AFL Round 18: Collingwood v Adelaide – Nothing to Crow about as Pies quickstep out of the eight

written by Frank (Cheeseman) Taylor for the Floreat Pica Society after an afternoon dancing at the Copa, Copacabana, the hottest spot north of the G   

Pies vs Crows

MCG, Sunday 4:40pm

Crowd 41,000 thereabouts…………………

Well, after the debacle that was the Essendon game a fortnight ago, I attended this game with deep, deep misgivings.

Been worried all week really about this game, expect to get done by Adelaide, even trounced….

The post-Maxwell/Clement era was upon me before I was ready and I must admit to battling some serious mental demons re The Club over the past fortnight.

Got to the ground late after a serious diversion dancing to the B# Big Band at the Copacabana in Smith St, missing the opening goal to Jesse White, assist by Kyle Martin (apparently). Crows bombing the goals but not scoring.

Anyway…..

End of the 1st quarter – 3 scoring shots to 10, pretty lucky to be sort of in it as we kicked 3 straight, to 5.5.

Adelaide look bigger and stronger, they certainly bring more pressure at the ball. The Pies made some shocking errors and they certainly lack any sort of cohesion when it comes to defensive work….

Noted one really good passage of play when it was pretty good play-on football, the remainder of the quarter was reminiscent of a second’s side. Absolutely CREAMED at the stoppages. Marley Williams a particularly poor performer – given away 2 goals already and running around like a chook with it’s head cut off. No idea…. Betts running around like its Xmas.

½ time, and Collingwood getting back into it, playing a little better – 9 shots to 15, still 6 in deficit, but generating some sort of “system”, not as much stop/start stuff, but still some absolute clangers going into the forward line again. Kicking to no-one, turning it over to be cleared back and they have another shot on goal.

Spare me.

At least a couple of players are starting to lift and we are competitive, although Marley Williams is still appalling (other adjectives come to mind), must have the flu, on drugs, or something, God knows… should be subbed off whatever.

Doing a bit of roving off their rucks and getting more of the centre clearances, Beams getting more of the hard ball, noting that Pendles is spending more time down back.

¾ time, 2:1 in deficit.

Adelaide keeping us in the contest by kicking a load of points – 4 – late in the quarter.

The vision in the Collingwood backline is still very poor – a lot of dishonoured leads, defenders with the ball, waiting…………., waiting………., waiting………….. then kicking blindly to a 1 on 1, or 2 on 2 contest with no real purposeful delivery.

Very “Middle of the Pack” football. Getting found out.

However Beams still going, H showing some dash and not getting caught – been good since the 1st, Pendles still going as per usual, Witts has been very solid after a pretty poor 1st quarter. Blair doesn’t stop, continues to be dogged. Langdon getting into it too.

Still, all in all, things have been better since the 1st. The telling stat is that the Pie’s contested possessions have just gone past the Crows.

(Though I still have a nagging feeling that if Adelaide lifts a notch, they could just cream us in the last.)

Full time.

Crows win 98 to 82. 18 points, three goals.

Telling stat is 6 more scoring shots – same as 1st and 2nd quarter.

We hit the front – by 1 goal – at about the 16 min mark. My thoughts were that The Crows might not be able to mentally climb over this.

The next 20 seconds of playing time put paid to that – 2 goals to the Crows! Another 21/2 minutes, one more.

All over red rover.

Well done Crows, you deserved the win. You played much better team footy. Good luck in the finals.

Summary:

Negatives.

Sub-standard foot skills generally.

Poor football “vision” – players cannot see through traffic, need long distance glasses.

Lack of defensive structure throughout the side.

No discernible system that I can fathom after 18 rounds in 2014.

Opposition players running around at will, unchecked, down the centre of the ground while our blokes running from man to man, behind the ball, all the time, a la Marley Williams today.

(What happened to The Press??? Was it all just a dream?)

Lack of offensive structure.

If we get the ball in the back line – this is usual, as we usually get canned in the centre clearances – we can get the ball to say ½ back or centre/wing, then we stop! What for I have no idea. To make sure that the opposition players can cover our blokes I suppose. If someone leads, this is ignored. (Sorry, I forgot, they are probably too far away – over 30 meters – and can’t see them.) The ball is kicked either short (to a turnover), or backwards, or across ground, then backwards again, then bombed in where it is turned over, again.

If, by happenchance, it is brought quickly into the forward area, Cloke is 1 on 2 or 1 on 3, even sometimes 1 on 4, as today. Bloody miracle that he gets any goals at all.

Dunno what happens, but we seem always to be at least 1 man down, usually 2, at both ends of the ground. Sometimes – sorry often – I want the umpires to stop the game and have a head count. We always seem to be at least 4 men down on the opposition.

These issues are the coach’s issues.

Sorry Bucks, you, or some of your special “skills” “coaches” either just can’t cut it or are pursuing the wrong line/strategy in offense and defence.

I despair. (Those mental demons I’ve had?)

Positives.

This team still has gumption, ticker, team spirit, whatever you want to call it. Fragile at times, sure, but it still has it. This is priceless.

Good players were, in no particular order: “H”, Pendles, Blair, Young, Witts, Beams, Billy the Kid, Seedsman, Langdon and a couple of others.

Regarding the recent youngsters, Kyle Martin impressed most without having a big impact. Broomhead did the odd good thing too.

Floreat Pica

Comments

  1. One of the most confounding things in terms of tactics / strategy and the lack thereof at the moment is the kicking in from full back.

    Keeffe clearly lacks in ability / confidence to execute the task yet is called upon to do it 90% of the time.

    We recruit a player like Young for his kicking skills, why isn’t he the go-to man? Even Seedsman, who had a couple kick-ins from memory, is a better bet. Frustrates the hell out of me because we either turn it over and give up goals or it takes 3 or 4 attempts to clear the danger zone.

    Unfortunately the defence is carrying too many inexperienced players prone to making the wrong decisions under pressure. At one crucial stage Langdon kicked sideways across to Sidebottom with 3 or 4 Crows bearing down on him.

    The game at least wasn’t lost for lack of effort, more so lack of composure. A match fitter Reid and Elliott would have also been handy.

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