Round 18 Review

Written by Thommo on July 23 2018

ZONING

*Sigh*

I decided this season that I would try and keep these reviews reasonably relevant to football and Supercoach. I’ll admit I was worried I would be unable to find something to write about most weeks but I needn’t have worried.

Clearly the inmates are running the asylum at AFL House!

There have been so many weeks where the AFL’s management of the competition has dominated the headlines, mostly due to the discussion of new rules, the changing interpretation of old rules and irregular tribunal decisions. The actual football, which should be the highlight of the AFL, has taken a back seat to the governance. Which is both sad and wrong!

The argument most people have for the AFL’s meddling is the poor quality of the football. “Football is broken!” the media screams in bold headlines causing the overly reactive AFL power-brokers to attempt to spruce up the aesthetics of our game.

And does this actually improve anything?

Was there really a problem in the first place?

Here are three questions that the AFL needs to answer before meddling:

  1. Are crowds and TV viewership down compared with the “Good ole’ days” (somewhere between 1920 and 2000, depending on who you ask).
  2. During these Golden Eras of football, were there one sided results between the best and worst teams?
  3. Will rule changes definitely improve the aesthetics and crowd attendance of matches?

From my limited perspective, the answers appear to be:

  1. TV viewership is pretty high and crowd attendance as an average is as good as it has ever been. The worst attendance numbers generally involve the Gold Coast and GWS Giants games which were the result of AFL meddling to grow the game in NRL strongholds. So, this is not really an issue.
  2. For me as a Hawks’ member, the 1980s were the “Golden Era” of football because the Hawks were sublime and there were personalities (and mullets) in the game. However, teams were still getting flogged. Essendon and Hawthorn dominated the decade with brief cameos from other clubs. Just have a look at the St Kilda results for the decade and you’ll enjoy some pretty bleak reading! Yet everyone speaks of how level and beautiful the competition was back then. All we are doing is blocking out the dud games, probably because we didn’t watch them, and remembering the iconic matches like the 1989 Grand Final. For some reason the media want every match to be watchable even though most football viewers only want to watch their team and perhaps the blockbuster match for the round. Even in the 1980s, nobody wanted to watch the cellar dwellers play, so why would we want to watch them play now?
  3. Has the exclusion zone improved the flow of the game? Has the 30 second shot clock improved the look of the game? Has the third man up rule improved anything? Not at all! The impact has been minimal or even detrimental. Just look at the Cats versus Demons match on Saturday!

So will zoning improve the look of the game?

That is a tough question and one that requires a huge amount of simulation and trial before implementation. With little thought, I can come up with many problems with zoning but I can also see benefits. The simple fact remains: We need to see it in practice to know for sure if it is a good or bad thing and Hocking does too!

SUPERCOACH STUDS AND DUDS

Just to reiterate my point about the quality of footy in the 1980s and 1990s, I have added a few old scores to highlight my point. Low scores and big margins were common in the 1980s!

RICHMOND 16.15 (111) def ST KILDA 8.9 (57)

Round 9, 1984: RICHMOND 24.8 (152) def ST KILDA 12.16 (88).

Richmond defeated St Kilda at the MCG. At the time Richmond were 5th on the ladder and St Kilda 10th and both teams missing the top 5 for the season.

SC STUD

Dustin Martin (Ric) 139 – You know a team is ready to go back-to-back when their best players haven’t bothered to turn up for half the season yet they still sit on top of the ladder. Dusty is just warming up now with finals around the corner, finding plenty of the contested ball in the last few weeks. This week he won the most contested possessions on the ground with 13 from a total of 30 possessions and he kicked a goal. Now if he could just stop committing 6 clangers and record more than 1 tackle and he’ll record a massive score.

SC DUD

Jack Steven (StK) 52 – He kicked a brilliant goal from mid-air and that was about all he did well. With 23 disposals but just 6 contested possessions and 8 clangers, Steven had a match to forget. I guess that is in keeping with the Saints who are having a season they will want to forget as soon as Mad Monday arrives (if not before)!

