The Bucks stops here

Peter the Scribe Roar Guru

By Peter the Scribe, Peter the Scribe is a Roar Guru

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49 Have your say

    Collingwood surprised many this year with a convincing, some say era-defining 48-point win over Adelaide at their home ground, followed by a 49-point win over the Bombers on Anzac Day.

    Suddenly, many in the media were talking about the Pies not only making the finals but being a serious contender for 2018.

    It was bad timing to then front up to the Tiger machine, yet the Pies came within 11 points before being blown away in the last quarter.

    Since then, there was a lucky escape against the bottom-placed Lions in a shoot-out, and then a 20-point loss to the Cats, who only scored nine goals themselves in a simply awful game of footy. The final scorecard ended up looking like the 2005 grand final, when the Swans kicked 8.10.58 to win by four points.

    Now, Nathan Buckley’s team are 4-4 and in a precarious position.

    But while some say injuries are no excuse, I say that is rubbish. Imagine a Richmond-Geelong preliminary final where the Tigers have a full side and the Cats are missing Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield. Any excuse for the Cats if they get beaten? Of course there would be.

    So it is hardly sacrilege to point to injuries being a contributing factor and the Pies have had 14 senior players miss multiple games of footy already in eight rounds. Has any side been hit harder, including GWS?

    A glass half-full approach would say the injury-depleted Pies have played four of the top five teams in eight rounds, and still won games they should have against the 18th, 17th and 15th-placed sides. The only side they have lost to currently outside the eight are GWS (who, at the time, were top of the ladder and without the injuries they now have).

    The telling point of this draw so far is that the Pies have played either top sides or lowly sides, nothing in between. This is what makes the next three weeks absolutely critical, determining whether the Pies hover around the middle – desperately trying to rise above mediocrity yet again – or have a genuine launching pad for the finals at 7-4.

    They play St Kilda (16th) and the Dogs (13th) at Etihad, then Fremantle (12th) at the G – all games they should win to be considered a genuine challenger.

    Drop one or two here and it is going to be a rocky old climb. Win these next three and the Pies go into a Round 12 match against Melbourne with a shot to go 8-4.

    Right now is the time to dig in, despite the injury count, and take the next three wins as a platform to be almost assured of finals. So Bucks, is this side good enough to win six of their next seven games to sit 10-5 or 11-4?

    These coming weeks will determine if Collingwood need to mature as a group, and Nathan Buckley knows it.

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    The Crowd Says (49)

    • May 16th 2018 @ 6:22am
      Kane said | May 16th 2018 @ 6:22am | ! Report

      Good article Pete. You say injuries are an excuse but to me there is a massive problem behind the scenes in Collingwood land regarding your fitness program, every year there in more soft tissue injuries there than any other club which obviously says either the players aren’t resilient enough or the club isn’t addressing the problems. In my opinion injuries can’t be used as an excuse year after year. There has to come a time when the club (or any club in the same situation for that matter)sits down and says enough with the “easy way out injury excuses”, now let’s address the problem. I have seen u mention on different threads over time that injuries have been a major reason that Collingwood didn’t make the finals in the last 4 years because of their “bad luck” with injuries but my question to you is, when does bad luck become bad management?

      And for the record, this is in no way meant to be a crack at Collingwood (even though I can’t stand them because I’m a Carlton supporter, it’s built into our DNA to not like each other haha) but merely an observation from a footy lover. I look forward to your response

      • Roar Guru

        May 16th 2018 @ 7:59am
        Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        Kane, thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you. Something is wrong when these soft tissue injuries happen year after year. If the club isn’t already scientifically measuring the hardness of the Holden Centre ground and evaluating all our training methods, while all the team of doctors, trainers, coaches, performance managers, leadership manager, list managers are all being paid then something is clearly wrong. If I had access to Geoff Walsh I’d ask him. This has indeed been happening year after year. It’s possible it is indeed just bad luck that the club just happened to recruit players prone to soft tissue issues but when a young player like Darcy Moore starts already getting reoccurrence hamstrings, it is a real worry. Jeremy Howe now has a tight hammy and is in doubt this week too. If I was Eddie I’d be trying to poach the Richmond performance team, as it is freakish how injury free they are.

        • May 16th 2018 @ 11:25am
          Kris said | May 16th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

          The only players out with soft tissue injuries are Moore, Elliott and Josh Smith.

          I think every club has 1-3 players out with soft tissue injuries.

          • Roar Guru

            May 16th 2018 @ 12:25pm
            Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

            Kris, thanks for your comment but you are only looking at the current injuries, – throughout the course of 2018 preseason and this season itself we have had the following soft tissue injuries with a number occurring at training or in practice matches at the Holden Centre.
            Moore (hamstring) , Elliott (hamstring) , J Smith (hamstring), Adams (hamstring, De Goey (hamstring) , Greenwood (Knee but also Quad issues), Wells (hamstring & calf)), Varcoe (hamstring tightness), Wills (calf tightness). The Langdon injury is a bit veiled as just “leg” but unsure specifically what it is.

