2018 Player Review – Shane Savage

Written by Thommo on February 23 2018

Does your SC team need some New Zealand flavouring?

Position: Defender

2018 Price: $479,700

2017 Average: 87.3

2017 Games: 12

Past Averages (2016 – 2012): 82, 73, 69, 63, 56


In his fourth year at St Kilda, Shane Savage struggled to hold his position in the best 22 early in the season. In Rounds 1-3 he only averaged 13 possessions and 59 SC points per match and Richardson criticized his lack of drive from the backline and dropped Savage to the VFL. That penitence lasted until Round 10 when he played the one match against the Western Bulldogs but despite racking up 21 possessions, he didn’t impress the coach and was again dropped to the VFL. Perhaps he learnt his lesson or perhaps he was just sick of playing VFL, but the next time he returned in Round 16 he seemed a different man.

Playing a high half-back role, Savage held his position for the rest of the season (Round 16-23) and averaged 24.6 possessions and 100.25 SC ppg and even ran forward for 4 goals in 8 rounds.

Coming into 2018 he has had a full preseason and looks set to play the role deserted by the retired Montagna.


  1. Savage is durable, playing all but 2 games in the last 3 years, even if some of them were at VFL level.
  2. The coach has indicated that Savage looks set to play the half-back general role.
  3. He has had a full preseason.
  4. He is cheap! $$$
  5. Even though his big games have been few and far between, Savage has shown as ability to score highly for a defender.
  6. He wants to play so badly he took teammate Roberton out with a cricket ball to the gonads in December. That’s desire!


  1. He has never averaged 90+ for a complete year, only for short stretches with last year being his highest average.
  2. Richardson dropped him to the VFL last year: Do you want a $479k almost-premium playing VFL?
  3. Savage has regularly dropped scores between 40 and 60 EVERY season!
  4. He doesn’t have a high contested possession count so he needs to rack up plenty of ball to score well.
  5. How many players break-out in their 9th or 10th seasons?
  6. Tackling is not his thing, averaging just 2 tackles per match, and he also doesn’t rack up many marks with an average of 5 marks per game last season. This didn’t really increase late in the season when he was playing better.


With a lack of true gun defenders, many Supercoaches are looking for value defenders and Savage may fit the bill. However his selection is not without risk. Yes, he was one of the Saints best in the final 8 rounds of 2017 but he only played 12 matches for the season, his worst game count since 2009.

Logic states that you can’t select him with any certainty so this will all come down to your judgement of whether he has turned the corner in Supercoach sense.

So, do you believe in a 27 year old finally breaking out??


My gut says “Yes” he has indeed turned that corner, mostly because Montagna has retired and Savage actually has a role of his own. However, does that mean I will be selecting him? Hmmm…

Probably not!

I don’t mind taking a few risks on cheap premiums but I just don’t think Savage is cheap enough to take the risk. He might increase his average to a healthy 95ppg but I would rather take a risk on a player like McGrath from Essendon who is (by his own admission) playing midfield in 2018 and is far cheaper.

Now watch Savage kill it in the JLT and suck me in!

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15 thoughts on “2018 Player Review – Shane Savage”

          1. Haha from memory he’s all the burnman that I’ve had over the years i’m sure i’m missing some


            Looking at that list a lot don’t even look supercoach relevant but at the time i did have them must of been a breakout year looming


  1. These were my comments from the 2UP thread:

    Hard to see someone who is about to enter his 9th season of AFL being able to take another overall leap to 95+ territory. He’s never demonstrated an ability to put together 22 games at this level.

    Plus, his last 2 full seasons were 2015 and 2016, where he scored 74 and 82, and his scores had WILD fluctuations (in 2016, he has 6 scores around 100-110, as well as 6 scores below 70 (3 of which were below 50)).

    Maybe if he was a lot cheaper, there’d be room to take such a risk, but he’s already priced at about $480k. Absolutely not worth it.


    1. I agree but I have seen him pop up in a surprising number of teams.

      Anyone you think I should review DJ? I am open to suggestions.


        1. I wasn’t sure if anyone else was looking at midprice defs so I avoided players like Bonner but is currently my D4 so I’ll write him up.


  2. Shane Savage is a must; most improved player in his coaches eyes; saints should start well; he’s worth the risk for the first 6-7 rounds to assess. I can see 4 100+ scores coming up. I’d rather take Savage than take my very own Alex Witherden who has been very poor in preseason.



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