Autopsy Round 9, 2019: Collingwood v St.Kilda *Bruce 100th, Savage 150th, Young debut*

Barrels

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Fact is we were right in the game until our very poor efforts in the last quarter allowed their greater class to shine through.

There’s a fair bit of dare and promise with this group, and they’re still very very young; there’s something there to work with, but we’re not going to see much in the way of success in the short term.

It is what it is. All the tantrums in the world aren’t going to change that.
George, did you take the first sentences off? Not sure I appreciate that.
 

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gringo2011

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George, did you take the first sentences off? Not sure I appreciate that.

Just on your comments, all are pretty fair in hindsight, might have been a bit raw when you mentioned it the first time. Part of me is proud that we are playing a squad that has no right to be as competitive as they are. Zero elite players, very few above average, but still able to take it up to top 4 teams for extended periods. Not being head dropping Melbourne soft cocks is a great positive too.

The gutting part is coming so close to having GWS and Collingwood put away at points, but inability to convert all our hard work is like watching porn with your hands cuffed behind your back. The losses chip away at your confidence as well, the pressure to beat Carlton who actually came closer to knocking off a better Collingwood side is kind of dread inducing too. A win is hollow because we are expected to roll them. A loss..... and any kind of early momentum just turns into more pressure.
 

George

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Thread starter Moderator #329
In the cold light of day my thoughts haven't changed much. And apart from the modding, previews and podcast (Which I still enjoy doing) I reckon this will probably be the last of getting into discussions for me on this board for quite a while. To see the disdain from people here in the way they talk about those at the club is pretty poor and just the sheer weight of negativity has already driven people away and will continue to drive good people away from this place as long as it keeps up.

As for the state of the club, if you think it's me making excuses I don't really care, the reality is that with our key outs we weren't too much of a chance against the teams we've played over the last four weeks to begin with.

Quite clearly our entry and score is absolutely horrendous, haven't kicked over 100pts since Round 17 last year and only twice since the start of 2018. Damning stuff. We fell away badly in the last quarter. It's a credit to the players and coaches that whilst we aren't scoring heavily we are still in games so credit where it's due - we've been brilliant in that space.

Our forward setup has to be one of the worst in the competition. I think Battle is a better natural forward than Bruce so I wouldn't be surprised if we switch those two around and really if Bruce keeps up the poor form I could see him take a spell in the VFL when Carlisle returns from injury. But in saying that it doesn't help with some of the ball use from our midfielders.

I'll agree that we need to get games into the likes of Coffield, Hind, Clark, to an extent White but seriously he has been in the system for years now and hasn't shown much so I don't really mind too much if he is out - he needs to prove himself consistently in the VFL before getting a call up. Coming back overweight for pre-season's don't help his cause either.

No idea why we are playing Acres anywhere but in the middle. He is clearly a point of difference with his height and strength and he has real impact for us when they play him there. Maybe he doesn't have the tank to go in the middle all day, or maybe it's just a gameplan thing, but I'd like to see him in there more. He is a very talented footballer despite the flack he cops on here.

If we park the sensationalist stuff about the club falling to pieces and petitioning for the coach and admin to be sacked - if we just remove that for a minute, the issues are self evident. We have a good young core group of players who work extremely hard for themselves and one another. What we lack is stars in midfield. I would say that we are probably 2-3 genuine A-Graders away from being a premiership threat - and that's not a tongue in cheek comment - I really mean that.

Some positives from the game -
I thought Dunstan was superb yesterday.

I thought we found yet another player in Robbie Young who I thought was good for a first gamer.

We matched it for three quarters with a side who is a premiership favourite and made the GF last year.

I am pleased that we are sticking with good sides for much longer than we've done before - usually we'd be blown out by 70 odd or fall asleep and the game would be over. There's real resolve about this playing group this year. We've faced adversity all year yet to be 4-5 coming out of the toughest month of our fixture is a positive.

To keep a side like Collingwood, who have scored over 100 points in four of their last five games, to 50-odd midway through the third is a credit to how much the defense has improved. It's very much a makeshift back six with Wilkie and Battle filling holes left by the likes of Carlisle, Webster, and Geary. Paton in there as well doing some good things for us.

This is probably not popular opinion right now because after a loss this place goes into utter madness, but I still feel we have a list capable of playing finals this year, and quite frankly I don't think we've underperformed so far. To many who said we'd be bottom four and wouldn't win a game in the first 10 weeks then surely to those people we have done better than first predicted. And there's more to it than just looking at wins and losses. It's how we win games and how we lose games. For the most part we aren't getting completely blown out anymore. We are consistent in games for longer. We stick with teams for longer. There's a simpler game plan and the coaches have identified the need to focus on our strengths as opposed to worrying too much about our weaknesses.

