Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 5 Preview



True Believers, this is the time that we stand tall, face thechallenges and maintain our support of our beloved Team.  The harder it gets, the stronger we are.  As I said last week, we have, of course, all been here before.

Still a pile of games to go.


The Game:


Monday, 25 April (Anzac Day); Melbourne at the G.  Bounce: 3.20pm.  This is 15th versus 16th on the Ladder.  Not that that makes much difference, but we are the 15th place.


The Anzac Day game?  Note the conclusion of the article: “Go Dons. Go Pies. And Go the bloody Anzacs.”  Well said.


Weather?  Sunny; 12 – 24 deg. Moderate Northerly winds.


TV (for Canberra residents)? Free to Air on 7mate live from 3.00pm.


The Teams:


Us?  Not sure when the teams for Monday’s game are published.  A squad probably tonight on the AFL website – but final selections probably on Sunday.


Our legacy from last week: “(The Pies performance swung) between their best footy and their worst” . Go to The Agenda at


Bucks, after the game against St Kilda, forecast a willingness to consider personnel and Game Plan changes.  This didn’t eventuate (that I could see).  He’s said the same thing again following our dismal performance against Melbourne.  Let’s see if he means it this time.


Injury outs likely to include: Longer term outs – Swanny, Elliott, Scharenberg, Ramsay and Williams.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reid, Trav and Pendles added to that list and unavailable.  Trav, Gault, Marsh, Reid, Sinclair and Witts are all due for a Test.


Out’s.  As promised after our last four disasters (including the ‘escape’ against Richmond):  “people have to perform” to keep their places.  As per my post-Round 4 comments, I would like to see the following given a ‘rest’:

  • Darcy
  • Sinclair
  • Brown
  • Blair

Others on notice: Greenwood, Trav, White?


Your views – Others?


It is very much up to the replacement to grab his opportunity and perform so that he becomes irreplaceable.  Simple really.  Never should it be said that it is “harder to get out of the Pies team than to get into it” (as used to be said occasionally about the Australian Cricket Team).


It may surprise you that I shift week by week as to giving Trav a rest.  I thought he did enough last week to stay in – not measured by goals but by his general play.  I don’t think anyone has been critical of Trav’s commitment and I think it is a good step to push him up the ground to get more involved.  Rucking?  Maybe not – you have to be able to get off the ground.  My suggestion of putting him on Buddy Franklin was only partly in jest.  I think he would be great close defender where strength and speed were required.


Potential in’s could include Witts (please, please, please), Cox (c’mon, give the kid a go), Goldsack (always), Wills (now that’s a surprise, but check his performances in the VFL side – 34 touches, 9 clearances, 9 tackles & a goal), Caff (always), Broomhead (30 touches, 10 clearances, 6 tackles and a goal) and Marsh (also good work in the VFL side), Frost (maybe), Gault (maybe)?


Game Plan.  What am I looking for?  Okay, let’s focus on two things (only):


  1. Disposal Efficiency. See the statistics as to where we sit regarding “giving (the ball) away” –  We are ranked 12th on points scored from turnovers by our players and 15th from turnovers from an error.  And Greenwood and Sinclair both get named as offenders.  How can we fix this?  Have a plan about where the ball will go this play and the next, following and limit the ‘up and under’ ‘kick and hope’ kicks.  This especially applies to kick-ins – let’s have a plan worked out beforehand; and


  1. Pressure. Call it “dour footy” if you want, but it is all about close-marking and pressure, pressure and more pressure.  This includes holding our tackles, ‘punching’ rather than being out-marked in our Backline and, critically, our ‘second efforts’ and chase, chase and more chasing.  See Pendles’ encouragement to “get angry and embrace pressure” – .


Oh yeah, a bit of team support between players would be nice to see, too.


As I said last week, the time to try something different is now.  Do you have some ideas?


Them?  Same timing for publication as us.  Essendon are in a world of hurt because of the drug fiasco but, as demonstrated by their performances can still be competitive.  Their record this year is variable – one win, against Melbourne, and three Losses against Gold Coast, Port and Geelong.  The losses against the GC and Port were both pretty comprehensive (10 goal hammerings).  Against Geelong they were competitive, even taking the lead late in the Q3.  Then the wheels fell off and they were well beaten.  What this shows is the impact of the opponent – against Geelong, it was Geelong that increased the pressure; against GC and Port the pressure seems to have been constant.  And the win against Melbourne (remember them? They beat us pretty comprehensively last week) the game was up and down with multiple lead changes.  A few of their players to watch, who have been performing this year, so far – Zaharakis (rover), Leuenberger (ruck), the Merretts (Wing and HF), Stokes (Centre) and McDonald-Tipungwuti (HB and F).


Impact on us?  Remember Buck’s comments about “dour football” before last week’s game, a Game Plan description that hardly made an appearance last week, anyway. Perhaps a better descriptor, more easily understood, would have emphasised close-marking of opponents.  The single most painful sight last week (apart from the kick-ins directly to opponents, and subsequent goals) was the ease of passage out of our Forward Line into theirs and the frequency unattended players had direct, undefended access to goal.  We have to tighten up our marking.  Players need to be held accountable for lapses. Note, also, Essendon’s strength in the Centre (ruck, rover, Centre) – we must dominate this.  Your views?


Game Previews?



My Picks?  Pies by 31; BOG: Treloar; 37 touches @ 91% Disposal Efficiency; 11 Clearances; 5 Tackles – justifying his recruitment as the the Mid successor to Pendles. Goals: Cox – 4, Fas – 4; Trav – 5 goal assists; Witts also in Best.  Crowd: 93,000?  Your picks?




Reporting?  Anyone going to the game?  Ground Reports pls?


Remember to keep an eye on the Footy Almanac –


Be strong and maintain the faith.  Go Pies.




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