Analysis Can't beat 'em, join 'em? Or can Geelong beat Tigerball in the future?

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Catsace

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Six times now in the last seven games we've played Richmond, Geelong has been pretty much been exposed as just not having the ammunition, speed and maybe fitness to go with them for the full 100 minutes. Truth be told maybe there have been signs even before our massive run of wins against them that they were getting closer, as several of the last few wins of our 13 game sequence were narrow, including that one from 39 points down in 2016 at the 'G.

Basically aside from the game where they had several out in that mid-year 2019 game, they are able to eat up our best efforts early on, and then just come home and whack us in the second half. All three finals have a similar score progression, although the 2017 QF was played in bitterly cold and wet conditions, Geelong drew level in the 3rd before the Tigers drew away. But all have the same sort of synopsis. They are just so quick, and our regular structure with our relatively tall defence just struggles to keep the fleet-footed Tigers in check. They never seem to fatigue, and generally win running away, and that's pretty much against all sides anyway, it's not that Geelong is Robinson Crusoe here. But how to actually beat the fleet-footed Tigers and their chaos style of taps, soccers, whatever means to get the ball in motion, and then of course to be on the runners as they scurry onto the ball and whoof it forward. To be honest it doesn't matter to Richmond by what means the footy enters the 50, they either create contests or mark with their two talls, or run onto it if that doesn't happen.

I am sure Hardwick has said that they identified their strength early in 2017 after a few finals failures was their speed. I guess they've then built a side of a bunch of quick smaller players, and even some taller ones who also have pace (and of course Dusty), and worked on that in 2017 and by season's end it was obviously proven to be successful. Their players have come through a fair few years of development as a group under Hardwick, and they believe 110% in their style, with good reason.

Geelong's style is more classical i guess, mark and kick, but in games of high pressure and when conditions are slippery those attributes lose their effectiveness, when all the opposition do is simply run and move the ball at all costs. The number of times the ball would enter a pack, but you'd see soccers, punches, taps and sometimes the ball would ricochet off a Geelong player and come out at any old angle, but of course a Tiger or two would be out there to run onto the ball. The Lachie Neale goal from 70m last week was a similar thing, a pinball type ball situation, but it pops out and they ran onto it. Geelong don't seem to be able to quite work through this, albeit it's hard to predict where the ball will go when it's completely random.

You'd even see the Tigers last night throw a boot at a ball in a marking situation, or a handball....they simply aim to propel the ball anywhere, although usually forward, but they always have blokes swooping onto it. And one kick that went wildly into their forward line last night when straight to Blicavs, who fumbled the footy and at best just munched a bad handball to Stewart i think for maybe a ball up. Against the tigers, a fumble is deadly. Hence that's why they might just tap it...there's no time lost in aiming to grab the ball, and they get it moving so quickly. It certainly works in Finals, 10 wins from 12 in the last 4 seasons.

But another aspect of their ability is to be clean picking up these loose balls. Whereas we fumble or bobble the ball in front and lose time trying to pick it up, so often the likes of Bolton, Pickett, Martin of course, Butler et al are able to simply pick up the footy first go. That's if they don't already just tap or soccer it forward. It gains them so much time, and of course their ability to always shimmy and evade tackles, or even when actually grabbed, their free their arms and dispose of the ball...mostly legally although far from always. Geelong often were oh so close to catching them, but they'd find a way out all the time.

I made a post in the autopsy thread, but look at how nimble and skillful their indigenous players are. So clean, so quick and so evasive. Geelong has Narkle and Cockatoo, but the latter hasn't played senior footy since early 2018, and Narkle sadly lost his place early in the year and couldn't get back. How those pair if fit would have helped last night! Maybe we need to recruit blokes who are expert at ball picking-up in packs, and who have lots of pace too. The Tigers are not an old side, only Edwards and Jack are much over 30, and i reckon those could be replaced quite easily. Their only limitation to me seems to be what their own fulfilment and hunger remains to be. Only a few sides have beaten the Tigers in the last few years, and only twice in Finals, and one of those was a Cox cameo.

So, do we get in Cameron, who will help certainly, but still look vulnerable with groundball speed against the Tigers? Can maybe Narkle (Cockatoo looks to be wanting to leave..and he just can never get fit) Fogarty, Cooper Stephens and others come in and help at least maintain Geelong's position. We are a very good side, but not in any way dominant like the '07-11 era. We may never be that again, but i guess do we continue to play in our own image as such, or specifically work out with Grigg (he should know what they do and how they do it) to build something that out-Tigers the tigers? I am not sure, and i think personally by the time we might build a side that can, the Tigers might naturally decline anyway. Their frenetic runball and chaos stuff has lasted much longer than the Pies in 2010-11, St.Kilda in '09-10, or Freo under Lyon from 12-15. And the Tigers have flags in the bag, only the Pies got one. And unfulfilled hard running sides i think lose their puff quicker.

