Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life 2024: Round 2 Review / Round 3 Preview – ‘Back to work?’

Not a pleasurable activity, last night.


But the Season is long, and only just begun. Imagine how much pleasure you’ll get taking your seat at the Grannie from a 0/3 (or even 0 / 4) starting point. I can think of a number of individuals who simply would not be able to believe it. God protect us from the “Collingwood-haters”.


So, this week’s performance was an improvement on the previous weeks. I can see both Sydney and GWS making Top 4 finishes; St Kilda in the Finals in the bottom half. Us? Aim for the Top 4, but allow for a Finals berth, wherever. With the focus on mental health advocacy, the recognition was appropriate for Collingwood, especially we long-suffering supporters. How is your mental health?


However, Firstly, welcome Ian, another Pies’ supporter. Ian, this is just a bit of fun amongst fellow Pies’s supporters. Enjoy. We look forward to your contributions in the debates.



Round 1


Collingwood 12.7.79 were defeated by St Kilda 14.10.94.


Match Report. Go to


Coach’s comments. Go to Not that convincing. Maybe there is a need to identify the ‘Why?’ before you try and explain what you can do about it.  What do you think?




  • Q1       3 goals (us) / 5 goals (them);
  • Q2       4 / 1. A good recovery giving us a HT lead of 8 Points;
  • Q3       1 / 5. A complete reversal of Q2 with a final change deficit of 20 Points;
  • Q4       4 / 3. A quick burst for us that established some respectability in the scoreline; could have been more significant if the momentum hadn’t been stopped by Higgins’ goal; totalling
  • Total:   12 / 14. A dominant Win by St Kilda in spite of our Q4 comeback. What remains unclear is the “Why”? What were the differences in our game in Q2 and Q4? Your views?





I try to avoid being too critical of the Umpires, however sometimes like when they effectively lose control of a game or, like here, when they lose the semblance of  impartiality, something needs to be done. I don’t suggest in any way that this was the sole factor in Collingwood’s Loss. It wasn’t; but it clearly had an influence. You could make a very strong argument for the decisions relating to De Goey and Higgins had a huge impact and could have changed the game outcome. The numbers, below, identify a clear disadvantage to our team. But that is only part of the story. What is not included are those occasions where no decision was taken. I consider there are grounds for the AFL to investigate the umpiring of our game, including eyesight testing of the three umpires perfectly positioned for ‘that goal’ – are your views?




Category Statistics

(us / them)

Disposals (D)


348 / 398 I usually don’t include this. In this case, however, there is a huge difference indicating that the majority of the game was led by St Kilda. When you look at the Marks, below, you see this distinction further exaggerated.
Hit Outs (HO)


47 / 13 As I said last week, this is not a particularly useful comparison. Hit Out to advantage would be better. But it does give a starting point in the link between HO / Clearance / Inside 50 / Goal. The comparison starting with a substantial dominance by us progressively reducing to a broad equivalence of  Disposal Efficiency inside 50.
Clearances (Cl)


31 / 35 Centre – 10 / 16 – Loss for us.

Stoppages – 21 / 19 – Win for us.

The huge reduction from the HO starting point advantage reflects their Midfield action. So, are the Clearance numbers critical? Only insofar as an advantage here gives us a start on winning the Inside 50 numbers.

Inside 50s (I50)


42 / 55 Key. They are now hugely dominant however look at the DEi50, below.
Disposal Efficiency (DE)


71.8% / 76.1% For the whole game. A margin in our favour is of less significance than the Inside 50 DE.
Player numbers with DE equal / over 80% 7 / 8
Disposal Efficiency inside 50 (DEi50) 45.2% / 43.6% This is absolutely critical. The difference is a small advantage to us. So, they got the ball I50 far more often than us, but used it less effectively, by a smaller margin. Combined together, the Inside 50 numbers significantly outweighed our minor DE advantage.
Contested Possessions (CP)


127 / 121 A fair reflection of effort. Not too dissimilar.
Marks (M)


79 / 106 Significant relating to how they played the game.
Marks inside 50 (Mi50)


10 / 9 An important part of the basis of effectiveness inside 50. Look also at the 1%’er numbers – a minor advantage to us in both categories.
Tackles (T)


54 / 52
Tackles inside 50 (Ti50)


1 / 10 As above re Marks.
Goals scored


12 / 14 The result. This was closer than it should have been (and could have been even closer) as shown in the statistics.


