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

True Believers, well, we are there; in the Finals once again. It does seem a while ago we were there last.
Our Club teams have all produced with the following final Ladder positions:
  • AFL – 3rd;
  • VFL – 5th;
  • VFLW – 1st; and
  • VWFL – 1st?.


Our AFLW and Netball sides were less successful.


Not a comprehensive performance against Freo. There were times when I was struck with some doubts, though, as Bucks said, “we did enough”. We always looked as if we could lift our game a level but never seemed to actually do so.
Was anyone in Perth for the game? Others’ comments?
Well, we got our Top 4 finish, but will face the WCE in Perth in the first Final. More below.
  • Frees: 21 (us) to 23 (them)
  • Hit-outs: 40 / 38.
  • Clearances: 33 / 36.
  • Inside 50’s: 50 / 53. Better conversion, but then…
  • Marks inside 50: 10 / 9. Very poor by both sides.
  • Scoring shots: 21 / 22. Yep, they had more.
  • Goals: 11 / 9.
  • Contested Possessions 150 (us) / 144 (them).
  • Tackles 73 to 59. Positive.
  • Disposal Effectiveness – DE less than 70% – 11 / 7. Reflects the pressure on the players.



Clangers, reflecting the disposal of ‘our’ ball direct to an opponent:
  • Players with three or more – 13 (us) / 10 (them). I don’t think these numbers are satisfactory for either side; worse for us. Not acceptable for Finals footy against the top teams.
A pretty outstanding early start by us, that Freo reversed by the end of the 1st Quarter. Freo, following their pathetic surrender the week before, were really, really good. They competed for everything. Well done to them. In fairness, I thought many of their very limited scoring shots after Q1 were against the flow of the game, frequently the consequence of a silly mistake by us.
Things to like?
  • Coaches’ Box influence. Recognising the continuing participation of the coaches in the game. Well done.
  • Composure. Even when Freo kicked away to a bit of a lead we never lost our composure. Pendles (and Sidebottom) is just the master of this, appearing to have all the time in the world and, particularly great decision-making. Others could watch and learn.
  • The application by everyone was ferocious again; simply outstanding. Well done.
  • Multiple goal-kickers (8 (us) / 6 (them)), again, reflecting varied avenues to goal.
  • Can anyone tell me who was on Fyfe? He only had 19 Disposals – did he have a ‘run-with’ partner?
Not liking at all?
  • The Back 6 appeared, at times, slow and swamped. In particular, they were caught out by the unattended solitary opponent (who went on to score). Well done to Greenwood for the notable exception to this. This criticism may be unfairly focussing on Q1. It is noteworthy that Freo kicked only four goals after the end of Q1. See what I mean – – Numbers 9 (bad) and 6 (good).
  • While the transition of our Clearances to Inside 50s was improved, the conversion to marks was poor (for both teams). The “kick and hope” into the 50 places huge pressure through rebounds as Possession, inevitably, changes.
Next Week: Bye.
Next Game:
Saturday, 8 September Collingwood vs West Coast in Perth; bounce: 6.10pm (AWST) (8.10pm (AEST).
Preview: At The 2nd Qualifying Final. This game is between 2nd (them) and 3rd (us); 16 Wins compared with 15; 121.4% compared with 120.4%. Out of the last five games both teams have three Wins and two Losses, though our Loss to Sydney was by 2 points. They have a home ground advantage, though any real advantage is not really evident in their results or statistics that I could see.There is nothing in it  Betting?
Previous. They killed us the last time, Round 17 – 15.12.102 to 9.13.67 even though it was in Melbourne. After a reasonably even 1st Half we dropped away markedly. Our Best included Adams, De Goey, Pendles, Howe, Phillips and Moore. Theirs included McGovern, Gaff, Pedder, Shuey, Hurn, Hutchings and Jetta.
Them: Since their Round 12 Bye, WCE have produced 6 Wins and 5 Losses. They are coming off an Away Win over Brisbane and a Home Loss to Melbourne, the week before that. The injury to Naitanui has impacted on the team, as has Gaff’s well-deserved suspension.
    • Their Best? Over the period since their Bye, their Midfield of Redden (Rover), Shuey (Centre) and Yeo (Ruck Rover) has consistently been amongst their best, along with Cripps and Ryan Forward and McGovern and Hurn Back.
    • Who to watch? Those listed above, plus Lycett or Vardy coming into the Ruck. Also watch for Darling Forward and Jetta on the HB Line – neither has produced, but each can turn a game. Also watch for a potential return by Ah Chee or Kennedy. Note that Gaff, Hurn, McGovern and Yeo are included on the All Australian list.
Us: Injuries and availability, as above and below.
  • Application – repeat. Continue improved crumbing round packs.
  • Game Plan – Plan alternate avenues to goal – low and hard.
  • Consider benefit of returning players working through the VFL, and the value of the AFL Bye.
  • ‘Run with’ on who?



Your thoughts?

TV? FTA – Yes; on 7mate..
My Picks: Pies by 23 points; BOG – Pendles with 37 Touches @ 87.3% DE; Three goals each to De Goey and Stephenson .


Ins – Treloar, Howe, Moore noting the AFL Bye week? Goldie and Appleby another run?

Go guys.



Go girls.

  • Final Ladder position – 1.
  • Next – Sunday, 2 September Grand Final versus Richmond – tip off TBA.



Other sports, Canberra:



  • Raiders – Next game: Friday, 31 August versus Warriors away; kick off 6.00pm.
  • Eddie Watch – quiet.
Go Pies.

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  1. george smith says

    Well Cam, it happened. You and the other Buckleyites can deservedly dance the dance of joy. After a Turnbull v Abbott stoush at the club which in times past would cripple the Magpies for a decade, here we are back in the finals after 4 of the most frustrating years I can remember. Maybe Eddie is the chosen one, and not in a Darth Vader way…

    Remember the high profile recruits we brought in last year to save Collingwood – well Dunn and Wells are are in the sick bay while the ugly ducking, Chris Mayne, has secured himself a spot in the team through sheer hard work.

    At the beginning of the year I compared Collingwood’s chances with the on again off again romance of Leonard and Penny from “The Big Bang Theory”, in particular the concept of Schrodinger’s Cat. Well I can safely say that the cat is very much alive, out of its box and round at Gary Hocking’s place sharing a tin of Whiskas!

    Schrödinger’s cat – Wikipediaödinger%27s_cat

  2. Cam. Hooke says

    Happy, but not elated. I think they have the List (limited by availability) and the Game Plan (occasionally limited by how they apply it). Finals Footy, of course, is ‘Finals Footy’ unlike home and away footy. We’ll see how we go.

    One little difference – this year (unlike previous years) it appears the Coaches’ Box is willing to make changes sooner and more substantial during the game. I’m pleased.

    Eddie the ‘chosen one’? Hmm?

    Agree the much criticised ‘picks’ have produced. Pity about the injuries.

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