Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: 2018 AFL Finals – The Year of the Magpie

 

A mixed bag for the weekend – a great performance for the AFL; a disappointing exit for our VFLW side after a fantastic first year.

 

AFL: 

A great effort.

 

I’d love to hear comments from those who were there? Thanks to Matt for his reporting.

Match Reporthttp://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2018/25/coll-v-gws

Buck’s commentshttp://www.afl.com.au/video/2018-09-15/full-postmatch-magpies Really worth watching. I loved his comments about having to Win the game twice and with reference to Maynard “telling the world”.

 

Numbers:

  • Frees: 16 (us) to 12 (them).
  • Hit-outs: 44 / 29. Another fairly routine Grundy day at the office. But it is the next step that is concerning.
  • Clearances: 33 / 33. We are not taking advantage of Grundy’s dominance. Other Mids? Solutions?
  • Inside 50’s: 58 / 47. For specific periods we dominated this, unfortunately, without great result.
  • Marks inside 50: 13 / 8. Poor by both sides, but especially GWS, reflecting the pressure being applied by both sides.
  • Scoring shots: 24 / 14. Really, the game. Could have made it easier on everyone (especially the supporters) with better scoring.
  • Goals: 9 / 9. Whatever… See above.

Competitiveness?

  • Contested Possessions 158 (us) / 136 (them).
  • Tackles 70 to 76.
  • Disposal Effectiveness – DE less than 70% – 15 / 13.

and:

Clangers, reflecting the disposal of the ball direct to an opponent:

  • Players with three or more – 10 (us) / 11 (them).

 

Assessment?

A great game of ‘Finals’ footy’ – pressure, application and endeavour.

 

Given our Q1 dominance, the game should have been over by the end of the Quarter. But it wasn’t and GWS responded (I think they play boring footy). The resulting challenge, described by Bucks as requiring us to “win the game twice” was met by effort. Well done to all.

 

A “slogging” Win based on unrelenting pressure. Bucks: “Can you be dissatisfied with a Finals’ Win? I don’t think you can, but we can play better than that.” Agree. Notable were some of our regular bests who were quiet – Stephenson, Mihocek and Greenwood to pick a few. – more next week please?

 

Things to like?

  • As Bucks’ said, the game had to be won twice. And they did.
  • Coaches’ Box influence – good.
  • The application by everyone was ferocious again; simply outstanding. Well done.
  • And, of course, I should mention Howe’s hanger (nearly two), Varcoe’s runaway goal and Maynard’s job on Greene. Well done.

Not liking at all?

  • The transition of our Clearances to Inside 50s is better; what’s missing is the goal scoring. The “kick and hope” into the 50 places huge pressure through rebounds as Possession, inevitably, changes. While it is pretty clearly a reflection of the pressure the Mids are under we need to be willing to ‘pause’ / ‘pass backwards’ to give time to locate a target.

Not sure?

  • Cox? Again, I’m not sure. Read last week’s if you can’t remember my reasoning. He certainly contributed more this week. Anyone want to replace him with Moore or Reid?

Player Rating? http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-09-15/every-magpie-rated-from-the-second-semifinal

 

Next Week:

 

Friday, 21st September – Collingwood vs Richmond at the MCG; bounce 7.50pm. From the Ladder, this game is between 1st and 3rd, 18 Wins vs 15, 136.1% vs 120.4%. Richmond, throughout the season and as the current Premiers, are the deserved favourite for the 2018 Flag. But, it is not that clear – see below. They will be favourites.

 

Preview: At http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2018/26/rich-v-coll. When it’s there.

 

Others’ thoughts? http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-09-15/inform-pies-embracing-tiger-challenge. Worth a read.

 

Them: Since their Round 14 Bye, Richmond have only Lost once, to GWS by 2 Points. But they’ve also Won, unconvincingly, against Bulldogs, Round 23; Essendon, Round 22 and Geelong, Round 20. Noteworthy Wins over Sydney and Adelaide were in Rounds 15 and 16. But their Win over us in Round 19, by 28 points, was solid – we lost momentum, exacerbated by some serious injuries taken off, towards the end of Q3 and into Q4 – the only difference. And they are coming off a fairly routine Win over Hawthorn and two weeks off in the last month – is that an advantage? I’m not convinced they are unbeatable. We can Win this.

    • Their Best? Simply put, they are a team of stars. Over the period since their Bye, their Midfield of Nankervis, Martin (when on the ball), Graham, Ellis and Cotchin have been amongst their best. The corridor is solidly locked at each end by Riewoldt and Edwards and Lambert, plus Martin (when he goes there), Forward and Rance and Broad, Short and Grimes back.
    • Who to watch? Above.

Us:

  • Selections? And if Moore or Reid are fit? Either could add a tall to the Backline, critically under-sized, or another tall Forward, but who would they replace? Your thoughts?
  • Don’t play safe.
  • Application – repeat. Continue improved crumbing round packs.
  • Game Plan:
    • Use alternate avenues to goal – low and hard, in addition to the use of Cox as a target.
    • Consider routine backwards/sideways passes from the Clearances to better target Inside 50s.
  • ‘Run with’ on who(m)? Martin? Maybe different players when he is playing Forward or on the ball? Maybe Greenwood?

Weather? Dry; forecast 9 degrees minimum.

 

Your thoughts?

TV? FTA – Yes (probably); on Prime7 or 7mate.

My Picks: Pies by 13 points; BOG – Treloar with 38 Touches @ 81.3% DE; One goal to Cox; but five Goal Assists.

 

VFLW:

Well done, girls. A fantastic season given their status as Minor Premiers and Preliminary Finalists in the inaugural season; see you next year.

 

Other:

  • Eddie Watch – quietish.
  • Okay, I was corrected last week on my plaudits for Varcoe’s actions in the WCE game as “game changing”. I identified his two positives but missed recording the negative. This one was ‘game-changing’ too. Early in the Final Quarter against WC he had gathered the ball and ran into the 50. He slipped and possession changed with a WE goal resulting. This was a 12 Point turnaround at a critical time. I raise this not to be critical, but to be fair. It’s a funny game, with a funny shaped ball and ‘things happen’ beyond the players’ (and certainly our) control. As is evident throughout the year, I love Varcoe’s intercepts, his tackling and his support play. He is a fantastic example to the younger players.

 

Go Pies.

 

 

Comments

  1. Very disappointed when Travis Varcoe and Geelong parted company. He is a match-winner. He turned a couple of Geel-Haw days at the height of their rivalry.

  2. george smith says:

    When this year started, the Magpies played the worst game ever against the Giants in Canberra. 2 goals in 3 quarters of football was a most miserable way to start any season. I wanted Nathan Buckley gone, it was as sure as anything. Since then the redemption has been as sure as 1977 and 2002. We ended the season of the very team that so humiliated us all those months ago.

    Whatever happens on Friday, it has been a season to be proud of. Of course the work is still ahead of our team whether this year or the next, and we can easily slide down the ladder like we did in 2004. I don’t want that to happen.

    But respect is back, finally.

  3. Cam. This week the Pies got more from Pendles, Howe, Treloar and Philips who started the season like a train but has been quiet for a few weeks. Cox seemed to spend much time on the ground, literally; perhaps his boots are so big they aquaplane on damp grass. He needs to clunk a few inside 50. Contested possession and clearances and kicking straight are keys to the Pies chances this week. If Moore had played 2-3 games in the Magoos then risk playing him, but not now. Same with Reid.

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