Hawks v Roos – NAB Challenge (21st February)


Hawthorn Hawks v North Melbourne Kangaroos.
Aurora Stadium. Friday 21st February, 2013.
Click here for AFL Match Centre.

9 games down, 9 to go. Tonight we see the Hawks and the Kangaroos for the second time, and we see far stronger teams this time around. For the hawks, Hodge, Gibson and Sewell are back, while Dayle Garlett (cross him off your list – I can’t see him playing more than 5 games this year), and Grant Birchall are set to miss again. I’m bit disappointed to see Alex Woodward (MID, $115,200) named as emergency, but I’m glad too see Mitch Hallahan (MID, $115,200) – albeit as the sub -get another game. Matty Suckling (DEF, $314,400) will also start as sub.

For the Kangaroos, Brent Harvey is a late withdrawl (don’t let that phase you – the Kangaroos have confirmed he is just being rested). Sam Wright and Lachlan Hansen (DEF, $391,100) will start as the subs – it will be interesting to see how Hansen goes once he gets given a chance. I’m also slightly disappointed that Liam Anthony (MID, $221,100) didn’t suit up, he is a ball magnet who just can’t seem to force his way into the side.

There’s plenty of Fantasy relevance in this game! Personally, I’m keen to keep an eye on Simpkin (MID, $360,600), Ziebell (MID, $513,100), Luke McDonald (DEF, MID, $243,900), Mitchell (DEF, MID, $517,700), McEvoy (RUC, $410,200), Gunston (FWD, $415,400), Cunnington (MID, $446,300), Bastinac (MID, $463,200) and Aaron Mullett (DEF, $402,600). It will also be interesting to see if Currie (RUC, $115,200) can play a role that may see him get games this year (I doubt it), and the role Shaun Atley (DEF, $365,800) plays.

In the interview before the game, Brad Scott says “they’re really keen to get Daniel Currie into the side”. Andrew Swallow mentioned last week how much the Kangaroos want to paly two rucks. He’ll start forward. McEvoy is starting up forward for the hawks, Hale in the ruck. Sam Mitchell starts in the guts. Hale kicks the first (to which I have flashbacks to the 2012 Grand Final – time for a beer). Oh yeah, the cricket’s also on. Let’s hope Mitch Johnson can wrap the tail up.

Cyril Rioli (FWD, $398,600) looks like he’ll playing across half back again this week – I love this position for him, both for the Hawks and for Fantasy value. He’s getting a bit of it early. The hawks are very much playing that Fantasy friendly game we love, short, precise kicking and maintaining possession. Hodge (DEF, MID, $491,100) is also getting a fair bit of it early – he had a great 2013, and as a defender this year, he must be considered.

Dal Santo is finding plenty of it, whilst Cunnington is adding grunt. Majak Daw might be a supreme athlete, but he is not a footballer. Might be a bit harsh, but I think he is more of a liability for the Kangaroos than anything else. Brad Hill is looking busy, like he was last week – but my heart still wants to vomit a little when he gets near it, although probably not as much as the last few years. Heatherly (DEF, $115,200) tries hard, and has looked good, but 2014 won’t be for him. Birchall, Stratton and Lake all still to return.

Hodge is dominating the first quarter, playing the most beautiful Fantasy role out there – loose off half back. He and Rioli are doing what they please. Roy’s boy Liam Shiels (MID, $343,800) has kicked 3, playing across half forward, and is on an amazing 70 points at quarter time! I can’t pick up if he is running with anyone at the moment, but if Clarkson uses him like he did a few years ago, he is bargain priced. Roughly the same price as Daisy actually – is Daisy’s sore anklechest still a problem? Hodge, Rioli and Mitchell are on 36, 35 and 34 respectively. Luke McDonald is on 26, Mullett on 28 and Nicky Dal on 37 for the Kangaroos. Majak Daw is on 2, Shaun Atley is on 3. Of course he is.

The hawks lead by 5 goals at 1/4 time – time for the cricket.

McEvoy and Hale are alternating between the ruck and forward, and if need be, I’m sure they’ll push back – they just don’t really need to at the moment. Aaron Black is just about the only NM forward who looks damaging. Thomas, Petrie and Majak Daw are not giving much – but the ball is not really going forward.