44 / 42 This figure identifies the level of effort going into the team’s defence. It is in our favour by a small margin. Our backline (the strength of our team last year) did not have a great day, Something to have a close look at.
Free Kicks


16 / 30 Where and when rather, than simple numbers, with a focus on not missing decisions.


The Game


The game was played in cycles. Have a look at the Match Timeline at St Kilda demonstrated great fundamental handling skills and great directed kicks to marks. And they showed reasonable patience in progressing towards the goal.


They maintained the pressure throughout.


Their Forward ‘talls’ marked well. Their small forwards crumbed well around the packs.


A couple of enjoyable moments for me:


  • McInnes, Frampton & Schultz – good to have you in. Well played;
  • Four in a row;
  • Mihocek’s pass that bounced into Bobby’s arms;
  • Another goal to Bobby a minute later.


And a few I didn’t like:


  • The opponent’s five in a row;
  • A misdirected handball and subsequent St Kilda goal;
  • Players running into each other; and
  • The quite extraordinary umpires’ bias. See separate comments on ‘that goal’.


Any favourites moments from you?




Enjoyment. The team need to get their smiles back;


Motivation. The enthusiasm for the contest needs to reappear. Selection needs to be based on this enthusiasm, above all other things;


Manning selections. A couple of key position selections did not work again. Judge the List inclusions on the players’ enthusiasm and application. Maybe include McInnes, Noble and Macrae in the run-on side. I would also like to see one of our potential new rucks blooded;


Game Plan. There was nothing wrong with a Game Plan based on getting and keeping possession through to scoring goals. St Kilda did  this better than us and we appeared unable to block their transition and their delivery, and they stopped us; and


Magpie Army. We’ve been there before; in the hard times. We’re there in the good times and the bad times. Maintain that support. And for the team (and coaches), maybe some recognition of the stress you put us under with the close games.




The Best


The AFL website records our Best as Josh D, Lipinski, Elliott, Crisp and Nick D. I don’t have too many problems with any of these though I’d consider adding Frampton – 15 Disposals, 6 Marks, 1 Tackle, 10 Intercept Possessions and 3 Inside 50s – a pretty fair day at the office for a Back. Importantly, I’ve been highly critical of  both Lipinski and Frampton in the past. Based on their performances this year (one game only for Frampton) I retract my criticism, applauding their performances. Well done.


Your views?




The 69, 517 crowd was good to see but essentially kept quiet by St Kilda’s dominance. We didn’t hear theCollingwo….od chant too often.




Round 3


Thursday, 28th March, bounce at 7.30pm, Brisbane versus Collingwood at the Gabba, their home ground and favourite place in the world.


We are 12th on the Ladder on 86.6% percentage against their 15th on 74.0%. More importantly it is the 2023 Grand Final rematch; this time away from the MCG at the Gabba.


Current Betting. The current “Sportsbet” betting is $3.05(us) / $1.38 (them). Yep, they are favourites – not sure why. Maybe because they are 3 places above us on the Ladder – don’t think so. Maybe because it is their home game at the Gabba – Highly likely. Or maybe they are a better side – Who knows. Your views?




Brisbane went through a dominant period, that many of us will very clearly remember because we were directly involved in it. Grand Final participation by Brisbane occurred in the following period, with the opposition and results identified:


  • 2001 – Won against Essendon;
  • 2002 – Won against Pies;
  • 2003 – Won against Pies establishing the threepeat that seems to have spawned a number of AFL coaches, including our own. I think Bucks Won the BOG medal in the Losing side in 2002 and stuffed it into his shorts pocket?
  • 2004 – Lost to PA. Then it went quiet.
  • 2023 – Lost to us.


They Won every home game last year. Their Losses occurred at Marvel Stadium, Adelaide Oval, the Gold Coast and the MCG, their only game on the G last year and it was by 1 Point to Melbourne in R18. Their supporters at the G may include aged Fitzroy supporters who haven’t moved to the GC and Pies-haters, which are less than you might imagine. Everyone is coming to enjoy the style of footy our boys were playing.


