Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Panic? Not yet.


Greetings to all.


Some interesting performances over the weekend, including by us (more on that below). Did you watch any of the other games – three games jump to mind (in addition to our own, of course).  I thought the Adelaide/Richmond game was a fantastic demonstration of our game – individual skills, support running and effort; as was the Hawks win over Geelong (just) – do you remember Geelong fighting back to lose against GWS last year (?) in Canberra? Very similar. I loved the way that both Geelong and Hawthorn opened the game up, establishing free players to pass to, as the game progressed – we should watch and learn. But what a disgrace the North/Saints performance was up to halftime (when I turned it off). I’m pleased to say that our game fell into the outstanding category.




Okay two Losses from two. Panic? Not yet.


But, following on from last week, I thought our performance this week was outstanding. Sure, there are things that need fixing (see below), but the effort was there, so (mostly) were the skills and so (mostly) was the Game Plan. What was missing, on occasions, was a bit of luck. What do you think? Was anyone at the game?


Match Report:


Buck’s view: and  These are worth watching / reading.  Buck’s message: “It showed a lot of pluck, showed a lot of endeavour, a lot of discipline through the game. We sort of had it on our terms for the most part, but it just opened up late. There is a payday coming”.  I tend to agree.


Firstly, okay (John), the frees were ‘interesting’: 28 to us; 20 to them. Not dissimilar to last week. Is something happening?


Seven changes in the lead – and how many of the bounces of that strange shaped ball accounted for GWS’ getting away from us at the end?  What was most evident to me? The effort and application by everyone through the whole game – reminded me of the 2002 GF and the AFLW recent win in Alice Springs. Fantastic chase and support play. Well done to all.


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


  • Hit outs: 48 (Pies) / 22 (Giants) – a very healthy advantage to us. Well done, Brodie; nice fill-in, on occasion, Pendles;
  • Clearances: 37 / 41 – nearly even – the advantage in the Hit Outs has been lost meaning our Mids were being beaten at stoppages;
  • Inside 50s: 53 / 51 – back even broadly reflecting the Clearances above;
  • Marks inside 50: 5 / 12 – a reversal of the Hit Outs’ advantage (and the same as last week’s: 6 / 14) – representing a very poor comparison of the Clearance to Marks inside 50 (based, of course, frequently (but not solely) on the options presented);
  • Scoring shots: 19/ 20 – a substantial advantage to us given the preceding numbers; and
  • Goals: 12 / 15 – the reverse of the starting Hit Outs, and where the rubber hits the road.  I consider that a ‘reasonable’ score by any team is 100 points.  Less than that is indicative of an opponent’s defence doing alright.  Here?  Close.


Lessons? So our advantage in Hit Outs was lost and at the other end,our inability to mark the ball entering the 50 was abysmal; again. GWS were twice as effective as us in using the ball entering their 50. So, two key problem areas:


  1. Turning the Hit Outs into Clearances? Same as last week. Once again, it’s Disposal Efficiency. Looking at the Disposal Efficiency, we had 10 Pies players (even without including the unfortunate Broomhead) with DE less than 70% (compared with GWS’ eight). Improvements this week from Treloar, Adams and Grundy (he was up to 85%; outstanding); same re Clearance numbers; without even considering the Clangers.
  2. Marking balls entering the 50?  Again, same as last week.  We need multiple, concurrent avenues (the leads) to Goal.  Better than last week where we kicked ‘up and unders’ into the Forward line in the hope that something might happen. Again, we were out-crumbed around the packs.  We need Fas and Blair back plus a focus from other smalls. Possession; getting it and keeping it, is the name of the game.



Good / Bad / Indifferent? Who did well / what went well? As above, the application by everyone was fantastic – well done.  I have difficulty excluding anyone from the Best list. I thought the kick-ins and connection forward was, again, good though I’d like to see greater variation between movement via the Pockets and through the corridor. I’d also give credit to the Coaches Box for their ‘control and adjustments’ during the game (if you want to be a little cynical, yep, injuries will force that. What didn’t work?  The Game Plan regarding the effective conversion of Hit Outs to Clearances and the delivery of the ball into the 50, both as above.


Injuries. Broomhead, Moore and Reid – each critical. Reid may be back – uncertain; the others a while. See comment on others regarding Next Week, below.


