Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 22 review, Round 23 preview.

True Believers, measured against a scale of ‘Good / Better / Best” we performed as we know we can. It was awesome. It was one of our best Wins for the year.


Okay; I just watched Richmond beat WCE in the pouring rain in Melbourne – both sides looked very ordinary. Richmond will stay 4th after Round 22; we will move to 5th. Next week Richmond take on Brisbane, again at the MCG. When we beat Essendon and Brisbane beat Richmond we will finish the competition in 4th place. I think. Further, if Hawthorn beat WCE next week, albeit in Perth, we could leapfrog them into 3rd place. See detail on Finals below.


Go Pies.


Round 22 – Adelaide


Collingwood 17.12.144 defeated Adelaide 6.12.48.


Match Report –


Ground Reports  – Did anyone attend? Does anyone else want to comment?


Buck’s comments – Worth watching.


The Game


The game started with a challenge – we turned over the ball 15 times in Q1. Given that our total match turnovers were 24, this difficult start was resolved. Our position was helped by Adelaide inaccuracy. In Q1 they dominated Inside 50s (8 – us; 15 – them) but were unable to exploit this on the scoreboard.


Throughout (including Q1) we imposed our ‘brand’ of footy on Adelaide. In particular our defence was fantastic and our delivery forward provided varied alternative approaches to goal. Throughout, our numbers at the ball and pressure benefited us and limited our opposition. It was like we were enjoying playing footy again.


Simply put, Goals scored by Quarter were:


  • Q1 – 2 (us) / 0 (them).
  • Q2 – 3 / 2.
  • Q3 – 6 / 1.
  • Q4 – 6 / 3.


Some Numbers. My standard concern relating to the conversion of Hit Outs into Goals:


  • Hit Outs – 40 (us) / 27 (them).
  • Clearances – 30 / 33 (Centre – 12 / 11; stoppages – 18 / 22). A poor transition from HO to Clearance where we are being ‘sharked’. We have to fix this before we run into teams in the Finals.
  • Inside 50s – 57 / 39. Outstanding reversal.
  • Marks inside 50 – 19 / 8. Same as above.
  • Scoring Shots – 29 / 18.
  • Goals – 17 / 6.


A couple of other team statistics:


  • Pressure:
    • Contested Possessions – 137 / 128;
    • Tackles – 48 / 39; and
    • Total: 185 / 167. That is a substantial difference related to effort. I’d love to see the numbers, by Quarter (see below broken down by Half).
  • Mistakes:
    • Disposal Efficiency (players with DE equal to or greater than 80%) – 9 / 3; and
    • Clangers (players with two or more Clangers) – 18 / 11. Interesting.


And, of particular interest to some, Frees: 9 (to us) / 22 (to them). Go figure?


Summary – The 2nd Half: I normally don’t have access to other than whole-game numbers. However, as a description of our 2nd Half, we had the following statistical advantages over Adelaide:


  • Uncontested Possessions: + 61
  • Contested Possessions: +13
  • Inside 50s: +17
  • Disposal Efficiency: 82% (us) c/f 69% (them).


We moved the ball more frequently, more accurately and ended up Inside the 50 more often that Adelaide. I am not being critical of our 1st Half performance. While our ball-turnovers were way too high our defence met the challenge.


Individual Performance, with some key numbers?


Our Best (AFL website):



It’s notable that three of the listed Best are Backs. You could add any number of others to that list – Varcoe (2 Goals; 2 GA), Grundy (5 Marks, 35 Hit Outs), Scharenberg (3 Marks), Hoskin-Elliott (11 Marks, 2 Goals, 1 GA), Thomas (3 Goals) and Adams (2 Goals).


So? It was a great ‘team effort’. Looking forward, again.


Round 23 – Essendon


Friday, 23 August; bounce 7.50pm at the G. Between 5th and 9th; 117.8% and 95.8%;  14 Wins and 12 Wins; inside the Top 8, fighting to be Top 4, and inside the Eight. Go to No betting yet (surprisingly). This is a six-day turnaround for us.


