Category - 2011 – Round 22
A review at all eight games from an AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach perspective, running through all the heroes and villains of each game.
Carlton vs Hawthorn:
- Kade Simpson was best on ground for the Blues, with his pace and ability to break the lines troubling the Hawks at times, especially in the second half when the Blues fought back. He has put together a very consistent past month and looms as a very important player for Carlton’s finals hopes. He has also stood out recently for his great courage, backing into packs on several occasions as he drops back to play loose man. Finished with 27 touches, 9 marks and 2.2.
- Chris Yarran is another Blue to be experiencing a bit of a purple patch of form, with his run and delivery off half-back getting better week by week. The Hawks tried to quieten him by playing Whitecross as a defensive forward, but Yarran still managed to get off the chain and get himself 20 disposals (16 of which were kicks) and 5 marks.
- Michael Jamison played a different role up forward, and whilst he looked a little lost at times, he actually managed to get himself a few shots on goal. However, his conversion let him down, kicking 1.3, which included two posters. Don’t expect this sort of role every week – he was thrown there to exploit the Hawks’ short backline – his best role is still down back, and expect that to be where he is played through the remaining rounds and finals this year.
- Matthew Kruezer was pretty disappointing and is looking like he is still in need of a bit of touch after spending a year on the sidelines. He had the fumbles early and missed a few easy marks too, and never really got into any sort of form through the game. He again played predominantly forward with stints in the ruck, picking up 13 touches and just one behind for the game.
- Jordan Lewis played one of his best games that I can remember, throwing himself at the ball as if he were playing in a Grand Final. He worked hard through the middle all game, winning plenty of important hard-ball, but one of his highlights included throwing himself onto the ball in front of goal as about five Blues pounced on him – he managed to get out and clear the ball, despite it looking like a certain Blues goal.
- Lance Franklin had another solid game, booting 4.1 for the game in a good battle with Henderson. He helped set up the game early with some good goals, but also provided a highlight late in the game when he tore away from Thornton on the wing, running all the way to the goalsquare to kick the goal. Is in some great form at the moment, so fingers crossed it can continue over the next fortnight.
- Cyril Rioli had one of those great games that just wasn’t able to be reflected on the stats sheet. He only managed a few disposals in the first quarter, but helped set up a healthy lead for the Hawks with his dogged determination to run and pressure his opponents. He is playing predominantly forward, with stints in the middle, but I think this is where he is looking most dangerous. No matter where the ball lands in the Hawks forward line, he always seems to be nearby to create pressure or a contest. Finished with 15 disposals and 9 tackles, but had much more effect on the outcome than that suggests.
- Josh Gibson was insanely good in defence for the Hawks, mopping up everything that came his way with a cool head and great disposal. In fact, I had never really realised how good he could be by foot, but some of his disposals off half-back in this game were fantastic – pin-pointing a teammate in traffic from over 50 metres away. Didn’t win a stack of the ball, but his SuperCoach score of 119 is proof of how effective he was.
Gold Coast vs Adelaide:
- Gary Ablett turned on some magic form again after having a few quiet weeks in a row, thanks to his few minor hamstring issues. He was a prolific ball-winner through the middle and as usual, used it well. And in credit to him, he battled on despite copping a huge accidental kick to the head from Dangerfield. Finished with a whopping 39 disposals (But amazingly, this was FAR from the most on the ground) and 9 tackles. Personally I am excited about his prospects next week against Melbourne.
- Danny Stanley was good again for the Suns, working hard across the half-forward flank and through the midfield. Of all the off-cast mature players the Suns recruited in the drafts, Stanley has by far been the pick of the bunch, putting together a stellar season, which will surely see him place top-5 in their inaugural B&F. He didn’t kick a goal, but managed a career high 33 disposals and 10 marks.
- Dion Prestia continues to be a favourite of mine with his great work at the clearances. He has a lot of pace around the contests, but doesn’t mind going in to win his own ball either – often managing to grad the ball from the stoppage and then dash of with it under his arm. He reminds me a little bit of Leigh Montagna. It was also a great bonus to get a decent score from him in a week plagued by missing forwards. Finished with 24 touches and 8 tackles.
- Nathan Ablett had his first run in Suns colours and looked OK, without really blowing us away. He was never a ball-winning forward, even in Geelong’s dominant 2007, so it would be unfair to expect that of him in his debut game for the Suns. Fortunately, he at least gave a contest, highlighted by a strong tackle on the wing in the last quarter. The Suns want to see if he has what it takes, so expect to see him play out the year in the seniors.