Reports?  What did you think?


Next? Pies vs the Olde Enemy, Carlton at the MCG on Friday, 6 April; bounce at 7.50pm. I haven’t seen them this year, yet. Carlton peaked early in their Round 1 game against the Premiers, Richmond, but slowly lost it as the game progressed.  Richmond piled on 4 Goals at the start of the 4th Quarter to finish them off. They got off to a poor start last week against the Gold Coast and apart from a short come-back in the Third Quarter got progressively worse. How dangerous are they? Well, they have a few newbies. For our motivation I’d watch the Blues win over us, last year, in the wet.  We were awful. We need to do better and follow-on from ourlast weekend.


Match Preview (when it comes): Teams on Thursday. Betting odds seems to indicate we’ll be favourites.


Them? Who to watch for?  For them, as usual, Daisy (almost an ‘older-statesman’ in the Blues team now) off the Half Back Line. Their Best over the past couple ofweeks have included Cripps (Centre), C. Curnow (Full Forward), Simpson (Back Pocket) and Murphy (Wing).  I would have difficulty identifying any of them (apart from Daisy).


Us? Who would you like to see?  My understanding from people who know more about this stuff than me, (and there are many around) is that Wells and De Goey will have another couple of games in the Twos, looking at returning in Round 5, with Elliott a week later (all likely to play in the VFL this weekend). Fas and Blair back this week?  Hope so. McLarty? Who knows. I expect Cox back just because of the loss of a couple of talls (though I don’t think his performance justifies it) and the questionable availability of Reid. Maybe Sier in?  Interestingly, there is a bunch of words in the media lamenting Collingwood’s shortage of ‘talls’.  I don’t think that is a major issue – where we are being beaten is around the packs on the ground, ‘crumbing’.


My pick? This is one of my key games; the outcomes of which will define the success of my Pies in 2018.  Result: Pies by 47 points. Treloar has 46 possessions @ 83.6% DE. Reid gets 7; Fas – 5. Crowd 89,000. Your call?


  1. TV. Yes; it’s on FTA TV – 7mate.




The Pies lost their final practice match to North Melbourne 9.12.66 to 16.7.103. Best included McLarty, Sier and Chippendale.


Next. The season starts for us on Saturday, 7 April; bounce: 2.00pm versus Northern Blues at Preston City Oval. Note that our VFL side might include De Goey, Wells and Elliott. Could be worth watching. Detail at going?  Love to hear some feedback.




No change




Fixture:  5 May start.


No change.




No change. Commonwealth Games starts this week. Netball competition at






Wheelchair Footy


Description, including Rules:




  • Eddie Watch.  Very quiet for Eddie following our losses, undoubtedly waiting for a Win. This could be the week.
  • Other Canberra Sports. The Brumbies play the Queensland Reds in Canberra on Saturday, 7 April; kick-off at 7.45pm. The Raiders are at home playing the Bulldogs on Thursday, 5 April; kick-off at 7.50pm. No local conflicts. GWS next home game at Manuka in Round 4 – Saturday, 14 April; 1.45pm.


Go Pies.





  1. george smith says

    After seven years of she’ll be right, non panicking, whatever football, I think the time for panicking is long past…

    Rather the CFC has descended into an episode of “Blue Hills” on loop tape. Nothing much happens but then, who really gives a stuff? It’s nice to know it’s there…

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Good stuff Cam. I was at the game, luck and a bit of polish were what we were lacking Saturday. Plus a big man or two.

    Looking forward to that payday coming soon. And often. Go pies.

  3. I like your eternal hope Cam. I watched the game on TV and although Grundy had a good game his advantage in winning hit-outs was diluted due to many of them not going to our advantage. Getting your hand on the ball first is not the end of the ruck contest. A little disheartening in a close game were stupid 50 meter penalties and free kicks inside the opposition forward 50. A few too many times our hard work was undone by a turnover leaving GWS players un-manned and an easy goal. We still have a few passengers that need to have more influence for greater periods of the game. Varcoe I’m looking at you. I sure hope the intensity can be repeated week to week, although I wouldn’t rate it up there with our team of 2002. This time last year we expected to beat the Blues but were humiliated. I sure hope that loss is etched into their memory.

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