Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: The Bad Times

True Believers,

 

G’day to all; two to go! Then into the ‘Bad Times’. Regardless of our success (or lack thereof) in about two weeks we’ll be sitting on our hands wondering whether to follow other teams in the finals or pursuing something else. The ‘Bad Times’ are that period from our last game of the season through to the start of the next (okay, you can finish earlier with a bit of a look at the pre-season practice matches). Alternatives? Well, you could pencil in a few:

·         Cricket – various locations and times, now that strike action has been averted – 1st        Test, Brisbane: 23 – 27 November; 2nd Test, Adelaide: 2 – 6 December; 3rd Test, Perth: 14 – 18 December; 4th Test, Melbourne: 26 – 30 December; 5th Test, Sydney: 4 – 8 January.

·         Horse racing – as above, including the much vaunted Melbourne Spring Carnival.

·         23 – 30 September: Invictus Games, Toronto.

·         24 September – 1 October: Rowing World Championships.

·         American Football – various locations and times.  Go Redskins.

·         14 October: World Ironman Championship, Hawaii.

·         27 October – 2 December: Rugby League World Cup, Australia, NZ, PNG.

·         16 November – 2 December: Rugby League Women’s World Cup, Australia.

·         15 – 28 January: Australian Open.

·         9 – 25 February: Winter Olympics, South Korea.

·         9 – 18 March: Winter Paralympics, South Korea.

This list just includes a few of my ‘faves’ (and excludes a few notables). Enjoy.

Back to important stuff: 5th versus 12th? What did you expect? To have expected a different outcome would have been to expect multiple miracles on two occasions out of three weeks. Highly optimistic, indeed.

The Weekend?

AFL:

A loss to 5th placed Port Adelaide 14.14.98 to 10.11.71. The final score is not that indicative – it was a very close game to late in the final quarter.

Match Reports at http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2017/21/port-v-coll and http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2017-08-13/report-gallant-pies-fall-short.

Buck’s comments at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2017-08-13/buckley-reflects-on-port-defeat.

A pretty good performance, with some key players missing. The effort throughout was fantastic – Tackles 20 to 2 in our favour in Q1; they came back but we ended substantially ahead 64 to 48. While the Tackles were great, what was disappointing was that so many did not result in a turnover in our favour.  Cox did well in the ruck – however Grundy was missed.  And Cox can take a good grab, but needs to work on his kicking.  Consistency also needs to be pursued – Hoskin-Elliott had 8 possessions in Q1 @100% Disposal Efficiency, but ended up with 15 @ 86.7% for the game. I think it was the speed of delivery into our Forward line (way too slow) that made life difficult. But the effort involved was fantastic – notably in a hostile environment, with little to play for – a great achievement.

How would I describe it? We never gave up. Port used their Inside 50s well; actually, the Grays (Sam and Robbie), Wines, Dixon, plus a few others, seemed to be ever-free. The turnovers they achieved against us turned into Goals. Did Brown go to tag Wines after Half Time? A good move if so.  I do think we, occasionally, need to strengthen our Backline – an extra man.  And I thought the umpiring was poor – tend to agree with criticism of ‘home-town’ influenced decisions. Once again, it is not the comparison of Frees awarded, but where and when they were awarded that is critical. While Reid was a notable recipient, there were many others ‘missed’. And we have to stop letting opponents score just before the breaks.

Best? Sidebottom (a great Captain), Reid (4; could have had a couple more; note the shift of focus off Darcy when Reid is up Forwards), Adams & Treloar (great endeavour by both), Crisp and Howe (magnificent intercept marking). A pretty good team effort. Well done to all. There are a few changes in the offing – Kirby vice Fas? Blair was also quiet. We need Keeffe in; and Schade.

VFL. A good Win over North Ballarat 19.14.128 to 6.5.41 and lo and behold, into the Eight.  Wins against Geelong and Port Melbourne in the next two weeks will fix them in the Finals – Geelong next week (Holden Centre). Match reporting at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2017-08-13/vfl-pies-charge-into-top-eight andhttp://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=124787015&c=1-118-0-436949-0&pool=1. Good performances: Kelly, Ramsay, Broomhead. Kirby only got one.

Next week?

AFL.

Next  Week? Round 22 – versus Geelong at the G on Saturday, 19 August; bounce: 2.10pm. Note that you could catch the VFL game at the Holden Centre before the AFL game.

Them. Geelong are sitting 3rd on the Ladder, 10 places above us. But we have worked them out and have demonstrated the ability to beat them pretty consistently (I think we’ve beaten them six out of the last eight games). We know how to do it, the people are the same and the game is there to be Won.