- Scott Thompson was sensational, dominating though the midfield and coming up just 2 disposals short of the all-time AFL disposal record. He had 51 touches, 9 clearances, 4 marks and 4 tackles – an incredible effort, regardless of the opposition. He simply busted his arse to run between the contests all day, setting up and linking up plenty of attacks to ensure the Crows the win.
- Sam Jacobs was dominant in the ruck against an undermanned Gold Coast ruck-department. Not only did he dominate in the air though, but he dominated around the ground too, picking up 24 disposals and 7 marks to go with his 47 hitouts. His form has been building lately, so he could definitely be a reasonable option as a 2nd ruck (if in need) for the last two games. Should do pretty well against Richmond next week too, you’d think.
- Kurt Tippett pulled out the party tricks on his way to booting 4 goals, including a couple of spectacular bananas from the boundary line. He has suffered a bit from form and injury this year, so it was great to see him lively and confident in himself again. We know what this guy can do, so it would be great to see some consistent form from him before the year is out.
- Taylor Walker was impressive again, adding to his decent series of games under Mark Bickley with 4.1, 20 disposals and 10 marks. It has been theorised for a while that Walker and Tippett struggle to both fire in the same forward line, so it was good to see them both having great games, without getting in each others ways. For those tempted at all by Walker as a finals smokey, be warned that he is under an injury cloud for next week after hurting his shoulder.
West Coast vs Essendon:
- Josh Kennedy came back into the side from his tennis ball injury looking refreshed and ready to continue on from where he left off. He booted 4.3 and looked way to dangerous for the undersized Bombers backline. The Eagles subsequently went to him a lot, and half the time his marks didn’t even look at all challenging for him as he plucked 9 for the game. Could be the ultimate unique for the last two weeks of finals… plays Brisbane and Adelaide the next two weeks, so could be in line for some decent scores!
- Daniel Kerr played another blinder before he was eventually shut-down in the forth quarter with an abdominal injury of sorts. His was great as usual under the packs, but his zip and ferocity at the ball seemed to trouble the Bombers at times and they simply had no one who could go with him. Finished with 26 disposals, 7 clearances and 2 goals.
- Luke Shuey did his Rising Star chances no harm with another brilliant display through the middle, winning a game-high 11 clearances and 23 disposals. Also, as has been a feature of his game all year, his work delivering the ball inside-50 was great, constantly kicking to advantage or onto the chests of his leading teammates.
- Beau Waters started the game strongly, rebounding well from defence, but really quietened off in the second half, suggesting he was not the ultimate backline unique I had proclaimed he was a fortnight ago. To cap off his average game, he was reported in the third quarter for a massive hip and shoulder to Jobe Watson’s head, which may see him rubbed out for the rest of the home and away season. Managed just the 12 touches for the game.
- Paddy Ryder looked good again, starting the game up forward and troubling Darren Glass with his bounce and athleticism on his way to 3 goals. He moved further up field for patches of the game for occasional influence, finishing with 16 touches and 5 tackles. Unfortunately though for his owners, just as he is starting to hit form you will have to trade him out, thanks to Essendon’s round 24 bye.
- Dyson Heppell was good again, but as has been the case with him this year, he seems to be somewhat of a downhill skier – he wins plenty of ball when the Bombers are up and about, but when the contest gets close, or the opposition begins to dominate, he has a tendency to fade. This shouldn’t be taken as a slight on him though, as it is more of an observation. He was still one of their better players, using the ball well off half-back. But it amazes me how there is still no teams prepared to play a tagger on him – surely opposition coaches realise how damaging he can be!?
- David Myers started the game in defence, but moved forward for the last quarter and actually looked good on the lead, although he wasn’t able to capitalise on his chances, booting just 0.2. He is still prone to the odd wrong decision, but I quite like the way he is coming along – he is worth persisting with in the side as he clearly has the skills to allow him to be a good attacking backman.
- Stewart Crameri was having a decent game, booting 2.2 from 19 possession, but looked to badly hurt his shoulder late in the game. Already there is talk that he may miss the remainder of the season, and perhaps even finals. If you still have him, this means you should be offloading him now if possible.
North Melbourne vs Fremantle:
- Cam Pederson’s awesome 2011 continued with another strong display up forward, booting 3 goals from 19 disposals. He has become a strong, consistent target up forward for the Roos – a forward line that has recently looked capable of being one of the most potent in the AFL. He has seemingly come from nowhere this year as a mature-aged recruit, pushing out #3 pick Lachie Hansen to the backline.
- Andrew Swallow was consistent all game through the middle and was a strong influence behind one of their best and most promising wins of the season. He simply works so hard both inside and outside the packs, but also has a decent boot on him too – a trait not often seen in inside midfielders. Finished with another solid 30 touches, as well as 7 inside 50s, 7 tackles and 7 clearances.
