Player Watch #10: Ben Cunnington - 2019 Syd Barker Medallist - will miss rest of 2020 with back injury

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Val Keating

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
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Not a bad critique for Benny by Pendlebury on his podcast with Jay Clark, rates his fend off better than Dusty's if I interpreted correctly.
You did. (Paraphrasing) He said something like Dusty will do one when he’s on the move but Ben pushes people away to create space.
 

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RobZombie

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You did. (Paraphrasing) He said something like Dusty will do one when he’s on the move but Ben pushes people away to create space.
Interesting that Pendles calls out the same thing I've noticed over the years. Our two best clearance players of the last decade, Swallow and Cunnington, are a study in contrasting styles. Spitta was a master of hitting a clearance situation on the move and coming out the other side with the ball, using his agility and burst to get clear (never mind his staight-line speed). Cunners gathers the ball and stays with it, balanced and poised to go where the play needs him to.
 

Val Keating

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
9,117
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Interesting that Pendles calls out the same thing I've noticed over the years. Our two best clearance players of the last decade, Swallow and Cunnington, are a study in contrasting styles. Spitta was a master of hitting a clearance situation on the move and coming out the other side with the ball, using his agility and burst to get clear (never mind his staight-line speed). Cunners gathers the ball and stays with it, balanced and poised to go where the play needs him to.
I’m sure we didn’t get to see the best of Swallow. Iirc the game he got injured in was against Geelong. His form up till then had been good but that day the clean contested ball he was getting was something else. Very underrated player.
 

Thewlis Dish

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I’m sure we didn’t get to see the best of Swallow. Iirc the game he got injured in was against Geelong. His form up till then had been good but that day the clean contested ball he was getting was something else. Very underrated player.
He did his achilles against Melbourne.
 

Themanbun

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Apr 19, 2019
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I’m sure we didn’t get to see the best of Swallow. Iirc the game he got injured in was against Geelong. His form up till then had been good but that day the clean contested ball he was getting was something else. Very underrated player.
Swallow is one of those guys whose career seems less impressive than it was because towards the end of it, we were trying to move him out the way of Ben Cunnington's career progression.

Andrew was an absolute jet and criminally underrated. How many clearances against Adelaide that day?
 

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DarkPhoenix

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Martin uses his fend off to keep space.

Cunnington uses it for that reason, but also to create space.

He has another arrow in his quiver.

I particularly liked Pendles breakdown of why his fend off is so effective:

"The other thing he does, soon as he gets the ball is he cocks it like he's about to handball, so you think 'wheres this going to go?' buys himself a second and then as you go to tackle him then he can fend you off. So I find it hard to tackle"
 
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