What do you reckon?
 

you pick one

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This is just my opinion but Jordan Clark could be key here,I believe they don't play the kid as much as he should be because we only have the one of him and what's the point of him bolting forward off the halfback line if you are passing all you forward who have pushed up the ground,we need another 3 or 4 quickish boys under 23 or so to be able to link up running forward,of cause this would require a big change in structure and game plan and a change of coach,I can't see Scott changing.
 

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Chinacats

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Even Scott said you just can’t copy a game plan and expect it to work. You need the personnel to implement it. Cats were on the forward half pressure bandwagon pre 19 I think when Scarlo gave an interview, but not really been like that last half of this year. But tigers don’t mess around so I want forward metres gain to be top of the list on the whiteboard. Cats just over handball in a stoppage situation which invites pressure.
 

HighFlyer

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I actually think Geelong have the game that can beat Richmonds style of play. The PF last year and the first half of GF this year showed it. It was wet and slippery last night early and Geelong were up under those conditions. Better decision making, better kicking to players on a lead, more space, more pressure, they didn't hang onto the ball they played on and still made it look good. They were winning everything that mattered. Richmond couldn't take an intercept mark and had no rebound it looked like it was going to blow out tbh. What it looks like to me is Geelong play a classical skilled style of football, it really is nice to watch. It does really well in the season proper and they win a lot of games. They played that skilled style with a faster tempo in the finals this year and it looked the goods. The Brisbane PF was a really good example of the same tweaked game style they used against Richmond. But they only played that tweaked style for a half or so. They just don't seem to do it the whole game , they either can't because they aren't conditioned to do it because the play on much faster piece is not something they train to do consistently or they get challenged and go back to what they know works for them all year. It's probably a combination of both tbh.
 

Spazz Cat

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Dunno how you beat it. Play shorter and faster players.
Teach players how to not kick drop punts but skidding wobbling balls.
Even if we copied it would we win? Doubt it. Don't think it's made for an ageing list.
 

thecatattack

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Copying a gameplan of another great team just simply doesn't work.

We need to try and have a gameplan that counteracts how they play. The biggest problem to me was the sloppiness of the defense and the problems they caused with errant kicks, handballs etc

I feel like a defense of what we had during our dynasty would counteract Richmond and stop their chaotic entries. Dudes like Scarlo, Enright, Wojo, Hunt, Dasher, Harley etc. Unfortunately, that's an all-time great defense and not easily accessible.
 

Whiskers

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We can beat them, the 1st halves of both our most recent finals showed we can, but the tigers looked so much more damaging when on top and they seemingly became unstoppable.
Dusty was huge, maybe it’s more about stopping him and not hiding Danger.
 

northeasttiger

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Catsace great analysis of where Geelong is at.

I must admit we have been lucky with our recruiting and assistant coaches.

Balme was the lynch pin that brought it all together.

Our recruiting had been drafting players who had massive tanks and had genuine speed and latterly players with high footy IQ.

But in 2016 Hardwicks game plan didn't play to those strengths, enter Balme who then moves on a few assistants but crucially recruits Caracala from Geelong.

It was Caracala's game plan that propelled Richmond to 3 premierships as it played to Richmonds strengths of speed endurance and footy IQ.

Another important factor is our mindfullness coach who encouraged the buyin of the team ethos where players are willing to sacrifice their own personal game

for the good of the team.

Example Rioli and Castagna didn't rack up big stats but chased and ran all day applying pressure.

The biggest problem any team faces is it only takes one or two uncommitted players to allow the opposition off the hook.

Geelong I would guess needs to bring in personnel with speed and endurance and have a buyin by the group to all commit to team pressure.

It will be interesting as to what the review by Geelong concludes.
 

CharacterFirst

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Catsace great analysis of where Geelong is at.

Balme was the lynch pin that brought it all together...........

Geelong I would guess needs to bring in personnel with speed and endurance and have a buyin by the group to all commit to team pressure.

It will be interesting as to what the review by Geelong concludes.
We have those I think.

Speed would be good.

Probably could do with 2-3 younger studs (high draft picks) with skill, speed and hardness etc.

But like all teams every year, we just need to get better any and every way we can, and take it from there.
 

Footy_Fan2007

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Copying a gameplan of another great team just simply doesn't work.

