Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – The Year of the Magpie: The Grand Final.

A great, if somewhat surprising, weekend. I always expected we’d win, but who expected the total destruction of the Demons?

We are into the ‘Grannie’. Outstanding.

A fantastic result based on a fantastic performance. This is why we enjoy our footy – effort and skill and speed. The performance was breathtaking.
Collingwood 15.7.97 defeated Richmond 8.10.58.

I’d love to hear comments from those who were there?

  • Frees: 18 (us) to 15 (them).
  • Hit-outs: 60 / 26. A terrific performance by Grundy. But it is the next step that is still concerning.
  • Clearances: 45 / 37. They were stealing our Hit Outs. We are still not taking advantage of Grundy’s dominance. Solutions?
  • Inside 50’s: 58 / 48.
  • Marks inside 50: 13 / 10. Pretty poor by both sides, reflecting the pressure being applied.
  • Scoring shots: 22 / 20. Not sure how that happened.
  • Goals: 15 / 8.
Competitiveness? Combined, these statistics reflect the dominance of our pressure:
  • Contested Possessions 155 (us) / 149 (them).
  • Tackles 72 to 61.
  • Disposal Effectiveness – DE less than 70% – 8 / 13. I think this statistic is really important as distinguishing the sides.


Clangers, reflecting the disposal of the ball direct to an opponent:
  • Players with three or more – 9 (us) / 9 (them). Hmm?


A great game of ‘Finals’ footy’ – pressure, application and endeavour (same as I wrote last week). 

Our 1st Half dominance (10 goals to 2) was awesome. And the Tigers never really recovered. Measured by ‘Goal Difference’ by Quarter, we lost Q3 by two goals, but won the rest by a total of nine – pretty comprehensive. Well done to all. 
Things to like?
  • The variety of avenues to goal, including Cox’ performance. Now I’ve been criticised for my writing re Cox. I suggest the critics have a closer look at what I have written – my very clear acknowledgement of Cox’ role, his achievements when successful, the failure of the umpires to adequately protect him and my continuing concern over Cox as a single avenue to goal. Which, of course, he wasn’t in this game. He, along with others in the Forward line, did well. But he was not on his own, though mum & dad were pleased.
  • The application by everyone was ferocious again; simply outstanding. Well done. A great team effort.

Not liking at all?

  • The transition of our Clearances to Inside 50s is better; what’s missing is their conversion to Marks inside 50 and subsequent goal scoring.
Player Rating? I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many ‘nines’.
Oh yeah – I love it when the Experts are so totally wrong. In The Age, at, out of the 12 Experts Mr Gleeson was the only one correct (Well done, sir.). Notables wrong included Carey, Judd and Pearce. I’ve actually watched one or two of these ‘experts’ explain their logic – usually seriously flawed.


Next Week:

Grand Final: Saturday, 29th September; bounce: 2.30pm. West Coast Eagles versus Collingwood Magpies. This is 2nd versus 3rd, 16 Wins versus 15, with a season percentage difference of 121.4%versus 120.4%. But they beat us a couple of weeks ago. 
Preview: At When it’s there – in a day or two.
Others’ thoughts? is really worth reading – accurate, informative and well written. Thank you Mr Pierik.


Them: And from our last encounter a couple of weeks ago:

An interesting game. We lost Q1 but recovered well. Q2 and Q3 were outstanding with us well placed entering the Final Quarter, 10 points up. But then we lost momentum, the Eagles scored five goals to our single running out reasonably comfortable but deserved winners. Congratulations to them. Over the past few weeks I have emphasised that Finals footy is different to H&A footy. If you needed this confirmed all you had to do was watch the games this weekend – each was about pressure and application. I’d love to see a comparison of the numbers of balls kicked off the ground rather than attempting pick-up – good pressure footy particularly in the slippery conditions.

Things to like? 

    • Coaches’ Box influence, particularly at the end of Q1. Recognising the continuing participation of the coaches in the game. Well done. Not sure what else could have been done in Q4 – your thoughts?
    • The application by everyone was ferocious again; simply outstanding. Well done.
    • Well done to the three inclusions.

Not liking at all? 

    • The transition of our Clearances to Inside 50s is still poor. 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?

    • Okay, let me try to be fair (unlike many of the very heated comments on Facebook) about Cox. He only had five Disposals at 40% DE, however had seven 1%’ers. But his performance needs to be assessed against his task – he is being used as a target to ‘crumb off’ (yes, I’m sure there are better ways of wording that). The apparent tactic is to kick a high ‘up and under’ that he might mark but, more likely, will come to the ground and our small forwards will crumb the ball and kick the goals – simple? Defence against Cox is, now, pretty routine – the big, spoiling punch, and it works. So, we need to consider whether this is the best use of a Forward position – your thoughts? And just to compare at the other end of the ground, Goldie had six Disposals, albeit at 83.3% DE but nine 1%’ers and he, quite rightly in my view, made the Best list. And Trav Varcoe, had only nine Disposals, but his goal and his ‘run-down’ tackle were both game-changing. Well done. Selections? No change

Remember, I qualified my comments regarding Varcoe’s ‘game-changing’ actions by
highlighting his slip-over ’12-point’ turnover.
What else? Okay, they destroyed Melbourne last weekend. I didn’t see most of the 1st Half and went home before the end, so I don’t really know what happened. Any comments? 
I’m not convinced they are unbeatable. And it’s in Melbourne. We can Win this.
    • Who to watch? Midfield including Shuey (if fit), Redden, Yeo and Lycett; Forwards including Kennedy and Darling, Rioli and Cripps; and Backs including McGovern (also if fit), Jetta and Hurn. And watch for Hutchings heading to Sidebottom (again). Note that both Shuey and McGovern are under an injury cloud.