We need a star forward. I hope King can become that.
We need a couple of star mids. I hope Gresham and Billings are those two. Now with Graeme Allan on board I am confident we can land a high quality player either this year or next.

I would say to those who think we've gone back to 2018 form to not buy into the spin. Those same people will think we are odds on for the flag if our form turns around. Too dramatic for me. Too much of it either being really good or really bad. I would say judging by our record and the teams we have won against along with the teams we've lost to, that we are somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the middle with some of our most important players out in a very even competition. We are percentage out of the eight as it stands right now so I wouldn't get too worked up.

Our next six games: Carlton, Port Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane (at home), Richmond, North Melbourne. Only game you could probably say we have little chance in is Richmond. Other five are winnable. So lets say we win four. Going into Round 16 sitting at 8-7 with games against Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Carlton and Sydney to end the year. I'd say Geelong and Adelaide we'd be likely to lose, the rest are a toss up. So from those 7 games lets say we win four. That gets us to 12-10 on the year and then making the eight would be dependent on percentage. Would you have taken that at the start of the year? I would've. And we know that we only need to get into the eight to have a chance. Doesn't matter anymore about where you finish - it's the form you're in when you get there. And our last three games against Fremantle, Carlton and Sydney are all winnable, plus we get back Hannebery, Carlisle, potentially Steven. King may be in the side by then. In short, there's plenty of the season to go. We aren't even halfway yet. For those that are fuelled by the negativity I'd say to have some faith in us. I doubt many gave us a chance in our last four games and then when we unsurprisingly lose them the **** still hits the fan. We can talk about 'well why aren't we favourites for those games if we're six years into a build'. I guess you have a point, but I'd say to simply take it for what it is.

I'm pretty confident that by years end we'll look back on it and admit we improved. I think we will finish the season strongly. There's enough evidence over a 9 game stretch to suggest that we will beat teams below us, and we play a lot of those in the back half. We've shown we can stick with good sides for large periods of games - and at times completely dominate them. As long as we keep improving (which I have no doubt) and fix some of our main issues, I think we will surprise a few.

Cheers :beermug:
 

StCicatriz

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Very perceptive.
I watched him a lot yesterday, understood what he was trying to do (and did so well against Hawthorn and Melbourne) but it just wasn’t happening for him.
Some of those dinky handpasses......
Yeap he needs to be silky smooth with his disposal and decision making. He needs Webster and savage like skill but offensive to make it. Otherwise he's gonna have to be that inside mid which looks miles off of happening.
 

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BrutThough

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You think coaches see 93% and say , nah we cant drop him lol
So if a bloke gets 3 kicks , he kicks them 15 mtrs and our bloke marks it, he is going at 100% , He must be a superstar
I guarantee the coaches don't have a list with the players disposal efficiency and use that to pick the best 22.
 

Masquerade

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I had written a review post right after the game but didn't post until now. It was very much a heated rant because of the last quarter so I thought it would be best to let my thoughts simmer for a while doing other, more important things.

One thing both Persevering Saint and I were quick to credit last week - despite the equally heartbreaking loss - was how disciplined we were when trying to break into the I50. We were of the opinion that if we continued to practice hitting up targets rather than blind bombing, eventually we would get the hang of it. Evidently, the club is of the opinion that blind bombing makes for a fantastic gameplan because that's all we did for large swathes of the match against the Pies. I think it's pointless thinking this will change with the current coaching setup. For whatever reason, this is how they want us to play.

I watched Robert Young and Callum Wilkie because they were both very impressive in how they wanted to play. Wilkie with his calm disposal and Young with the manic pressure and bullet-like kicks. But the cynic in me is starting to come out. How often have we seen our first-year players look like stars before they fade horribly? How long till we 'St-Kildafy' Young, Wilkie and Parker? Hopefully never but I think I'm just going to enjoy them while they last.

I see a lot of criticism of Newnes and I agree that he was poor. However, there were reports he was kept away from the training track last week against the Eagles and there were rumours he was injured. I don't think it's a coincidence that his 2 quietest weeks have followed now. He was very, very good early in the year so hopefully he can recapture some of that form.

