THE BLUNDSTONE SCT GROUP PRIZE (THE BLUNNY?)
After Stephen held sway for weeks and weeks, he has finally been overtaken by Jeremy and his team WeDoNotForgive@SCT. Stephen is only 12 points behind and only 60 points separate the top 5 places in the hunt for the cash so this one will go down to the wire.
Please note that I am only listing the teams from the group with @SCT because only they are eligible for the overall prize!
SUPERTALK COACH CHAMPION
Last week, we Supercoaches voted for:
5 – Patrick Dangerfield: 5 votes again. Only Jarryd Roughead can stop this man!
4 – Sam Docherty: Who doesn’t love the Doc? Best defender by a country mile.
3 – Dayne Zorko: Another player who deserved more after a monster score.
2 – Nat Fyfe: He’s looking more like his old 2015 self than he has since… 2015.
1 – Tom Mitchell: #manlove.
The overall leaderboard stands as follows:
So who did you like in Round 17?
HEROES AND VILLAINS FOR ROUND 17
In my youth, those wondrous years, I was not averse to the odd pub crawl. As the years passed the alcohol consumption slowed down significantly but branched out to different types and brands of alcohol. I decided this week it was time to relive the ‘Good Old Days’. In recent weeks I’ve been away from home a lot, but because I was at home for most of Round 17 I decided it was time to dip in to the liquor cabinet – and fridge – while I typed.
Let’s say I was celebrating Rural Round so you don’t think I have a problem!
So, enjoy my traverses through the world of alcohol over 9 matches. And if you don’t enjoy it, just remember that I did!
And, of course, drink responsibly. Because as gambling agencies have shown, a simple disclaimer makes it all ok!
ESSENDON 17.16 (118) def ST KILDA 7.15 (57)
Look I’m Aussie and old, so I started with beer on a Friday night. It’s what you are meant to do in this country on a Friday night. My friends, particularly the English ones, laugh at me because I like to start with a Stella Artois or two (har, har, wife beater, they say: I need to get new friends).
I chased it up with a friend and his mate, discovered that I was out of Stella so I cracked open the slab of Fat Yaks. And then, 4 beers in to the match, the Saints were done! It wasn’t even half-time but they looked lethargic and lazy and I just knew the match was done. I was just starting to get my buzz on but even slightly tipsy, I knew I could play footy better than the Saints were.
Or maybe that was just the beers boasting?
The Dons looked super-fast and slick, Joe Daniher was in a contested marking mood and lodged a contender for mark of the year and my tipping had started the weekend badly. Again!
Michael Hurley (Ess) 133 – There’s always a defender who bobs up late in the year and makes a late charge for a top 6 spot. This year it’s Hurley mounting a strong case with a ‘perfect’ game on Friday night: 27 possessions at 100%, 9 marks and 1 goal. If you own him, buy that man a beer!
Shane Savage (StK) 125 – Don’t adjust your computers/phones, this is correct, not just a drunken error. Savage was one of the few Saints to turn up this week, almost recording the perfect game as well with his 31 possessions at 96% DE, 2 goal assists and 2 contested marks (from 8 total).
Zach Merrett (Ess) 120 – The little ball magnet racked up another 37 possessions and 10 tackles but 7 clangers prevented a truly massive score. He doesn’t look old enough to legally drink yet but I’ll probably start with him in 2018.
James Kelly (Ess) 116 – Like a faithful bloodhound, Kelly has scented some September action and has lifted accordingly. This week he had 28 possessions, 12 marks, 3 of them contested.
Matthew Gleeson (Ess) 111 – He needs a good feed but he certainly uses the ball well with his 19 possessions running at 94% DE.
Tom Hickey (StK) 57 – Some coaches started with Hickey this season but after this performance he isn’t even the #1 ruckman at St Kilda. I hope Longer steered clear of the bevvies this week because he’ll be back in the team next week.
Jack Steele (StK) 59 – Steele spends a lot of time around the ball without touching it and the rest of this time on the bench. If you held him, it is probably time to move him on.
Leigh Montagna (StK) 60 – Joey started fast but with the Dons dominating the game he struggled to find easy possessions after quarter time.
Seb Ross (StK) 64 – Another example of giving a guy a wrap and then they immediately stink it up. After some huge possession counts, he only managed 20 possessions, 4 contested, this week.
GEELONG 13.10 (88) def HAWTHORN 12.13 (85)
To celebrate Hodgey’s 300th game, I decided to crack out the champagne. Mrs Thommo and I like to pull out the good stuff for the big occasions, celebrating 2013, 2014 and 2015 with Dom Perignon but times are tough so we decided to settle for an old favourite, Bollinger, on Saturday afternoon.
