Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: AFL Rounds 17 and 18

Round 17 – West Coast Eagles

Collingwood 11.12.78 defeated the West Coast Eagles 12.5.77. Regards to all the St Kilda supporters out there – Remember 1966.


Match Report

Ground Reports  – From Janet, in location:


We braved a sea of blue and yellow to watch our beloved pies take on the Eagles.


I was worried at the start after the Eagles opened up with a quick goal, but my fears subsided. Goal for goal and at the end of the first quarter, far from being out of the game, we were right in there. The ground was quite slippery, with several players slipping over and losing possession. It was also tough listening to the eagles supporter in my right ear, but I was feeling ok because, despite his booing and “holding the ball” cry every time a Magpie gets the ball, we were doing ok.


Another opening goal for the start of the second quarter and the Eagles had an 8 point lead. The Eagles stretched their lead out to 15 thanks to some sloppy play by the Pies. We managed to get back to within 13 at the half time break. There was some good play by the Pies, but the Eagles were picking up the mistakes and converting them to good play and scoring goals. We were missing too many easy marks, and the Eagles were passing the ball very easily.



The opening goal of the 3rd quarter was a beauty. Of course, the Eagles got their chance soon after when Grundy was tackled just outside the 50. It honestly felt at times that the Collingwood players were surprised when they were tackled after taking too long to dispose of the ball. Despite kicking the opening goal of the quarter, the Eagles had quickly stretched out to an 18 point lead. Too many times Collingwood gave up possession. The end of the 3rd quarter saw us down by 16. We had managed to limit the Eagles scoring opportunities but also missed several vital shots of our own. Although we were behind, we were still within reach.



And then the 4th quarter happened.


My God what a tense quarter that was. Old mate behind me was oddly quiet and all of a sudden we were only 8 points down. The atmosphere was electric and I started to feel like we could win this. And then it was a one point ball game, then level, then 2 in front. The frightening moment when the Eagles could have won went pear shaped for them and suddenly the ball was back in our 50. And then we were in front by 1 but we had the ball and unless something went horribly wrong, the game was ours. Of course, until that final siren, it was always a possibility. But then that beautiful hooter went and we had done it.


Against the odds, we had beaten the Eagles at their home ground in front of 56600 fans. It was an incredible feeling to be two of only 1000 or so Collingwood fans. What a great win!


Many thanks, Janet; outstanding. And a very valid observation regarding being ‘caught with the ball’.

Buck’s comments


The Game


Riley Beveridge, AFL website:

“THIS was the performance Nathan Buckley was craving.

Backs to the wall and away from home to the reigning premiers, Collingwood needed to summon something special to overcome West Coast in the final quarter on Friday night.

And this was certainly special.”


This was a fantastic performance by a committed team against a talented opposition, the current Premiers. The Contested Possession and Tackle numbers (totalling 222 (us) and 192 (them)) reflected the pressure differential. A descriptive term used by one of the Pies’ players to describe the aim of establishing our team’s game plan over their opponents, was “the hunter”. I think this is very appropriate and certainly reflected the effort and achievement (particularly in the 2nd Half).


In a game between two talented opponents it was the play under constant pressure that led to the mistakes, the turnovers of possession, the dropped marks (my mother could have caught one of those and she’s nearly 96), etc. It was a fascinating game to watch, but stressful on the long-suffering supporters.


Some Numbers. My standard concern relating to the conversion of Hit Outs into Goals:

  • Hit Outs – 36 (us) / 42 (them). Thanks Grundy, though Cox also contributed. Here we had two of the three best Rucks competing (I’d include Gawn as the third) and we did not dominate as frequently occurs. But look at where things went.
  • Clearances – 41 / 42 (Centre – 13 / 14; stoppages – 28 / 28). So our Midfield has turned around the advantage that the Eagles had in Hit Outs to be equal in Clearances.
  • Inside 50s – 52 / 43. This is a significant development reflecting the Midfield achievement and the drive forward out of the Backline.
  • Marks inside 50 – 8 / 13. Okay, I have no idea how this came about. I expect both teams would be displeased by this number but recall, as a broad observation only, Eagles players looking to where they might pass the ball rather than “up and under” big kicks. And there were a few occasions when we were simply out-marked in a pack on the Square (or on the goal line on one occasion).
  • Scoring Shots – 23 / 17. In my view the difference here really reflected the game more accurately than the score difference of a single Point.
  • Goals – 11 / 12. Whatever.


