Analysis: Run Home & Tags

Written by Gunboat Diplomacy on July 1 2021

Alright, so Last Trade Worrier asked who has the easiest run home and which teams have deployed taggers this year – two inquiries with critical SC ramifications. So, I’ve gone ahead and compiled each teams fixture, home and away and then ranked from most to least difficult using CD’s scale. Then I’ve gone through and catalogued the comps current taggers.

  1. HAWKS: Port (H), Dockers (H), Dees (A), Lions (H), Crows (A), Pies (H), Dogs (H) & Tigers (A)
  2. SAINTS: Pies (A), Lions (A), Port (H), Eagles (A), Blues (H), Swans (H), Cats (A) & Dockers (H)
  3. ROOS: Dogs (A), Eagles (A), Dons (H), Blues (A), Cats (H), Tigers (A), Swans (H) & Crows (A),
  4. SUNS: Tigers (A), Giants (A), Dogs (H), Dees (H), Lions (A), Blues (A), Dons (H) & Swans (A)
  5. GIANTS: Dees (A), Suns (H), Swans (H), Dons (A), Port (H), Cats (A), Tigers (H) & Blues (A)
  6. DEES: Giants (H), Port (A), Hawks (H), Suns (A), Dogs (H), Eagles (A), Crows (H) & Cats (A)
  7. CROWS: Lions (A), Dons (A), Eagles (H), Dogs (A), Hawks (H), Port (H), Dees (A) & Roos (H)
  8. DONS: Cats (A), Crows (H), Roos (A), Giants (H), Swans (H), Dogs (A), Suns (A) & Pies (H)
  9. DOCKERS: Blues (H), Hawks (A), Cats (H), Swans (A), Tigers (H), Lions (H), Eagles (H) & Saints (A)
  10. PIES: Saints (H), Tigers (A), Blues (H), Port (A), Eagles (H), Hawks (A), Lions (A) & Dons (A)
  11. EAGLES: Swans (A), Roos (H), Crows (A), Saints (H), Pies (A), Dees (H), Dockers (A) & Lions (A)
  12. PORT: Hawks (A), Dees (H), Saints (A), Pies (H), Giants (A), Crows (A), Blues (H) & Dogs (A)
  13. SWANS: Eagles (A), Dogs (A), Giants (A), Dockers (H), Dons (A), Saints (A), Roos (A) & Suns (H)
  14. DOGS: Roos (H), Swans (H), Suns (A), Crows (H), Dees (A), Dons (H), Hawks (A) & Port (H)
  15. CATS: Dons (H), Blues (A), Dockers (A), Tigers (H), Roos (A), Giants (H), Saints (H) & Dees (H)
  16. LIONS: Crows (A), Saints (H), Tigers (A), Hawks (A), Suns (H), Dockers (A), Pies (H) & Eagles (H)
  17. BLUES: Dockers (A), Cats (H), Pies (A), Roos (H), Saints (A), Suns (H), Port (A) & Giants (H)
  18. TIGERS: Suns (H), Pies (H), Lions (H), Cats (A), Dockers (A), Roos (H), Giants (A) & Hawks (H)

Worth noting that while this is how the fixture stands now, with teams enjoying a 50:50 split between home and away for the most part, COVID developments and shut outs in WA, SA and NSW could see the majority of the competition’s games concentrated in VIC – which would, obviously, be a huge boon for Vic-based teams and do the interstate teams dirty. CT will of course provide updates, monitor.


Now onto the dreaded taggers. So far there have been 3 vice grip taggers week in week out: De Boer (GWS), O’Connor (GEEL) and Dunstan (STK). De Boer was in the middle of turning the screws on Satan in R3 before he got injured and has come back and done jobs on Hall and Walsh. O’Connor this year kept Neale to 16 touches and 85 SC, Titch 24 and 86 and Kelly 16 and 77 – Boak managed to fight through it with 27 and 108.

Serong (FREO) has also been pitched against the opposition’s best MIDs at times to build the defensive dimension of his game, taking Zerrett for a spin at 22 touches and 64 SC. Doesn’t get used every week but when there’s a premier MID at the CB, he goes to them. Similarly, Shiels (HAW) and Greenwood (Suns) have been used as taggers against top tier MIDs, but not every week.

Hewett (SYD) and Harmes (MELB) have only been deployed to tag on a few occasions strategically and only where it was to nullify a very specific dimensions of the opposition’s game. Harmes put Libba to the sword to stifle his ground and CP work at CBs and stoppages and Hewett tried to deprive Port of first use by going to Boak – although he managed to monster through.

Also worth noting that both Adelaide and Carlton have been experimenting with manning accumulators at stoppages. The Crows started with rotating attention into Walsh, but Nicks lamented post-game that “We didn’t get that job done anywhere near where we had wanted to go coming into the game, that was really disappointing for us. Maybe it could’ve been a lot harder tag“. Whether they just wanted to clamp down on Walsh that day or want to continue experimenting with negating opp. MIDs remains to be seen. Carlton also tightened up on Laird after an insane opening half, but that looked to be a reactionary, HT decision not a structural, planned one. Curnow has yet to reprise his role in past seasons as a tagger as well.

Finally, North have been playing a defensive FWD to restrict half back distributors; sending Scott to Rich two weeks ago and Taylor to Lukosious last weekend – Bailey Dale may be in trouble this week now that Daniel plays up the ground.


  1. Hard weekly tags from GWS, Geelong and St Kilda
  2. Match up dependent tags from Hawthorn, Fremantle and the Suns
  3. Experimentation from Carlton and Adelaide
  4. North neutralizing half back distributors

Alright, there we go: run home analyzed and taggers catalogued. A player’s run home and a potentially tagged match up should be determinative long term as to whether you bring them in and, week to week, whether you VC/C them or not. Let us know what conclusions you’ve drawn from the run home and tagging landscape.



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4 thoughts on “Analysis: Run Home & Tags”

  1. Solid gold. Absolutely exactly what I was looking for. Bookmarked, thank you very much!



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