Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 10 review, Round 11 preview


True Believers,


We keep winning, but not impressively. We win frequently at the death-knell, not as we should be. Well that’s the way it seems and, of course, it’s better than the alternative. There are of course some excuses with people out, etc. But I note Buck’s comment (below – worth watching) regarding the team’s ‘will to win’. What we are seeing is a Collingwood side with key people missing, winning through application, teamwork and an undiminished ‘will to win’. Recent matches have rarely seen clean, cute football. They have been against equally committed opponents who are not in the competition to make up the numbers. All worthy opponents.


Who would consider Geelong untouchable after the Gold Coast’s first three quarters (well done, Witts, a great performance)? How close did Carlton (sitting at the bottom of the ladder) and Sydney (a couple of spots above it) come to beating us (sitting quite comfortably in second place)? And what sort of aberration led to GWS’ destruction at the hands of Hawthorn a couple of weeks ago?  And where does Freo sit – now in the eight? See below.


A great season that can only get better as we head past the byes. Go Pies.


A little long today – you’ll see why further down. A plea for forbearance by those accessing it on your phone.


Round 10 – Sydney


Collingwood 11.14.80 defeated Sydney 11.7.73.


Match Report –


Ground Reports – Many thanks to Janet for her Report, separately distributed. Informative and passionate. Love it! Elizabeth and Genevieve’s reports are:



As a former Sydneysider (I left long before the Swans were in that city) I always find it strange to go to a footy game in Sydney. To me the SCG was the place I was taken by my grandfather in the late ‘50’s to watch the cricket (he was in the Members, and I was in the Ladies’ stand – another world). And later, it was the venue for the Balmain premiership of 1969. I have seen a few AFL games there. It doesn’t have the same tensions and stresses as watching at the G. Perhaps it’s the smaller crowds, or perhaps it’s a slightly festive atmosphere. 


It was quite a balmy evening and enough Pies’ fans turned up to ensure the boys were well supported. 


Much of the game was scrappy. The Swans always play well against us. And, as we all know, we are missing many stars. Grundy and Pendlebury were superb, Roughead kept Buddy largely in check, and Mayne scored a terrific goal while lying on the ground. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you watch the highlights reel. 


The sour note of the night was the injury to Daniel Wells. Before he limped off, he had kicked 3 goals, which in the context of a low scoring game, was crucial. Let’s hope the injury isn’t serious. 


Special mention too for another Rampe brain fade in the last quarter which put the game beyond the Swans’ reach. 


Bring on the Dockers….






Big crowd for Sydney, full of red and white.

Buddy’s first game back.

Not kicking straight.

Great pressure, but Buddy’s back with a bang.

Daniel Wells with the first goal from a 50.

The mother next to me insists her kids didn’t want to move because they were sitting with a Pies fan.




Pendles with a great kick.

Wells backing it up grabbing a mark off another great kick off the ground from the centre.

The third goal was messy, but some fumbled hands and a boot off the ground came good.

I am surrounded.

Brad is no help.

He’s teaching his mate the rules.

Sydney came back, one point between.

Stephenson with a fantastic goal from the side

Sydney down the centre, Pies intercept, right up the left side, swans on the full, pies hit the post

Great mark Pies 19

Great mark Sydney 14

Sidebottom should’ve left it, went back, old mate couldn’t kick straight again.

Auskick kids are marking better than both teams.

We should be a lot further in front, that goal to behind ratio is atrocious.





Wells injured again!?

I yelled and embarrassed everyone around me, the Sydney cheer squad below suddenly stopped cheering, but it may be unrelated.

Grundy went goal square instead of boundary, so Swans got a goal from us pulling them away.

Heard nothing from Buddy, shut down completely by our boys.

So our backs can mark but our forwards can’t.

Old mate kicked straight!!

Sydney’s goal was so good, it’s so sad.

Buddy with a great goal.

Brad is apparently Switzerland and just supports good footy 

Great hits from both sides this quarter.

Sydney is kicking how I expect us to kick; straight. It’s not like this is their job or anything.

Not sure if mistakes under pressure or bad calls.

Our kicks are so low, who were they kicking to?

No one’s moving.

Long quarter; siren went right as we get a run.




Swans hit the post.

3-1 we did well but didn’t quite hold it.

******* up that kick 




Mate, he just disappeared, that agility though.

Pies supporters scattered throughout, starting to hear them call.

The sweet sound of a drawn out COLLLLLLLLLLLINGWOOOOOOOOOD echoed throughout.

Finally kicking straight under adversity, Sydney fans not happy with that call.

Blood rule.


Sydney picking fights, they still get it ‘FML’.

Those hands, that kick, that mark, please 



Think Sydney ran over that mark. That’s where the 50 came from.

We got there!!


