Dr Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Collingwood v Geelong

Greetings, True Believers.

‘All Quiet on the Southern Front’.  It’s almost like nobody’s noticed.  There we were sitting on the Top of the Ladder for most of the weekend until Freo’s game finished, now we are sitting Second.  Haven’t all the pundits gone quiet?  We need to keep progressing game by game, week by week, preferably under the radar of the ‘biggies’ – let them batter each other into submission leaving their teams with huge injury and suspension gaps.  I agree with Bucks that we have a lot of room for improvement in us, still. He is absolutely correct in stating that the team have taken huge steps forward this season, but the tests keep coming, every week.  This is another such test.

This game:  Friday night (again), 8 May 2015. 
Bounce: 7.50pm, The G. 
Now Geelong.

A great performance last week on top of the week before – for many of us (most?) wins against Carlton and Essendon figure highly on the ‘Season success’ assessment regardless of our final place.  In my view you can add Geelong to that pair.  After boarding at school in Geelong for eight years, having three brothers and a sister who are seriously feral Geelong supporters and following Geelong’s genuine run of success over the last decade or so, I am particularly focussed on beating them.  They are not quite at the Carlton and Essendon level, but are close.  I used to go to games at Kardinia Park (an afternoon out on Saturday – nice to escape for a while), David Clarke was a year ahead of me at school (one of the very few First Year VFL players ever to be picked and play for Victoria in his first year) and, even further back, Gareth Andrews was School Vice Captain (Paul Sheahan was school Captain that year – used to play a bit of cricket, if I remember).

Them and Us:

Us: We need to tighten up our Centre bounce control or the better sides are going get control of the ball in the Centre and punch it forward.  I like seeing Witts in.  And I’d like to see Karnezis get a longer run up front.  He has done okay in limited periods, so far – beautiful, very confident kick (two goals from two Quarters in two games, so far) plus a pack of Disposals given his limited time on the ground. We need to continue to work on our application, our commitment, our ferocity – the hallmark of our games this season.

Them: Once again I have asked  a supporter of our opponent to provide some comment.  My brother, Andrew, has provided this.  It is included unchanged below:

“Geelong is unlikely to get up against a resurgent Pies.

There is no doubt that the Geelong team that has been in place for so many years is now fractured and (we) are left with a mixture of the old game plan and varieties of new. Scotty hasn’t seemed to been able to merge the old style and the emerging styles into a coherent game plan.  He may well have to wait until more of the seniors have left (shift in their authority) before we see an effective plan.  So how has Hawthorn achieved it? That is a good question.

The Mid fielders are talented, but they don’t have the grit that many other clubs do (if you had watched the Bulldogs last weekend, you would know what I mean). So I expect Collingwood to dominate the Centre. Collingwood will also win in their Forward line as the Geelong Backline appears broken. Geelong can win if their Forward line fires.  There are just so many talented players in the Forward line, we just need them to find the model to work with.

Geelong has got some outstanding individuals, but are no longer clicking as a team.  There seems to be no plan.  Collingwood has that over the last few seasons, but seem to have the team mechanics now working.

Collingwood will beat Geelong by between 30 and 50 points.”

I am a little less confident than this.  Geelong beat Richmond last week by 9 points after holding a 5 goal lead at Half Time (3 goal lead at Three Quarter Time).  This followed (working backwards) a loss to North, a narrow win against GWS at Kardinia Park and thumpings by Freo and Hawthorn to start the season – a fairly unimpressive start to the season unless you take into account the teams they’ve faced – I actually rate all of them (including GWS).  Friday is almost a watershed game – both sides need to win.  Us, because it will demonstrate that we continue to improve and that we can’t be discounted.  We will start to frighten the competition; Geelong, because they’ve had a difficult start to the season against the best teams but, on the back of a win, could claim now to be heading back on track. Their individual Best last week included a couple of Backs, a couple of Wings and Hawkins and Walker at FF and CHF.  Individual performance over the season, so far, has been pretty broadly spread – multiple Best include Rivers (FB), Gregson & Walker (HF) and Selwood (C). Notably (and of interest to me) their on-ballers have not been picked amongst their Best – Simpson, Blicavs and Guthrie.  The club is thinking that Steve Johnson will emerge from a quiet recent past – watch and tag?  Other taggers?   Maybe get Trav to tag Rivers?  How about Goldsack onto Hawkins (or maybe Frost? Is there anything that boy can’t do?)?  Kelly (out for a month) will be a significant loss to Geelong – he had been consistently playing well.  What do you think?

David Natoli is back with his game preview. Welcome back, sir.

Weather.  17 degrees maximum; cloudy, windy with a reducing (through the day) chance of showers, but we may have a wet ground, hence a wet ball.

My predictions:  Pies by 31; BOG – Frost (11 touches); Trav – 4 goals; Karnezis – 3; Most notable – Pendlebury – 100% disposal efficiency.

Your guesses?



Eddie Watch:  I’m relieved, Eddie’s out there.

All the Collingwood VFL news

Drug Tests – B samples – Again, from Eddie and Bucks – nothing yet. CLICK HERE or HERE.  They expect to find out in the papers – I hope not.

Injuries.  Sometimes you have to wonder at the competence of our professional coaches and fitness experts’ management of their ‘charges’.  But then you run into (pun intended) the fact that our game is a contact sport.  Now it is Round 6, with many to go.  Have a look at the Injury List for us and the other clubs.  Our List includes 2 temporarily suspended, 8 available or for testing leaving 5 with injuries of two or more weeks expected non-availability.  The availability of players is usually further extended by their routine return to the AFL side through VFL team games.  Injuries have given a huge opportunity for some of our younger players to perform – and they grabbed this with both hands.  Now the killer question – who would you replace in our AFL side, even with those from our Injury List?

Send-off / sin bin rule:  Under debate, againWhat do you think?


Go Pies.


  1. David Zampatti says

    This is a complete mystery game. If West Coast, with their wins against Carlton, the Lions and GWS are universally dismissed as downhill skiers, then Collingwood (Lions, Saints, the Cold Turkeys and Carlton) have done nothing more than fall off a log. The Cats may have only beaten the Suns and the Tiges, but their losses have been to the last two years’ premier, the next two years’ premier, and Norths.

    We’ll see.

  2. David Zampatti says

    And so we did.

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