Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: One game does not a season make

G’day to all.


A couple of short work-weeks in a row – enjoy.  And some interesting games.


First, a very warm welcome (as always).  Welcome, Tony.  Enjoy.  This is just a bit of fun among ‘family’ members – we just happen to have the biggest ‘family’ in Australia.  Welcome your input.




One game does not a season make.  I know, but…


Believe it or not, I was less concerned at our performance on Saturday night than I was after the First Practice Match.  I saw/see Hawthorn as a very skilled opponent; likely to be a serious contender this year. Didn’t they do well starting 2017 picking up Mitchell (ex Swan) and O’Meara (ex Gold Coast, now he is fit)? They both “showed something”.  My concerns at the practice match focused on the lack of enthusiasm and the very poor individuals skills and teamwork.  You can’t really say that about our loss to Hawthorn – other things, yes, but nothing relating to team spirit or even individual skills (more on that later).


Match Report:


Buck’s view:


Firstly, to be fair the frees were interesting: 30 to us; 20 to them.  Go figure.


We lost the match in the 2nd Quarter.  The rest of the game was up and down, but broadly even across the game.  Did we react at that time? Yes, onto Mitchell, but not successfully – see Buck’s comments.


Let’s look at some numbers (across the whole game) from the Match Report:


  • Hit outs: 46 (Pies) / 29 (Hawks) – a pretty healthy advantage.  Well done, Brodie;
  • Clearances: 40 / 33 – the advantage is degraded a bit, but still slightly in our favour demonstrating our Mids were being beaten out of the Centre (and other stoppages);
  • Inside 50s: 58 / 60 – evens by now (comment as above);
  • Marks inside 50: 6 / 14 – reversal of the Hit Outs’ advantage – representing a very poor comparison of the linkage between Clearances and Marks inside 50 achievement (based largely, I think, on the options presented);
  • Scoring shots: 22 / 26 – actually, representing a slight improvement in advantage to us; and
  • Goals: 9 / 15 – the reverse of the above, and where the rubber hits the road.


Statistics can be interesting, but also misleading: See  But these numbers don’t include Disposal Efficiency or Clangers or even Clearances.  The focus on Disposals without any link to effectiveness is fraught.  Let’s look at the more useful numbers and the ramifications.


So our advantage in Hit Outs was progressively lost.  Indeed our inability to mark the ball entering the 50 was abysmal.  Hawthorn were more than twice as effective in using the ball entering their 50.  So, two key problem areas:


  1. Turning the Hit Outs into Clearances?  Looking at the Disposal Efficiency, we see eight Pies players with DE less than 70% (compared with Hawthorn’s six).  Who is among our eight?  Yep – Treloar, Grundy, Adams and Cox.  And their Clearances?  4 / 1 / 5 / 2, respectively.  That is not good enough.  To be fair, Cyril had a DE of 50% but wasn’t his influence significant?  To the mere observer, he was hugely influential – annoyingly so.  Of ours, I thought Cox looked way out of his depth.  I would seriously consider looking at McLarty and Lachlan Howe from the Twos as a the second ruck option.  And Cox may be unavailable because of ‘that elbow’, anyway – just out: Out for one. [Confirmed – Ed]


  1. Marking balls entering the 50?  Crocker was good early on; Moore was good when Bucks put him back Forward and Reid was okay’ish.  What do we need?  We need multiple (that means more than one) concurrent avenues (the leads).  Our Game Plan looked ‘ordinary’.  We kicked ‘up and unders’ into the Forward line in the hope that something might happen. We formed packs looking for the big mark, but the Hawks crumbed these, frequently getting possession easily and clearly.  Look for Fas and Blair to come back.


Who did well / what went well? Sidebottom is showing the way; Pendles was always there (always with a ton of time); Varcoe turned up occasionally and Murray had a good day at the office.  Welcome. I thought the kick-ins and connection forward was good; like to see some ‘through the corridor’ occasionally.  What didn’t work?  The Game Plan, as above and the effective delivery of the ball into the 50.  Well done to the Coaches’ Box for shifting Moore and I note we tried tagging Mitchell starting in the 2nd Quarter – well done, Coaches’ Box.