Atley’s actually having a pretty good quarter running off half back and through the middle. I’ve hardly seen Bastinac out there, but at least Cunnington is starting to get involved. He is such a tough tackler, he’s certainly going to average at least 5 per game in 2014. I’m claiming Simpkin. My boy! He’s a ball magnet, plus he uses the ball so well. If he has made his way into the starting 21 at Hawthorn, he could go bang this year – I’m thinking a breakout year a-la Liam Shiels in 2011. Boogsy likes the look of Langford – and so do I. He’s finding plenty of it, and bobs up around goal as well. The hawks are still dominating the game – the lead at half time again is 5 goals.

Shiels is on 88, Simpkin 69, Hodge 58, Rioli 56 and Mitchell 50. Gunston is surprisingly on 42, I haven’t really noticed him too much, so that’s a good sign he is still scoring well. McEvoy is only on 25 – I’d love to see the stats but it definitely seems like Hale has spent more time in the ruck. But probably the most pleasantly surprising for mine is young Derick Wanganeen (MID, $115,200), who just looks at home – he is so clean with the ball.

For the Kangaroos, they have had 50 less disposal than the hawks, and 12 less inside 50’s. At least they have tackled well, they’ve had 45 to the hawks 32. Dal Santo is on 54, Black 47 and Cunnington is on 42 – 28 of those are from tackles. McDonald just looks composed, he will definitely be a round 1 starter. He’s on 36. Atley had a busy second quarter and goes to half time on 39. Mullett is also on 39. Bastinac is on 12 (4 HBs and a tackle), and Majak Daw on 6.

I switch on the cricket, and we still don’t have a wicket – another beer. Gunston kicks the first of the 3rd after marking 15m out. He is just so dangerous. McDonald looks like a 50 gamer, and Joel Tippett (DEF, $115,200) is actually looking OK in the backline as well. Rioli is all over the place, and Atley has really worked himself into the game now.

The subs are being made early in the 3rd quarter. Matty Suckling is on, and Luke Hodge has been subbed off. Breust is subbed off for Hallahan. Sam Wright has come on for Taylor Garner, who might have a serious knee injury – I hope the kid is OK. Lachlan Hansen is on for Cameron Delaney. The sub players all find the ball early, the fresher legs are helping their cause.

The second half was very much a dull affair. All sting (if there was even any to begin with) was gone, and players looked like they were running on the spot. There was not a lot to take out of the second half – I think players were more inclined to think about getting through the game unscathed than really having a dip – of which I cant blame them. The result was beyond doubt (as irrelevant as it is anyway), and it was probably more just about blowing out the cobwebs.

I was most impressed by the young quartet of Langford (101), Shiels (114), Simpkin (79) and Wanganeen (101) for the hawks, while Hodge (70 and subbed out just after halftime), Rioli (87) and Mitchell (79) also played well, and played very fantasy friendly roles. Sam Mitchell is 100% a must start this year. He had a quiet second half, but he did what he needed to. Matty Suckling (38) got through nearly a half of footy and barring a setback, he will play round 1.

For the kangaroos, Atley (69) worked himself into the 2nd and 3rd quarters after a quiet start, Cunnington (112) is tough as nails and just doesn’t give up, Dal Santo (74) was good early and Luke McDonald (75) is a young gun – I think it’s worth getting on him for the Rising Star.

The disappointments were Currie (42), Ryan Bastinac (22 – if he doesn’t find a way to shake a tag then he will soon find himself on the outer) and Jack Ziebell (55), who had absolutely zero influence on the game. The Kangaroos will need to find consistency in the midfield if they are to be truly regarded as a contender – if you are keen on any of the Kangaroos midfielders, be prepared for inconsistency – expect the unexpected. Goldstein was also pretty quiet, but on the flipside, so was McEvoy. There wasn’t much to get excited about from a Kangaroos perspective.

There we have it, another rather dull NAB Challenge match (Oh yeah, the Hawks won by 65 points). The things I took out of this match were; lock in McDonald, lock in Mitchell, give Cunnington a look, you could go worse than Shiels/Simpkin if you are after a unique mid pricer, and Wanganeen/Langford are worth putting on your watchlists leading into round 1.

Anything else take your eye? Follow me on twitter: @cruttonhutton.


  • Didn’t like the way you did this write up sorry
    Nothing here that i didn’t already know

    • Curb Your Enthusiasm

    • I’m with you Charlie. Crutton has done a lot better in the past but this effort (if there was any at all) was ver lazy.

    • A bit harsh Charlie. Crutton has given us bits of info for us to do our own research and make up our own minds. If you want every article to read lock, don’t bother or what ever we would have the same teams. For me, look at the names, do the research and make up my mind. Good job Crutton, nice read. :)

      • Charlie / Rabbit – I reviewed a game last night which didn’t offer much, especially from a NM perspective, and I wrote what I saw fit. It was a one-sided game, one which barely resembled any form of game you will be likely to see in 2014 – there was little/no effort, from both teams (especially in the second half). This game was very much about blowing out the cobwebs and getting some game time into some kids.