- Lindsay Thomas again had his kicking yips for the majority of the game. Despite plenty of the ball coming his way early, he looked to pass it off at every opportunity. When he did take his shots, he missed them all. Fortunately, he managed to slot one through in the last quarter and looked so relieved – he then also managed to stick a second one through. It will be interesting to see how his goal kicking now goes for the rest of the year.
- Drew Petrie had a very quiet game – especially disappointing because of the amount of ball that was going into North’s forward-50. So many other forwards managed to contribute to their highest score of the year, but Petrie didn’t even register a single point, being well held by McPharlin. He plays the Saints next week, who kept him very quiet last time, so it will be interesting to see whether he manages to bounce back.
- Zac Clarke’s form over the past month, despite the return of Sandilands, has been fantastic. He seems to have found a whole heap of confidence in himself and is attacking the ball and going for marks like we haven’t seen him do before. He is a great pack mark, so Freo are happy to kick it long to him on every occasion and he rarely lets them down, clunking 12 for this game to go with his 24 disposals and 13 hitouts.
- Chris Mayne played through the midfield again for the third week in a row, managing to pick up 14 touches and 7 tackles, although his overall influence on the game was not high. It’s a strange choice having Mayne play through the middle, especially considering his form this year has been average.
- Greg Broughton would be continuing to disappoint his owners as he hasn’t managed to carry his good late-season form into the DT/SC finals period. The reason for this is that he has been moved back into defence – clearly not a beneficial one for winning plenty of the ball. Not only is he playing in defence, but he seems to be getting shut-down roles, being given the responsibility to stop dangerous small forwards, rather than rebound off them.
- Matthew Pavlich suffered a bad looking calf/Achilles injury early in the game and was subbed off. Unfortunately, he actually carried this injury into the game, and has since apologised for letting the team down (he said Fremantle, but I believe he meant all the DTs and SCs that own him). There is some talk that this injury will see him sit out at least this week and perhaps even the rest of the year. We will know more this week, but I’m sure plenty of coaches will be waiting with bated breath for an answer.
Collingwood vs Brisbane:
- Travis Cloke looked to be enjoying himself in a significantly undermanned Brisbane backline, beating up on McKeever, his much more inexperienced opponent. He booted 5.3 from a very impressive 14 marks and 22 possessions and was definitely the best Pie on the ground, in a game that saw many of their stars looking pretty flat.
- Dane Swan was very good too, picking up 33 disposals and booting 2.2 of his own. I feel like I say the same thing about Swan every week – he ran hard between contests, and as usual got involved in some big plays that often saw 15-20 points added to his tally in a matter of minutes – gotta love that! His DT score was a little down on his past weeks, but statistically that wasn’t a huge surprise, as Brisbane is actually the side Swan averages the least points against over his career.
- Alan Didak would have had many coaches cheering as his put in his first decent game of the year, picking up 30 touches and 7 marks. He wasn’t amazing, but he won plenty of ball, cracked the ton and didn’t start as the sub – what more could his frustrated coaches have hoped for. Now, at only a little over $200k in DT, he appears a steal for the remaining two rounds – the only concern would have to be his challenging next couple of weeks.
- Tom Young played his first game for the Pies and already looks a keeper. Opposition supporters must look at their list and just wonder how the hell they manage to keep uncovering talented youngster after talented youngster – it really is ridiculous. But that’s besides the point. Young looked good, playing across the HFF and booting a couple of nice goals to go with his 23 disposals and 4 marks – should keep his spot and at this rate would need some pushing to get him out.
- Matthew Leuenberger was really solid for the Lions, playing a massive part in them getting so close, with his dominance in the air and clever tap-work. He thoroughly beat Jolly and is looking like another young ruckman capable of standing up and leading his team for the next decade. With the likes of Leuey, Goldstein, McEvoy, Jacobs and Kruezer all running around in the AFL, we are going to be spoilt for choice in years to come. Leuey finished the game with 24 possessions, 7 marks and 33 hitouts.
- Tom Rockliff had another solid game through the middle, picking up disposals at will, proving that he can mix it with the best. I cannot wait to have him in my team next year. He finished with 30 touches, 7 marks and booted 2 goals for good measure too. Whilst Brisbane are still floating around the bottom of the ladder, they actually look capable of taking a decent step next year, so imagine Rocky in a winning team… Mmmm.
- Josh Drummond seems to be playing a much more defensive role than we have been used to seeing, often being made to take one of Collingwood’s tall or medium forwards. He is a big no-no for dream team or supercoach anyway because of his injuries, but for those considering him because of his tempting price, even if his hamstring managed to stack attached over the next fortnight, it doesn’t look like he will be scoring well anyway.
