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!
This week saw Wendy’s team, Rockliff_NRole@SCT take the early clubhouse lead with a handsome 2363 points care of a bit of Josh Kennedy action. Nice to see the @SCT in your name, Wendy!
As the weeks go on, I’ll start posting the top 5 teams each week with the @SCT affixed to their team names.
SUPERTALK COACH CHAMPION 2017
Just a small tweak for 2017: I’ll give you 5 votes each week to select who you believe to the best Supercoach Player of the week. I’m guessing it is going to be tough for any other player to unseat Patrick Dangerfield who was the inaugural Supercoach Talk Champion but you never know!
The 3 highest scorers for each match in Round 1 were:
MY KINGDOM FOR A ROOKIE
Last season I believe I complained about how difficult it was to know which rookies to play on the field and which to leave on the bench each week. So often Rookies scored 100 points on the bench and 60 points on the field for our Supercoach teams.
Talk about first world problems!
I’d settle for playing rookies to pump out a neat 60 points right about now.
At this early stage it seems the smartest option would have been to select mid-pricers like Zak Jones, Jack Steele and Will Hoskin-Elliott and just leave rookies on the bench. And after many rookies like Mitchell Hibberd looked out of their depth and barely registered a score, the situation may become worse. Coaches may wield the axe and we may have even less playing rookies in Round 2. Fingers crossed most rookies get a second chance!
Cash generation could become a real struggle in 2017!
RICHMOND 20.12 (132) Def CARLTON 14.5 (89)
If the journalists and Tigers’ fans are to be believed, Dustin Martin has already won the Brownlow after his 33 possession, 4 goal and 4 goal assist match on Thursday night. Despite his 5 clangers, it was a surprise that he only scored 159 SC points.
Marc Murphy looked ordinary in the preseason but he was everywhere against the Tiges with his 35 possessions, 18 of them contested, netting him 138 SC points.
The ruckmen had a stellar stoush and highlighted that any tall guy who rucks alone tends to score well with Kreuzer (121 points) just shading new kid on the block Nankervis (114 points). Both rucks kicked 2 goals but Kreuzer had more hitouts (39-27) and more possessions around the ground, even if he missed the target A LOT (40% DE).
Prestia scored a low key 115 SC points from 28 possessions, 1 goal and 1 goal assist, running at an elite 82% DE in his first game in the Yellow and Black.
The age old adage, don’t pick players with restricted preseasons, was in play on Thursday night with Patrick Cripps (50), Alex Rance (59) and Bachar Houli (43) clearly struggling to impact the game early. Cripps did amass 19 possessions and 5 tackles and tried hard but he only won an un-Cripps-like 3 clearances and is a few weeks away from his best football. Similarly Rance only gathered 9 possessions and may be cheap soon.
I am not sure what excuse Caddy (73) and Thomas (51) had with Caddy lucky to toe-poke a late goal to elevate his score from ugly to so-so. And Daisy Thomas….
Surely there are better ways to spend $700,000?
WESTERN BULLDOGS 15.10 (100) DEF COLLINGWOOD 12.14 (86)
He had a sore Achilles in the preseason. Questions were asked if his reign as a Supercoach premium were over. He had 35 possessions, 25 contested, 10 clearances and kicked 2 goals.
He scored 146 SC points.
They call him de-Pendlebury!
He remains a gun.
Jason Johannisen (126 points) again racked up mountains of possessions (30), especially obvious with his top-deck hair-do, and drifted forward for 2 goals and 2 goals assists. He made me hungry for chocolate!
That’s when things became a little grey in this match. Taylor Adams (117) and Steele Sidebottom (117) were everywhere, racking up 33 and 35 possessions respectively, with Adams winning a heap of the ball in the clinches (plus 12 tackles) but that was not enough for them to outscore the Bont (120) who again relied on quality over quantity, with just 22 possessions, 12 contested, and 2 goals somehow making him to third most valuable player on-field.
The ways of Champion Data remain a mystery to me!
As the solo Bulldogs’ ruckman, Tom Boyd (39) sucked a few Supercoaches in but his tap work is just not good enough for decent Supercoach scores yet. Unfortunately the same could be said for Brodie Grundy (82). Despite all outward appearances that he had several hit-outs to advantage – how could he not with the Pies dominating the clearances 43 -25? – Grundy scored quite poorly. His low possession count of just 12 for the match was certainly well down on his 2016 average, perhaps because Mason Cox was playing.
Adam Treloar (96) gets a mention here for his Ollie Wines style of performance where he was completely unable to hit a target. Surprisingly he was listed as having a disposal efficiency of 72% but it was no surprise that he racked up 5 clangers for the match. Please, let’s not mention him being a better Supercoach player than Pendles again this season!
He’s not Supercoach relevant, but Travis Varcoe’s attempt to take off Dahlhaus’s head early in the match rates a special mention here. Did he think it was the 1980s again?
MELBOURNE 18.12 (120) DEF ST KILDA 13.12 (90)
I am a Nick Riewoldt owner but his injury goes beyond Supercoach as Bob Murphy’s did last season. Thankfully, as of Sunday night he seemed to have avoided an ACL injury.
