JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Plan B for the Pies if Dawes is out

IT WILL become the selection question of preliminary final week should Chris Dawes lose his battle of wounded knee: Who replaces him and supports Darren Jolly?

Few of the past and present coaches The Age canvassed on this thorny question last night thought there was an easy solution for Collingwood if Dawes didn't get up for Friday. It was a case of choosing between lesser problems, if not evils.

Former Collingwood coach Tony Shaw thought Nathan Buckley should deploy Tyson Goldsack as the relief ruckman, while bringing in nippy small Ben Sinclair rather than a tall such as forward Jackson Paine.

A seasoned assistant coach from a rival club said he would go with Goldsack too, but would promote Paine. The problem was that Goldsack was a ''tackling machine'' in the front half and removing him from the forward line would deprive the Pies of some of that ''frontal pressure'' that they rediscovered last Saturday against West Coast.

Only a minority of those surveyed liked the notion of Cameron Wood, a specialist ruckman, returning as a second ruck.

While Dawes has struggled this season, his role as the back-up ruck and big-forward foil for Travis Cloke isn't easily filled by the Magpies, who have a clear preference for playing one specialist ruck.

Buckley, as the coaches acknowledged, would appear to have three options for filling the Dawes' role:

1. Recall specialist ruckman Wood, who hasn't played at senior level - or at all - since he played in place of Jolly for the round 22 game in Perth against West Coast's Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox; in rucking terms, this was like being promoted to open the batting against Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. Wood - and the Woods - floundered. Jolly's presence was critical to Collingwood's reversal of that result at the weekend.

The advantage of bringing in Wood is that a) Jolly's banged-up body would receive respite, b) that the Swans play two rucks in Shane Mumford and Mike Pyke, the latter isn't Cox or Naitanui and the opposition doesn't gain rotational advantages, and c) there's genuine insurance if Jolly is hurt.

The last point is the most compelling argument for Wood. In the 2002 grand final, the Brisbane Lions lost Beau McDonald in the first quarter. Had they not played Clark Keating and McDonald, what would have happened?

The downside is that Wood hasn't played since August 25, isn't versatile and offers little besides ruck relief. On the basis of Buckley's form thus far, it doesn't shape as likely - the Pies were sufficiently horrified by round 22 to play Nick Maxwell, jockey-sized relative to Essendon's David Hille, as the second ruck.

2. Promote Paine, a first-year tall forward, in lieu of Dawes - the same structure the Pies used in the round 23 game against Essendon. Since Maxwell isn't available this week, the obvious candidates for the relieving role are Goldsack, who is 193 centimetres, with what an assistant coach deemed ''a really good spring'', or the stronger-bodied Nathan Brown. In this scenario, Jolly would take every centre bounce, as he did in the Essendon game.

3. Bring in a smaller player, rather than a tall forward, bearing in mind that fresh legs might be paramount. Paul Seedsman, Ben Sinclair and Marty Clarke were the emergencies last Saturday; presumably, the inclusion would be one of the first two, Seedsman having performed well against the Swans at the same venue in round 19.

To compensate for the loss of Dawes in attack, Chris Tarrant would likely be pushed forward - at least at the outset, with Goldsack and/or Brown filling in as the relief ruckman.

This third option is Shaw's preference. ''I'd ruck Goldsack,'' said the ex-coach and club great. ''He's a good runner, he can jump … I'd bring in Sinclair as another small.'' Shaw didn't believe another tall target was needed in attack.

One slow on Goldsack as second ruck would be his slight frame, with one former coach noting he was 13 kilograms lighter than Dawes.

In days of yore, Collingwood was wont to throw debutants to the wolves in finals. But the notion that the Pies would promote leviathan youngster Jarrod Witts (208 centimetre) or skinny Jonathon Ceglar (198) for their first game against the Swans can be dismissed. Clubs are far less adventurous in these measured times.

If Dawes doesn't play, any option taken will be a departure from the norm. None is without risk.

39 comments so far

  • Regardless of who they use, I'm sure they will use the same illegal blocking tactics that they used against the Eagles rucks last week, and that they seem to have copied from Hawthorn, who used it against both Sydney and West Coast recently. Only Leigh Mathhews seemed to notice this. None of the other commentators or umpires!!! And if Brown is used in the ruck, who is going to put their hand on the shoulder of the leading forward to prevent them jumping for a mark?

