Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 6 review; Round 7 preview









True Believers, a few weeks back one of the comments in the Footy Almanac site sort of challenged my description of a game as a poor performance by both sides, stating that he and others thought it a “cracking game”. I acknowledged his (and their) comment claiming that we were both correct subject to context. I enjoy footy, like all of us, but actually prefer less stress in our games. And certainly, the Anzac Day game had stress in abundance, before, during and after the game. I would have liked to go to the long break without Essendon scoring those three goals in seven minutes. Less stress.


But, of course, a Win is a Win, is a Win. And we’ll always take the four points.


Guys, love to hear back from you. I hope this not going into the ether, lost forever.


Round 6 –  Essendon


Collingwood 10.13.73 defeated Essendon 10.9.69.


Match Report –


Ground Reports – None seen. C’mon people; I know some of you go to this game regularly?


Buck’s (and Pendles’) comments –


The Game


It was a fantastic game with Collingwood demonstrating quite clearly during most of the 1st Half why we are “the team to beat” in the competition, particularly if we could ‘çontrol the game for four quarters’. But Essendon demonstrated in that seven-minute period in Q2 and all of Q3 that they can take on any other team in the competition. And both sides demonstrated the application and commitment throughout; no-one got easy, clear possessions, particularly in that frenetic Q4. Yes, both sides could have won; we failed to ease the pressure on the long-suffering Pies’ supporters just as much as Essendon failed to get over the line at the death.


In some ways this game was not dissimilar to last year’s GF – Finals early. Finals footy is rarely neat and clean and is always hard, fast and committed. Midway through Q2 we had a lead of 33 points. Then we ran into that 7-minute period. It was a “turnover”game where possession, getting it and keeping it, provided the avenue to goal. Too often, scoring a Behind gave possession back to our opponent, without achieving a higher score. I’m not sure that scoring a Behind warrants handing over possession any more.


Momentum equates to “control of the game”; when we had it, we prospered. The only positive might be acknowledging that we “held-off” Essendon well when they had the momentum. The application of all underlies this and is to be commended. Well done, all. I also think the late absence of Fantasia from Essendon had an impact.


Numbers. My usual criticism relates to the conversion of Hit Outs to Clearances and onto Inside 50s and Marks Inside 50. So?

  • Hit Outs – 44 (us, courtesy Grundy (of course)) / 19 (them) – a massive advantage (again). See the conversion, next step.
  • Clearances – 29 / 40 (Centre – 9 / 12; stoppages – 20 / 28). We have lost any advantage we had from the Hit Outs and the previous advantage has been reversed. I noted the statistics, by Quarter:
    • Q1 – 10 (us) / 5 (them);
    • Q2 – 7 / 14;
    • Q3 – 4 / 10; and
    • Q4 – 8 / 11. What does this demonstrate? Well, the team’s momentum (control of the game) largely matches the Clearances. We had it in Q1 and much of Q2; they controlled the game in the balance of Q2 and Q3 and were slightly ahead in Q4. We need to work on tightening our control of Clearances. We have a very good Midfield; they need to produce.
  • Inside 50s – 56 / 47. A reversal of the Clearances to our benefit. Good delivery. Well done.
  • Marks inside 50 – 14 / 7. Not sure how this happened – a match winning difference that we failed to deliver on.
  • Scoring shots – 23 / 19. We should have been safely home, even without the number of Out of Bounds on the Full, which there seemed to be quite a few. As with Efficiency, look before kicking and, always, find someone better positioned.


Plus, as a measure of intensity and application, a couple of numbers:

  • Contested Possession – 168 / 164; and
  • Tackles – 71 / 73. Neither number surprised me – each reflected the intensity of the game and the individual effort. Well done to all; on both sides.


And Frees: 17 (us) / 14 (them). Okay, want to talk about the umpiring? Timely topic. I am less critical than some. I think that the umpires are clearly trying to let the game ‘run’. What is not clear (to everyone, including the players) are some of the interpretations of key offences and the fairly clear absence of common sense and recognition of the impact of crowd noise. I hate the 50m penalty.


Best. My other principal criticism relates to individual performance as it is a measure of the contribution individual Disposals make to the team. Broadly agree with the listed Best, but have a look their efficiency and other contributions:

  • Pendles – 38 Disposals @ 73.7% Efficiency; 3 Clearances but 4 Clangers. A well-deserved BOG. Well done. Watch him next time – have you noticed that he frequently seems to float through opposition packs without being caught?
  • Grundy – 24 @ 75%; 3 Clearances but 6 Clangers; plus 39 Hit Outs.
  • Crisp – 29 @ 75.9%; 5 Clangers.
  • Howe – 20 @ 85%; 3 Clangers.
  • De Goey – 15 @ 53.3%; 2 Clearances but 2 Clangers.
  • Beams – 28 @ 53.6%; 2 Clearances but 5 Clangers.

