Player Watch #17: Daniel Rioli

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Old M8

Club Legend
Feb 2, 2009
1,732
4,339
AFL Club
Richmond
Doesn’t do enough and doesn’t stay in games.

In 63 games he’s kicked 57 goals. Less than a goal a game is not good enough for a guy that doesn’t get much of the ball either.

Castagna 61 games from 63 goals

Butler 41 games 49 goals

I agree he’s our most talented. I want the ball in his hands, but if he can’t work out how to stay busy in games, then he needs a lengthy stint in the 2’s.
 

ImaBeliever!

Team Captain
Apr 13, 2007
463
245
The Wimmera
AFL Club
Richmond
Doesn’t do enough and doesn’t stay in games.

In 63 games he’s kicked 57 goals. Less than a goal a game is not good enough for a guy that doesn’t get much of the ball either.

Castagna 61 games from 63 goals

Butler 41 games 49 goals

I agree he’s our most talented. I want the ball in his hands, but if he can’t work out how to stay busy in games, then he needs a lengthy stint in the 2’s.
Goals are one indicator, and given his normal role where he plays higher up the ground than George, isn’t exactly fair to compare. What about his other stats like tackles and pressure acts and territory covered? They would tell a more complete story.
 

Meteoric Rise

Team Captain
Feb 4, 2008
316
974
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
I will take a loss on Dan Rioli for now after advocating strongly for him last week and him playing quietly and being dropped, seemingly on merit.

I did a recent comparison though and on balance I thought his overall record represented statistically was the best of our small forwards. He is a fast, skilful and very courageous player and I am sure we all have great faith in him being able to earn his way back into the team even if a spot doesn't come up by default through injury, suspension etc. The passage of play where he was very seriously injured in the 2017 GF speaks volumes for the footballer Dan Rioli is, it was tenacious beyond the call of duty.
 

Drofder

Premiership Player
Nov 18, 2014
3,729
11,119
37.8265° S, 145.0069° E
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, Niners
Big fan of Danny. He’ll be back. Too good a player not to.

But not withstanding some heavy knocks and ongoing soreness, he’s had a poor season regardless - right from the JLT series onwards. Not getting enough of it, and when he does his execution and decision making has often been poor. Has looked out of sorts all year. I thought we should have given him a 2 week spell after the Dogs game. He could barely walk off the ground after that game. Then bring him back for Dreamtime. Whatevs.

But anyway, he’s deserving of a demotion at this point now. Lot of pressure on our small forwards to get a game nowadays - which is good.
 
Last edited:

Barnzy

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 14, 2009
14,766
6,061
MCG
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Tottenham
Still our best small forward when he’s healthy.
Not so sure about that. Footy moves on fast and he is behind a few now.

Higgins and Baker have better goal sense and better game smarts. Both are also far better ball winners. All three have good skills. Rioli is quicker, that's about it.

Sometimes it look like Rioli is an athlete playing footy.
 

getthefooty

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 30, 2008
8,886
3,232
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Not so sure about that. Footy moves on fast and he is behind a few now.

Higgins and Baker have better goal sense and better game smarts. Both are also far better ball winners. All three have good skills. Rioli is quicker, that's about it.

Sometimes it look like Rioli is an athlete playing footy.
Bizarre call. He's about as natural a footballer as anyone on our list. Seriously classy with ball in hand and has great evasive skills.

I think people sometimes forget just how tough it is to be a genuine small forward. You will regularly get days where you only get the opportunity to have 10 touches. You might have 3 games a year where you can genuinely rip a game apart. Aside from that, your defensive pressure has to be up and you have to always make the touches you do have count. It's a tough ask and not hard to see why your position in the side becomes vulnerable with a slight drop in form (and when we have so many blokes who do exactly the same thing).

We've seen enough from Rioli to know he will be a quality player over a long period of time. Just so happens we have Baker, George, Butler and Bolton all performing or putting their hand right now and you can't have all of them in the side.
 

