Round 20 and it's getting fair dinkum

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Round 20 and it's getting fair dinkum

Post by Booney on Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:34 am

It’s round 20 and things are starting to get fair dinkum for 10 teams. There’s a top 4 to finalise in the next month and a top 8 to wrap up for September action. Looks like it will go down to the wire for a couple of sides both in the top 4 race and the final 8, so what’s in store for round 20?


Sydney v Collingwood

It kicks off with the Swans hosting the Pies at the SCG. It’s the first time in several years that the Pies have visited the SCG, usually they get despatched to the shocking surface at ANZ and I’d say they’ll enjoy the SCG surface a little more than the skating rink at ANZ.

Sydney went down to the Catters last week in Geelong, it was always going to be a tough trip for them as they have won very rarely down the Cat Park. The Cats managed to hold the Swans down to just 43 I50’s, well below their season average of 52, as such they kept them to just the 9 goals with Jetta the only multiple goal scorer ( along with 7 of 43 I50’s ) with Franklin missing and big Tippo spending his time on ball rucking with no Myke Pyke in the side. It was also some solid defensive work that kept prime mover Hannebery to just 19 touches, he still had an impact, but not his usual high 30’s and only 4 of his touches were contested while Kennedy was solid, Heeney got back to his early season form after an injury lay off halted his Rising Star winning chances ( I had him at $11 to win it! ) and Goodes and Reid were well held.

The Pies did indeed get their win after 6 straight losses, how lucky were they to get Carlton on the back of that run. The crowd was a reflection of how these two mighty powers have fallen, just 48,00 for the two traditional rivals in the traditional Saturday afternoon time slot. The Pies big guns in the middle stood out, Swan had 41 touches, 3 goals, 4 I50’s, 3 tackles, 10 marks and went at 75% disposal efficiency. Poor bastard didn’t even get B.O.G! Pendles came along with 37 touches, 5 I50’s and 7 tackles to go at 84% D/E. Swany might count himself unlucky there. Fasolo bagged 4 and the Pies won by 18 points despite having 7 less I50’s than Carlton. Clearly the side had a mind set to harass and pressure the Blues, 80 tackles for the Pies.

One side looking to get back in the top 4, one side not sure exactly where they have to go to the ground. Like a D7 ammo side heading to Houghton for the first time. ( G’day Q ). Sydney still with no Franklin, but should do enough to keep the Pies cold. Sydney by 22 points.

In/Out – Pyke and Roahn big ins for the Swans, Cloke a De Goey for the Pies.


Essendon v Adelaide

Saturday lunch time under the roof and the helpless Bombers are now just 3 weeks away from kissing another season good bye and get to sit and wait for W.A.D.A to maybe make a move in November while Adelaide hit Melbourne full of confidence after running all over the hot Tigers last Friday night in Adelaide.

The Bombers kept their season of ruin going last weekend by having 55 more touches than the Giants, 5 more clearances, 13 more I50’s and still got rolled by 5 goals. What the bloody hell do they do with it? Big Gob Brendan Goddard led them with 32 touches, 3 sprays to his team mates and 2 unsightly gestures to the crowd, Joe “The Mo” Daniher had 2 goals at half time and didn’t come back out to finish the match off, well, he might have, but I didn’t see him and some of the “H” crew bagged two goals each, Hooker and Howlett with Hocking making a welcome return to add some muscle in the midfield. The stand out for them though was ex-Giant/Power ruckman Jon Giles who might have had his most complete AFL game to date. 17 touches, 22 hitouts, 11 clearances, 2 tackles, 4 I50’s and a goal. The big bloke had a good day out.

What can be said about Adelaide over Richmond? They smashed them and for some accuracy in front of goal it would have been downright ugly. 11 22 to 8 4 and with 74 I50’s to 39 the Tigers almost can think themselves lucky to just get done by an even 6 goals. Again it was big Sauce Jacobs who got Dangerfield and Thompson going in the guts while the skipper was all over the place with 10 marks, his 2.5 should have been 5.2 and it would have got him B.O.G honours. Instead Patty had 29 touches (16 contested) along with 5 tackles and 7 I50’s. It’s fair to say if he is leaving come the end of the season he can go down as one of the most professional players in the game as he has been outstanding on and off field for Adelaide since the passing of Walsh.

