Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Tears before bedtime

True Believers:


“Tears before bedtime”.


I was sad with this result; not so much angry, as sad. It was heartbreaking. We were patently, obviously, potentially a much more talented team on the day than them it was frightening. So, what happened? Although it never makes me feel any better, we should note that we, placed 15th Lost to the 2nd placed team by 3 points. That says something about the competition (like Melbourne thrashing Adelaide in Adelaide, and the GC beating Geelong the week before. Talking about making the Finals?  It’s never over till it’s over.  And Hawthorn, even with their recent injuries (see more below) scare me more than GWS or Geelong or Sydney.  We aren’t at the halfway point of the season yet. Anyone else think that Sydney or Hawthorn (or even the Pies) might sneak into the Eight and win the Premiership from there? And just maybe some ‘pretender’ teams like Richmond or the Bulldogs or even Melbourne (though aren’t they doing well) might drop out? There are a few teams that are an injury or two away from a meteoric drop in performance; remember Freo without Fyfe.


Maybe we should at the least acknowledge that we’ve done the same to others – most recently Grundy’s goal against Richmond last year.


It’s not often that you hear from a ‘reasonable man’ regarding footy supporters. Go to “Go and do likewise – just as we support the Pies, through good and bad, recognise that others are the same for their teams“. Of course, this restriction doesn’t apply to supporters of Carlton, Geelong, Sydney, Essendon, Footescray (not a typo) or Richmond (or a couple of others); Did I miss any that matter? Go Pies.


Last Weekend?


Magpies Netball: Round 12 – a very solid win against the NSW Swifts 62 to 50. That is four wins from the last five games and places us very clearly in the four – with a significant gap opening up. My only caution is that we held the solid 10 point lead at half time  but only extended this to a 12 point winning margin. Like the AFL/VFL sides, winning is habit-forming and needs to be followed through – “win and win well”. Well done, Ladies. Match Report at




Not, awful, like last week; just really, really disappointing – 15.12.102 to 15.9.99. It appeared to me during the 2nd half that there was no plan or no control; everything appeared based on individual decisions. Exceptions existed, and were always worth watching, as a flow of possession accelerated out of the backline and ended up with a score from a leading Forward. Unfortunately the majority of possessions didn’t reflect this.


Match Report and comments –, and; Buck’s comments:


Our Best: A pretty fair listing: Adams, Grundy, Sidebottom, Howe, Pendles and Wells. I’d add Elliott to that list – he worked very hard. I’d also note that I think Grundy beat Mumford (well done to Grundy being selected in the Team of the Week in that position); a competition that should have been game-winning. If you accept that then you have to accept that their mids beat ours – transitioning Hit Outs into Clearances.


Check the statistics: Pretty even statistics across the whole game in most areas; even our Disposal Efficiency was identical (numbers equal with DE of 80% or more). Very obviously we destroyed them in Q1, and they reciprocated in Q2, then even. A couple of exceptions where the difference was marked: 1. Clangers – we had 15 players with 2 or more Clangers (De Goey led ours with five); they had 10 (led by Mumford with four). 2. Interchange.  They had 66 interchanges against our 88, very clearly reflecting the reduction of their bench to two in the 2nd half.


Implications for us? The dominance of the Clearances and Inside 50 early on indicated broad midfield success; even forward line success – why did this drop off? Conversion into Marks Inside 50 again was nowhere near good enough though I thought the restructured Forward Line worked well with little penalty to the Backs. Remember my comment last week regarding crumbing in front of and behind packs? What can happen?  Oh yes, you can lose a game through a vague, ‘wandering’ ball off a pack that an ancient player that happens to have the ball drop into his arms gathers and scores. Congrats, Stevie J – I used to have a bit of a soft spot for him; probably not anymore. There were still instances of relatively easy ball turnovers from our kick-ins. We must fix this.


What stood out? The total domination in Q1; the total domination by them in Q2; the lack of any apparent plan or control through the 2nd half. And the very ordinary crowd – 11,360 (and it looked even less with the empty seats – it supposedly holds 24,000) – you’d do better than that if you came to Canberra. Now there’s an idea. Your thoughts?


VFL. Round 4 – Another loss, this one against Werribee at Wangaratta. Did anyone go for a drive? Match report and comments – People who performed (amongst others) – Brown (31 touches, 10 Clearances, 7 Tackles and 1 Goal; apparently Gavin Brown, father of, is involved in the Werribee coaching so was an interested spectator from both perspectives), Scharenberg (again; 34 touches in his last two games), Crocker and Thomas.




Next week?