Previous. WCE have beaten us twice this year – R17 and the QF. But nobody seems too concerned about that – R17 was H&A; QF was in Perth. Assessment as above.

  • Selections? Probably ‘no change’. However, if Moore and/or Reid are fit? Either (or both) could add (a) tall to the Backline, critically under-sized, or another tall Forward. Who would they replace? Your thoughts?
  • Don’t play safe. Be adventurous.
  • 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. (See, I also said this last week).
    • Consider routine backwards/sideways passes from the Clearances to better target Inside 50s.
  • ‘Run with’ on who(m)? Kennedy / Darling? When they got away from us last time, it was the difference. Who else?

Weather? Showers forecast, but very light rain – enough to make the ball slippery and players slipping – wear stops; not moulded sole boots. Forecast 6 to 13 degrees.


Your thoughts?

FTA – Yes; on Prime7 or 7mate.

Check the bounce timing:
  • United Kingdom: 5.30am, Saturday
  • Europe: 6.30am, Saturday (western); 7.30am, Saturday (eastern)
  • USA: 9.30pm, Friday (west coast); 12.30am, Saturday (east coast)
  • Dubai: 8.30am, Saturday
  • New Zealand: 5.30pm, Saturday
  • Thailand: 11.30am, Saturday
  • Japan: 1.30pm, Saturday
  • Bali: 12.30pm, Saturday

My Picks
: Pies by 17 points; BOG – Treloar with 37 Touches @ 77.3% DE; Two goals to Cox; same to Stephenson and Hoskin-Elliott; De Goey gets one.

  • Eddie Watch – quiet’ish.
  • Mike Brady will perform Up There Cazaly at the GF; Jimmy Barnes and Black Eyed Peas also.
  • GF Training? Let’s see if we can get more people to the training than they get to other sports’ games?
    • When: Tuesday 25 September, 2018
    • Where: Holden Centre Oval
    • Time: 9.30am – 11.30am

Go Pies

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  1. Matt Sherwood says

    Thanks Cam,

    What a great game and result for the team. While everyone at the end was talking about Bucks and Grundy, Cox, De Goey, Howe, Adams and Treloar, the pressure game, furious tackling (and rightfully so), I thought there was little highlighting of one key aspect.

    The best part for me was the strategy – they picked apart the Richmond game plan (fast ball movement and crumbing forwards) and determined a way of negating it – smashing the ball away from contests in their forward line, isolating Rance and co against De Goey and also doing three-quarter kicks to Cox which the opposition struggled to read and get up to. I thought Cox played his best ever game (can he do it again?) and his three marks were my favourite moments, closely followed by Aish tackling Rioli.

    Whoever did the game plan against Richmond, need to get one of Matthew Lloyd’s ‘end of season bonus’ payments.

    Now on to the Eagles who beat a completely ‘choked’ Melbourne (as evidenced by the highest scoring team having no goals at half-time, 7 players without one tackle all game, top tier players missing handballs by five metres and 16 of 22 players having game rankings at or below five out of ten).

    Hard to determine a single line to summarise the game ahead – yes we were ahead by 2 points with 5 minutes to go in Perth a few weeks ago and lost, and Kennedy was looking much more dangerous against the Dees than in the previous week against us, but the game is in Melbourne, Treloar will be much fitter from his relatively quiet game in the prelim, and we have strong momentum and belief.

    The old adage is don’t change a wining side, but I temper that by the knowledge that if you can stop Kennedy and Darling, you go a very long way to winning another flag. Accordingly, I would be very tempted to bring back Moore to play on Kennedy as he gets a lot of goals by getting the ball on the ground and knowing where the goal is – the key to stopping him is size (to stop the marks) and pressure (creating turnovers off the ground). I think Moore is well placed to do that and better than Goldsack who Reiwoldt kicked five goals on and who Kennedy drew with in his first game back – I would move him to Darling.

    Remember that Kennedy and Darling want to erase the sorry memory of the 2015 Grand Final, but they could be none-factors as its forecast to be 13 degrees with a 70% chance of rain, which would help our small fast forwards.

    The big thing is Grand Finals is taking your chances and kicking well at goal (like De Goey slotting the first goal from a very hard angle set the tone for Friday night).

    Can we win? Beteasy has the pies at +$1.68, but an ALF poll has the ‘Eagles to win’ percentage at +62%. So opinions are split, but if we have another great game plan we should go in with high confidence.

    Can’t wait.

    Go pies……


  2. Whilst the Pies have played good football the past 2 weeks the glaring difference in results is due to scoreboard pressure; 3.9 in first half against WC and 10.2 against Tigers. The pressure we exerted was reminiscent of our 2010 style. It helped greatly that Dusty struggled to influence the game. I too would be tempted to play Moore and have Sack interchanging with him, but can we risk losing Moore again and playing the grannie one player down? Am worried the Sack is not quite there to stop a (match) fitter Kennedy and/or Darling.

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