Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 22 Review, Round 23 Preview

After my ‘hissy fit’ sulk last week, I’m back. Believe it or not I think the boys did a better job against Brisbane than against Hawthorn. ‘How can you say that?’ I hear you say. ‘We lost to Hawthorn by 19 points but, last night, got walloped by Brisbane by 85 points’. At one stage during the final quarter the commentators were discussing the likelihood that the defeat would be by more than 100 and would set a new club record. My simple assessment? Last night the team never gave up. Brisbane were, simply, outstanding. They were the far better team last night. Noting how poorly many of the other likely finalists have been playing, an acknowledgement of Brisbane’s performance should lead to premiership favouritism. Big call? Yep, but how have Geelong and Port and Melbourne gone recently? GWS did well last night, but haven’t put together performances this end of the season. And WCE? Well, we beat them convincingly. And Essendon? Hmm.

 

 

I don’t like losing, but will always acknowledge performance. Congratulations, Brisbane. No, that doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven you for 2002 and 2003…

 

 

Round 22

Brisbane 22.10.142 destroyed Collingwood 8.9.57

 

Up to halfway through the second quarter this was dead-even. In fact, apart from a very dodgy 50 metre penalty, the Pies should have been ahead. I try not to be too critical of the umpiring, but I’ll make an exception on this occasion – it was not good – the interpretation and penalty of being caught with the ball or incorrect disposal or an absence of opportunity leaves me hugely confused. We don’t really care what the rules are; we just want them applied to both sides equally. It was not the comparison of numbers of frees; it was the significance of the timing and the location.

 

 

Brisbane’s ‘surge brand’ game was impressive but was reliant on their domination of the midfield and their dynamic forwards. I am not suggesting this tactic for us – our demonstrated tactics against the Eagles is much preferred. See below regarding their domination of the midfield.

 

 

 

Match Report. Go to: https://www.afl.com.au/matches/3144#match-report

 

Harves’ Comments. Go to: https://www.afl.com.au/video/664952/-we-d-like-to-think-that-s-an-aberration-harvey-at-a-loss-after-lions-thumping?videoId=664952&modal=true&type=video&publishFrom=1628947789001&references=AFL_MATCH:3144

 

Importantly, Harves highlights that, on this occasion, the numbers do not accurately reflect the game. I agree. See more, below.

 

 

Statistics.

 

Checking the control of the ball ‘new game’ first:

Disposals – 373 (us)/375 (them)
Uncontested Possessions – 230/224
Marks – 86/86

 

 

OK; what does that mean? Not a lot, actually. The numbers are so close as to not indicate domination by either side. But, of course, that’s not how the game looked – they dominated hugely.

 

 

Drive:

Clearances – 41/43. This indicates very similar clearances. This is not the way the game looked…
Inside 50s – 42/70. This is a major difference and is absolutely critical
Disposal Efficiency – 71.3%/74.1% (across the whole game). Figures measuring player numbers with DE equal to or over 80.0% were 10/8 and equal to or under 50.0% were 3/1. Not hugely different except for the numbers inside 50, below.

 

Effort:

Bucks was a strong supporter of effort being indicated by contested possession and tackle numbers. So:

Contested Possessions – 138/141
Tackles – 47/65

 

 

A bit of a sum deficiency for us. As I’ve stated above, the impressive thing was that we kept trying. Well done to all.

 

 

Critically important, the use of the ball towards the goal – Inside 50 numbers:

Tackles – 12/11. No significant difference
Marks – 8/23. Absolutely critical difference, as seen by me, whereby they frequently passed the ball to a better placed kicker (and made scoring more likely; check the ratio of goals/behinds)
DE% – 50.0%/47.1% Again, not a substantial difference.

 

So, from the numbers, Brisbane won the clearance battle, dominated by a factor nearly double the Inside 50s and, with a similar DE, simply outscored us.

So?

 

Scoring shots – 32/17
Goals scored – 22/8
Losing margin – 85 Points. If maths isn’t your strong point that’s slightly more than 14 goals.

Best: Crisp, Adams, de Goey, Sidebottom.