Lastly, and this has been true since the first quarter of the Crows game, there was not a single point where I legitimately felt we would win this match. Yes, we came close. But we also came also against the Crows. Came close against the Giants. And, hey, we came close against the Eagles too. The results? Loss, loss, loss and loss today too. It is clear we have no A-grade talent. When it's time to stand up and win the game, which one of our players is capable of doing it? I reckon Bruce wants too but he's just not good enough. Players like Steele or Billings are probably good enough but they're far too timid. Gresham has been disappointing bar one game. Steven is gone for now and may be for good. No one on our list is elite at the moment but the scariest part of this is that no one may ever be elite in our current list. It's very reminiscent of North Melbourne. Mediocre North Melbourne who just float about in mid-ladder wilderness.

We have improved this year. I feel like we're playing at 2016/2017 levels, which is a great feeling after 2018. I can't help but feel empty when I reflect anyway though.

The post is quite long but it's a lot shorter than it was earlier! Lots of colourful language has been removed too and I think I've summed up what I wanted to say well. Reading over it again, lots of the post is quite dark but it's how I feel. I don't think this rebuild will be successful because we simply don't know how to develop players properly. Not going to be fun waiting for us to start the next one :(
 

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Good to see you posting again mate!
I caught up with an old friend (Collingwood supporter) at a club down the Gold Coast, so the game didn’t have my full focus but we had a room full of pies supporters absolutely crapping themselves up until we ran out of legs in that last quarter.
The gap in class was obvious though and we had to play a high intensity game to stay in it. I was really proud of us until our legs went.
The one thing that is really annoying me though is the goal kicking. A lot of players don’t get their heads over the ball, focus on a target and kick through the bloody thing. Their approach, body language and eyes all indicate to me that they don’t believe they can kick a goal. Meanwhile our opposition seemingly can’t miss, especially early in games.
We need a good psych to undo the damage that Dixon has done.
I don’t have the stats.. but our goal kicking problems maybe down to 3 things..

1. our forwards aren’t good kicks..
2. our forwards get the ball in the pockets for set shots, snaps are often under pressure
3. we are so fatigued from the pressure game/tackling

1. Out of our forwards, Membrey is our best kick, and he has delivered consistently given the chance.. Bruce would be our second best.. but out of Gresham, Billings, Lonie, Kent, Parker.. all of them are less than 50% chance unless it’s a set shot 30 metres in front.. How I miss Milnedog slotting 11 goals straight..

2. A lot of our setshots are on the boundary line or quite further out.. apart from Membrey.. those are low percentage shots.. If our inside 50 delivery is better, we can get better looks.

3. This is byproduct of our game plan.. because we don’t have elite ball winning mids, we rely on extra numbers to win the ball, often pushing forwards to the backline/midfield.. making fast ball and accurate movement really difficult.

when we don’t have the ball which is most of the time.. we bust our gut to pressure/tackle/defend.. like someone else said, it’s a high effort low reward game plan.. capable only kicking low scores and often get overran by better teams when they get a run on.

Richo seems like blue collar coach, his only game plan so far is pressure and effort.. our players swarm to the ball, even when we win the ball, we can only hand pass to a flat footed teammate about to be tackled.. whereas other team always seem to have a free man out the ball/on the outside and be able to kick to a open forward line, or man on the lead.. Under our game plan, our forward has very little opportunity to succeed, unless they take every opportunity which is unlike given the above reasons..
 

MrFoster

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I still find the criticism of Bruce and Membrey hard to cop. Not saying they’re above it by any means, but they kicked five between them yesterday, of which at least three (from memory) came from set shots as a result of being rewarded on the lead. Those opportunities are what allows key forwards to do their best work, and I’m sure we’d all agree such opportunities have been few and far between all year.

I just don’t think that any other forward combo will suddenly thrive given the same opportunities under our current method going forward.
100% agree.. if we’re asking our tall forwards to clunk a pack mark among 6-7 players every time..that’s a very low percentage play, our small forwards will have even less opportunity to crumb the ball in a pack.. open forward line is the only way to give our forwards a chance.. one small forward at the feet of a tall..and let them go to work..

Look at Collingwood, they hardly kicked to a pack in the game.. it was to a target most of the time..
 

gringo2011

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I don’t have the stats.. but our goal kicking problems maybe down to 3 things..

1. our forwards aren’t good kicks..
2. our forwards get the ball in the pockets for set shots, snaps are often under pressure
3. we are so fatigued from the pressure game/tackling

1. Out of our forwards, Membrey is our best kick, and he has delivered consistently given the chance.. Bruce would be our second best.. but out of Gresham, Billings, Lonie, Kent, Parker.. all of them are less than 50% chance unless it’s a set shot 30 metres in front.. How I miss Milnedog slotting 11 goals straight..