- Patrick Karnezis was a bit of a disappointment – he has been one of my favourite rookies this year, with his flair and bounce in the forward line, but he was simply nowhere to be seen against the Pies, being subbed out of the game with just 2 disposals to his name. Knowing Voss and his rotation policy, Karnezis may find himself back in the reserves next week, unfortunately.
** The Sunday games will likely be up late-ish on Monday… Apologies…
Back for the DT/SC finals, here is the General Rant thread…
You know the rules, Please use this thread to discuss all your Dream Team and SuperCoach heroes and villains for the semi final round – who let you down and who is carrying the weight of your team on their shoulders?? Did you trade out one of your Cats for a player who has subsequently failed you?
Also feel free to gloat about all your successful trades this week, or perhaps you may like to concede it was your fault for a player’s injury or poor score after you trades them in this week!
Please just avoid obscenities or abuse… as hard as that may be!
And from this week’s show, check out our news report on how stressed some people are getting with the pressure of DT/SC finals:
Here is last night’s show - The Footy Tragic boys run through all the teams, debutants and captain options for the week, whilst also helping you decide what to do with all your Geelong players in the bye.
All the teams as they are listed for Round 22. How do all the changes effect your AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach in Semi finals?
CARLTON V HAWTHORN
ES – Fri Aug 19, 7:40pm
In: Michael Jamison
Out: Zach Tuohy
Milestones: Robert Warnock – 50 games
GOLD COAST SUNS V ADELAIDE
MS – Sat Aug 20, 2:10pm
Gold Coast Suns
WEST COAST EAGLES V ESSENDON
PS – Sat Aug 20, 1:10pm
West Coast Eagles
Milestones: Nic Naitanui – 50 games
NORTH MELBOURNE V FREMANTLE
ES – Sat Aug 20, 7:10pm
New: Aaron Mullett (Eastern Ranges)
HB: Ryan Crowley, Luke McPharlin, Michael Johnson
HF: Nathan Fyfe, Christopher Mayne, Michael Barlow
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Stephen Hill
Milestones: Antoni Grover – 200 games
COLLINGWOOD V BRISBANE LIONS
MCG – Sat Aug 20, 7:10pm
New: Tom Young (Wollondilly (NSW) / Sydney University)
In: Daniel Rich
Out: James Hawksley
SYDNEY SWANS V ST KILDA
ANZ – Sun Aug 21, 1:10pm
Milestones: Ben McEvoy – 50 games
PORT ADELAIDE V WESTERN BULLDOGS
AS – Sun Aug 21, 2:40pm
MELBOURNE V RICHMOND
MCG – Sun Aug 21, 4:40pm
Out: Luke Tapscott (Soreness)
Out: Jake Batchelor (Shoulder)
Kristian runs through all the recent TAC Cup action from the weekend. This week he headed out to check out Gippsland Power take on the Oakleigh Chargers.
Hey all! Welcome back to another week of TAC Cup All-Stars! It was a fairly busy week in the world of U/18’s with all the school footy commitments over and all the big guns back playing for their representative sides.
I managed to make my way down to the big clash between Gippsland Power and Oakleigh Chargers on Saturday in what was a ripping affair between two top eight sides.
I’ll give a run down of the stand out players in that game, and what their draft prospects are, as well as other solid performers in the other games and a quick summary of what the highly rated South Australian kids did on the weekend.
So I headed down to Chadstone on Saturday really pumped for this game, and it certainly didn’t fail to deliver. I was excited to see two guys coming back from school footy commitments in Dom Tyson and Toby Greene.
The match was played at a really high standard so it was good to get a decent gauge on player performances and put them into perspective.
I spoke about Tyson and Greene in my article on the National Championships. Dom Tyson is more of an outside type in the Scott Pendlebury mould, but he also plays inside, where as Greene is the hard nosed midfielder that tackles and gets the hard ball, and also doesn’t mind a bit of the niggle. Both of these guys you’d expect to see in the top twenty in the upcoming draft.
Toby Greene started off the game like a house on fire and was a large reason why Oakleigh found themselves to be up by four goals at three quarter time. He did slow down a little though and I found out after the game he suffered a bit of a corky. He finished with thirty disposals and five tackles, but surprisingly wasn’t named in the best, even after he set up the win with a fantastic first quarter and a bit.
Dom Tyson was quiet by his standards, as we’ve become used to him racking up numbers in excess of thirty plus disposals. He only got the twenty-two and surprisingly seventeen of those were handballs. Normally I liken him to be a bit more of a kicker, so it was a bit of a strange game from Tyson. Having said that, his inside game was superb, as he was continually winning stoppages and handballing out to his outside receivers.
