THE BLUNDSTONE SCT GROUP PRIZE (THE BLUNNY?)
Many members of the Supercoach Talk Community will be aware of the generosity of Blundstone in providing boots for our LOEC and Technical Leagues each year. Arranged by the legendary Hawker (legendary because he is a Hawks man!!!), Blundstone is again providing boots for our leagues so I thought it was only fair that our group prize, provided by other wonderful members of our community, Catta and Ratticus, should be renamed the Blundstone SCT Group Prize or the Blunny!
After week 2, JJ’s Circus@SCT leads our group with a Round 2 score of 2425 points which placed 39th for the week and puts JimmyDee (I think that’s his team) at 94th overall. Nice work, mate, that score was massive! We will all pray that the Paper Mache man, Shaun Higgins, holds up for you in the forward line!
Dilan’s Baby Bombers@SCT is only 12 points behind and Ross’s Winterblues@SCT 35 points behind JimmyDee.
Well done all.
Please note that I am only listing the teams from the group with @SCT because only they are eligible for the overall prize!
SUPERTALK COACH CHAMPION
Last week saw you nominate Rory Laird as the Supercoach player of the Round for his 40 possession monster against the Giants. Your votes were:
5 – Rory Laird (Ade)
4 – Dustin Martin (Ric) – 3 Brownlow votes and likely to be Mid-Fwd again in 2018!
3 – Josh Kennedy (WC) – Kennedy loves himself Round 1!
2 – Scott Pendlebury (Col) – Accept no imitations!
1 – Dyson Heppell (Ess) – Yep, he’s obviously not fit yet.
Vote for your top 5 from the highest Supercoach scorers of Round 2:
HEROES AND VILLAINS FOR ROUND 2
RICHMOND 14.15 (99) DEF COLLINGWOOD 11.14 (80)
I had no idea who to tip in this match and it’s not hard to see why. The Pies were the better side early but couldn’t buy a goal (not looking at anyone in particular Mayne and Fasolo!) while Richmond slept through the first half but made no mistake after half time when they had their chance. The pressure clock is about to hit midnight for Buckley while Hardwick can learn how to smile again… at least for a week.
Brodie Grundy (135) and Trent Cotchin (135) shared the Supercoach honours with Grundy monstering the inexperienced Nankervis for 45 hitouts and 21 possessions and Cotchin enjoying his tagger-free existence with 26 possessions, 7 clearances, 7 tackles and 2 goals. Will the taggers return in 2017 or is Cotchin on target for another 2012-style performance? Will Buckley play Mason Cox again in 2017 or is Grundy flying solo, just how he likes it?
Hmmmm, so many questions, so much uncertainty in 2017.
To clarify, while Grundy dominated the hit-outs, Toby Nankervis (124) still had a large impact around the ground. He only had the 18 hit-outs but racked up 21 possession (14 contested), an equal match-high 7 clearances and 1 goal assist. His score was inflated by Griffiths’s injury/concussion in the third quarter forcing him to play over 95% of game time in the second half, but he’s looking a solid forward option right about now.
Scott Pendlebury and Will Hoskin-Elliott (120) rounded out the top 5. Pendles, with his usual class, hit targets late in the match with 71% of his 32 possessions finding a teammate, although he still had 5 clangers for the match.
And Will Hoskin-Elliott? Will Bloody Hoskin-Elliott…
After having him at F6 all preseason then dropping him late, his name sickens me. Frankly, I reckon he was trolling late in the match. It was bad enough that he seemingly hit the target every time he got the ball and just kept marking the damn ball – 12 marks – but then he thought, “No, let’s really screw Thommo” and kicked 3 goals in the final quarter.
Lesson: Don’t select over-hyped rookies who haven’t played a damned game over current AFL listed players who are rookie-priced.
Seems obvious in hindsight!
On top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese,
I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed.
Can somebody please tell Dion Prestia (76) that he plays for Richmond? I know you’re new to the team but they even remind you of your colours in the song, Meatball!
Remember that cool line: Yellow and Black?
Prestia used the ball at 41% DE and kicked the ball at something like 17% efficiency, recording 5 clangers. Considering he only had the 26 possessions (11 contested) and 6 clearances, I’m not sure how he even scored 76 points.
I know he wasn’t that bad, but Adam Treloar (108) has taken the clanger king mantle from Ollie Wines at this early stage of the season, adding another 6 on Thursday night. If he ever hits his teammates consistently, he wins so much of the ball he’ll go HUGE!!