2. A lot of our setshots are on the boundary line or quite further out.. apart from Membrey.. those are low percentage shots.. If our inside 50 delivery is better, we can get better looks.

3. This is byproduct of our game plan.. because we don’t have elite ball winning mids, we rely on extra numbers to win the ball, often pushing forwards to the backline/midfield.. making fast ball and accurate movement really difficult.

when we don’t have the ball which is most of the time.. we bust our gut to pressure/tackle/defend.. like someone else said, it’s a high effort low reward game plan.. capable only kicking low scores and often get overran by better teams when they get a run on.

Richo seems like blue collar coach, his only game plan so far is pressure and effort.. our players swarm to the ball, even when we win the ball, we can only hand pass to a flat footed teammate about to be tackled.. whereas other team always seem to have a free man out the ball/on the outside and be able to kick to a open forward line, or man on the lead.. Under our game plan, our forward has very little opportunity to succeed, unless they take every opportunity which is unlike given the above reasons..

All our players have to peel back to help defence and midfield, they're run ragged and then are out of legs and position when the ball comes into the forward 50.
 

MrFoster

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All our players have to peel back to help defence and midfield, they're run ragged and then are out of legs and position when the ball comes into the forward 50.
Are you saying we play like the little league kids with the whole team following the ball? :) because it often looks that way.. lol
 

gringo2011

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Are you saying we play like the little league kids with the whole team following the ball? :) because it often looks that way.. lol

Yeah, we sure up our defence with the majority of the side helping out then peel back. Bruce runs more than any other KP in the league IMO. He's a workhorse. There are times where the forward line has one player, last year a tiny Lonie surrounded by talls and sometimes a spare intercept player. It was inevitable that he'd have it taken off him. This year we seem to camp Kent inside 50. The mids struggle to deliver because there are no options ahead and they have to hold up until there are options....only then are pressured to kick.
 

CaptainRisky

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Just on your comments, all are pretty fair in hindsight, might have been a bit raw when you mentioned it the first time. Part of me is proud that we are playing a squad that has no right to be as competitive as they are. Zero elite players, very few above average, but still able to take it up to top 4 teams for extended periods. Not being head dropping Melbourne soft cocks is a great positive too.

The gutting part is coming so close to having GWS and Collingwood put away at points, but inability to convert all our hard work is like watching porn with your hands cuffed behind your back. The losses chip away at your confidence as well, the pressure to beat Carlton who actually came closer to knocking off a better Collingwood side is kind of dread inducing too. A win is hollow because we are expected to roll them. A loss..... and any kind of early momentum just turns into more pressure.
Thanks for the tip , iv gotta give that a go one day
 

Diehard Saint

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King is a long way from playing AFL and then even further away from being able to influence games.
Yes, please can we not “Jack Watts” him and rush him in as the saviour.
We’ll set him up to fail if we bring him in before he’s ready.
 
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Can't believe ppl upset that our team, widely tipped to be bottom 4, now missing 6 of our starting 18, including our 2 best mids....
Lost to a team widely tipped to return to the grand final which they lost by a whisker last year.

Hopefully go into the bye with 5-6 wins then reload with Carlisle and hanners.
 
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In the cold light of day my thoughts haven't changed much. And apart from the modding, previews and podcast (Which I still enjoy doing) I reckon this will probably be the last of getting into discussions for me on this board for quite a while. To see the disdain from people here in the way they talk about those at the club is pretty poor and just the sheer weight of negativity has already driven people away and will continue to drive good people away from this place as long as it keeps up.

As for the state of the club, if you think it's me making excuses I don't really care, the reality is that with our key outs we weren't too much of a chance against the teams we've played over the last four weeks to begin with.

Quite clearly our entry and score is absolutely horrendous, haven't kicked over 100pts since Round 17 last year and only twice since the start of 2018. Damning stuff. We fell away badly in the last quarter. It's a credit to the players and coaches that whilst we aren't scoring heavily we are still in games so credit where it's due - we've been brilliant in that space.

Our forward setup has to be one of the worst in the competition. I think Battle is a better natural forward than Bruce so I wouldn't be surprised if we switch those two around and really if Bruce keeps up the poor form I could see him take a spell in the VFL when Carlisle returns from injury. But in saying that it doesn't help with some of the ball use from our midfielders.

