Welcome to Season 2018 coaches!
This season we’ve decided to shorten the reviews for your sanity and mine. And to be quite honest, after two years of reviews that have required more words than War and Peace, I am running short on ideas!
Just quietly though, I have added some irrelevant stuff at the end for those of you who are commuting and like random rubbish!
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
How we rate a player’s performance in Supercoach is all a matter of perspective. If Dustin Martin or Patrick Dangerfield score well we appreciate their reliability but we don’t celebrate much.
We just get what we pay for!
So what excites us the most in Supercoach is when our risky smokey, point-of-difference player or mid-pricer scores really well. For that reason I will honour the unexpected achievements in this review!
Note: I’ll leave the rookies for Huttabito’s Rookie Review!
My 10 of the best for this week are:
- Riley Bonner (Por) 119 – He appeared unlikely to even get a game until Pittard injured his hamstring but with 31 possessions at 80% DE he is now a lock for Port’s best 22.
- Brandon Parfitt (Gee) 103 – He’s listed as a Mid-Fwd and he’s super cheap yet his name wasn’t mentioned in the preseason. Break-out year or flash-in-the-pan?
- Jarrod Berry (Bri) 103 – Only 19 possessions but 3 goals and a high efficiency rating boosted Berry’s score. I’m not sure he’ll back this up!
- Jack Graham (Ric) 100 – Only 13 possessions but 13 tackles and an elite pressure rating meant Graham tonned up and he only costs $268k! Great pick Schwarzy!
- Charlie Curnow (Car) 126 – The umpires probably helped this score with their wanton 50m penalties but Charlie Curnow looks a certainty to break-out in 2018.
- Ashley McGrath (Ess) 102 – Ignore the preseason scoring of McGrath! He’s a gun who is playing through the midfield and should be close to a top 6 defender in 2018.
- Jarrod Witts (GC) 131 – He’s 9ft tall and played in a bathtub, yet he still scored 131 SC points. How did we all miss him in the preseason?
- Jack Macrae (WB) 120 – I know Macrae is a proven gun but in a team flogged by 80+ points, this was an impressive 31 possession effort. He deserves more credit than he receives at the Kennel!
- Blake Acres (StK) 144 – Forward alert! Acres has threatened with these scores before but if he finds consistency we should be talking about him more. A lot more!
- Tim Taranto (GWS) 100 – Another contender to break-out in his second year! With Whitfield playing in the back-line Taranto should rack up possessions this season. Kudos to those who selected him!
- Kade Simpson (Car) 150 – I know I said 10 of the best but Simmo deserved a mention for reminding us how good he is and how stupid we were for ignoring him. For Simmo and Burgoyne, age is irrelevant.
- Nic Naitanui (WC) 112 – I had finished the review when the West Coast versus Sydney match wrapped up so NicNat is #12. He only played 54% TOG for this score. Amazing! Good to see the athletic man-mountain back!
Honourable mentions go to:
- Dyson Heppell (Ess) 142 – He did this in Round 1 last season too, but maybe it’s time for Heppell to really reach the elite? Let me know if you actually own him!
- Aaron Sandilands (Fre) 104 – With a few ruckmen all going down injured, amazingly Sandi stood tall in a losing side.
- Tom Mitchell (Haw) 167 – Dangerfield who? With an all-time high 54 possessions, Tommy had to get a mention!
- Stephen Coniglio (GWS) 129 – Every season there is a player slapping us in the face with their cheap price and we ignore them. What is wrong with us?
- Jack Steven (StK) 135 – Steven was back to his energiser bunny ways, with he and Billings dragging the Saints across the line.
- Lance Franklin (Syd) 181 – He top scored for the week with his 8 goal performance. How could I not include him?
Just a random observation: We were so worried about Dangerfield playing and who would be our captain this week, yet no fewer than 15 players scored 130 SC points or more this week. We need not have worried!
Just as I rate the good players as those who scored unexpectedly well, the bad are those who scored unexpectedly poorly. We want what we paid for, gents!
The 10 players who most upset their coaches were:
- Dayne Zorko (Bri) 32 – I watched a bit of this match and I don’t even know what happened. He only won 14 possessions and when he did win the ball he butchered in an unmagical way. 21% DE: Harbour Heroes summed it up eloquently: WTF?