Cheers to an amazing career, Hodgey.
And the game certainly lived up to the hype! An early foot injury to Patrick Dangerfield sent shockwaves through the Supercoach world but the great man responded by keeping the Cats in the match through the second and third quarters as the Hawks threatened to run away with the game.
5 goals (and 6 behinds) on one leg: What a legend!
The Cats settled best in the final quarter and seemed to have the game iced but a late flurry by the Hawks gave them one final shot at victory. When Hodge goaled to bring the Hawks within 4 points, 18 seconds were left on the clock, enough time for Tommy Mitchell to work his clearance magic.
He cleared the ball, Gunston marked it and chipped it to Isaac Smith 47 metres out from the Hawks’ goal with 3-4 seconds left.
And inexplicably, he played on! Maybe he had some PTSD from his after-the-siren miss last season?
The ball swung to the right, just missing, messing up Hodgey’s 300th and souring my Champagne.
Patrick Dangerfield (Gee) 141 – If we don’t raise a glass to Danger on Brownlow night, preferably some Krug, it’s a travesty of justice! Barring his poor form after Roughead broke his ribs early in the year, he has been devastatingly good for a majority of the season. Dusty has been good in streaks, Tom Mitchell has been consistently excellent but not as effective as Danger and other players have been great in patches, but none compare to Dangerfield. All hail the dual Brownlow medallist.
Tom Mitchell (Haw) 136 – With Hodgey retiring, Tom’s my new love. Yet another 43 possessions, 9 clearances and 2 goals. #manlove (I’m trying to get it trending – if only I had a twitter account).
Liam Shiels (Haw) 121 – Another draft special only. Like Passion Pop, some days he does the job but there are always better options on offer.
Lachie Henderson (Gee) 114 – These SC-irrelevant players are annoying. No one owns them and they are simply taking up the points our premium guns should be scoring. Still he was a large part of the Cats winning, repelling many a Hawks’ attack.
Mitch Duncan (Gee) 108 – There were worse options if you were trying to be different in the preseason. 27 possessions, 7 tackles and 1 goal assist
Tom Hawkins (Gee) 36 – I know he pushed up the ground but Hawkins should be doing more against a backline of such famous names as Heatherley and Brand.
Stevie Motlop (Gee) 48 – He looks like a bottle of 1825 Perrier-Jouet, but he performs like a glass of Yellow (apologies to the Yellowglen lovers out there). At times I forgot he was even playing.
Isaac Smith (Haw) 84 – Here’s a rule for every footy player out there. When there is less than 10 seconds on the clock and you take a mark inside forward 50, DON’T PLAY ON!
PORT ADELAIDE 19.13 (127) def NORTH MELBOURNE 8.9 (57)
Due to the linear nature of time, I only watched a few minutes of this game after the Hawks match. I was recovering from the High, then the Low, of the last match so the only useful information I can impart about this match is: I’m glad I only saw one quarter.
North looked cooked and Goldy had a shocker!
The Bolly was gone so we popped a cork in some Tasmanian sparkling, Jansz. Next time you find yourself in Launceston, take a drive up to this winery. It goes ok!
Chad Wingard (Por) 157 – The Chad was huge playing through the midfield, with 30 possessions and 3 goals (all of those goals in the first quarter). He’s not a top 6 forward this year but Port know how to make a mess of teams so he could easily do this a couple more times. That could well make him a top 6 forward.
It’s not that hard!
Brad Ebert (Por) 148 – I heard someone say they were trading him in this week and I thought, “What the hell?” Maybe they were on to something! 30 possessions, a very large 14 clearances and 3 goal assists this week.
Ben Cunnington (Nor) 137 – A Roos supporter will have to give their thoughts on a theory I have: Cunnington should be captain ahead of Ziebell? He seems more consistent and willing to do the tough stuff with a crazy 26 contested possessions from 33 total and 8 tackles.
Sam Gray (Por) 126 – Sam thought he was Robbie this week, kicking 4 goals and gathering 25 possessions and 10 marks. Why couldn’t he do this when I owned him last season?
Ollie Wines (Por) 118 – Thanks Ollie, you reminded me to refill my glass. He returned to his clangery ways with 5 clangers from 31 possessions and 1 goal. At his sub-$500k price a few weeks back, he wasn’t a bad option.
