Round 6 – Geelong v Collingwood: Five day turnaround (Floreat Pica Society)

by Dave Nadel for the Floreat Pica Society

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Five days ago I was writing the Danny Roach report for the Anzac Day match. So many players to choose from including the skipper who had played his worst game in ten years. While our previous three defeats could be put down to underperforming forwards, this one was the responsibility of the whole team. I wasn’t calling for the coach’s head but many others were.

 

So here we are five days later, the Pies are back in contention. All our players are playing well (Jim is going to have a lot of trouble finding DR votes) and the coach is no longer under a cloud. Certainly Bucks ought to get much of the credit for yesterday’s victory. There was obviously a lot of planning that went into team selection, match-ups, strategy and tactics. The players deserve a lot of credit, but so does the coach.

 

At the start of the game it looked as if nothing had changed. The Cats won the first clearance and Cockatoo scored in no time flat. But that was not the start of an avalanche. Collingwood started to bring the ball out of the backline, particularly through Varcoe and Smith. Dunne was establishing dominance over Hawkins which he maintained throughout the match. Selwood had no influence in the first or any other quarter because Levi Greenwood tagged him out of it. Dangerfield had more possessions but a lot of them were ineffective. Crisp was playing on him rather than tagging him but it is worth noting that Crisp ended the day with more possessions than Dangerfield.

 

Collingwood finished the first quarter ahead of Geelong. Four points ahead, both teams had kicked three goals but Collingwood, and in particular Alex Fasolo, had missed gettable goals. At this point a lot of spectators envisaged a repeat of earlier games where poor play in front of goal undermined good performances by the midfield and the defence and we were expecting that a more accurate Geelong would eventually run us down.

 

Not this time!

 

In the second and third quarters Collingwood increased their lead over Geelong. The defence was sturdy; the midfield moved the ball with speed and accuracy. The forwards improved. Moore played his best game this year – although I still think his output is less than we should expect from the key tall forward. Cox fumbled (spectacularly in the last quarter) but managed to bring the ball down to the ground and the small players most of the time. Fasolo had continued accuracy problems in the first half but then kicked two goals in the second half – one from the boundary that was much more difficult than the ones that he missed earlier.

 

The best thing about the Pies scoring efforts was that most of our goals were kicked by the midfield. We had thirteen goal scorers altogether. Part of our problems in the last couple of years is that there has been an expectation that most of our goals would be kicked by our forwards and when Cloke lost form and Elliott was injured for a season we didn’t have enough consistent forwards. We have always had goal scoring midfielders in Sidebottom and Pendlebury, last year we added Treloar and this year Wells and Hoskin-Elliott. It will be terrific if Darcy Moore lives up to his potential, if Elliott and Fasolo can make a contribution every week with the occasional contribution also from Cox and Broomhead but we have other avenues to goal and we won yesterday because we used them.

 

Geelong still could have beaten us in the last quarter but they developed accuracy problems, at least partly because of pressure from our defenders. In the end we won and it was a great victory.

 

I would sound one note of caution. I reported the game against Geelong last year for the FPS and concluded my report with the comment “We have turned the corner!”

As it turned out we hadn’t, as some key players were injured and others lost form and in the end we missed the finals while Geelong made the top four. So while I was thrilled with yesterday’s performance, we need to win a few more before we start talking about September.

 

The votes. Every player contributed to the victory and there are at least ten who could have won Horsburgh votes. Travis Varcoe certainly would have if he hadn’t done his hammy early in the third quarter. I hate to leave Sidebottom out as he played an excellent game, Dunne deserves recognition for his game on Hawkins and Grundy and Howe have played well all season (apart from Grundy last week) However there are good reasons for the three that I chose.

 

3 votes. SCOTT PENDLEBURY. The best response to playing the kind of game Pendles played last week is to play the kind of game that he played this week. An absolute captain’s game complete with nine tackles.

 

2 votes. WILL HOSKIN-ELLIOTT This was his best game at Collingwood so far but I have been impressed with him since Round 1. His kicking is terrific and much more accurate than many of our players. He moves with confidence and balance. When he first went to GWS he was #4 draft pick and that’s how he has been playing this year. I know that he lost a lot of games through injury but I can’t imagine why GWS cleared him. If we win a flag in a couple of years time I bet the three boys we got from GWS will have a lot to do with it.