Steele Sidebottom (75) couldn’t back up last week’s score, with his 21 possessions (9 contested) at 71% DE and 2 goals assists not rating in the eyes of Champion Data. Perhaps if he laid a few tackles he might score a little better with just one single tackle on Thursday night.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 16.14 (110) DEF SYDNEY 13.9 (87)
Marcus Bontempelli (140) started slowly but exploded in the second half playing through the midfield and forward line again. 30 possessions, 12 of them contested, at 83% DE, 7 tackles and 2 goals made him best on ground. Despite him playing a great game, Sam Reid (115) was stiff not to score better with his 15 possession 5 hit-out, 6 goals and 1 goal assist match.
Jake Lloyd (114) racked up a heap of touches (34) running of half-back while Liam Picken (110) thought he was in the Grand Final again, lifting late for 2 goals and 2 goals assists to help finish off the Swans’ final challenge.
And that leaves poor old Travis Cloke (108). If ever there was a player that the Pies need right now, it is this man. While Darcy Moore is too young to be exposed each week, they could use Travis Cloke to take a defender. With 18 possessions and 3 goals, Trav has learnt to enjoy footy again (AFL, not VFL footy!).
Preseason traps or the real deal? Callum Mills (54) and Zak Jones (55) are so far looking like they could be traps, especially Mills. Jones could be a good pick but he does score in spurts and is given defensive roles at times.
Dan Hannebery (71) and Luke Parker (75) had off-season surgery but seemed ready to play when they featured in the JLT series but perhaps we were wrong! Either way, their owners are far from happy!
ADELAIDE 16.17 (113) DEF HAWTHORN 13.11 (89)
If you can’t find the ball, tackle! That’s Rory Sloane’s (146) theory as he almost had more tackles than possessions to half time, finishing with 25 possessions, 8 clearances, 15 tackles and 1 goal.
Jack Gunston (131) and Tom Mitchell (118) found plenty of the ball around the ground, especially Mitchell with 38 possessions and his first goal for the Hawks, but Gunston used the ball better so his 22 possessions and 8 tackles rated higher. Again the quality over quantity thing!
Andy Otten (108) and Sam Jacobs (108) rounded out the top 5, with Otten proving to be a great rookie option as he spent more time forward while Jacobs dominated McEvoy and Vickery with 43 hitouts and one goal.
Matt Crouch (76) and Rory Laird (76) looked the goods early, particularly Laird but both dropped off late. I could be wrong but I believe it was Father Dougall’s fault for talking Laird up at half-time.
Shaun Burgoyne (72) played well but put his second straight poor score in and perhaps isn’t the POD his owners hoped for. He is a little too defensive to post consistent big scores.
GWS 24.16 (160) DEF GOLD COAST 8.10 (58)
It’s all or nothing for Toby Greene (138): This week he helped himself to 22 possessions and 5 goals in game 100. For the record, he is the first Giants’ draftee to reach game 100.
Dylan Shiel (132) also bounced back from last week with 28 possessions, 18 contested, a massive 10 clearances and 1 goal. Josh Kelly (120) showed again he is ready to break out with 27 possessions, 11 contested, and 3 goals, bringing his two match average to 112 points. He could be a bargain uber-premium that we probably all should have picked.
Jeremy Cameron (108) played a traditional key forward role, clunking 12 marks and kicking the pill 15 times without a single handpass. Oh, and a lazy 6 goals. The GWS forward line is probably a nice place to hang out this season.
Callan Ward (106) started a little slow but smashed out late points. I am a little concerned that he only scored 106 points from 32 possessions (20 handpasses) at 90% DE when 16 of them were contested and 12 of them clearances and he had 2 goal assists. What the…?
Heath Shaw (50) owners will be happy with this score given he was in the 30s at 3 quarter time! Well ok, no they won’t, but I was trying to make you feel better about your selection!
It wasn’t that he was bad, he just wasn’t in the play a lot and his 15 possessions didn’t compare well to the huge possession and goal counts of his team mates.
Tom Lynch (43)! Ok, don’t try and say I didn’t warn you! In my preseason review of Lynch I advised holding off as some weeks the Gold Coast forward line will be a desert wasteland where forwards go to die. On the other hand, I didn’t warn you about Aaron Hall (44) because I didn’t think anyone would select him. Like last season, 3 Brownlow votes one week, NEAFL the next!
