Are North tanking - and if so what should be done about it?

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SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
15,312
35,109
AFL Club
North Melbourne
North are now tanking for better draft position.

The evidence is now incontrovertible.

Dropping Polec against Adelaide, after playing him out position against Carlton early, one of the many indicators.

If we lose to Adelaide, pick 1 is back in the realms of possibility.

Strategically it makes perfect sense. With no home games or crowds we can't be slammed in the media and give the usual suspects in the media ammo for the awful crowds we'd get otherwise.

The key here is Brady Rawlings who is smart and ruthless. This was always a development year - trading for Melbourne's first and not re-signing a bunch of players shows we were always planning on a clean out of the list and hitting the draft hard.

The footy we played in the first two rounds shows we were taking the season seriously first up.

But once the slew of injuries hit, instead of doing what we previously do and fighting back late in the year to end up 10th instead of 16th makes no sense.

If we can finish the season with two top five picks (dependent on the Dees form) that supercharges the rebuild.

I reckon North are shamelessly tanking in plain sight and betting that in this "crazy season" it will fly under the radar.

Rawlings took gambles at West Coast with pick swaps that laid off handsomely.

To win flags you need high end talent that largely comes via high end draft picks.

We're tanking this "asterisk" year accordingly once it became plain that was the best way to improve our list.

But can and will anything be done about it?
 

LordLucifer

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 20, 2002
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Carlton
North are now tanking for better draft position.

The evidence is now incontrovertible.

Dropping Polec against Adelaide, after playing him out position against Carlton early, one of the many indicators.

If we lose to Adelaide, pick 1 is back in the realms of possibility.

Strategically it makes perfect sense. With no home games or crowds we can't be slammed in the media and give the usual suspects in the media ammo for the awful crowds we'd get otherwise.

The key here is Brady Rawlings who is smart and ruthless. This was always a development year - trading for Melbourne's first and not re-signing a bunch of players shows we were always planning on a clean out of the list and hitting the draft hard.

The footy we played in the first two rounds shows we were taking the season seriously first up.

But once the slew of injuries hit, instead of doing what we previously do and fighting back late in the year to end up 10th instead of 16th makes no sense.

If we can finish the season with two top five picks (dependent on the Dees form) that supercharges the rebuild.

I reckon North are shamelessly tanking in plain sight and betting that in this "crazy season" it will fly under the radar.

Rawlings took gambles at West Coast with pick swaps that laid off handsomely.

To win flags you need high end talent that largely comes via high end draft picks.

We're tanking this "asterisk" year accordingly once it became plain that was the best way to improve our list.

But can and will anything be done about it?
If this was a court of law, this case would be thrown out due to the flimsy evidence.
 

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Rich

Club Legend
Feb 14, 2007
2,284
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Vic
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Hawthorn
Yeah it’s an interesting one.

We’ll see some really sh*t games with the condensed fixture in coming weeks. Players will be rested all over the shop and HQ won’t like it but they’ll have to cop it if they’re giving teams 4 day breaks. Look at Melbourne the other night.

Good time to tank IMO and attribute it to the circumstances.
 

Kangapirate

Club Legend
Nov 27, 2012
1,286
1,323
AFL Club
North Melbourne
It’s been pretty obvious for weeks now, realistically it’s the only year the club could get away with it without calls for relocation or being thrown out of the comp. In a normal season we would be around 9-13th.
 

Rich01

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 5, 2004
7,866
6,963
Melbourne
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Richmond
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North are now tanking for better draft position.

The evidence is now incontrovertible.

Dropping Polec against Adelaide, after playing him out position against Carlton early, one of the many indicators.

If we lose to Adelaide, pick 1 is back in the realms of possibility.

Strategically it makes perfect sense. With no home games or crowds we can't be slammed in the media and give the usual suspects in the media ammo for the awful crowds we'd get otherwise.

The key here is Brady Rawlings who is smart and ruthless. This was always a development year - trading for Melbourne's first and not re-signing a bunch of players shows we were always planning on a clean out of the list and hitting the draft hard.

The footy we played in the first two rounds shows we were taking the season seriously first up.

But once the slew of injuries hit, instead of doing what we previously do and fighting back late in the year to end up 10th instead of 16th makes no sense.

If we can finish the season with two top five picks (dependent on the Dees form) that supercharges the rebuild.

I reckon North are shamelessly tanking in plain sight and betting that in this "crazy season" it will fly under the radar.

Rawlings took gambles at West Coast with pick swaps that laid off handsomely.

To win flags you need high end talent that largely comes via high end draft picks.

We're tanking this "asterisk" year accordingly once it became plain that was the best way to improve our list.

But can and will anything be done about it?
Looks like there is very little to gain by tanking this year. The draft is an absolute lottery so the losing culture and disillusion it creates for its players is the big issue here.

Whisper is some clubs are into Cunnington. I believe he’s contracted but if the club plays for picks and a full rebuild, it would be hypocritical to force him to stay. Brown should also leave.

With Higgins and Goldy nearing the end, the cupboard is pretty bare. Will be several long hard years if they go this way unfortunately.

