Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 4 Review, Round 5 Preview

G’day, True Believers.

 

Not a great weekend for us. In fact, for the Canberra-based true believers and stalwart supporters of local teams, the Brumbies lost, the Raiders lost and the Pies lost. My concern was, really, how we lost; more on that below.

 

As always looking ahead, how do we confront the Eagles again? More on that below, too.

 

 

Round 4: Collingwood v GWS

 

 

Collingwood 9.6.60 lost to GWS 14.6.90

 

 

Match Report – Go to: https://www.afl.com.au/news/580406/pies-fall-flat-as-greene-masterclass-steers-giants-to-first-win-of-2021

 

Bucks’ Comments – Go to: https://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/902584/post-match-nathan-buckley?videoId=902584&modal=true&type=video&publishFrom=1618061964001

 

 

Extraordinary things:

Nothing jumps out at me. Do you recall anything?

 

 

Statistics (and comments):

Hit Outs: I’m ignoring this number as irrelevant.

Clearances: 32/ 36

Inside 50s: 52/48. Pardon? Inside 50 dominance usually dominates scoring.

Disposal Efficiency: 64.3%/ 69.0%. A significant difference, but look at the next two.

Individual Disposal Efficiency: Both teams had five players with a DE% equal to or over 80% and each (actually GWS had four) had five players with an individual DE equal to or under 50%. Who were ours? Grundy (50%); Sidebottom (46.7%); De Goey (44.4%); Mihocek (42.9%) and Crisp (40%).

 

Disposal Efficiency Inside 50: 38.5%/41.7%.

 

Contested possessions: 135/150

Tackles: 61/63. Remember Bucks identified this as a specific failing after Round 1. Now?

Tackles Inside 50: 24/8. Not a regular statistic, but the numbers (sort of) emphasise GWS’s application.

 

Scoring Shots – 15/20;

Margin: 30 points. That is a significant beating.

 

 

Best: Sidebottom, Crisp, Madgen, Howe and Daicos. I strongly disagree with the inclusion of Sidebottom in this list – see my earlier comments regarding individual DE. You could make a very different list based on ‘who actually tried’. I would include Mihocek (whom I’ve been critical of in the past), Daicos (perhaps; he crumbed well on a couple of occasions but wasn’t hugely influential, overall), Moore (in fact, all seven of the backs). Look at who I  haven’t included: Grundy, De Goey, Pendlebury, etc.

 

Lessons: Application. If I hadn’t been in a public place, I would have found myself screaming ‘compete’. Way too many times it seemed GWS players were taking uncontested marks with their opponents close by. Now I understand the rule change has changed how we play, but we have to get over that, gain the domination and keep it;

 

Back 6. Well done, a great performance as usual.

 

Ball Handling. Our ball handling was awful. It seemed like we couldn’t hold a mark or our close handballs were way too hard. On those occasions when it worked it looked fantastic – not too often, unfortunately.

 

Forwards. The reliance on high up and unders to Cox was back. They are one avenue only, and shouldn’t be the only avenue towards goal.

 

Crumbing packs, both behind and in front? We were beaten at this. Greene was at his best.

 

Tackling and one-on-one. Too many opponents ran out of tackles and in one-on-one competitions our player was occasionally on the ground, leaving his opponent free to continue. Stay on your feet or get up quickly.

 

Tagging/One-on-one defence. Greene dominated their forward line; Quaynor had a pretty awful day at the office (but he wasn’t on his own there); I don’t know – did Greenwood go to Greene once he came on?

 

Midfield collaboration? Hit out numbers are useless, unless turned into clearances. Cox is not an alternative ruck, see more on this below.

 

 

Basics. Awful.

 

Decisions. We gifted a number of goals through pretty suspect decisions, often passing across goal.

 

 

Plus?

 

Experts: Nearly everyone picked us to win (as did I, of course): http://whotippedwhat.com/round/afl-2021-round-4/

 

All in all, an awful, highly disappointing performance which resulted, quite correctly, in our loss by a significant margin.