The biggest gap here, clearances. Adelaide rank #1 with 42.6 avg while the Bombers are stone motherless 18th with just 35. Adelaide do this on the back of Jacobs’ ruck work, Dangerfield and Thompsons attack on the ball and it will be the reason Adelaide get more I50’s this week and I think give the Bombers a touch up en route to getting back into the top 8. Adelaide big, 60+ I think.

In/Out – Cooney lucky to get one for his head high bump, Gwilt groin and O’Brien dropped. Pears, Myers and Melksham in. Adelaide unchanged.


North v St Kilda

North kept the ball in the air maintaining hope of a top 4 finish by rolling the Demons, it wasn’t all on Norths terms though and they earned the 4 points while the Sainters, pretty much as expected, went down by 6 goals to the top of the table Dockers.

Again it was Goldstein leading the way for the Roos, only thing he didn’t do this week was hit the scoreboard as he has been able to do in recent times, 50 hitouts again though. Lindsay Thomas picked himself up and dusted himself off to bag 5 majors while Shaun Higgins kept his rich vein of form running with a couple of majors, 31 touches and to show he worked it both ways he took it outside D50 5 times and pumped it inside the F50 5 times. That’s a good spread of work across the ground. Cunnington took a day off from milking the cows and had 31 touches and a sausage roll. Ben Jacobs, recently defected from Port Adelaide, has also cemented his spot as a run with player in the Roos midfield and had one of his better outings for the Roos last week. The Roos look to be one of the challengers for 4th spot but things haven’t gone all their in recents weeks as the Bulldogs continue to rack up wins.

The Saints battled admirably against the Dockers matching the Dockers I50’s, having 7 more tackles and doing well to only lose clearances 37-29 with big Sandilands controlling the air space. Again Montagna backed up his best afield for the Saints against Port the week before with 36 disposals and a goal, Jack Steven was the only multiple goal scorer and had 27 touches but, beyond that, not much to mention for the Saints. In a good sign for the Saints they fought back from 54 points down at half time to win the second half kicking 5.3 to 3.4. Fair to say the Dockers might have taken the foot off the pdeal but at least the Saints fought it out.

Too many of North’s better players are in good form for the Saints to trouble them here though. North to make it 12 wins for the year and 6 on the trot by 39 points.

In/Out – Firrito in and Mullet dropped. 4 changes at St Kilda and they all have long names. Go look them up.



Port v GWS

It was “look away now” after the midpoint of the first quarter for Port last week, the Bulldogs made a mess of them from that point as the Giants used the ball much better than the Bombers on the way to a 5 goal win to keep them knocking on the door of a maiden finals berth.

*sigh* It was days of old for Port fans on Saturday. Since the arrival of Ken Hinkley and his “Never give up” mantra Port have pretty much done that, never given up. While he was scathing after the match saying his team looked like one waiting for the knockout blow his disappointment might have been balanced up a little after the post match review on Monday when he would have seen up close the destructive run of the Bulldogs team. Having said that though Port had several passengers who had no influence on the game and some of them have been this way for a while now. Lobbe was subbed out in the third quarter with just two touches and very little impact, despite kicking two goals the pressure seems to be mounting on Jay Schulz as his contract negotiations become the talk of the footy public in SA, Hartlett popped in and out to no great effect, White and Neade created no run and Hombsch was soundly beaten by Stringer early then got mauled by Redpath late.

On the very small positive note Sam Gray had his best game at AFL level with 21 touches, 5 tackles, 4 clearances at 80% D/E and Tom Clurey under extreme duress held Crameri quiet for a while until moved onto Stringer to slow him down. Unfortunately the Power defence was so overwhelmed Clurey’s little one-on-one wins may go unnoticed. Wingard bagged another 2 goals to keep his run going and Brad Ebert had his best game for weeks with 20 touches and more importantly 75% D/E. He’s had a dose of the fumbles for a long period and he got back to some clean hands with his limited opportunities. I’ll expect some changes at Alberton this week and I think the big ruckman might be a big name casualty. With no chance of finals football it might also mean some players head off for season ending surgery or back to the SANFL to give some fringe players some game time. 129 less touches, 129!!! 14 less I50’s and a 64 point mauling the low light of Hinkleys time at Alberton to date.

