Round 11 – Collingwood v Geelong: No run, no flow (Floreat Pica Society)


by Garry Stock




The Cats were the first real adversary in my Magpie life as they were the dominant team in 1951 and 1952 when I first started  following our games.



Not only did they win back to back premierships in those years, I remembered they buried a magpie in the middle of the Kardinia Park (as the Cattery was then known ) on the Sunday after the 1952 Grand Final.



As a 9 year old I was disgusted. I do not remember the RSPCA protesting!



We actually ended  Geelong’s record run of 26 consecutive victories with our win in an away game in Geelong in 1953 and went on to win the flag that year.



Kardinia Park was a huge fortress for them. I remember one year when we won there, the explanation for our victory was that “we stopped the bus at Werribbe and the boys walked for about a kilometre and then got in again”. Quite unbelievable in terms of today’s sport sciences.



Despite the above, Geelong were not high on my hate list…naturally the stinky Blues and then the horrible Demons of the ’50s and their Neil Crompton stolen Grand Final are far higher.





Over the years we have done well against the  Cats. Last year’s semi final disaster (which really foreshadowed the real 2021 to come) was an exception.



So I had some slight level of optimism as I settled down to watch on TV – in an Israel that is a lot quieter now – in common with everyone else in the world due to the Melbourne shut down.



This optimism was heightened by the late withdrawal of Blicavs and the better Guthrie and a reminder that despite losing Adams from last week, we have shown signs from time to time. After all, Bucks had promised improvement as a result of an extra 40 minute skill session a week (?)



The Game

First and foremost let me say that I put 90 percent of the blame for our terrible performance on the coaches and football management and only 10 percent on the players. The preparation was negative. It was all about minimizing the impact of Hawkins, Cameron and  Rohan. I reckon we lost Hawkins, drew Cameron and won Rohan.



Meanwhile, putting Magden in the forward line (to unsuccessfully neutralize Stewart) did not make sense to me.



There was no plan of attack.



Again. No run. No flow.



The game really falls into three stanzas.



The first half 0.7 to Cats 5.8 which would have been even worse other than Mayne saved two goals on the goal line after video reviews



Geelong did not appear to be on their game and it was very scrappy. Geelong at least kicked to another Cat…we just kicked.



Geelong kept wearing away at us and our only good players were the core six-man defence especially Quaynor, Noble, Mayne and Maynard supplemented by Crisp and surprisingly by a very savvy Bianco who played with a lot of poise and skill. Interesting how the extra year of maturity helps a first game player. Poulter was there too.



Maynard was given a huge job on Cameron and did quite well. I could not understand the role given to Moore- certainly not one where he could star in his 100th game.



An explanation of the goalless first half was

–        A total lack of any confidence and belief by the players. Note… not lack of will

–        That when we brought the ball into our  forward 50, most of our shots for goal were made difficult from being so far out. Consequently, we registered many behinds and more misses.



Before commencing the second half, I have to refer to the half time group meetings. I find Sanderson and Harvey to be irrelevant and I cheered up when I saw Jeremy Howe ‘coaching’ the back team.



When Buckley goes, his failure in my view, will have been his inability to attract and keep top assistant coaches (Longmuir and Boyd are good examples) and to accept and continue with mediocrity. By the way does anyone know what Nick Maxwell is meant to be doing?



Third quarter 1.4 to Cats 0.3 where AT LAST Buckley released De Goey and he started to open things up, throw off the shackles, move the ball around. How often have we asked, in recent weeks, why one of our most expensive and purportedly most talented players is left in the goal square, where except against North, there is little likelihood that he will get enough of the action and as well  against an inexperienced defender.



At last things begin to flow and there is some run. Quaynor, Crisp, Mayne  continue their good work and Cameron starts to become effective. Sidebottom was getting more of the ball but his delivery this year is not as it once was. Roughead had his hands full with Hawkins but took some good grabs.



When Grundy was badly hurt it was the worst possible news. Not because the game was now unwinnable. It never was. But the last thing we need is him out for an extended time.



Last quarter. 5.4 to Cats 3.2 This is the only time the whole team actually were released to play a game of footy that FLOWS and CONNECTS and not stops and starts and spurts.



Cameron really stood up and rucked strongly. He controlled the centre bounces and with support from De Goey and Crisp and many more, generated forward movements.



Unfortunately, some players still played out of character. Sidebottom hardly ever misses as easy a snap as the one he missed.



Yes the Cats countered the early Magpie goals of the quarter with some great football by Hawkins and despite the commentator suggesting we might pull off a brilliant last gasp victory, that was never going to be. The margin was very flattering.




The Votes

Interestingly Ziggy and I, who  compared impressions and best players at the end of each quarter, were similar to each other.



In the end, Zig gave 3 to Crisp, 2 Quaynor and 1 De Goey with honorable mentions to Cameron, Bianco and Poulter.



I gave 3 to DeGoey (as without his being the catalyst we may have struggled to score 2 goals for the whole game) 2 to Crisp for non-stop contribution and 1 to Quaynor with honorable mentions to Cameron, Mayne and Bianco.



Combining our votes and probably more correctly than as individually:


3 Crisp (5): Proves you don’t have to be a top 10 draft pick. Work hard, run and be brave.

2 De Goey (4) If one has the talent give him the correct role and the responsibility.

1 Quaynor (3) A real talent with a great attitude and a very strong fast young man.



Post Scripts

I was pleased that Bucks referred post-match to Pendles’ injury. Watching him play over the last few weeks compared to earlier in the year, and comparing his game to Selwood, I said something is wrong. Now we know. Wishing Pendles and Brodie G speedy recoveries.



Statistics are misleading. Not only same scoring shots (the Cats inaccuracy saved us from a thrashing) but we outperformed the Cats on almost every measure including tackles.



Where we were outperformed – disposal efficiency within 50, hard balls and ground balls.



Please…until the entire coaching panel is dismissed can we focus on a positive attacking game plan.



I would rather lose by 5 to 10 goals in match where we show improvement and grow than lose by 10 points in a game where we were negative and defensive for most of the game and played bravely only when the game was already lost.





COLLINGWOOD     0.3     0.7     1.11     6.15 (51)
GEELONG               2.3     5.8     5.11     8.13 (61) 


De Goey 2, Grundy, Hoskin-Elliott, Mihocek, Maynard
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Cameron 2, Dahlhaus, Ratugolea, Stanley 


Collingwood: Mayne, Moore, Quaynor, Crisp, Bianco
Geelong: Hawkins, Parfitt, Selwood, Tuohy, Stewart, Narkle







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