STATE OF THE GAME Take 2
For the first time ever there were 5 games decided by a margin of 4 points or less in a single round. Some of those games were free-flowing and some were more dour contests but all of them were exciting spectacles. Typically, only St Kilda let down the AFL with their tripe on Saturday night (and let’s pretend Sunday didn’t happen).
And while these amazing matches were going on where was Steven Hocking? At Coburg monitoring a trial of new rules he wants to implement to make the game more exciting.
Can anyone see the irony there?
The ladder is jam packed with 12 teams vying for a top 8 side with only 3 rounds left in the season. Poor old Brisbane has finally dragged itself off the canvas to play consistent footy for the past 2 months and only Gold Coast and Carlton remain well and truly in the cellar. With few exceptions, just about any team can beat any other team on their day.
I think the fans are pretty happy with the state of the game at the moment!
GOAL LINE REVIEWS
This week, the most angst amongst supporters was caused by the goal line review system, mainly during the Adelaide vs Port Adelaide match. As Ken Hinkley implied in his (very whiney) post-match, the technology needs to be improved so we can receive conclusive evidence if the ball is touched on the goal line or if the ball hits the post. Clearly the AFL has the monetary means to do so! I don’t know much about cameras, but perhaps they can be mounted on top of the goal posts looking down?
That said, I don’t think the system is that bad. What we have lost sight of is the real reason for the system, and that was to prevent the absolute howlers: Those times when the ball is obviously touched, clearly hits the post or goes the wrong side of the post and the umpires inexplicably stuff up. The current procedure, whereby the goal umpire makes his call, and that call is only overturned if the video evidence is conclusive, is not a terrible system.
During the Hawks vs Bombers match there were two goals kicked by Hawthorn that were clearly touched off the boot and, prior to the current system, those would have been allowed. It was disappointing for the Hawks’ fans but at least the correct result was achieved.
Conversely during the Crows vs Port match, the Josh Jenkins goal might have hit the post but I couldn’t tell so I don’t see how a video review could have overturned the umpire’s decision. If Jenkins had kept his mouth shut (like a smarter person would) during his post-match interview, there would have been less anger!
So take a chill pill, people. It’s not that bad!
And AFL, spend some money on goal line technology rather than on trials of stupid new rules.
RICHMOND 12.13 (85) def GEELONG 12.10 (82)
I’m a bit pressed for time this week folks so I’m going to highlight the best and worst and let you sink the boot into anyone you want in the comments…
Joel Selwood (Gee) 159 – After three weeks of poor scores Selwood finally turned it on with 22 of his 37 disposals being contested but he still managed an elite 70% DE and only 2 clangers. He also had 9 clearances and an impressive 9 one percenters. And in case you need a cheap midfielder, he still costs less than $500k coming up against Hawthorn, Fremantle and Gold Coast.
Jayden Short (Ric) 68 – Short looked to be the answer to those Supercoaches seeking a cheap and unique defender but he got lost in the toilets at half time on Friday night and missed the entire third quarter. Consequently he scored 50 SC points to half time and only 17 in the second half. Not that you can expect much more than 68 points from a 14 possession match!
HAWTHORN 16.11 (107) def ESSENDON 16.7 (103)
Tom Mitchell (Haw) 153 – Tommy had an absolute field day in the first half and had a spectacular 102 SC points from 29 possessions at the long break. The Dons tightened up a lot after half-time and he only managed a pathetic 51 SC points in the second half but his owners were happy to take 153 points as their Vice Captain score (unless they owned Kelly). Considering he had 43 disposals, 22 contested possessions and 13 clearances it was impressive that he only recorded 3 clangers.
Dyson Heppell (Ess) 77 – This was a good example of why Heppell is not an elite Supercoach mid. He racked up 25 touches, 9 of them contested, but he committed 6 clangers, 3 of them free kicks against. Despite an 84% DE he somehow recorded just 77 SC points. At this time of the year, you just can’t afford scores like this! It is also annoying that he appears to do some tagging jobs at times, with him minding Mitchell at times on Saturday (with little effect).
NORTH MELBOURNE 16.11 (107) def BRISBANE 16.8 (104)
Dayne Zorko (Bri) 142 – I am really wishing I had picked up Zorko a few weeks ago! With no Jacobs playing for North, the Magician was everywhere with 35 disposals, 9 clearances and 2 goals. Even more impressively, considering he had so much of the ball, Zorko also stuck 10 tackles showing he’s not afraid to do the hard work.
Paul Ahern (Nor) 40 – I wouldn’t ordinary give a rookie a serve but he was played on the ground by many Supercoaches and this would have really hurt. With Higgins out he was expected to put up midfield numbers but he only gathered 16 possessions and recorded 5 clangers and didn’t get near to his numbers from last week. Seems like last week was just an outlier!
Todd Goldstein (61) can consider himself luck I didn’t highlight his tripe. Oh wait, I just did!
