Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 5 review and Round 6 preview


True Believers, life can be challenging; with some ‘downs’ but we will continue and, ultimately, prevail.


I was not happy with our performance in the Essendon game but tried to mollify my anger / concern by asking the question “What would I have done differently?” And “Where do we go from here?” Some comments below. And your views would be welcome too?


Round 5: Collingwood v Essendon

Collingwood 7.6.48 defeated by Essendon 10.3.63.


The Game. We failed to control the game with the exception of the first half of Q1 (wasn’t that thrilling – thought we were looking at a 10-goal thrashing) and, again, half of Q4, without taking it to the end. Half-way through Q1, we stopped competing. It was a pretty poor performance by us.


Match Report: Go to


Dons defy hard-charging Magpies in the wet

FOR SO long Essendon has been a side full of style. But its win over Collingwood on Friday night was one of substance. After last week’s lacklustre defeat to Carlton, the Bombers struck back by beating Collingwood by 15 points at the MCG in a boilover.

Bucks’ Comments: This worth watching – Bucks is very constrained regarding any individual responsibility:


“We just weren’t good enough”: Buckley
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has refused to blame off-field distractions for his team’s 15-point loss to Essendon on Friday night. Their vice-captain Steele Sidebottom was hit with a four-game …



The Match statistics for the team and individuals are at and


Dons defy hard-charging Magpies in the wet

FOR SO long Essendon has been a side full of style. But its win over Collingwood on Friday night was one of substance. After last week’s lacklustre defeat to Carlton, the Bombers struck back by beating Collingwood by 15 points at the MCG in a boilover.


These numbers are worth a browse. Some numbers that I think are significant, and the reason why, are:


Hit Outs: 41 / 13. Well done, Brody, however…… See next, collective Mids (including Grundy), what is going on?
Clearances: 28 / 38 (Centre – 7 / 11 and at stoppages – 21/ 27). Clearances, broadly, should match HO domination numbers. The numbers here are a reversal of the HO dominance; we were dominated both in the Centre and around the ground. Our collective Midfield was comprehensively beaten.
Disposal Efficiency: 67.9% / 72.8%. Not good by either team, poorer by us; and
Individual Disposal Efficiency: Very close between the teams – both pretty awful. We had 14 players with an individual Disposal Efficiency of less than 80%; they had 13. Each team had 10 players with a Disposal Efficiency under 70%. Check the Individual Statistics website. It makes compelling (and concerning) reading (more on this below).


But, application (usually something we are very proud of):

Contested Possessions: 126 / 116. This is a bit of a surprise as they worked harder than us for most of the game;
Contested Marks: 6 / 6. I think Moore had about three in the first half of Q1, so across the rest of the game we did not dominate;
Tackles: 50 / 65. Not good by us, reflecting their run and chase and tackling application; and
Turnovers: 55 / 62. A clear win by Essendon. And ….


Importantly, ‘One percenters’ – 51 / 59. This, along with the Turnovers, really describes the tenacity of the two sides and, I have to say, like last week, our opponent won that battle.


Another. Our handball numbers (155) were hugely greater than Essendon’s (99). I think this reflects Buck’s comments of our over-use of the ball.


But, again, let’s focus on Inside 50:

Inside 50: 41 / 36. A slight advantage that doesn’t explain the score differential. Bucks highlights that our Inside 50 numbers were mostly shallow entries; not useful for shots on goal;
Marks Inside 50: 8 / 10;
Tackles Inside 50: 10 / 20 – What does this say?
Scoring shots: 13 / 13;
Goals scored: 7 / 10; and
Efficiency Inside 50: 34.1% / 41.7%. The difference here won them the game.


Plus one more thing. We received 21 Frees to Essendon’s 12. If I was them, I’d be making an appointment to see the ‘umps’.


If we meet again we simply need to play our game and avoid being sucked into theirs. Simply put, as admitted by Bucks, Essendon brought more energy and greater consistency to the game. Collingwood was out-worked. It was a solid display by the Essendon youngsters.


Best: Listed: Treloar, Maynard, Daicos, Stephenson and Pendles. I would question Treloar’s and Stephenson’s inclusion. Treloar had the most touches (30) but had an individual Disposal Efficiency of 40%. That means (my apologies to those readers who can add up) he had 12 effective disposals. And Stephenson kicked three beautiful goals in Q1 and was then, for the rest of the game, unsighted. Potential players to be added to the Best, in my view when you consider the specific role they were playing, might have included Moore, Roughead and De Goey. Avoid just looking at the Disposals or goals scored – Disposal Efficiency is pretty individual; Goals scored can frequently be a consequence of ‘the team’.