            • May 17th 2018 @ 12:29pm
              Kris said | May 17th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

              Which is comparable to every other team.

              Adelaide Betts, Walker, Hartigan, B.Crouch, Knight, M.Crouch, McKay, Cheney, Gibson, McPherson, Hampton, Milera, Murphy

    • May 16th 2018 @ 7:18am
      truetigerfan said | May 16th 2018 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      Groundhog Day? Heard it all before. Gee, Nathan Buckley must be the unluckiest coach of all time. Perhaps it may supersede the previous meaning of ‘Buckley’s hope/chance’. Do you ever get the feeling it just wasn’t meant to be for Bucks and Collingwood are cursed and are constantly being whacked by karma? Sure sounds like it. Gotta agree with Kane, you make your own luck.

    • Roar Guru

      May 16th 2018 @ 7:30am
      Cat said | May 16th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      … the Pies have had 14 senior players miss multiple games of footy already in eight rounds. Has any side been hit harder, including GWS?

      Yes. Carlton. I reckon Geelong and GWS are so close as to not make any material difference.

      As for injuries being an ‘excuse’ sure if one team is down a lot of players and the other is fully fit (as in your example) it can be a factor, but when two nearly equal injury hit teams meet it is not a valid reason (such as Geelong v Pies last weekend).

      • Roar Guru

        May 16th 2018 @ 7:41am
        Cat said | May 16th 2018 @ 7:41am | ! Report

        • May 16th 2018 @ 7:49am
          I ate pies said | May 16th 2018 @ 7:49am | ! Report

          The Dogs have already used 32 players. Not having injuries is the exception not the rule at the moment.

          • Roar Guru

            May 16th 2018 @ 1:35pm
            Cat said | May 16th 2018 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

            So has 4 other teams (St Kilda, Geelong, Gold Coast, Carlton) and Essendon has used 33.

            The only two teams that are outliers on the players used scale are NM (26) and Richmond (27) … you probably could have guessed those 2 based on their form so far.

            Adelaide is at 29 and everyone else not mentioned is 30 or 31.

            The problem with ‘players used’ is it includes players dropped for form, not just injury. It also doesn’t reflect a player who may play one game, get injured, come back and get injured again.

        • Roar Guru

          May 16th 2018 @ 8:10am
          Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 8:10am | ! Report

          I agree, I’d like to see this now after 8 rounds.

        • May 16th 2018 @ 11:12am
          Kris said | May 16th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

        • May 16th 2018 @ 11:19pm
          Don Freo said | May 16th 2018 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

          Yes by the middle of May, Freo might have got to the top of the ladder. A pre-cursor to the premiership ladder by the time thwy all come back.

      • Roar Guru

        May 16th 2018 @ 8:08am
        Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        I’d put the Crows up there too Cat, the Crows have also been decimated this year. Arguably the Geelong V Collingwood game could be called a nil all draw on the injury front and Buckley was simply out coached on the day. Our other losses were Richmond, GWS and Hawthorn which gets back to my point of not playing anyone in the middle ranks as yet. We have beaten three bottom teams in Brisbane, Essendon and Carlton which leaves only the Adelaide win (they did indeed have some players missing as did we ) as a possible indicator of how far we could go this year.

        • May 16th 2018 @ 1:05pm
          Gecko said | May 16th 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

          So now Peter you’re conceding that our Pies are no worse off injury-wise than the average for AFL clubs.

          And the guys on our injury list are our B graders (except Wells, whom we mysteriously recruited, knowing he was not only injury-prone but also the wrong side of 30). Other sides are missing match winners like Buddy, Sloane and Kelly.

          If we play the next few weeks like we played against Geelong and Brisbane, you and Bucks need to stop your ridiculous excuses.

          • Roar Guru

            May 16th 2018 @ 2:12pm
            Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

            Gecko, where did I concede the Pies are no worse than off than the average? I acknowledged that Geelong, Dogs, Crows, GWS and the Blues have had their own issues with injury but I believe looking at the full year the Pies and GWS to have the worst in regard to top 18 players. You, like Swampy are only looking at current outs and conveniently forget the following Pies have missed games (all mulitple games except Pendles) this year with injury. Adams, Reid, Maynard, J Smith, Varcoe, Langdon, Elliott, Broomhead, Goldsack, Aish, Pendlebury, De Goey, Wells, Moore, Greenwood. All B graders Gecko?

    • Roar Guru

      May 16th 2018 @ 8:42am
      AdelaideDocker said | May 16th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      Good article, Pete. The next three weeks will certainly be crucial.