Todd Goldstein (Nor) 62 – We all voted him as a good option for the run home and then he pumps out a stinky 62! Only 6 possessions and 6 tackles with 22 hit-outs. He struggled so badly against Ryder that he spent a bit of time forward (or was that a regular rotation?) Is it time for Preuss to come to the rescue?
Jasper Pittard (Por) 60 – I sound like a broken record, but just don’t consider Pittard next season.
COLLINGWOOD 15.13 (103) def GOLD COAST 13.10 (88)
We decided to have pizza for dinner which really lends itself to beer but I hate to repeat myself. Yes, I know I do it all the time. Just shut up, ok?
So, rum and coke it is.
I’m not really a big rum and coke man so the first couple were a bit heavy on the rum. Rough, very rough! Maybe that’s how Buckley feels when he watches his team play! A burning in the throat followed by mild intoxication when they fall over the line?
The Pies looked in charge early with a handy quarter time lead but the Suns dragged their way back in to the match. Unfortunately, despite that great effort to fight their back into the contest, injuries to Stevie May early and Jarryd Lyons before half time prevented the Suns from matching the Pies for the full four quarters.
Another reprieve for Bucks.
Gary Ablett Jnr (GC) 159 – How often is a decision both right and wrong at the same time? If you add too much Coke, your drink is sweet but you find yourself sobering up and realizing that you’re watching Gold Coast play Collingwood. If you add too much Bacardi, the drink is overpowering but the time flies by! Likewise if you traded in Gazza, he gives you great scores when he plays but he misses a frustrating number of games. If you didn’t trade him in you have a player performing every week but not quite reaching the highs of Gazza. It’s a conundrum!
This week the little master pumped out 41 possessions, 19 contested, 11 clearances and 2 goal assists.
Taylor Adams (Col) 125 – A welcome return to form for Adams in the wet, gathering 31 possessions, 9 clearances and 2 goal assists.
Steele Sidebottom (Col) 122 – An impressive 32 possessions with 0 clangers for Steele this week. Steele really loves the wet stuff, chiming in with 1 goal as well.
Adam Treloar (Col) 116 – At half-time it was looking a bit bleak but Treloar must have copped a rocket in the rooms as he pumped out an 80 point second half. Thanks, Treloar.
Alex Fasolo (Col) 115 – 19 possessions, 2 goals and 2 goal assists for Fas. Not really the stats for a 115 point score but it was a tough match for forwards.
Jarrod Harbrow (GC) 43 – He found plenty of the ball with 21 possessions but clangers destroyed his score.
Jeremy Howe (Col) 65 – You can’t take contested marks in the wet so Howe never scores well in these matches.
Tom Lynch (GC) 58 – Like Harbrow and Howe, the wet weather messed with Lynch’s performance so he only chimed in with 2 goals.
SYDNEY 14.12 (96) def GWS 12.11 (83)
Alright, I’m man enough to admit I was struggling a little come the night matches.
And you all know the rule when you’re struggling, don’t you?
Crack out the Whiskey!
My preference is Scotch but it’s all good.
Until last year, the Battle of the Bridge required copious levels of alcohol to make it watchable but I was looking forward to this one.
Unfortunately, despite the statistical dominance of the Giants, the Swans held them at arms-length all night so the finish was a bit anticlimactic. Their defensive pressure was too good for GWS and even Leon Cameron admitted that his boys just didn’t look dangerous, especially with the late withdrawal of Jeremy Cameron. Led by 4 goals to Buddy, the Swans seemed to be 2 goals ahead all night long and continue their charge up the ladder.
When you take out the loss to the Hawks (yes, I love to mention it), the Swans have won 9 from their last 10 matches and now sit 5th on the ladder.
Shane Mumford (GWS) 120 – After Schwarzy ran a poll about trading out Mummy he responded with 12 possessions, 37 hitouts and 2 goals. I’m not sure about his acting performance late in the match when he copped a mild high elbow in the ruck contest. And the Oscar goes to…
Lance Franklin (Syd) 118 – As I said above, Bud kicked 4 goals and 4 behinds and he appears to be in a mood. If he can stop kicking like an alcoholic mule, he’ll score close to 200 points.
Jonathan Patton (109) – The General lifted after the late withdrawal of Jeremy Cameron, kicking 2 goals, giving another away and taking 2 contested marks.
Dan Hannebery (Syd) 105 – Alcohol is good, Hannes! Only the 22 possessions for him this week but 9 tackles and 1 goal added up in a tightly contested match where the Swans’ mids didn’t rack up huge possessions counts.
