Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 20 Review, Round 21 Preview

Greetings to all True Believers.


I did not think footy could get more stressful, but they proved me wrong. It could, and they did it.


What did I say last week? ‘And, as I keep repeating week after week, I can do without a repeat of the last two minutes of the game every bloody week. Too much stress. Think about the supporters. At the end of the first quarter, I thought this message had been heard and acted upon. Advice from our daughter: What is the club planning to do about our mental health issues associated with the close wins? Good question.’ Being a Collingwood supporter is a high-stress occupation.


Onward and upward. Next game – Melbourne at the ‘G. See below. Go Pies.



Round 20


Collingwood 13.10.88 defeated Port Adelaide 12.10.82.


A comment from others first (and me):


The Run Home:

Collingwood, Sarah Black, AFL website.

56 points (14 wins, 5 losses) 106.2 per cent
With three rounds remaining, Collingwood is in the top four and locked into finals, an incredible achievement under first-year coach Craig McRae. The Pies’ ability to win close games has been remarkable, and notching up 10 straight has surely built an ample supply of confidence. That being said, a back-in-form Melbourne looms, with Sydney to follow at the SCG. A final-round match against Carlton is no cakewalk either, with the Blues a chance to be fighting for finals qualification at that stage.


Competition. I do not consider Adelaide, North, Essendon or Port ‘easy-beats’; they are far better than you might assume given their ladder positions. Having watched each of their performances against us, I consider them highly competitive. There were periods during each of the games when they had control. As such our team’s performance against opponents performing at this level has been fantastic. It has also been good preparation for our last three H&A games.


One game at a time. Be sensible, but start to dream.



Game Timeline: Have a look at the Timeline at It shows Port’s early domination in the first, our progressive recovery in the second and third and the battle in the last. The goals scored in each quarter were:


Q1 4 (us)/6 (them). Stressful quarter
Q2 3/0 Progressive improvement
Q3 4/2 Continued domination except for a couple of Port goals each side of the changeover
Q4 2/4. High-stress finish

Total 13/12 And we won. The most appropriate expression was ‘OMG’. Note the scoring shots – 23/21

Probably a fair result.



Match Report:



Coach’s Comments: Worth watching – qualified for finals and discussion of selections when Grundy is available.



Statistics & Lessons:


Watching at home I was able to catch the statistics (mostly) during the game, identifying the progressive numbers at each break as they are entered progressively on the AFL website. On this occasion I have recorded the progressive numbers of some categories with some comments:



Statistic category








Hit Outs





Critical domination but these are not ‘HO to Advantage’. See clearances, next.








These numbers are absolutely critical. Apart from in the first we failed top make use of our HO dominance, in clearances, therefore our midfield was substantially beaten.



Clearances – Centre bounce







Clearances – Stoppages







Inside 50s





From a rough equivalence in clearances we established and maintained a slight edge here.



Contested possessions





Tackles linked with contested possessions gives a final measure of application – 185/210, a substantial win for Port’s effort.



Importantly, and usually ignored by me, the total UCP plus marks gives 242/328 demonstrating Port’s huge domination of numbers – ‘playing with the ball’ or ‘keepings off’ style.
























Disposal effectiveness





Throughout they had a significant margin in the effective use of the ball but see next.



Inside 50 – DE





Important numbers on how we use the entry to the 50 and its link to goals scored.



Inside 50 – Marks





Interesting marks inside 50s in last quarter.



Inside 50 – Tackles












The final numbers are misleading. The umpiring was pretty awful.



So, what is going on?



Application throughout was fantastic.
Continued great variety of entry into the 50 and varied goal-kickers.
Pack management in defence and crumbing much improved.
The players enjoying themselves. Love the smiles and the support to teammates.



We need to control the whole game.
Our failure to exploit our HO dominance into clearances, particularly, is concerning.
Umpires’ protection of the players.


Umpiring. Still not happy with Ginnivan’s protection; nor with the 50 metre rule. How about that first decision (and goal) in the first 10 seconds of the game.