      For mine, Collingwood might’ve been hyped up a little too much headed into the Geelong game – I won’t deny I also fell victim to that hype! Injuries are making things tough, but the onus is on Buckley and the coaching group to ensure that they find a unique way to win whilst being decimated.

      I feel like the Pies have to prove whether their norm are the victories over the Crows or the Dons, or the scrappy loss to the Cats. With all due respect, I’m feeling that the wins are more the exception at the moment.

      • May 16th 2018 @ 9:34am
        Tom M said | May 16th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        Can we please stop referring to the Geelong loss as “scrappy”. That is how Geelong play by design, they are trying to make the game ugly as it plays to their strengths. Good coaching from Scott is what is helping this Geelong team the most.

        • Roar Guru

          May 16th 2018 @ 12:36pm
          Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

          I would just call the Geelong game awful Tom. It was one of those games that the law makers need to look at. It was just terrible football. Rolling masses of players pushing down each wing. Credit to the Cats as they got the points but just a hideous game to watch.

      • Roar Guru

        May 16th 2018 @ 10:00am
        Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        AD in previous years the Pies have had supposedly season defining wins one week and then followed by a loss to a low side the next. Last year we beat the Cats comfortably in round 6 then lost to the Blues the next round. These three upcoming games simply must be wins to get to 7-4. Regardless of injuries these three games should be wins. In my opinion the Cats loss wasn’t a defining moment it’s the next three games that sets up the season ….or else we may well be headed to mediocrity again and my preseason optimism will be ill founded.

        • Roar Guru

          May 16th 2018 @ 10:10am
          Cat said | May 16th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

          I think you’ll find over hyping the Pies any chance they get sells lots of papers. Getting pummelled by Richmond and barely scraping over the line against the worst team in the league was never ‘surging and in-form’ as was being portrayed by the media prior to the Geelong game but pumping the Pies up sells more than honesty.

        • May 16th 2018 @ 11:17am
          Kris said | May 16th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

          Happens every year when Anzac Day falls midweek.

          Last year they lost to Essendon midweek, rallied with the big-effort game to beat Geelong, but then were dead in the water and couldn’t raise a jog against Carlton as the 2 games in 5 days caught up with them.

          This year they got the win against Essendon, again ran themselves into the ground 4 days later this time against Richmond – and were dead in the water against Brisbane but managed to fall over the line.

          You can set your calendar by it.

    • Roar Guru

      May 16th 2018 @ 9:34am
      DingoGray said | May 16th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      I’m with Kane, Bad Luck injury wise 5 years running……

      Either bad management, or Bucks is Cursed! If the second, cut your losses now.

      • Roar Guru

        May 16th 2018 @ 10:02am
        Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

        Don’t believe in curses Dingo but do believe in bad sports science management as one possibility as mentioned by Kane.

    • May 16th 2018 @ 11:55am
      Swampy said | May 16th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

      Pies injury list is not that bad. I’d say Adelaide, Bulldogs, West Coast, Gws and the Suns have had equal to or worse key injuries.

      At this point in time can anyone really expect that guys like Jamie Elliott, Scott Pendlebury and Ben Reid can even go close to being available for 20 games?

      Injuries and risk management (like playing injury prone players like the above in games 4 days apart) is as much a part of success and failure as tactics on the field.

      Pies are above where I expected them after 8 games. I don’t think anyone has mentioned them amongst premiership contenders though. Most pundits now think it’s a chance the Pies could vie for a place at the bottom of the 8. But expectations have been raised from bottom six. So that’s something.

      • Roar Guru

        May 16th 2018 @ 12:33pm
        Peter the Scribe said | May 16th 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        Swampy, Pies fans are quite aware Pendles hardly misses a game. He missed a few at the end of last year and has missed one this year. You may have a point though on Elliott and Reid. Poor Jamie Elliott’s future is under a cloud now as with this latest injury he may well be out 4-6 and is out of contract at the end of the year. I listed our players who had been lost to injury this year but the editors edited them out. In no particular order Adams, Reid, Maynard, J Smith, Varcoe, Langdon, Elliott, Broomhead, Goldsack, Aish, Pendlebury, De Goey, Wells, Moore, Greenwood. There’s 15 senior players off the top of my head. How you can say “Pies injury list is not that bad” based on that is staggering to be truthful. Gerard Whateley for one was talking up the Pies as “genuine contenders” after the Crows and Bombers wins.

        • May 16th 2018 @ 5:45pm
          Swampy said | May 16th 2018 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

          How many total games have they missed and where does that put Collingwood in comparison to other teams? Back it up with actual researched statistics.

          De Goey has himself to blame. I’m not sure you can even count wells and some of the others are B graders.

          Regardless, this is no worse than many other teams as alluded to in my previous comment.

          I’ll find an afl injury table.

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