A huge edition of the Numbers this week after a massive week of footy. There were some massive individual player (and team) scores as the par score soared through the roof. Low breakevens, huge winning margins and a few numbers that some supporters would rather forget… this week was one that gave stat-loving coaches like me a lot to wrap our heads around.
Thus I bring you thy Round 18 Numbers…
1 – Points that Stevie J managed on the scoresheet as he was subbed out midway through the first half after copping a knock at the opening bounce. The whilst was blown after around 5 seconds as Adelaide midfielder Scott Thompson collided with Johnson’s head and was subsequently taken off with the blood rule. In circumstances similar to that of Andrew Carrazzo in R4, he received a solitary point for his free kick for (which he couldn’t take). Discuss your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
2 – We have all heard about the ‘ruck curse’ of 2012. In R18 it struck another 2 victims with David Hale and Sam Jacobs the most recent to go down. With high scoring options Maric, Roughead, Minson (all 16) joining Jacobs and Hale – only two remain having played every game of 2012 – Dean Cox and Cats ruckman Trent West. With Cox the only viable DT option – he could be the only one to play out the year with 22 games (unless he’s rested prior to finals). Compare this is 2011 where 3 players played every game (Cox, Ryder & Leuey), with another 3 playing all but one – 2012 is actually playing out similarly to 2011, with only 6-7 players likely to play 21-22 games this year. So it seems this curse is nothing new afterall…
3 – MBR rounds confirmed for season 2013. With all the talk about the possibility of 2 multi-bye rounds next year to give the players an extra rest, the AFLPA-led charge was promising. Whilst being an absolute hell to negotiate – it may well have eased the high level of injuries that we’ve come to experience in 2012. However it has now been decided by the AFL that for 2013 at least – things will remain the same. For good or for worse, at the very least we’ll know better as we’ve already lived through it this year.
5 – Teams that are battling it out for the final 2 spots in the top 8 for finals in 2012. Whilst Essendon is sitting with Geelong of 44 points, their recent form shows that they may be susceptible to a fall down the ladder unless they arrest their form and get back on track. With North, Freo, St Kilda and Carlton all hungry for September footy, it’ll make for an exciting final month of AFL – with each game potentially season ending for those footy clubs. Of those, you’d have to say Essendon and North should sow them up. However the hunger to play finals again after all featuring in 2011 should be enough for them to keep looking over their shoulders as Freo, the Saints and Blues look for a strong finish to the year.
11 – Games that Freo young gun Nat Fyfe has missed through injury. Being out since R5, no one was putting any pressure on him to perform straight away. But ala Pendlebury when he returned, a true star doesn’t need time to click back into gear. 26 disposals and 90 DT points on his return shows that this kid is going to be a star for many years to come.
15 – Lead changes in the Carlton v Richmond game on Saturday night. In a tense and highly contested match, Richmond led by 2 points up until the final minute – when Carlton kicked a lucky goal to pinch victory from the Tigers’ claws yet again.
42 – Seconds remaining on the clock when born-again Carlton midfielder Brock McLean kicked long to the goal square from outside 50 in their clash against Richmond at the weekend. Admitting himself after the game that he wasn’t even trying for goal, the ball fortuitously sailed over the head of Blues’ rookie Levi Casboult and bounced through for the winning goal. The Navy Blues then held on in the dying seconds to hand themselves a much-needed win that keeps them in the race for September action. As a Blues’ supporter my heart was racing that whole last quarter; and when Brock kicked that final goal I believe I woke up any sleeping neighbours with my screams of joy. It was an emotion-charged moment for footy to say the least. I do feel bad for the yellow and black supporters though – and urge you all to stay positive. For I concede that in a year (maybe two) your midfield will be unstoppable with the likes of Cotchin, Lids and Martin running around.
114 – Average points scored over the past 5 weeks by previously mentioned Richmond star Trent Cotchin. With 5 consecutive DT tonnes and several Brownlow votes surely in the bank, he is having an amazing year. If he keeps this up, he may just be one of the first picked in my midfield for 2013.
125 – It’d been a long time coming after a 3-Round average of 55, but Travis Cloke kicked true against the Giants to record a 6 goal, 21 touch, 125 point DT performance. Pies’ fans will be hoping that Trav is back as they look to make an assault on the finals.
133 – With many premiums out of action this week, there were a few rookies that stepped up in R18 – Treloar (121), Giles (118) and Greene (101) came through for their desperate owners. But one man came to the party in a whole different way. Well-known ball-magnet and North Rookie Sam Gibson has been solid without being spectacular since his debut mid-year. But this week he finally broke out. His 36 disposal, 8 mark, 133 point game was a diamond on the field for those who were lucky enough (or smart enough perhaps) to have him playing. If not, you would’ve been pissed (like me) with a huge 133 sitting on your bench. He started strongly and kept on going – a fantastic effort from the mature midfielder (nearly WotW material may I say).
