Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 21 Preview

True Believers, not too far to go for 2016. My face is hurting keeping the smile on my face and staying optimistic (For those of you with younger kids a few years back, remember the priceless scene in the first Toy Story film after the film concluded with the Airline hostesses?).

The Season. Nothing new – over. Start thinking of 2017.

Belief. Bucks: http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2016-08-06/our-worst-quarters-all-year and http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-08-08/magpies-coach-nathan-buckley-admits-hes-feeling-the-pressure.
The Game:

Western Bulldogs – Friday, 12 August; at Etihad (their home game; still not sure why we were there a couple of weeks ago for our home game; or the same for next week); bounce: 7.50pm.

7th versus 12th; 13 Wins and 6 Losses for them, c/f 8 and 11 for us. Percentages: 116.1% for them c/f 91.1%. From a Ladder position perspective this should be a ‘walk in the park’ Win for them, but I don’t think so. We should win.

Weather. 8 – 15 deg; light winds; slight chance of rain (will they shut the roof?).

TV – 7mate from 7.30pm.

Them?

Bulldogs. The Dogs are now settled in the Eight after last week’s win over North. But they have been notably inconsistent since their Bye in Round 14. Since their Loss to Geelong in Round 13 and their Bye, they come into this game with significant Wins over North (Round 20) and over Sydney (Round 15) but have Losses against Geelong (again, Round 19) and St Kilda (Round 18). Filling the gaps are Wins against the Gold Coast and Richmond, neither of which (even taking account of our Loss to Richmond last week – I see that much more our doing rather than their performance) count for much. Their individual players, with the very clear exception of Bontempelli in the Centre, are also very inconsistent. It is difficult to identify strengths across or up & down the ground. As such, I think we have to play ‘our game’ rather than seeking to negate theirs (obviously with the exception of Bontempelli – see below). The lessons for us are (as always) the need for a four-Quarter effort, the need to get and retain control of the Midfield and other stoppages and the need to have a slick, fast movement of the ball out of our Backline into our Forward line; and better entry to Inside 50 that isn’t just ‘up and under’ bombs. And from, particularly our recent Losses, – tighten up the Back 6 to avoid the ‘easy’ goals.

Dogs players to watch for:

Most influential. Watch for Bontempelli and Hunter amongst the Mids, Daniel on the HF line and Johannisen and Matthew Boyd amongst the Backs. Bontempelli warrants tagging;
Potential influencers – In addition to them, watch for Roughead in the ruck. Liberatore is injured; as is Redpath. Roughead is not consistent, but can be devastating. And Suckling might return (Test); and
‘Family’ – Picken is a famous Pies name. Watch for Liam, frequently on the Wing (he runs just like his dad).

Us?

Thursday night (again) announcement.

Injury Outs? While all three are listed as Test, I would be surprised to see Pendles, Moore or Sinclair. Fas and Broomhead are both out for the season after shoulder operations.

Legacy from last week: See Michael Christian on ‘The Agenda’ – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2016-08-08/does-collingwood-chase-a-star-bomber.
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In’s & Out’s: Okay, here’s a question for you – at what stage do you bin the AFL side as a lost cause and place the emphasis on the VFL side, which is seriously performing? My view? I think you still do the right thing and pick the AFL side first – does anyone remember how many VFL games you need to compete in their Finals? If my memory is correct the rule is a bit funny – you can play in the first Final without meeting the number, but for the second and later Finals you have to have played a certain number of VFL games during the season. In the AFL side I would (still) like to see Witts back in in place of White, and Goldsack to replace Brownie. De Goey in place of Pendles . Your thoughts?

Game Plan – what do we have to do to win? What do you want from these last few games? Is there anyone out there?

Game Previews?
AFL Match Day Preview – http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2016/21/wb-v-coll. There now. Their prediction: Dogs by 42 points (I’m stunned – almost speechless (but not quite – see comments above));
Pies. Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/ in the next few days;
The Age Preview – Should be at http://www.theage.com.au/afl in the next few days; and
Expert Tips – Expert Tips will be at http://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters in the next day or so. Last week my guess was 23: 1 for a Pies Win. In fact it was 20: 4 for a Pies Win. This week? Who knows – could be anything.
My Picks this week? Pies by 17; BOG: Greenwood (17 touches), tagging Bontempelli (8 possessions). Goals: Trav – 5 and 5 Goal Assists, Fas – 4; Crowd – 39 000 – very disappointing). Your picks?

Other:
VFL – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-08-06/morale-high-after-another-vfl-win. This week: Collingwood v Port Melbourne at Vic Park; Saturday, 13 August; bounce at 1:00pm. Going for 11 Wins in a row (only three games to go before the Finals – this is the last one at Vic Park (or the Holden Centre) – not sure how the Finals work). It’s also worth noting that this one will be shown live on www.collingwoodfc.com.au. The VFL Ladder is at http://www.foxsportspulse.com/comp_info.cgi?c=1-118-0-392693-0;
Next year? Comings and goings – http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-08-10/the-peoples-trade-period – What do you think?
Eddie Watch. Quiet;
The Olympics – whatever; though I did enjoy the Women’s Rugby 7s win.
Reporting? Is anyone going? Ground Reports pls?

Remember to keep an eye on the Footy Almanac – https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/.

Next. Round 22 – Gold Coast at Etihad (again); Saturday, 20 August; bounce: 7.25pm. More on this next week.

Go Pies.

Cam

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