WE GOT A ROUND IN, NINE GAMES WHERE THE STANDARD OF FOOTY WAS GOOD, THE KICKING FOR GOAL WAS ACCURATE, THE GIANTS MAY HAVE FOUND THEIR MISSING PIECE YET THE SUNS WERE STILL RUBBISH…
1. Geez Carlton last year were often a one-man band – Patty Cripps. Clearly they are a two-man band when Sam Docherty plays, those two boys Thursday look on a different level to the vast majority of their teammates. It’ll be down to Teague to see if he can develop some of the others somewhere near their co-captains. Docherty is a gun – great to see him back.
2. Jack Martin could be one though, reckon he walks into the best 10 players at the club easily, probably becomes as important as anyone before long, creative, hits the scoreboard, Cripps is a gun getting it but Martin will be involved in all their scoring. Might get a Brownlow vote from Thursday the ex- Sun, he was damn good.
3. Tom Lynch gets a lot of good press but do we bury the lead and fail to recognise Jack Riewoldt is by far the better forward? Always has been, always will be? And getting paid 2/3 as much. Stats said Lynch had a better 2019, I think Riewoldt had a very selfless 2019. But on Thursday, mano e mano, Jack looked damn tidy.
4. Goal kicking accuracy and no crowds – it’s a thing. Up 9% on last year, up 14% on Round One last year.
5. Standard was pretty good across the nine games. Chronologically the first four games of the round were pleasing on the eye, margins in some games aside, Saturday night was pretty good in Sydney but poor for obvious reasons up on the Gold Coast. Sunday was again though pretty good across all three matches.
6. How’s about the Americans getting involved? Too bad there isn’t another round or two to make a difference. Pat McAfee of Fox Sports, ex-footballer with the Colts and now broadcaster of some repute, he was well on the footy train Saturday, bless him.
7. Majak Daw didn’t play Sunday, came close though, but my Lord, if he had, that’s a comeback story that got hidden amongst everything else, taboo on his injury plus all the craziness of the last couple of weeks. Amazing.
8. Brisbane are a bottom 10 team, they’re not trash, but they’re not a 16-6 team like they were last year. Yeah nah.
9. Robbo tells me that:
the pressure index in Grand Finals is as high as 2.20.
The Dockers’ pressure rating on Saturday was a paltry 1.51, their second-lowest amount of pressure applied in a match since this stat was first recorded in 2013.
And they almost got up. The Bombers are a work in progress, almost lost to a non-competitive competitor, yet the Dockers, there’s enough sparkling talent in that footy side to near-on not try and almost claim four points. Both of those teams could be anything, 5th or 12th, this year.
10. Robbo went on though, and buried this a bit too deeply for mine in his column:
By the way, Collingwood ran at 2.39 on Friday night.
Two things, firstly, if the column is headlined by the Dogs’ lack of effort and how they were the story in their loss to Collingwood, then surely that pressure index stat says they had a pretty tough going and maybe it was less them and more about their victorious opponent?
11. Secondly, it’s a shame for Pies’ supporters there’s going to be no season or a very awfully truncated one – that looked as slick as you could hope. Dogs went in favourites mind you. Albeit in March but that looked ominous from Bucks’ men. Cox looks a couple percent more coordinated, the backline has all the hallmarks and their list is fit except for Treloar who would have been back for Round 3. Elliott and De Goey rotating mid and forward is a massive weapon.
12. Shortened quarters, wow, didn’t seem ‘that’ different, but I’m not against it becoming a thing. Quarters that will be hard-pressed to go past 30 minutes, but a good portion still went over 25 mins. But if it was helping the standard, then by all means, like it. Now that’s a rule change we don’t mind, Hocking.
13. St Kilda stuffed it, but I don’t have any issues with them. They’re tasty on paper, they should have had a solid win against North, and credit to the Roos the comeback was very admirable, but the Saints should have had a five-goal win in the end. They’ll be alright. Tried to play like Richmond and ultimately, the Roos, who did as well, did it better.
14. The Giants are a five-goal better team than the Cats in 2019. Last year the ladder had the Cats ahead by 3 wins, that’s a complete 180 this year, and maybe twice the margin.
15. Sam Jacobs might be the final piece for the Giants, Mummy was useful, sure, but Jacobs with that midfield looks precarious for the rest of the comp. Could be the best offseason move of the lot.
16. Connor Rozee could easily be the Power’s best midfielder by the end of the year. 8 inside-50s, one off the most for the round, sure it was against the Gold Coast but his 21 touches on the weekend will evolve into regular games of 25+ come the second half of the season whenever that might be. And they’ll be all class touches too. A ‘buy’.
17. Swans might not be much chop this year, but the Bloods brought 110% effort and it got them a road win. 62 tackles, smashed the Crows in clearance, very solid. Reckon they would struggle to win more than 6 games in a 17 match season, but great win.
18. Gold Coast, Freo and and Sydney put out the youngest teams for the round. One is rock-bottom, one is on the rebuild, and the Swans are probably closer aligned to Freo in regenerating towards a new tilt. Hawthorn were clearly the oldest, so still think they’ve got something to give and the performance suggests maybe they do, West Coast were second-oldest, right in the window still. Geelong were third though. Their situation remains dicey.
19. Contrast of styles. Eagles and Giants are looking to be more direct, kicking the ball more than handballing, ranked first and second for kick to handball ratio. Eagles though were via short kicks, took the most marks of the week, Giants took half as much. But both looking to move the ball by foot though over via hands but West Coast looking to keep possession and dissect opposition by foot slowly, Giants are hitting short pass, long pass, repeat, look for a inside 50 target quickly.
Meanwhile Richmond and Collingwood, run and carry, those chains of handballs. The Pies had the lowest kick to handball ratio of the round, Tigers were fourth-lowest. Pies took a tonne of marks though, third highest for the round, so use hands to get out, run, carry, but when they used it by foot it was clear and without risk. Efficient, always a good option. Tigers? More chaos, fourth-last for marks as well, so if the ball hit the deck they don’t mind, its about run, carry, handball, then causing pressure when they do use it by foot, backing themselves in to win it anyway if it hits the ground.
Reckon the premier comes from those four, so it’ll be an interesting case study to see ‘ok, talent’s even across the four, which style defeats the other then?’.
20. From the predictions pre-Round One, any changes? Dogs need to regroup, big hit, but I think the will rarely play an opponent better than that should the season end up culminating, so they’re ok. Port in the eight, they could stay, I think Essendon might be the one on the cusp, and someone like North if they’re ‘that’ organised, or perhaps the Hawks given their profile is ‘win now’, and have Clarko, could threaten and come into the eight whenever this is all said and done.