These numbers, of course, are for the whole game and cannot be used to look at specific periods. Interestingly both teams scored six Goals in Q1 with six lead changes to the first break (Consequently I was expecting a game score around 160 Points). For the rest of the game, we scored five Goals; they scored six. Note my comments elsewhere regarding the handover of possession when a Behind is scored – simply, a waste. In the extraordinary Last Quarter, we scored 2.6 against their solitary Behind. It was a dominance that could have been quite simply wasted with a well-directed opposition kick, even against the flow of the game. It could also have been so much less stressful (particularly on the long-suffering supporters). Talking of scoring Behinds, there were a couple of Eagle goals where the kick Inside 50 was clearly directed at a player in a better position to score (a Goal).


Contributors? Best identified, with critical statistics, are:

  • Mihocek – four Goals plus two Goal Assists and four Inside 50s. A foundation stone in the Forward Line.
  • De Goey – three Clearances and four Inside 50s plus two Goals. Pure brilliance, he also spent time in the Midfield.
  • Treloar – seven Clearances, three Rebound 50s and three Inside 50s.
  • Sidebottom – six Clearances, two Rebound 50s and five Inside 50s. He was ‘everywhere’; just turned up.
  • Pendles – four Clearances, two Rebound 50s and five Inside 50s. Mr Calm in a crisis, particularly heavy traffic.
  • Crisp – six Clearances, two Rebound 50s and six Inside 50s. Note that Crisp started in the Midfield.
  • Phillips – one Rebound 50 and one Inside 50.


The game was a classic ‘team – effort’; with individual support between players evident. I’d like to see more communication between players but acknowledge the noise of the stadium. Certainly, as identified by Janet, we were caught too often before disposing of the ball. I’d add a couple of other individuals to the list:

  • Grundy – six Clearances, one Rebound 50 and three Inside 50s. He established reasonable parity with NicNat in the First Half but got stronger and more dominant as the game progressed (Yes, I acknowledge NicNat was playing his third game back after a lengthy absence).
  • Maynard – Did a fantastic job on Darling.
  • Hoskin-Elliott – Did a fantastic job on Allen particularly in his first time as a Back when Moore left.


A satisfying day at the office for players and supporters.


Round 18 – Greater Western Sydney


Saturday, 20 July in Sydney; bounce 4.35pm. Go to

This game is between 2nd (us) and 6th (them); 121.1% (them) and 117.2% (us). A Win here is likely to fix us in the Top 4; a Loss (with other results) may drop us out of the Top 4; it may also leads to us having to fight to stay in the Eight. The season is so even that substantial changes are probable (not just possible) – Essendon is now in the Eight; North is a Win or two outside the Eight; even Hawthorn and Sydney are still within reach. So, it’s important we keep winning.




GWS came into 2019 with the promise of great things. In the 17 weeks of the competition, so far, they’ve sat in the Top 4 for all but two weeks (Rounds 5 and 16). They have produced some notable results:

  • beat Geelong in Round 4 from a 4-goal deficit at Half Time (a long time ago);
  • beat Sydney at the SCG in Round 6 by 41 points;
  • beat North in Hobart in Round 13 by 23 points;
  • lost to Essendon at Marvel in Round 15 by six points going into the final change with a 3-goal lead; and
  • lost to Brisbane in Sydney by 20 points.