ADELAIDE 13.18 (96) def PORT ADELAIDE 14.9 (93)
Matthew Crouch (Ade) 127 – Just another 35 possies for the ball magnet with 7 clearances, 8 tackles and 1 goal to go with them. You get the impression that only the existence of Tom Mitchell and his ridiculous ball magnetism is preventing us from talking about Crouch more. The guy racks up touches like few other players in history and he just needs to tidy up those clangers (6 this week) to really pump out some monster scores.
Tom Rockliff (Por) 57 – Gee there were some shocking scores in this match! I could have highlighted Ollie Wines (Por) 63, Justin Westhoff (Por) 73 or Rory Laird (Ade) 76 but Rockliff gets the nod for being the worst of a bad bunch. He managed 20 possessions and didn’t do a hell of lot else in the match and maybe trading him in wasn’t such a good idea for his few supercoaches.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 15.13 (103) def ST KILDA 9.14 (68)
Seb Ross (StK) 158 – Ross is starting to show that he is a cut above the rest of his team at the moment with 40 disposals and just the 1 clanger. He also grabbed 9 marks and kicked 3 goals and just needs to find consistency to be truly elite. Or perhaps playing for a semi-decent team might help him take that next step?
Toby McLean (WB) 77 – While players like Jack Steven (61) were worse, Toby McLean is more notable due to his higher ownership and large drop off in form. In the first 10 weeks he recorded 8 tonnes but he has only scored one in the next 9 rounds. He is still recording decent possession numbers with another 22 touches this week but his disposal efficiency wasn’t great at 68%. So who has luxury trades left?
SYDNEY 11.7 (73) def COLLINGWOOD 10.11 (71)
Lance Franklin (Syd) 178 – So what happens when one of the most talented players has no opponent? 6 goals, 4 behinds, 2 goals assists, 3 contested marks (and only 1 clanger). And who has two thumbs and a big smile?
This guy! Yep, I am a long suffering owner who thought Buddy was cooked.
I hate Buddy, but I love 178 points in the first week of SC finals.
Steele Sidebottom (Col) 66 – I haven’t listed Sidey for his 18 possessions at just 44% DE and 7 clangers but rather for that silly kick into the forward line in the dying moments. Seriously, he just dumped it long to nobody in the dying minutes of this game, allowing Sydney to counterattack. You expect a bit of panic like that from a youngster but not from an experienced gun like Sidebottom. Show some composure Steele!!!
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 23.13 (151) def CARLTON 7.4 (46)
Josh Kelly (GWS) 205 – “Try and be different,” I told myself. “Kelly might get injured again so select a more durable player,” I said.
Just for the record, a player’s ceiling is the most important thing! Stuff durability and stuff consistency because when you don’t have a player when he goes large, you are going to feel the pain!
Yes, Kelly made a mess of the Blues with 41 possessions at 80% DE, 10 clearances, 4 goals assists, 7 marks and a record 16 inside 50s. He is such a quality unit that he was always going to score well but his SC score was magnified by the injuries to the Giants. With Greene, Deledio, Simpson and Sam Taylor off injured, there were plenty of points for Kelly to feast upon and he duly put up our first double tonne of the season.
Brett Deledio (GWS) 33 – Did anyone hold Deledio? Bad idea! In fact it was a bad idea trading him in at all. Unfortunately his soft tissues are shot and he is no longer Supercoach relevant. This week he only lasted a bit over one quarter before he blew out a calf again.
MELBOURNE 21.17 (143) def GOLD COAST 7.5 (47)
Christian Salem (Mel) 147 – Other Dees had more possessions than he did, but none used it better than Salem who followed the quality over quantity philosophy. His 26 touches ran at 92% DE, he kicked 1 goal and gave another away and he didn’t record a single clanger. Not that anyone had him in Supercoach or Perfect 9!
Stewie Dew (GC) – The Suns only recorded 302 disposals compared with 426 disposals for the Dees in this match. It’s a pity they didn’t have some better ball winners they could call upon to face the Demons.
Sorry, what did you say?
They do have better ball winners playing in the NEAFL?
Guys called Barlow and Lyons?
Does Stewie Dew even want to win?
WEST COAST 21.16 (142) def FREMANTLE 13.6 (84)
Jack Redden (WC) 137 – Redden continued to rack up the possessions with 33 touches and 10 marks against Freo, recording his third tonne in the last 5 weeks and bringing his three and five round averages to 110ppg. I’m not sure he’s good enough for your final squad but he does have a decent ceiling with back-to-back scores of 154 in rounds 16 and 17.
Andrew Gaff (WC) 123 – I think this might be the highest dud score I’ve highlighted. But of course, Gaff is not here for his Supercoach performance! As I’m sure you are all aware, he’s mentioned here for the left hook that broke Andrew Brayshaw’s jaw 50 metres behind the play.
Perhaps Brayshaw was teasing him about those two caterpillars on his face that he calls eyebrows or perhaps he just took exception to Brayshaw’s face, but whatever the reason Gaff had for throwing the punch, he’s in some deep do-do.
I sure hope his owners have a trade remaining because you are going to need it. No matter how remorseful he is and how out of character this incident was, he is gone for more than 3 weeks.
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