Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 8 Review & Round 9 Preview

True Believers, we are nearing mid-season, the Ladder is starting to be significant and some of the other results start to matter. What can we do about them? Actually, nothing, so let’s focus on what we can do.


Guys, love to hear from you. Thanks to those few who have responded; more pls?


Round 8 –  Carlton

Collingwood 16.10.106 defeated Carlton 13.9.87.


Match Report –


Ground Reports – A couple for the previous week. Thanks. Thanks Elizabeth (and welcome back). Her report:


“It was 18 v 2, but for most of the game it didn’t feel like that.  For more than 3 quarters the Blues played like a top 8 side and we were some way off our best game.


The reasons? The Blues were stung by their massive loss to the Roos last week. Our President’s comments about the Carlton coach were stupid and would have inspired the Blues. And I think a few of our people have niggles and may not be at their best.


We came away with the points but for most of the game it was highly stressful to be amongst a quite subdued Collingwood members crowd. The frees were massively in our favour but the umpires also missed some that they should have paid us!


Crisp, Grundy, Sidebottom (despite kicking Mayne in the head), Treloar and Phillips were among our best.


At a Collingwood lunch we heard from Nathan Murphy who says he is about 4 weeks from a return to footy, and from Linden Dunn who hopes to play again before the end of the home and away season.


Now for the Saints. They were well beaten by the Eagles so they will come out fighting too. Let’s hope Eddie has no advice for Alan Richardson!”


Buck’s comments – A key comment: Bucks thought the game was won by the team that wanted to win most. Don’t disagree.


The Game


This game was between last year’s Wooden Spooners and a Grand Finalist; between teams sitting 2nd and 18th on the Ladder. In a game where the lead changed nine times at the 20-minute mark of the Final Quarter we were 11 points down. In three and a half Quarters we were outrun, outmarked, outscored, ultimately beaten. Then we ‘clicked’, kicked the last five Goals and the game was over.


Eddie’s comments regarding the Carlton coach, referred to above by Elizabeth, were not only inappropriate, his considered opinion is wrong. Carlton have shown they are a good side and should take great confidence from their performance against us. Like all developing sides, their ability to string together four quarters (even successive games regarding their performance against North the previous week) is fundamental to their success. Overall, they have the talent and the application and the coaching staff. Want to see an external assessment? Go to:


Carlton were rated A; we were rated B. Pretty fair, in my view. Don’t get me wrong – we deserved to Win. We weathered three and a half quarters of Carlton’s attack and then recovered the lost ground and Won. Though the stress on us True Believers is not insignificant.


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


  • Hit Outs – 50 (us, courtesy Grundy (of course)) / 26 (them)
  • Clearances – 42 / 43 (Centre – 14 / 16; stoppages – 28 / 27). Lost advantage from Hit Outs.
  • Inside 50s – 69 / 43. A reversal in our favour.
  • Marks inside 50 – 15 / 10. Flow-on from above.
  • Scoring shots – 26 / 22. See later comment regarding wasteful opportunities in shooting for Goal.


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


  • Contested Possession – 162 / 154.
  • Tackles – 72 / 65.


Added together, this represents a slight difference in effort between the teams.


And Frees: 24 (us) / 8 (them). This was a surprise to me.


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:


  • Treloar – 34 Disposals @ 70.6% Efficiency and 8 Clearances.
  • Phillips – 34 @ 55.9% and 2 Clearances.
  • Sidebottom – 34 @64.7% and 6 Clearances. He was everywhere, particularly early on.
  • Grundy – 25 @ 64.0%, 2 Clearances and 48 Hit Outs. Clearly won the ‘tap battle’ but, as above, our Mids wasted that advantage.
  • Crisp – 24 @ 70.8%, 4 Clearances and 1 Goal. Not bad for a Back.
  • Brown – 21 @ 76.2% and 2 Goals. Good signs of what’s to come.


