Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 9 Review; Round 10 Preview










True Believers,



What a season we’re having? What a season the AFL is having? Last week we beat a committed, brave and talented Carlton side (Wooden spooners vs Grand Finalist, the previous year); this week Carlton is widely regarded as a disgrace in their performance against GWS. We have a competition where there are no “easy-beats”, where any team can beat the other teams if they don’t play to their capacity and where the wins are in hard, difficult games. We’ve seen glimpses of slick, routine, training-style connections from one end of the field to the other, but only glimpses; never a full game.



This week we faced St Kilda, also well down the ladder. Next week we, sitting second on the ladder, face Sydney sitting 14th in Sydney (remember the impact of that itty-bitty little SCG ground?). Should we be concerned? Am I worried? Absolutely. We need to bring our ‘team to play’.



The expert commentators (probably the same people who picked the election result) are suggesting the Premiership race is now largely limited to one of Geelong, Collingwood, WCE, GWS and Richmond. I think they are premature in their assessment. There is a long way to go and many other teams in the competition.



Round 9 – St Kilda



Collingwood 17.10.112 defeated St Kilda 10.11.71.



Match Report –



Ground Reports – Anyone?



Bucks’ comments – Bucks’ comments about ‘maturity’ are worth listening to.



The Game



This game highlighted our ability to absorb an opponent’s pressure for an extended period and then reverse that control. With control of the pressure comes control of the ball and control of the game. St Kilda were fantastic for the first half, though as one of our fellows (who will be unnamed) texted me before half time – “Lucky they couldn’t kick to save themselves”. So, they had the pressure but failed to fully exploit it. We, on the other hand, absorbed the pressure and in the final quarter showed everyone how the game should be played. Notables include Stephenson’s goals, particularly his 80 metre ‘torp’, Sidebottom being everywhere, and Reid’s casual approach to taking contested pack marks and then scoring.



It was a great game to watch but, like last week against Carlton, I’d prefer we didn’t leave it to the last minute. I thought we seriously missed Moore tying our back line together.



Numbers. My usual criticism relates to the conversion of hit outs to clearances leading to inside 50s and marks inside 50. So?


Hit Outs – 53 (us) / 24 (them)

Clearances – 39 / 35

Inside 50s – 47 / 52. Both sides could be criticised for ‘up and under’ entry kicks into the 50; not the best entry.

Marks inside 50 – 15 / 10. A match-winning advantage.

Scoring shots – 27 / 21. Flowing from marks inside forward 50.


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

Contested Possession – 153 / 132.

Tackles – 59 / 72


And frees: 20 (us) / 11 (them). This was a surprise to me.

Centre – 13 / 17; stoppages – 26 / 18). A marginal advantage, but the huge






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


Sidebottom – 29 disposals at 64.7% disposal efficiency, 2 clearances and 2 goals. He was everywhere.

Grundy – 24 at 54.2%, 7 clearances and 49 hit outs. Clearly won the ‘tap battle’ but, as above, we are wasting that advantage.

Reid – 16 at 75% and 3 goals. Still capable.

Crisp – 27 at 81.5% and 2 clearances.

Beams – 30 at 73.3% and 7 clearances. His three behinds could easily have been better.

Stephenson – 17 at70.6% and 3 goals.

Treloar – 38 disposals at 70.6% efficiency and 7 clearances.



I’d add Mihocek (14 at 71.4%, 3 1%’ers plus 2 goal assists and 4 goals). 4 goals and 2 goal assists and he doesn’t make the best list? C’mon. He is providing a a terrific pivot between the midfield and the forward line.



In comparison:


Dunstan – 30 at 70% and 9 clearances.

Billings – 29 at 75.9% and 3 clearances.

Marshall – 16 at 56.3% and 5 clearances plus 24 hit outs and 1 goal. Grundy clearly won the ruck battle.


And ‘our boys’:


Brown, at fullback – 8 touches at 87.5% and 1 clearance plus 13 1%’ers.

Marsh, on the half-back line – 12 at 50%



Round 10 – Sydney



Friday, 24 May at the SCG; bounce 7.50pm. Go to No preview there yet, but the betting has us as favourites $1.39 to $3.00.



Discount Sydney, particularly at home, at your peril. As touched on above, this is between the second and 14th placed teams on the ladder who have 129.5% and 84.9% percentages. Sydney are coming into the game off two close wins; we’re off six, most not too close.






Sydney have been having a pretty ordinary season. Last week they won against North Melbourne by 5 points after starting the final quarter with a four goal lead. Of course, Ballarat can be cold – I am very familiar with the weather there. The week before they beat Essendon, also by 5 points. Before that they’ve lost to Brisbane, GWS, Richmond and Melbourne by around three goal margins. So, they haven’t been hammered (GWS by 41 points has been their worst) but they also haven’t won against any top teams. Franklin has been out injured or just, clearly, not at his best, but on the paddock for extended periods. Jack, their iconic captain and son of a Rugby League international, is also out. Watch if either of them are named to appear. Also watch for Heeney, Jones or Kennedy (all injuries), or Parker (visit to the MRO).  Clarke is also injured but a potential inclusion.



Who to watch for? Repeat performers this year make the following worth watching:


Midfield – Papley (maybe; rover), Kennedy (ruck rover), Jones (maybe; rover) and Hewett (wing).

Forwards – Franklin (maybe) and Parker (forward pocket).

Backline – Lloyd (half-back) and Rampe (back pocket).


Also keep an eye on Reid at centre half-forward. It used to be fun watching Reid on Reid!

Therefore?  Play our game. Win the midfield battle and use the corridor.






We are a winning side. I’m just not that wrapped with the way we are going about it. We need to establish our control of the game and take it from there.



Approach (and status comments against last week’s suggestions)?


Four-quarter footy. We need to work to win all four quarters, particularly in the periods leading to the breaks. We could improve.

Constant pressure. Pretty good.


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. Better around the ground; not good enough throughout the game.


Efficiency: seek to meet the 80% standard. Look before you pass. Better, but very much subject to the opposition’s pressure.


Access to goal and teamwork: we need to seek to provide multiple leads into the 50. See earlier comment regarding best position inside 50. We are doing well, but we need to avoid dropping into the ‘up and under’ entry. Scoring a behind should be seen as a waste of possession.





Sier and Crocker have been performing in the VFL. Wells and Quaynor were quiet last week but have been doing well.

Cox and Reid in the same forward line? Why not. Didn’t the Eagles teach us that late last year?  They sure did – Google the GF reporting.


Outs – Langdon injured, but I was about to suggest a rest for him anyway; Greenwood plus two. Who do you think? Varcoe might have a MRO enforced rest. And there was some talk about Mihocek’s jaw but I haven’t seen anything since.

Ins – Moore, De Goey, Elliott, Cox.



Weather? Dry.



TV? Yes; 7mate from 7.30pm.



My prediction? Pies Win by 17 points. BOG – Treloar – 37 Disposals at 82.9% efficiency and 8 clearances. Reid and Cox get three each.



Attendance? Now I know at least six of you are going. Enjoy and ground reports would be great!



Future. And the challenges continue after Sydney:


Round 11 – Freo in Melbourne.

R12 – Melbourne – Queen’s Birthday Monday.

R13 – Bye.





Eddie Watch. Quiet.



Go Pies.






  1. george smith says

    June 22- 23: going down to visit my auntie in Geelong, then watch the Pies v the Pesky Bulldogs (round 14). Hope it ain’t a wasted trip, but in these hard times, who knows…

Leave a Comment