Again the Giants were led by Coniglio in the mids, Shaw and Haynes in the back half and had McCarthy, Cameron, Kelly and Smith kick a couple of majors each. They welcomed back big unit Jono Patton after his second ACL reconstruction in 3 years. He’s a massive unit and with Tom Boyd trotting off to the Bulldogs the Giants will be hopeful Patton’s body can stand up to AFL footy and create a very dangerous due with both of them capable of leading up, marking and kicking multiple goals. Among many things I noted in the GWS game was the appalling colour selections of the Giants when shopping for footy boots, some of them were that luminous on the screen they became blurry and made my eyes hurt. That might have been a left over from the Port game the day before though. Another was the young ruckman for GWS, Andrew Phillips and Rory Lobb. Lobb stands 205cm and 95 keggs while Phillips tips ‘em at 98 keggs and 202cm. That’s a whole lot of lad and they both move like 6 footers. Some more talent on the GWS list.

GWS one of the top 4 for ball use, Port bottom 4 being the most glaring statistical difference between the two. Port will front up early on Saturday, keen to bounce back after last weeks debacle but the amount of turnovers Port constantly create will give the sharp GWS ball users enough opportunities to create plenty of scoring for the Giants. Port a chance, don’t believe the betting ( Port $1.33 GWS $3.35 ) the game will be much closer than that suggests. Port, just, on the back of the GWS outs. 14 points.

In/Out – Port dropped Lobbe, Clurey, Colquhoun, Moore and Young for Monfries, Jonas, Krakouer, Ah Chee and Mitchell while GWS lose Scully, Coniglio and Treloar (all big outs) with Steele,Bugg and Williams in.



Geelong v Hawthorn

The Catters bared their claws and reminded the competition they’ve still got it by plucking the Swans and the Hawks passed the toughest test at the moment by going West and beating the Weagles at home. Good form for two rivals who often bring out the best in each other and this one promises to be much the same.

The Cats were at the top of their defensive game on Saturday holding the Swans to just 43 I50’s while creating 52 of their own and winning total disposals by just over 30 touches. Think of it as an extra midfielder in the contest. The Cats didn’t really get going until after the main break when they went on to outscore the Swans 8 goals to 1 after half time. It was pretty impressive by the Cats and keeps their finals hopes well and truly alive. Again Motlop was solid for the Cats, the skipper in his 200th led from the front and old Jimmy and Boris were at their best. Kolodjashnij ( How do I know how to spell that? ) had his best game for the Cats by holding Adam Goodes to 12 touches and 1 goal while creating run from defence. Tomahawk grabbed 4 more, Duncan, Lang and Caddy a couple each and even old Mackie got to the other side of the centre to register a major.

Over in Perth the Hawks came to play, not early, the Eagles controlled the game until just after half time when they led by 24 points but the cream rose to the top late as the Hawks kicked 6 of the last 8 goals to win by 14 points in the wet. When needed Shaun Burgoyne was there to kick two goals, one just before half time to keep the Hawks in it and one deep in the last to put them 14 points in front at the 20 minute mark. Now, players come and go from football clubs, it’s the modern game, but some you hate losing and this bloke was one I hated seeing go. He’s a Port boy, he’s an absolute gun and is just about the most clinical user of the ball in the game. Doesn’t miss targets and can go forward, middle or back to fix anything that might be going wrong for the Hawks at any given moment. Can we have him back?

So, where will this one be won and lost? Well, these two sides rank #1 and #2 for disposal efficiency. 75.3 & 74.2%....they make the most of the ball they get. The problem for the Cats is the hawks average 39 more touches a game and with that 4 more goals. While the Cats are perhaps looking at a top 8 spot the Hawks are a better unit, Hawthorn by 22 points.