Their Preliminary Final Win over Carlton last year was noteworthy. Carlton scored the first five goals establishing a Q1 lead of 5 goals to one, but Brisbane reversed the outcome. This is quite extraordinary from the perspective of both teams – Carlton letting it happen and Brisbane achieving it. I watched the game and consider neither team was particularly committed after Q1 (and in Q1 only Carlton). Brisbane looked pretty disinterested during the whole game. The standard, particularly the speed, of the passage of the ball was poor, as was its direction. ‘Kicking and hoping’ seemed to be the go.


This Season they have Lost to Carlton in Brisbane at the Gabba by 1 Point and to Freo in Perth by 23 Points. Brisbane has a Bye in R2.


Game plan.


Watch their Midfield and the movement of the ball via the Wings.


Injuries. They have a few. McKenna and Gardiner are the most significant, plus Coleman out for the season.


Players to watch:


(based on the most recent games between Collingwood and Brisbane, their 2023 Finals performances and their 2024, so far):


  • Neale – RR / Rover;
  • Cameron – Wing / HF / FP;
  • McInerney – Ruck;
  • Dunkley – Centre / RR;
  • Zorko – Wing / FP;
  • Daniher – FF; and
  • Hipwood – CHF / FP.


And, of course, keep an eye on Starcevich because of his Collingwood family connection.


Necessary Actions?


  • Close attention to their Midfield – Neale, McInerney, Dunkley & Zorko. Potentially tag Neale – Maynard (?);
  • Close attention to selected Forwards – Daniher, Hipwood & Charlie Cameron;
  • Play down the corridor, avoiding the Wings. Not sure of this – we have the current and past All Australian Wings in our team – should be a strength of ours;
  • Kick to targets;
  • Fix the kick-in process; and
  • Spread the attack widely providing diverse opportunities.




This game will be our third in 12 days, following a 6-day break. Have we looked tired? Yeah, a bit. If there was ever an occasion to shut up ‘the doubters’, this is it. Win and Win well. Show everyone what we can do.


Not too much needs to change (very nearly the same as previous weeks):


  • Team? A couple of changes are suggested above? And a couple of taskings? Your choices?
  • Application? Let’s crank up the motivation a bit? No change to this general requirement – Application for four full Quarters. Hold the tackles. Establish and maintain control of the game (possessions). Look to where the ball is going before passing it.
  • Game Plan? No change to the current plan. Use varied entry to the 50 and be willing to move the ball to a better-placed goal scorer than setting packs. Crumb around packs. Fix the kick-in plan
  • Be happy? Let’s see some chatter.


Weather. Passing showers are forecast for the day however significant rain is forecast in the week leading to our game. The ground, and the ball, can be expected to become wet very quickly, and very heavy.


TV:      Kayo or FOXTEL – Best for every game.

      Free to Air TV on 7mate.


My assessment?

  • Collingwood to Win by 17 Points. BOG De Goey – 33 Disposals, 6 Marks, 11 Clearances, 12 Goal Assists and 1 Goal. He’s a bit overdue and needs to hit the ground running.
  • Billy and Bobby each get three; Mihocek gets 5 Goal Assists – very close to BOG.


Ground Reports?


Guys, Reports please? A bit quiet after St Kilda. I’d like to hear from other armchair warriors watching from afar?


The Future?


R3      Thursday, 28 March versus Brisbane at the Gabba; bounce at 7.30pm. Do we have anyone up there? Anyone planning on attending?




  • R1 – Friday, 22 March versus Sandringham at RSEA Park (aka Moorabbin Oval); bounce at 4.05pm; and
  • R2 – Friday, 29 March versus Brisbane Lions at Brighton Home Arena, Ipswich; bounce at 12.05pm.

The VFL matches are the best venue to consider replacements into the AFL side. If you can get to a match, send us a Report please. We are always interested in how individuals are going?


  • Remember you can see our past Reports (for a few years) on Footy Almanac at The group emails started a few years before the FA records. Does anyone’s records show when we started?
  • Do you recall how much trouble our boy, Jack, got into for dropping by the Monee Valley the night before a game last year, attending because a mate had a horse running? And can you see any concerns of the Club sanctioning key players’ attendance at an event the evening before our St Kilda game? Check todays ‘The Australian’.


Go Pies.





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