I personally thought Jack Viney was brilliant. He’ll be a Demon in 2013 due to being an under age player and the fact he is father-son eligible, and there is a lot to be excited about for them. He played mostly half forward, but his pressure inside the forward fifty was outstanding and relentless, and he was unlucky to not get rewarded by it. He could’ve easily kicked four or five goals. He finished with one goal and three behinds, eighteen disposals, and five tackles.
Sebastian Gotch is a small forward I like, and he started off very nicely before fading out. He is very lively, quick and smart around the goals. I spoke to a few people at the game about him, and they reckon he’s too small for AFL. I think those days are gone, and there is definitely a spot for him on an AFL list if it is warranted, regardless of his height. We only have to look at Jaryd Blair for a case in point. He could be one for the rookie list I’m sure.
In the other games, the little dynamo midfielder in Devon Smith, who likes to have a day out and rack up big numbers as we saw in the National Champs, had a solid game for Geelong with twenty two disposals, seven tackles, and a goal.
The high flying Hayden Crozier, who’s been a little down on form, did well this week, being named fifth best for his side with twenty-two possessions and seven marks.
Number one draft prospect, Jonathon Patton was really quiet this week, with only the one goal, thirteen disposals and five marks.
The number one ruckman in my opinion, Billy Longer was named second best for the Northern Knights with twenty-six hitouts, fourteen disposals, seven marks and six tackles. He’s really the complete package with his athleticism and ability to find the footy for a big bloke. It’s also good to see him with a great tackle count considering I questioned his physical presence as being one of his few weaknesses a month or so back.
For the Calder Cannons, Brandon Ellis just knows how to find the footy and run with it. I still question his ability to adapt to AFL, but he is certainly a little too good for the TAC Cup. He racked up thirty seven possessions with seventeen handball receives to boot. I do wonder why he wasn’t named in the bests though, considering his disposal efficiency was over 70%.
In the SANFL, the big news was that Mitchell Grigg continues to stake a claim for a very high draft pick with a best on ground performance for the Norwood reserves with twenty six possessions. Hopefully he gets a gig in the seniors squad so we get to see him in finals action!
As always, any questions, feel free to post below and I’ll do my best to get back to you!
Ian Callinan made his return for Central Districts and got through OK with 16 touches. Unfortunately with the Crows (and in particular Matty Wright) playing well at the moment there will be minimal changes and with key personnel on the verge of return “Nutta” might not quite make it back this week.
Richard Douglas is one of those key personnel who is probably ahead of him after returning from his five week ankle injury with a good game for Glenelg, picking up 26 touches, six marks, five tackles and a goal.
Brodie Martin and Richard Tambling were both named in the best players for Sturt, with Martin gathering it 24 times and Tambling with 18 and a goal. Kurt Tippett and Ben Rutten both missed with injury on the weekend and will also cause a squeeze on the Crows 22.
Daniel Rich finally returned from his six week foot injury and lined up for the Lions reserves for the first time in this career. He was named fifth best and showed the class you’d expect from him, so should return straight to the seniors next week.
Amon Buchanan and Josh Dyson were strong in the midfield, receiving plenty of praise for their clearance work. Dyson, along with Rich was also instrumental in the last term after moving to defence where the Lions deployed extra numbers behind the ball to hold on for a four point win against the Suns.
Bryce Retzlaff was an interesting case on Saturday. He finished with 0.8 and has been reported to have taken as many as 18 marks. His wayward goal kicking is presumably what prevented him from being named in the bests and in turn helped keep the Suns in the game.
Broc McCauley was named third best for his job in the ruck. For owners hoping for a game from him he has been returned to the rookie list, but Brisbane have a number of guys on the long term injured list if they wish to upgrade him again.
Brock McLean was dominant in the middle, as usual, with 31 touches, seven marks and nine tackles. That’s pretty much the standard he’s set this season at VFL level.
Jordan Russell and Sentanta O’hAilpan helped their chances of a recall on the eve of finals with solid performances. Russell had 23 disposals and five marks, while O’hAilpan kicked two goals, but generated many more opportunities only to be wayward with his kicking.
Youngsters Matthew Watson and Kane Lucas both impressed, with Watson playing strongly in defence and picking up 20 touches and five marks in the process, while Lucas was one of the better players with 29 touches and 11 inside 50’s.
Weirdly Cameron Wood was named second best, despite all reports indicating that Tom Bellchambers was the dominant ruckman on the ground. Wood wasn’t bad around the ground, taking five marks with 14 touches, but only 12 hitouts. The rumour has it that he is up and about whenever Darren Jolly is hurt, so I can’t help but feel this is just to keep his confidence up while he’s in the reserves.