Barnzy

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 14, 2009
14,766
6,061
MCG
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Tottenham
Bizarre call. He's about as natural a footballer as anyone on our list. Seriously classy with ball in hand and has great evasive skills.

I think people sometimes forget just how tough it is to be a genuine small forward. You will regularly get days where you only get the opportunity to have 10 touches. You might have 3 games a year where you can genuinely rip a game apart. Aside from that, your defensive pressure has to be up and you have to always make the touches you do have count. It's a tough ask and not hard to see why your position in the side becomes vulnerable with a slight drop in form (and when we have so many blokes who do exactly the same thing).

We've seen enough from Rioli to know he will be a quality player over a long period of time. Just so happens we have Baker, George, Butler and Bolton all performing or putting their hand right now and you can't have all of them in the side.
I would argue there's more to a natural footballer than being evasive and skilled. Two of the biggest ones he's average in - knowing how to consistently be where the ball is and goal smarts. Backed up by his low possession numbers and goal return vs games over his career thus far and also compared to our other small forwards.

Highly debatably he's our best and most talented small forward. His all round game is lacking. Not only does he need to round back into form, he needs to improve parts of his game.

I would not promote him until he has multiple 20+ possession multiple goal games in the VFL.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

fargothegreat

Premiership Player
Oct 8, 2011
3,153
6,232
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Hobart Hurricanes
He should be played on a wing in the ressies and left there until he his dominating IMO

That's his future position, far too skilled, fit and fast to be wasted as a pure fwd.
Has played his best football as a small forward, and I'd argue that spending the preseason trying to turn him into a midfielder has had a negative impact on his form.
 

getthefooty

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 30, 2008
8,886
3,232
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
I would argue there's more to a natural footballer than being evasive and skilled. Two of the biggest ones he's average in - knowing how to consistently be where the ball is and goal smarts. Backed up by his low possession numbers and goal return vs games over his career thus far and also compared to our other small forwards.

Highly debatably he's our best and most talented small forward. His all round game is lacking. Not only does he need to round back into form, he needs to improve parts of his game.

I would not promote him until he has multiple 20+ possession multiple goal games in the VFL.
Career disposal averages: Rioli 11.4, Castagna 11.3, Butler 11.3, Bolton 10.1. For comparison Eddie Betts, the best small forward of the past 10 years, averages 12.3. It's the nature of the position and Rioli is very comparable to his peers in this respect. Baker averages 16.5 but that is probably due to a small sample size/terrific form/being played higher up the ground. Not sure where your call re: goal smarts comes from, you don't need stats to see that Rioli has plenty of smarts around goal.

Saying he needs 'multiple 20+ possession goal games in the VFL' is again very ignorant of this position he plays. I would understand it if we're playing him as a wingman, but we're not. Shai Bolton had 15 disposals and was probably BOG against Freo. I get where you're coming from re working on certain parts of your game, but it's completely missing the point. He could go out in the VFL, play high and get 25 but have 0 tackles, would the coaching staff be happy with this? No, because it doesn't fit into our brand, and especially doesn't fit into Rioli's role.

Small forwards should be measured by their impact, not their possession count. Rioli's impact has dropped of late, hence he is out. Sending him back to the 2s and telling him to rack it up would be a very confusing and inconsistent message with the team we are trying to build.
 

Zoom

Carefree
Dec 16, 2018
3,200
7,644
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Chelsea FC
He should be played on a wing in the ressies and left there until he his dominating IMO

That's his future position, far too skilled, fit and fast to be wasted as a pure fwd.
We’re stacked in that area though. IMO he needs to be a specialist small forward who can provide the occasional spark in midfield when required. Exactly like Cyril.
 

Dr Tigris

Premium Platinum
Aug 19, 2009
5,524
11,638
Canberra
AFL Club
Richmond
I reckon Dan will end up playing a role that is almost a hybrid high HFF / wing. As he matures he'll be able to withstand the midfield better and his ability to set up play is sublime. At that aspect I reckon he is absolutely better than George and Butler. Although Baker seems pretty good passing into the forward 50 as well. Anyway, Dan has the ability to become a genuine AFL star and leader of the club. He'll get there, but maybe a stint in the VFL is just what he needs right now.
 