THE NEXT STEP

Jayden Short (Col) 114 – If you are a Supercoach who knows how to how to play the game, you will be watching for these youngsters who are stepping up late in the season. They are highly likely to continue this form in 2019 and become the next generation of premiums in our teams. Short is a prime defensive candidate. Since moving to defence he has been on fire, finding plenty of the ball and using it well. This week he gathered 26 possessions, 6 marks and 8 inside 50s and only committed 1 clanger. Watch this space!

COLLINGWOOD 20.10 (130) def NORTH MELBOURNE 9.10 (64)

Round 12, 1985: NORTH MELBOURNE 14.17 (101) def COLLINGWOOD 9.10 (64).

North defeated the Pies at Pie Park (Victoria Park) despite Collingwood giving them a hiding at the MCG in Round 1. North went on to scrape into the finals in 5tplace while the Pies finished 7th and missed out.

SC STUD

Jordan De Goey (Col) 147 – Playing a predominantly forward role, De Goey is a bit inconsistent but his quality is undeniable. He only managed the 19 touches this week but with 4 goals, 6 tackles and not a single clanger, De Goey was clearly best on ground. As long as he stays out of trouble, the Pies will be ecstatic De Goey re-signed with them.

SC DUD

Jack Crisp (Col) 64 – The Full Packet was the talk of the town during the week after a long run of solid form and naturally he had a down week. Crisp was barely sighted with just 11 possessions but at least he got good value for his possessions as he did not commit a single clanger. The only concern is whether Sam Murray returning to the team has affected his scoring or if this was just a poor week.

THE NEXT STEP

Jed Anderson (Nor) 86 – Anderson is similar to Shaun Higgins in that he has talent but injuries continue to strike him down. This season he has managed 15 games for 10 scores over 80 and a high of 113 SC points and he seems to be spending plenty of time around the ball. If he can remain fit, expect him to push his average above 90ppg although De Goey would be my preference as a break-out contender for 2019.

GOLD COAST 12.16 (88) def SYDNEY 8.16 (64)

Rd 2, 1989: BRISBANE 19.23 (137) def SYDNEY 9.10 (64)

Brisbane enjoyed their second ever win against the Swans, this one at Carrara ahead of 12,000 people, in a direct reversal of their first meeting with the Swans in Round 11, 1987 when they lost 137-64. Unfortunately they fell away over the season and finished second last… ahead of the Tigers!

SC STUD

Aaron Young (GC) 128 – Here is our weekly Perfect 9 long shot! In the first two matches of the round many coaches would have selected Martin and De Goey but you deserve a prize if you selected Young. You also deserve a prize if you tipped the Suns! In this low scoring affair, Young deserves his top SC score as he kicked 4 goals, grabbed 2 contested marks and assisted with another goal. And he costs less than $1,000,000 per season!

SC DUD

Lance Franklin (Syd) 61 – Buddy was held goalless by Rory Thompson and was barely sighted after quarter time. Many of us had this match ear-marked as a ‘soft spot’ where Buddy would kick a bag but sadly his bags have dried up this season. At least he costs less than $1,000,000 per season! Wait a second…

THE NEXT STEP

Touk Miller (GC) 113 – Miller is doing some run-with roles this season but has still managed 6 tonnes in his last 10 matches. Against one of the better midfields around he racked up 25 possessions, 5 tackles and 1 goal. And if he doesn’t take the next step, watch Aliir Aliir who was one of the few Swans who appeared competent for 4 quarters on Saturday.

ESSENDON 13.21 (99) def FREMANTLE 11.4 (70)

Rd 13, 1989: ESSENDON 3.10 (28) def FOOTSCRAY 3.5 (23)

Who said there were no low scoring games in the 80s? Ahead of 13,000 fans at Windy Hill, the Bombers held off the Dogs as Michael Werner starred with 2 goals from 6 possessions! Quality footy! Windy Hill was well named!

SC STUD

Orazio Fantasia (Ess) 133 – The man with the sexy name slotted 5 goals, gathered 19 possessions and grabbed 9 marks in a best on ground performance, made all the more important by McKernan’s early hamstring injury. You get the impression that he needs to stay fit if the Bombers are any chance of featuring in the finals.

