Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: On a roll

True Believers, (nearly) all:  Firstly our ladies make an exit after a fantastic inaugural season. Well done, girls; a sterling effort. Another win by the AFL team, making three back to backs. And a win by the VFL side; their second.


What did I say last week? Go into the Bye 6/6 and head into the second half of the season with optimism and ‘beatable’ teams early on. Last week against Freo was critical; this week is equally important – see more below. You never know what might happen!  Go Pies.




Last Weekend?





Magpies Netball: I said last week: “The close wins are the best reflection of character”.  Actually in my view it’s the close losses that are, perhaps, even more a reflection of character – a loss to the Giants 52 to 51 doesn’t get any closer, particularly from a 6 Goal lead 7 minutes from the end. But, as Collingwood supporters, we all have great experience and myriad examples of having lost from winning positions. Well done, Ladies; a fantastic effort; we’re proud of you!


Match Reports at, and


Onward and upward towards 2018, ladies. Enjoy the break.




Another win, over Freo in Perth. The abiding question I have is why we couldn’t put them away (actually, by the end of the first quarter would have been good – the statistics would have supported that).


Match Reports and comments – and tp://  Buck’s comments:


Our Best: The usual (Treloar, Pendles, Sidebottom, Adams, Smith and Howe; plus Goldsack, in my view (see further comment on him below from the commentators), plus Hoskin-Elliott and De Goey who are each showing how important is is to produce something at critical times (loved their goals at those critical times).


Check the statistics: The game statistics, on this occasion, do accurately reflect the game.  What they don’t do is explain Why?  Some apparent contradictions:

  • Hit Outs were won by us 42 to 28, but Clearances were won by us only by 41 to 36.  This reflects a better performance by their Mids in clearing the ball than by ours.
  • Inside 50s were won by us 59 to 41 (great, particularly the outstanding Q1), turning into a win by us of Marks inside 50 of 15 to 7 (quite reasonable, I hear you say?).  But these numbers converted into wins by us of Scoring shots of 30 to 25 (very close) and Goals scored 15 to 12) do not reflect the advantage that should have accrued to us). While I’ve acknowledged previously that I can be happy with an equivalence of Goals scored and Behinds scored, there is a limit to this. Our failure in Q1 to turn an advantage of 17 to 6 Inside 50s, resulting in 8 to 3 Scoring shots, turned into 3 Goals to 2 Goals was awful.  And they took the lead (the first time) 3 min 30 sec into Q2.  This is reflected in our place 17th (out of 18 teams) in goalkicking accuracy (not sure who is worse – any ideas?).  What should we work on this week?  And who is our goalkicking coach?
  • Disposal Efficiency (DE).  We won DE with 9 players with DE equal or over 80%; they had 3.  That is ‘huge’; great pressure.
  • Clangers, however, are a different story.  We had 16 players with 2 or more Clangers to their name (led by Grundy with 8 and Treloar with 7); they had 13 (led by Grey and Taberner with 7 each).  While I applaud both Grundy and Treloar’s performances each week (and recognition amongst the Best) it still concerns me that their DE and Clangers reflect ‘wasted deliveries’.

Some adverse comments throughout the game by the commentators, in my view, failed to recognise that these games actually have two competing sides. Their comments – “poor quality game“, “gone to a new low“, “(Collingwood’s) Forward structure has gone” and “(Collingwood) will cough it up (leading to the regular turnover, which inevitably happened, of course)” failed to acknowledge Freo’s efforts.  Balancing those views (including one from one of our own) were “(there needs to be recognition through a new award) – the Goldsack Courage Award“- Go to: and, “Watching Dockers supporters leaving early was almost as much fun as watching Blues supporters pike” (noting, of course, that the Blues beat us in Round 7, earlier this year) and Bucks: “we’re thrilled by the endeavour of our players“.


Implications for us? An extraordinary game which we should have had won by the end of Q1. What do we do about the injuries? See below.


What stood out? How hard they worked, through the entire game but particularly towards the end with a pretty significant haul of injuries, what a funny ball it is and how strangely it bounces sometimes and ‘the sirs’ decision-making (the difference between ‘in the back’ and ‘incorrect disposal’ is consistently confusing; and the fact that all the commentators acknowledged the Pies as the better team (see Expert tipsters, below); just that they might lose because; well, just because …  Other things – same as last week: My quote from last week: “The style of play when we are being successful – fast and connected using the corridor as well as the wings; leads from the Forwards”. Unfortunately our failure to kick accurately showed through.


Your thoughts?


VFL. A win; our second, over Sandringham 92 to 78. Well done. Go to and Who did well? Kirby, Cox, McLarty and Mayne amongst others. Given the injuries in the AFL game, we might need to bring some players up (see below).




Next week?


Magpies Netball


For our girls – 2018 Pre-Season.


Finals – To follow the competition go to: and Preliminary Final between Melbourne Vixens and Western Sydney Giants in Melbourne on 10 June; tip off at 7.00pm. Go to the game in Melbourne or TV coverage on 9Gem from 7.00pm.  Grand Final on 17 June between Sunshine Coast Lightning and the winner of the Preliminary Final.







Our game: Versus Melbourne at the G; Queen’s Birthday Holiday Monday, 12 June; bounce 3.20pm. Blockbuster.


