Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 22: The Year of the Magpie

True Believers, better and better. Two to go to the Finals.
Sorry I’m late; some issues with my computer.
I didn’t get to see the game. I followed it on the radio while attending the GWS / Adelaide game at Manuka. And yes; it was quite chilly – didn’t notice it so much after the 1st Quarter of our game finished.

But our resident Brisbane supporter, Linda, attended the game. Her report:

As reported, a cold night with the roof closed.
Lions came out firing and with plenty of pressure. Some odd decisions late in the quarter (umpires and players) coupled with poor kicking saw us take a slim lead into the second quarter. the loss of Darcy Gardiner cannot be underestimated as our back line looked shaky without him and while Witherden is a gun in the making some of his kick outs were predictable and resulted in turnovers.
Pies started to work us out in the second quarter and, after some really stupid turnovers from the Lions, went into the half time break in front.
Pies were more skilled and composed in the second half and it seems some pies were protected species with the umpires.
The Lions continued to make silly mistakes and exhibit poor skills and were never in the game in the second half.
Nowhere near the calibre of game the lions served up earlier in the season.
We will learn from the loss.
Many thanks, Linda. As I’ve said before, I think your Brisbane side will be a real force in the future. I am not looking forward to our future games.
Thanks for the other text feedback during the game. Always appreciated.

Did others attend / watch? Your comments?

The Future. Next:
Round 22 – Port, in Melbourne; and
Final H&A game Round 23 – Freo in Perth (Saturday, 25 August; bounce 2.35pm AWST (4.35pm (AEST)).
Still looking at a Top Four finish. These last two H&A games are critical. Watch for Melbourne and Geelong because their percentages could shift them well up the Ladder if they get the Wins. Where do we want to finish? 2nd or 3rd is my preference. Believe! Stay optimistic.
  • Frees: 22 (us) to 14 (them). John, any comment?
  • Hit-outs: 37 / 28. Solid domination.
  • Clearances: 41 / 28. Better transition of HO to Clearance – however, see next statistic and comment.
  • Inside 50’s: 59 / 50. Note that Brisbane’s transition from Clearance to Inside 50 was significantly better than ours. Judge the Mids’ performance on where their kicks / hand-passes end up; not just getting rid of it.
  • Marks inside 50: 11 / 12. Pretty poor by both but we were worse (I’ve said the same comment a few weeks in a row, now. Needs attention).
  • Scoring shots: 34 / 18. Okay.
  • Goals: 14 / 11.  Good.
  • Contested Possessions 146 (us) / 119 (them). Huge – reflecting the application. Well done. Really, the story of the game.
  • Tackles 58 to 49. Also positive.
  • Disposal Effectiveness – DE less than 70% – 6 / 5. Very similar reflecting the pressure on the players. If you take Greenwood out of the number because of the role he played, the numbers are equal. 
We lost Q1, won Q2 and 3 but were broadly equal in Q4. Listening, it seemed to me that we were very lucky to be down by only 2.1 at the end of Q1. Then things kicked into gear. The team was magnificent for the rest of the game.
Things to like?
  • Really liked Greenwood’s performance. Note that Zorko had 34 Disposals and got 4 goals the last time we met; this time – 14 Touches. Also liked Sier’s performance. Pleased to see both included in the Best.
  • The application was ferocious; simply outstanding. Well done, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters.
  • Multiple goal-kickers, again, reflecting varied avenues to goal (see slightly contradictory comment on this below).
  • Back 6. I thought our Defensive Six were terrific particularly in the absence of a number of their ‘stars’. Well done.
Not liking at all? 
  • The slow start – against better quality teams this will set up an unrecoverable lead by them. We can’t let this become the norm.
  • The transition of our Clearances to Inside 50s, particularly Marks inside 50, needs work. It is placing huge pressure through rebounds, where ‘Possession is really becoming the name of the game, and is not good enough for us to compete with the better teams.
  • Cox as FF. I remain unconvinced of using Cox as an almost single point of entry towards goal. While the crumbing around him has been good, and occasionally he takes a good grab, I’d prefer to see varied entries, particularly leading at below head-height.
Other? Injury to Reid in the VFL game. Goldsack into the VFL team? Watch.
Next: Saturday, 18 August Collingwood vs Port Adelaide at the MCG; bounce: 1.45pm.

Preview: At This game is between 5th and 8th; 13 Wins compared with 12; 118.3% versus 113.9%. Port have four Losses out of their last five games (see comments below); we have three. There is nothing in it, regardless of the betting placing us favourites $1.45 to $2.75.
Them: Port are coming off a Loss after the siren to the WCE in Adelaide, after a lead at one point in Q3 of more than five goals. This may be hugely dispiriting for the team or they make be as ‘angry as hell’ when they meet us on Saturday. The previous week they Lost to Adelaide by three points. Things were looking up after Round 16 following five Wins in a row, including Melbourne in Round 14, but they’ve Lost to GWS (Round 18) and Freo (Round 17) in addition to the two most recent games. What are they missing – consistency and the ability to Win the close games. Plus their List Injury list is close to our own – both Clubs have 13 injured listed; Port have five identified for Assessment / Test whereas we have four.
    • Their Best? Over the period since their Bye, their Midfield of Powell-Pepper – Ruck Rover and Wines – Centre, Wingard and Polec – Wings has consistently been amongst their best, along with Westhoff at CHF and Dixon at FF plus Rockliff off the Interchange bench. The Port backline, including Luke Ryan, Ryder and Houston is also notable. Of importance, Dixon is out; Ryder and Houston are due for a Test and may be okay to play – we’ll see.
    • Who to watch? Those listed above, especially Polec, Wingard and Ryan.
Us: Injuries and availability, as above. Howe back if available. Game Plan – start a bit earlier, if possible, rather than waiting for the start of Q2.
  • Application – repeat. Continue better crumbing round packs. 
  • Consider benefit of McLarty coming in.
Your thoughts? 

TV? Nope. Find a friend with Fox or head to Eastlake.
My Picks: Pies by 29 points; BOG – Sidebottom with 33 Touches and a goal. De Goey and Stephenson each bag four.
  • Next – Round 10 versus Richmond – Sunday, 19 August – tip off 11.00am.


Other sports, Canberra:

  • Raiders – Next game: Sunday, 19 August versus Roosters at home; kick off 4.10pm.
  • Eddie Watch – quiet.
Go Pies.
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  1. george smith says

    It seems that half the Fremantle side, including big Sandy and the amazing Nat Fyfe, will come back for the last game against Collingwood in Perth. After this the entire Fremantle side will simultaneously retire, including Mathew Pavlich, who will pull on the boots one last time in order to retire again.

    The whole of Perth Stadium will be awash with sentiment which would make the Bulldogs green with envy, which will then overwhelm the poor old Magpies, who just want to win a footy match to get the best possie in the finals, after missing out for four years.

    I ask this, ye masters of sentimental twaddle – Sam Newman’s 300th, Kevin Bartlett’s 400th, Swans last week, all those interminable milestones at Footscray – why does your big occasion always have to be against Collingwood?

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