Kieren Jack (Syd) 104 – After a slow start to the season, Jack is gradually dragging his average up from bad to mediocre. Like Hannes, his defensive work was brilliant with 11 tackles but this score was still surprising given he only gathered 22 possessions and they were only half effective with 5 clangers.
No real premiums struggled this week, so probably only Nic Newman (Syd) 64 and Callum Mills (Syd) 58 were somewhat SC relevant. Still, after the year he’s had, you can’t really fault Newman.
ADELAIDE 17.14 (116) def MELBOURNE 10.10 (70)
I only caught the first quarter of this match and I’m writing it after the Sydney match so Jacks are killing me. Not the St Kilda ones, the whiskeys.
Forgive me if this is a bit nonsensilogical.
From the brief time I watched this match, my take home points were that Darwin looked rather luverly and the Crows appeared to have a point to prove! Even with Rory well held in the first half by Bernie, the Viney and Jones-less Dees midfield struggled to match the Crows.
Michael Hibberd (Mel) 124 – Was I the only person starting to question the Hibberd selection? Man, was I relieved to see this 32 possession effort. That said, tackle someone Hibbo!
Rory Laird (Ade) 121 – Laird was everywhere with 34 touches of the leather and like Taylor Adams, he looks to be finding another rich vein of form.
Taylor Walker (Ade) 117 – How much do the commentators build up Tex? I like Walker as much as the next guy who appreciates a big unit with a moustache, but it’s sickening! He was great with 4 goals and 2 goal assists but stick to commentating and leave the man-love to us, commentators.
Jordan Lewis (Mel) 114 – After a bit of a ho-hum season, Lewis turned back the clock a short way to 2016 with a 33 possessions at 81% DE.
Jayden Hunt (Mel) 110 – Hunt is fast becoming a player! With his speed and recent ball winning ability he’s one of the most important linking players at the Dees. This week he gathered 27 possessions and kicked 1 goal.
Rory Sloane (Ade) 50 – Oh dear, Rory. The year started so promisingly but after the taggers came to call and then concussion ended his game on Saturday night, Rory has become a SC team killer.
Sam Jacobs (Ade) 60 and Max Gawn (Mel) 57 neutralized each other, with Jacobs narrowly taking the points. I bet those who went early on Maxy are feeling deep regret.
Tom McDonald (48) – He’s been enormous in recent weeks but Talia blanketed him effectively this week. The forward line is a tough place to be when your team is struggling.
RICHMOND 16.16 (112) def BRISBANE 12.9 (81)
Sunday afternoon! Time for a few quiet ones. Having played volleyball for a Russian Club that means vodka shots! Considering a Richmond vs Brisbane match doesn’t normally hold much interest for the non-supporters, make that lots of vodka shots.
Absolut Vodka for absolute boredom! (And yes, I know it’s not Russian Vodka but Stolichnaya is a bit rough).
And boring it was! I expected the Tigers to tear the young Lions a new one after last week’s debacle against the Saints but they seemed fumbly and a little disinterested. Again the Lions tried hard but found themselves simply lacking in experience. They are developing though.
So, Tiges, take the 4 points and let us never speak of this match again!
Trent Cotchin (Ric) 123 – Dusty gets all the kudos but it was Cotchin who impacted the score board more, kicking 1 goal and giving off no less than 5 goal assists. To your health, Cotch. La chaim!
Jack Riewoldt (Ric) 117 – This could, and should, have been so much more with Jack running at 34% DE and kicking 4 goals, 4 behinds.
Dustin Martin (Ric) 111 – Dusty accumulated as he does with 40 possessions, 14 clearances, 12 inside 50s and 2 goals. Also as he does, he committed 11 clangers. 11! Look I like watching Dusty play but he needs to start using the ball better.
Daniel McStay (Bri) 110 – McStay was one of the few players to use the ball well with 14 possessions at 94% DE and 10 marks, 2 contested. It’s a simple game, Supercoach! Just take intercept marks and don’t kick to the other team!
Alex Witherden (Bri) 109 – Another impressive rookie score from this star in the making! Did you have him on your ground? 28 possessions for Witherden this week. What a gun!
Dayne Zorko (Bri) 55 – Zorko only had the 11 possessions after receiving some attention from Dion Prestia. Like Sloane, as opponents discover he can’t handle a tag, they’ll keep on coming!
Tom Rockliff (Bri) 57 – Rocky’s shoulder is obviously not right. When he starts tackling and racking up contested possessions you’ll know he’s back.