SC DUD

Michael Hurley (Ess) 76 – Hurley started like a house-on-fire and rumours that he was back in form appeared accurate, but he faded badly. He used the ball well but only recorded 17 possessions, mostly uncontested and took a surprisingly low 4 marks, none of them contested. Perhaps we should look elsewhere for our D6?

THE NEXT STEP

? – You know what? I can’t find a player who statistically looks ready to step up. McGrath and Parish are still very inconsistent and Cerra looks to have a fantasy-friendly ceiling but is still young. Pass! Tell me if I’m wrong Bombers and Freo fans!

ADELAIDE 13.15 (98) def BRISBANE 13.10 (88)

Round 14, 1991: ADELAIDE 23.18 (156) def BRISBANE 13.12 (90)

In their first ever meeting, the Crows gave the poor old Bears a hiding at Football Park. The Crows were competitive all season but fell short of playing finals while the Bears finished dead last behind Fitzroy.

SC STUD

Hugh Greenwood (Ade) 133 – Greenwood played the complete game, gathering 17 possessions and not committing a single clanger despite 14 of those being contested. He also grabbed 3 contested marks, placed 4 tackles and kicked 4 goals.

SC DUD

Mitch Robinson (Bri) 34 – After such a great game last week, Robbo just didn’t get near it on Saturday night. At his home ground, he gathered just 11 possessions at 45% DE and 4 tackles. That means he had more effective tackles than he did effective possessions! Considering how important he is to his team, it is amazing Brisbane got so close to a win!

THE NEXT STEP

Alex Witherden (Bri) 131 – He has scored a little inconsistently this season, throwing up 4 scores under 70, but he has also scored over 90 points on 8 occasions and has just recorded his highest score for the season. With the Lions on the rise, Witherden will find his way into many teams in 2019 and possibly a Rising Star award this season.

GEELONG 16.4 (100) def MELBOURNE 14.14 (98)

Round 12, 1989: GEELONG 13.11 (89) def MELBOURNE 2.8 (20)

The Cats smashed the Dees at the MCG, surprising considering the Cats finished the regular season 3rd and the Dees 4th. Sadly for the Dees, the Cats smashed them again in the semi-final!

SC STUD

Tom Hawkins (Gee) 140 – In 2011 I thought Hawkins was going to prove an unstoppable force but he has turned into more of a farce. He is a huge unit and he should be ripping games apart but he goes missing for months at a time. In a nice change for Geelong fans this week, Hawkins turned back the clock to 2011 with 7 goals straight, 2 goal assists and 4 contested marks and practically won this match off his own boot. Well done, Dees, for playing Hawkins back into some form!

SC DUD

Jesse Hogan (Mel) 72 – While Hawkins starred, Hogan was disappointing and has been for a few weeks now. He has not recorded back-to-back tonnes since Rounds 10-11 and has recorded 4 scores under 90 in the last 6 weeks. With the Dees facing a relatively tough run home, you wonder if Hogan should be little more than bench cover for the Supercoach finals?

THE NEXT STEP

Clayton Oliver (Mel) 127 – Yes, I know, this is not a ground-breaking selection! We all know he’s a proven premium midfielder, but I think Oliver could take the next step to be the uber premium at the top of the midfield pool in 2019. I’m talking 120-130ppg, folks. He is starting to kick goals and he rarely records a bad SC score and yet he doesn’t even play all four quarters on a consistent basis. He has now scored over 120 SC points on 10 occasions this season and, barring injury, he’s starting in Thommo’s Tribe in 2019.

HAWTHORN 18.16 (124) def CARLTON 7.10 (52)

Round 10, 1985: HAWTHORN 22.15 (147) def CARLTON 9.14 (68)

In front of 25,394 people at Princes Park the Hawks gave the Blues a lesson in football on their way to the 1985 Grand Final… where the Bombers absolutely hammered them!

SC STUD

Tom Mitchell (Haw) 192 – Another 46 possies, 6 clearances, 9 marks, 9 tackles, 2 goals and even a contested mark. Which begs the question: Did any of his possessions mean anything? Because surely anyone can rack up 40+ possessions every other week!

