Round 16 – Preview: Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life

Apologies, again, about the address list.  Pls forward this onto any of our list who aren‘t included.  I will fix it early next week.

True Believers, all (nearly).

Firstly a warm welcome to James (yes, another James) met on a day-long tour of Thai islands off Phuket (including long tunnels to get inside them; very exciting).  James is a footy novice hailing from Singapore of Korean and British background, but is off to Monash to study soon. Krista gets the credit for ‘recruiting him’ and explaining (based on her experience) the challenges of living and studying in Melbourne and the need for an understanding of ‘footy’. Forewarned is forearmed.  James, enjoy.

Saturday, 18 July.  Etihad Stadium; bounce at 4.35 pm (AEST).

Us & Them?  Okay, this is the fourth of our ‘Big 4’ test period.  We’ve played well without getting the points. It doesn’t really get too much easier as we head towards the Finals – we have Sydney and Richmond to deal with in Rounds 20 and 21 (and Geelong in Round 22; always a challenge).  The Eagles in Melbourne are less frightening than at home, but they are, deservedly, sitting Second on the Ladder on 11:3 coming off four Wins in their last outings.  You have to go back to Round 10 when North beat them in Melbourne.  We, of course, are coming off three Losses.  Betting makes them favourites at $2.10 to $1.75 (that must be the closest betting for 2nd vs 7th I’ve ever seen).

Us & Them?

Weagles.  As you know I sometimes invite a colleague supporter of our opposition to provide comment on behalf of their team.  This week I invited our son, John, a staunch West Coast supporter (based on being born in Western Australia.  He has followed WC through thick and thin, successes and failures).  His comments are reproduced here:

1- ANDREW GAFF! Gaff was outstanding last week against the Crows with 3 goals and 36 disposals, he’s a shoe-in for the 3 votes come Brownlow time. More importantly he’s been outstanding all season, second only to 2014 Brownlow medallist Priddis in terms of disposals at the Eagles, and with more disposals than both Pendles and Swan, Gaff should be Collingwood’s main concern going into this match.
 
2- MIDFIELD! Everyone knows Bucks likes to hold his midfield up as the paragon of brilliance in the AFL, but sorry mate, you’re about to meet your superiors. Priddis and Gaff lead the Eagles midfield by raking in 30+ disposals weekly; Masten and Shuey can both kick goals as well as unleash large numbers of disposals, and round it off with ex-Magpie, Wellingham, and you’ve got the best midfield in the game.
 
3- RUCK! Rest in Peace Brodie Grundy, because this week he’s going to be completely outgunned by the in-form Natanui. Nic Nat averages 33 hitouts per game compared to Grundy’s 25, and add in the fact that Nic Nat is agile enough to crumb like a small forward, Collingwood will have to rely on their centre clearances and work around the bounce- which most definitely won’t be a sure thing, as the Eagles lead the League in centre clearances.
 
4- SCORING! This will be a high scoring affair, both sides are very attack-minded and we will probably see both teams score at least 80. For the Eagles, Kennedy is the main target, with 50 goals this season already, he looks on track for a Coleman, but there are plenty of other options up front too – Darling, LeCras and Hill are all handy in front of goal. Cloke could be the game changer. Both sides have a 54% goal accuracy for the season so far, and we all know Cloke has been underperforming. So I’d hope that Eagles defence keeps an eye on Cloke, but both sides’ defenders will have their work cut out come Saturday.

Back to me.  Thanks, John.  Best for a good game.

Us. I think John’s points, above, are spot-on.  Very important to select carefully to monitor the threats and try to shut them down, while maintaining our avenues to goal.  There’s really only a couple of changes I would like to see as ‘fine tuning’.  Greenwood in for Adams; Karnezis in to replace White and maybe a bit more speed into the Backline – Maynard and Marsh or Scharenberg  (maybe even Clinton Young (8 tackles last week in the Twos)) in place of who?  Who do you reckon?  Teams Thursday night after 6.00pm at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/.

