Cam Hooke’s Collingwood life – Round 23: The Year of the Magpie

True Believers, warmest greetings to all. One to go; then the Finals.
The Future. Next:
Final H&A game Round 23 – Freo in Perth – see below.
So, where are we at?
  • Currently, sitting 3rd on the Ladder.
  • Next week, if we Win and WCE Win – it stays unchanged and we’ll face WCE in Perth in the first Final (G’day John, can you get somewhere to watch?).
  • If we Win and WCE Lose to Brisbane (Brisbane home game; Brisbane have the talent – Linda, comment?) strange things happen:
    • Firstly, in this scenario we head to 2nd (with a home Final) and if Hawthorn defeats Sydney at the SCG then they’ll shift to 3rd.
    • More likely, if Sydney Wins at home WCE will stay 3rd based on their percentage, even with a Loss, so WCE face Collingwood at the MCG in the first Final (same, John?).
  • The rest of the Eight? Who cares, but probably Melbourne and Geelong will get the bottom slots. The Bottom Four games will be quite interesting – more difficult to predict than the Top Four.
  • My starting Finals preference? An MCG home Final against WCE.



Wait and see. Believe! Stay optimistic.

An important note – Finals footy is different to Home & Away footy and, most critically, the Grand Final is the most different of all. How is this different? Fundamentally, there is no prize for second place, therefore teams need to Win. Enjoy.



  • Frees: 19 (us) to 11 (them). Okay; even I’d say that is a pretty huge difference. But I did love the 50m penalty given against Motlop in Q3.
  • Hit-outs: 53 / 25. As we’ve come to expect of Grundy. Well done. Next step critical.
  • Clearances: 38 / 35. Compare their transition with ours.
  • Inside 50’s: 64 / 39. Our transition from Clearance to Inside 50 was significantly better than theirs, including Q4. Judge the Mids’ performance on where their kicks / hand-passes end up; not just getting rid of it. To compare the different periods of the game: for Q1-3 the Inside 50s were 38 / 32; in Q4 we had 26 Inside 50s compared with Freo’s 7.
  • Marks inside 50: 14 / 10. Pretty poor by both. Needs attention.
  • Scoring shots: 30 / 14. Okay’ish.
  • Goals: 17 / 10.  Good.
  • Contested Possessions 168 (us) / 137 (them). Huge – reflecting the application. Well done. Really, the story of the game.
  • Tackles 83 to 68. Also very positive.
  • Disposal Effectiveness – DE less than 70% – 7 / 11 players.
  • Goal Kickers: 13 / 7. Really good – reflecting the crumbing rather than direct marking.
A pretty good performance overall, including, in my view, the most dominant Quarter of football we’ve seen this year (maybe comparable with our 1st Quarter against Geelong (7 goals to 1) a couple of years ago). Given the injuries across the paddock, the team stood up – see later comments regarding ‘application’.
Things to like?
  • Playing to the end – what’s a 4th Quarter?
  • Pleased to see both Mayne and Maynard included in the Best with ‘the usual’ names – Grundy, Adams, Pendles. I’d also suggest the addition of Varcoe and Cox when you judge performance against what they’ve been asked to do. I think Murphy had an OK introduction.
  • The application was ferocious; simply outstanding. Well done to all. The Contested Possession and Tackle numbers really highlight the difference here regarding the pressure we put on Port.
  • Multiple goal-kickers, again, reflecting varied avenues to goal (see slightly contradictory comment, again, on this below).
  • Coaches’ Box influence. Very pleased to see active participation by the coaches – Shift of De Goey onto the ball, Move of Sidebottom forward, Move of Pendles all over the field.
  • Back 6. I thought our Defensive Six were terrific given the absence of a number of our ‘stars’ and their achievement in negating some of theirs. Well done.
Not liking at all?
  • The transition of our Clearances to Inside 50s, then on to Marks inside 50, needs work. It is placing huge pressure on us through rebounds, where ‘Possession’ is the name of the game. To compete with the better teams we need to address this.
  • Cox as FF. I remain unconvinced of using Cox as an almost single point of entry towards goal – there were too many ‘up and under’ kicks. 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. But I do think the umpires are doing better regarding his treatment.
Other? Injury to De Goey? McLarty reported for tripping in the VFL game.
Experts. It is always a lot of fun looking at the experts’ picks. They are, of course, extremely well informed and knowledgeable. And they are frequently wrong when you consider both the game outcomes and the margins. Last week, nearly everyone picked the Pies to Win (well everyone except Daisy Pearce (Melbourne AFLW team) who picked a PA Win). But the margins selected ranged from 4 to 28 points – no-one got close to the final 51 point result.
Next: Saturday,  25 August Collingwood vs Freo in Perth; bounce:  2.35pm (AWST) – 4.35pm ‘over East’.