I’d add Moore ( 13 @76.9%, 5 Marks and nine 1%’ers) and Mihocek (15 @ 80.0%, two 1%’ers plus one Goal Assist and one Goal). Both didn’t have huge Disposals but each contributed strongly. Moore is terrific at CHB; I’m changing my mind – I think we should keep Mihocek at CHF. He reminds me of Maxy in the Backline – not the most talented footballer but you would never fault his effort. Well done.


In comparison:


  • Cripps – 35 @ 68.6% and 13 Clearances. BOG, I think, which is always interesting coming out of a losing side. A serious superstar in the making.
  • Kreuzer (Ruck) – 14 @ 64.3%, 5 Clearances plus 22 Hit Outs. Compare with Grundy, above; he lost.
  • McGovern (CHF) – 10 @ 100% plus 3 Goals. A great point of entry for them.


Round 9 – St Kilda


Saturday, 18 May at the G; bounce 1.45pm. Go to




St Kilda started the season impressively with four Wins out of the first five Rounds but, apart from their 40 point demolition of Melbourne, each was a narrow win. They made it to Second on the Ladder (below Geelong). But their Wins seem to reflect an application by the team mostly for a Quarter; not the whole game. And since Round 5 they’ve been fairly soundly beaten by Adelaide, GWS and the WCE, and have progressively dropped to 12th place on the Ladder.


Who to watch for? Interestingly, in eight Rounds 19 individual St Kilda players have figured in their Best. I haven’t bothered to identify who hasn’t. But, the repeat performers this year make the following worth watching:


  • Midfield – Steele (RR), Ross (C) and Newnes (W). Being very generous you might include Gresham (Rover) and Marshall (Ruck).
  • Forwards – Billings (HF) and (even more generously) Bruce (CHF).
  • Backline – No-one, though Battle (CHB) did well last week.


Also keep an eye on Nathan Brown (FB) and Jonathon Marsh (FP; dropped last week), both ex-Pies,. and Josh Bruce (CHF: ex-Canberran).


Therefore?  Win the Midfield battle and win the game. Like last week, for a bit of fun, tag Brownie for a while (Varcoe?).




What did I say last week? Oh yes, “we need to play ‘our game’ for four Quarters. We need to impose our pressure on the opposition, constantly.” Bucks said of the Carlton Win that he was “elated, not relieved” really reflecting Carlton’s effort and achievement and our ability to counter this over the extended period. I agree. We have demonstrated so far this season the ability to Win dirty, high pressure games, but we need to be able to seek to establish our game rather than countering our opponent’s. We need to start thinking how we would Win against Geelong.




  • Four-Quarter footy. We need to work to Win all four Quarters, particularly in the periods leading to the breaks.
  • Constant pressure.
  • 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 & Teamwork? we need to seek to provide multiple leads into the 50. See earlier comment regarding best position inside 50.


Other? A couple of other points that I see being repeated each week:


  • Smothers – A smother needs to attack the ball; not the player. Too often the successful smother is seen as an accident. Better targeting? Indeed not only does targeting the player fail to impact on the ball (which is already on its way) but can result in a down-field Free or a 50m penalty (or two).
  • Tackles – We are dropping off too many tackles. Bring Varcoe (even Grundy – remember his ‘pinged’ tackle last year?) back to show you how.
  • Spoiling – It is nearly impossible to spoil a direct chest mark from behind. Get in front. The Moore / McGovern battle last week was terrific – both performed well but note how a pass delivered low and hard into McGovern’s chest was indefensible by an opposing player behind.
  • Goal scoring – While I have rated equal numbers of Goals scored to Behinds scored as satisfactory, these numbers do not include the Out of bounds on the full and simple turnovers in possession in our Forward Line. It seems to me that we are frequently guilty of wasting our opportunities.




  • As above, Mihocek to stay at CHF; Other Ins – Cox, Quaynor and Varcoe; Outs – Langdon and Greenwood plus a couple of others; not sure who.


Weather? Dry.


TV? No FTA. Find a friend with FOXTEL or head out. Or follow it on-line.


My prediction? Pies Win by 31 points. BOG – Phillips – 34 Disposals @ 81.9% Efficiency and 9 Clearances. Reid and Cox get three each and Mihocek has 5 GA.


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