Tom Young keeps putting his hand up for senior selection after leading the team with 23 touches and a very impressive 12 tackles. If Toovey isn’t quite right to come back I suspect he’ll be a big chance to get the vacant role in defence. Big American Shae McNamara shows a bit every few weeks and will likely be given a third year on their rookie list next year, although he is already 26 so is running out of time to get it all together. He’s been playing on the wing lately – imagine seeing a 204cm wingman – and on the weekend led the team with 23 disposals and 11 marks.
John McCarthy was yet another player to lead the way with 23 touches (he was the last one, I swear) to stay in contention for selection. Simon Buckley had 19 possessions in defence, but not the best of days.
Brent Macaffer had a huge start with 14 first half disposals, but went off in the second quarter and was getting work done on his legs and didn’t return. I’ve not bothered to mention it in the past, but Jarrod Witts is a NSW Scholarship Player who has now played three games in their VFL side for experience and this week was named BOG with 15 touches, ten marks and three goals – something for Pies fans to get mighty excited about. He’s a big unit too
Nathan Lovett-Murray was best on ground for the second week in a row on return from his calf injury, and is a monty to get called up this week.
Cale Hooker returned from his hamstring injury for a second time and got though OK (on his last comeback attempt he didn’t quite make it to half time). He didn’t have a huge influence on the game, but with Essendon’s depleted defensive stocks they’ll just be happy he got through.
Tom Bellchambers was all over Cameron Wood and was named fourth best for Bendigo. Scott Gumbleton remained upright for a second consecutive game and kicked two goals in Bendigo’s remarkable come from behind win against Collingwood.
There’s not much to report on here, with only four Dockers playing WAFL Seniors on the weekend. Jon Griffin had 14 touches, four marks and 27 hitouts, plus a goal for East Freo, while Ben Bucovaz had 17 possessions and seven marks.
Byron Schammer might even be a chance at a late game, simply due to being an upright body (which traditionally hasn’t been his go, but he’s been durable this year at least!) after collecting 24 touches and six marks for Claremont. Dylan Roberton was the only other player and he had 13 touches and six marks for East Perth.
The good news is that there’s no one to replace Nick Lower with even if they wanted to drop him after costing me my Super Coach final last weekend.
Simon Hogan was named best on for the Cats reserves in their narrow loss to the Bullants. He led the way in the midfield, especially late in the game when it was on the line.
Cam Guthrie had a great start to the game, but was a bit quieter in the second half. He was mainly stationed across half back and provided a bit of rebound.
Ruck duo Trent West and Dawson Simpson were excellent in the taps and should form a strong combo in years to come for the Cats. For those interested Mark Blake has now missed 12 weeks after finger surgery, however he has apparently requested a trade from Geelong and there were rumours he was set to return for the reserves two weeks ago. Let’s see if it’s fourth time lucky in finding a trade for Blake…
Jonathan Simpkin was continuing his great recent form in the first half, but copped a knock to his leg and laboured after that. Josh Cowan and Tom Gillies were both named in the bests. A lot of Cats fans are sceptical about Gillies, but I still give him a chance to make it as a full back – always rated him as a junior.
The Suns went down narrowly to the Brisbane reserves and it was Jack Hutchins who was named best on ground, which is a bit odd considering he allowed Bryce Retzlaff to have eight shots on goals. It was just lucky that Retzlaff didn’t kick a single goal.
Karmichael Hunt played well and was named second best, playing mostly in the midfield. Who knows what’s going on with him? One minute he’s mentally burnt and won’t play again for the year, the next minute he’s up for selection.
Tom Hickey continues to press his case for senior selection and with Zac Smith well and truly in need of a rest he’s a huge chance to get it this week. Hickey was named fourth best for the Suns.
Nathan Ablett and Josh Caddy, both in their second game on return from injury were good and will be hoping for a Suns debut before the year is out. Ablett kicked two long goals and his work rate up the ground was much improved, while Caddy was strong inside, collecting 20 possessions in only a half of footy.
Kyle Cheney was dominant in Box Hill’s two point win over Sandringham to secure a finals berth. He was playing across half back and was authoritative with his punching, while racking up plenty of the pill too. A really tough, no nonsense game that will keep him in the selection mix.
Jordan Lisle kicked four goals, but it wasn’t his best game. He was good in body on body situations, but the marks weren’t sticking so well on the lead. Shane Savage returned via the VFL from a two week shoulder injury and didn’t put his hand up for selection. Unless it was purely a run for fitness you’d suspect he’ll have to bide his time in the VFL until he gets some form.
Riley Milne and Thomas Schneider were both named in the bests and were among the leading possession winners for Box Hill. Rookie listed Paul Johnson returned from a nine week foot injury.