  • Dont be so negative charlie. Plenty of detail given. Well done cruton. Annoys me u go to all that effort and the first comment is like that.

    • Detail? wheres all the time on ground percentages. should of done it like Calvin did it.

      • Look at the time it was posted Charlie, Crutton would have been following the game and made some summations at the end before that info came out on the AFL websites so just look at it yourself instead of being a prick IMO

        • Cheers Karnivool. It’s nice knowing that my Friday night spent reviewing a batshit boring NAB challenge game wasn’t a complete waste of time! ;)

  • Thanks for the effort in breaking down the game time for those of us who didn’t see the game, far more informative than just reading DT scores on fan footy. Cue the getting off Ziebell getting on Shiels bandwagon.

  • No problems Charlie. If you have any other information that you think is relevant, feel free to post a constructive comment.

  • Things I learnt from this game. Mitchell and McDonald are locks for just about everyone. Liked young Will Langford.
    Crutton how’d Nahas go? Keeping my eye on him? Surely he’d get games this year?

    • Nahas was lively, at one stage during the 3rd quarter he was actually leading the NM fantasy scores. It was a tough game to judge him on, considering how much of the ball was in the Hawks forward half. I still can’t quite see him in the NM side, I think he may get 5-10 games, but will likely be a sub candidate when he does. He’s not on my watchlist.

  • Surely Nahas isn’t in Norths best 22.

    • Not sure but I cant see why they’d recruit him if they don’t intend to play him.. At 174k I think he he has potential to be a 50-100k cash cow. Rookie price and more reliable and better JS than an unblooded rookie.

  • Charlie Charlie…question first is your team name WINNING!! lol…settle down old timer.. if you go to stats on afl website n go to advanced stats you shall see game time %… no need to be negative… happy days..

  • What do you think of Mcevoy? I didn’t see the game but he dominated last time, would he still be safe to pick?

    • I was surprised with how McEvoy was used – he started forward and seemed to spend most of his time there. Hale did a lot of ruck work. For me, McEvoy is at his best (and most fantasy relevant) when he is rucking (obviously) and playing a kick behind play, he reads the ball so well. But then again, the ball wasn’t travelling forward much, so maybe it was because he just wasn’t required. I’m still keen on him to have a decent year, but his role does worry me a bit.

  • Also Suckling hasn’t really lived up to the hype, is everyone still on board or jumping ship?

    • You would be mad to jump ship, 38 points for less than 50% game time from a bloke coming from a lti. Not to mention its a nab cup game. You will regret it jumping ship unless he gets injured again

      • For Suckling, it’s just about easing him back into the team and getting him back up to the pace of the game. He was very dangerous when he had the ball – he’s got one of the best kicks in the league and you can bet your bottom dollar Clarkson will try and utilise that. Suckling was on the ground for 40% of the game, for 38 points. He plays 80% of the game, then it’s 76… Also, it’s NAB cup – the points aren’t as important as the role – and his role hasn’t changed a bit.

  • sucking was a late sub..done well.hale for mcevoy imo…

  • Really enjoyed this arcticle as being on nightshift in the WA desert meant i couldnt watch it. Cant believe charlies comments, really apprieciate any imput all you boys have on this website, if its good or bad imo always gets me thinking. Had cyril as f4 in fantasy but cant fit him in a dt, still have my doubts on his long term fitness, but wont be as damaging if he gets injured as a fantasy player. Mitchell has been a lock since day one, as has mcdonald. Wangneen is an interesting selection and will be watched very closely for the rest of the nab. Thanks again crutton

    • Thanks PK – sometimes not all of the turkey’s are eaten at thanksgiving.

      Cyril is an interesting one, I think the change of role will suit him, for it doesn’t seem like his break of speed is the reason Clarkson has sent him back, more just that he is a clean user of the ball. I think he’ll be a very good scorer this year – but you’re right, there will always be the thoughts of those hammies in the back of your mind.

  • Really interested in shiels and as a mid pricer scoring 100+ in two consecutive games its impressive however one of those 100+ games was from an incredibly undermanned lions squad but I really like the look of him early Is he worth taking the punt?