And, I just watched them get thumped by Richmond. Even as recently as a month ago GWS were 2nd on the Ladder and being touted as serious contenders. Since Round 13 they’ve slipped a place every week. After an uninspired performance we should match the way Richmond played – win the Midfield battle, fast rebound and solid defence of their star Forwards. So, they come into our game after three Losses. It is always questionable whether they rebound or fall further down. I suspect the latter.


Who to watch for? Repeat performers this year make the following worth watching:

  • Midfield – Coniglio (RR), Kelly (Rover / Centre), Taranto (Rover), De Boer (Wing) and Lachie Whitfield (Wing).
  • Forwards – Cameron (CHF / FF) and Toby Greene (FP). Add Hill, a newbie who performed pretty well today.
  • Backline – Haynes (HB) and Heath Shaw (BP). Yep, Heater never shuts up.


So? Their strength is their Midfield plus Cameron and Greene (and Hill) up Forward and Heater in control down back. So win the Midfield battle and use our dominance across the paddock to win the game. Maybe tag Cameron. Maybe watch Mumford. For a bit of fun maybe tag Heater for a while.



We come into the game on the back of our one-Point win over the Premiers. But it is much more than that. We’ve recently travelled a path littered with narrow Wins and Losses against ‘serious’ teams. We have achieved while not playing at our best and we have, for short periods, shown just how good our best is. Last week can be seen as a turning-point. We now have to go onward and upward. A premiership awaits.



  • Critical approach – same as we demonstrated for much of last week’s game – Establish control of the game – play it our way; not theirs.
  • We must take advantage of Grundy’s ruck dominance, turning this into Clearances, Inside 50s and Marks inside 50.
  • Scoring Behinds? Avoid; look for the better position.
  • Entry to goal. While the ‘up and under’ towards Cox is a valid approach to goal it should not be the only route. Entry via Mihocek (last week involving him in the scoring of six of our 11 goals scored) is also an avenue, but there are many more that can do more than just crumb around the packs. Look for Elliott, in particular.
  • Crumb around the packs and watch their ‘smalls’ (especially Greene), Forward and Back.
  • Talk – we were frequently tackled before passing the ball because the player carrying it was unaware of his opponent. We need to communicate better between players, at least with warnings.
  • We need to hold our tackles; not be brushed off.

Team? Some changes:

  • Outs – Moore (injured), Greenwood and Mayne.
  • Ins – Adams, Scharenberg and Broomhead.


Weather? Clear and sunny.


TV? FTA on 7mate from 4.30pm (for ACT and Regional NSW viewers). \


My prediction? Pies Win by 49 points. BOG – Treloar – 42 Disposals @ 71.9% Disposal Efficiency plus one goal. Elliott and Cox each get four goals; Broomhead gets one and is mobbed by teammates; kisses goalpost.


Attendance? Anyone going? Ground Reports pls?


Future. The challenges continue and in the current competition no team can be ignored or considered an ‘easy beat’:

  • Round 19 – Richmond at the G. Always a challenge.
  • R20 – Gold Coast at the G. C’mon, they don’t like the cold; welcome home, Witts.
  • R21 – Melbourne at the G. Again; getting tiresome.
  • R22 – Adelaide in Adelaide. Always a challenge in front of a, usually, pretty hostile crowd.
  • R23 – Essendon at the G. Anyone writing off Essendon just yet?


How quickly a prognosis can change. From a written-off, spent force last week to a powerful contender this week – go to

  • And, then finally, the Finals which we all know is different footy to H&A.


Keep the faith.



  • Eddie Watch. Quiet; a good thing.

Go Pies.



For more of Cam’s Collingwood Life, CLICK HERE:


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  1. Why would you possibly have Mayne out? Did a brilliant job on Hurn. Every week he does the tough jobs.

  2. Sorry Cam, but Aish should get credit for his 24 disposals, 9 marks, 4 inside 50’s, 2 clearances and 1 goal assist. Not bad for a half-back. Agree with Pete that Mayne did a good job to limit Hurn and should not be dropped. Pendles also out for many weeks after finger operation. Crocker is not AFL level, too many errors and should go out before Mayne.

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