Many thanks to you both. Terrific. And I totally agree with your comments regarding Wells’ injury.


Buck’s comments –


The Game


Pretty much covered above, actually.


Sydney, according to ‘the experts’, have been improving; a statement more in evidence after our game rather than before it. And, at home, they are a different side to the one on the MCG. Bucks quite calmly in his comments said that they had fully expected a challenging Sydney, that Sydney would seek to “impose their brand” (of footy) and that is exactly what happened. The game as it unfolded was interesting. Goals scored by quarter were:


Q1 – 1 goal (us) / 3 goals (them).

Q2 – 4 / 2.

Q3 – 2 / 5.

Q4 – 4 / 1.


So we won the second and last quarters; they won the others. This was the first game this year when we had not won the first quarter. It was at the 25-minute mark of the quarter that Wells produced our first goal, adding to our growing list of behinds. By half time we were 5 goals 10 behinds (15 scoring shots), leading Sydney 5 goals 1 behind (a total of six). Again, wasted opportunities. While the end result of 11.14 is not ‘awful’, it’s not great. The game should have been over by half time. It puts pressure on us for the rest of the game (yes, players and supporters). But we let them escape in the third quarter and then reeled them in and went past them like they were standing still in the last. Haven’t we done exactly that in the last three games?


Sydney were worthy opponents. Reid was terrific. Their midfield never stopped running. Their forwards and backs were constantly on the move creating opportunities. And the tag on Sidebottom was hugely successful – he didn’t get a touch in the first quarter. It eased a bit later but gave Sydney a great start. But Franklin played like he hadn’t had a run for a few weeks. Sydney didn’t deserve to win (probably unlike Carlton a couple of weeks ago) but they didn’t make it easy for us. ‘Scrappy’ is a good descriptor, but doesn’t really highlight just how ferocious Sydney were and how hard we had to fight. We are really a class above Sydney and should have defeated them methodically and progressively (and easily). Did we control the game? I don’t think so; we played and beat Sydney playing their game. This is a major lesson that we should continue to pursue.




My usual criticism relates to the conversion of hit outs to clearances and onto inside 50s and marks inside 50. So?


Hit Outs – 69 (us) / 27 (them). Thanks, Grundy.

Clearances – 49 / 38 (Centre – 11 / 9; stoppages – 38 / 29). A bit of a surprise – I didn’t realise we were dominating clearances. This is a win for us, yes, but it is not enough; the huge advantage from hit outs has been largely lost.

Inside 50s – 63 / 47. Okay-ish numbers, not necessarily reflecting where the ball was going. See next.

Marks inside 50 – 10 / 9. Both sides could be criticised for ‘up and under’ entry kicks into the 50, particularly late in the game. It’s not the best entry. We had 60 plus entries for 10 marks? Not good. I’d welcome Cox back specifically to address this issue.

Scoring shots – 25 / 18. Early kicking was off. Comments above refer.


Plus, as a measure of intensity and application, a couple of numbers showing a bit of an edge in effort by us:


Contested Possession – 153 / 137.

Tackles – 71 / 70

Frees: 19 (us) / 17 (them).




My other usual criticism relates to individual performance as it is a measure of the contribution individual disposals make to the team. Broadly agree with the listed best, but have a look their efficiency and other contributions:


Pendles – 29 touches at 72.4%; nine clearances; three 1%’ers and one goal. I love Pendles’ lack of panic. He seems to have time. A few years back I remember watching Bucks being tackled – in the process of falling he looked in both directions, decided and then passed the ball. The slow motion replay was just extraordinary. Pendles is very similar. He’s having a stellar season.

Grundy – 18 touches at 61.1%; seven clearances plus 64 hit outs and one goal assist (GA). He’s also having a stellar season.

Crisp – 27 touches at 55.6%; two clearances and two 1%’ers.

Treloar – 38 possessions at 57.9% and 10 clearances. Fantastic involvement; needs to learn from Pendles to consider where he is passing the ball.

Greenwood – 21 touches at 61.9% and three 1%’ers. A great return to form and significance. I have been floating the idea of ‘resting’ Greenwood. However, his presence amongst the best this week is well deserved and his ‘specky’ duly noted.

Mayne – 20 touches at 90%; 3 clearances; four 1%’ers and two goals, including his spectacular one kicked while lying on his back.


I’d add Roughead (8 touches at 62.5% and six 1%’ers). If you judge players’ performance against their specific roles I think Roughead’s task to shut down Franklin was achieved. See Franklin’s numbers, below. I know that Roughie was shifted onto Reid (Sam, of course) later in the game, but haven’t worked out when his responsibility changed.


In comparison:


Sam Reid – 15 touches at 73.3%; one clearance and six goals. An outstanding day at the office. Do you ever wonder who mum barracks for in these situations? My mum has enough trouble handling siblings supporting different teams, not playing.