Round 1 Best Moments? While focussed on a Hawthorn goal, have a look at the Number 8 Best Moment (the third from the start) at and tell me what the Pies players could have done differently?  Maybe get up quicker and keep chasing?  Second and third effort, etc?


Experts?  Not sure what is going on here.  I suspect I need a subscription to access The Age.  Any thoughts? From Dermie picked Hawthorn to win, but Tim Watson picked the Pies (I always liked Tim); Shane Warne picked the Hawks and Uncle Grumps picked them too; as did James Hird (I was wondering what he was doing for a crust, now.  Dangerfield picked the Pies.  Any of our Melburnians get The Age?  Advice pls – are Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten still regular ‘Experts’?


Reports?  What did you think?


Next?  Pies vs Giants on Saturday, 31 March; bounce at 4.35pm.  I watched about half of the Giants’ demolition of the Dogs on Sunday.  They were pretty awesome – very good individually (particularly given the gale blowing) and very good teamwork – they looked for each other and weren’t averse to going backwards when necessary; their support running was like our girls in Alice Springs – simply outstanding.  And what a Forward line. GWS are sitting at the Top of the Ladder; we are 16th, which isn’t bottom, but is close.  Note that in the Team of the Week at three GWS players were included – Cameron, Greene and Coniglio; no Pies this week.


Match Preview, when it comes:  Teams on Thursday.


Who to watch for?  For them, as usual, Heater, but I couldn’t remember seeing him last week.  Just checked – yes, he was there; just unnoticed.  But worth watching the way he manages the Backline.  There’s the reason I didn’t see much of him – the ball didn’t spend much time in the Giants’ Backline last weekend.  Their Mids, including their new ruck, are impressive.  And they tackle well.


Who would you like to see?  VFL performances were solid for Fas, Blair, Broomhead and, Scharenberg; and Wells, though he’s still probably a couple of weeks off.  Fas and Blair are critical to starting to win the pack competition possession battle; plus maybe Mayne?  While not mentioned in the VFL Best, I still think McLarty and Lachlan Howe are worth looking at regarding the second ruck role (as above).  I would suggest the Selectors wield the axe to give people a go.  We will not beat GWS without a pretty serious effort by everyone.


My pick?  Pies by 17.  Treloar has 47 possessions @91.6% DE.  Reid gets 7. Crowd 73,000; 95% Pies supporters.  Your call?


Yes; it’s on FTA TV – 7mate.




Pies, 13.11.89, defeated Box Hill, 9.13.66, in another practice match.  VFL individual performances are addressed above.


Next.  Their last practice match against North Melbourne is on Saturday, 31 March at the Holden Centre; bounce: 6.30pm.  Note, you would be able to get to this game following our Win over GWS at the G – a short walk.






Okay, to close the loop, the GF – A very tight affair that involved neither team scoring anything in the 2nd Quarter.  Well done, Dogs 4.3.27, defeating Brisbane, 3.3.21.  Next year, Brisbane, it gives you the opportunity to Win the GF on your third attempt.  Except I hope the Pies team will be in your way.  Linda, a comment?




No change.




No change.  Commonwealth Games next week.






Wheelchair Footy


Nothing seen.




  • Eddie Watch.  Very quiet for Eddie following our Loss, probably waiting for a Win.  Mr Kennett was very noticeable.
  • Other Canberra Sports.  The Brumbies play the Waratahs in Canberra on Saturday, 31 March; kick-off at 7.45pm.  You should be able to get there after the Pies game coverage.  The Raiders are in Sydney.
  • Footy Almanac.  Don’t forget to check the Footy Almanac site at  It routinely includes some very thought provoking articles (including this one).


Go Pies.





  1. georgesmith says

    “One game does not a season make. I know, but…”

    not one game Cam, seven years…

    Hilary Clinton, the Dalai Lama and Eddie meet God. Hilary says:
    “I would like to see a female president in the future, any chance?”
    God says: “Not in your lifetime.”
    the Dalai Lama says: “I would like a just peace with the Chinese in Tibet, any chance of this?”
    God says: “Not in your lifetime.”
    Eddie says: “I would like my good mate Nathan Buckley to coach a premiership with Collingwood. Is there the slightest chance of that happening?
    God says: “Not in MY lifetime!”

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