Cam Hooke’s Collingwood life: Round 21 preview

Brother & Sister True Believers,


After last week’s debacle it is a little difficult to know where to start.  Which Pies team will take the field on Saturday – the gutsy, never stop trying, ‘collective’ team we saw against Adelaide a couple of weeks ago, or the other one?  I couldn’t bring myself to make any comments on that game, nor on the contribution the individuals made (or didn’t) to the ‘team effort’.


Apologies to those who know more about this than I do (as many of you do), but it gives a useful context and is educational for some.  The first thing I look for, to reinforce my own observations after a game, is the Disposal Efficiency. This figure impacts on the value of the number of Disposals recorded for an individual; Disposals, by themselves, can be misleading.  If Pendles had 31 Disposals (as he did) but 74.2% Disposal Efficiency (DE), his ‘contribution’ should be lessened by (about) a quarter.  Compare Armstrong (19 Disposals @ 84.2% DE) with Ben Kennedy (21 Disposals @ 61.9% DE) and you see Armstrong’s contribution was substantially higher (16.00 c/f 13.00 (the units of measurement don’t matter, just the comparison)).  Last week we had only 7 players with DE over 80%.  Similarly, we had 10 players who had 3 (or more) Clangers – where the ball is delivered directly to an opponent.  I love and value hugely Harry’s commitment but 15 Disposals at 60% DE and 7 Clangers was not a great day at the office.  It is always worth a look at the Match Report FULL-TIME STATS / ADVANCED STATS at and look at the statistical categories.  Remember that the position played also affects this – the Backline, more inclined to ‘punch’ than mark will get more ‘1%’er’ numbers than the Forwards or Mids (Keeffe and Frost – 5 each).  Tackles are a good measure across the ground in attack and defence (Elliott, Blair and Goldsack with  9, 8 and 7 respectively).


So what did last week show us?  It showed that our opponent’s pressure never let up (apart from that Second Quarter period – my observation, not statistics) and we wilted.  We got slaughtered at Contested Possessions (152 to 125), Hit Outs, Clearances & Stoppages (all combined: 149 to 83) and Free Kicks ( 27 to 10).  I have to say that I was surprised at the “head-high” tackling by our players, quite correctly (I’m sad to say) being ‘pinged’. Overall, the Pies players never had time to steady before disposing of the ball.  They looked rushed, uncertain of what option to take and unsure about “where to go”; and this got worse as the game progressed. The final Quarter was a trial, for supporters and players.  My suggested focus before that game sought to pursue effort/application, kick-ins, avenues to goal and clearances.  We were roundly beaten on every one of these.


This Game. Saturday, 16 August; Bounce: 7.40pm. The Brisbane Lions at the G. Ladder position: 9th (us) versus 15th; Percentage: 100.9% (us) vs 67.1% – seemingly, based on the Ladder, we are well ahead.  Melbourne weather:  Cool (14 deg), no rain, no wind; perfect conditions – no excuses.  Both teams have a recent “rocky” history. Over the last five weeks the Lions have the following results: Loss (L) to Sydney (respectable loss), L – WCE (again respectable), W – GC (well won), W – Melbourne and L – Adelaide (well beaten); Us: L – GC, L – Essendon (destroyed), L – Adelaide (just), W – Port (just) and L – WCE (destroyed).  Over the last five weeks, I would suggest the Lions have performed better than us and fairly, based on form not potential, should be seen as the favourites.  I see as totally irrelevant the history of ‘meetings’ between the teams going back several years.


Them. The Lions have had a poor season. I would observe, however, that they haven’t been ’embarrassed’ in any of their recent losses (unlike us recently, twice).  Sitting at 15th they are due to finish their season in just over two weeks.  People to watch are Green at the Front end, Rockliff, key Midfielder getting to 100 games this week, Hanley in the Centre, Martin in the ruck and Zorko on the Wing.  Luke McGuane, son of Mick (Pies legend) is out for the season. See Rockliff’s “call to arms” at after their game against Adelaide last week.  Check the Previews – links below.


Us:   Remember what I said after the Adelaide game: “We always had faith we could do it, didn’t we?  It’s hard to be too critical of anyone in what was a great team effort“.  All bets are now off.  Suggestions: 1. Move Reid into the Backline (CHB) to manage the Defence; 2. bring in Karnezis (FF) as the second Forward target.  3. Move Trav to CHF and stop judging him on the number of goals he kicks, but on his ‘assists’; and 4. have the resting ruck (alternate Witts and Grundy) also Forward. 5. Bring back Ball and Swan plus Grundy to bolster (give some grunt) to the Midfield. We can win this, comprehensively.

  • Ins / Outs?  We are now at the point where we need to try something different – take a few risks (the Off Season is nearly upon us).  Ball – in; Grundy – in; Swan – in; Karnezis in (It certainly helps if you are BOG in the Two’s the same weekend that the One’s self-destruct).  Who to drop?  I’d suggest White and Young, Dwyer and, maybe, Tooves; maybe also Broomhead.  Goldsack survives through his 7 Tackles last week and his attack on the Point Post the week before.  Maybe Sinclair and/or Thomas in, as well?  Your suggestions?
  • Focus?  Same as last week (and every week before): Effort, commitment and application.  Plus other things, as above, – kick-ins, avenues to goal and clearances; and
  • My guesses?  Pies by 37 ; BOG – Pendles – 36 touches; Trav (5) & Karnezis (4). Crowd – 58 000.  Your guesses?




TV?  No ‘free to air’.  That’s six games in a row without FTA TV coverage of a Pies game.  I don’t understand it.  Sorry, which club in Australia has the largest supporter base? Fox from 7.30pm.  Find a friend with Fox.




All, I draw your attention to the Footy Almanac at where our email (without addresses) also appears.  Some interesting Footy content at the website; not too much criticism, yet.  I have been invited to provide your email addresses so that we can all receive their free weekly email.  See example attached. Please let me know if you do not want to receive this (say, by cob, 22 August pls)?




Keep the faith.  Go Pies.


Cam Hooke


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