Best: Listed bests were: J. Daicos, De Goey, Pendles, Maynard and Cameron. A team effort by everyone.


Ground Reporting: Who was there? Were you one of the 40,716 (mostly Pies’ supporters I suspect)? Ground Reports please? Or I’d love to hear from those of us who simply watched it on TV; please?



Round 21


Melbourne v Collingwood at the MCG.

Friday, August 5th, bounce at 7:50pm.


Currently, This game is between third (us) and second (them) on the ladder, both with 14 wins and five losses, but with a major difference in percentages – 106.2%/131.6%. Current betting – Melbourne are favourites $1.52/$2.54.


Anyone going? Should fill the ground.


Melbourne have had a solid season but they’ve lacked some consistency. Of the five games they’ve lost: Round 11 – Freo by 38 points, Round 12 – Sydney by 12, Round 13 – us by 26 (more on this below), Round 17 – Geelong by 28 and Round 19 – Western Bulldogs by 10. But they had a good win over Freo last weekend (by 46 points). Addressing the Collingwood/Melbourne conflict is interesting – in our last three games you have to go back to 2020 to record their last win. And, in broad terms we were serious underdogs on each occasion in 2021 and 2022. Our best at this year’s game were N. Daicos, Mihocek, Cox, Crisp, Maynard, De Goey and Pendles. Repeat?


As the reigning premiers Melbourne has a class team with talent across the ground. Representing this, in their midfield, Oliver is leading, and Petracca is close to the top, of the Coaches’ Champion Player award. Melbourne, most recently, showed an intensity that had been missing in the last couple of months. They delivered a fast start based on a defensive intensity that had been beaten by the Bulldogs in their loss the week before. Freo tagged Oliver last week – Aish (remember him?) did well.



Injuries: A very short list. Go to Check later in week.





The best from each game gives me the list of players to watch.


Viney – RR/Rover
Petracca – CHF/Centre
Fritsch – FP
Brayshaw – Rover/BP (yes, he’s moved occasionally)
Oliver – Centre/RR – may be injured (ankle injury last week)
Gawn – Ruck
May – BP/FB
Langdon – Wing



Also keep an eye on Weideman – Ruck (for Pies’ family reasons) and Ben Brown – FF who hasn’t appeared in the bests but is way overdue for a blinder.


Anything else, people? Your views?





Injuries: Go to Also check later in the week. Mihocek – likely return, Grundy – may come back via a second VFL game.



Out? Might need to make some room for Grundy and Mihocek. Others?
In? Mihocek and Grundy. Additionally Henry has had terrific performances in the Twos and who would leave Carmichael out?


Your thoughts?


Team: Very hard to change a winning team after a run of wins but I would again argue there is the need to provide some room for some change for the benefit of the team, maybe including Henry, Carmichael and Grundy. Who to leave out? Match Committee decision – we have virtually no visibility of training performance.



Things to do – mostly (not entirely), the same as previous weeks:


Focus on the ruck battle – Gawn versus Cox/Cameron/Grundy. Critical for the next steps – clearances, then the Inside 50s, then score
Seek to shark the clearances in the centre bounces and at stoppages around the ground
Continue to better establish Forward targets – a variety is essential
Maintain the speed of movement; avoid stoppages or delays (particularly amongst the backline) – open the game up
Use the centre corridor
Continue to enjoy your footy
Pursue the execution of the high-intensity game plan for the entire four quarters.


Your thoughts would be welcomed.




My Result. Collingwood to win by 19 points. BOG – Grundy (yes, I know, I hope he plays this week) with 39 HO, 19 disposals, 8 clearances and 4 tackles; Henry gets five; Ginnivan gets three (all from head-high tackle frees). Your thoughts?


Go get em, boys.


TV: FTA coverage on 7. Shouldn’t let this stop you heading to the pub to watch.


Weather: Light rain is forecast; moulded sole boots should be replaced with boots with stops.



Round 22


Sydney v Collingwood at the SCG

Sunday, August 14; bounce 3:20pm



Get excited. Go Pies






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