People / Things to watch for. Geelong have an interesting season but deserve their place.  Since their Round 12 Bye they’ve produced five Wins, one Draw and three Losses.  They are coming off a steady (14 point) Win against Richmond (a surprise to me because Richmond were simply unbelievable the week before), but the week before Geelong were hammered by Sydney (at Kardinia Park).  Other results include their Draw with GWS (in Sydney) and Losses to Adelaide (in Adelaide) and the WCE (in Perth).  Their Midfield is superb (nearly as good as ours) however is missing Joel Selwood (Who to sic Greenwood onto, if he’s fit?).  Dangerfield and Duncan (when available) round out their capability.  Interestingly, their CHB (Henderson) and CHF (Taylor) both made the Team of the Week for last week’s game, though their performance has been a little up and down across the season. Also? Oh yes, Hawkins is still out, but Duncan will be back. Anyone else?

Implications. Regardless of Cox’ reasonable performance, I would bring Keeffe in to the ruck role. The critical thing here is not just winning the Hit Outs, it is the ‘Hit Outs to Advantage’ and resultant Clearances.  As last week, watch the crumbing around both the Forward and Back packs. This game will be won in the Midfield – In Selwood’s absence, watch Duncan and Dangerfield – Maybe tag one of them.

Us.  As above, we’ve nothing to lose – so go for it.

Ins / Outs / Maybe’s? Outs – maybe a number still out hurt (Greenwood and Wells; both with ? Also Goldsack?) plus Grundy and Pendles (for the season). Rest Fas. Ins – As per the above – let’s try some different things – Keeffe, Schade, and Kirby in.  Who else?

Game Plan?  Okay’ish.  As per last week, it’s almost too late in the season to make a difference, but keep trying. This game is interesting because we have demonstrated we can beat Geelong and every other team in the Eight will be watching to see how we do it.  Dominate the Midfield (with Joel Selwood out, the most dangerous are Duncan and Dangerfield) – win the Clearances.  Use the ‘corridor’ as much as we can. Shut down a couple of their ‘stars’ outside the Midfield –Taylor & Henderson, Guthrie. Tie up our kick-in planning.  There is a bit of a balance regarding Ins and Outs for each side – could be a good game.  Our Outs are not yet clear.

What do you think?

We should win this, again.

Weather? Melbourne – might be wet and slippery (see the attached Melbourne sun-shower).

Game Previews:

·         Agenda. Michael Christian’s Agenda with Jay Clark from the Herald-Sun at the Pies website. There now.  Go to http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2017-08-14/does-reid-stay-forward-permanently.

·         AFL Match Day Preview –  http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2017/22/coll-v-geel.  There now.  Their prediction: Geelong by 19.

  • Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/ in the next few days.
  • The Age Preview – Should be at http://www.theage.com.au/afl also in a few days.
  • Expert Tips – will be at http://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters.  Not sure this week – logic says “pick Geelong”; experience says “Collingwood knows how to beat Geelong”.  Watch and see.

 

My Picks.  Pies by 7 points. BOG: Adams – 31 touches @ 87.1% DE.  Darcy – two Goals; Reid – three Goals; Kirby – four Goals.  Crowd: 73,000.  Best competition: Adams vs Duncan.

TV?  No Free to Air. Find a friend with Fox or see you at Eastlake (for Canberrans).

VFL:

This weekend Round18 – versus Geelong at the Holden Centre on Saturday, 19 August; bounce 10.45 am.  An easy walk to the G to catch both games.

Geelong are sitting at 12th below our 8th place.  So, for once we are the solid favourite.  Go Pies.

Who to watch for in our side? Well it depends who gets pulled into the AFL side.

The other point regarding VFL teams heading towards the Finals requires players, I think after the first Final, to have met the requirement regarding the number of VFL games played.  This needs to be checked.  I am not suggesting we ‘stack’ the VFL team; just that this is taken into account.

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Other Things:

·         ‘Eddie Watch’.  Nothing.  Very concerning when Eddie is quiet.

 

The Future?

Media speculation about Ross Lyon?  Go to http://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/afl/youve-got-to-have-a-good-look-at-yourself/ar-AAq1kMP?li=AA54yd&ocid=ientp.  C’mon, get real.

Welcome your views?

Reporting. C’mon people – Reports pls?  Thanks, Elizabeth for yours last week.

Footy Almanac.  The Footy Almanac site includes us and others.  See: https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/.  Floreat Pica Society view – always worth a look: https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/round-21-port-adelaide-v-collingwood-solid-effort-falling-short-for-the-floreat-pica-society/

Go Pies.

Cam.

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