Round 3 – Collingwood v West Coast: Too many similarities (Floreat Pica Society)

by Dave Nadel for the Floreat Pica Society

When I volunteered to report this match for the Floreat Pica Society I was hoping to see a rematch of the Grand Final with Collingwood reversing the result. It wouldn’t have compensated for last year’s disappointment, but it would have been nice. I reasoned that the addition of Dayne Beams and the return of Jamie Elliott would have strengthened the team from last year. Even more significantly, the return of Darcy Moore and the recruitment of Jordon Roughead meant that Collingwood had two genuine tall defenders who not only would have been better equipped to hold Kennedy, Darling and Vardy when he rested on the forward line, but also meant that Howe and Langdon would be competing against players their own size. I thought that we entered Saturday night’s game with a stronger team than the one we fielded last September.

 

On the other hand Mark Le Cras had retired and Scott Lycett had gone to Port Adelaide and been replaced by St Kilda reject Tom Hickey. So I thought that that would have weakened the Eagles. I didn’t take into account that Gaff had completed his suspension and was hungry to atone for his absence in the “Granny.” He was clearly best on ground on Saturday.

 

Our improvements were less clear. Darcy played well but was off the field injured when Kennedy when marked unopposed for one of his three goals. I didn’t think Roughead was quite as bad as Michael (Labiris) did (I wouldn’t have given him DR votes) but I was surprised when he chose to punch the ball away rather than take an uncontested mark, especially since the punched ball ended in the hands of a Weagle who goaled. Jamie Elliott, despite his one goal and one goal assist, spent most of the match being where the ball wasn’t. Beams, with 26 possessions, has improved the side although he seemed to have lost a yard or two pace during his four years in the Sunshine State.

 

But, despite Roughead and Cox’s fumbles, (and I thought Cox played a reasonable game despite the odd fumble) it wasn’t our talls that lost the game. It wasn’t our elite midfielders either. It was our small and medium flankers, forwards and defenders. I would exclude Howe, Langdon and De Goey from that and I note that Maynard took 11 marks but the fact that most of West Coast’s best players were small and medium running players and forwards is telling.

 

There was a tendency before the game by some commentators to refer to the event as a Grand Final Replay. Other more pedantic commentators corrected them pointing out that it was actually a Grand Final Rematch. The trouble was it was a Grand Final Replay! Just like last September Liam Ryan took a hanger, just like last September Dom Sheed kicked the match winning goal in the last quarter and just like last September Jeremy McGovern proved that he is capable of stopping any tall forward that we can put up against him. Unlike last September we only lead for a quarter and a half and though we were in the game until early in the last quarter we were playing catch-up footy.

 

According to the stats we had an equal number of clearances although from up in the Ponsford it looked to me that West Coast were clearing the ball much more regularly than the Pies. The interesting thing about this stat is that Grundy dominated the hit outs (40 to Vardy’s 11 and Hickey’s 7). If you win the hit outs you are supposed to win the clearances and Collingwood didn’t which is why I don’t share the pundits’ view that Grundy was our best player. The new 6-6-6 rule is supposed to advantage teams with good ruckmen, however I note that the teams with the two best rucks in the comp (Collingwood and Melbourne) have won one game out of a possible six!

 

This has been a fairly negative report (more of a review than a report, I can’t face a blow by blow report of Saturday Night’s Disappointment) but hopefully we really will have improved by the time we next face West Coast, which unfortunately will be in Perth.

 

Horsbrough votes.

  1. Taylor Adams.

First game for the year. I thought that he was our most effective mid-fielder and his disposal actual matched his courage and endeavour (which it hasn’t always in the past)

  1. Jordon De Goey.

Our only effective forward and on his way to being our most valuable player.

  1. Steele Sidebottom.

I could easily have chosen Beams, Mayne, Pendlebury or Treloar but Sidebottom gave the most polished performance.

 

COLLINGWOOD      3.1   6.3    7.6  11.10 (76)
WEST COAST           1.2   7.6    10.8   15.8 (98)

 

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Comments

  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Excellent report Dave.
    I think our midfield struggled because we are too top-heavy down back. Roughead is too slow and this cost us the overlap and ability to quickly switch the ball into the corridor on the rebound. That’s why we were forced to the boundary so often. I’d get Varcoe to play off half back if fit. Just an observation. Cheers.

  2. Stab Punt Jim says

    Dave well done.
    I agree with Varcoe giving extra pace where ever he plays.
    I query why Moore is kicking out instead of making position to mark the kick in after a behind is scored. .

    Stab Punt Jim.

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