Tom McNamara is getting closer and closer to a recall. I must admit, we’ve been saying on the show that he’s nearing a debut, but I just came across some stats that say he played three games at the end of 2009. Oops! Anyway, he was named second best for a solid 25 disposal performance. After being on the list for four years he very much seems to be on his last chance.
Matthew Bate put in another good VFL performance with 25 possessions and three important goals. He spent a fair bit of time in the first quarter receiving attention from the trainers, but battled through his injury worries.
Neville Jetta had 21 touches and five tackles. He’s been displaying some good pressure in the VFL and is a chance to get another look in. Robbie Campbell was upgraded off the rookie list during the week, but was unfortunately knocked out in the first quarter and took no further part in the game.
Rohan Bail made his long awaited return via Casey reserves after missing most of the year with a knee injury. Liam Jurrah was a late out with soreness.
With their partial alignment North Melbourne only had half of their reserves playing on the weekend, as Werribee had the bye. North Ballarat had the virtual bye, in that they played Frankston and beat them convincingly. Liam Anthony returned from being AWOL for the last four weeks and starred with 34 touches, 13 marks and two goals.
Daniel Pratt was named best on ground with 30 touches, ten marks and a couple of goals. Rookie listed Aaron Mullett would be very close to a senior game. It looks as though North Melbourne have the room on their list for an upgrade and the nicely skilled Mullett has had a good season. On the weekend he picked up 28 touches and nine marks across half back.
Shaun Atley was the only Roos who had played AFL the previous week to take part in VFL action while North Melbourne had the bye (does this mean Cam Richardson keeps his spot again?!)
Daniel Stewart was the big standout for Power players in the SANFL on the weekend with 14 touches, seven marks and 8.0 for North Adelaide. He’s had some good efforts at SANFL, but is nowhere at AFL level. I’d love to see him on a better team…
Brett Ebert generated the same amount of shots for the Port Magpies, but was wayward with his goal kicking, finishing with 2.6 from 17 disposals and six marks.
Rookie listed Daniel Webb was named fourth best for West Adelaide with eight touches, four marks, ten hitouts and 1.1. Fair to say the Bloods must be struggling as much as the Power. Jarrad Redden is a developing ruckman, who oddly had the exact same stats for WWT, but led all comers with 21 hitouts.
Rookie listed Robbie Hicks kicked five goals amongst his 18 touches, with all of those goals coming in the second half. The slightly built half forward was probably more favoured to not hold his spot, but a performance like this might just spark enough interest for another year on the rookie list.
Andrew Browne put in another decent VFL performance with 24 touches and 31 hitouts to be named best on for Coburg. He’s always going to take a long time, so patience will be required for the big man, but he’s shown some decent signs this year.
Irishman Jamie O’Reilly was third best for the Tigers with 25 touches. He had a few turnovers, but was playing an attacking brand of footy and is coming along OK for a recent convert in his second year of footy.
Another rookie lister Pat Contin picked up 31 touches and mostly used them well.
Alistair Smith and Tom Lynch led the way for Sandringham with 26 and 24 touches respectively. Smith also spent much of the day tagging Box Hill captain Sam Gibson, managing to curtail his influence to be named best on for Sandringham.
Nick Heyne is making a last ditch effort to save his career after collecting 23 touches and kicking a goal. Tom Simpkin had an interesting duel with Jordan Lisle. Lisle kicked four goals, but Simpkin was pretty effective off half back. Michael Gardiner continues to press for selection, getting through another game unscathed with 13 touches and 20 hitouts.
Nathan Gordon is seriously pushing for a recall in this half forward role he’s been playing for the past couple of months. He kicked another six goals in the best on ground effort and adds plenty of intensity and tackling pressure, as well as his ability to play in the middle.
Trent Dennis-Lane kicked five goals, but wasn’t named in the bests. He was mostly getting on the end of some cheap ones against a pretty weak opposition and wasn’t showing the intensity he needs to step up to the next level.
Gary Rohan and Jed Lamb in their second game back from injury were both good. Rohan was used in a variety of roles and his trademark pace was on display a few times when he was in possession. Lamb worked hard around the clearances for a lot of his possessions. Dylan McNeil was also good in and under. Nick Malceski got plenty of the ball, but burnt it a fair bit.
Mike Pyke and Lewis Johnston both returned from injury to play three quarters of footy.
The usuals played really well in the WAFL, with East Freo pair Koby Stevens and Chris Masten dominant. The inside midfielders picked up 28 and 27 touches respectively, with Stevens named BOG and Masten also amongst the best players. If Luke Shuey needs a week off, either one of these two are in good form.
Tom Swift was everywhere for Claremont with 34 touches and seven inside 50s, while Gerrick Weedon and Lewis Broome had 15 tackles between them.
