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Dream Team Finals: Your Best 22

I’ve had a stinker of a Dream Team season… blowing out to a ranking of 26,417 was a low point of the Warne Dawgs career playing DT, but looking back, a lot has to do with not having my best 22 available each week. I only fielded my best 22 in 2 out of 18 weeks. When I win the premiership this year, Scott Gumbleton will be getting a medal!

This week we start what it’s all about… the Dream Team Finals. This means we have a crack to win the flag and the subsequent bragging rights for until next year. Some people (Tackling Tit-ed) are still living off past successes, but the fact is, they have their names etched in DT history… the all important league premiership.

This has got me thinking about how we set our teams for finals and going in with our best 22’s. This can be the difference between a win and for a lot… elimination out of the finals race!

I looked back at my team over each week this year to see how often I fielded my ‘best 22’ this year. This isn’t pretty!

Warne Dawgs 2010

  • Round 1 – OUT: Robbie Gray and Lance Franklin (covered by Gumbleton 17, Hitchcock 63)
  • Round 2 – OUT: Robbie Gray (covered by Hitchcock 43)
  • Round 3 – OUT: Robbie Gray and Heath Shaw (covered by Hitchcock 57, Maguire 111)
  • Round 4Best 22 played.
  • Round 5Best 22 played.
  • Round 6 – OUT: Dustin Martin (covered by Bastinac 51)
  • Round 7 – OUT: Lance Franklin (covered by Podsiadly 118)

At this point my trading meant that jPod was in my best 22

  • Round 8 – OUT: James Kelly and James Podsiadly (covered by Nason 70 and Gumbleton 58)
  • Round 9 – OUT: Robbie Gray (covered by Gumbleton 38)
  • Round 10 – OUT: Michael Barlow and Robbie Gray (covered by Howlett 65 and Gumbleton 55)
  • Round 11 – OUT: Ryan Hargrave and Lance Franklin (covered by Maguire 80 and Gumbleton 47)
  • Round 12 – OUT: Ryan Hargrave and Colin Sylvia (covered by no-one and Gumbleton 62)
  • Round 13 – OUT: James Kelly and Colin Sylvia (covered by no-one and Gumbleton 51)
  • Round 14 – OUT: Colin Sylvia (covered by Gumbleton 42)
  • Round 15 – OUT: Brendon Goddard (covered by no-one)

This one irks me because I could have subbed him into the backline and got 82 from Webberley.

  • Round 16 – OUT: Lance Franklin (covered by Gumbleton 72)
  • Round 17 – OUT: Heath Shaw (covered by Smith 52)
  • Round 18 – OUT: Heath Shaw (covered by Smith 73)

So only two weeks where I had my best 22 playing! Two weeks out of eighteen! Holy shit! Some bad luck in there (a few late withdrawals and short term injuries) and a bad injury prone selection (Robbie Gray) have hurt me a lot.

And the sad thing in a lot of that is that Scott Gumbleton played in half of the games this year. 9 out of 18. Yuk! He will be getting a medal this year when I win the flag!

This is a worry come finals… considering our rock on the bench in Gumby is done for the season, we could be copping a few poor weeks over these last four rounds and possibly losing games based on our bench cover.

Have a look over your team for the year and see how many times out of the 18 you had your best 22 playing.

Who will be your Captain for Round 4?

  • Dane Swan (56%, 1,710 Votes)
  • Brett Deledio (5%, 141 Votes)
  • Gary Ablett (8%, 258 Votes)
  • Scott Pendlebury (8%, 257 Votes)
  • Justin Westhoff (16%, 475 Votes)
  • Someone else (7%, 215 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,056

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Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT

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