Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: The draw

True Believers, g’day to all. Well, I think that’s it – we can’t even make the Finals with a miracle, now. And what an extraordinary game – a draw after being 50 points up at Half Time.

And, while it is never one kick or one missed tackle or one missed spoil or some other single event that leads to a Loss, I’m sure that last kick-in is likely to reappear in a few players’ dreams (nightmares) for quite a while.

The Weekend?


A Draw, with the first placed Crows, 15.13.103 to 16.7.103. Is that a good result? See the Agenda, link below: Before the game, if you were asked “Would you, without Pendles, accept a draw against the ladder leader?” Yeah, except that as a Pies supporter you are never satisfied with anything other than a win. If we played like that first half no opposition team could defeat us. And the reverse, if we played like our second half (with that 3-Goal exception period).

Match Reports at  and

Buck’s wrath at

An extraordinary game (yep, I know, I already said that). The first half – magnificent; it’s why we love ‘footy’; and recognise why we have such faith in our team. The second half (apart from those three successive goals in the final quarter, we lost our direct pressure on them. When they ‘got possession’, it seemed that a goal was inevitable, and usually was.  They played ‘around’ us. We also seemed to slow, looking tired. In a number of ways, a Draw was probably a fair result, given each sides’ domination for half the game. But, as Pies supporters we would never accept that. I was hugely impressed by the ‘Colling..wood’ chant from a particularly small crowd half-way through the last quarter – pity of about being a trifle premature.


The Numbers Game. A big step forward regarding our exploitation of our possessions in the First Half. Our Midfield dominated throughout, leading to an advantage in Inside 50s.  But their Marks Inside 50 were much, much better than ours, though I’ve got to observe this advantage to them didn’t translate materially into scoring shots or Goals. Once again, hard to look too closely without a better breakdown.


Best? Bucks highlighted the unquestioned effort across the ground. I agree. I think to be fair you’d need to measure best, largely and quite distinctly, in the first half, and then in the Second (yes, all right, that period in the final quarter when we kicked three successive and unanswered Goals also might fit better in the first quarter consideration. Named: Wells, Sidebottom, Adams, Howe and Moore (I applaud Moore in the ruck as well as some of his wonderful marks up the ground). I’d also add Greenwood who pretty effectively shut down Sloane. Not sure who was minding M. Crouch? In fact, I’d have difficulty identifying anyone that didn’t contribute at some point. Well done to all. Once again, I think we need to have Schade to be able to lock down a key, strong Forward – in this case, Jenkins; the week before – Kennedy, both of whom got away from us at critical times.

Even though we can’t make the Finals, there is absolutely no point in ‘playing it safe’. See suggestions below.

VFL. A loss, and our probable missing the VFL Finals. Essendon beat us 15.10.100 to 13.8.86. Match reporting at and Some good individual performances – Kirby and Ramsay.

Next week?


This Week? Round 20 – versus North Melbourne at Etihad on Saturday, 5 August; bounce 7.45pm. See below re attending both the VFL and AFL games at Etihad.

Them. North have had an even worse season than ours – 5 Wins from 18 games. They are sitting 16th on the Ladder with a percentage of 89.0% a few places below our 13th place and 96.9%.  Since their Bye in Round 12, they’ve accumulated 6 Losses, until last weekend when they beat Melbourne by 4 points; but apart from a thrashing by Port in Round 17, each of their Losses has been (reasonably) close (Bulldogs by 1 point in Round 14; Freo by 4 points in Round 16). After us? Well they face off against Hawthorn, St Kilda and Brisbane (in Brisbane), while we have Port (in Adelaide), Geelong and Melbourne to finish the season.

People / Things to watch for? Well firstly watch Marley Williams to see how our ex-Pie is travelling (after five seasons with us). Tarrant at full back is another favourite Pie name (and position) – a serious ‘All Australian’ contender – remember his big brother? Okay, their Mids are impressive – Higgins and Ziebell; (sharing ruck rover duties), Cunnington and Goldstein (or Majak Daw) in the ruck; McDonald in the HF Line and Brown at FF complete the usual ‘Best’. Anyone else?

Implications. Keep trying different things. The game will swing on the basis of MID domination – we should win that; with particular attention to Grundy vs Goldstein – see below re bringing Keeffe in, though Moore did well last week. If Pendles is back, put him into the HF Line? Schade onto Brown? Maybe even consider the extra man in defence, something that could have influenced last week’s third quarter.

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

Ins / Outs / Maybe’s? Outs – not sure.  Ins – As per the above – let’s try some different things – Keeffe, Schade, and Kirby in.

Game Plan? Okay’ish. As per last week, it’s almost too late in the season to make a difference, but keep trying. Use the ‘corridor’ as much as we can. Tie up our kick-in planning (unlike our last kick-in last week).

What do you think?

We should win this, and win it well. Let’s pursue a bit of ‘killer-instinct’ that we can take into next year.

Weather? Indoors, again. Who cares.

Game Previews:

  • AFL Match Day Preview – There in the next few days. Their prediction is not there yet, but the betting is: $1.48 to $2.65 – we are favourites.
  • Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at in the next few days.
  • The Age Preview – Should be at also in a few days.
  • Expert Tips – will be at Everyone got it wrong last week – 22 to 2 picked an Adelaide Win; with two, including Mr Shorten, picking the Pies.  This week, after our last two performances, I suspect ‘the experts’ will be a little more balanced. Watch and see.


My PicksPies by 19 points. BOG: Treloar – 34 touches @ 87.6% DE.  Reid – four Goals; Kirby – four Goals; Elliott and Fasolo – four Goal Assists each.  Crowd: 53,000. Best competition: Grundy / Keeffe vs Daw.

TV? 7mate from 7.00pm.


This weekend Round16 – versus Werribee at Etihad on Saturday, 5 August; bounce 3.00pm.  A good afternoon’s footy – VFL game at 3.00 followed by the AFL game at 7.45pm?

Werribee are sitting at   8th on the Ladder with a percentage of 88.1% compared with our 11th place and 87.9% so not too much difference, but Weribee are coming off a close in over Port Melbourne but a terrible Loss to the Hawks the week before. So? Anyone’s game. Go Pies.

Who to watch for in our side? Well it depends who gets pulled into the AFL side. Of those remaining look for those suggested above plus, of course, Daicos (probably out, injured), and Brown.


Other Things:

·         ‘Eddie Watch’.  Nothing?

·         For the Canberrans?  GWS vs Melbourne at Manuka on Saturday, 5 August; bounce 1.45pm – encourage AFL into Canberra. I have to admit that looking at some of the GWS crowds in Sydney, I don’t know why they don’t play more here – even some of the ‘big’ teams, like Collingwood?

The Future? I want to highlight an article by Patrick Smith in the Weekend Australian – worth a read.

From Bucks’ interview after the game: “I’m passionate to coach this group of blokes every week”. Well said. Does anyone think he could have done something else during the game?  I don’t (for once). We are heading towards a pretty solid 2018.

Welcome your views?

Reporting. C’mon people – your Reports? Is anyone getting to the games?

Footy Almanac.  The Footy Almanac site includes us and others.  See: And other’s view: Worth a browse.

Go Pies.



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