We’ve noticed something seriously alarming here at Blunders of the Week.
We’re trying to point these mistakes out in order to help the players improve on a weekly basis, yet they are simply getting worse.
The errors are becoming more critical and are having a serious impact on deciding the outcome of several matches. It is a trend we hope can be stopped as there is nothing worse than seeing four points disappear thanks to a brain fade from one of your teams stars.
Wait, who are we kidding? We hope they actually continue to grow in comedic grandeur and provide more laughs for thousands of AFL fans.
So, AFL players, keep up the good work!
Justin Koschitzke, St Kilda
At three-quarter time of Friday night’s battle between Fremantle and St Kilda, the Saints would have known a few things for certain.
They needed goals, they needed them quickly and they needed a lot of them.
Although they only trailed by 13 points, the Saints had only scored eight goals for the match, so it really was imperative that they upped their attack and really put some pressure on the Dockers through some strong goal-kicking.
So when Koschitzke found himself marking within 40 metres of goal just over two minutes into the last term, it seemed the Saints had found the perfect start to their attempted comeback.
‘Kosi’ had kicked the last three goals for the Saints and was looming as a match winner.
Instead, Koschitzke attempted a handball to Jamie Cripps, mis-hit the ball which then floated in the air, allowing Fremantle an easy defensive rebound, costing the Saints valuable momentum.
Just take the set shot next time Justin.
Ben Sinclair, Collingwood
Although this wasn’t as damaging to the Pies as Koschitzke’s was to St Kilda, Sinclair made the same pivotal error as the big Saint.
That is, not backing yourself when a set shot is a credible option.
Sinclair found himself marking inside Collingwood’s forward 50 early in the match against Port Adelaide. The Power were leading by four points, and both sides were still trying to establish control over the contest.
Instead of going back and shooting for goal, Sinclair attempted to pass, stubbed his foot on the way through and the ball dribbled to the feet of a Power defender who quickly cleared the danger.
There were options for Sinclair to pass to, and we appreciated selflessness in front of the big sticks, but really, there is no need for a pass when you are in a pretty good position to score yourself.
Luckily for Collingwood, the blunder had no impact on the result as the Pies coasted to victory.
Reece Conca, Richmond
Richmond surprised quite a few pundits over the weekend by pushing Geelong right down to the wire, and at stages looking like they would run over the top of the reigning champions.
It was errors like Conca’s that ultimately allowed the Cats to maintain the lead throughout the game.
Conca had possession on the Tigers’ defensive 50 with under two minutes left in the half. The quarter had been a disappointing one for Richmond, as they had failed to utilise the wind and allowed the Cats to extend their lead.
The best option was the safe kick down the line in order to wind the clock down.
Conca delivered a pin-point pass to the man on the mark, Tom Hawkins, who then had numerous open options near the Cats’ goal. He found Matthew Stokes, who promptly goaled.
Maybe Conca had spotted an option nearby, but you have to be able to get the ball past the man on the mark.
It’s just one of those golden rules that is so obvious that it doesn’t require telling.
Jack Watts, Melbourne
Jack Watts found himself pushing back into defence late in the third quarter on Sunday as both Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs searched for their first victory of 2012.
The difference between the sides was only a point, and players across the field were desperate to exert some influence over the contest.
Teammate Tom McDonald saw Watts running back with the flight of the ball and protected the space so Watts would have an easy uncontested mark to take, and Melbourne would have no issues clearing the ball from their defence.
Conditions were slippery, but it still is no excuse to drop a mark which most footballers would be expected to take.
Making matters worse, the spilled grab lead to a Jarrad Grant goal, extending the margin to seven points. The Bulldogs kicked another shortly before three-quarter time and never looked back.
If you’re not going to mark it, Jack, you must go the spoil. Dropping it on the ground inside 50 gifts attacking sides a golden opportunity to impact the scoreboard.
One suspects that this is a lesson Watts will have learnt from the weekend’s game against the Dogs.
Hero of the Week
A special occasion for the Blunders team, as their is not just one winner of the ‘Hero of the Week’ accolade, rather, there are 40,080 of them.
That’s right, this week’s hero goes to the crowd at Patersons Stadium who somehow managed to stay and watch a match that was riddled with comedic errors.
A match that was billed as a September preview quickly turned into a farce, with the sides scoring five goals combined at three quarter time.
It was a number that would double in the last term, but when a match has 37 shots miss the target and go through for behinds (and not including shots which missed everything), the match becomes a bit of a shambles.
So for the crowd that endured the pathetic procession of goal kicking prowess, congratulations.
We cannot stress it enough, it’s an award that you’ve truly earned.