True Believers,okay last week was a start. Let’s go on from there – one week at a time.
The Season? Forget the Season. It will look after itself – we just need to win each week.
Geelong. Saturday, 21 May at the G; bounce: 1.45pm.
12th vs 2nd (we’re 12th if you need reminding); 90.9% (us) vs 166.7%; Geelong are 7 / 1; we’re 3 / 5. From the Ladder, statistically, this should be a walkover by Geelong. Betting is strongly ($4.90 to $1.18) in their favour (probably worth a ‘flutter’). But we should win (I am serious; see below) .
Weather in Melbourne? Partly cloudy; 11 – 20 deg. Winds, increasing.
TV – 7mate, from 1.30pm.
Geelong are sitting near the top of the Ladder. They come into this game sitting on 7 / 1 but have beaten only Hawthorn (Round 1) and WCE (last week) out of the top half of the Ladder. Other wins, making up their ‘five in a row’ include wins over Brisbane, Essendon, Port and the Gold Coast – not particularly impressive in any assessment. And they have been beaten this year – by us in the pre-season comp and by GWS (which I happened to go to) – Round 2. On each occasion Geelong were comprehensively beaten out of the Centre (apart from Dangerfield’s first touch against us when he sharked a pretty good Witts’ tap, leading inevitably to a Geelong goal). In both games their opponents (including us) ran and tackled, winning the ball. In the GWS game Mumford was superb and my abiding recollection of the game is the GWS domination of the Centre until Geelong’s revival in the Final Quarter, when Geelong looked likely to ‘steal’ the win. In our practice match Witts and Gault (in Darcy’s absence) did well (along with Fas ( 5 goals) and Cox (2)).
Geelong’s serious ‘performers’ – starting with Dangerfield. In the GWS game he amassed 12 touches in the First Quarter and 10 for the rest of the game. I don’t recall him being tagged, but that is a very real option. Others: Guthrie and Motlop (Wings), Selwood (Centre) and Bartel (HF).
As Geelong showed in both their losses, they have the capacity to ‘come back’, and nearly did so on both occasions. In particular, Hawkins (FF) has the capacity to turn a game around.
Published Thursday night. Could be interesting.
Legacy from last week: Michael Christian on ‘The Agenda’ – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/. Comment from Michael Gleeson, The Age talking about the Geelong game: “Can they win – probably not, but can they stay in the game / how long can they stay in the game?” But the comment, following the last game, from Pendles: “(this) is a reminder of what his side can achieve if it works together“. And from Bucks on the same game: “….relatively satisfied with the First Half” (is he a hard marker or what?) and “We didn’t go in with a different plan. That’s the way we want to play; we’ve just got to get better at it. On any given weekend it’s you versus your opposition and you need to beat what your opposition bring.”
Injury outs – Reid likely back; Cox likely okay. Williams, probably back through the VFL side, even though I’d bring him straight back into the AFL side.
Impact on us? We must dominate the Centre, including the stoppage taps, and tag players who can cut us apart – Dangerfield and Selwood – taggers from Greenwood, Crisp or Steele? Sensible defence too – last week Casboult held every mark he got close to – why were we still trying to outmark him rather than punching, and not double-teaming against him? The Backline needs to tighten up. And drive out of the Backline – really good last week for half the game. Other In’s: Maybe Gault in place of Darcy (who apart from one screamer each game (and a friendly-fire casualty last week) hasn’t really done much)? Witts – absolutely essential. Grundy is getting into the Best list each week because of his performance around the ground; not because of his domination at stoppages. To win, we need to control the Centre (and stoppages around the ground), hence Witts; the Mids can’t do it all. Both Marsh and Aish have performed well in the VFL side – worthy of consideration, particularly to augment the Backline.
‘Left field’ suggestion: Trav playing at CHF with the ability to shift him to FB onto Hawkins. He’s, I think, the only player at the Club with the capacity to compete strength-wise.
Game Plan – Same as last week – run and chase, hard, but for longer. Your ideas?
- AFL Match Day Preview – http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2016/9/coll-v-geel – there today’ish;
- Pies. Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/ in the next day or so;
- The Age Preview – Should be at http://www.theage.com.au/afl; and
- Expert Tips – Expert Tips will be at http://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters in the next day or so. I would be astounded if the Tips are anything but heavily weighted to a Geelong win; sort of like last week. Do I need to say anything more?
My Picks? Pies by 19; BOG: Greenwood – 17 touches, but Dangerfield has 13. Other: Witts – 42 Hit Outs. Goals: Cox – 3, Fas – 4, Gault – 3. Crowd: 86,000. Your picks?
- VFL. Last week, against Geelong, was a good away win by 20 points. This week’s game: Williamstown at the Holden Centre – Saturday, 21 May; bounce 5.15pm. Wander over after the AFL game. Or if you are home, watching TV, note that you can ‘live stream’ the VFL game – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-05-17/live-streaming-doubleheader-2016; and
- Eddie Watch. Quiet. Of some concern, when he is quiet.
Reporting? Genevieve and I are attending with my Geelong-supporting brother and his family. Anyone else going? Ground Reports pls?
Remember to keep an eye on the Footy Almanac – http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/.
Next. Western Bulldogs – Sunday, 29 May 2016; bounce: 3.20pm, at the G.
Be optimistic and keep the faith. Go Pies.