SC DUD

Ed Curnow (Car) 89 – Mr Ed is doing ok but his form has well and truly dropped from the heights of the first half of the season. In fact, his SC scoring has suffered ever since he maliciously touched an umpire, although this ho-hum score may have more to do with tagging Isaac Smith on Sunday.

THE NEXT STEP 

James Worpel (Haw) 110 – He hasn’t appeared at AFL level since Rd 9 but he appears to have a decent SC game, especially seen with his ball-winning ability at VFL level. There is room in the Hawks’ midfield but his price could rise too much if he has many more big games like this (32 possessions at 87% DE) before season’s end.

WEST COAST 14.16 (100) def WESTERN BULLDOGS 6.10 (46)

Round 3, 1990: WEST COAST 18.14 (122) def FOOTSCRAY 7.17 (59)

After their inception in 1987, the Eagles became very good very quickly and had little trouble accounting for the Dogs at the Kennel (Western Oval) in front of 14,842.

SC STUD

Elliot Yeo (WC) 128 – A regulation 28 possessions for the man who has finally discovered consistency. He has amazingly recorded just 2 scores under 90 points for the entire season, unheard of stats for the human yo-yo (don’t mention the 27!). The only sad fact is that Yeo may well lose his DPP status next season and become a pure midfielder.

SC DUD

Jackson Macrae (WB) 74 – After Macrae returned from injury last week and immediately pumped out 131 points, a few coaches got excited and captained him this week. Bad idea! He was tagged by the Eagles (who successfully shut down the Pies’ midfield last week) and held to 22 possessions and 5 clangers. Now he’ll be even cheaper in 2 weeks!

THE NEXT STEP

Hayden Crozier (WB) 95 – He started the season like a dead-set disaster area, averaging 47ppg in his first 6 matches, but Crozier has finally found his feet. This week he gathered 29 mostly uncontested possessions and committed just 2 clangers. He has now averaged 98ppg in his last 6 marches and looks to have found himself a handy role floating across half-back.

GWS 11.14 (80) def PORT ADELAIDE 8.10 (58)

Round 1, 1997: COLLINGWOOD 26.10 (166) def PORT ADELAIDE 13.9 (87)

After the sad culling of Fitzroy after 1996, Port joined the league in 1997. While they were trounced by the Pies at the MCG in front of 51,883, Port were remarkably competitive, only missing out on finals on percentage.

SC STUD

Stephen Coniglio (GWS) 143 – As an owner, Coniglio has been very frustrating of late as he has consistently racked up healthy possession counts yet scored poorly due to disposal errors. This week he sorted out his sh#t and recorded 25 possessions, 8 clearances, 8 tackles, 1 goal and just 1 clanger. Fingers crossed he can play like this during the SC finals.

SC DUD

Tom Rockliff (Por) 66 – Ah, the trials and tribulations of the Rockliff owners! This week he gathered 20 disposals and 11 tackles which gave him a Fantasy score of 106 points but a SC score of just 66 due to 5 clangers and a 55% DE. So who’s picking him up next season… or ever again?

THE NEXT STEP

Tim Taranto (GWS) 98 – Taranto’s scores have fluctuated this season, mostly as a result of his role. When midfielders like Kelly have been out injured he has scored well through the midfield but when all the mainstays are playing he is pushed into lesser roles. But that should change as Taranto enters his third year. His quality is undoubted and he will explode much like Kelly did when he is given the opportunity.

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32 thoughts on “Round 18 Review”

  1. That big brown stain robinson cost me a loss by 8 pts, and the chance to go through the season undefeated. Aaah well, at least i didnt bring in macrae….
    Robinson to gray?

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    1. I haven’t been sold on Gray all season because Port keep stuffing around with his role but he’s safer than Robbo!
      Nice work on dominating your league like that! I’m not even close to going undefeated in my leagues.

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  2. Another great write up Thommo.You have me trying to pick next years side already! Can the Pies use Short next year? Probably!

