While much of the post-round three focus has been on what Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse called St Kilda forward Steven Milne, the real inquiry should be into what happened when Fremantle rookie Anthony Morabito called Geelong tagger Cameron Ling.
Miffed by all the off-field attention given to teammate Michael Barlow thus far, Morabito organised for Barlow to get plenty of on-field attention from the Pink Pig when the Dockers met the Cats last weekend. The evil ploy worked, of course, and Barlow bagged just 46 after back-to-back 120s, while Mora-cheat-o racked up a 98. If someone sees Mora-cheat-o on the line to Clinton Jones this week, grab his phone and throw it at the wall Russell Crowe style.
Despite his below-average score, Barlow still rocketed up $80k in the first week of price changes and carries a breakeven of -37 into round four. Read on to see who else had a go and made some dough.
All of these blokes enjoyed their first price hike after appearing in their third AFL game. After Brisbane honorary rookie Matt Maguire (111) and Morabito (98), the next-best score belonged to Hawthorn’s Carl Peterson, whose 97 sees him head into round four with the lowest breakeven of the three gamers at -57. Peterson leapt $60k this week and will jump another $50k next week if he can maintain his 79-point average. Maguire’s around a similar mark, with Geelong midfield-forward Mitch Duncan not far behind with -50 after a pair of 70s.
As you’d expect, most of these guys still have negative breakevens, although there are a few who, worryingly, have already crept into the positive. Carlton honorary rookie ruckman Robbie Warnock won’t start making money next time out until he reaches 22, which is just one point less than he scored in round 2. Then again, he’s just there for back-up and not for profit, right? Another ruck, Port’s Jackson Trengove has a BE of 15, which, again, is just under his round-two score. More worrying is the BE of No.1 draft pick Tom Scully, of Melbourne. Unlike Warnock and Trengove (the Port one), Scully was selected as a potential cash cow, but is looking a little skinny at this stage. Scully made an underwhelming $21k on his initial price this week and enters round four with a BE of 17. That’s more than achievable, of course, but doesn’t bode well for big returns in the near future unless Scully starts racking it up. I’m confident he will start soon, kicking off with Richmond this week. Hopefully pre-season fave Dustin Martin can do some damage the other way, too.
Speaking of Melbourne and Richmond, the Demons and Tigers both have a pair of blokes in this all-important bracket. Yesterday I’d have doubted any more than one of Rohan Bail, James Strauss, Mitch Farmer and Relton Roberts would be getting their third game this weekend, but the bans handed out to the four partying Tigers help the causes of Roberts and Farmer. Either way, with less-than-tasty BEs of 1 and 9, neither Roberts nor Farmer look like decent cash cows, so I wouldn’t be making a trade to bring them in.
Bail, on the other hand, has an appetising BE of -80 after scores of 67 and 87. The Demons will be looking to fit in Colin Sylvia this week, but Bail looks to have done enough to hold his spot. The other two on the verge of their first price rise are Western Bulldogs’ Brodie Moles, (BE of -83 after scores of 82 and 63) and Essendon’s Ben Howlett (BE of -80 after scores of 74 and 63, but dropped last week). Like Bail, both are listed as midfielders in DT and, if they hold their averages, should generate about $50k on their first rise.
Eight players debuted in round three, including a couple of popular forward options in James Podsiadly and Tom Rockcliff. The emergence of J-Pod and T-Rock is at least some consolation for coaches who’ve had their forward lines decimated by the loss of Nick Riewoldt, Buddy Franklin and Patrick Dangerfield. Both scored well, with Rockliff nailing an 87 and Podsiadly chalking up 85. Also in the 80s was Adelaide’s Chris Schmidt, while Travis Colyer (Essendon), Kane Lucas (Carlton) and Ben Stratton (Hawthorn) grabbed 60s. Even the lowest scorers weren’t too bad, with Essendon’s Jake Melksham and Geelong skyscraper Dawson Simpson bringing up half centuries. Monitor for job security/points potential.