Andrew Strijk had a solid game for West Perth, picking up 22 touches, mostly kicks, and 14 marks in the midfield.
I only got to watch the first half of the Williamstown vs. Port Melbourne game on the weekend and Patrick Veszpremi and Jason Tutt were the two that really caught my eye. Veszpremi was very active early on with two first quarter goals and finished the day with three. He looked energetic and was applying the tackling pressure you want from small/medium forwards. Tutt was getting plenty of spread from the contest and was utilising his long kicking skills from the wing. His radar for the goals was a bit off though, with three behinds (all from outside 50) in the first quarter.
Will Minson was good in the ruck, despite his harsh self assessment in a half time interview on the TV coverage. One area the Bulldogs aren’t lacking is AFL quality rucks, with Minson’s form in the VFL being good for a little while, but it’s been seven weeks since he’s seen AFL action.
Ayce Cordy was named in the best players, but I must admit I didn’t see much of him in the first half. He was playing on talented Callum Sinclair (who has been invited to the Victorian State Combine) and certainly Sinclair’s involvement was limited. Cordy has been playing in defence lately and with Dale Morris going down on the weekend he’s a chance for a debut.
Kristian runs through all the best Captain choices for both AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach in the semi finals. Who will you be locking in for the big score this week?
So another week, and another round where Dane Swan was the obvious captain choice, and he delivered.
There are a few juicy options this week with favourable match ups if you’re keen to look else where, even with Geelong having the bye.
The Dogs play Port Adelaide, Collingwood come up against Brisbane at the MCG and Scott Thompson owners will be pleased to see the Crows play the Gold Coast this week.
DANE SWAN VS BRISBANE
Andrew Raines has done some pretty decent tagging jobs over the past month but I don’t think he’ll go to Swan on Saturday night. I think he’ll go to either Dale Thomas or Scott Pendlebury to be honest, which means Swan will be left to his own devices once again. Swan is undisputedly in the best Dream Team form of his career, with his past month and a half being absolutely outstanding. Swan averages 116 DT and 110 SC in his last five games against the Lions, but I’d be expecting him to push the 150 barrier in both forms once again this week. If you have him, I wouldn’t think twice.
SCOTT PENDLEBURY VS BRISBANE
In comparison to his lofty standards, I think Pendlebury has been a little down the past couple of week even though he’s still churned out solid scores. His influence on the game on Friday night was minimal, and to be honest, I hardly noticed him all game. I think he’ll be the guy to get the hard tag but I wouldn’t be too worried either. Pendles rarely has a shocking game as he has too many avenues to scoring, but I doubt he’ll score more than Swan head to head on the night. He’s a good vice captain though, just in case. Pendlebury has averaged 106 DT and 128 SC in his last five games against the Lions.
SCOTT THOMPSON VS GOLD COAST
This is a great option if you’re not keen on the Collingwood boys this week. Thompson’s in career best form and when he played against the Suns earlier on in the year, he scored 134 DT and 135 SC. There won’t be a tight tag on him, unlike recent weeks, so he’ll run around and rack up the possessions at will. As a Thompson owner, I’m extremely tempted by this option.
MATTHEW BOYD VS PORT ADELAIDE
Port Adelaide is so bad, that I don’t see how it’s physically possible how Boyd doesn’t get a monster score this week. The only negative I can see is that the game is at AAMI Stadium, but I don’t see how that should be any problem for the Doggies skipper. Port Adelaide just do not man up at all in the midfield, so it could be party time for Boyd. He has averaged a solid 118 DT and 108 SC in his past five outings against the Power.
OTHER OPTIONS TO CONSIDER………
Lance Franklin was huge on the weekend, kicking eight goals straight. If Michael Jamison is back, as rumoured, it’s probably best to stay away, but if he isn’t, I’d give Buddy a good look as it’s the big stage he’ll revel in on Friday night.
Chris Judd will be keen to cement the Blues top four position, and his record against the Hawks is very good. He averages 115 DT and 125 SC in his last five against the Hawks, so I wouldn’t think twice about making him my SC captain.
Sam Mitchell is in career best form in all aspects, but I’d stay away in this type of game against the Blues. They’re a pretty stingy team, and there are much better options.
Nick Dal Santo is still riding a hot streak of form, and he comes up against the tired looking Swans this week. He only averages 106 SC against them in his last five, but he’ll step up this week in this important match.
MY TOP 3 DREAM TEAM PICKS:
1. Dane Swan
2. Matthew Boyd
3. Scott Pendlebury
MY TOP 3 SUPER COACH PICKS:
1. Chris Judd
2. Scott Pendlebury
3. Nick Dal Santo