Comben - Didn't really get a sniff because Blues dominated territory and when the ball did come his way, he was against Walker who nullified him completely.
Hosie - Struggled to get involved early but what was super impressive was his application after losing the ball. On more than one occasion he busted his guts to win the ball back after ******* up.
Murphy: Under the pump but did some good things with ball in hand from what I could see.
Ahern: Ahern did his bit in the middle for the whites, along with Higgins, but much of his clearance work tends to be thrown on the boot. If you look at Higgo, Cunners or Anderson the hack is last option, movement first and then to asses. Ahern is on the boot asap. When in broken play he is sweet as tho.
Higgins - Higginsed it, not as much as he normally would because Cunners and Anderson were smashing campaigners for fun, but still showed his quality.
Dumont - Seemed a bit off the pace a bit, didn't get much of it from what I could tell.
Wood - Some nice use from the back half, some average defending
Daw - Just dominant. Anything that came his was was either his or killed. Usage was solid.
Wiliams - Was good. Very Marley.
Xerri - Very good from the young fella. Was too physical for Goldy in the contest and marked strongly. Goldy still got the moves but the kid is a quick learner.
Edit: McKay - Oh yeah, he played. That's all.
Tom Dyson: Average pace, average size, average impact. Average.
Walker - Smashed Comben, used it well, was very good
Macmillan - Cruised, some good stuff, some poor, the usual really.
Atley - Was good at times
McDonald - Threw himself around and did his job. Looked alright today
Durdin - Not really challenged but put himself into the contest well
The other Macmillan of the Pittard variety - Again, wasn't really challenged so its hard to say
Cunners - Boss. Pushed forward a bit too
Anderson - ******* campaigners up for fun, getting the pill and getting forward
Bonar - Unit. Smashed in hard, did his bit in the middle, one nice hit up for Garner
Simpkin - Surprisingly quiet, didn't get it a great deal but looked good when he did.
Scott - Solid.
Thomas - Sploosh. Then more sploosh.
Turner - Very good in the first half. Best half forward
Mahoney - Quiet but got on the end of one.
Garner - Worked hard, bit wasn't a day for the half forwards
Zurhaar - See above
Larkey - Probably still removing Majak's fist from his rectum.
Goldy - Good around the field but Xerri bossed him in the contest and in the air.
1. We didn't man up on Cunnington. I mean surely the scouts told us he is in good form. Why do we always allow this guy to dominate?
2. The whites didn't stand a chance. We never won in the 'all white' clash strip, don't know why we'd expect that to change.
Firstly, a shout out to my colleague who had to head out for the afternoon leaving me no option but to do the same....to Arden St.
It was basically the Blues as close to the best 22, with only a few in the Whites to keep some competitiveness I guess (Higgo, Marley, Dumont, Maj all had stints in White). It made for a lopsided match, but left me feeling that we are in good shape. Intensity was pretty good, courtesy of Jedly hitting in hard to set the standard, although there were a few lads pacing themselves, clearly with another gear. I was happy with the way the Blues gave little space and locked down pretty well defensively and some nice transition work despite a bit of fumbling and missed disposals. Overall, we are in pretty good shape.
As to who showed what...
Jed - BOG for mine. Showed that he can get back to his best, getting a lot of the ball as a mid, fierce hits and tackling, and effective early as a forward.
Maj - Starts in round 1. He is a class above, every contest he either kills it or wins it. Seems to work within his limitations, with only a couple of errors, but he beat Larkey in the first half, with some brilliant late spoils. He has the presence to shape the way the ball is brought into the forward line. Got a serious intent about him too.
Cunners - Beast. Say no more. And add to that he kicked 2 or 3 goals when he pushed forward. Looks hungry and moved beautifully.
TT - Absolute jet. Seems to slow down in the second half as he runs out of petrol tickets, but already a match winner. Will be worth the admission just watching his in action all year. Has it all.
Higgo - Hasn't missed a beat. Still all class. Reckon he will enjoy having the young guns take some pressure off his shoulders.
Ahern - Great to see him back in the midfield, winning a lot of contested ball, just needs to get some of Jedly's aggression into his game. Too much of a ball magnet to play off half back. Good signs today.
Larkey - Has put on size. Will be a shoot out with BBB for the goal tally award at Arden St. Seemed comfortable as the main man today. Had a picnic in the second half on some poor undersized VFL defender after a great match up with Maj in the first half.
Simpkin - Not his best game, but has full confidence in himself.
Hall - Great signs. Getting in good spots, moving beautifully, using the ball well. He should be a good chance for round 1.
Wood - Showed enough, especially in the first half, to let the defence experiment play out.
Xerri - Probably the biggest improver on the list this pre-season. Looked like a ruckman, even though Goldy was pacing himself. Love Xerri's aggression, but also showed he has some handy tapwork skills and got great hands, taking a few grabs up forward. If he can become half the midfielder that Goldy is, we are set for our ruck future, and his apprenticeship is timed beautifully, meaning he could step in for an injured Goldy this year and challenge him for his spot next year if he continues on this trajectory.
BMac - Hasn't been getting much love lately, but showed some good intent when he rucked in the second half. Took a grab up forward, laid some solid tackles, and took it up to Goldy.
Scott - A couple of clangers, but he is clearly valued by his teammates. His gut-running in the last quarter after a hot, humid workout was impressive, and for a relatively skinny guy, he holds his tackles beautifully.
Tyson - Very happy to have him in the squad. Will do a solid job whenever he plays.
LMac - Was impressive, particularly in the first half, providing a lot of drive off half back. Good signs.
Hosie - Quiet first half, but had a huge third quarter and should debut before too long.
Mahony - Not as impressive as the previous hit-out I saw, but did a few clever things.
Bonar - Was ok, but not impressive enough to put in the mix for round 1. Looking forward to seeing him against the Bullies.
Marley - Just mention him for his niggle. Enjoyed giving it out to all his team-mates in the Blues.
Durdin - Absolute Barry Crocker. Seems down on confidence and form. Dropping little league level marks. Not sure what's going on with him.
And although Tippa jnr only had a couple of touches, he will remember his first, pinched it off Ats (I think), quick handball to Higgo for a beautiful goal.
MIA - As expected, no BBB, Taz, JZ, Polec. Bit of a concern that LDU hasn't been on the park for a while. Tommy Campbell was on the boundary, as was EVW. There were a lot of VFL guys being rotated through the game but didn't really know who was who apart from Tom McKenzie, who did his future chances no harm with a quality game.
Reckon Zuhaar really lifted his intensity after being invisible in the first half and just cruising around. He looks like the sort of bloke that won't do a hell of a lot preseason, but when the whips are cracking, then he'll be on. Was pretty good in the second half I thought.
Anderson, as stated, will probably be up for murder one of these days. I couldn't see who it was, but he obliterated someone in the first few minutes and you could hear the crunch from the other side of the ground (It might have been KT now that I think of it who got straight back up and brushed it off. He's a super tough little bastard is Kayne.)
Jamie copped a bit of a spray from Jasper ten minutes before the final whistle, which gave me a chuckle. Good to see the boys putting it on each other down there.