Floreat Pica: Take Your Pick

By Paul Fahey

Round 24 Vs Geelong 2011


The first weekend in September is usually reserved for the first weekend of AFL finals – we have to be thankful that this was NOT the case this year! As this game was a “dead rubber” I believe that you the type of person you are will determine exactly what you will take out of the game going forward into the finals. For this reason I have prepared TWO reports – please read the one that best applies to your nature – “glass half empty” people read the first while people like me who are “glass half full” skip the first report and move to the second!



There was enough to play for in this game despite ladder positions being settled – a psychological benefit of a win would be that we had beaten EVERY team in the competition this year and this would clearly further stamp our authority on the season, as well as Geelong being very shaky the week before so another poor performance would have the internal questions being asked down at Catland.

The game started well although we are falling into the habit of giving away a lot of “minor” free kicks early that takes the pressure off opposition midfielders and gives them an easy early touch. Four straight goals and we were 19 points clear however the ball had rebounded out of our forward line easier than usual and Geelong were “setting up” by putting the ball to true Centre Half Back position allowing them to move down the middle if space presented or go wider to the wing. It was only a matter of time until they goaled and we went to the minor break with a goal and a half lead.

The second quarter resembled the 2009 Preliminary final where Geelong moved the ball quickly and aggressively allowing their forwards to compete in a one on one situation and took our loose man out of the equation. Alternatively their loose man chipped in front of Dawes and Cloke and rebounded the ball through CHB effortlessly. From 24 – 5 our way it quickly moved to 24 – 55 against! We were not holding tackles, losing one on one marking contests, giving their forwards far too much space and generally reacting slowly to their ball movement. In contrast the Cats were slick, disciplined and full of run. At half time the game was gone!

The third and fourth quarters were more of the same – outbodied, outran, outpressured and outnumbered at the contests. The inside 50 count was embarrassing as without Davis, Thomas and Shaw in the side we lacked spark and run! In fact we looked like the jittery under pressure team that we generally turn our opposition into! 96 points behind pretty much summed up the effort!

Where to from here? Many questions have arisen as a result of that effort – Can we play the three talls – I felt that the Pecker was the best of our talls but is he the first to go or do we need the height against Cox, Natanui & Lynch? Fasolo, Goldsack, an underdone Wellingham, Leigh Brown back, Sinclair, an underdone Dawes, Blair – are these blokes up to the intensity of finals footy especially when Maxwell and Shaw who have missed a lot of football are due to come back? Injuries to Tarrant, Cloke and Johnson – all vital players to our game plan. The form of Jolly – had Wes Fellowes been down their teaching him how to mark overhead during the week??

Many questions have arisen and couple this with Geelong’s belief that they can beat us and the six other finalists dissecting the game – have we peaked? It’s interesting to note that when Geelong won 20 games in 2008 and St Kilda 21 in 2009 neither team won the flag! A week is a long time in footy – at least it may keep the Buckley/Malthouse saga off the back page!


Geelong beat us in a game that meant very little and players wanted to come through unscathed. The coaching staff mixed up their match ups and learnt a few valuable lessons about several players. Bring on the Eagles – they will not know what has hit them after playing a soft, soft Adelaide team last night!

The Michael Woolnough Medal goes to the player awarded the three votes!

Go Pies – Back to back awaits!


Floreat Pica!


  1. Love the half glass, full glass touch and it shows how we can really turn it anyway as long as your confidence is still there. I think Pies will come out firing next week but all the same, it’s interesting about Geelong and St.Kildas run and no flag. You’ll always have 2010 (unfortunately for the Saints).

    With a more myopic view, as a Sainter, I just wanted both teams who beat us in the last two Premierships to suffer a little, and I realised that I’d already forgiven Geelong more than I’d forgiven the Pies.

    Sorry about that Chief


  2. Marcus Holt says

    Who’s Pecker?

    I agree on one point especially, The Eagles will pay the penalty for Geelong’s actions!

    Go Cats

  3. Pecker is Cameron Wood and Paul has just explained what went wrong with the Pies on Friday night. Any game in which Wood is Collingwood’s best tall is a game that Collingwood has almost certainly lost. If Maxwell and Tarrant are fit I do not expect to see Wood in the 22 that faces the Eagles.

  4. I have always been a glass half full type of woman. :)

  5. Alovesupreme says

    It’s an intrigue trying to assess the significance of Friday night’s match, and Paul’s report is a clever device for handling whatever this week and the next few may bring.

    I have the identical quandary with my team’s performance on Saturday night. My optimistic streak tells me that Carlton made a very deliberate statement for two and a half quarters, then eased up. After the abysmal opening half against Hawthorn, followed by the bye, the response early in the game was essential.

    George Hanlon, the successful race-horse trainer was (in)famous for his malapropisms, probably intentional. He once said “I don’t mind losing, but I hate getting beat” – very much my sentiments; so I would have preferred the team to maintain the pressure, but I feel confident that Carlton have the Saints’ measure at the MCG in the unlikely event that we meet again this season.

    The pessimist’s version of the Carlton-St. Kilda game is that when the Saints put the pressure on, the Blues capitulated, and so our season will end ingloriously next Sunday.

    I saw Friday’s match as well, and I confess to being mystified about what that will mean. My (Monday) expectation that Collingwood, Geelong, Carlton and St. Kilda will win this week should be disregarded, as it’s weeks since I’ve selected a winner in a match which was prospectively a contest.

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