Finally Melbourne broke the streak of 14 losses to St Kilda dating back to 2006! In doing so they registered just their second win in 26 attempts at Etihad. Co-Captain Nathan Jones (132) led all comers with his 35 possessions at 80% DE, well-supported by Max Gawn (128) who relieved his many owners when he was named as Melbourne’s solo ruckman. Despite suffering a sore back in the second quarter, he repaid the faith with 49 hit-outs.
Surprisingly Jesse Hogan (120) racked up 21 possessions to go with his 4 contested marks and 3 goals. Bernie Vince (114) also got amongst the leather poisoning with 30 possessions and 0 tackles!
Pre-season hype player Jack Steele (113) started his career at St Kilda well with 23 possessions at 78% DE and 2 contested marks playing all over the ground. So far, so good for his owners!
Efficiency is the story of Round 1 with many players falling afoul of the Supercoach scoring system due to clangers and poor disposal efficiency.
Jack Steven (75) and break-out contender Jack Billings (75) seemed to be everywhere but both ran at a DE of 60% due to the Dees’ great pressure, putting a serious dent in their Supercoach scores. Point-of-difference Tom McDonald (78) looked to be a smart pick when he racked up 24 possessions and 13 marks but his score also suffered due to 5 clangers.
Anyone looking to be a bit “different” with Seb Ross (36), Luke Dunstan (62) or Tom Hickey (42) will be asking themselves some hard questions about their life-choices right about now.
PORT ADELAIDE 17.8 (110) DEF SYDNEY 12.10 (82)
Did anyone see this one coming? I know I didn’t!!
The question has been answered: No, Josh Kennedy (134) is not going to start the season slowly with 19 of his 28 possession contested and 11 clearances for the match. Perhaps Lance Franklin (125) is also going to put together a season to match his highs of 2011 as he started the year with 4 goals in a losing side.
How often do we go a year early on break-out contenders? Ollie Wines (125) looks to have found an answer to his efficiency woes from 2016: Just win even more of the ball! He amassed 33 possessions, 16 contested, and 9 clearances so he still scored well despite 4 clangers. Brad Ebert (124) was also brilliant with 25 possessions and 11 tackles but just remember, he often starts the year well and then falls in a hole!
Luke Parker (105) closed out the top 5 with a “meh” score that was chopped down by 5 clangers.
You probably don’t need me to tell you who stank it up: Nobody could miss those stinky scores. Robbie Gray (38) was lucky to outscore Brett Eddy with his 8 possessions and is clearly not fit while Dan Hannebery (52) is fit but just badly needs a beer. 17 mostly uncontested possessions; what is that about?
ESSENDON 17.14 (116) DEF HAWTHORN 12.19 (91)
Dyson Heppell (152) was clearly pacing himself in the preseason and was dropped from many teams. How wrong we were to doubt him and over-rate the JLT series! 34 possessions at 82% DE and 3 goals running around free all night surely will make Clarko question his anti-tagging philosophy!
Like Heppell, Zach Merrett (126) and Brendan Goddard (123) did as they pleased racking up 37 possessions and 29 possessions respectively even if Merrett slowed a bit late. Tom Mitchell (116) played a relatively lone hand for the Hawks with 37 possessions and 10 inside 50s but seriously needs to work on his efficiency with 6 clangers ruining what could have been a monster start to this Hawthorn career.
Unencumbered by a second true ruckman and playing against a second-tier ruckman, Ben McEvoy (106) played one of his better matches with 27 hit-outs and 2 goals. I’m not sure he’ll continue with those scores against the established ruckmen.
Cyril Rioli (38) and Jack Gunston (68) were rarely sighted despite Gunston playing on a wing for much of the match. Cyril did cop an early corky, so let’s cut him some slack this week. O’Meara (71) and Roughead (73) were both serviceable but disappeared late in the match when match-fitness became a factor. Not that fitness seemed to affect the Bombers late in the match!
Shaun Burgoyne (59) also let down those many owners who were singing his praises throughout the preseason. Unfortunately he can go missing at time folks as he saves his best footy for September. A pity the Hawks probably won’t feature in September this year!!
The Hawks leadership group! With Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis gone, suspending the club’s best leader, Luke Hodge, cost the Hawks badly when the momentum swung. Not smart people!
BRISBANE 15.8 (98) DEF GOLD COAST 14.12 (96)
As he often does, Tom Rockliff (137) reminded us that he can find the ball with another dose of leather poisoning (37 possessions, 27 contested) on Saturday night as the Lions upset the Suns. Surprisingly Stephen May (123) top scored for the Suns from 16 possessions and 13 one percenters and didn’t get suspended. Aaron Hall (118), Touk Miller (117) and Gary Ablett (114) led the Suns’ engine room, with forward-eligible Touk living up to his preseason hype playing in the midfield.
Dayne Zorko (114) was handy gathering 23 possessions and laying 10 tackles even if his kicking was a little wayward despite kicking 2 goals.