Not the best time for a long time down the bottom of the ladder, especially a club that is always under scrutiny for its attendances and finances.
 

harrythetiger

Jack Graham That Is 🏆
Sep 13, 2015
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There's very little point in tanking since they got rid of the automatic priority picks, and even less so now the draft this year will be filled with uncertainty.
I don't think any intervention is needed. If they are tanking, the natural consequence is dealing with developing a losing culture. See how that set back Melbourne and Carlton. If they aren't, then they don't deserve any consequences.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
15,312
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AFL Club
North Melbourne
Looks like there is very little to gain by tanking this year. The draft is an absolute lottery so the losing culture and disillusion it creates for its players is the big issue here.

Whisper is some clubs are into Cunnington. I believe he’s contracted but if the club plays for picks and a full rebuild, it would be hypocritical to force him to stay. Brown should also leave.

With Higgins and Goldy nearing the end, the cupboard is pretty bare. Will be several long hard years if they go this way unfortunately.

Not the best time for a long time down the bottom of the ladder, especially a club that is always under scrutiny for its attendances and finances.
Dispute the losing culture element. The players are trying to win onfield and playing hard.

If we were going to trade Goldy and Higgo we would have done it last year.

We don't need a start from scratch rebuild. We've brought in lots of good young talent and our drafting and development have significantly improved.

The likes of Simpkin, Taylor,Larkey all talk to that.

And I'm certainly not suggesting that we are going the full multi year rebuild a la Carlton or Melbourne.

I'm suggesting it is more the one off effectively half a season tank.

Collingwood did similar in 2005 (I think)and netted Pendlebury and Thomas.

I doubt Cunners or Brown going anywhere unless they request a trade.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
15,312
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North Melbourne
Maybe they think they can afford to drop players and still beat Adelaide?
Possibly. But I also think we'll have other metrics for success today beyond the 4 points.

Get Majak a run. Get match fitness into LDU.

Won't be at all surprised to see us "try" players in new positions.

Curtis Taylor on the ball for example, which we know he doesn't have the endurance for now.

Send Bailey Scott to go head to with an experienced Brodie Smith type.

All development strategies that could massively benefit us in the medium term.
 

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harrythetiger

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Sep 13, 2015
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Possibly. But I also think we'll have other metrics for success today beyond the 4 points.

Get Majak a run. Get match fitness into LDU.

Won't be at all surprised to see us "try" players in new positions.

Curtis Taylor on the ball for example, which we know he doesn't have the endurance for now.

Send Bailey Scott to go head to with an experienced Brodie Smith type.

All development strategies that could massively benefit us in the medium term.
It's not tanking to put winning 2nd behind other outcomes. Tanking means actively trying to lose.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
15,312
35,109
AFL Club
North Melbourne
If this was a court of law, this case would be thrown out due to the flimsy evidence.
Real talk - we played a light bodied winger in Polec on Patrick Cripps in the first quarter last week and you skipped out a big lead.

We change up at quarter time,put Anderson on Cripps and play Polec in his natural spot and storm back with Polec leading the way.

Then drop Polec this week.

Winning is not our priority.
 

treegreen

Team Captain
Oct 13, 2012
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I agree that our coaching team are intentionally making decisions that contribute to losses, but I think it's impossible to prove and the benefits of tanking are so negligible that there's not much the AFL need to do.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
15,312
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AFL Club
North Melbourne
North aren't tanking. A lot of their best players are injured yes but a lot of their players are plain mediocre. If they spend a few years at the bottom and rebuild they'll come good again.
No doubt we're carrying players like Macmillan and Atley who won't be there next year.

We don't need a few years at the bottom, have already accumulated plenty of quality talent.

But given the injuries and short season, this approach makes most sense if it results in two high picks.

We were playing hard tough winning footy early before the injuries struck.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
15,312
35,109
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Yeah it’s an interesting one.

We’ll see some really sh*t games with the condensed fixture in coming weeks. Players will be rested all over the shop and HQ won’t like it but they’ll have to cop it if they’re giving teams 4 day breaks. Look at Melbourne the other night.

Good time to tank IMO and attribute it to the circumstances.
Yep, especially when we already have a ready made excuse in the injuries.

Traditionally North have never done this, but we've brought in Brady Rawlings who is a ruthless and smart operator.

This is the best chance we will ever have to bring in the kind of top end talent in one swoop that flag winning sides have - Dusty and Cotchin, MacRae and Bont, Gaff and NicNat, De Goey and Pendles.

All high end picks
 

Rich01

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Oct 5, 2004
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Real talk - we played a light bodied winger in Polec on Patrick Cripps in the first quarter last week and you skipped out a big lead.

We change up at quarter time,put Anderson on Cripps and play Polec in his natural spot and storm back with Polec leading the way.

Then drop Polec this week.

Winning is not our priority.
You’d understand if Polek thinks he’s been given a raw deal.

Enticed over on a juicy contract with the assurance that he’d be playing the wing position alongside Gaff.
Now dropped from an underperforming side that may finish last.

I know he’s on decent coin but you can understand the guy if he think his career is going the wrong way.

Particularly with the performance of his old side this year.

We could be seeing a Deledio moment coming up.
 

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