Round 1 – Hawthorn v Collingwood: Do Not Be Satisfied With Mediocrity (Floreat Pica Society)

 

Collingwood vs Hawthorn
Round one, 2018.

 

Somewhat rusty after the long break, but here goes…

 

I start with a quote from one of the beacons of the 20th century;
Pope John Paul II — ‘Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’

 

From tonight’s performance, both on the field, and from the all too familiar after match presser, it is clear that we have become perfectly cosy with mediocrity, and far from putting our nets out for a catch… we are sitting forlorn & lazy on the shore, getting neither our feet, nor our boats wet. In fact, mediocrity seems to have been our good buddy for five consecutive seasons now.

 

The game started off well, with a quick goal to our newly bald veteran Ben Reid within a minute, and a stirring reaction to the goal from a big pack of players in the forward line. Reality soon bit back, and the euphoria was short lived, with the ageless Shaun Burgoyne answering within a minute.

 

In the first and second and fourth quarters, we were able to score two goals in quick succession. These glimmers of hope were of course far outweighed by many moments of poor decision making and poor basic skills all throughout the game. Lowlights includes Mason Cox’s inability to mark anything that came his way, Adams, Varcoe & Treloar who, despite many touches, could not exert any influence on the game, Darcy Moore dropping a sitter, and then watching the ball neatly fall into Hawk hands and then sail through the middle, and the inability of our skipper to inspire the troops to raise any semblance of a sustained attack. His miss at the 20min mark of the 3rd qtr was his scripted moment to provide a lift, but alas…

 

One argument that may hold some water is that we missed our gun forwards. Having Elliott, Fasolo, Wells and De Goey on the field, and at their best, and possibly Greenwood tagging & nagging Tom Mitchell, (who went into the record books with 54 touches), would have made the game at least more interesting, but our efforts tonight were… not to overdo the word… mediocre. And by contrast to our second string forward line, the Hawthorn small forwards, Puopolo, Cyril, Impey and Breust found scoring relatively easy on the night.

 

Small sparks of hope were evident on several occasions by the hard running, and the “take them all on” attitude of newcomers Sam Murray and Jaidyn Stephenson. Those periods of increased pressure that led to the two goals spurts as mentioned above were good to see, but sadly, we were unable to get clean disposal and convert, despite having possession. This continues to be our headache. Two goal spurts need to become four or six goal spurts… aah the good old days! Also, moving Darcy Moore from back to forward did give a quick, positive result, but it was only a “one off”.

 

Buckley’s press conference gave us zero sign of any confidence about having a plan for the remainder of the year. He was able to beautifully describe everything that happened on the field to the reporters present, yet the gentle, agreeable nature of the discussion, and the lack of any real tough questions made the 10 minutes in front of the microphone sound like an afternoon of delightful banter among friends with tea & scones in the English countryside. Could it be that the reporters were genuinely sorry for him?

 

Very hard to be optimistic after this game. And looking at the Giants ruthless treatment of the hapless Dogs this weekend, which should have been reported to the RSPCA, I am not looking forward to next weekend with much confidence. That said, our past few games against the Giants have been promising; a 32 point win in 2016, and a 3 point loss last year, both at Spotless. Can we find something this time?

 

Horsborough Medal Votes;
3 – Steele Sidebottom
2 – Sam Murray
1 – Jaidyn Stephenson

 

I felt obliged to give the youngsters points, at least for their bravado and endeavour, since it was very tough finding anyone else!

Comments

  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Paul,
    I sympathise mate. Mediocre was the word that kept popping into my head after half-time. No leaders, no direction, fractured footy. And Bucks: “We didn’t execute as we would have liked.” Like a broken record playing for the last 4 years.

  2. Thanks Paul,
    I just might scream the next time Bucks talks about the brand of footy they want to play. Do we need marketing speak from the coach, when there has been 6 years under him developing the team in his vision? But it is only round 1……..right?

  3. Mediocre? Tell him he’s dreamin’. (Nice report Paul. My Eagles also aspire to mediocrity.)

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