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    1. Thanks Joestar. You’re better off selecting next season’s team early before the preseason creates uncertainty!

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    2. I’m already thinking we should have a “rate my team” for next year. We should assume we all have say, 8 unknown rookies at $123.9 avge and go from there with the rest at current prices.

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      1. great idea. Have spent a bit of time on this. Here’s where i’m up to!
        (depending on how byes fall)

        DEF:
        LOCKED: LAIRD, DOCHERTY, SHORT
        TARGETS (three/four of): Sicily, Lloyd (don’t rate him, but CD do!), Stewart, Crisp
        If available (status dependent): YEO, WHITFIELD (one/both may start)
        Others to consider/target: Andrews/Witherden (see how they go), L Ryan, Z Williams

        MIDs:
        LOCKED: OLIVER, CRIPPS, MITCHELL, MERRETT
        TARGETS (four/five of): Fyfe, Kelly, Macrae, Treloar, Coniglio
        Status dependent: Dangerfield and D Martin (will be the 5th starter if MID only and price is comparatively low)
        Others to consider: Neale, L Hunter, M Crouch

        RUCs:
        LOCKED: GAWN, GRUNDY
        TARGETS: Preuss (may start if the above have the same bye and/or he is traded and #1 at new club, in place of Max) – then later upgrade (as will afford another FULL premo to start on another line)
        Others to consider: Darcy, Naismith?

        FWDs:
        LOCKED: HEENEY, DANGERFIELD (DPP?), D SMITH (DPP?)
        TARGETS (possible starters dependent on status of above): D Martin, Taranto, De Goey, McLean (likely MID only), Greene
        Others to consider: Acres, Billings?!, Fantasia, Rayner

        RULES:
        Am only looking at 14 premiums to start. Will explain more later at the end of the season.
        BYES: the above will ALL be bye-dependent. Not bothered about rookies, but initial premo selections will be based on:
        No more than two players of the same bye in DEF, FWD (and ideally MID) lines
        No more than three players of the same bye in MIDs (at a push)
        R1 and R2 MUST have different byes.
        AGE: Will not go above 26yrs old for MIDs, 27 for all other positions (there may be the odd exception)
        INJURIES: MUST have had minimal injuries last 12-24months
        SITUATION: NO major changes at their club that may negatively effect their role, or breeds ANY uncertainty about scoring potential (they’ll be moved to the potential TARGET list)

        and less importantly but still considerations:
        STATUS: #draft pick, how many seasons and games have they played and what’s the trend
        CLUB: how’s their club likely to go in 2019 (ie will they be pushing up to Rd23 and how might their decline/rise effect their output in SC)

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        1. missed out McCluggage in the FWD line. Will definitely be a TARGET and may start dependent on the dpp status of those i’d like LOCKED.

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          1. based on current averages and therefore 2019 starting prices, I should have over $200k ITB to start the season!!
            Players priced at current ave. * $5,500/point (as per SC starting prices)
            Non-players from 2018, eg Docherty, priced at current price * 0.8 (which seems to be the SC norm on LTIs who don’t play a single game in the previous year).
            Starting with 14 premos and 16 rookies at an ave. of $130k/rookie.

            I might be wrong but … this is what my excel spreadsheet is telling me!

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  3. A bit harsh on the big Tomahawk, but I loved your intro and you’re dead right, the changes only mess with the game.

    I also thought Freo joined a few years before Port…?

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    1. Yes I’m harsh on Tomahawk but he has always played for a good team and is built like an adonis yet he rarely dominates a match. Built like tarzan, plays like…

      Apologies re: Freo, you are right they were 95, not 97!

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  4. Excellent piece Thommo – whoever it is running the rules change agenda appear to be very short-sighted indeed.

