Round 21 – Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Collingwood v Richmond preview

True Believers, all.

Is our 2015 Season over?  Yes, most likely.  Is there a Maths teacher, Pies supporter out there that can do the sums for us?

Party Line response to niggles:  “We’re not stuck in the past.  We are already in 2016 Pre-Season“.

A disappointing end to a year that promised much.  At the end of last year we lamented the injury crisis that crushed the second half of our season.  This year?  Perhaps we could just say that we were unlucky.  I hope next year promises more.  And my recollection (from Daicos) was “the more he practised, the luckier he got”.  Are there parallels with the Club?  Yes and no; see below.


Round 21.
Vs Richmond at the G
Saturday, 22 August; 1.45pm.



This is 6th versus 11th; $2.85 vs $1.43 (Just to be clear, they are the favourites).

Them:  Richmond – everyone’s second favourite team (not mine).  Richmond have had a bit of an ‘up and down’ season.  Amongst the last 10 weeks or so (in games of significance) they’ve beaten Hawthorn, Sydney and Freo and lost to Freo (they probably shouldn’t have lost this one), GWS, Adelaide and WCE.  By way of comparison with us they beat Carlton by more than 10 goals.  They are pushing hard towards the Top Four.  If Sydney lose to GWS they may jump Sydney into the Four.  If the Dogs lose to WCE their percentage will probably still keep them ahead.  Still, there’s three more games to go.  And North and Adelaide are chasing them (and Geelong are a chance to quietly move up the ladder).

The interesting thing about Richmond is the spread of effort and those listed in their Best – since the Bye the Best List has included 16 different players, 10 of whom have appeared in the Best in at least three games.  People to watch for include Reiwoldt and Cotchin up front, Maric in the ruck supported by Grigg and Deledio, Rance and Houli on the HB Line and Miles off the Interchange bench.  Meaning for us?  We need to shut these guys down – particular emphasis on our Back 6 and our Midfield.  Late news: watch for Shane Edwards’ return.

Us:  I would, of course, still like to win our last three games this season.  I just think that the way we’ve played as a team is flawed and we need to try some things differently – facing 2016, as we are.  As such, scope exists for a bit of ‘trial and error’ regarding our selections, the Game Plan and the mentality of “playing to the final siren”.

Do we give up and roll over?  Of course not. But we can try some things that we might otherwise have been reluctant to try. And we should give the alternatives a few weeks to “bed in”; not expect an overnight revolution. That’s why this period could be so valuable to us.

What change?  I would like to see a restructuring of the Forward Line and the passage to the goal. Turn Trav and Grundy into a ‘power’ HF line; Karnezis and Moore into the FF line. While we have been competitive in the numbers of Entries into the 50, our Marking in 50 and our conversion rate has been woeful.  Our Forward Line has been consistently ‘crowded’ and we have got goals opportunistically rather than at the end of a logical, step by step process.

The Backline has looked slow and ponderous for some time.  Brownie’s absence this week gives the opportunity to bring in at least one newbie – Scharenberg?  I would suggest we need more than just one, however, and would like to see Marsh in as well. We have consistently been cut open by small, quick opposition Forwards that we have frequently ‘manned up’ with slower defenders.  It simply will not work.

Midfield & Followers?  Swanny & Pendles – fantastic; getting better with age? Maybe warranting a rest for the next few weeks? Other Mids – pretty good, both young and injured (with promise for the future), except for the ruck.  Grundy is great around the ground but we cannot continue to give the ball to the opposition at the Centre and at other ball-ups with the frequency we do. I thought Witts was doing okay, obviously not agreed by Bucks.  Can Mason step up?

What else?  Kick-ins.  These have been consistently awful.  Our Game Plan must have a plan for us to take advantage of the handover of the ball after an opponent scores a Behind (or we walk it through just to settle things down).  Throughout this season it has looked pretty much like “I’ll make it up as I go along”.  Not good enough.  Our Game Plan needs to reflect and leverage off the full range of circumstances that may exist. I think there are a few holes in it. Contrary to some criticism, I think the application has been pretty good – obviously in response to, and subject to our opponents’ pressure. All in all, I think we have the talent but am critical of the selections and the Game Plan.  Welcome your comments?



Match Centre

Dave Natoli’s preview is always worth a read.

The line-ups.

TV:  No Free to Air.  Find a friend with Fox, if you really want to watch.

Weather:  12 – 19 deg, partly cloudy, possible showers, windy. Melbourne, who would have thought it?

Prediction?  Pies by 11; BOG – Pendles; Goals: Trav – 4, Karnezis – 4.  Your predictions?



Eddie Watch: On the business of Collingwood: I am very reluctant to be critical of Eddie’s stewardship of the Club given the parlous financial state it was in when he took over, compared with now.  

The Coach:  Having said that about Eddie, I have some serious concerns about Bucks, though would have to say I am currently undecided.  I don’t understand why, with such a good List, we haven’t produced (see comments above about the Game Plan – the Coach’s responsibility) and a bit of a surprise from Tony Shaw.

Perhaps to be fair, the year as assessed by Bucks (and here…)

The Twos:  Disappointing performance at Victoria Park against North Ballarat last week given the substantial margin at Three Quarter time and the number of AFL players in the team.  But Caff survived.  This week – vs Richmond at Victoria Park also on Saturday; bounce 10.30am.  Not sure what it means for the VFL Finals;

Family:  Rhyce Shaw to retire.


Does James Hird‘s departure from Essendon mean he is on the market for the Carlton job? Other alternatives?  Views on Hird’s departure?  Does this mean he finally accepts responsibility for things that happened to his team when he was the coach?

How to survive the “Bad Times”: Confronted, as we are, with the early termination of the 2015 AFL season, given that the period between seasons is long enough anyway, there are a number of options we can pursue (not in order):

– Keep watching the AFL?  Well, okay, but with less intensity, more criticism and “if only” comments;

Watch the girls – simply outstanding.  I watched some of the game – fantastic effort;

– Cricket – no.  Not the men’s anyway.  Congratulations to the Women’s team;

– Lawn Bowls – maybe, but remember “under-arm” is okay;

– Settle into the armchair to watch the 2010 series of games – simply outstanding; or

– World Cup Rugger?

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.


Maintain the Faith.


Go Pies – 2016!



  1. Peter Warrington says

    no mention of Martin? only player to turn up against Adelaide.

    Richmond beat GWS by the way. only just.

  2. Karnesis must be disappointed with his lack of opportunities this year given his solid form in the two’s; likewise Sharenberg.

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