The Future: Okay; I seemed to get this totally screwed up last week. Next week is Hawthorn in Sydney (see below) followed by three weeks in Perth, starting with Geelong on Thursday, 16 July.


Round 6: Collingwood versus Hawthorn

Friday, 10 July at the Giants’ Stadium; bounce at 7.50pm.



Hawthorn finished last year in 9th, out of the Eight. I was very relieved because they were (and are) capable of rising to the challenge. The same still applies. They may have the oldest average age List (Dad’s Army) in the competition, however they are still a highly competitive unit.


In 2020 Hawthorn have had a variable season. They beat Brisbane and Richmond, each by 30 Points, and North by less than a kick, but they’ve Lost to Geelong by 60 Points and GWS by 30. They currently sit 9th on the Ladder on 91% compared with our 10th place on 133.5%. Last weekend, Hawthorn Lost to GWS by 5 Goals but they won the Inside 50s (38 / 26) and Clearances (32) to (26). They also, potentially, lost Lewis (FF) to injury. Breust is also unlikely to appear. But Patton (FF) may be picked. Wait and see.


Players to watch for:

Mitchell – rover / RR;
O’Meara – FP / rover;
Sicily – HB / BP;
McEvoy – CHB; and
Smith – Wing.


Also keep an eye on Ceglar in the Ruck and Wingard in the Centre / FP. Maybe give Mitchell to Sier (see below).


And they come into the game with two days less recovery than us. Impact? Not sure.



Okay, similar to last week. To do list:


Control the game. We showed this last week for half of Q1. We’ve showed it during periods during other games. We need to get control and keep it. We need to be the team winning the Midfield battle and then driving forward, keeping control of the ball until, really importantly, we have an easy kick at Goal;
Re-establish the Back 6 (see changes, below) to set up the drive forward; and
Speed of entry to the goal-kicking position. Must be improved.



I have to record that there were some very loud calls for changes after the Essendon game. Mick McGuane ( suggested dropping quite a few: Hoskin-Elliott, Elliott, Varcoe, Cox, Philips and Wills; indeed, even Crisp got a mention. He also suggested moving Moore forward and putting Reid back (where, of course, he won his All Australian recognition). He also notes the need for Greenwood to provide a bit of ‘mongrel’. I agree that but might use Sier, particularly if Greenwood is still not available. Some good ideas worthy of thought. I really like the Moore / Reid idea.


There was, apparently, some racial vilification and abuse of Varcoe and Cox, respectively, on-line following the game. I strongly support the Club’s response on behalf of the players and am pleased to note that the source was not a Club Member. Actually, I consider that there is only one player or past-player qualified to criticise Varcoe in that failed marking competition in Q2 – that is Jonathon Brown on the basis of his extraordinary mark with the flight of the ball into a pack. And he was lucky to walk away from that; I’m glad Varcoe did not put himself in the position to suffer the alternate outcome. Yes, neither Varcoe nor Cox had a good game. But each was back for his first or second game in a while, in difficult circumstances, and can be expected to do better. But some changes, in addition to the Moore / Reid plan, might be useful:


Ins: Reid, Cameron and Greenwood (and/or Sier); and
Outs: Mihocek, Hoskin-Elliott, Elliott and Phillips. Your thoughts?


Pre-game Brief? Go to (eventually):


AFL – News, Fixtures, Scores & Results –
Australian Football League. All the latest AFL news, video, results and information


Weather. Low chance of rain.


TV. Go to


Anyone Going? Anyone into a ‘Corporate Box’ or balloted entry? I’d still really like to hear others’ views before, during and after the game?


Expert Predictions? Look around here at Note that, Dermie, last round, was wrong again (backing us). Not sure who he’ll back this time.


My Picks

Pies to Win by 25 Points. BOG – Grundy (27 Disposals @ 81.6% DE; 8 Clearances and 2 goals). Stephenson and Moore both kick three. Your prediction and selections?




Eddie Watch. C’mon Eddie, some silliness is creeping in; you are bigger than this. Go to


BARRETT: Pies derailing own season with nasty PR crashes
The Magpies’ past week has been an unmitigated, self-caused, season-destabilising public relations crash, writes Damian Barrett
Beams. Worth a read –


Last Time I Cried: ‘It was a massive cry for help’
In his second episode, Dayne Beams speaks about hitting rock bottom in early 2020 and how far he has come since that moment


Keep the excitement. This is the Pies’ year. C’mon, let’s hear your views.


Go Pies.







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  1. John Butler says

    I have to say, the Collingwood games I’ve watched this season have been very hard going. There’s a laboured aspect to their style.

    They’ve have success with it, but it ain’t pretty.

    Also, can’t help feeling the key forwards aren’t up to it. Cause and effect re style?

    Thanks for the, as always, thoughtful analysis, Cam.

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