Pearce Hanley (53) talked himself up pre-game but barely hit a target with just 8 of his 17 possessions finding a team-mate. Daniel Rich (63) didn’t fare much better with 12 possessions and 1 goal but who seriously considers him a premium these days anyway?
A few creative Supercoaches thought about Jack Martin (58) as a premium but hopefully they changed their minds as he racked up 5 clangers from just 18 possessions.
WEST COAST 21.10 (136) DEF NORTH MELBOURNE 13.15 (93)
Josh Kennedy (174) loves Round 1, kicking 7 goals straight and giving another 3 goal assists. Who wishes they had ignored the “don’t select key position player” rule now?
Elliott Yeo (139) gave a middle finger salute to all Supercoaches who selected him in 2016 with a dominant display gathering contested ball, contested marks and kicking goals. Screw you, Yeo! Andrew Gaff (119) also got off the leash racking up uncontested possessions at will with 36 touches and 12 marks. He’s more of a Dreamteam player but when you win that much of the ball, you score well in any fantasy game. Speaking of uncontested ball, Sam Mitchell (118) also helped himself to 38 possessions and used the footy as well as always. I know a team that is missing him right about now.
Finally, that leaves Shaun Higgins (111) and his 11 bloody clearances. We all want him but there is a serious trust issue we need to discuss.
Matthew Priddis (88) and Luke Shuey (89) were meant to dominate with Sam Mitchell’s arrival so their owners will be justifiably disgruntled right now. Despite 29 possessions for Priddis and 31 for Shuey, Champion Data didn’t rate their games.
After exciting in the preseason, Nathan Hrovat (49) didn’t continue his form with just 14 possessions and 1 goal, barely outscoring the many struggling rookies. Jamie Macmillan (64) also dropped off after a promising preseason.
ADELAIDE 22.15 (147) DEF GWS 14.7 (91)
I didn’t see this hiding coming either! I hope your tipping is going better than mine!
It was a week of huge possession counts with Rory Laird (147) gathering 40+ possessions at 85% DE. Normally Champion Data penalize him for his uncontested, short kicking game but even they had to recognize he was BOG on Sunday. Charlie Cameron (119), Rory Atkins (116) and Matthew Crouch (113) all contributed to upset their more highly fancied opponents and have gone a long way to showing how the Crows will flourish without midfield stars.
Heath Shaw (118) normally struggles against the Crows in Adelaide but he shrugged off that with 21 kicks and 2 handpasses at 87% DE.
The Giants were a massive disappointment with Ryan Griffen (52), Devon Smith (65), Toby Greene (72), Dylan Shiel (75) and Callan Ward (76) would have been asking themselves some tough questions on the flight home.
Despite playing as solo ruckman, Sam Jacobs (59) no longer seems Supercoach relevant, possibly not aided by Rory Sloane (77) being unfit after breaking his face in the preseason (again). That is probably harsh on Sloane who gathered 24 possessions and 9 clearances in his first game back and was marked harshly by Champion Data.
GEELONG 18.7 (115) DEF FREMANTLE 10.13 (73)
I’m not sure he was quite his dominant self with just 24 possessions, but Patrick Dangerfield (138) iced all 3 shots on goal when resting forward to continue this week’s theme of quality, not quantity.
Stephen Hill (124) seems to be enjoying his brother’s company, flexing the contested ball side of his game with 12 of his 25 possessions contested. Mitch Duncan (118) won plenty of the ball, as he was pretty much ignored for most of the night, as did Freo defender, Lee Spurr (110) who is sure to feature in only his parents’ Supercoach team.
Finally Andrew Mackie (110) continued on from a good preseason with his 18 possessions (9 contested) at 88% DE scoring surprisingly well. OK, given the way scores have gone this weekend, perhaps that was not so surprising!
I don’t like to pot rookies but after the drama Cam McCarthy (36) put GWS and Fremantle through for the past year, a better return than 1 goal, 5 behinds would have been nice. He does have job security though!!!
To be honest most of the Supercoach premiums did their thing, with only Lachie Neale (83) down on his expected score. His 23 possessions ran at 87% DE but he was certainly down on his 2016 output of 30+ possessions per week. Is that the Fyfe affect, or just a slow start to the year after an interrupted preseason?
Some rounds are beige, lifeless, where teams just rack up a win – or loss – and move on. Unless a high profile injury occurs or a sexy game is played, nobody remembers the round.
No matter what the coaches and players say, Round 1 is different. It has a scent, a taste, a feeling, an impression… Kind of what hope would taste like when it is mixed with a hint of desperation. Coaches play it down, but they wish upon a star for a first up victory.
The same happens to Supercoaches as our “Bulletproof” premiums prove to be less bulletproof than advertised, our mid-pricers turn into pre-season pretenders and our rookies are overawed by playing senior footy and seem destined for the VFL, WAFL, SANFL or heaven forbid, the NEAFL.
Or for the lucky few, your team performed like a well-oiled machine, your risks paid off and you didn’t fall for the preseason hype players.
So how was week 1 for you, a steaming turd or a bed of roses?
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