Twatter – Your Numbers
With losses of 2, 4 and 4 points the past 3 weeks, Tigers’ coach Dimma Hardwick confessed that there is something wrong that needs to be addressed in his the team’s mentality that has caused such losses so close together. Sadly Richmond’s hopes of playing finals this year are now gone, however there is plenty more to lose if they choose to give up with 5 rounds to go.
Just wanted to put this one out there – with the DT world going nuts for the Essendon ball-magnet after some huge early-season scores, Stanton’s output appears to have tapered since the MBR’s. With scores of 74, 85, 84 and 62 in his last four – his owners must surely be disappointed at his performances of late. I’m personally predicting a late-season surge as he did last year so for those coaches with the prolific midfielder, sit tight and be patient.
Send me your ‘Numbers’ for the week @McRathDT
The Saints are Coming
Similar to Cloke against the Giants, St Kilda dominated proceedings against the Dogs at the weekend. Coming into R18 with a 3-Round average of 88 (Hayes), 74 (Goddard) and 90 (Montagna) – the Saints midfielders had a field day with their respective scores finishing at 130, 120 and 124. Throw in Riewoldt’s 133 point, 4 goal performance and it seems the boys in red, white and black are keen on a spot in the 8 as they battle the Pies, Dees, Cats, Giants and Blues for a spot in September.
With some huge scores coming this round, there’re a lot of coaches up and about. Whilst I’m not one of them this week, I am staring at the top ranked teams for the week in awe as there were 19 teams who broke the 2600 mark, as well as 753 who made 2500! Neeshams Killinit coach Gerard was the man to top the list with a massive 2668. His all-star backline of Lids, Scotland, Goddard, Waters, Birch, Enright and Carrazzo was bettered by his huge midfield – all of who scored 109+ (Swan, Ablett, Mitchell, Swallow, Pendles and Gibson). Cox and Giles (118) played well in the rucks, whilst a Sidebottom-less side was well served by Beams, Danger, Pav, Chappy, Cloke, Treloar and Zorko. With many copping donuts all over – this was a big week to move up the rankings if you were lucky to escape the carnage.
Late withdrawals, soft-tissue injuries and plain omissions just continue to annoy at the pointy end of the season. With most coaches holding Robinson, Sidebottom, Jacobs, and Buddy – some were faced with 2 or even 3 zero’s with some rookie’s letting down their coaches when they were needed most. In the MBR’s donuts were expected and thus, accepted. However to cop several at this point – is just plan bull$#t.
Whore of the Week
With Swannie gaining another WotW gong last week; it’s only fair to let in another player to the dual-nominated club. Whilst tempted to go with Swannie himself, Gary Ablett or even rookie Sam Gibson; I’d instead like to turn my attention to another North midfielder who had an absolute field day at the weekend to absolutely dominate Melbourne’s engine room. North Captain Andrew Swallow gathered 32 touches and an inspirational 17 tackles on his way to the highest score of the round, 160 points. Throw in a goal and 3 marks, Swallow thoroughly deserves it this week as he looks to right the ship that is his inconsistent season and steer his team towards September action.
The Round Up
Highlights – Seeing Goddard bounce back was awesome (and well overdue) – especially in his 200th match; Swan, Pendles and Beams continue to delight with some big (and not unexpected) scores against lowly GWS; Cox and Giles tonne-ing up whilst other rucks failed (or failed to show up **cough… Jacobs); and it was a great feeling seeing North’s Sam Gibson finally stepping up on the AFL stage in what is an excellent story of patience and hard work. Also – as I expected, Cloke dominated the Giants and is back in black (and white).
Lowlights – Jacobs’ withdrawal was a huge coup’ for Geelong’s chances at the weekend; and my chances of a decent DT score too; Marty Clarke’s inclusion was bittersweet as he donned the green vest yet again, however didn’t waste any time scoring 62 points in less than a half; Goodes’ has been average since his 137 a few weeks ago – only managing 75 this week; the only main thing to savage the round was injuries – Stevie J’s one minute outing angered Cat’s fans and DT owners alike; as well as generally underperforming premiums in Birchall (63) and Rockliff (73).
Team McRath– After a few good weeks I’ve been put in my place with a earth-shuttering (prepared to be shocked) 1971… It’s pretty much ended any chance of me having a respectable season ranking; as well as undoing my hard work over the last month. To be honest I feel about like the Tigers right now. Not much more I can say really.
As we near the end of our 2012 competition for AFL Dream Team, I’d like to take a second to innocently (and perhaps naively) look forward to 2013 – a land where donuts are scarce, injuries to important players are unheard of and coaches don’t play mind games with team selection. 2013 will be a year of amazing heights and colourful rainbows made of huge numbers – a dream that will actually help me sleep at night instead of having nightmares of my entire midfield being withdrawn late. Of this positive pipedream we can only pray that it comes to fruition. Until then, keep on battling San Diego i.e. Dream Teamers.
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