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    1. Thanks Weendawg! Most short-sighted people wear specs, the AFL chooses to stumble blindly from one disaster to the next…

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  5. In all fairness, Hawkins has had a pretty good year, tearing the game apart on a regular basis? Not really, but playing consistently good footy? Definitely

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  6. Excellent write-up Thommo. Have a couple of those you’ve mentioned in my starting line-up for next year. Am also considering McCluggage and want to see how Acres goes when he’s back (next week).
    Disappointed and have acknowledged that Yeo is destined for MID only status, but am hoping DPP status is afforded to the likes of Danger, Dusty (both MID/FWD) and Whitfield (DEF/MID). Just two of those three would make things a lot easier in 2019.
    Thanks again and I agree, it makes sense to have a firm idea of your premo picks BEFORE the JLT nonsense (“I’m a premo and am just gonna have a run-around”) which can wrongly sway your decisions. Have been working on this for a while now. Well it’s been four weeks since I’ve only had two trades left, so what else is there to do? Start ear-marking potentials for next year and WATCH them is what! Important, since I’ve realised that I was badly/wrongly influenced last year by what are largely irrelevant stats (for premos anyway) and was forced to make two corrective trades early. Never again.

    Lock up yer premos people. At worst they should end up at D7, M9 and F7. That’s a few trades saved right there. For me anyway 😉

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      1. nice one Wighty. I’ve responded to your comment above. And agree, it would be a great Poll/Thread to run this week … 😉

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  7. I’ll never understand this obsession from the AFL, attempting to ruin this game through constant, useless rule changes.
    Not every game will go down as a ‘famous victory for the club’ or a classic clash…….and its exactly the heavy losses which make those victories so sweet.
    Great write-up, Mr Thomson!

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    1. Yep. Just look at soccer. Only three major rule changes in 45years. Everyone’s happy. And any fundamental rule changes would be tested in out of season tournaments and then lower leagues for a year as a trial before EVER being wholly introduced and/or at the top level.

      I do feel the media is largely culpable due to its overbearing influence. Short-termist bloggers that they majoratively are. Still they managed to influence SportsBet and others to give me awesome odds on GWS to make the four back in Rd7 so what’s not to like. Thanks d1ckeds 😉

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      1. *Breaking NEWS*

        Rule 426a.
        Richmond will officially change their name to Yarra Upper and immediately have all players delisted, but may keep their yellow sashed jumper.
        Rule 426b.
        Carlton will then change their name to Richmond and with immediate effect, have all players delisted. However and without recourse, as they assume the name Richmond will need to honour all player contracts. The team may retain the blues guernsey.
        Rule 426c.
        The team now known as Yarra Upper may take the now vacated name Carlton and with doing so, take the available AFL license provided to the team Carlton.

        Theme songs and other side bits will be devised at an ad-hoc basis, as per customary AFL procedure.

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      2. And let’s not forget that the recent rule changes the AFL has brought in so far have all been stupid: the sub rule (now abolished, thank goodness), 10 metre protected zone, the farcical interpretation of deliberate out-of-bounds, and the new interpretation of push-in-the-back (back in my day that was considered a good tackle).

        But the one that really springs to mind is banning third-man-up. Apart from the ruck nomination process being absurd, the whole thing was completely unnecessary. The argument was that it was making ruckmen irrelevant. It wasn’t. Dominance in the ruck gives a team an advantage in clearances, which translates into an advantage in both possession and territory. Besides, if you are a two-metre tall ruckman and can’t win a hitout against a 6-foot-tall midfielder, then frankly you should consider a different line of work. Furthermore, the entire point of third-man-up as a tactic was to break through congestion at stoppages, by making the hitouts (and subsequent clearances) less predictable. And now the AFL is whinging about stoppages being too congested!

        Which brings me to starting positions. If the AFL mandates that teams have even numbers ahead of and behind the ball at centre bounces, this will disallow the tactic of having two loose players come off the back of the square and charge through the centre of the ground. Unlike a traditional loose defender, this is a fundamentally offensive tactic.

        Furthermore, if starting positions are mandated only at centre bounces, then a team that wants to put loose players behind the ball can easily do so, simply setting up defensively so as to force a secondary ball-up. As this is considered a regular stoppage rather than a centre-bounce, the new rules would not apply. So, the AFL will probably make them apply at stoppages as well. This will mean that teams could never have loose players back at stoppages. Far from making the game a better spectacle, this will just lead to more blowouts. Carlton stayed competitive in 2016/17 by putting a several extra numbers behind the ball.