Ceehook

Senior List
Oct 3, 2017
183
412
AFL Club
Richmond
I only get to limited no games being Canb.

last year at the game V GWS the Tiger faithful almost rose as one when he got near the ball
you could sense everyone expected magic - the wisdom of the crowd !!!

my take on see Rioli live , he is just below true elite level , with out big stats his timing and the quality of some of the things he does is inspiring to team mates and supporters alike and game changing

it would appear his work rate and/or output has dropped too low and he will have to spend time in the VFL and work his way back

Castagna & Butler do nice work and can finish off well but we never mention their names as game changers

its a juggling act, dropping Dan , I think it will be good for Club culture

If we win the VFL premiership can we field two sides in the AFL ????
 

JAKLAUGHING

Premium Platinum
Nov 20, 2008
19,555
31,132
Vilnius
AFL Club
Richmond
I only get to limited no games being Canb.

last year at the game V GWS the Tiger faithful almost rose as one when he got near the ball
you could sense everyone expected magic - the wisdom of the crowd !!!

my take on see Rioli live , he is just below true elite level , with out big stats his timing and the quality of some of the things he does is inspiring to team mates and supporters alike and game changing

it would appear his work rate and/or output has dropped too low and he will have to spend time in the VFL and work his way back

Castagna & Butler do nice work and can finish off well but we never mention their names as game changers

its a juggling act, dropping Dan , I think it will be good for Club culture

If we win the VFL premiership can we field two sides in the AFL ????
Hey i like that line of yours...the wisdom of the crowd!...Kudos to you!
 

Meteoric Rise

Team Captain
Feb 4, 2008
316
974
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Career disposal averages: Rioli 11.4, Castagna 11.3, Butler 11.3, Bolton 10.1. For comparison Eddie Betts, the best small forward of the past 10 years, averages 12.3. It's the nature of the position and Rioli is very comparable to his peers in this respect. Baker averages 16.5 but that is probably due to a small sample size/terrific form/being played higher up the ground. Not sure where your call re: goal smarts comes from, you don't need stats to see that Rioli has plenty of smarts around goal.

Saying he needs 'multiple 20+ possession goal games in the VFL' is again very ignorant of this position he plays. I would understand it if we're playing him as a wingman, but we're not. Shai Bolton had 15 disposals and was probably BOG against Freo. I get where you're coming from re working on certain parts of your game, but it's completely missing the point. He could go out in the VFL, play high and get 25 but have 0 tackles, would the coaching staff be happy with this? No, because it doesn't fit into our brand, and especially doesn't fit into Rioli's role.

Small forwards should be measured by their impact, not their possession count. Rioli's impact has dropped of late, hence he is out. Sending him back to the 2s and telling him to rack it up would be a very confusing and inconsistent message with the team we are trying to build.
Excellent post. Rioli has a similar disposal average and significantly lower career clanger average when compared to his two best references, Butler and Castagna. Remember as well both Castagna and Butler are near a year older than Rioli and Rioli was essentially in the team a year before both of them, so at their first full season they are two years older than Rioli in his first full season. It is worth noting also Rioli has played a significant amount of games coming off a shocking foot injury, presumably the effects of which will dissipate over time. Let's have a look at some available career average statistics per game for the trio, with Betts record tacked on for comparison as he has been mentioned on this thread as the best small forward in the game over recent years:




Disposals

Goals

Behinds

Tackles

Clangers

Contested possessions

1%ers

Bounces

Goal assists

Rioli 63 matches

11.37

0.90

0.59

3.3

1.84

4.62

1.05

0.38

0.54

Butler 41 matches

11.32

1.20

0.61

3.49

2.05

4.24

0.49

0.56

0.76

Castagna 61 matches

11.26

1.03

0.87

2.93

2.13

4.54

0.80

0.57

0.48


Betts

12.32

1.91

1.00

3.11

1.76

6.41

1.1

0.31

0.93


Betts after 3 full seasons and 58 matches into his career

9.52

1.03

0.57

3.07

1.36

5.25

1.33

0.59

0.34


Rioli 2019

11.5

0.75

1.12

2.5

1.5

4.75

1.5

0.38

0.75


So Rioli you can see is superior to Butler and Castagna in disposals, 1%ers, clangers, contested possessions, and behind both in scoring/goal assists combined and bounces. And he is in the middle of the two for tackles. Of the three, in this array of statistics, Butler looks to have clearly the better array of numbers. I think though both Rioli and Castagna offer more in areas not measured here, pack crashing and things along those lines, or maybe that is represented in the 1%ers.

They are all behind Betts in scoring/goal assists, 1%ers, clangers, over the course of Betts' career, but the numbers are a lot more comparable when compared to Betts' first 3 full seasons.

The final table, Rioli 2019, shows Rioli bettering career averages this season in all areas bar tackles, where he is down by about 25%. His goals are down a little but we can see his shots on goal are up as is his goal assist average, so it is only missing a few shots has hampered his scoring. Looking at his numbers this year you would say he is tracking fine, so you would think he is dropped either because he is just being outcompeted by players who are shooting the lamps out, or the selectors think his instant form/fitness is a worry.
 

Barnzy

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 14, 2009
14,766
6,061
MCG
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Tottenham
Career disposal averages: Rioli 11.4, Castagna 11.3, Butler 11.3, Bolton 10.1. For comparison Eddie Betts, the best small forward of the past 10 years, averages 12.3. It's the nature of the position and Rioli is very comparable to his peers in this respect. Baker averages 16.5 but that is probably due to a small sample size/terrific form/being played higher up the ground. Not sure where your call re: goal smarts comes from, you don't need stats to see that Rioli has plenty of smarts around goal.

Saying he needs 'multiple 20+ possession goal games in the VFL' is again very ignorant of this position he plays. I would understand it if we're playing him as a wingman, but we're not. Shai Bolton had 15 disposals and was probably BOG against Freo. I get where you're coming from re working on certain parts of your game, but it's completely missing the point. He could go out in the VFL, play high and get 25 but have 0 tackles, would the coaching staff be happy with this? No, because it doesn't fit into our brand, and especially doesn't fit into Rioli's role.

Small forwards should be measured by their impact, not their possession count. Rioli's impact has dropped of late, hence he is out. Sending him back to the 2s and telling him to rack it up would be a very confusing and inconsistent message with the team we are trying to build.
You make some good points. But you're comparing him to the wrong players.

You should be comparing him to Higgins and Baker. These two have revolutionized our small forward position this year. Those two are currently producing so much than Dan has ever been capable thus far.

Small forwards with good skills, defensive pressure, goal smarts who are also ball winners. You didn't include them because Rioli doesn't compare favorably with them.

Going forward not all of Rioli, Castagna, Butler etc are going to play each week because they're limited and aren't well rounded players like Baker and Higgins. Right now it's Rioli out who must improve pronto.

We've also seen glimpses of Bolton turning into this type of player too. If he does then it's even more bad news for Dan. Sending him back and telling him to rack it up is pointing him in the right direction of what of what will keep him the team long-term. Otherwise he's going to be left for dust.
 
Last edited:

DoItForCaptBlood

Club Legend
Sep 8, 2008
2,881
5,592
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Richmond
Only just turned 23. We saw what he can do in 2017 finals. Has had a tough start to 2019.

Expect him to work his way back into the team and have a long career at the Tigers.

Too much emotion being expressed on him. He was 'given' the dreamtime game and I'm happy with that decision by the club.

He'll be giving 100% in the vfl and I'd expect him to dominate a few games there over the next few weeks. If it takes longer, so be it.
 

blaisee

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 11, 2004
6,085
7,835
Punt Road
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
None
People have very short memories

Kicked 4 goals to best on ground in a preliminary final while still a teenager

I blame the fevola s
 
Top Bottom