Franklin – 6 touches at 83.3%; one clearance and two goals. Very limited significance; well held by Roughead.

Sinclair – 11 touches at 63.6%; four clearances plus 20 hit outs. Dominated by Grundy.


Round 11 – Freo


Saturday, 1 June at the MCG; bounce 1.45pm.

Go to


Betting: We are favourites – $1.17 versus $4.75 (which I think is a gross underestimation of Freo. I think we’ll win, and perhaps by a significant margin, but not without a fight).


This game is between two teams in the eght (we are second and they sit eighth) with percentages of 127.5 and 109.4. We are coming off seven wins, while they come off one win and three losses. Their win last weekend against Brisbane was by a solitary point. A ‘paper’ review would seem to match the betting above. I simply don’t believe it.




Freo have five wins from 10 games; with both wins and losses being fairly close (less than 25 points). The exception? North in round one lost to Freo by 82 points, but that was  a long time ago. Last week they beat Brisbane by one point. The weeks before they lost to Essendon, Richmond and Adelaide in both home and away games, by 7, 25 and 17 points respectively. Most significantly, Freo beat the Western Bulldogs in round six by 19 points and GWS by 24 points in round five. So, they can win against good teams, at home and interstate. They should not be underestimated.


They come into this game after a 1-point win over Brisbane. (Linda, you have my support – I know what a 1-point loss feels like – 1966 GF). In a low-scoring game Freo recovered a (near) two goal lead. What is extraordinary is the number of behinds scored in that quarter – nine together – which really represents their commitment, if not finesse. Watch for that commitment.


Some observations about their tactics, having watched them a couple of times and listened to their coach before their last game:


They use in-close handball and kicks to clear congestion, but more often employ overlapping long passes out of the back line to players away from their opponents on the way forward.

They are happy to cross over in the back line to create a different way forward.

In many ways their movement forward breaks down at the entry to the 50. They are most likely to employ ‘up and under’ kicks to packs than to leading forwards (which directly contradicts the first point).

Their pockets have huge success in intercepting passes.


And, of course, Fyfe is a truly talented star; and Mundy is close behind.


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


Midfield – Fyfe (centre), Mundy (rover) and Hill (wing). Watch also for Bennell who seriously performed in their reserves game and could be an inclusion.

Forwards – Langdon (yes, brother of Tom. Plays half forward, but is also used at half-back), Walters (midfield and half-forward) and Taberner (full-forward, if fit. But he is currently injured).

Backline – Langdon (as above), Ryan (back pocket) and Pearce (full-back).


Therefore?  Play our game. Win the midfield battle and use the corridor. Close defence against breakaway players, particularly near both goals, and punching and crumbing around packs, particularly in the wet. Tag Fyfe? Both their back line and forward line look out of their depth against ours. Focus on the midfield battle.




As I said last week, we are a winning side; eight wins out of 10, seven in a row. I’m just not that rapt with the way we are going about it. We need to establish our control of the game early and take it from there.




Same as previous weeks. Establish control of the game – play it our way; not theirs. Application, application, application for all four quarters.

Behinds. I briefly touched on this last week. I think scoring a behind should be avoided. This automatically gives ‘possession’ to our opponents. We should be far more focussed on getting the ball to a position for an easy shot rather than reconciling ourselves with a minor score.




From the VFL? Daicos had 34 disposals and Quaynor 26. Both are ready.

Outs – Greenwood survives after that performance so he’s off my list; we may need him to tag. So who do you think? Maybe time for a few ‘rests’? Consider resting Aish, Maynard and Howe. And Madgen? Not sure what to think there.

Ins – If available Moore, De Goey, Varcoe, Elliott and Cox. Or if not Quaynor (back), Daicos (forward) or Crocker (wing). What a wonderful quandary to be in.




Wet. Showers are forecast on the day and every day of the week leading to it. Lesson? Boots with stops; not moulded soles. And wet-weather footy is not neat and tidy; it’s about forward momentum with the ball kicked off the ground, hand-balled or punched, so long as it’s heading forward. And the possibility of dropped marks means players must pursue their opponents to maintain pressure on them.



No. Find a friend with FOXTEL or head down to the club.


My prediction


Pies win by 47 points.

BOG – Sidebottom – 34 disposals at 81.7% Efficiency and 8 clearances plus 2 goals. Reid and Cox get four each.




Anyone going? Ground reports anyone?




And the challenges continue after Freo (but only one more game until our bye):


Round 12 – Melbourne – Queen’s Birthday Monday.

R13 – Bye.




Eddie Watch. He’s been fairly restrained recently. Keep it up.

Drink bottles. I have a general question: I see the staff running water to the players carrying two bottles. Do these both contain water only? What else? Does anyone know? I welcome your advice.


Go Pies.




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Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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