- Nat Fyfe (Fre) 75 – He had a great International Rules series but he did not enjoy the treatment he copped from the Power and he struggled to get into the game. Maybe he should find a game that uses a round ball?
- Marcus Bontempelli (WB) 63 – Another player who dominated the preseason and didn’t turn up for the real show. Only 18 possessions and 1 mark is just not enough from the Bont.
- Taylor Adams (Col) 69 – I thought he could be a great POD but he and his clanger brother Treloar were at it again. Adams only found the ball 20 times, 15 of which were contested, yet he still committed 6 clangers.
- Dane Rampe (Syd) 54 – This one is for my Dead Team. Get it together Rampe!
- Tom Rockliff (Por) 55 – With no preseason, Rocky was always going to struggle, but his 12 possessions and 1 goal was still surprisingly poor in a big win.
- Michael Hibberd (Mel) 74 – Hibbo started very slowly and did some great stuff late in the game to salvage a semi-decent score. His coaches are probably relieved he passed 50 points!
- Adam Treloar (Col) 87 – Only Treloar can turn 33 possessions into an 87! He registered just the 3 clangers, but he still missed the target 57.6% of the time.
- Rory Sloane (Ade) 89 – I watched much of this match and I don’t think Rory was copping a tag yet he wasn’t his usual prolific self either. Perhaps he is lacking a bit of match fitness?
- Dane Beams (Bri) 69 – Beamsy tried hard but just lacked a bit of polish after missing the JLT series. He collected 26 possessions but committed 6 clangers. Don’t stress, he’ll be back next week!
Sometimes things happen in footy that remind us that there is more to this game than statistics. I’m talking the crappy stuff like injuries and unfortunately Round 1 was absolutely jam-packed with some high profile nastiness.
The worst of the weekend were:
- Tom Liberatore (WB) 13 – After a brilliant preseason it looked like Libba was back so it was horrible for him and all Doggies fans that he has injured his knee ACL again. Get well soon, Libba!
- Paddy Ryder (Por) 68 – Only his Round 10 bye prevented every Supercoach from picking up Ryder as their second ruckman so it was shattering watching the big fella sitting their with his achilles iced up. Hinkley thinks he’ll miss a few weeks.
- Zach Merrett (Ess) 17 – He and Richard Douglas had a bit of an altercation and next minute Douglas got a bit frisky with a hip and shoulder and Merrett’s night was done. Merrett looked pretty unhappy to be pulled from the match so odds are he’ll right for next week.
- Matthew Kreuzer (Car) 74 – Kreuz went ballistic in the first half against the Tiges but his scoring stopped very suddenly when he injured his groin in the third quarter (I think it was the third?)
- Daniel Rich (Bri) 21 – Rich looked very sore when he injured his ankle and could miss a few weeks.
- Harry Taylor (Gee) 19 – Harry has the dreaded plantar fasciitis and could be out for a while. Foot injuries are a bitch!
- Ryan Burton (Haw) 27 – He bent his ankle so far it seemed like he had snapped it. Thankfully early reports are positive.
- Matthew Kennedy (Car) 3 – A great pick-up for the Blues, Kennedy injured his ankle early in the second quarter and never returned.
- Max Gawn (Mel) 139 – Don’t panic! He is not injured. Just spare a thought for the Beard who won’t have slept last night after missing a sitter to ice the match against Geelong.
As usual, if I have any players to add, let me know in the comments.
And if you want something completely irrelevant to read…
THE PERFECT SUPERCOACH TEAM
Thommo hit ‘save changes’ and sat back with a sigh. He wasn’t confident but he was as happy with his Supercoach team as he was ever going to be. He stood, stretching his aching spine that had spent far too long hunched over a laptop, and glanced at the clock to check the time.
6:30pm. Thommo nodded to himself: Plenty of time to spare before lock-out for the first match of the season.
Wait a minute!
He frowned. Something was wrong with his Hawks’ shrine located beneath the clock! Someone had moved the 2008 replica premiership cup so it didn’t perfectly match up with its many friends on the shelf. Thommo swore. Damn kids! He hated when they played in his den.