In/Out – Stevie J back in for Horlin-smith and Lake, Hale and Howe in for Ceglar, Shoemaker fellow and Duryea.



Brisbane v Carlton

If these sides had played last week it might have been a good contest, Brisbane 100 points losing to the Suns and Carlton 87 losing to the Pies.

Brisbane could sneak off the bottom of the ladder here with a decent win at home. One game and 3% behind the Navy Blues it’s the Bears best chance to get a win since god knows when. I know when, but I’d rather not mention it. The Lions just can’t take a trick at the moment, they lose Justin Clarke ( a lad from SA’s mid North town of Booleroo ) to a jaw injury, there’s talk one of their shining lights in a dim 2015 is looking to perhaps move back to Victoria, ruckman Stefan Martin and it seems only a matter of when not if that James Aish tells them he wants to move on. 2015 can’t finish quickly enough for these guys and I hope the AFL says no to a priority pick, it’s bad luck where they find themselves and you don’t get gifted a top pick the year after you buy in Beams and Robinson. No sir.

Speaking of let’s get this year finished, Carlton. The proud club could well be looking at another 21st Century wooden spoon if they drop this one as the selection panel go through the final stages of selecting a new Senior Coach. Whoever takes the job on will have a huge task, the first one will be to rebuild the confidence of the playing group after 2015 would have left them pretty flat. One thing they’ve got to work with, at least, is two capable big blokes with Kruezer looking as good as he has in years and big Levi Caboult up forward, he’s missing this week but he’s an important cog going forward.

So, 17th and 18th up in Brissy. I can’t see the Blues winning away from home, can’t see them winning at all to be honest. Brisbane to hand over the temporary spoon by 12 points.

In/Out – Clarke and Bewick out for West and Cutler in Brisbane. For Carlton it’s Dick in and Wood out, Casboult with a knee missed for Jaksch.




Richmond v Gold Coast

The collective grin from 17 other clubs supporters as the Tigers bubble burst last week losing to Adelaide by 36 points and the Gold Coast got the better of the Q Clash and the 4 umpires winning by 14 points over their fellow cane toads.

What went wrong with Richmond last week? They got mauled by Adelaide who, fair to say, aren’t a top 4 side heading towards a premiership challenge, absolutely mauled, and the margin was flattering in the end. Just 39 I50’s while bleeding 74 at the other end was pretty damning for the Tigers. Some sides work one way harder than the other, they weren’t prepared to work either way last week. Was it just a lapse in effort or is it a sign of the wobbles? They still had some form from the likes of Martin and Miles, Houli again showing his skills with some quality work, but none of their key big men had any influence at all. Maric, Reiwoldt and Vickery all kicked one each, but had little impact, Walker gave Rance a bath and Cotchin was rarely sighted.

The Sunny boys rolled their fellow Queenslanders last week, no surprises there with the quality of the two sides on the park. Big Lynch kept his late season form going with another 5 majors, Dixon with 3 and Bennell had solid outing, down on his previous numbers with just 16 touches but went at 81%. In fact, the Suns had 17 players go at over 70% disposal efficiency, that’s because Brisbane were poor with laying only 51 tackles. So effective were the Suns, they lost the possession count by 133 ( 423-290 ) and still won by a couple of goals. The skills coaches would have been chuffed with that sort of effort.

You can expect the Tigers to want to bounce back here, but you can’t expect the Suns to be easy beats. Richmond should win, it will make me smile if they don’t. Gold Coast might try and stretch the Tigers in defence and batter Maric in the ruck with Smith and Nicholls and Dixon having a crack at him. Richmond by 16 points.

Ins/Outs – Sunday game, so lots. Deledio and Morris the bigger ins for Richmond, Hampson dropped ( what does he care, he’s got Megan Gale to comfort him ) while Zac Smith is a big in for the Suns ruck division.




Bulldogs v Melbourne


The Bulldogs were simply brilliant last week. Run from defence, chain after chain of handball receives and multiple multiple goal scorers gave them 4th spot on the ladder and the Demons put in one of those admirable defeats that the supporters might enjoy more than the pitiful defeats of years gone by.

