Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life 2016-Round 2 v Richmond Preview

True Believers, consider this as if we are starting our season afresh.

The Game:

Friday, 1 April; Richmond at the G. Bounce: 7.50pm.

Weather? Mostly sunny (apart from the minor fact that the sun will have set by then) with a slight chance of light rain. 13 – 25 deg.

TV? Yep, Free to Air. Channel 7, from 7.30pm.

The Teams:

Us? Should be published tonight on the AFL website – www.afl.com.au.

Our legacy from last week: ‘All the news – Pies under pressure’ at http://www.afl.com.au/.

There will be a few changes, some driven by injuries / suspensions, some optional, but all essential – http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-03-29/in-the-mix-round-two. A few suggestions, noting we want to try and avoid wholesale team changes after defeats, however it was a massacre (of us):
Reid in vice Brownie – CHB;
Marsh into the Backline vice Marley Williams;
Grundy – in, but not at Witt’s expense (I note Witts will be out with a hand injury). We need both of them on the paddock;
Howe & Aish – both useful and may fill gaps by the loss of Swanny and Steele;
Cox? Maybe the time has come to give Trav a rest? Bucks on Trav – http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/afl-2016-time-for-travis-cloke-to-lift-game-urges-collingwood-coach-nathan-buckley-20160328-gnsqe0.html. Actually I blame the lack of quantity and the quality of the balls coming in his direction last week, not his endeavour; that I have never questioned. Check the game statistics regarding Disposal Efficiency amongst the Mids to prove the “kick and hope” approach; and
Varcoe. I think he is critical for the effort he demonstrates. If he’s not fit I want him on the sideline screaming at the players – as Maxy used to do when he was injured. Likely out for at least another week.

There, that’ s more in’s than out’s. Not sure who else to “rest”. Do you have some ideas?

What will I be watching for from us (Funny – it’s the same as last week. I don’t think we achieved any of these during that game):

1. Control and drive out of the Centre – Witts / Grundy / Mids and tagging opponents;
2. Drive out of the Backline, including from kick-ins, linking to scoring opportunities – Backline;
3. Scoring opportunities – link between the Half Forward line into the 50 – Forwardline; and
4. Defensive pressure – everyone.

Them? Team out tonight. Richmond won by a narrow margin (9 points) over Carlton last week after an up and down game. At one stage they, as a finalist last year, were facing a seriously embarassing defeat by Carlton, the wooden spooner from last year. Of course they could argue that their missing stars – Deledio, Maric and Yarran had an effect. But Rance (CHB / FB) and Lambert (HF) still made the AFL Team of the Week. Lambert, Martin and Houli also contributed. And they played in front of 75,000 fans at the MCG; not too sure how many of that number would have been Carlton supporters. And Deledio may return from injury this week; so may Maric.

Impact on us? Tagging may be the order of the day, again, particularly on Lambert (and /or Deledio if he’s in). Rance at our CHF is an interesting opponent – perhaps we need to try and go around him? A battle with Darcy may be interesting, but there are a few other options – maybe Trav is a better fit. There is also the need to make sure we control the Centre bounces and ball-ups – Witts must play there (no, out now; Grundy needs to produce at tghe Centre). I’m not sure who to blame for last weeks insipid effort in the Centre at at the ball-ups – Witts deserves some criticism but so do the Mids. I held my breath when I saw Trav shifted into the ruck last week; maybe Bucks was going to step him up to get him involved in the game. Maybe he’d end up on Buddy after all. Oh well, it wasn’t to be. I’d still like to see some flexibility / left-field solutions tried in different circumstances.

Your views? C’mon, what do you think?

Game Previews?

AFL Match Day Preview – http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2016/2/coll-v-rich – there now;
Pies. http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/ Watch for David Natoli, and his ‘Ultimate Previews’, on the Pies homepage. His contribution last week is at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-03-24/ultimate-preview-round-1-v-sydney. He predicted a Pies win by 22 points. His Preview of this game will be somewhere on the Pies home page;
Connolly’s Preview – http://www.theage.com.au/video/video-sport/video-afl-real-footy/footy-fix-afl-round-2-preview-20160330-4cqim.html; and
Expert Tips – Look at the Round 1 Expert Tips at http://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters. Total picks – 16 to 8 for Sydney; biggest winning margin – 25 points. Note that both Baum and Connolly picked us to win (I hate it when they do that). Future picks will follow at the same site.

My Picks? After last week’s dismal performance, this week becomes critical. My picks: Pies by 17 points. Treloar – 26 touches @ 83% disposal efficiency and BOG. Cox – 4 goals; Trav – 6 goal assists. Crowd: 90,000? Your picks?

Other:
Drug Testing. I am not going to continue with this but it is important that all of us understand what happened and why we are upset. Eddie’s comment: “To come out as they did on the weekend and just try and destroy my club, I will move from being incensed to being devastated in equal portions right throughout the whole Easter and still feel it burning within me like you wouldn’t believe right now”. Well said. Read the following: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/afl-players-may-walk-away-from-drugs-policy-representative-20160329-gntj7m.html and http://www.theage.com.au/afl/collingwood-magpies/afl-coaches-anger-simmers-over-reports-players-took-recreational-drugs-20160328-gnsn4k.html. And yes, the job Bucks and Scott (from Geelong) did on Robinson on AFL 360 was worth seeing.
Eddy Watch. Quiet’ish (for Eddy), apart from the above;
Two’s. The VFL list – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-03-30/2016-vfl-squad-announced – some famous Pie names; and
Scarf waving. An important tradition – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-03-29/a-famous-tradition-returns-to-the-g.

Reporting? Who’s going to the game? Ground Reports pls?

Remember to keep an eye on the Footy Almanac. It includes expert and enjoyable articles and letters (many with very amusing comments). Go to: https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/.

What’s Next? Round 3 – Saturday, 9 April at the MCG versus St Kilda. Bounce at 1.45pm.

Go Pies.

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