Magpies Netball


Round 12 – Saturday, 20 May. Versus West Coast Fever in Perth; tip off – 6.45pm (local time).  We are still sitting fourth and the Fever are second bottom. We beat them 56 to 43 in Round 8, so we should expect to be able to dominate this one – go for the goal difference score. Game coverage on 9Gem. Go girls.


To know more about the team and the game go to: and




Our Game? Round 9 – Collingwood vs Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday, 20 May; bounce 7.25pm.  Every game is critical to us, every week. Note, you will be able to go to the VFL game at the Holden Centre, bounce 3.45pm, and then walk across to the G to watch the main game, bounce at 7.25pm.


Teams. Selections on Thursday evening. Go to




Hawthorn. Hawthorn are sitting in 14th place with 3 wins from 8 games and a percentage of  76.5%. But they are coming off two wins against Melbourne (close) and the Brisbane Lions (not close). They last lost to us in the 2011 Preliminary Final – we are way overdue.  But Hawthorn, in addition to the loss of some key players at trade last year have had a serious run of injuries of late. But they are a great Club and have demonstrated they can weather any storm. As above, right now Hawthorn scares me more than many other teams – probably more than any other team except Adelaide in Adelaide.


Things & People to watch for?  As above, Hawthorn are hurting badly – Rioli out of the Forward Line, Stratton and Frawley have been added to Birchall’s absence in the Backline.  But their routine Best, this season, has included Mitchell, Burgoyne and Hodge amongst the Mids but few outside this. Interestingly, Roughead at FF and McEvoy in the ruck have not been much sighted.


Implications? We need to watch and shut down Mitchell (tagged by Greenwood?) and seek to gain and leverage off our domination of the ruck (over McEvoy) and to win the battle of the Mids (see Clearance statistics – both Centre and Stoppages). We need to man up in the Backline to avoid ‘easy goals’ by unmanned Forwards or off packs. I don’t really rate either their forward line or backline, with the recent injuries, so if you wanted to experiment, now is the time. What to try? See below. Your thoughts?




Sitting in 17th place on the Ladder (there are only 18 teams in the competition) with a percentage of 91.4%. But we’re coming off two losses – Carlton (a disgrace) and GWS (disappointing), but we’ve demonstrated the ability “to play”; the question is “Will we come to play?”.


Mids. Treloar back. Greenwood onto Mitchell? Maybe move Pendles out. A general comment – our mids must stop wasting our Clearances – we must start looking where our Mids are passing to – reduce the Clangers; seek to achieve 100% DE.


Backs. There are a few Backs who could come in to the side – Scharenberg and Ramsay, including a replacement for a shift of Howe. Consider extra man into defence


Forwards. Maybe keep considering Pendles to CHF; shift Howe to FF (Is the Hawthorn Howe a relative?) to replace Reid and consider bringing Crocker (and/or maybe Mayne) in. Maybe consider Brown?


Game Plan. A few suggestions:

  1. Flexibility. Let’s see some Coaching Box influence during the game – “be prepared” tasking that actually happens during the game.
  2. Communication. Let’s see greater on-field control with the leadership group directing traffic, players letting each other know when they are clear, or at risk.
  3. Kick-ins.  The same as last week, and the week before, etc, etc, etc.
  4. Close Marking. Let’s have close-marking of their Forward Line, particularly off packs and watching for free Forwards – Roughead (close tag by Dunn?)?  Consider an extra man into the Backline to work as ‘third-man up’ and to cover Backs going for intercept marks, which is terrific (remember Frosty).


Other ideas or changes?  What do you think?


We should win this.



Weather?  Melbourne – Clearing showers, following a wet Friday. Expect the ball and ground to be slippery – avoid the moulded sole boots; consider long sleeves.



Game Previews:



My PicksPies by 39 points. BOG: Treloar – 31 touches.  Darcy – one Goal; Howe – four goals; Crocker – two goals.  Crowd: 73,000.  Best competition: Greenwood vs Mitchell.


TV?  No Free to Air coverage.  Find a friend with Foxtel.


VFL. Round 6 – Saturday, 20 May. Versus Box Hill Hawks at the Holden Centre; bounce – 3.45pm.  Who to watch in our side (if not in the AFL side) – Scharenberg, Blair, Keeffe, Brown, Daicos, Crocker; others?




Other Things:



The Future? 


The season – go to


More generally, watch. It’s never over till it’s over.


Reporting.  C’mon – your Reports? 


Footy Almanac. Remember our little brief gets lodged on-line at the Footy Almanac site at Worth a quick look-see. I’ve included a couple of references from there in the discussion, above.


Go Pies.



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