Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life 2016 – Round 3 Preview: Let’s pursue a Premiership

True Believers, okay we are now 1 and 1.  It makes absolutely no difference how we got there or what the margins were (at least until you get to ‘percentages’). Let’s get on with our pursuit of a Premiership. Continuing on from last week, only onward and upward.  This week, St Kilda, competitive in their first game (up to the last break) but hammered pretty comprehensively in their second.  We are favourites, $1.47 vs $2.70 (though following our Round 1 game….).



The Game:


Saturday, 9 April; St Kilda at the G.  Bounce: 1.45pm.


Weather?  Mostly sunny with a very slight chance of light rain. 13 – 25 deg.


TV? Free to Air, but delayed 90 minutes – Channel 7, from 3.00pm.  Otherwise find a friend with Foxtel.  Are you home, Neil?


The Teams:


Us?  Should be published tonight on the AFL website –  I didn’t give Reid’s return last week due attention on Monday – a significant influence particularly in his ‘positioning’ – see ‘The Agenda’ with Michael Christian at  They also discuss a few topics close to my heart – rucking and control of the Centre and stoppages and Pendles performance from the HB line – 13 disposals in the First Quarter.  Worth watching the link.


Our legacy from last week: Bucks: “5 or 6 out of 10 in the first two weeks“.


Team of the Week at  Well done, Fas (expected and warranted) and Adam Treloar (I am a little less sure – 62.5% Disposal Efficiency – call me a ‘hard marker’).


Theremight be some changes – a few observations, following on from last week:

  • Pendles – out injured – sore ribs (maybe) – no, should be okay;

Witts in – into the Centre ruck; but Grundy should stay.  We need both of them on the paddock.  Just because Grundy kicked that goal doesn’t mean his performance over the whole game shouldn’t be looked at critically – 17 Disposals, 76.5% Disposal Efficiency, 16 Hit Outs and 3 Clearances measured against Hampson and Griffiths’ total of 35 Hit Outs and 6 Clearances.  Grundy is not performing in the key ruck role; his principal purpose;

  • Varcoe – in (if at all possible) – Wing.  I love his application, commitment and example to the newbies (and some not so new ( Elliott last year)) – apparently likely to be not available, again;
  • Howe – reported in the VFL practice match – I haven’t found a MRP result but he is not recorded as Suspended on the 6 April Injury Listing, so a possible inclusion;
  • Cox – in?  What I like about Cox is his ability to outmark opponents without jumping.  As a target he should be able to reduce the pressure on the other targets and, quite incorrectly, you could put him into the goalsquare as a ‘fixed’ ‘kick and hope’ target. Drop Trav or Gault?  Gault’s lack of involvement has surprised me when compared with the NAB Challenge performances – is it his doing or everyone else on the team?  Hard to fault him if he is leading and being ignored;
  • Ramsay undergoing tests after training this morning – knee; and
  • Some others – the players from the Geelong VFL practice match last weekend?  Your view?


Do you have some ideas?


What will I be watching for from us (A little different to last week. I think we ‘achieved’ but there is still much to do):


  1. Individual skills – very poor last week for three Quarters (and totally missing in Round 1);
  2. Control and drive out of the Centre – appalling last week – need particularly Witts and the Mids to make a statement.  Invite the Mids to work harder at identifying where they are going to pass the ball (lift their Disposal Efficiency);
  3. Drive out of the Backline, particularly starting at kick-ins, linking to scoring opportunities – this must be planned; not decided on the occasion – let’s start setting up passages – a variety of ‘plays’;
  4. Link into the Inside 50 both round the Wings and through the Corridor – going around or over their key players; and
  5. Defensive pressure – pretty good last week – wanted – more ‘slickness’.


Them?  Team out tonight. Watch for the following who have performed in both games: Steven (Rover), Armitage (Centre), Newnes (HB line), Dempster (CHB),  Fisher (FB) and Montagna (W).  And, of course, Nick Riewoldt in game 301.  In their first game against Port they performed up until tiring in the last Quarter.  The second game against Footscray was more of a progressive slaughter.  Has Freeman recovered yet?  And for the Canberrans – watch for Josh Bruce – easy to spot with his ‘man bun’ and ability to jump into the air, pause there waiting for the ball to arrive and then mark it.


Impact on us?  This list of their Best has a clear focus on a centre-line goal to goal pathway through ‘the corridor’.  There is little domination in the Midfield (except for Armitage and Steven) or around the Wings (except for Montagna).  As such, I think this places an onus on us to shut down this line with close-marking and emphasising our use of the flanks out of the Backline.  Of course the significance of this requirement will become evident during the game and may, even, open up our use of the corridor and ‘switching’ at different points. Of course, the most obvious solution is to avoid directly passing to their best – so head to goal via the flanks.  A 45 degree shot from the 50 should be routine for most of these guys (perhaps except for Trav who seems to need a greater challenge).  My two key areas of focus are control of the Centre and stoppages and the drive out of the kick-ins.


Your views?  C’mon, what do you really think?


Game Previews?



  • My Picks?My Picks last week were slightly ‘over-sold’, but then again so were everyone else’s. Even my crowd pick was a bit high.  This week – BOG: Greenwood; 17 touches @ 93% Disposal Efficiency; 7 Tackles – the quiet achiever who is demonstrating the ability to ‘pop up’ when he is needed at critical times anywhere from the HB Line to the Forward Line.  Goals: Cox – 4, Fas – 4; Goal Assists – Trav 7. Crowd: 70,000? Your picks?




Reporting?  Anyone going to the game?  Ground Reports pls?  Thanks Elizabeth, for your report last week; very much appreciated.


Remember to keep an eye on the Footy Almanac – lots of talk relating to last week’s game –


What’s Next?  Round 4 – Saturday, 15 April at the MCG versus Melbourne.  Bounce at 3.20pm.  Watch for Harry and Dawesy and Kennedy and Weideman (now there’s a name from our past).  I would be hesitant to call this an easy game having watched GWS and just how close they came to being beaten by Melbourne in Round 1.  Is Sam Frost Jack’s brother?  Does anyone know?


Go Pies.


Leave a Comment