It is with a heavy heart that Gary Ablett Jnr (73) graces this list for the first time. Little Gaz couldn’t get a sniff early and ground his way to 16 possessions at 62% DE and 1 goal. At least he plays the Hawks next week who he traditionally scores well against.
ESSENDON 17.9 (111) DEF BRISBANE 12.12 (84)
Isn’t it great seeing the Lions having a crack? Maybe you don’t care, but even though they haven’t yet put 4 quarters together, I like seeing perennial cellar-dwellers like Brisbane improving.
Speaking of improving, Stefan Martin (126) is back looking like his old self with 23 possessions and 42 hit-outs. His ears must finally have stopped ringing after that huge Stevie May hit last season.
The band is back together for the Lions, with Dane Beams (120), Tom Rockliff (118) and Dayne Zorko (112) proving a pretty handy midfield group. Rocky was a little unlucky not to score higher with 11 clearances, 11 tackles along with 28 possessions.
For the Bombers, Latin heart throb Orazio Fantasia (113) kicked 5 straight goals from 13 possessions while Zach Merrett (112) had another 32 possessions but suffered from a low contested possession count (6 CP) and a low disposal efficiency (68%).
Daniel Rich (55). Look, just never select him again. Ever!
He had heaps of the ball early in game 250 but then Brent Stanton (48) pulled a disappearing act. I know he’s playing behind the ball a lot but this effort was ugly.
WEST COAST 18.8 (116) DEF ST KILDA 13.19 (97)
The Eagles can consider themselves lucky to get out of this match with a win after the Saints wasted their chance to put this match beyond doubt. And yes, I know the free-kick count was skewed but frankly I’m over discussing it!
Luke Shuey (141) looked poor last week and doubts were raised as to whether Sam Mitchell’s inclusion in the side may affect his output, but I think we can put that question to bed. With 30 possessions, 11 tackles and 2 goals, he was clearly best on ground.
Sam Mitchell (111) didn’t have as many possessions as last week but he had 7 clearances and 3 goal assists with his 25 possessions and is averaging 114 points after Round 2. The tightly permed one, Matt Priddis (110) also returned to his ball-sluttish ways with 31 possessions, 22 of them handpasses and 1 goal. 6 clangers restricted his score somewhat.
For the Saints, Seb Ross (109) actually turned up to play this week with 29 possessions and 5 tackles. He obviously didn’t enjoy being in the Villains list last week!
Dylan Roberton (105) was fantastic in defence and is an underrated player. He had 26 possessions, mostly kicks, and didn’t miss the target often.
Elliott Yeo (102) gets a special mention. Although he wasn’t a top 5 SC scorer, he has now scored back-to-back tonnes and may actually be the player Matteo claimed he was. Kudos, Matteo!
The Jacks were hacks.
Jack Newnes (61), Jack Steven (63), Jack Steele (65) and Jack Billings (67) were all poor in parts, the worst being Steven who was once close to an uber-premium but flayed 7 clangers on Saturday night. Newnes was just as bad with 8 clangers but was never a true premium. Jack Steele gets a bit of a pat on the head for recovering from -4 points part-way through the second quarter to almost reach his expected output of 75 points.
And yes, I know Jack Steven broke his ribs but he had already had a poor game to that point. However, he was tough to play the game out.
Continuing with the Jack-sh#t, or sh*t-Jack, theme, Jack Darling (65) and Jack Redden (51) also sucked. I remember the days when Redden was almost a reliable premium at the Lions!
And finally Jack Nelson (45)… I know he isn’t Supercoach relevant but he makes the villain-list for that dodgy head band. Not cool, man, not cool!
Apologies to Jack Lonie (89), the only decent Jack.
Josh Kennedy (82) also gets a pat on the back for recovering from 0 point quarter time score with 3 late goals, finishing with 4 goals from 8 possessions. Ex-Riewoldt owners were worried for a while there!
GEELONG 17.10 (112) DEF NORTH MELBOURNE 17.9 (111)
He no longer receives respect because he turns up most weeks, but Patrick Dangerfield (140) is again providing a perma-captain option this season. This week he gathered 37 possessions, 25 contested, and 11 clearances. Only a poor efficiency prevented this score from being truly massive (6 clangers) but we can excuse his errors as Dumont was playing him pretty tightly.
Surprisingly the other player turning up each week is Shaun Higgins (130) who is spending a lot of time in the midfield and annoying the hell out of Supercoaches across the land. We knew he’d score well, we just didn’t trust him to last. Now watch him play 22 rounds.
