Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 4 Review

What a year 2016 is becoming.  Maintain the faith; we cannot to any worse (I hope).

‘Expert’ tips: Firstly, just so you know it’s not just us, go to http://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters.  Picks: Pies 16 to Demons 9; Prime Minister – Pies by 36; Leader of the Opposition – Pies by 14 and and Baum and Connolly, both picked the Pies to win by 10 points.  Noone got close to picking Melbourne by 35 points (Matthew Richardson was closest with a Melbourne by 16 points prediction).

Match Reports at http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2016/4/coll-v-melb and http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-match-report/afl-season-2016-demons-send-pies-deeper-into-the-mire-20160417-go8epb.html.  Read them and weep.

Bucks:  “We stopped playing for 40 minutes” and “we thought we were in it right through the Second Half” – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2016-04-17/were-in-it-together.

 

Best?  Difficult to identify anyone who deserved to be listed here.  Treloar and Adams got a lot of touches but if you adjust the usefulness of these by their Disposal Efficiency factors you get a more accurate view of their contributions (see numbers below).  Sidebottom and Pendles were also ‘ever-present’; as were Varcoe, Trav and White at different times.  But, in my view, no Best.

I watched two games of footy over the weekend – GWS vs Port, live at Manuka, and the Pies vs Demons on TV.  There were some key similarities between the games.  GWS were extraordinarily talented and ‘fluid’ as they destroyed a seriously unimpressive Port; pretty much what Melbourne did to us albeit for a lesser period (GWS played hard all game).  Some comments:

  • Drive from the Centre.  We were hammered here. Grundy is not a great traditional ruck – great around the ground but Witts is better in the middle and at stoppages.  The statistics here are not particularly clear because the numbers are across the whole game.  Difficult to be exact here without numbers for the specific time periods – like the first half of Q1.  The drive out of the middle by both Melbourne and GWS was absolutely critical in establishing the game-winning momentum.  Pls bring back Witts;
  • Second efforts.  The number of our players who seem to stop and watch the game progress rather than continue to chase was noteworthy.  Our players also seem to fall over a lot in one on one contests rather than trying to continue on their feet to pursue the ball.  See Bucks’ comments below about “attacking the ball”.  In a contact sport it is, of course, a key aspect of the game.  As a positive example, GWS never stopped chasing;
  • Disposal Efficiency.  This was, again, appalling.  We managed just three players with DE over 80%; They had eight.  I’ve made comment on this before – Treloar (31 @ 77.4%), Adams (29 @ 75.9%), Pendles (25 @ 76.0%), Varcoe (13 @ 61.5%) and White (12 @ 75.0%) are all examples, noting that it is the specific context that defines just how important specific Disposals can be – Greenwood, for example, has a habit of popping up at critical times with key Disposals.  This, along with ‘Clangers’, also records very, very, very simple handling mistakes – kicking the ball directly to an opponent 25 m out, directly in front.  Our passing was unreliable and frequently disastrous;
  • Hold tackles.  How many of our tacklers were brushed aside?  How many of our players caught trying to run through a tackle were quite correctly ‘pinged’?
  • What to do / where to go / next?  Did anyone see any decisiveness in our play from stoppages?  Both GWS and Melbourne showed the huge benefit of moving the ball quickly, of seeming to have a plan regarding where it would go next, of having running players giving options for the next step.  How many of our marks or Frees went their full 30 seconds, being called ‘Play on’, before being kicked?  How many went, following this, to ‘packs’?
  • Team support?  It concerned me a lot when Sidebottom (I think it was him) tossed his opponent into the goal post and was attacked by a significant number of Demons’ players – our players did not come to his aid.  Bucks’ criticism of Elliott over his failure to acknowledge Varcoe’s ‘tap back’ assistance for that goal last year mirrors this – Bucks used the expression then: “show the love“.  Here it could be “support your team mates“.

 

Your views?

Bucks comments: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/afl-season-2016-collingwood-coach-nathan-buckley-to-make-judgments-on-players-after-loss-to-melbourne-20160417-go8fja.html.  I thought he said that last week.  What, is he serious now?

Expected injury absences – Trav and Reid (watch); is Pendles injured?  Suggested ‘rests’ – Brown, Darcy, Blair and Sinclair.  Suggested in’s – Witts, Cox, Frost and Broomhead.  Your suggestions?

Summary.  This game was lost in the first half of Q1.  Thereafter it seemed a competition between equals – it didn’t appear that we were trying to win; just to match them. My ‘simple’ view is that we should not be seeking to match teams like Melbourne; we should be seeking to demonstrate how much better we are.  We were shown to be slow, unwilling to compete, individually disconnected and with absolutely no idea where to go next on almost every stoppage or even through the flow of the game.  This shouldn’t have been the case.  Our team is made up of quality players – but they need to start playing together as a team.  I would recommend some serious changes right now and a very clear demonstration of ‘perform or miss selection’.  And I hope we don’t run into GWS anytime soon.

Reporting? I am aware some of you went to the game; others watched on TV.  Your comments? 

Two’s.  See http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-04-17/vfl-casey-run-away-to-victory.  Performances not as ’emphatic’ as last week, but still supportive of Frost and Broomhead recall and Cox in.

Next: Anzac Day game against Essendon – Monday 25 April.  Bounce – 3.20pm.  Anyone going?

Go Pies.

Cam

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