Player Watch #20: Zac Clarke

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Vander18

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Not sure that is the way to go. The two genuine rucks despite the limitations of Clarke first up worked better than what we had been doing.
Structure looked much better - agreed. But if Hooker is forward with a resting TBC then Smack having a run in the ruck might not be such an issue. Think Brown as a second forward was the core issue.

Let’s say Clarke/Draper stays.....Hooker goes back with Hurley, Francis and Ambrose. What gives? You’d think Ambrose but I’m actually not sure Woosher will be prepared to drop him. Understandably the coaches love his hardness and aggression.

Of course JD has to come back as well.....will be interesting to see how they make it work.
 

the PILL

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I don't think he was that bad in the actual ruck contests, but in general play lofl.

Remember we once trotted out Carlisle (with media saying he wanted to be the greatest ruck evs) againt Nik Nat for those saying it was the worst performance they've ever seen... 😯
 

Kakkle

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I don't think he was that bad in the actual ruck contests, but in general play lofl.

Remember we once trotted out Carlisle (with media saying he wanted to be the greatest ruck evs) againt Nik Nat for those saying it was the worst performance they've ever seen... 😯

From memory he played a great game in the ruck against Carlton, and we got arrogant and thought we could go over to Perth with him and Daniher up against Sandilands & Clarke.
 

kelvin_sheedy

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I don't think he was that bad in the actual ruck contests, but in general play lofl.

Remember we once trotted out Carlisle (with media saying he wanted to be the greatest ruck evs) againt Nik Nat for those saying it was the worst performance they've ever seen... 😯
And don't forget we play a final against Adelaide with Cale Hooker and Micheal Quinn in the ruck. That went well.
 

the PILL

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From memory he played a great game in the ruck against Carlton, and we got arrogant and thought we could go over to Perth with him and Daniher up against Sandilands & Clarke.
Hmmm, I'm not too sure about the Freo bit you're referencing but I clearly remember Nik Nat giving us a verbal backhander in an after game interview about trying it with him and seeing it as a bit of an insult. Carlisle was never used again designated...
 

Red Black and Blue

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To put a positive spin on it... he was constantly in the right place to influence the game. Unfortunately it was a negative influence nearly every time but far more involved than TBC has been for years and shows the regularity of output we should be expecting from a ruck.
 

ghostdog

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To put a positive spin on it... he was constantly in the right place to influence the game. Unfortunately it was a negative influence nearly every time but far more involved than TBC has been for years and shows the regularity of output we should be expecting from a ruck.
Must have pretty decent stamina because he seemed to be involved in so many chains through the third and fourth quarters especially. Hands were so slow and sloppy though. How does Draper compare for cleanliness of disposal and aerobic capacity?
 

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Liberator

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“Not ******* AFL standard” was heard echoing through Liberator Towers a lot on Friday night. Those handballs .... slow to get to contests, game awareness, etc.
BUT
He did work himself into the game somewhat (like sand into bathers) and did compete pretty well in the actual ruck contests. Was able to halve most of the aerial contests he got to in the FWD line. Yes, I would prefer Draper gets a go (form is fantastic) but it’s not an absolute ****-up if we get a few matches into this guy. I hope that he is seen at the club as a back-up though, very much as an emergency - there will certainly be some games this year where we will need him to come into the team and be the number 1 ruck. As much as that might provoke us to fork out our eyeballs on occasion. TBell looks like I feel playing footy these days ...
 

Lore

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Had a chat with a Freo supporting friend, some things you may know (or not); he came from a basketball background, his best trait is his athleticism, he hurt his knee at a music festival though which negates his athleticism to some extent. This also affects his ability to find space around the ground. He doesn't enjoy physical contact, never has and it's not something which has improved over the years either. His contested marking is average, which is related to the inability to cope with physical contact, and his core strength maybe a little lacking as well. Goes to water under pressure, but dominated against 194cm ruckman in the WAFL so that's something. Also a touch of arrogance which she says is because he played for Subiaco, but I think that's a West Aussie joke 😅

In light of that conversation, I went back and re-watched his stat reel (highlights and lowlights both) on the afl website stats-pro thing I discovered a few days ago.

https://www.afl.com.au/stats/stats-pro#/Discover/CD_I290251/Clarke-Zac

He is still wearing some sort of support brace on his knee. He took a fair few hit-outs, a handful of those were to advantage, and I can actually see the athleticism so it's still there. I'm not sure about his ability to change direction, but he does have a bit of straight line pace. A couple of clearances, uncontested possessions and effective disposals which lead to goals. There were also a couple of spoils over Gawn, a tackle and a one percenter for shepherding his man away from the contest at one point. Good to see he's capable of it but I feel like he should be doing a lot more of that team stuff - the physicality is going to be important this week against Brisbane.

As we know there was also a lot of dumb stuff. Some really suspect disposal, got caught in a couple of chains of possession down the wing and screwed it up, first stuffing up a handball to Baguley that was intercepted by a demon when it fell short, another time meant to be a 1-2-1 with Adam Saad and instead he takes it from Saad and passes it to Walla who was in the middle of about 3 demons and under pressure, Walla inevitably got wrapped up in a tackle and we lost the momentum again. And then there's the Guelfi contested mark (come back to that in a minute) and the selfish shot at goal when we had two guys loose in the forward half ahead of him. You absolutely HAVE to slot those ones if you're not going to take the team option.


The Guelfi thing. The friend I was talking to also brought this one up. I think she's right when she says in that scenario Guelfi should have been blocking his man out of the contest. It was Guelfi's small forward that bounced off Clarke's hip and took the contested flier, with Guelfi standing behind them looking confused. But I also feel that any of our other talls would have worn the contact and still taken that mark. Moral of the story is, don't put a guy with suspect skills on the last line of defence.

You can rock and roll the footage in the video on this website relatively easily (always annoys me when you can't skip footage and this is quite smooth. Amazing).
https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/af...t/news-story/aab9610a5caf8784f8354b0d08d7862c
 
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