The National Party's campaign launch was already listing heavily even before a Grant Robertson-sized torpedo walloped into it.
It had to cancel its first launch after the second wave of Covid-19 came along just two days before it, putting Auckland into lockdown.
The second attempt was today in front of a tiny audience of 80 people at Avalon studios, beaming out on Facebook to supporters gathered in groups of less than 100 elsewhere around the country.
Collins delivered her speech in front of a blue-lit background which made it look as if she was speaking to us from the heavens.
It was not the most natural performance, although she had a few good lines lashing Labour to please the National Party troops watching across the country.
There was a brief, glorious moment of noise courtesy of Northland MP Matt King hollering about four-lane highways, backed by some boisterous Northlanders during a video cross.
But it was akin to watching a big sports event without the crowd to give the big moments the energy that makes them bigger.
All the dramatic voice-overs and video montages in the world could not compensate for the 3000 people that are usually at these affairs.
Nor did it help that the Ministry of Health released news of two interesting Covid-19 cases at 2pm instead of the usual 1pm. It meant the news websites were focused on that instead of the launch.
By way of raining on National's already depleted parade, along came Robertson with his torpedo: his discovery of a $4 billion hole in National's much-vaunted economic plan.
Robertson had revealed it just a few hours before the campaign launch.
It landed right where it hurt: bang, smack in the middle of National's economic credibility. For a party campaigning on a "strong economy" slogan it was hugely embarrassing.
No new policy was given during the campaign launch – National had intended to showcase their freshly released tax cuts policy and economic plan by contrasting it with Labour's very different plan.
Robertson popped that balloon.
National's finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith must have been hankering for the days when he was just the party's candidate for Epsom.
All he could do was cop the mistake, try to downplay it and try to turn things back on Labour by saying National's debt forecasts were still a lot lower than Labour's.
Collins was even less inclined to be apologetic, saying instead Jacinda Ardern should apologise for believing that a debt figure of 43 per cent of GDP was acceptable.
How sweet it must have felt for Robertson to get revenge for Steven Joyce's claims of an $11.7 billion hole in Labour's books from 2017.
How much sweeter that the $4 billion hole did actually exist, and weeks would not be wasted on arguing whether it was real.
Robertson assiduously avoided using the word "hole" at all. Instead he chose "mistake."
But the word "hole" was shouting from between the lines and he knew it. He was glorying in it, even as he tried to insist he was not simply trying to derail National's campaign launch.
National will now be wondering whether they should have bothered with the pale imitation of a launch at all.
On the bright side, there were no injuries to report at the end of the event, save those from Goldsmith kicking himself.