AFL Round One 2019: Collingwood v Geelong – Five Reasons to Watch

Eddie Langtree takes a look at Friday Night Football and the clash between Collingwood and Geelong.


It appears something of an epiphany has come over the AFL.  The 2018 plan to promote the up and coming teams failed when despite five games on the Friday night stage, Carlton was neither up nor coming.  In a notable backflip, the AFL decided to start 2019 with a good game and this is one to look forward to.

By many estimations (mine included) Collingwood over achieved last season but have a strong and even team with a very deep midfield.  Geelong, conversely, underachieved.  The teaming up of the new holy trinity never quite hit the heights expected and their season was made to look better by some huge thumpings at The Cattery late in the season.

The single contest in 2018 was an underwhelming slog marred by poor kicking and injury.  So why should this be a good game?  Because it’s Geelong vs Collingwood.  Proud teams, unbelievable midfields with skills across the ground.  Can’t wait for this.

Last Five Meetings

2018Rd 8Gee9.12 (66)Coll5.15 (45)MCG44,602
2017Rd 22Gee10.10 (70)Coll9.5 (59)MCG47,889
2017Rd 6Coll15.17 (107)Gee11.12 (78)MCG46.457
2016Rd 9Coll16.8 (104)Gee11.14 (80)MCG59,864
2015Rd 22Coll17.8 (110)Gee9.8.62MCG40,582

Five Reasons to Watch

1. The Midfields

Geelong has Dangefield, Selwood, Kelly, Ablett. Collingwood has Pendlebury, Treloar, Sidebottom, Beams, DeGoey.  Those are the headliners, lots of side acts.  Greenwood likely goes to Joel Selwood but with Scott Selwood missing who do Geelong use as a stopper and who do you send them too anyway?

Collingwood wins on depth here but if all the Cats mids are on, look out.

2. Key forwards vs key backs – the will be interesting. 

With only one traditional key position player in the pairings of Moore vs Hawkins and Blicavs vs Cox this brings a level of unpredictability to the whole thing.  All four can be spectacular on their day but Moore is a converted forward, Cox a converted basketballer and Blicavs a steeplechaser (and a superb athlete).  Blicavs has (almost) the height, and the leap to nullify Cox but is Moore strong enough to go with Hawkins?  Or do Collingwood go the traditional route and put a brute like Jordan Roughead on Hawkins.

3. Collingwood’s mid size forward line. 

This will be a talking point all year and we won’t see the best of it with Hoskin-Elliot and Wells missing but Jamie Elliot, Josh Thomas, Jayden Stephenson, Jordan DeGoey and a resting Dayne Beams present something of a nightmare for Geelong.  This is made worse with Zac Tuohy and possibly (probably) Jed Bews missing.

4. Gary Rohan

Will be good to see him get a run on a full sized ground.  Would love to see him tear it up.

5. Who will Take Collingwood’s kick outs

Please don’t let Jeremy Howe kick out anymore – Darcy Moore seemed to take this role in the JLT but even of the couple I saw Howe try, one sailed 30m over the boundary line.  He’s a serial offender.

The Verdict

Geelong wins this in the midfield, normally.  The 6-6-6 rule will allow more space for Hawkins and if Geelong can get first use, expect him to get some silver service. Alas, Geelong’s midfield strength is more than matched by Collingwood’s depth and Grundy won’t be feeding any Cats.  The Pies don’t have a brute like Hawkins, but there are plenty of options down there.

Pies by 22

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