Round 15 – Brisbane v Collingwood: A disappointing return to Friday night footy (Floreat Pica Society)

By Peter Butler


It was with some nervous expectation that I approached this crucial game on Friday night. I do not have either Foxtel or Kayo so have been relegated to watching the past games since the loss to the Freo ‘Whackers’ on my iPad due to having a Telstra SIM card in the device. While I can follow the game reasonably well, viewing is limited to a corner of the screen measuring no more than 7 inches. There is a delay in transmission which usually means my friends Dave & Jim seem to see a goal a few seconds before I do. I eagerly looked forward to watching on a more normal screen size.


Since the first round we have not been able to watch together so we text each other during the game with comments on players, both good and bad; observations on overall performance and joy when we are playing well and of course winning.


My nervous expectation was heightened by the second half performance last week against the odious ‘Carlscum’, which particularly in the final quarter indicated we might have turned the corner and found our mojo after six weeks or so of stuttering performances since the Geelong game, with two particularly woeful efforts against ‘Wet Toast’ and the up and down ‘Fuchsias’’.


We had not lost to the ‘Brians’ under Nathan Buckley’s time as coach, with the last demise being our premiership year when one Brendan Fevola put us to the sword in the final quarter. However my nervousness was because of our overall performance in this strangest of years, having only exceeded 60 point in a game only 5 times, I think, with one of those being a loss to the Giants, a game which was the turning point in our season.


Selection was interesting with the absence of Mayne replaced with Greenwood and the debut of Lynch, who has been touted as back up for Grundy; and how he needs it! On last week’s performance I could not really question this, but I wasn’t sure about having so many talls on the ground in modern football.


First Quarter

Like the initial games in the season up to Adelaide, we were out of the blocks quickly and leading at the first change, though only by 5 points, 7-2. The first part of the quarter we moved the ball around really well while looking for openings. Brisbane owned the second part of the quarter but could not kick either straight or long enough. There were some ominous signs during this period.


I noted that Pendles, Quaynor, Callum Brown and Phillips were up and about with Adams and Elliott quiet during this quarter.


Second Quarter

The first part of the quarter was an arm wrestle until the ‘Brians’ scored their first goal and then it was a veritable landslide. Brisbane scored 5 goals to our 1 in the quarter, with just about all of them coming from wayward kicks, handpasses and tackles that did not stick. Some of my texted comments to Jim & Dave are indicative:


‘Pressured out of that contest for a goal’ – ‘Poor disposal from Daicos’ – ‘Too many fumbles; must steady or it will get away from us’ – ‘Dropped marks and wayward handpasses’ – ‘We were outmuscled in that quarter. More aggression around the ball and in tackle is needed or we will not get back’


Hard to find good players in the first half, especially that quarter. Grundy seemed to lift, but runners Quaynor & Crisp weren’t given any room. Adams wasn’t having his usual influence and Maynard seemed to be affected by his injury. Noble, Pendles and Elliott were ok.


Third Quarter

Only 3 goals down going into the second half. Not impossible to make up but we needed more aggression and tackling as well as accurate disposal. This quarter was a real slugfest, accentuated by the ‘Brian’s’ losing a key defender as well as a young forward which made them negative. Our game lifted but the inaccuracy and tendency to turnover was still there and only one goal each led to the three-quarter time deficit being only 20 points. Still doable but a real lift was needed.


Noble had been good all night. Pendles was ok and Daicos got back into the game. C Brown kicked a good goal when we needed it. Madgen got better as the game went on.


Fourth Quarter

Only 20 points down and with the opposition down 2 interchanges gave us a chance, especially if we could score early. We should have easily when Cox passed to Mihocek alone in the goal square. Checkers fluffed an overhead mark which would have been easier to take on the chest, with the ball going through for a point. Lots of pressure and entry into the forward 50 created few real chances – most times by trying to do too much as well as massed defence from the opposition. A mark and goal from Elliott left enough time but we still could not break the defence, again through over use or just bad positional play from the likes of Thomas, Stephenson and Hoskin-Elliott when he was on the field. A good soccered goal from Cox after aggressive contesting by him and Moore brought us within 8 points but with not enough time left unless we could get two centre clearances in 90 seconds. The ‘Brians’ did not let us do that and Grundy was not good enough to overcome his opposite number, who had monstered him for much of the night.


Pendles, Noble, Crisp, Adams, Daicos and Grundy stepped up in that quarter.


Overall Observations

The lack of scoring power has deserted us this year big time, especially over the past six games or so, and it seems in small measure due to the absence of De Goey, Howe and Treloar. The delivery into the forward line has been haphazard to say the least but is it also in large part due to lack of movement by all the forwards at the same time not creating space or leading into space. Stephenson, Thomas and WHE appear to have been the main culprits, with Stephenson looking like a third year player who lost all his confidence and élan. Cox has been good since he came back a couple of games ago and his game on Friday was strong, but he cannot bring the ball down to ground-ball players if they are not there and he is being team marked most of the time. Maybe oppositions have worked out our system or are we not playing to our system and do not have the players who can do it. The players have been able to do it in the past two years but the ones we need to do so are out of form. How much has the travelling and absence from home, especially for young players like Stevo, been a factor?


The other factor in this game was the lack of influence from Moore and Maynard, who have been the rocks in our defence since Howe went down with his knee injury. Quaynor has been a revelation, but his defence has been poor on a few occasions. He has been out muscled and outmanoeuvred by more experienced players a few times in games since he came back into the side.


It is not all doom and gloom though. The ‘Brian’s’ are a good side if they are allowed to play the game their way and at their pace. To keep them to 6.6, especially after a 5 goal second quarter is more than OK. It really is the forward line process and man-power that is the problem. It is not a matter of talent but more of form and application. That can be fixed but will it be able to be fixed in the short term?



BRISBANE                   0.2      5.3      6.5      6.6 (42)
COLLINGWOOD          1.1      2.3      3.3      5.4 (34)


Hipwood 2, Berry, Lyons, McCluggage, Rayner
Collingwood: Cox 2, Brown, Elliott, Mihocek


Lyons, Berry, McInerney, McCluggage, Gardiner, Neale
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Noble, Maynard, Crisp, Adams, Daicos 


Fullarton (quad), Andrews (hamstring)
Collingwood: Phillips (hamstring)



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