    Commenter
    Ross
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 18, 2012, 5:49PM
    • Ross, are you talking about saturdays game where the umpires thought they were in Perth, gave the eagles 4 free kicks right in front of the goal, allowed Cloke to be hanged onto all night, gave selwood his usual ducking his head free kicks and Natanui everything as he really couldn't step up and showed that he is not quite a great afl footballer yet, just very athletic good footballer, not a great. the same game where a goal was awarded to collingwood, the ump allowed the scoreboard to change, ran the ball back to the middle, almost bounced it then stopped and awarded a point.

      Commenter
      genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      September 18, 2012, 6:43PM
    • Yeah, it was particularly evident last week against West Coast. It's really noticeable with Jolly, because he can't jump. I was really surprised a free wasn't paid for it. During the home and away season, the umps were hot on it. Come finals, they don't call it. On one hand, it was good they didn't pay a picky free, but on the other, it's against the rules. Hmm.

       

      Commenter
      Julius Seizure
      Date and time
      September 18, 2012, 6:51PM
    • hmmm i just watched the smart replay on AFL web site for the WCE and Collingwood clash and couldn't see what you described - after which goal was the ball up antics your describing occured?

      Commenter
      Jimako
      Date and time
      September 18, 2012, 8:59PM
    • "Regardless of who they use, I'm sure they will use the same illegal blocking tactics that they used against the Eagles rucks last week"

      That's a funny way to describe how Pendles was held onto illegally at almost every bounce.

      "And if Brown is used in the ruck, who is going to put their hand on the shoulder of the leading forward to prevent them jumping for a mark?"

      Nicnak did more of that that anyone else last week. It was quite obvious too. How that got missed, I'll never know.

      Commenter
      Bob
      Date and time
      September 18, 2012, 9:14PM
  • chris dawes and cameron wood aren't good enough to carry mike pyke's boots.

    Commenter
    spaceben
    Location
    the moon
    Date and time
    September 18, 2012, 5:52PM
    • I doubt if they'd want to.

      Commenter
      BC
      Date and time
      September 18, 2012, 9:01PM
    • You've missed the point mate. they're not good enough, they wouldn't be asked. It's not a question of whether they'd want to or not.

      The big Canadian's taking monster pack marks and kicking a few handy snags, been impacting games late in the season. What's Dawes done? Not much The only game he had any impact in was the first final, he got dropped and Cloke finally pulled his head out of his woohoo.

      Commenter
      spaceben
      Location
      the moon
      Date and time
      September 18, 2012, 10:26PM
    • who's Mike Pyke?

      Commenter
      Gaz
      Location
      Yarrawonga
      Date and time
      September 19, 2012, 7:05AM
    • You asked what Dawes has done? - answer - he collected a premiership medallion after kicking 2 goals in the 2010 Grand Final replay.
      So while you lick Pike's boots Dawes can shine his premiership medallion.

      Commenter
      EarthBob
      Location
      Earth
      Date and time
      September 19, 2012, 7:15AM

More comments

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC ($1.29)vs NTH ($3.60) 19:50ES
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE ($2.50)vs ADE ($1.53) 13:05SS
BRI ($4.50)vs WBU ($1.20) 13:45G
PTA vs FRE 15:50Adelaide Oval
HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($17.00) 16:40MCG
SYD ($1.04)vs GCF ($11.00) 19:20SCG
WCE ($1.04)vs STK ($11.00) 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL ($3.20)vs GWS ($1.36) 13:10ES
COL ($1.28)vs ESS ($3.70) 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 21 17 4 0 125.10 68
West Coast Eagles 21 15 5 1 143.00 62
Hawthorn 21 15 6 0 156.77 60
Sydney Swans 21 15 6 0 124.11 60
Richmond 21 14 7 0 121.39 56
Western Bulldogs 21 14 7 0 116.76 56
Adelaide Crows 20 13 7 0 119.10 54
North Melbourne 21 13 8 0 109.08 52
View all
 

Follow Us on Facebook

HuffPost Australia

Featured advertisers