Chook’s Rooks – Round 21

When this year’s rookies get together at the end of the season to share a soft drink or two, New Found Glory’s Hit And Miss will be the first track that DJ Warnie spins. It might be an oldie, but what would be more appropriate for a group capable of such chest-thumping highs and wrist-slitting lows? The hit-and-miss nature of our rookies was never more evident than in round 21, the first week of DT finals, when we had three hundreds but a bunch of others who failed to muster up more than 40 points, including one popular pick who couldn’t even get to a dozen. Zac and Isaac Smith are a case in point. I haven’t seen the Brangelina movie, but I’m pretty sure both the Smiths kicked arse in that. Not so in DT this week, with gangly Isaac a definite all-action hero with a round-topping 115 (taking his three-game average to a tidy 100), while rangy Zac flopped with a 34, despite earning a lead role in many a team due to Drew Petrie’s bye. Isaac’s big hundred would’ve come in handy if you were covering Petrie or his North Melbourne skipper Brent Harvey, although you wouldn’t have had much to complain about if you opted instead for Fremantle mid-fwd Tendai Mzungu, who knocked out a 105. You and your team might’ve been upset, however, if you backed in Andrew Krakouer following his solid scoring in recent weeks, as the  Collingwood mid-fwd managed just 55 against St Kilda. In defence, plenty of coaches played Fremantle’s Nick Lower on their field with confidence, given a season record that boasts two huge hundreds and a 96 as recently as last week, but the Docker let them down in a big way, producing just 11 points in a forward role before being subbed out.

If you’re in a semi-final this week, then there’s every chance you’ll be fielding some more rooks with plenty of coaches having one (well planned), two (manageable), three (risky) or four (Molly, what were you thinking?) of popular Geelong players Corey Enright, Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel, Stevie Johnson and Paul Chapman in their line-ups. Time to pray to the rookie gods, then, that the kids you choose are more hit than miss.

Two gamers

From round 5 to 15, or thereabouts, getting the lowdown on the fresh meat available was one of the most important parts of your DT week, as you downgraded your way to a team bursting with premium goodness. Now, this segment is about as useful as a trophy cabinet down at Demonland, but it’s hard to kick a habit.

While Melbourne suffered yet another demoralising defeat in round 21, its second-game midfielder Sam Blease did okay, scoring 66 points against West Coast on Sunday. Maybe the red boots meant he caught the eye more than most, but his 20 possesions were more than high-profile teammates Tom Scully, Jack Trengove and Colin Sylvia collected and if he can add the odd tackle to his game (he had one against the Eagles) he might feature in our future squads. Yeah, really selling it.

One gamers

Like the Dees, Port’s ladder position means blooding new players is one of the few reasons to run out each week. The Power handed two players a bow in round 21: forward John Butcher and defender Thomas Jonas. Butcher had a goal in his 58-point effort, while Jonas happened upon 39 points while running around after Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge. Peter Faulks, the skinny Freo defender done out of a round-one start by Nick Lower, finally got a gig this week, but he seems far from the DT type, scrounging 39 points in a solely defensive role.

Start thinking about the rooks who’ve done you proud this season. It’s almost time to vote for the annual All-Rookie Team.



  • Good read, Chook. Was (for the first time since I traded him back in Rd 9) happy not to have Lower. Also trading Z.Smith last week was a good move for my plan to get the bye for the Geelong bye (phew!).

  • Great write up Chook. Mixed bag for me last week, had both Smith’s, Gu and Heppell. While Zac Smith will not play on my field again this year, Gu is looking to get a permanent gig in the forward line with his new role. Isaac will sit this week out but will be back next week if Didak doesn’t score 80+.

  • Not sure I can ever trust Lower again… might be playing Puopolo as my last back instead.

  • I’ve earned my self a bye this week, Next round I want to trade Bartel to Mitchell/Shiels… Worried that Mitchell will get rested or the greenie… against Gold Coast, What do you guys think?

  • Hey Guys / Girls

    What do you think r the chances of the Pies resting players next week (Freo in Perth) in preparation for the Cats game???

  • I have to play one of Lower or Puopolo on the field to cover byes over the next couple of weeks, who should it be? Surely Lower can’t do that again can he? Did he get enough of a kick up the ass to start performing again or should I give it Puopolo who’s average isn’t so good, and his consistency is terrible???
    Also who to trade one of them for? Bock, Birchall or Suckling? Was thinking maybe the Hawks wont see the ball in their back line against the suns final round and Bocks looking awesome these last few, can he keep it up? Help appreciated!

  • Heppell and Mzungu are my only two rooks this week.

    I shouldn’t need anymore again after this round.

    • Providing you win

      • Just realised my error above. Nah, I’m going for overall placing. I will probably win my leagues just because my team is the strongest. None of them are cash leagues or with people I know, so they arent a big focus to me.

    • Wrong! Carlton Bye i will need Heppell and Puopolo.

  • Eade gone !!

  • Harris retired.

  • Awesome work Chook! NFG baby!

  • Great stuff Chook, as always!

    Although I think you could improve it by posting your team make-up for this week, along with planned trades and captain choices…

  • The All Annual Rookie voting will be interesting. Especially to see where early populars like Curnow and Libba and recent keepers like ZSmith and Lower (the most loved and hated rookie depending on whether you or your opponent had him last week) fit in to the mix.

    Heppell will go down as my #1 I recon, the amount of Defender and Midfielder holes i have filled with him this season is ridonculous. Pumps out a solid 80 odd, could not ask for anything more.

    • Definitely Heppell # 1 Consistent all season and good enough to keep until just before the grand final. It was funny how some people were comparing Curnow and Libba to Barlow at the start of the season.

      Only 2 in the running for rising star now but I think he will get that just above Shuey.

    • Shuey
      Shoe in

  • Z.Smith and Lynch will miss this week. Ablett only sounds 50/50 chance at best!


    • Ablett looked about 80% last week.
      Im a sports scientist thats how I worked out the percentage if you were wondering

    • So 50/50 chance that Nathan Ablett will play, with only 80% of Gary Ablett playing, is it safe to assume that there will be a 65% chance of some form of Ablett on the ground this weekend?

  • Perhaps next year we can have better monitoring on the forums?
    That way we won’t have to listen to jerks like the X factor

  • I have to cover Enright in my backs this week with a bench player. My obvious choice is Puopolo but what do you reckon about Robert Murphy vs Port?….

    • …and pre-empting ‘Get Off the Bench’, early thoughts on Bailey or Lobbe to replace Z.Smith? Leaning towards Bailey.