Them: Sitting 9th on the Ladder with 5 Wins and 5 Losses and a percentage of 111.7%, Melbourne have an interesting recent history –  They are coming off their bye (hence the different number of completed games to us) and have alternated wins and losses prior to that (Rd 10 – Gold Coast win (the 2nd Half they scored 14 goals to 6); Rd 9 – North – loss; Rd 8 – Adelaide (in Adelaide) – Win; Rd 7 – Hawthorn – loss and Rd 6 – Essendon – win (also kicking 13 goals to 6 in the 2nd Half). So? A bit changeable. Their win over Adelaide in Adelaide was huge, but so were their losses to Hawthorn and North; both unexpected.  Their team has a strong midfield and half back line, however their forwards and other Backs have been relatively quiet (see below re who to watch for).


Implications. This, again, will be a battle of the midfields.  I don’t see any need for a ‘run with’ role but it would be good to have players on-call for that – Greenwood (if fit); maybe tag Watts for a while just for fun? We should counter their half back line by going over it, where possible, and by using the corridor to avoid the Wings.


Things / people to watch. Melbourne mids who have performed include Oliver and Tyson (as Ruck Rovers), Jones (Wing), Tom McDonald (or Pederson) as Ruck (McDonald alternates as FB) and Viney (Rover). Critically, Gawn is out. Watch Hibberd and Lewis (former Hawthorn Vice Captain last year) on the HB line. And, to be careful, watch Watts at FF (Can you remember his reception to AFL football from Collingwood on this same occasion a few years back?) Also Melbourne’s Vince, Oliver (already mentioned) and Garlett all made the State of Origin teams (noting that Pendles didn’t). And, of course, Weideman (routinely at FF, though not an automatic selection) – a very famous Pies’ name. Melbourne are the competition leading ‘pressure’ side – Contested Possessions achievement. We can expect them to chase us; to compete.


Us:  Sitting 10th, outside the Eight by a game; with 5 wins and 6 losses and a percentage of 102.3%. We are coming off back to back to back wins over Brisbane, Hawthorn and Freo (at home). Each Win has seen some good footy (and some periods where our opponents got a bit of a run-on), but importantly we’ve demonstrated significant application in each of them. Grundy should enjoy the absence of Gawn; the other Mids need to gel as well as they’ve been doing the last few weeks. We are likely to be missing a few too – Elliott (replace with Daicos?); I’d probably leave Blair out, giving Crocker some more time (again a nice goal at a key time last week – I hope he thanked Goldsack); and, to replace Goldsack, maybe Keeffe. Game Plan: we show our best when we apply the ‘fast-transition’ style of play and should use the corridor when we can. Accurate kicking (particularly at goal) would be good, though I should acknowledge the Forwards’ leading (which is much improved). Other – kick-ins as per usual and crumbing in both Attack and Defence around the packs rather than everyone going for the screamer (well done to everyone in front of goal against Freo leading to Crocker’s goal – a group effort, especially the broken Goldsack). I’d also like to see Brown get upgraded from emergency if the opportunity arises (maybe if Greenwood is out, though I’d be a bit surprised at that).  Will this be Dunn’s first run against his old team? Enjoy. And the crowd? Could be 90,000.


Other ideas or changes?  What do you think?


We should win this.



Weather? Melbourne – who knows?  Mostly sunny, with the potential for some drizzle.  Cold.



Game Previews:

  • Agenda. Michael Christian’s Agenda at the Pies website – there Go to:  Love the optimism and excitement.
  • AFL Match Day Preview –  Next few days; their prediction – I suspect it will be Melbourne (up the Ladder; better ‘Wins’ recently) but maybe close.
  • Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at in the next few days.
  • The Age Preview – Should be at in a few days.
  • Expert Tips – will be at  Last week?  I expected a bit of a mix – but not the 19 to 5 picks for Freo to Win.  It’s always an absolute pleasure when so many, who know so much, get it so totally wrong.  This week?  I suspect Melbourne will be the expert favourite – expect a balanced mix of picks with the expectation of a close result.

My PicksPies by 17 points. BOG: Pendles – 37 touches.  Darcy – four Goals.  Crowd: 90,000.  Best competition: Darcy vs McDonald or Greenwood vs Watts.


TV?  Free to Air TV coverage on 7mate from 3.00pm.




This weekend Round 8 – Saturday, 10 June vs Casey Scorpions at Casey Fields (I’m not sure where that is – you can Google it); bounce: 2.10pm.  Go to:


Casey is sitting 10th on the Ladder just above our 12th place. Should be a close game, noting that they are coming off two wins; compared to our one. Who to watch for in our side? I don’t think Scharenberg, Ramsay or Crocker will be returning soon.  Look for Keeffe (maybe; Back; rotating Ruck) and Brown (Centre), who must be starting to be just a bit disappointed given how many weeks he’s been the AFL side Emergency. And, of course, Daicos.  Go to:




Other Things:


Fair comment?  I applaud the MRP panel decision re Geelong’s Hawkins?



The Future? 


Hmm, again. Well into the final quarter I was throwing ideas about comments I could make about the game (and I was not particularly happy at that stage; got happier later):

  • Is kicking an individual responsibility?
  • Where does the coach’s responsibility regarding individual performance finish?
  • If the Pies had Lost what would Buckley have said was to blame?
  • Why did the vast majority of pundits and experts think we would Lose?

Welcome your views?


Reporting.  C’mon people – your Reports? 


Footy Almanac. The Footy Almanac site at Worth a quick look-see.


Go Pies.




  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Cam.
    Has been a good 3 weeks. Monday looms as mini final for us. If we can be 6-6 the season will be very much alive.

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