I’d probably add Sidebottom, Moore and Hoskin-Elliott. Sidebottom was everywhere early on. And I love Moore’s intercept marks and his drive forward. Daniher getting four is in no way a criticism of Moore’s work; I thought both did well.  With Moore, that is three of the Backs in the Best. Well done, Back 6 (or 7). Keep it up. Hoskin-Elliott, welcome back; good work.


As a team comparison we had 4 players with a game Efficiency equal to or over 80.0%; they had 5. At the other end of the scale we had 16 players with two or more Clangers; they had 14. Why? I think the intensity played a huge role in both.


In comparison:

  • Shiel – 34 @ 58.8%; 7 Clearances but 8 Clangers. A day at the office reflecting the pressure he was under. Was Treloar tagging him?


Round 7 – Port Adelaide


Friday, 3 May at Marvel Stadium; bounce at 7.50pm. Go to


A Top 4 game between 2nd (us) and 3rd (them), both with a few Wins behind them. But we are currently favourites in the betting fraternity, regardless of the absence of the teams, – $1.38 to $3.00.




Port have had a relatively easy start to their Season. Wins against Melbourne and Carlton were followed by Losses to Brisbane (in Brisbane) and Richmond (just). But, last week, they demolished the reigning Premiers, West Coast, in Perth. Not sure what this means – does it reflect well on Port or badly on the Eagles. Probably some of both. And last night they comprehensively defeated North though did drop their bundle in the Final Quarter with a 5 goals to 2 recovery by North; ultimately winning by 16 points.


Port play a game based on ‘frenetic ball movement” (not my term invention, unfortunately) based on high risk / high reward approach. Sound familiar? Yeah, I think it is the sort of footy that we aspire to. Port had 10 goal-scorers against West Coast last week.


Who to watch for? Based on performances this year the following are worth watching:

  • Midfield – Lycett (Ruck), Rockliff (C), Powell-Pepper (rover), Motlop and Westhoff (W) and Wines (RR).
  • Forwards – Boak, Ebert and S. Gray.
  • Backline –  Jonas and Howard.


Therefore? It will be won through the Midfield battle and the link to the Forwards not dissimilar to the Essendon game in terms of speed and application. Centre clearances, particularly through the Wings look challenging. Moore on Boak could be telling.




We need to play ‘our game’; not respond to theirs. Our Midfield has the capacity to win the Midfield battle and a reduction in pressure there will ease the pressure on the leading Forwards. Back 6, keep up the great work.



  • Four-Quarter footy. We need to work to Win all four Quarters, particularly in the periods leading to the breaks.
  • Midfield? We need to exploit our Ruck dominance, the direct link between Hit Outs and Clearances, around the ground as well as in the Centre.
  • Efficiency. Seek to meet the 80% standard. Look before you pass.
  • Access to goal? we need to seek to provide multiple leads into the 50. See earlier comment regarding best position inside 50.


  • May take the opportunity to run some changes. Reid has now had a couple of runs in the Twos (and another this weekend) – and has made the Best routinely, along with Crocker. And Wills is doing okay. And is there anyone out there that doesn’t think Quaynor is going to be a super-star? And, of course, Goldie is still there, as always. I’m going to take a punt: Ins – Reid and Quaynor; Outs – Brown and Greenwood.
  • Even without the runners I’m pretty pleased with the involvement of the Coach’s Box (something I’ve been critical of in the past) and, particularly the on-field leadership. Well done, Leadership Group. Consider greater rotations between positions particularly to rest the Midfield (including Wings in the Midfield).

Weather? Not interested – close the roof?


My prediction? Pies Win by 19 points. BOG – Treloar – 36 Disposals @ 80.9% Efficiency and 6 Clearances. Cox, Reid and Stephenson get 3 each. Crowd – 61,000 (90% of whom are Pies supporters – “Colling wooo od”chant).


Attendance? Anyone going? Ground Reports pls?


Future. And the challenges continue after Port:

  • Round 8 – the olde enemy, Carlton;
  • R9 – St Kilda; and
  • R10 – Sydney in Sydney. Any Canberrans off to Sydney? Ground Reports pls?

TV? Yep. 7mate from 7.30pm.



  • Eddie Watch. Looking a trifle florid after the game, Eddie. Hope all is well. But sensible comments about booing, etc, etc.
  • Booing. Another timely topic. I dislike booing and have encouraged our kids to avoid it. There are other ways to vent your displeasure during a game. That said, booing as a measure of disapproval is a part of our game. I have consistently argued that one particular player was booed because of his style of play, his constant appeal for Frees (a very umpire – friendly relationship) and very individualistic selfish play; it had nothing to do with some other attributes. How’s that for subtle? Buck’s view? Go to Well spoken.
  • Commentators. There is a TV commentator who barely hides his dislike for the Pies. This is poor TV.
  • Anyone bet on the First goal-scorer of each team? Consider the Essendon game. First Moore had a shot (not bad for CHB), then Varcoe (more logical given his roving commission) then Mihocek  who finally scored.


Go Pies.




For more of Cam’s detailed Collingwood analysis, CLICK HERE:


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