The Doggies just smashed Port last week, Redpath and Stringer bagged 4 each, Crameri and Dickson 3 each, 10 blokes had 20 or more touches, 18 of the Doggies went at better than 70% D/E and they had well over 400 disposal. It was a complete dominance. The key to their game at the moment is a willingness to run and attack kicking the ball to open spaces to give their mobile forwards opportunities to get one out on defenders. But that’s on the back of a zone defence that is holding its shape and that is giving their halfbacks/mids/half forwards the opportunity to peel off the opposition and run to space as they please. This is making them very hard to hold up, even when you get the ball off of them it’s a matter of looking up and seeing them literally everywhere. They’re good to watch, unless it’s your team they are chewing on..

The Dees had a crack on Sunday, they did, but they were outgunned by the Roos. The influence of Bernie Vince was curtailed by Ben Jacobs, Vince only had the 14 touches and didn’t hit the scoreboard, he’s been the one who has caused the most damage for the Demons in recent weeks and the Roos did the homework required to shut him down. Jesse Hogan continued on his way to winning the Rising Star award and Chris Dawes reminded people he still plays AFL footy. 16 marks and 7.4 between them, good work by the big men considering it only came I50 just 43 times. Again it was young guns Viney and Tyson leading the midfield effort.

You just can’t see the Demons doing anywhere enough to stop the Doggies run this week. Paul Roos will have the plan, not sure he’ll have the cattle to pull it off. Bulldogs by 60+.

Ins/Outs – Sunday game, but Murphy and Boyd might come into the Dogs line up and the Demons might get Jamar back in to lead the rucks.



Fremantle v West Coast

The Dockers went East and did the Saints as expected and the Eagles dropped one at home to the might of the Hawks. This sets up a ripper derby/derby ( however you pronounce it ) with a late season 1st v 2nd in the West. This one does shape up as a ripping contest, the Dockers will want to make sure their home town rivals know who is boss and the Eagles won’t want to drop two in a row and give up second spot and the home town advantage that it comes with in September.

Average numbers? Couldn’t get more even if they tried. Disposal? 378 each. Clearances? 42-40. I50’s? 50-56. Tackles? 65-61. Hitouts? 60-53. D/E? 74.2% to 73.9% For two sides that are so evenly matched they play quite different styles.

As we know it’s the Dockers around the ball trying to stifle the opposition run and carry while the Eagles zone off and wait for their chance to burst forward. This shows in their average goals per game, West Coast with 15 to Fremantle’s 12. The Eagles certainly play a more open attacking game to make the most of their dangerous forward line.

Where will the advantage be taken here? With Nic Nat missing again this week as he mourns the loss of his mother, big Sandi will like his chances against the Lycett/Sinclair duo. He’s got the nouse, the height and weight advantage on the more youthful opposition that should give Fremantle first hand on the ball. In the air at least. The Eagles mids though are on fire, Gaff, Priddis, Masten, Shuey all firing but they’ve got Fyfe, Barlow et al to counter.

Johnson, Fyfe and Clancee Pearce are big inclusions for the Dockers and the Eagles get hurt with some more injuries to big man McGoverns hammy, Selwood and LeCras will also be missed from the midfield and forward line.

I think the outs for the Eagles this week are too big for them to cover, a key big man in defence, the midfield stoper and creative small forward. It hurts them on every line.

I think the Dockers hold top spot here, by 19 points.

TTFWIW, last week got you *uurgh* 6.
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Booney

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Re: Round 20 and it's getting fair dinkum

Post by Paul on Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:02 pm

Collingwood
Essendon
North Melbourne
GWS
Geelong
Carlton
Richmond
Western Bulldogs
Fremantle

TTFWIW, last week got 8. Bloody Port Rolling Eyes


Last edited by Paul on Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Round 20 and it's getting fair dinkum

Post by Thiele on Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:46 pm

Swans
Crows
North
GWS
Hawks
Lions
Bulldogs
Freo

Last week 6
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