 

 

Notable things:

Maybe Henry’s and Ginnivan’s performances, particularly Henry’s mark and Ginnivan’s kick.

 

Lessons (as per previous weeks).

Grundy could be an effective forward.
Use Cameron and Grundy as the alternate rucks.
Adams, de Goey and Elliott alternating between the midfield and the forward line.
Deliver the ball to a leading forward – hard, low and flat – minimise the ‘up and under’ entries to the 50.
We need to keep our attack up across the paddock for the entire game.

 

 

Experts? Go to: http://whotippedwhat.com/round/afl-2021-round-22/. Nearly everyone picked a Brisbane win.

 

 

We need to win. Remember winning is habit-forming. Go Pies – I don’t think we should ever give up.

 

 

Round 23

Essendon v Collingwood. Probably located at the MCG.

Date/time to be confirmed.

 

 

Them.

 

Essendon came into the season as one of the likely ‘big improvers’. It hasn’t happened. They have routinely inhabited the ninth to twelfth place on the ladder, after Round 18 moving into the eight for a week, and then out. But it looks like they will make the eight at the right time of the season. Essendon are in eighth place with a percentage of 107.2% from 10 wins and 11 losses. This compares with our sixteenth place with 87.0% from 6 wins and 15 losses. Should we beat Essendon next week, WCE or Freo (if they win) may overtake them. Should we lose they may still maintain their presence in the eight because their percentage is significantly higher than those teams around them. In the last five weeks Essendon has won against lower teams, with the exception of the Bulldogs who Essendon beat in Round 21; most recently they won against the Gold Coast by 68 points. They have lost against Sydney and GWS. So, they come into our game after two wins. Watch their motivation.

 

 

Their notable players are centred around their midfield and FF positions. Again, we have to win the midfield battle.

 

 

Players to watch:

Wright – FF
Merrett – Centre
Parish – Rover
McDonald-Tipungwuti – FP/Interchange (managed last week)

 

 

Us:

Team and Tasks. Some changes are desirable in pursuit of change for the future:

 

Ins:

Lynch. To take the principal ruck role, releasing Grundy to FF, alternating with him. He performed that role well at this level before being dropped and has had great games at VFL level.
Kelly.
Rantall.

 

Outs:

McCreery

Mihocek – managed.

Ruscoe.

 

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

Game Plan.

We need to focus on:

Application. High intensity commitment for four quarters – bring the same energy as last week. Watch the contested possession and tackle numbers. The chase and tackle must be maintained for four quarters, and when we tackle, we have to hold on.

 

Place Lynch as the principal ruck; move Grundy forward into the FF role supported by Cameron and Mihocek and Elliott and the other smalls (particularly crumbing). Critically important is the delivery inside 50 to a leading forward – one on one. Elliott has shown the ability to chest mark a leading kick and then to kick accurately.

 

Winning the clearances. Dominate inside 50s and look for a better placed goal-kicker. Task on Merrett is critical – whichever team wins the midfield will win the game.
Drive forward off the HB line and out of the midfield.
We can win this if we get possession and keep it.

 

 

Conclusion.

We can win this. After our last two weeks we are overdue some luck in how that strange ball bounces. We must control possession. If we play like we did against the Eagles (yep, likely finalists), our team is unstoppable against anyone.

 

My picks. Collingwood to win by 13 points. BOG – de Goey – 30 disposals @81.9% DE, 10 clearances, four tackles and two goals. Grundy – two goals and three assists. Your thoughts?

 

 

Experts. Go to http://whotippedwhat.com/round/afl-2021-round-23/. Check it out later in the week.

 

Weather. Subject to game programming.

 

TV. As above.

 

 

Other.

Farewell Mayney. Thanks for everything. It was a pleasure having you on board.

Injuries. Go to https://www.afl.com.au/matches/injury-list.

Covid. Thoughts and best wishes to all those suffering Covid lockdowns. Hope that the footy gives you some confidence in our eventual win by Australia over the bug.

 

 

Go Pies.

 

 

Cam.

 

 

 

The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE

 

 

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