Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 7 review, Round 8 preview

G’day all.



I’m going to make some comments first about our performance against the Suns. A little bit of Football philosophy first – the players on the field at any time play the game; for better or worse, they are responsible for the way the game is played. Not the fans; not the Club hierarchy; not even the coaches; just those 18 players on the field at that time. “Not the coaches” I hear you question incredulously, but they’re the ones who put the players on the ground and tell them how they want the game played. I concur to both those aspects, but they aren’t responsible for how the players play, only the individual players are.



Was anyone else astounded by our players’ apparent lack of motivation, the lack of chase, the number of opponents who walked out of tackles? Exceptions? Sure, mostly the young guys plus Mihocek. I’m still not happy with his decisions to have a shot rather than passing the ball to a better placed teammate, but I will always applaud effort; and his effort in the last couple of games has been fantastic.



What did it look like to me? Pretty disappointing actually. I’ve been trying to identify similarities to other situations. Remember when it was harder to be dropped from the Australian Cricket XI than it was to be selected? Does that apply to us, regardless of how much has been invested in the individual? Is it acceptable to get a shed-load of touches (or Hit Outs) that have little influence on the game? Once again, I’ll talk about Disposal Efficiency as just as important as Disposals, below. Did the players have a bet on Collingwood recovering from 1 and 6 to Win the Flag? A couple of years ago I put $100 on Collingwood to Win the Flag with a 1000:1 bet – unfortunately, didn’t win, but it was probably a better bet than Tattslotto. Do the senior players want a new Senior Coach? Performing as they have been, they are well on the way to destroying Bucks’ coaching career. Of course, none of this is possible in the professional environment; it just looks that way, just a bit, particularly to the uninformed observer from the sidelines. Do I want to see a new Senior Coach? No, I do not.



But? Whatever…



My commitment as a Pies’ Member is unaffected, but my lack of belief in the individuals is seriously affected. And my blame? Mostly, the players. I’m disappointed my recommendations regarding Ins and Outs are not being followed, nor the failure to follow my suggestions relating to the Game Plan, but fundamentally it is all about the players, and how they play. To pick some words being floated around – Are Collingwood “psychologically wrecked”? Was this game a massive reality check?



Round 7

Collingwood 7.13.55 were defeated by the Gold Coast Suns 12.7.79


Match Report –


Bucks’ comments –


Totally agree. Worth watching Bucks describing his role in the preparation for a game – basic skills, work rate and strategy. And his perception of the implementation of the team’s strategy – ‘defend really well’, ‘defend as a team’ and ‘drive from the backline’. On a question on confidence; Bucks’ reply – ‘Confidence is not necessarily the word, it’s belief’.



Bucks (as did the players interviewed) acknowledged the Suns’ ability to move the ball through the Pies’ defences.



Extraordinary things we saw:


Lots of chase downs by Suns’ players, and contested marking by Suns’ players in front of goal. Well done by them.


Murphy’s mark running with the flight of the ball: Outstanding.


Do you recall anything?


Some statistics and comments:


Hit Outs – Ignoring this number as irrelevant.
Clearances – 37 (us)/31 (them). Well, for once we won this. But?
Inside 50s – 47/50
Disposal Efficiency – 72.4%/75.2%. A significant difference.
Individual Disposal Efficiency – 8/10 players with a DE equal to or over 80% and 3/1 with an individual DE equal to or under 50%. Indicative rather than too significant.
Disposal Efficiency Inside 50 – 42.6%/42.0%. No significant difference.
Contested possessions – 136/138. We lost that most critical statistic.
Tackles – 51/58. Remember Bucks identified this as a specific failing after Round 1. Now? As an indication of application, that’s poor.
Scoring Shots – 20/19. Pretty meaningless actually.
Losing margin – 24 Points. That is another significant beating.



And another comment on the ‘new’ game. Like previous weeks we lost uncontested possessions 229/267 and marks 98/146. Maybe the ‘keepings off’ style of play, as demonstrated by these numbers, is indicative of what we need to be doing. Get possession and keep it. Entries into the 50 without a good target in mind are a quick way of turning over possession.



