Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 18 review, Finals preview


True Believers, the stage is set for a fabulous end to the season. We could have done it easier, however…



I found the most extraordinary thing about our Loss to Port Adelaide was how ordinary they were (apart from Q1 when they were simply brilliant) and just how dominant we were for, admittedly, short periods. Over the last several weeks it’s appeared that we worked hard to help our opponents score goals through silly mistakes. And there were a few against Port.



What I get from watching these games is a confidence that we can Win and go on Winning. What about the Eagles, particularly at home, I hear you say? Fair comment, but this time they’ll be a different team given their injuries, just as we will be for the same reason.



We can Win the 2020 Premiership. Have faith.



Round 18 – Collingwood versus Port Adelaide



Port Adelaide 9.7.61 defeated Collingwood 7.3.45.



This match was never really out of our touch. Even in Q1 when Port’s ball handling was simply perfect and we made a million errors, we were only down by a couple of Behinds. If Port are the best team in the competition as per the Ladder the Pies’ performance is credible.



Match Report –


Buck’s Comments –





I really miss the Clanger numbers in the AFL website reporting. If they are there and I simply haven’t found them, please let me know. Q1 was the most extraordinary example of footy – Port Players’ disposals were nearly perfect; ours were abysmal. If Port had lost they would have lamented the failure to exploit their opportunities early on. Whatever. Some numbers:



Passage to Goal:

  • Hit Outs – 42 (us) / 27 (them). I simply don’t believe these numbers. I thought Grundy (and Cox) was comprehensively beaten. Of course, it didn’t matter anyway, because …
  • Clearances – 29 / 39. Yep, that was the game. In the Centre bounces we lost the Clearances 4 / 14. And …
  • Inside 50s – 35 / 44. Okay, a very slight improvement by both teams’ Clearances;
  • Scoring Shots – 10 / 16;
  • Goals – 7 / 9;



  • Disposal Efficiency – 72.0% / 70.3%. I don’t believe these numbers either. The Q1 numbers must have been extraordinary;
  • DE inside 50 – 37.1% / 38.6%; and
  • Players with a DE equal or greater than 80% – 7 / 5;



  • Free Kicks – 15 / 9. Didn’t notice this difference either.


And effort:

  • Contested Possession – 120 / 117;
  • Contested marks – 11 / 4. One positive but …
  • Marks inside 50 – 4 / 7. Significant;
  • Turnovers – 63 / 61;
  • Tackles – 50 / 39; and
  • 1%’ers – 59 / 40. A positive really reflecting the efforts of the Back 6.



Best. Adams, Pendles, Crisp, Daicos and Quaynor. I’d probably add Noble and Elliott.



Across the game the numbers, with a few exceptions, start to match. But that Q1. We didn’t really deserve to Win but could have done so. Port, actually, didn’t either. If we were to meet Port, again, we could Win.



Finals Week 1 – West Coast Eagles versus Collingwood



Saturday, 3 October at Optus Stadium, Perth; bounce at 8.10pm (AEST).



This is an Elimination Final meaning the Losing side ends their season. The Winning side onwards and upwards.



Match Brief –





The Eagles destroyed us in R8. Actually, I don’t give them all the credit; we allowed them to dominate us. But, as above, both teams will be different, theirs in particular. Of the list of seven Eagles’ Best in R8 three are potentially unavailable – Kennedy (Test), Yeo and Shuey. My comments before and after R8 are at and



Finals footy is unlike H&A footy and the team with the greater commitment will Win. Rarely is it ‘neat & tidy’ footy, but it’s always ‘full on’.



Who to watch for?

  • Naitanui – Ruck. I really rate Nic Nat. I consider he is the only other ruck in the AFL that competes with Grundy ‘around the ground’ as well as at the bounce;
  • Kennedy – FF. If he gets to play. He destroyed us last time. Double-team against him if necessary;
  • Darling – CHF, especially if Kennedy is ruled out;
  • Gaff – Wing; and
  • Ryan – FP.


Note that this list includes three Forwards and only a couple of Mids. Nick Nat dominated us (and most other opposing teams) making use of strong / long distance punches and kicks to propel the ball forwards. We badly need to limit his effectiveness in the Midfield. We need Grundy to have a blinder. And Kennedy (if playing) is key – he couldn’t miss from anywhere is the front half – stopping delivery to him is the key.





I agree Buck’s view that we over-handballed and under-kicked long against Port but sometimes it works. Remember that we scored four of the first five goals scored in our last WCE match. And if we’d exploited our opportunities it may (would have) been a different game. We also missed Pendles  and De Goey, both of whom I expect to be there this time.



Game Plan:

We need to run hard for four Quarters starting with the domination of the Midfield. Grundy needs to dominate but the important statistic are the Clearances.

In additions to his ruck duels, NickNat needs to be constrained when he is on the ground, maybe even tagged.


Kennedy, if playing is also critical. Double-team against him to prevent him getting space.


Our Forwards must get into the habit of providing multiple concurrent leads to limit the Eagles’ defence. And look for better positions to kick at goal from.


Back 6. Keep up the good work noting special attention for Kennedy.


Midfield. De Goey in R18 was isolated. Suggest shifting him into the Midfield if similar tactic is used.

Put Stephenson onto a Wing.



Team: No change, though I would be sorely tempted to drop Stephenson and Thomas and bring in Lynch and Sier depending on training. Your thoughts?



We can Win this and progress to the next step. After our recent experience we are perfectly placed to say that none of the Eight are unbeatable. We have frequently demonstrated that.



Weather – Partly cloudy but dry.



My Picks. Collingwood to Win by 23 Points. BOG – Grundy (43 HO (against NickNat’s 31), 28 D, 5 Cl and one goal); Stephenson and Mihocek get two goals each.



Experts – For R18 61% of the experts, including Caro and Dermie, picked a Port Win. For this game go to



TV: Not sure. Go to





Go Pies.






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