Alex Rance (Ric) 66 – Repeat after me: No KPPs, no KPPS! Well except for Hurley and Buddy!
WESTERN BULLDOGS 12.10 (82) def CARLTON 9.8 (62)
I think it may be time to slow down on the Vodka.
And start up Cocktail hour… or 3 hours.
I haven’t made one for years, but I reckon an Illusion should get me through the Doggies and Blues match. Hell, an illusion of invincibility got the Dogs through the 2016 finals series!
The question now is whether the Dogs can rediscover that frenzied attack on the ball that served them so well in 2016. After the Blues kicked the first 3 goals of the match on Sunday afternoon, there were some nervous flutters for the Dogs fans but thankfully they lifted and recorded a comfortable, if not spectacular, win.
They have a way to go, but with a few winnable matches coming up, the Dogs can still feature in September.
Jack Macrae (WB) 124 – To start the season we questioned whether Macrae was worth starting with and if he was better than Luke Dahlhaus. How easy that question is to answer now: This kid can play. He finds the ball – 31 possessions – and uses it well – 87% DE. Add 2 goal assists and he was best on ground.
Matthew Kreuzer (Car) 120 – He’s clearly the number 1 ruckman at the moment in both average and total points. Who saw that coming in 2017? He dominated the Dogs with 50 hitouts and 12 possessions.
Marcus Bontempelli (WB) 120 – The Bont started the match slowly but came home strongly, collecting 30 possessions and kicking 2 goals. Amazingly he committed 7 clangers so his owners will be happy with this score.
Toby McLean (WB) 115 – Here is the man I blame for the demise, The Demise, of Dahlhaus. Toby has moved in to the midfield and is proving he can more than handle the challenge. He gathered another 26 possessions and kicked 2 goals this week, making him the seventh best forward in the last 3 weeks.
Mitch Wallis (WB) 110 – It looks like Mitch and Macrae can live together in harmony. This week Mitch gathered 25 possessions, 16 of them contested, yet still used the ball at 84% DE and kicked 1 goal.
Luke Dahlhaus (WB) 76 – Dahl found a lot more of the ball this week, gathering 29 possessions, but he was not under the packs enough limiting his contested ball numbers. With 6 clangers, his score suffered as did his 100,000 owners.
Lachie Hunter (WB) 68 – What happened to Hunter? Once a ball hunting wingman, he now disappears for long periods of time. This week he gathered 12 possessions and kicked 1 goal in 92% time on ground.
WEST COAST 11.8 (74) def FREMANTLE 5.14 (44)
The room was spinning around me and it seemed like the Dockers were kicking nothing but behinds. Surely not, the Dockers wouldn’t disrespect the final showdown at Subi with terrible kicking would they?
The Illusion went down nicely so I thought I might mix myself up a Tequila Sunrise chaser.
But I couldn’t be stuffed so I grabbed a very old bottle of Absinthe and tried a bit. The great thing about Absinthe is that you can’t really tell if it’s off or not.
If anyone didn’t catch this match, it was really just a case of the efficient ball use of the Eagles versus the wasteful Dockers. The return of Josh Kennedy did appear to straighten the Eagles up and McGovern was back grabbing contested marks down back but Freo had their chances to make a match of it.
And if you didn’t get the memo, Fyfe may be back!
Shannon Hurn (WC) 165 – Normally Hurn barely scrapes himself over 20 possessions but this week he went all beast mode, gathering 34 possessions and taking 14 marks. When you have a cannon for a leg and run at 91% DE, that adds up to big SC numbers.
Liam Duggan (WC) 129 – Break out candidate? Check! Do we care right now? No! 31 possessions and 11 marks.
Nat Fyfe (Fre) 126 – So tell me please: Who traded him out? While his disposal efficiency isn’t great, Fyfe is back winning the contested ball with 19 of his 30 possessions won the hard way. There’s a chance he is back as a top 6 midfielder for the run home.
Connor Blakely (Fre) 121 – Come on Connor, you are ruining your price tag for 2018! With another huge match of 33 possessions and 11 marks, his average is up to 93 points per match.
Jack Redden (WC) 114 – All he needed was some motivation! As a late in for Yeo, Redden showed some form from his old Brisbane days gathering 29 possessions and 11 marks.
Luke Shuey (WC) 64 – What has happened to Shuey this season? Has Sam Mitchell disrupted the West Coast midfield or is Shuey carrying an injury? 6 clangers from just 22 possessions.
Sean Darcy (Fre) 67 – There’s nothing wrong with a 67 point match from a rookie but a lot of coaches were wanting so much more.
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