Weather? Maximum of 19 degrees; late showers; windy.
Preview: At This game is between 3rd and 14th; 14 Wins compared with 8; percentage of 120.7% and 75.8%. Freo have had a rotten season. Last weekend, Freo had their worst performance ever(?); a thrashing at the hands of Geelong with a record margin. Since their Round 14 Bye, they’ve Won against Port in Round 17 and Carlton in Round 21. But it’s their Losses, particularly the margins, that are telling: Brisbane – 55 points, Melbourne – 54; Essendon – 29; Hawthorn – 59; WCE – 58 and last weekend.
Freo are coming off their worst defeat ever(?). Therefore? Well, as per some previous comments, this can spur teams into action. It can also lead to questionable performances when the holidays and trips have already been booked, leaving Sunday. Let’s hope for the latter.
What are they missing – everything, but particularly Sandilands and Fyfe for extended periods.
    • Their Best? Over the period since their Round 14 Bye, and given their team’s frequent demolition by their opponents, their Best has included three different players playing Centre – Fyfe, Walters and Langdon. Other Mids include Mundy Roving and S. Hill on the Wing. and Cox and Neale up Forward.
    • Who to watch? Fyfe (of course), Mundy, Langdon and Darcy in the Ruck. Watch out for VFL inclusions – Jones into the Ruck and Pearce, back to end his career. Importantly, watch for Sandilands – currently listed as one week away.
Us: Injuries and availability, as above.
  • Application – repeat. Continue better crumbing round packs.
  • Transition of stoppage Hit Outs to Marks inside 50 – for the Mids and leading Forwards.
  • Howe back if available; Consider benefit of McLarty coming in (if available).
Your thoughts?

TV? No FTA. Find a friend with Fox or head to Eastlake or The Dock at the Kingston Foreshore (where I will be).
My Picks: Pies by 53 points; BOG – Pendles with 43 Disposals @ 87.3% DE. De Goey, Varcoe, Hoskin-Elliott and Stephenson each grab four goals.
  • A terrific Win 20.17.137 over Frankston 1.4.10 firmly fixing us in the Finals. A Win next week and the Loss by Williamtown to Casey (a distinct possibility given Casey is sitting at the top of the Ladder) will give us the Top 4 ‘double chance’. One of the important benefits of being in the VFL Finals is the continuing ability to run recovering players with game time rather than having to bounce straight into the AFL competition.
  • Match Reports – and
  • Best included Fas, Smith, Wills, Crocker and McLarty, though he was reported late in the game. Outcome?
  • Next:  Round 21 – Saturday, 25 August versus Sandringham at Victoria Park; bounce 11.00am. Game streamed live on the VFL website. Go guys.
  • Next – Grand Final, Sunday, 2 September – tip off 12.00pm at the Boroondara Sports Complex. Grand Finalists Collingwood and Richmond (anyone picking up on the precedent this may establish?). Anyone going? Love to see a Report?
Other sports, Canberra:
  • Raiders – Next game: Saturday, 25 August versus Rabbitohs at home; kick off 3.00pm. Pity it overlaps our Freo game timing. Would be worth watching after the Raiders terrific Win over the Roosters last week. While the Raiders can’t make the Finals, keep Winning against teams in the Finals.
  • Eddie Watch – quiet. Actually a bit concerning when he is quiet for an extended period. Input from our Melbourne members?
  • On Thursday and Friday of this week, two family Great Uncles who died in World War I will be recognised at Last Post Ceremonies at the Australian War Memorial:
    • Thursday – Captain Brian More O’Sullivan, died 23 August 1918 in France; and
    • Friday – Sergeant John Huon Hooke, died 25 April 1915 in the Gallipoli landing.
    • The ceremonies are broadcast live from 4.55pm on the Memorial’s website –
    • Unrelated to this email? Who knows. I have no idea who they barracked for, or even if they played, but both were Victorians, and I like to think they are connected with our great game and our great team.
Go Pies.


  1. george smith says

    “But I did love the 50m penalty given against Motlop in Q3.”

    Like to have a rant about the commentators’ reaction to the 50 metre penalty. No, it wasn’t controversial. Yes it was there. It was a 50 metre penalty, not a free kick. If you can get 50 metres for not throwing the ball back directly, you certainly can get one for punching an opponent in the chest right in front of umpire Nicholls.

    There has been a lot of whingeing about the free kick differential against Collingwood lately. Essendon did it and the ground announcer for the Swans did it at half time. The result is the officious ones pull out dodgy free after half chance, in order to even up the count. In a close game, like the one against the Swans, it cost us the match. No mention of course of the 2 disallowed goals in the first half…

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