I'll agree that we need to get games into the likes of Coffield, Hind, Clark, to an extent White but seriously he has been in the system for years now and hasn't shown much so I don't really mind too much if he is out - he needs to prove himself consistently in the VFL before getting a call up. Coming back overweight for pre-season's don't help his cause either.

No idea why we are playing Acres anywhere but in the middle. He is clearly a point of difference with his height and strength and he has real impact for us when they play him there. Maybe he doesn't have the tank to go in the middle all day, or maybe it's just a gameplan thing, but I'd like to see him in there more. He is a very talented footballer despite the flack he cops on here.

If we park the sensationalist stuff about the club falling to pieces and petitioning for the coach and admin to be sacked - if we just remove that for a minute, the issues are self evident. We have a good young core group of players who work extremely hard for themselves and one another. What we lack is stars in midfield. I would say that we are probably 2-3 genuine A-Graders away from being a premiership threat - and that's not a tongue in cheek comment - I really mean that.

Some positives from the game -
I thought Dunstan was superb yesterday.

I thought we found yet another player in Robbie Young who I thought was good for a first gamer.

We matched it for three quarters with a side who is a premiership favourite and made the GF last year.

I am pleased that we are sticking with good sides for much longer than we've done before - usually we'd be blown out by 70 odd or fall asleep and the game would be over. There's real resolve about this playing group this year. We've faced adversity all year yet to be 4-5 coming out of the toughest month of our fixture is a positive.

To keep a side like Collingwood, who have scored over 100 points in four of their last five games, to 50-odd midway through the third is a credit to how much the defense has improved. It's very much a makeshift back six with Wilkie and Battle filling holes left by the likes of Carlisle, Webster, and Geary. Paton in there as well doing some good things for us.

This is probably not popular opinion right now because after a loss this place goes into utter madness, but I still feel we have a list capable of playing finals this year, and quite frankly I don't think we've underperformed so far. To many who said we'd be bottom four and wouldn't win a game in the first 10 weeks then surely to those people we have done better than first predicted. And there's more to it than just looking at wins and losses. It's how we win games and how we lose games. For the most part we aren't getting completely blown out anymore. We are consistent in games for longer. We stick with teams for longer. There's a simpler game plan and the coaches have identified the need to focus on our strengths as opposed to worrying too much about our weaknesses.

We need a star forward. I hope King can become that.
We need a couple of star mids. I hope Gresham and Billings are those two. Now with Graeme Allan on board I am confident we can land a high quality player either this year or next.

I would say to those who think we've gone back to 2018 form to not buy into the spin. Those same people will think we are odds on for the flag if our form turns around. Too dramatic for me. Too much of it either being really good or really bad. I would say judging by our record and the teams we have won against along with the teams we've lost to, that we are somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the middle with some of our most important players out in a very even competition. We are percentage out of the eight as it stands right now so I wouldn't get too worked up.

Our next six games: Carlton, Port Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane (at home), Richmond, North Melbourne. Only game you could probably say we have little chance in is Richmond. Other five are winnable. So lets say we win four. Going into Round 16 sitting at 8-7 with games against Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Carlton and Sydney to end the year. I'd say Geelong and Adelaide we'd be likely to lose, the rest are a toss up. So from those 7 games lets say we win four. That gets us to 12-10 on the year and then making the eight would be dependent on percentage. Would you have taken that at the start of the year? I would've. And we know that we only need to get into the eight to have a chance. Doesn't matter anymore about where you finish - it's the form you're in when you get there. And our last three games against Fremantle, Carlton and Sydney are all winnable, plus we get back Hannebery, Carlisle, potentially Steven. King may be in the side by then. In short, there's plenty of the season to go. We aren't even halfway yet. For those that are fuelled by the negativity I'd say to have some faith in us. I doubt many gave us a chance in our last four games and then when we unsurprisingly lose them the **** still hits the fan. We can talk about 'well why aren't we favourites for those games if we're six years into a build'. I guess you have a point, but I'd say to simply take it for what it is.

I'm pretty confident that by years end we'll look back on it and admit we improved. I think we will finish the season strongly. There's enough evidence over a 9 game stretch to suggest that we will beat teams below us, and we play a lot of those in the back half. We've shown we can stick with good sides for large periods of games - and at times completely dominate them. As long as we keep improving (which I have no doubt) and fix some of our main issues, I think we will surprise a few.

Cheers :beermug:
Cheers George always appreciate your input. Oh and I agree on a lot of that assessment of where we are at and I'll add that getting Geary back will help us hugely in getting our young guys focused during the game - really could have used him yesterday.
 
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