The season's first game for Collingwood saw the welcome return of some very talented players in Moore, Elliott and Aish with the addition of Beams and Roughead as Newbies.
The Pies started their game with quick hands and clever play. The mix of Moore, Aish, Crisp and Langdon saw a fantastic defensive effort in the Cats 50 and whilst the Pies showed good use of the ball and found space, the lack of accuracy kept the score low and the Cats in the game. Elliot provided Collingwood with their first goal and Stephenson scored a point with an earlier attempt. Howe was his usual athletic self and took the stand out mark of the game only for it not to be rewarded as a mark; even the commentators thought he was robbed. De Goey was slow to warm up to goal kicking giving the Cats hope and desperation in their 50. Langdon took one for the team, literally, in the face on the Geelong goal line, which must go down as the save of the year. Both Cox and De Goey were tagged by 2 or 3 players each time the ball made it into the Pies goal square. Cox would barely know himself this season getting some calls, one of which landed him a shot at goal and added 6 points to the tally.
Mihocek was great at goal assisting after Cox missed the mark, giving Elliott an easy goal. Dane Beams showed why he was an inclusion in the side and the Pies had a 13-point lead at the first break.
The second term saw the Cats start quickly but Moore and Langdon’s safe hands and a multitude of spoils made it hard for Geelong to score but not Impossible. And whilst the Pies dominated from stoppages, at times it looked like they were slow to react in their 50 but Elliot gave the fans something to cheer about just before the half time break. Treloar was an absolute work horse with 20 disposals in the first two quarters and Phillips and Aish provided very effective defence in the Cats 50.
The Pies were a little caught of guard at the start of the third quarter with Hawkins taking an uncontested mark and luckily only achieving a behind. The Pies tidied up their game and used the middle corridor but unfortunately a rushed attempt at goal only produced a point. The Pies struggled to convert in their 50 and the Cats use of the middle corridor saw an easy goal for Selwood. A poor call against Travis Varcoe for a tackle on Selwood saw a chip pass to Ablett to give the Cats the lead for the first time. Moore had a lapse in judgement and gave away a free which fortunately resulted in only a point. Elliott was well and truly covered in the goal square and as the only target this created work for the rest of the players but resulted in a goal by Treloar from a quick grab and kick.
Dynamic play and great vision by Elliott saw him take a mark and boot it to De Goey, which after a fumble or two, resulted in a snap shot at goal. De Goey found his mark and gave Collingwood the lead. A miss match of Sidebottom and Hawkins allowed the Cats to even the score by the third term break.
In the final term Constable (Geelong) kicked his very first AFL goal and the Pies slowed down on the stoppages. Treloar was taken high but no call and the cats edged forward by a point. The Cats swarmed in their 50 but still struggled and only managed to add points to their tally. Poor decision making in front of goals by Collingwood had fans up in arms with even the Coach questioning “why?”. Beams put his stamp on the game in the last quarter by crumbing and scoring a goal. Brown also put up a quick snap after the Cats kicked out on the full giving the Magpies and the fans hope of a win but with 5 mins to go Parfitt (Geelong) quickly answered the last Collingwood goal. Hawkins then kicked the final goal and Geelong went on to score a further point giving them the win.
Final Score Pies 9 11 65 Cats 10 12 72 Cats by 7 points
I would suggest that there was probably a lot of pressure and huge expectation for Collingwood to win their first game of the season, and a fair bit of pressure by the players on themselves. And whilst it is fair that there is some expectation because we made the Grand final, this is a new year and we need to remember that the opposition has had ample opportunity to study the efforts of the previous season. Nobody needs to go and there should NOT be any calls for the Coach’s head. As supporters we need to recognise that we had a phenomenal season last year under adverse circumstances and that whilst we have the makings of an amazing team there are new inclusions and players returned from injury. These players need to get comfortable with each other and they will, given time.
A few points that are front of mind:-
At the 5-minute mark when all the damage was being done, four of the most effective players were off the field. This allowed some of the Geelong’s strongest players to capitalise on mismatches and ultimately dominate and win the quarter and the game. These players were dying to get on but apparently nobody wanted to come off. I thought that this was the job of the Coach to make this call and if not, it should be. It was more than this that cost Collingwood the game, but it is certainly something that needs to be looked at for future matches.
We need to stop sharing goals just take the shot and share the glory. There is such a thing as a goal assist and I’m pretty sure Bucks recognises it. Some players need to push harder and give second and third efforts. Also, accuracy is a problem for us so let’s sort it out early in the season.
Collingwood started with quick hands and their game looked slick. The Cats reacted back and then changed the game to their style of play to a slower game which allowed them to dominate. If Collingwood dictate the style of play this will make it easier for them to dominate not just their opponents but also the score board.
Minor errors such as dropped balls i.e. players not watching the ball into hands let us down. I’m sure this will improve during the season but again, let’s get it sorted quickly.
Lack of vision; this comes with experience, familiarity of team mates and knowing that there are options available. Also lifting or in some cases lowering the eyes can help.
Poor decision making; sometimes caused by lack of vision but often occurs under pressure. Hopefully this will improve over time.
If Collingwood can rectify these minor errors, it will change their game.
The new rule changes, will it change the game much? It has been suggested that perhaps it will make for a more even contest. Time will tell, but let’s not over complicate things and keep it as a game of skills and strategy.
I think Collingwood’s season is looking pretty good and they have some very intense games coming up. With tidier play and the interchange worked out, the season should be a good contest and a very successful one. I’m looking forward to some awesome football this year. Go Pies!
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Hi, in a nutshell I love my Pies, Collingwood Magpies that is. I have loved the Black and White since I was 8 years old. I also love my AFL, AFLW and Netball. These are my thoughts on each game and to me it's Pretty Black and White.