Joel Selwood (128) busted his hump dragging the Cats across the line with 26 possessions, 8 tackles and 3 goals assists with 11 of these possessions in the final quarter. Robbie Tarrant (118) tried just as hard with a ridiculous 28 possessions but lost a few points with 5 clangers.
Hats off to Braydon Preuss (111) who replaced the injured Todd Goldstein and even outscored his Round 1 effort. There is some concern that Preuss may get suspended next week so hopefully Goldy is back.
I know he’s not really a premium, but Andrew Swallow (41) couldn’t find the ball with just 11 possessions, 6 of them effective. Jack Ziebell (71) also struggled with just the 14 possessions.
Zach Tuohy (79) wasn’t terrible but he couldn’t back up his Round 1 century.
Finally, Chris Scott gets a mention for his Harry Taylor (45) move. When you have an all-Australian defender playing for you, why not let him defend?
MELBOURNE 13.8 (86) DEF CARLTON 9.10 (64)
The toughest part of the 2017 preseason was picking the right mid-pricer. I have a general rule to avoid second-year players but Clayton Oliver (139) is proving that I am an idiot with a two round average of 124 points. Goodwin obviously rates Oliver and is letting him rack up the touches in the centre. Well done if you picked him up!
The other player who was largely ignored in the preseason was Marc Murphy (130) who racked up another 31 possessions and 6 clearances. When you really think about it, he was an obvious bargain that many of us ignored just like we ignored Gibbs last season.
Christian Salem (134) was quiet last week but certainly made up for that with 31 possessions and 1 goal this week. After a slow start, Sam Docherty (124) also racked up touches at will with 29 possessions and 10 marks at 82% DE.
He is not Supercoach-relevant but Jeff Garlett (113) scored remarkably well from 14 possessions, 3 goals and 1 goal assist. He must have been channelling his inner-Cyril with that 14 possession century!
Kade Simpson (57) may have out drinking with Heater on Friday night as he also sucked it up with 14 possessions at 57% DE.
Likewise Jack Viney (64) and Jordan Lewis (78) were shown up by their younger team-mates with Viney missing the target with 12 of his 22 possessions.
Finally, Bryce Gibbs (58) was also terrible with ball in hand, with his 25 possessions wasted with a 52% DE.
PORT ADELAIDE 22.13 (145) DEF FREMANTLE 8.8 (56)
It was a tale of rags to riches for Robbie Grey (164) with his 30 possessions and 6 goal effort dragging his average up to 101 points! Nice recovery! Ollie Wines (145) was also fantastic, albeit against a pretty ordinary opponent, with 31 possessions (19 contested), 6 clearances, 2 goals and 2 goal assists. All of us who picked a break-out season for Ollie last year were a little premature!
Lachie Neale (129) and Brett Ebert (121) were also busy this week, with Ebert averaging 123 points over the first 2 weeks. The possessions counts this season are getting ridiculously high in the absence of tight taggers.
Nat Fyfe (117) only seemed to play in spits and spurts but still managed 30 possessions (15 contested) and 1 goal. He’ll put together a full match soon and pump out a monster score.
I don’t normally like to pick on Rookie-priced players but Cam McCarthy (28) is doing a great invisible man impression. 10 possessions, 0 goals. Fantastic!
The ruck battle turned into a bit of a nil-all draw with Aaron Sandilands (71) and Paddy Ryder (75) both putting in “meh” performances. For their prices, we can’t complain too much!
MY FINAL THOUGHT
We spend all preseason weighing up options and making versions of our Supercoach team that look great on paper but scare us. You know those team versions I am talking of: The ones that fielded Fyfe, Rockliff, Murphy, Beams and Heppell in the middle, maybe Clayton Oliver as well. Then Higgins in the forward line and Adams in the backline.
I know you all had a crack at making that team! Then logic kicked in and you realised that you may not have enough players to field a side come Round 5.
Well, you know what? That is the team that would have you in the top 100 right about now. And that brings me to my final thought; something I never considered in the preseason.
I hate having a durable team!
I selected a team that lacked any excitement this season, wanting a return to a solid top 1000 finish and to win a few cash leagues. But it has left me enviously looking at Shaun Higgins and Taylor Adams pumping out centuries every week for their Supercoaches who have decided to ride the rollercoaster. And I find myself hoping they get injured.
How bad is that?
And then I feel guilty for wanting a player to get injured. Who would think such a thing?
Then I remember how much I hate Shaun Higgins.
I believe I will live life on the edge in 2018! No guts, no glory!
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