Previews?
·       Match Centre – http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2015/16/coll-v-wce.  There now;
·       Connolly’s view, much as I dislike it when he picks us (unlikely here), http://www.theage.com.au/afl/by/Rohan-Connolly (not there yet);
·       “The Experts” – http://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters  (Round 16 selections not there yet; but last Round interesting); and
·       Natoli.  Somewhere at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au.  Not there yet.

TV?  Not on Free to Air (particularly if you are on an aircraft heading home!).  Find a friend with Fox.  From 4.30pm.

Weather.  Colder than Phuket, but probably drier (the Wet Season has arrived).  Melbourne, Winter – probably wet, cold and windy – from the website 12 degrees, low chance of rain, light winds – yeah, right?

My picks?  Pies by 17 points.  BOG – Greenwood; Karnezis – 5 goals.  Your picks?

Other:
·       Crime & Punishment (Part2).  I don’t have a problem with Adams 3 reduced to 2 penalty.  The knee wasn’t that hard or that serious but it sends a very ‘wrong’ message to any kids watching.  That said, a comparison with the two ‘elbows to the head’ from the recent Sydney game resulting in 2 and 1 match suspensions, I think, highlights the inequity inherent in MRP decisions.  I still believe those ‘elbows’ deserved 4 weeks.  See Connolly’s alternate view – http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/afl-match-review-panel-emerges-from-tricky-week-with-reputation-intact-20150713-gibdct.html.  Welcome your thoughts?
·       ‘Feel the love’ – As I was following last week’s game the commentators (including Maxy) commented on Elliott’s failure to “thank” Varcoe for his outstanding ‘assist’.  This is Buck’s follow-on: http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2015-07-14/buckley-demands-more-public-displays-of-affection-from-magpies-2015;
·       Numbers – Pies vs Weagles – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2015-07-15/by-the-numbers-collingwood-and-west-coast-2015; and
·       And, “I know this will take most of you readers out there by surprise, but no one hates Collingwood like Collingwood supporters hate Collingwood” –
http://www.theroar.com.au/2015/07/12/stop-talking-collingwood-second-first-loser/.  I disagree with his assessment for 2015 but it is worth a close read.  Thanks, Rob.  Also welcome your thoughts?

Attendance & Reporting?  Who’s off to the game?  Reports pls?  Unfortunately I will be ‘in the air’ (literally) over this period but hope for good news as I land.

Go Pies,

Cam

Comments

  1. Peter_B says:

    Very fair summary Cam, I had to check the title twice to ensure it was actually a mad Collingwood fan’s preview.
    Most of the season I have been pessimistic about new challenges as they arose for my Weagles. Now I am starting to get optimistic. That’s a worry (for me) and gives you a fighting chance.
    Your son knows his Eagles. It all starts with Nic Nait – his drive out of the centre has been phenomenal both hitouts and tackling. Our forward line will kick plenty (not sure about goals or points) but they will get a lot of scoring opportunities.
    We have a good running defence with Hurn, Wellingham and Shepherd in career best form and Ellis and Rosa as handy backups. Schofield and McGovern zone off and spoil a la Gibson to create rebound opportunities for the runner. We can be exposed over the back if teams get good quick ball into their talls. Adelaide did it early but after that just couldn’t win the clearances for midfield entries. It remains our acchilies heel and sooner or later a Hawthorn or Sydney will expose it (not worried about the Purple Jellyfish).
    Can the Pies? Should be a cracker of a game. Both sides have plenty of promising youngsters and an attacking game plan. If the Pies can neutralise Nic Nait and win the clearances to break even on Forward 50 entries you are a show. Cloke needs to get his head Iand his kicking foot) out of his bum. Elliott has been down but plays well against us.
    Eagles by 17 points. Yours in enmity.

Leave a Comment

*