Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 5 Review

True Believers, where has this team been? 

Firstly, welcome to Dominica; we all hope your ‘arrival’ continues to presage our success.  Enjoy.

The Scene.  Matty Lloyd pretty accurately set the scene for this game by suggesting “Collingwood is on a hiding to nothing in Monday’s  Anzac Day clash against Essendon. If they win, I expect the general response to be, “so they should”. If they lose, it will be a disaster for the club and Nathan Buckley. The repercussions could be massive.” and “It’s now up to the players to improve their own performances”.  Go to: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/magpies-players-must-take-responsibility-20160422-goclo4.html.  He then, went on to predict a Pies win by 1 point.

Match Reports.  Go to http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2016/5/coll-v-ess and http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-match-report/afl-season-2016-no-quarter-given-as-collingwood-thrash-essendon-on-anzac-day-20160425-goenj8.html.

Assessment.  Games like this are difficult to assess – did we play exceptionally well, or were Essendon awful?  Probably a bit of both.  This was a game of two Halves.  We were up by 76 at Half Time; we won in the end by 69.  Our First Half was terrific.  Things I really liked were the team spirit (demonstrated after every goal scored, but particularly following Cox’ and Smith’s), the entry into the 50 to a target (this reverted a bit to ‘kick and hope’ later in the game) and our early Clearances (also lapsed in the Second Half).  Some statistics (you know where to find them) – Contested Possessions – Pies 153 to 136, Inside 50s – 55 to 51 (and marks inside 50’s – 17 to 15), Clearances we lost 39 to 46 (particularly at Stoppages where we were beaten 22 to 28); and Hit Outs – we won 42 to 35.  Areas of concern are still the domination of the Centre and Stoppages around the ground – we need Witts back (while keeping Grundy on the ground).  The very limited number of scores against us in the First Half meant that we didn’t get much of a look at the kick-ins.  The Second Half gave more opportunity.  We still need to work on ‘the plan’.

I totally agree the comments and experts’ selections of the Best – Steele, Pendles, De Goey, Adams, Crisp and Treloar.  I’d add Fas, as usual, and Howe showed some.  I also think Varcoe is critical to the way the team plays.  If he is injured I’d like to see him on the sidelines screaming at the players (as Maxy used to do when he was injured).  Comments on selected individuals: http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-04-25/five-talking-points-collingwood-v-essendon.

Buck’s view – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-04-25/buckley-well-take-the-win.

Summary.  Okay; a great performance, with much to like, that dropped off in the Second Half.  We need to play the whole game.

My thanks to Elizabeth and Sal for their on-ground reporting (Elizabeth, particularly, for her text comments during the game, and during the VFL game). What a wonderful day you both had.  I am green with envy.  Others’ views?

 

VFL. A loss to Essendon by 85 points.  Go to: http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-04-24/recap-vfl-magpie-beaten-by-bombers.  Both competitions are important.

 

Next: Sunday, 1 May.  Eagles in Perth. Bounce: 4.40pm (East Coast time).  If we have any intention of playing Finals and competing for the Premiership, we need to improve on last week’s performance.  Can we do it?  Absolutely; we have demonstrated that.  More on this later in the week.

 

Go Pies.

 

Cam

 

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