Best: Mihocek, Daicos, Pendles, Quaynor and Noble. For once, I have no problem with this list.




Application – Awful.
Back Six – Moving Moore forward is unworkable. This guy is an All Australian CHB, leave him there.
Ball Handling – Awful.
Forwards – The breakdown on entry into the 50 was critical. We simply handed over possession.
Crumbing packs, both behind and in front? Critical too.
Tackling and one-on-one. Too many opponents ran out of tackles and in one-on-one competitions our player was occasionally on the ground, leaving his opponent free to continue. Stay on your feet or get up quickly.
Midfield success? We were destroyed.


Experts – 81% of ‘the experts’ predicted a Pies’ win (same statistic as last week). Go to



Round 8

Collingwood Magpies v North Melbourne Kangaroos

4:35pm, Saturday, May 8th at Marvel Stadium




You could make a very strong case identifying North as ‘Easy beats’; that is unless you checked their most recent game against Melbourne. Yes, they lost, ultimately by about 30 points, but at half time they were 19 points up. Even well into Q4, they were within a kick of Melbourne – look at the match timeline at the eight minute mark of Q4 at But their history is not great:


Round 1 – Loss to Power by 60
Round 2 – Loss to Suns by 63
Round 3 – Loss to Bulldogs by 128
Round 4 – Loss to Crows by 41
Round 5 – Loss to Cats by 30
Round 6 – Loss to Dockers by 50
Round 7 – Loss to Demons by 30



North have the ability to produce for periods during their games (like us?). This is dangerous for us if we happen to ease off during their slow times. Based on their games this year, players to watch:



Ziebell – FP/BP
Young – CHB/Interchange
Stephenson – HF/Wing
Hall – HB/IC
Powell – Centre/Rover
Cunnington – Ruck Rover
Simpkin – Rover/Centre
Goldstein – Ruck.



Ultimately, it may end up a competition between us for the Wooden Spoon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t beat any other team for periods or on our day. I know that applies to us; I suspect it applies to North.




I remember a quote regarding Wagner (The ride of the Valkyries) – ‘His music is better than it sounds’. Could apply to us – ‘Our football is better than it looks’.


Team & Tasks. I think we still need changes (and some back in):




Lynch – Ruck, alternating with Grundy (FF) setting up a much taller forward line



Sidebottom – Check the disposals and disposal efficiency for the last few games. He needs a rest. Your thoughts?



Game Plan


We need to focus on (same as nearly every week):


Application. High intensity commitment for four quarters. Watch the contested possession and tackle numbers. The chase and tackle must be maintained for four quarters, and when we tackle, we have to hold on;
A different approach. As suggested above, replace Grundy with Lynch as the principal ruck (noting that this happened when Cameron became ruck last week); move Grundy forward into the FF role supported by Cameron and Mihocek and De Goey and the other smalls


Winning the clearances. Dominate Inside 50s…and you can add disposal efficiency – scoring is a direct consequence of getting the ball into the 50; and accurate kicking – look for a better placed kicker.


Moore back into the back six with freedom for intercept marking.


Note the likely aggression and pressure from North. It is not enough to acknowledge the absence of aggression – you need to do something about it – be prepared to pass wide or back and be patient. We can Win this if we get in control and keep control.



We should win this comprehensively. In the next month or so we have games against Sydney in Sydney and Port Adelaide before the game against Geelong on the weekend 29th/30th of May. We have much to do to get things right.


My picks

Collingwood to win by 57 points. BOG – Pendles  (30 Disposals @ 87.7% DE, 10 clearances and four tackles) Grundy gets three goals; Cameron and Mihocek each get two. Your thoughts?




Go to This could be interesting too. Check it out later in the week.



Who cares – shut the roof.



There’s a pile of games overlapping on Saturday, so unlikely to have FTA coverage. Go to a club or pub to watch. Routine for FOXTEL and Kayo.



Go Pies.




To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.




Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.




Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.


One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.


Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.



Leave a Comment