He picked up the offending chalice, pausing to admire the score line. Ah, 2008, he reminisced: The year of the rushed behind! Beneath the score greasy little fingerprints had left smears over several names, including that of Luke Hodge. Thommo shook his head: Hodgey may be at Brisbane now but that didn’t mean Thommo could stand for Hodgey’s name being obscured!
He grabbed his spectacle cloth, sprayed some cleaner on the cup and started wiping away the fingerprints. As he started rubbing Thommo felt a pressure shift and his ears popped. That was weird, he thought, shaking his head. He really had spent too long staring at his computer screen!
Finally the cup was shining again and he replaced it on the shelf, a row of gleaming gold.
“Nice job,” a deep voice said and Thommo spun around, his heart almost beating out of his chest. Before him stood a huge, muscular man in a turban, massive arms folded across spectacular pectorals, barely concealed behind an open purple vest. He looked oddly like Duane Johnson. The man nodded his head towards the Premiership cups, “I appreciate well-polished metal.”
“What, who, what…,” Thommo spluttered.
“Articulate, aren’t you,” the man observed, arching an eyebrow.
Thommo drew in a deep, slow breath and tried to slow his heart down. “Who are you and what are you doing in my house?” Thommo asked, a little embarrassed by how high pitched his voice sounded. “And why are you dressed like an Arabian cartoon character?” he added.
“You rubbed my cup and summoned me,” the man replied in a reasonable tone, as though his reply was not completely crazy.
“I didn’t summon anyone. Wait, what do you mean summoned?”
“Have you heard of the Djinn? You know, genies?” the man asked, seeming a little downcast at Thommo’s lack of excitement.
“I guess,” Thommo replied.
“Well, I’m a Genie and you rubbed my cup.”
“I thought you lived in lamps?” Thommo asked, a little disturbed that he was having this conversation.
“We can live in any receptacle. We aren’t just trapped in a lamp. Don’t believe everything you watch in Disney movies.”
“So you live in my premiership cup?” Thommo started to wonder if all this Supercoach had destroyed his mind.
“Yep, my summer home. The heat is brutal at home in Summer.” The Genie rubbed his hands together. “Alright, enough chatting, time for business. You can make your one wish.”
Thommo perked up a bit at the mention of wishes. “Excellent. Wait, one wish? I thought it was three wishes,” he asked.
“More Disney propaganda. One wish and then I’m out of here. Any ideas what you want, I’m kind of pressed for time?”
Thommo knew exactly what he wanted. “Yep, I already know. I want you to give me the perfect Supercoach team for this season.”
The genie scratched an ear, clearly puzzled, “What’s Supercoach?”
“Like a fantasy sports game.” Thommo frowned, “Look, it’s a bit hard to explain, can you grant my wish or not?”
The Genie raised his hands, “Calm yourself, mortal. I’ll quickly refer to the Djinn-ternet for more information.” He closed his eyes, furrowed his brows for a few moments, then reopened his eyes, still looking puzzled.
Thommo’s heart sank. “You can’t grant my wish?” he asked.
“Ye-es,” the Genie said slowly, “I can grant your wish. I just don’t understand why you have made such a request. I could grant you untold wealth, power, even sex appeal,” the Genie paused to look Thommo up and down meaningfully, “yet you ask to win a competition that requires half a year of effort for only fifty thousand dollars.”
“It’s a pride thing,” Thommo said.
“You would feel pride by cheating to win this Supercoach prize?”
“Ok, it’s a credibility thing,” Thommo snapped. “Look, will you grant this wish or not?”
The Genie shrugged, “As you wish, the ultimate Supercoach team is yours…” Again there was a pressure shift in the room and Thommo stumbled. When he righted himself, the Genie was gone and nothing seemed to have changed. Frantically he fumbled for his phone, opened the Supercoach app and gasped.
It was…. breathtaking! Mid-pricers, guns and rookies all blended into a weird but wonderful amalgam in a way Thommo would never have selected. He whooped again and again and again…
“Turn the damn alarm off!” Mrs Thommo muttered, punching Thommo in the arm. He groaned, leaned over and slapped the sleep button to silence the annoying whooping of the alarm before flopping back onto his pillow.
Staring at the ceiling, he suddenly remembered his dream and frantically tried to remember the players selected in that amazing team but all he could remember was glimpsing Riley Bonner and Kade Simpson in the back-line.
What stupid selections! Obviously it was just a dream…
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