Cam Hooke’s Collingwood life – Round 19: Still looking at a Top Four finish. Believe!

True Believers, like last week, that AFL game is why we are Collingwood supporters, but different to last week. We can confront adversity, recognise benefits from failure and remain optimistic.


Did anyone attend? Reports please?




Playing the current Premier and Ladder Leader, this was always going to be a challenge. And even in defeat, the team were magnificent – a couple of minutes short of the Final Quarter we were four points down. Our injuries hurt us a bit in the Final Quarter and Richmond ran out a deserved Winner 16.9.105 to 12.5.77.

So we were beaten on the day. What are we left with? In a little over six weeks can the Pies score an extra four goals or stop four goals being scored against us, or a mix of both? I am positive we can, even given the injury challenges heaped on us. What do you think?


The Future. Next:

Round 20 – Sydney, in Sydney (see below)

21 – Brisbane, in Melbourne;

22 – Port, in Melbourne; and

23 – Freo in Perth (Details just released – Saturday, 25 August; bounce 2.35pm AWST (4.35pm (AEST)).


Still looking at Top Four finish. Believe! Stay optimistic.



  • Frees: 19(us) to 16 (them).
  • Hit-outs: 50 / 25. Grundy had a field day – clearly BOG, always significant in a losing side.
  • Clearances: 44 / 34. Okay’ish. Not great but not disastrous – that comes next.
  • Inside 50’s: 47 / 57. Richmond’s transition from Clearance to Inside 50 was much better than ours
  • Marks inside 50: 11 / 14. Pretty poor by both but we were worse.
  • Scoring shots: 17 / 25. This is really the reflection of the game, though included significant numbers in Q4 when we seemed to drop off.
  • Goals: 12 / 16.




  • Contested Possessions 163 (us) / 154 (them).
  • Tackles 72 to 48. Not surprised at this at all.
  • Disposal Effectiveness – DE less than 70% – 11 / 6. Not great by us; reflects their pressure on us.




  • Things to like?
    • The application was ferocious; simply outstanding. Well done.
    • The 2nd and 3rd Quarters – we beat Richmond for this significant period.
    • Multiple goal-kickers reflecting varied avenues to goal.
  • Not liking at all?
    • The umpires’ protection of Cox both before and during competition. The tactic of using Cox as a target can work in two ways – 1. taking the mark and scoring goals and/or 2. crumbing off his missed mark and scoring goals. Either works but direct passing to a leading Forward is always preferable, particularly avoiding Cox as a single goal-scorer.
    • Richmond play “surge footy”. What do I mean by that? They confuse the umpires by pushing numbers into the fray. Is this legal?
    • Crumbing. There were occasions, particularly in Defence, where three Pies players all went for the contested pack mark with little attention to crumbing around the pack. This is something we’ve improved hugely on in the past but needs to be continued. Look at the goals scored from Forward crumbing.
    • Disposal Efficiency. As above, our (and their) DE as a reflection of the pressure we are under (and are inflicting on our opponent) needs to improve.
    • Higgins GOTY – Why didn’t Moore run through simply collecting the ball on the way rather than trying to appeal a Free?


Other? Injury to Scharenberg – Out for the season. Minor injuries to Howe (not that I would want Moore kneeing me in the face) and Mihocek unlikely to prevent selection. And Elliott, again, in the VFL game injured his hamstring – unlikely to be able to be selected at AFL level any time soon. Replacements? The Piers find themselves in the position that a number of key players are close to ‘repair’.


Next: Saturday, 4 August vs Sydney at the SCG; bounce 7.25pm (AEST).


  • Preview: At This game is between 3rd (us) and 9th (them), 118.1% and 109.9% although only between 12 Wins and 11. It is really a reflection of the closeness of the competition – there are nine teams with between nine and 11 Wins – there are five teams with ‘easy games’ that could leapfrog us this weekend if we were to lose. The Eight is still a very dynamic thing and, in that, Sydney can still make the Finals and, I suspect, we could drop out.
  • Them: Sydney have had an interesting season, significantly worse more recently. Since their Round 14 Bye they have Won only once out of the five games – beating North by 6 points, though the game was hugely dynamic with about 12 changes in the lead. While you can explain their Round 15 Loss to Richmond by 26 points, the Losses to Geelong  by 12 points, the Gold Coast Suns by 24 points, and, last week, against Essendon by 42 points, all played at their fortress at the SCG, are extraordinary. Sydney are better than that. We need to be very cautious about a Sydney side ‘responding’ to their recent performances.
    • Their Best . Looking at their last 10 games, which includes a series of Wins before their Bye, their Best has relied heavily on their mid-field. Their entry to goal has relied very much on Franklin – when he does well, so does the team.
    • Who to watch? Their Midfield of Sinclair (ruck), Heeney (ruck rover), Kennedy (rover) and Parker (centre) are all key; Aliir, Rampe and Lloyd amongst the Backs and, of course, Franklin up Forward. I don’t think any of these players warrant a close ‘run-with’ tag, though Franklin deserves attention, maybe even ‘double teaming’. Zak Jones has accepted a couple of weeks and will miss and Sam Reid is still injured. Watch for Kieran Jack who is a ‘Test’ to return.


  • Us: Injuries and availability, as above. Application – repeat. Fix crumbing round packs. Double team Franklin. Consider benefit of McLarty replacing Scharenberg bringing in a real second ruck. Other alternatives exist. And the potential of Reid and Goldy returning in the next few weeks?  Your thoughts?


TV? Yes, for once. From 7.00 on 7mate.


My Picks: Pies by 37 points; BOG – Grundy with 34 Touches and two goals.












Other sports, Canberra:


  • GWS at Manuka – Saturday, 11 August; bounce 7.25pm vs Adelaide. Coming soon; see you there in your Pies colours.
  • Raiders – Next game Sunday, 5 August versus Panthers away; kick off 4.10pm.
  • Brumbies – No more home & away games.



Go Pies.




  1. “Minor injuries to Howe (not that I would want Moore kneeing me in the face)”. I question did he trip to be so far off balance that his face made connection with Moore’s knee? In the middle of the pack he was so far off balance that he did not appear to finish up actually going for the mark.
    Stab Punt Jim.

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