebottom (24) revelled in the wet while Brodie Mihocek kicked three goals.

Adelaide's Rory Laird (29 disposals), captain Jordan Dawson (30) and Jake Soligo (24) were midfield stand-outs, Tom Doedee (24) was stellar in defence and Chayce Jones and Luke Pedlar kicked two goals apiece.