Our Top 3 midfield-only rookies from the pre-season last year averaged 87 points. We don’t seem to be quite as fortunate this year…
Before Burgoyne met Pepper….
Sam Powell-Pepper “Pig” has been referenced to play a very similar game to Ollie Wines and I’ve finally figured it out. It’s nothing to do with both being bulls at stoppages, well, it might still have something to do with that, but it’s that they both LOVE a clanger!! SPP loves them so much he decided to have 8 in JLT3 to give a clanger average of 4 across the series. Despite this, he still scored a decent average of 70 due to his high contested possession count. If he can clean up his clangers and DE (63%) from the series, expect a little bit more from his 4 kicks, 12 handballs, 5 tackles and 4 clearance performances.
Will Setterfield and Daniel Llyod both played the first 2 JLT games and finished on an average of 63 points. Their scores are scaled up due to game 1 when GWS were missing pretty much their entire starting 22 midfield and they were sent in to fill the void. As they all returned, their time in the middle reduced before both being dropped from JLT3. Both very unlikely starters for Rd1.
Declan Mountford played the first 2 games of the series for an average of 60 points off an impressive 51% TOG. Another Roo who knows how to find the ball, he had the second lowest TOG from all the players to average 9 disposals. He averaged 5 kicks, 4 handballs, 4 tackles and 2 clearances which are slightly under his full capabilities based on the fact that he turned into a tagger part way through game 2 and barely touched it after but probably sits outside the best 22 and wasn’t give a run in JLT3. If Scott is looking for someone to give some one on one attention though, he may turn to Mountford.
Jake Barratt is still rookie listed and requires to be upgrade before playing R1 but playing all 3 JLT games shows good signs. He averaged 56 across the series from 71% TOG from 7 kicks, 7 handballs, 5 marks and 3 tackles. JLT2 was by far his best performance where he was playing through the middle and half forward and with McCluggage sidelined early, he might slip in to fill to void.
Will Brodie looked the goods in the first two games despite Rocket saying he wouldn’t push for selection until mid year. He averaged 75 over this time and was getting everyones hopes up for an early birth. Then Rocket put his foot down and gave him a very limited run to bring down all his stats. He ended up on an average of 55 from an average TOG of 53%. In this time, he averaged 5 kicks, 6 handballs, 2 tackles and 7 contested possessions. He now looks like a long shot to get that early game we were all hoping for.
Sydney duo Robbie Fox and Jordan Foote played all 3 games and averaged 51 and 45 respectively. With the Sydney starting midfield taking the back seat in JLT1, it left rookies such as these to pick up the slack. As the JLT series progressed, these two were pushed further out of the action although Fox was able to hang on just a little longer ending up slightly ahead. Both outside of Sydneys best 22 and would be relying on injuries to sneak in and looking very doubtful for a Rd1 spot. Fox offers more value though purely on his basement price and greater JLT influence.
Harrison Wigg was dropped for JLT3 after playing the first two games given his poor performance and decision making in game 2, although he was named amongst the BOG crew in the SANFL trial match that weekend. Of all the players who averaged 18 disposals, he had the 2nd lowest average TOG at 61%, just behind Jack Ziebell. With Brad Crouch and Scott Thompson all but ruled out of Rd1, he might get some early game time.
While an average of 41 points for 3 games isn’t something to boast about, Joe Atley did only average 48% TOG over the series. He loves the contested ball with 50% of his possessions being contested and given his small frame, is probably why he’s burning out fast and not getting extended runs. Getting to the bottom of the pack to extract the ball, 10 of his 12 disposals were handballs. He might get an early game but is sitting right on the fringe to drop out when a best 22 player returns from injury.
When I skyped with Motts before the JLT series, he told me to keep an eye on young Zac Fisher as he appeared to be a smoky coming through the ranks. I gave him a spot on my bench immediately hoping something would come of it, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be as he was given very little opportunity to shine over the JLT series.
… And after Burgoyne met Pepper.
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