    Also good signs to see wanganeen playing both nab challengers is looking to be a shoe In for round 1

    • I agree, Wanganeen looked good as did Langford. If any get a guernsey they will be worth considering to fill a substitute spot.
      Mitchell looked sharp, Macdonald will be worth the investment.
      Ziebell was in and under a lot so I was surprised by his poor fantasy return. Shiels did look good but he is not always going to kick so any goals.

      I thought Suckling was ok, a little rusty but worth the punt i reckon.

      Not sure about Currie though. Will he actually get a game?

      • If you’re looking for a R4 to just sit there, then you could do worse than Currie. Maybe it might just take him a while to fit in the team structure, but both Brad Scott and Andrew Swallow are on record as asying that want 2 rucks from Round 1 this year – and coaches wouldn’t lie, would they?

        Wanganeen and Langford will both get games, and both be sub candidates, although I think I like Langfords JS a little more, due to him also being used as a tagger. Wanganeen is an ideal sub. Don’t worry about Suckling, lock him in and don’t even think twice.

        • Thanks Crutton. Good article btw. Langford has found his way into my team, but Wanganeen is competing with Polac and Ellis atm.

  • Ive had Zeibell locked in as a unique since the end of last year. I hope this game isn’t a sign of things to come.

    • You’d be a little worried – I think he is a star, but what is with those north midfielders and their inconsistency?!?!

    • Me too Daniel. At this stage I am looking at the silver lining, everyone that jumped on last week has just jumped right back off. But should we join them?

      • I’m sticking to my guns and trusting my instinct. That’s one of my policies this year. Last year there were a few occasions where I went against my better judgement to follow the crowd, and got burned.

  • I think Rioli could be a great pick for his price. Only concern is those fragile hamstrings.

    • Agree. And agree. I think he’s worth a shot though, especially at that price – remember, you can also have a crack in Round 1…

      • yeah I just noticed after that post that he’s suspended round 1. I would have to wait and see the round 1 teams to know if I have enough bench cover to cover his absence.

      • I think Rioli is so good to watch. If he come in then be is competing with Chappy, Zorko or Darling. Worth moving one of those guys on?

  • Great stuff Crutton! McDonald, Mitchell and Currie locked in. No doubt a few will jump off the Ziebell bandwagon after tonight but as you said I suspect it was more about getting through the game uninjured.

    • Thanks Lukey! McD and Mitch are also locked in my team (as they should be in everyones), I’m just waiting to see Fraser Thurlow again before I make my decision on R4.

  • For an old fella, Charlie’s grammar is poor. “Should OF done it like Calvin” should read as “Should HAVE done it like Calvin”. Why are people trying to change our language?

    • After last night’s game, I would expect a large exodus of Ziebell and Bastinac from teams. Mitchell and McDonald should be locks.

      “Charlie is very rude”.

      @Bandicoot, I think the reason people are trying to change our language is because it is very difficult to educate uneducated people.

      Good report Crutton, thanks.

      • Thanks Dulcify. You speak very good for a horse. Perhaps you can try to educate the uneducated? ;)

        I picked up Bastinac in a draft league last week – last night worried me – 67% game time, for 1 kick and 7 handballs!

      • The horseman is still in fine form :)

    • I suspect Charlie is a lot younger than that photo would suggest :)

  • Never mind Charlie – seems like people on this website only like you to make comments that are pleasant and inoffensive.

    I agree with you – it wasnt an article filled with insight and cutting edge ideas. But neither was the game, nor is NAB Cup really.

    Keep up the good work Crutton because someone has to write the articles and god knows I am not going to waste my time doing it.

    Keep up the honesty Charlie and dont let the keyboard warriors get you down

  • staying away from those North mids, they may win me a game, but they’ll probably lose me more – it’s the consistency that lets them down
    the only one I’d consider would be Swallow and I think he’ll be dirt-cheap come the byes (perfect for “upgrading” a rook)

    also liking Gunston as an F4 option, seemed to do pretty well scoring wise (against Thompson?)

    locked in Suckers (too damn cheap to pass up), Smitchell (showing a bit more than McVeigh, even if it is only NAB), and LMac (scoring well, and will get games) after last night

    Hodge looms as an upgrade target, that 70odd average in 2012 does worry me a little for a starter, I’ll see how he goes

    still got the R4 slot up for grabs, but noone really wants it (Thurlow, Currie, Sydney ruck) – I guess it is just an R4 (and with both Sandi/Hmac as R2/R3, it’s probably not too bad)

    • also a top write up, makes us non-fox’ers aware of the players to look out for, but doesn’t do the research for us

      hope Wanganeen and Langford get promoted – but I can’t see them getting regular games though