Collingwood v Western Bulldogs - The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Magpies ramped up the pressure in the second half of their Friday night footy clash with the Western Bulldogs, and the Dogs just couldn’t go with them.

Three goals behind at half time, the Pies held the Bulldogs goalless in the second half whilst adding eight of their own to run out comfortable 35-point winners.

Here’s The Mongrel’s good, bad and ugly.

 

THE GOOD

Brodie Grundy

Well, the race for All-Australian ruckman just went up another notch.

Grundy has thrown down the gauntlet to Max Gawn and Stefan Martin with a dominant display after quarter time. I say after quarter time, because Jordan Roughead actually contested really well in the first quarter, and I didn’t think Grundy’s taps were actually finding the mark as well as they should have.

But he made up for that in the next three quarters, and then some. He led the game with 21 contested disposals and simply outworked any big man the Dogs threw at him.

The thing I loved most – Grundy was working as hard in the last quarter as he was in the first. He is an aerobic beast.

Matt Scharenberg

I’ve loved the way he’s started games this season, as he usually takes a couple of intercept marks in the first quarter. Today he went on with it, and was the best defender for the Pies all night.

Scharenberg did not miss a target all game, travelling at 100% efficiency and had eight 1%ers on the night. It’s great to see Scharenberg string games together, and he is doing it at the right time. All good sides have a couple of surprise packets that pop up, and Scharenberg was a big question mark coming into this season.

If there were questions around him, they’re being answered week by week.

Adam Treloar

Another forty touches tonight.

Treloar is often the butt of Richmond supporters’ jokes about his choice of Collingwood over the Tigers. Well, all he can do about it is play well, and he is in career-best form right now.

Treloar breaks the lines, and was important in Collingwood’s forward thrusts when the Bulldogs were on top early. He was the one pushing against the tide and providing the run and carry for Collingwood as he awaited the cavalry.

The cavalry arrived in the second half, but Treloar’s 18 touches in the first half went a big way to keeping the Pies in it.

Tom Phillips

This guy just continues to go from strength to strength. He got one vote in the 2017 Rising Star award. If we took that poll again right now, he’d be the runaway winner.

His 36 touches weren’t the regular behind the ball, sideways kicks that a lot of defenders (cough… Michael Hurley… cough) seem to get. He runs hard and at one point started a play from full back and was the one who ended up being the man making the pass inside fifty to complete it.

Phillips’ workrate is second to none in the Collingwood team at the moment (well... maybe Grundy), and he is quickly becoming a player opposition coaches will have to put some time into.

Ed Richards

This was a positive for the Bulldogs. After a few early fumbles (I took note and was gonna call him out on not being clean at all) he steadied and was one of the Dogs’ best for the night.

Richards had ten contested touches amongst his 23 disposals. There were Dogs with more but we’re used to them getting more. This one was a standout game for the youngster.

Matt Suckling’s first half

Here’s the other highlight for the Bulldogs. Suckling’s sizzling left foot was on full display in the first half. He drilled a beautiful long goal to open the Bullies’ account, and hit Roughead with a ripping long bomb in the second quarter, that led to another goal.

But I really liked the defensive work from him early as well. His smother on Will Hoskin-Elliott was a ripper in the second quarter.

 

THE BAD

Tom Boyd’s ruck efforts

Tom Boyd is not a ruckman. He is OK around the ground, but he’ll do the most damage as a forward. I’m not sure he has the tank to continue to run with a player like Brodie Grundy, but more than that, I’m not sure he has the will. He just didn't look that interested.

Better players than Boyd will fall to the workrate of Grundy this season, but he was so easily pushed out of position in the second half that either he was completely spent, or he just couldn’t give a stuff.

It will need to be addressed.

Jason Johannisen

You think you might want to get involved in the game at some point, JJ? You're a Norm Smith Medalist for crying out loud!

14 touches for a guy of your talent is just nowhere near enough. Yeah you had Levi Greenwood to contend with, but the knock on you has been that you don’t like the close attention; there’s only one way to shred it. Sadly, tonight was a time when your team really needed something from you.

They didn’t get it.

 

THE UGLY

The Dogs’ second half

This was horrid. I watched them in the last quarter, down by 9 points to start, and they just didn’t fire a shot. They didn’t even pick up the gun!

When they got the ball, the Dogs seemed content to just chip it across half back, take no risks and simply accept the defeat they were being handed. They looked like a team that had put a couple of wins on the board recently, and when the heat went up in the second half, they put the cue in the rack and started looking forward to next week.

You’ve got to do a bit better against a team that’s not in the bottom five on the ladder, Dogs. If you don’t, that’s where you’ll end up too.

Mason Cox’s head high hit on Jason Johannisen

OK, it wasn’t a hard hit, but this is where our system falls down. Too often we punish the result, and not the act. Cox’s act tonight was clumsy and it was stupid.

We’ve seen blokes suspended for tackles this season - pure football acts, but this is as dangerous as it gets. Don’t get me wrong – I love a bit of biff in the game, but this is the sort of thing that you don’t wanna see. You want to protect a guy bending down to pick up the ball. It was a cheap act and deserves to be punished, but all he’ll get is a fine, because Johannisen was fine.

