Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 14 Preview


True Believers,


After a great Win over Melbourne and a weekend off we should be refreshed and ready to roll. I am anyway. Go Pies.


Round 14 – Western Bulldogs


Sunday, 23 June at Marvel Stadium; bounce 3.20pm. Go to


This game is between 3rd place (us) and 14th (them) but I do not consider it a done deal; percentages of 127.5% and 90.0%; nine Wins as against five. That said, the Bulldogs were deserved Premiers three years ago. They have been seriously affected by injuries and should not be underestimated. And they have ‘the Bont’ (




The Bulldogs are having a pretty ordinary season, though still claim to be in Finals contention. With five Wins in the first half that’s probably a big ask though the spread of the competition makes this a distinct possibility. They have, however, produced periods of great and periods of awful football. In R2 they recovered a deficit of six goals to beat Hawthorn; in R10 they produced a six goal recovery over Q2 and Q3 to lead North, though ultimately letting North finish with a five goal Win and R13 (last weekend) they nearly Lost to Carlton (winning by three Points) even with a six goal lead at the final change. Even against Geelong the eventual 45 Point Loss was achieved by Geelong’s six goal Last Quarter. And playing us? In R4 they had established a two goal lead in Q3 and even had a one goal lead midway through the Final Quarter ultimately Losing to us by 14 Points. So? They can play well for periods; not for the whole game.


They come into this game, as detailed above, after the (nearly) narrowest of Wins of three Points. I doubt there is any residual ‘confidence’ resulting from this result given Carlton’s Final Quarter revival and their inability to stem it.


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


  • Midfield – Macrae (Rover), Dunkley (Ruck Rover), Hunter (Wing) and English (Ruck) and Liberatore (Centre) both if fit.
  • Forwards – ‘The Bont’ (FF), Suckling (HF), Lloyd (HF) and Naughton (HF).
  • Backline – Trengove (FB), Daniel (HB) and Crozier (BP).


Therefore?  Their Midfield is the strongest section of their team. Solution – same as last game – Play our game. Win the Midfield battle and use the corridor. Close defence against breakaway players, particularly near both goals. Pass to specific targets in the Forward line and be prepared to pass to a better position (see below).




As per my previous email, the Pies Win over Melbourne was fantastic. We played the vast majority of the game the way we wanted to play – our Brand. Simply put, we need to do the same again.


In our previous encounter our Best included Phillips, Grundy, Roughead, Adams and Pendles. And Mayne was injured and Mihocek reported. But, of course, that was some time ago.




  • Critical approach – same as last game – Establish control of the game – play it our way; not theirs. And application for all four Quarters.
  • We must fix the conversion of Grundy’s ruck dominance into Clearances. Midfield? The recovery of this against Melbourne was fantastic; imagine what some of the better teams would do to us.
  • Behinds. I briefly touched on this last week and I’ve watched as few other games in the past few weeks. I think scoring a Behind, or even worse Out of Bounds on the Full, is a handover of possession for little benefit. It should be avoided so we shouldn’t take the ‘possible’ shots – we should pass the ball (backwards, if necessary) to get a better shot. As such we should be far more focussed on getting the ball to an easy shot position rather than reconciling ourselves with a minor score. This is a reflection of ‘modern footy’ where transition from a team’s Backline to their Forward line and goal can be incredibly quick. ‘Possession’ rules.


Team? No change. Your thoughts?


Weather?  There’s a roof; who cares.


TV? No free to air coverage; find a friend with FOXTEL or head to the pub/club.


My prediction? Pies Win by 37 points. BOG – Sier (again – see last game) – 34 Disposals @ 78.9% Disposal Efficiency and 8 Clearances plus 2 goals. Cox, Stephenson and Mihocek also each get two.


Attendance? Anyone going? Ground Reports pls?


Future. And the challenges continue:


  • R15 – North under their temporary Coach, well known former Pie, Rhyce Shaw;
  • R16 – Hawthorn;
  • R17 – Eagles in Perth; and
  • R18 – Giants in Sydney.
  • Then we’re really in the run to the Finals. Who do you think will make the Eight?




  • Eddie Watch. Quiet.
  • ‘Pinching’? Okay, if during a game someone pinched you and you punched them on their nose in defence, you’d be reported, right? Would the MRP find reasonable provocation? What court in Australia (maybe apart from the MRP) would punish you in such circumstances? One of my family ancestors in Australia was convicted of assault when he whipped a dog-owner he came upon beating his dog. He confirmed to the judge that he would do exactly the same again in the same circumstances. He was fined one Farthing (the smallest coin in circulation). And yes, the whole ‘pinching’ incidents reflects very poorly on the game, particularly a player of such standing as Ben Stratton. Your thoughts?
  • Separation of supporters.On the occasions when I’ve managed to get to a game I’ve found the interaction between opposing supporters to be fun. I would hate it if the sort of behaviour common to British soccer supporters became on issue here. Welcome your views?


Go Pies.





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  1. george smith says

    First Wells, then Beams, now Stephenson. It looks like the malevolent side of the footy gods are sharpening their knives. Not one of the next six games is an easy win. More great news from Perth, with Nic Natanui due to resume hostilities in the WAFL, so he should be fit and ready when the Magpies fly west…

    To quote Eddie from 1990: the vultures were circling, it was time for Collingwood to dig deep. I don’t know if they can dig deep for 6 weeks, but…

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