Essendon also came into the season on a bit of a promise – it hasn’t happened. Over the last 10 games (since their Bye), Essendon have a total deficiency of 91 Points; ours is a surplus of 76 Points. Underlying these numbers is the fact that in that period we’ve mostly played the same opponents – the exceptions are we’ve Won against Melbourne twice and Lost against Richmond; Essendon have Won against Freo and Sydney but Lost against Port.


It is absolutely critical we keep winning (and winning well).




Essendon are now confirmed as in the Finals. Against us, they are unlikely to be the team that Lost to the Bulldogs (by 104 Points) or Port (by 59 Points) in the weeks before last weekend. They had a number of positive inclusions last week, much as we hope we will imminently. See comments, below, about inclusions.


We beat Essendon at the Anzac Day game, however 10.13.73 to 10.9.69 was a close-run thing. We established a sizeable lead in the 1st Half and then defended that. Best against us then were Shiel, Merrett, Hurley, Saad, Stringer and Daniher (out for season) – see next Who to watch for.


Who to watch for?


  • Midfield – Merrett (C), Heppel (rover) and Shiel (RR).
  • Forwards – McKernan (FF) and Zaharkis (HF).
  • Backline – Saad (HB), McKenna (HB) and Hurley (FB).


So? Work hard to gain control of the game. Win the Midfield Battle. Speed and variety of entry into the 50 and score Goals (not Behinds).



One of my friends (and a fellow True Believer) said at the end of the last game “We may have our game / mojo back at the right end of the season“.  Don’t disagree. With an exception or two, our transition post-Bye from our Losses to strong teams, through the GC and Melbourne games, position us well as we step into the Finals. The game against Essendon is another key stepping stone in that path to keep our momentum building.


Approach (mostly, the same as last week and the weeks before)?


  • Critical approach – Establish control of the game – play it our way; not theirs. Use handballs.
  • Scoring Behinds? Avoid; look for the better position.
  • Entry to goal. While the ‘up and under’ into a pack in front of Goal is a valid approach it should not be the only avenue.
  • Crumb around the packs and watch their ‘smalls’, Forward and Back.
  • Tackling. We need to hold our tackles; not be brushed off.


plus, critically:


  • Play for four Quarters; again.


Team? Some changes, maybe:


I would have great difficulty ‘dropping’ anyone from the team. As above, the contributions from Varcoe, Mayne, Noble, Brown and Greenwood were terrific. Each did everything that (I presume) was asked of them. That said, Moore and De Goey are truly talented elite footballers, even if I’d put Moore into CHF and send Roughead back to FB (noting last week he was also doing some ruck work). So:


  • Out – Maybe Magden and Wills. As above, I think Noble did well and should stay.
  • In – Moore and De Goey. The other conundrum regarding our Forward line is that Elliott had room to move and delivery ‘variety’ was the fundamental entry description. Does bringing in Moore at CHF and De Goey crowd things? Remember Mihocek has been a rock, scoring himself or pushing the ball forward.
  • Coming? Stephenson. Maybe also consider Broomhead and Lynch?


Weather? Light rain is forecast on the days before our Friday game. The ground will be wet. Get the boots with ‘stops’ out.


TV? FTA on 7mate.


My prediction? Pies Win by 41 Points. BOG – De Goey – 34 Disposals @ 87.5% Disposal Efficiency plus two Goals. Mihocek and Elliott each get four Goals; Moore gets two.


Attendance?  Anyone going? Ground Reports pls?


Future. Finals:


Watch this space.



Keep the faith.




  • Eddie Watch. Quiet; a great thing.
  • Phil Inn – the great basketball game. To say that this situation was simply stupid would be the understatement of the year. The question is really whether Sier ever considered the ramifications of his action? Can he look up “ramification” in a Dictionary to, perhaps, get some understanding? And I have a theory as to why so many ‘gifted’ sportsmen seem to have little connection with reality – Is it, as talented sportsmen at school, they were able / did get away with anything and everything regardless of the consequences? Perhaps some of our teachers may care to comment?
  • And again for those who have ‘arrived’ in our august group more recently, if you wanted to look at a bit of history go to the Footy Almanac site at Enjoy.


Go Pies.




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