If you want to start being serious, punish the act and not the outcome. Mason Cox struggled tonight, and that was his lowest point.

Also… I think he should’ve got 2-3 arm chop free kicks, easily, but that’s another story…

 

OTHER BITS

Salivating match up at the first bounce – Pendlebury v Bontempelli. They spent a bit of time matched up on each other at stoppages in the first half before it became a Pendlebury v Macrae battle instead. Bont was moved forward and on the day, Pendles took the points against Macrae. He just uses it so well..

Umpire Simon Meredith almost caused some carnage when he narrowly avoided getting crushed in a marking contest in the first quarter. What was he thinking? He just kept running into harm’s way!

In case you forgot how good a kick at goal Tory Dickson is, he reminded us all with a gorgeous from 45 out on a decent angle. Never looked like missing. Still, he does have a name like a teen movie cheerleader.

Bailey Williams handed the Pies their first when he overcooked an inboard kick and de Goey was able to swoop and hand off to Phillips for the easy goal.

Loved Josh Schache’s calm, weighted pass to Tory Dickson for his second goal. Didn’t try to kill it – just put it out in front and let him run onto it.

I don’t know what Tom Boyd was doing with his shot from 30 metres out. Looked like he tried a stab pass. It wasn’t a great idea.

It’s a Collingwood game, so you must allow Lynden Dunn to do one stupid thing in the game – it’s like a team rule or something. This week, he gave away 50 metres to make sure Tom Boyd was able to atone for his earlier miss. What a nice guy…

Bailey Williams got a clear snap at goal despite being tackled early in the second quarter. You see, this is what happens when players are too afraid to take the man to ground. I’ve heard many arguments that you shouldn’t take a man off his feet when the arms are pinned. The alternative in this situation was to allow him to drop the ball onto his foot. He did, but luckily it only registered a point.

Taylor Adams was having a bit of a horror run until halfway through the second quarter. Credit to him, despite things not going his way, he was able to work into the game and undo a few earlier mistakes.

Geez, when Treloar pins the ears back and sees the goal, there’s no stopping him.

Pendlebury’s hands to Josh Thomas for goal were great, but Grundy’s ruck tap to Pendlebury was sublime. Pendlebury will get the goal assist, but it was every bit Grundy’s work as Pendles’.

Terrible, terrible call with McLean dropping at the knees intentionally to draw high contact. The only way you can stamp this garbage out is if you penalise it, not reward it.

Loved Scharenberg’s contested mark in the defensive goal square in the second. Confidence…

A horrible miskick from Richards landed in the hands of Schache to give the former Lion his first goal. Horrid kick from Richards – sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

It was a tackle by Jack Crisp in the third quarter that paved the way for the Pies first of the quarter. Bont tried to crash through Crisp, but the Collingwood defender would have none of it. He dragged Bont to the ground, earned the free, pumped the ball long and Sidebottom crumbed for the goal. Great goal to Sidebottom but I hope a few people went back and patted Crisp on the head. He was the one who created the opportunity - too often forgotten.

Good to see Chris Mayne holding his spot in the team. Another 20 touches tonight, and applied good pressure.

How good was Josh Thomas asking the umpire “What for?” after having a free kick paid against him for blatantly throwing the ball? Ripping tackle by Ed Richards to earn that free kick, too.

Great workrate from Jeremy Howe to make a spoil at half back. He ran 50 metres to aid his teammate, leaving his direct opponent wide open.

Tom Langdon makes for a more attractive woman than Hannah Mouncey. Nice hair. Perhaps only Roarke Smith has better hair.

upload.jpg

I’m not sure Roughead needed to put both hands in the back of Taylor Adams to take a mark in defence. It cost a goal, but a bit more bodywork may have been all that was required.

Back to back misses from Dahlhaus and Bont really hurt the Dogs. Dahlhaus in particular was really poorly executed. Smart of the Pies to throw Mason Cox on the mark and make him kick over him, though.

For the last 4-5 minutes of the third quarter, both teams appeared as though they were more concerned with preserving the small lead (Collingwood), or not allowing the lead to extend (Bulldogs). The attack just fell away as both teams played the chip across half back game. I really hate when games fall into this pattern.

Will Hoskin-Elliott’s development as a hard running forward has been a pleasure to watch. He, when combined with de Goey and Stephenson, make for a formidable forward line.

Cox clunked a few marks late in the game, but it would’ve been nice to see him grab them early when it mattered.

Toby McLean finished one mark short of the elusive quadruple double.

I don’t think Jordan de Goey would’ve added much to his overall price with tonight’s performance, but he always looks dangerous. He didn’t get silver service, and when he did get it, he didn’t get the time to steady. A couple of errant hacks toward goals were the result.

We’ve all probably heard it a hundred times, but watching Pendlebury buy time, hold the ball and make the right decision in traffic is a privilege to see.

Equal season low for Sidebottom tonight, with 24 touches.

Overall, a solid win for the Pies, and a reminder that the Bulldogs still have a long way to go.

And that’s that for another edition of the good, bad and ugly. Like what you’re getting from The Mongrel? Well, we wouldn’t mind a like on Facebook or a follow on Twitter if you’re feeling charitable. Go on… we won’t tell.