Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 2 preview

(Editor’s note – Cam wrote this before the AFL officially announced the fixture for Rounds 2-5).


True Believers, g’day to all.


Have you missed me? Well okay not me, but ‘footy’? Me too!!! I hope you are all well, uncontaminated, sick of watching past games (well, except for the 2018 Prelim Final (surprising relevant) and our Week 1 Final over Geelong last year –  Timeless classics, both of them, and the visits between rooms at home? Actually, our 2020 R1 Win could be included in the ‘timeless’ category too. How well do you think the AFL has handled the crisis?


In Round 1, against some pretty high-powered “expert” predictions (Hi Dermie, wrong again, I see), the Pies demolished the Bulldogs, one of the up and coming teams for the season. Then again, Carlton were being included in the same group and our opponents in the next game, Richmond, did the same thing to them. After each of our Round 1 performances it is going to be interesting to see who “the experts” pick. See My Pick, below.


Our next game is what last year’s Grannie should have been. What actually happened was really pretty disappointing for our great game. Richmond are the reigning Premiers and deserve respect as the best team in the competition. That said, they are beatable and we have the team to do that. Our last few meetings? Remember the 2018 Preliminary Final? We met twice last year – R2: Pies by 44 Points and R19: Richmond by 32. More on these games also below.


A short heads-up to get things moving.


Round 2: Collingwood versus Richmond


Thursday, 11 June; bounce TBA; location TBA. Now, I’m not 100% sure of this but Krista got home, very excited, that she’d heard on ABC Radio that our game was the starter, but I can’t find any media reference supporting that. But who doesn’t trust ABC Radio? So, wait and see.


I like the way this season is headed. I don’t like September Grand Finals. I have previously noted my preference for an October GF. Since 1970 we have participated in 13 GF; nine in September. We have Drawn two but Won none. Of the four GF we played in October we’ve Won two. Historically it’s not too different. Over the VFL/AFL history since 1901 we’ve Won 15 GF in total. Of the 14 GF played in October we’ve Won nine. Anyone who watches PK, sports commentator on the ABC Breakfast show, would be aware that he is a self-confessed Pies’ supporter and also made comment along these same lines a couple of weeks ago.




Richmond, as Premiers, are the standard against which each team should be measured.


Their Best from the 2018 Prelim Final has included many of the same names – Prestia (Centre), Martin (variously FF or Rover), Riewoldt and Lynch (since his move) (both Forward) and Cotchin (noting the very limited number of games he played last year. A number of these players warrant special attention – tagging Prestia and close defence on Riewoldt? These are the players to watch for, plus Houli who is likely to be recovered from whatever kept him out of the R1 game. No tag on Martin? No; I think you are better off keeping the ball well away from him rather than seeking to shut him down with the ball. Watch their Midfield.


In our Loss to Richmond in 2019 Round 19 and their Win over Carlton this year they bolted early establishing a significant Q1 lead consolidating a significant HT lead and then, pretty much, coasting home. So, we need to be highly competitive from the starting bounce. We cannot afford to attempt to play ‘catch-up’ footy against Richmond.


Richmond’s Disposal Efficiency from R1 was 80.1%; within the 50 it was 54.2%. This is very close to our statistics of 79.5% and 54.8%. In Richmond’s game they had lesser statistics than Carlton in key areas (Contested Possessions, Inside 50s) but used their opportunities much more effectively. In broad terms we dominated our game statistically plus used the opportunities better.




Our R1 game, plus the four or five last games of 2019 (less our disaster Prelim Final against the Giants) demonstrated “how to play the game”. We demonstrated a willingness to control the ball using both the corridor and the boundaries. Our Mids demonstrated how to exploit Grundy’s domination, frequently leading to direct attacks from the middle. The variety of our entries into the 50 was terrific. My criticism in the past of our kick-ins (Neon Leon, you set the standard; you were a star) was correctly unseen.


Lessons from our past:

  • The pressure applied by the Pies in Round 1 was fantastic and was done for four full Quarters. The comparative team Contested Possessions and Tackle numbers reflected this.
  • Game Plan. It was pretty obvious that we went into the game with a Plan, which was then followed. Let’s watch and see how the future evolves and how the Coach’s Box deals with unexpected things during the game in the future.
  • Transition of Hit Out dominance to Clearance. The change here, from last year, was outstanding. You could actually see the variety of Grundy’s taps in different directions to different Mids working.
  • Drive out of the Backline. How often did you see Crisp on our attacking 50? Our rock-solid Backline is the very foundation of our forward momentum. Similarly the Backs’ willingness to peel off their opponent to pursue an intercept is strongly endorsed. They ‘read’ the game well.
  • Forward Line. Great variety of entry to different leads. Good finishing.


  • Game Plan, Transition and Pressure – same again please. But watch the Disposal Conversion (the individual reporting of which appears to have disappeared from the AFL Match game statistics in the revised format – let me know where pls if it is there?) – no ‘kick and hope’, think and execute where the ball is going to go. Treloar back into the Midfield (now there’s a coincidence talking about that).
  • Hard to drop players from a winning side, however it is important to keep trying to improve the side. Stephenson and Treloar are ‘Must Includes’. Scharenberg, Cameron and Varcoe are waiting just outside. It would be a very questionable Selection Committee to drop either Brown or Daicos. So? Madgen, Hoskin-Elliott and Cox should all be considered subject to their replacement. Others? Your thoughts?
  • Backline Drive? Include Scharenberg. Same.
  • Forwards? Include Stephenson and Cameron (alternating with Grundy). Continue the variety of entry. Continue looking to place the ball in the best position to routinely score a major.

Pre-game Brief? Go to Somewhere here?


Weather. Too far ahead.


  1. TV. I suspect that live TV will be available. Not much point having a game, without spectators, that no-one can watch. (Wonder if Mr McGuire will commentate Fox Footy?). Go to


Anyone Going? Well, that’s a silly question – still not allowed. But I’d really like to hear others’ views before, during and after the game?



Expert Predictions? Go to (R1) and (eventually).


My Picks

  • Pies to Win by 13 Points. BOG – Sidebottom – 40 Disposals, eight Clearances and four Goal Assists. Stephenson and Mihocek each bag three goals; Elliott has five Goal Assists (very close to BOG). Your prediction and selections?

The Future: Not sure how the revised Season is going to work. Wait and see.




  • Eddie Watch. Thank you Mr McGuire for your personal email before the game and your stewardship of our Club; loved the comments directed at the WA Premier. I liked Dane Swan’s description of PA’s Koch.
  • Footy Almanac. Keep a watch on Footy Almanac at

Get excited. Footy’s (nearly) back. C’mon, let’s hear your views?



Go Pies.





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.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE

Leave a Comment