 

 

Round 5

 

West Coast Eagles v Collingwood

 

Friday, April 16 2021 in Perth. Bounce at 6:10pm (8:10 AEST).

 

 

Them

The Eagles are sitting sixth on the ladder with one solitary win more than us, sitting at 14th. Their percentage is 110.6% compared with our 91.8%. There’s a long way to go.

 

 

Let’s look at their first four rounds:

 

1. Won by 23 points over the GC Suns from a one goal deficit at the start of Q4
2. Lost by one goal against the Western Bulldogs from a two goal deficit mid Q4
3. Won by 37 points against Port; damage done in Q2 – five goal to one quarter
4. Lost by 20 against St Kilda, who won from a deficit of 32 points mid Q3

 

 

There don’t appear to be too many lessons in common from each of these games, but we know from experience just how critical Nic Nat is and their use of ‘the spine’.

 

 

Players to watch and / or do something about:

Naitanui: Nic Nat is the best ruck in the AFL, both at stoppages and around the ground. We used to claim Grundy was best in both categories – not true.
McGovern (CHB): Part of the rock-solid spine down the field. He destroyed us last year.
Darling (CHF): Comment as above.
Kennedy (FF): Comment as above.
Gaff (Wing): Key link with Nic Nat – may warrant tagging.
Sheed (Centre): Comment as above.

 

 

Note that Hurn (Back) and Shuey (Rover) are both out, injured, and Williams, their alternate ruck is still progressing back through the WAFL. Don’t expect any of them.

 

 

The Eagles are beatable. We showed that last year.

 

 

Us:

Team & Tasks. I think we need changes to better balance our team, to target the Eagles’ strengths and give some opportunities to others list members.

 

 

Ins:

Lynch: Ruck, alternating with Grundy (FF) and might I say it is his round the ground work that kept him on the ground, in my view.

Cameron: Tall forward.
Greenwood: Tagger  (Gaff?)

Any from Henry, McInnes, Macrae, Mccreery and/or Poulter for a bit of speed and dynamism. My apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone. My logic is below.

 

Outs:

Cox
Hoskin-Elliott
Mayne
Thomas
Adams: If injured, keep if available.
De Goey and Sidebottom: If injured, if available rest both.

 

 

Game Plan.

 

We need to focus on three things:

Application. Please, at the very least, look interested.

A different approach. As suggested above, replace Grundy with Lynch as the principal ruck; move Grundy forward into the FF role and support with Cameron. Their spine is their strength and our players will need to closely mark them. Your thoughts?

Winning the clearances. Dominating Inside 50s, would actually be a better target statement here – working backwards, Inside 50s rely on clearances and the drive forward; clearances rely on hit outs and action in the midfield. A failure at any stage will result in a failure of the system. And you can add disposal efficiency into this process. Scoring is a direct consequence of getting the ball into the 50; and accurate kicking – look for a better placed kicker.

Alternative avenues to goal. As we demonstrated against Carlton and as we didn’t last week.

High intensity commitment for four quarters. As Bucks acknowledged in his interview following Round 1, tackle numbers is something we pride ourselves on; last week was disappointing. The chase and tackle must be maintained for four quarters, as we’ve also demonstrated.

 

 

Conclusion. We can win this.

 

My picks. Collingwood to win by 17 points. BOG: Grundy with 17 touches at 86.3% DE; three tackles and five goals; Cameron and Mihocek get three. Your thoughts?

 

Experts. Go to http://whotippedwhat.com/round/afl-2021-round-5/

 

Weather. Dry but wet underfoot from the cyclone. Wear ‘stops’, not moulded sole boots.

 

TV. FTA: Channel 7; routine for FOXTEL and Kayo.

 

Other:

AFLW. The women were magnificent. I hope the guys were watching; there are some good lessons for them all. A great season, ladies. Well done.

 

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

 

 

Go Pies.

Cam

 

 

 

 

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