In an instant Anzac Day classic packed with huge moments, Collingwood found a way to come out on top on enough occasions to hold on for a pulsating four-point win over Essendon.
With 92,241 fans often at fever pitch at the MCG, the Magpies led all day, by as much as 33 points in the second quarter, but had to fight off a gutsy late surge by the Bombers to score a thrilling 10.13 (73) to 10.9 (69) win.
Players on both sides put their bodies on the line when it counted, running themselves to the point of exhaustion in the enthralling encounter.
Tom Phillips helped set the tone for the Pies when he ran back with the flight of the ball in the first quarter and was flattened by Mitch Brown.
"Everyone talks about 'when it's your turn you've got to go' and he did," coach Nathan Buckley said.
"It was probably not just the act of going back, it was standing up and getting back on the horse.
"He was a good player for us for the rest of the day. To be able to show the resilience to take a hit like that and run the game out was a fair effort."
Phillips' effort was one of many pivotal moments.
Adam Saad's rundown tackle on Josh Thomas, Joe Daniher's spectacular fourth goal, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti's accidental spoil on a hard-leading Daniher, Jordan De Goey's clutch late major - all helped make for an Anzac Day special.
Scott Pendlebury was involved in plenty of key moments of his own making, racking up 38 possessions to claim his third Anzac Medal.
His speech being drowned out by the boos of frustrated Essendon fans was an an unfortunate way to end such a riveting clash.
The Pies led by nine points heading into the final term, but Daniher's fourth made it a three-point game with five minutes left.
Callum Brown had the chance to seal the deal with a set shot right in front but pushed his shot wide with seconds remaining.
Essendon went long with the resulting kick-in but the play was broken up in the midfield, leaving Collingwood to celebrate their fourth win of the season.
Adam Treloar (30 disposals), Steele Sidebottom (24), Brodie Grundy (24 touches and 39 hitouts) and Dayne Beams (28) were also important.
For Essendon, Dylan Shiel amassed 34 disposals in his first Anzac Day clash, with Zach Merrett (30) and Dyson Heppell (28) influential.
"Disappointment is probably the main thing but I'm also very proud of the way the boys played the game and the spirit they played it in," said Essendon coach coach John Worsfold.
"There were some great lessons for us in it all but ultimately the players committed to themselves to play the game out to the end and have a crack at it."
The Bombers lost Devon Smith to a knee injury in the last quarter and will await scans to determine the severity.
Australian Associated Press