        The AFL might decide that the numbers required in the 50-metre arcs are minimums, and that teams can still put extra numbers back if they are willing to have one less player at the stoppage. But doing this will mean that weaker teams get ripped apart at stoppages instead of inside defensive-50 – not much of an improvement.

        Speaking of D50, they also want to make the goalsquare bigger, so that teams can more easily break through the ‘evil’ forward press. The fact that the press is nowhere near as effective today as it was five years ago notwithstanding, the fact is that if anything, it actually boosts scoring, because more behinds are quickly followed up by goals. Yes, it makes it harder for teams to kick a coast-to-coast goal, but that has always been the exception rather than the rule. Instead of more kick-ins going end-to-end, what you are likely to see is more midfield stoppages –and fewer goals from forward-half intercepts.

        If the AFL does not understand the tactics of the game it is supposed to be running, then it is manifestly unqualified to be legislating them.

        But there is a deeper problem here, which nobody ever seems to address: the assumption that the AFL can and should change the rules to try manufacture a particular game-style. Apart from being futile (if coaches really want to force a particular game-style, they will find a way), I don’t believe this is a valid aim. A game is defined not by a particular look, but by a particular set of rules. There is a risk here of running into a ship of Theseus-type situation: if you keep on changing the rules, at what point does it stop being the same game? This is a more important point than people think. What we have collectively inherited here is the greatest football code ever invented. I believe we have a duty to conserve that for future generations. Given that the AFL is holding in its hands a major part of the cultural heritage of this country, it ought to view itself not as the owner of the game that can do with it whatever it wants for whatever reason, but as its humble custodian. The game has been here long before any of us, and it will be here long after everyone here has passed away. It should be treated with the proper respect that it deserves.

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        1. At the end of the day, there’s too many footy talk shows with sweet fa to talk about, so they go on and on about silly shit which are minor side issues.

          Everyday I see something like Kane Cornes said, or Malcolm Blight thinks. Most things they say are completely moronic but I’m sure AFL HQ end up feeling pressure and become reactive.

          Get rid of all rules introduced in the last 20 years and then let me decide which ones will continue, won’t be many. Maybe the concussion test 20 mins…

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          1. Indeed. Outside of the concussion protocols, I cannot think of a single rule change with which I have agreed, barring the reversal of previous changes (e.g. getting rid of the sub rule).

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  8. Fremantle next step: Sean Darcy if Sandilands retires.
    Carlton next step: Zac Fisher, maybe SPS.

    It’s a shame Carlton didn’t play Collingwood on the weekend, because you could have brought this old match up: Carlton 28.12.180 def Collingwood 10.9.69 (Sunday July 9th 2000, Princes Park). One of my happiest childhood memories is being at the ground watching that.

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    1. Mine was watching Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 at Maine Rd in 1977. During the era when Liverpool might lose one game in an entire season. We were ok back then. We’re brilliant now with some godawful sh1t in the 35 years in between 😉
      Carlton’ll come good. Put it this way, they have the strongest list potential they’ve had in the 15 years I’ve been here. Not that I knew much in those formative years, just that there was this thing called a wooden spoon and it had the Blues name on it 😉

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  9. Great write-up as always Thommo.

    I know the media is an easy target, but I really do think the 24 hour news cycle is the root cause of a lot of the ‘problems’ in the game. With so much air time to fill, we get a reduction in the quality of journalism, and journalists. They’re trying to get your attention and some of them struggle to find anything worth writing about at times. So they then take a small issue, throw some kero on it and try to make it worth writing about, which is where we run into problems. Exhibit A, the Danger-Vince non-event earlier this week.

    I agree that most of what is being discussed now as “issues” in the game can be fixed by undoing the recent rule changes. Allow third man up in the ruck. Change the exclusion zone rule to allow passive players. And forget starting positions – you need to increase the speed of the game to reduce congestion. Starting positions is only going to slow it down even more.

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    1. OK, I just realised that I repeated most of what Brad said above.

      Brad, you are are a genius and a gentleman, sir!

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