 

1 vote. LEVI GREENWOOD Last week I gave Levi a DR vote. This week I am giving him a Horsburgh. The job that he did on Selwood was the best example of tagging I have seen since the last time we played the Cats and Levi did the job on Dangerfield. I withdraw unreservedly my comment last Wednesday morning that Levi should make way for Jordon De Goey. I want to see De Goey in the team next week but not in place of Greenwood.

 

Floreat Pica

 

Dave

Comments

  1. Great analysis Dave.

    I’m glad you acknowledged Dunn’s great game in defence blanketing Hawkins & marshalling the defence: He’s a natural fit. Thank you Melbourne for the gift. Dunn & Howe (sounds like a mens retail store in Collins Street) have been great acquisitions.

    Let’s hope we can follow it up this week (by golly we have a whole 6 days off this time) by beating the filth.

  2. John Butler says

    Dave, that was a great win in the circumstances.

    I thought you’d got a steal with WHE when the trade happened. Just as we have got some bargains from GWS, so did you. Gives you an idea of the riches at their disposal.

    And so it continues next Saturday…

    Yours, the filth.

  3. Richard Jones says

    Harmsy won’t like (and neither did I when I heard) but maybe Seven’s ‘Bristle’ Taylor has a point.
    He reckoned during Sunday afternoon’s call that the Catters hadn’t really beaten anyone yet.
    BT says beating Freo, Squawks, N. Melb., Dees and Sainters doesn’t cut it.
    Rate them after they’ve played Crows, Giants, Port, Dogs and maybe Tiges says the Big Quivering Bristle.
    He might have a point. Cats’ final quarters have generally been good but Sellie didn’t like Levi Greenwood standing on his toes (nobody would, to be fair) and Danger was about as dangerous as Danger Mouse.
    Paul Daffey whose book on the History of the Vic. Country Footy League launches on May 13th at the G (before the Cats vs. Essendon game) reckons the younger Cats have a bit to prove.
    I suspect he’s including ex-Geelong F.L.’s Stewart, Menegola — altho’ he’s officially a ‘mature age’ recruit — Bews, Parfitt, Lang.
    I like Cockatoo. He has a real dip.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Dave,
    An even performance by the Pies and many positive signs. Maynard’s third quarter was significant. He can give us so much drive. I still think we need to play Reid up forward to capitalise on our midfield dominance. Would like to see Wills replace Broomhead, De Goey come in for Varcoe and Reid for Cox this week.

    We really need to back up with a solid win over the old enemy this week and score more goals than points for once !!

  5. Rulebook says

    Dave Moore will be a v good player bloody hard re the kid playing as the main key forward ( often double teamed ) and yep WHE a absolute bargain surprised more clubs didn’t have a real crack for him
    it is time for De Goey to pay back big time thank you

  6. Dave Nadel says

    Jim – I like the idea of Dunn and Howe as a menswear store. Dunn provides superior legwork (he’s a prodigious kick) while Howe produces the arms (he’s arguably the best mark in the AFL)

    JB – can’t wait for this Saturday, our GWS recruits vs your GWS recruits.

    Phil – I agree with you about Maynard. He and Howe have been two of the few players to perform well in all six games. I don’t agree with you about Reid for Cox. Reid has to come back but we still need Cox. Otherwise we would have to use Moore to relieve Grundy in the ruck and that is a thoroughly bad idea this early in his career. The only replacement for Cox as a forward/ruckman is White and I reckon Cox is much better value.

    Rulebook – I would like to see both Cox and Reid on the forward line to support Darcy Moore. Cloke played his best football in 2010-11 when both Chris Dawes and Leroy Brown were also playing on the forward line. Both had limitations but they were good enough that they had to manned up on so that Cloke was not double teamed. When Brown retired and Dawes was traded they were replaced first by a past-his-prime Lynch and then by an under performing White. As a result Cloke was double teamed for four years and eventually it destroyed his confidence. I don’t want that to happen to Moore.

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