Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – 2020 Round 1 Preview

True Believers, greetings to all. A week and a day away. Go Pies in 2020.

 

The Season

 

A couple of really good Season Previews, worth a very close read (though I’d probably debate Meyers’ view on Treloar’s effectiveness based purely on the statistics) and a watch:

 

Team Captains? Looking at their picks for a GF appearance, we get a couple of picks after GWS, West Coast and Richmond. Sterling company, though I think a number of other teams might surprise. Go to https://www.afl.com.au/news/384191/captains-predict-four-clubs-snubbed-for-finals-brownlow-tips-more.

 

And Champion Data‘s guess at https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/champion-datas-list-ratings-for-every-afl-club-which-afl-club-has-the-best-list-afl-player-ratings/news-story/b073f65355f1f135629a299067c0a76b. For this week, see our rating versus the Dogs’. Summary below.

 

Round 1

 

Western Bulldogs versus Collingwood; Friday, 20 March; bounce 7.50 pm at Marvel Stadium.

 

Previous.  The teams met twice last year (Rounds 4 and 14). Both times Collingwood won but there are lessons to be learned. Bucks, regardless of the win, described the Round 14 game as “That’s the worst we’ve played for a long time“. Twomey from the AFL Match Centre was slightly more subtle: “Collingwood has made a habit of winning games this year when not at its best“. Collingwood won 13.4.82 to the Dogs’ 10.13.73. Anything jump out at you? How about Scoring Shots? Always a fair guide to game dominance – Dogs 23 to our 17.

  • Their Best on that occasion: Daniel – HB; Macrae – Rover; The Bont – Forward Pocket (but ran everywhere); Dunkley – Ruck Rover; Schafe – CHF; and Suckling – HF.
  • And our Best that day: Grundy; Treloar; Crisp; De Goey; Sidebottom; and Reid.

 

We finished 2019 better than the Dogs, though each of us ran into GWS on a roll. Not much to comment on either of our performances in the Finals. Oh, okay, we lost by four points having played a solitary quarter in the game; the Dogs lost theirs by nearly 10 Goals.

 

Marsh Lessons?

  • Ours. While practice matches were described by Pendles a couple of years ago as “like dancing with your sister” there can be lessons learnt. The shift of De Goey into the Midfield late in the first game and then for much of the second is a success. He makes things happen. Like to see it continue. For a short period (I think) Elliott was also in the middle. Wasn’t there long enough to make any observations. Both Daicos and Callum Brown were impressive. In the second game, Grundy was not dominant nor, when he got the touch, was it to our advantage – a serious failing that needs to be addressed. Darcy Cameron’s presence as a tall Forward was recognised though I can’t recall him at a Centre Bounce (Cox did alright).

 

  • Theirs. I watched (some of) the Bulldogs’ games . A couple of observations: ‘The Bont’ playing in the Centre was fantastic – numbers: 37 Disposals, 17 Contested Possessions, 10 Clearances, 11 Inside 50s and two Goals (a solid day at the office). Watch English in the ruck. While dominated by Grundy last year he did well both in the ruck and around the ground during the Marsh games. And watch our Canberra boy, Josh Bruce, recently moved to the Dogs who played like a traditional Full Forward with a roving commission. He was frequently the direct target and wasn’t averse to working up the field.

 

Teams?

  • Them. As identified above, Bontempelli is a game-changer. Other comments regarding the Dogs’ stars are worthy of note and action, plus the couple of newbies. Maybe tag the Bont? Close attention to Bruce. Note the need to match his speed.

 

  • Us. Totally agree (Mongrel Punt) the strength of our Backline and the potential of our Midfield. The Midfield? I like the influence De Goey brings – things just happen. But I’m still concerned at the conversion of Hit Outs to Clearances (and Treloar’s effectiveness). So, let’s be innovative and dynamic during the game, willing to shift people and make better use of both ‘the corridor’ and the Wings. What to do about our Forwards? As in previous years I’ve strongly encouraged a variety of entries into the 50, and emphasised the importance of delivery to a point where a major is highly probable. Cox is a useful point of delivery but shouldn’t be a the only one. Changes? Daicos has produced as a small Forward; similarly Callum Brown further afield. Treloar’s injury and Reid’s possible exclusion provides the avenue for some new faces, including Cameron.

 

The Game? The Dogs are a very good side highly regarded by everyone. Champion Data rates them very highly (second best List after Richmond, including the second best Defence even with Rance’s retirement). We sit third overall. Premiers in 2016, they have improved their List since then. Their season last year, like ours, fell in a heap for no good reason, each against GWS. We should dominate across the ground. Interestingly, Bucks described our team’s DNA as focussing on defence and pressure, augmented by aerial improvement. He expected the Midfield to include different names this year. His acknowledged “keepensoff” style of play maintaining possession has the potential to work well except when possession is handed over for no good reason (like scoring a Behind or kicking OOBOTF). We must pursue the majors. And let’s own the Clearances. Your views?

 

Weather. In Marvel. Doesn’t count; just shut the roof.

 

My Picks? Collingwood to Win by 23 points. BOG – Sidebottom for the shut-down job he does on the Bont (check the Bont’s numbers in their Final against GWS – 17 touches. Compare with the 37 in one of their Marsh games). Elliott to kick 5. C’mon, everyone; your picks? Reply to all pls?

 

TV? Free to Air – 7Mate from 7.30.

 

Ground Reporting? Is anyone going? I’d love to see some ground reporting.

 

Next Week:

 

Other

  •  Eddie Watch. No major crises, so far. He quite rightly got angry when prodded about the idea that Moore might move on. And now, it appears he is going to co-host Ch 9’s Footy Classified with his bête noire, Caroline Wilson, with whom he got into so much trouble a couple of years ago. Good luck to them both.

 

 

  • AFLW. I’ve watched a number of the girls’ games. They play really good footy – great commitment, terrific close-in handball passing and pretty sound individual skills – much better than last year. They were unlucky to lose to the Dockers given their overall statistical dominance, but Melbourne just played better. I hope the guys have been watching their performance. Well done, so far, ladies. Good luck for the Finals.

 

 

  • Open Training. The ‘2020 Kick-Off’ event planned for tomorrow has been cancelled due to the coronavirus threat. Watch this space for other impacts.

 

Go Pies

 

Cam

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

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Comments

  1. Cam, I may well be an ardent member of the ABC Club, but I take my hat off to you for the thoroughness and passion of your support for all things Magpie.

  2. As Ian said, your enthusiasm is terrific. Cameron must be close to replacing Reid or Cox on his performances so far. I too have very much enjoyed watching the AFLW Pie girls play. Since you like analyzing things, how about this question. Is it time to hand over the captaincy so that Chiocci can just play without any burden, and give it to a player who influences the game more, such as Lambert, Molloy or Livingstone all things being considered?

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