Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: ‘There are days when you could give it up’

True Believers, 


There are days when the lyrics of Up there Cazaly ring so true. An excerpt:


“There are days when you could give it up”


(the next line, though incorrect, maybe, for Collingwood supporters, should have been):


“There are days when you could cry

You either love it or hate it

Depending on the score”


Sort of works for Monday’s game. 28 points up just before half time; then the wheels fell off. More below.


Detail and predictions for AFL Round 14 next week (after I’ve recovered a bit).


Go Pies.




Last Weekend?




Melbourne beat us 15.14.104 to 15.10.100; ‘Watts’ had his revenge. We were frightening in the first half; they responded accordingly in the second. A close result, but a loss nevertheless. Instead of coming out of our bye in 5th or 6th place we slip to 11th – with challenges every week; not unachievable, just harder.


Match Reports and comments – and and, referring to Watts’ 2009 debut (plus stuff from the other games) – Buck’s comments:


Agenda. See


Our Best: Looked at across the whole game I would include Sidebottom, Treloar, Howe, Maynard and Broomhead. Fas did well up forward (including his Goal Assists) and Pendles was everywhere; plus throw in Aish (easily recognised with his head gear), De Goey and Dunn, who each tried hard.  For the reasons described below, I would not include Grundy this time regardless of how many Hit Outs (HO) he got (maybe assess as ‘effective HO’?).  A few had indifferent days at the office – Adams, Smith and Hoskin-Elliott. And didn’t we miss Elliott (and Varcoe) – watch this space in the future.


Check the statistics: The game statistics reflect the game, but without the breakdown by Quarter it is difficult to see how the game evolved – we dominated the 1st half; they did the 2nd (though I thought our fight-back in the Q4 was pretty good). But, again, the numbers don’t explain Why? Some observations that impacted on our achievement:

  • Exploiting Advantage 1. HO were won by us 65 to 14 (yep, not a typo; quite extraordinary; glad Gawn was missing), however total Clearances were even at 35 each. Grundy consistently won the HO but frequently palmed directly to one of the Melbourne Mids (I think the term is “direct to advantage”), who accepted the ball and drove it forward (scoring the Clearance). Our Clearances in the 1st Half were great, but we didn’t exploit this advantage; their Clearances, in the 2nd Half were outstanding and they exploited this advantage. Their mids did better in this critical role than us across the game. Accordingly, I would not place Grundy at second in our Best (see below) listing as some have.
  • Exploiting Advantage 2. Inside 50s were about even across the game – 61 (Pies) / 57 (Demons), turning into (approximately) even Marks inside 50 (14 (Pies) to 16 (Demons)). But these numbers converted into Scoring shots of 25 to 29 with even Goals scored of 15 each. The advantage we had at the HO does not reflect the advantage that should have accrued to us. Note that this criticism, this week, targets our Mids (mostly), less our Forwards.
  • Disposal Efficiency (DE). About the same, but way too many wasting possessions – 4 (Pies) vs 5 (Demons) equal or more than 80% DE.
  • Clangers, again, very similar numbers – 18 (Pies) vs 17 (Demons) with 2 or more Clangers.  Critical comment, as above, re wasted possessions.  And this was just the mids; I saw exactly the same as Backs sought to clear the ball, kicking the ball as hard and as far as possible with little consideration of who it was going to. It’s almost like we are better when linking by handball, rather than foot passes.



  • We had a few ‘soft goals’ against us because their forwards, on occasion, got away from us. Who was ‘on Petracca’ in the 2nd half? Was there a coach’s response to his sudden significance?  I think I would have tagged him – not sure who with – I think Schade was a little unlucky to be dropped a few weeks back. He is a strong, mobile Back who did well against Buddy a few weeks back.  Interesting observation how frequently Pendles was ‘way Back’ trying to clear the ball. Our kick-ins were okay. And Howe’s marks – simply wonderful.
  • Better leading by each. I think Darcy was ‘double-teamed’ but still took a couple of beauties. The others contributed well – great considered response by Fas to another player rather than just blazing away was a key example. Didn’t we miss Elliott?
  • Our ‘League best’ midfield was, I think, beaten (see statistics, above). Jones (actually, during the whole game) and Viney both cut loose in the 2nd Half, therefore where was the coach’s ‘counter’ response?  In my view it is at this point that the coach needs to influence the game – to try different things.
  • Our kicking at goal was much improved (15 Goals to 10 Behinds to ‘how many’ OOBOTF). The field kicking, however, included multiple ‘no pressure turnovers’ where the ball was misdirected – awful.  I’m tired of being accused of being a ‘bad loser’, and I don’t want to be fined by the AFL (see Footy Almanac link, below) but the situation regarding Frees was poor.  While Melbourne had 23 to our 19 Frees (which is a substantial percentage difference), I was more concerned at where and when they were awarded – It seemed to me that they received many in scoreable or at critical times. I would welcome advice to the contrary, if it was available.


What stood out? The difference in Collingwood’s playing style – Collingwood were magnificent during the 1st and 2nd quarters (though we didn’t exploit the dominance in the 1st) and the ‘fast-flow’ ball handling was terrific at every point. That all changed in the 2nd half. Reasons? It seemed to me the loss of Clearances from the Centre was particularly of concern; as was the occasional (and almost always critical) misdirection of a field pass. Frees to them, including the occasional 50m penalty (really?) didn’t help. What else? Howe – magnificent. It’s the reason we love our great game.


Your thoughts?


VFL. Another loss. Go to: Who did well? – note Blair, Mayne, Ramsay and Keeffe. Note my comments, above, re Schade. Also check:


Next week?


Netball. The Grand Final of the inaugural Super Netball competition is between the Sunshine Coast Lightning and the Western Sydney Giants on Saturday, 17 June in Brisbane; tip off at 7.00pm. TV coverage on 9Gem.


Football. A bye for both AFL and VFL teams (thank God; I think we need it). The near future:

  • Round 14 – Port at the MCG;
  • Round 15 – Hawthorn at the G;
  • Round 16 – Essendon at the G;
  • Round 17 – GC at Metricon; and
  • Round 18 – Eagles at the G.

Every one of these games is winnable. Each is now ‘season-defining’. I see the games against Port and Essendon as particularly challenging, though if you want to get into the Finals it is not enough just to get there; you have to be competitive in the finals (a very different beast) heading towards the Grand Final.


Preview of the Port game next week. Hopefully Reid and Varcoe, and maybe Elliott, might be available.


The Future? 



A loss from 28 points up? How can one coach motivate a recovery like Melbourne’s and the other not? Perhaps Bucks needs a bit more motivation like his quarter time against Freo?


And note Bucks’ comments re his continuation at the Pies –  Worth reading.


Us? See further optimism next week.




What is Maxy up to? Go to


Welcome your views?


ReportingC’mon people – your Reports? I know a few of you were there.


Footy AlmanacThe Footy Almanac site includes other informed comment – we are not unique! See: Worth a quick look-see.


Go Pies.




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