We need to try and have a gameplan that counteracts how they play. The biggest problem to me was the sloppiness of the defense and the problems they caused with errant kicks, handballs etc

I feel like a defense of what we had during our dynasty would counteract Richmond and stop their chaotic entries. Dudes like Scarlo, Enright, Wojo, Hunt, Dasher, Harley etc. Unfortunately, that's an all-time great defense and not easily accessible.
Richmond copied the dogs 2016 style and built on it.
 

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Footy_Fan2007

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We can beat them, the 1st halves of both our most recent finals showed we can, but the tigers looked so much more damaging when on top and they seemingly became unstoppable.
Dusty was huge, maybe it’s more about stopping him and not hiding Danger.
If a game went for 2 quarters we would beat them. Unfortunately for us, it doesn’t.
 

Partridge

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As Biggy pointed out the tigers are a 'system' team so theoretically they can keep winning until someone comes up with a 'counter system'
Scott tried to come up with something but it clearly doesn't work against them
Back to the drawing board..
I don't think we're going to beat them playing their way. You have to work with the personnel you have.

But, some changes I'd love to see (probably need to put this in the 2021 thread as well):

- Pick three key defenders out of Henry, Henderson, Blicavs, and Kolodjashnij. The one left out doesn't play.
- If Tuohy plays it's a running half back. It's by far his best position.
- Dangerfield becomes full time onballer again with rests up forward.
- Stanley to never again be in doubt as our premier ruckman.
- Leave Miers up forward. Has work to do but is a natural goalkicker.
- Start grooming young mids and young ruckman to help out Stanley.
 

Spearman

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I honestly think one of our biggest problems against them is the lack of confidence and poise under pressure, whether real or perceived. We weren't sure handed and it affected our ability to get through the pressure. Their pressure allows very slim margins. If we had been cleaner, we could have matched them better.
Still it would be good to have a couple more line breakers to stretch their press at times. Hopefully next year, we can improve in those areas enough.
 

Virus

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They also lost arguably the greatest defender and were still able to improve and develop others in his absence.
Seems to be more about recruitment and development opposed to copying a particular game style.
Arguably their greatest defender, Scarlett is the greatest defender. Silvagni, Southby & Dench are better than Rance also.
 

Partridge

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They also lost arguably the greatest defender and were still able to improve and develop others in his absence.
Seems to be more about recruitment and development opposed to copying a particular game style.
I think it always is.

Yeah, you wouldn't mind having Balta as a young key defender. Just turned 21 and now has premiership experience.
 

Footy Smarts

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I don't think we're going to beat them playing their way. You have to work with the personnel you have.

But, some changes I'd love to see (probably need to put this in the 2021 thread as well):

- Pick three key defenders out of Henry, Henderson, Blicavs, and Kolodjashnij. The one left out doesn't play.
- If Tuohy plays it's a running half back. It's by far his best position.
- Dangerfield becomes full time onballer again with rests up forward.
- Stanley to never again be in doubt as our premier ruckman.
- Leave Miers up forward. Has work to do but is a natural goalkicker.
- Start grooming young mids and young ruckman to help out Stanley.
A lot of this seems to be demanding we go back to a method where we didn't play as well.
  • Our best footy in recent years has been played with Blics as a wing/ruck and he's been excellent there (unfortunately in the GF a generally good performance was ruined by ~3 really poor moments). I don't see why we're obsessed with moving him back.
  • I don't know if the rumours of Tuohy playing very sore late in the year are true but he had perhaps the best year of his career playing as a high half forward and we played our best footy recently with him there.
  • Our best footy in finals and Danger's best footy in finals has clearly been played with him predominantly forward. Even on Saturday we were dominant in the first half with him forward and he didn't improve us in there when he went into midfield late in the 3rd.
  • Miers' biggest strength is his gut running and his transition ball use. Small forwards that sit in the forward 50 basically don't exist so he's already playing as a forward and doing a really good job. I thought he was one of the real positives from Saturday with him having an awesome game apart from the missed goal.
Stanley's been played every game when available since the QF last year and I think Scott's admitted that it was a change based on the expectation of rain which he said he got wrong so I don't see how that's in doube. We've given a chunk of midfield time to Parfitt, Simpson, Fogarty, Narkle and Constable in the last 2 years. Parfitt massively stepped up and is a key part of our midfield now. Simpson did excellently as well and took his spot as a high half forward and rotating through there. The other 3 clearly weren't in our best 22 but if they're still here I'm sure they'll get chances again next year. A big part of moving Danger forward, Selwood out of the center square last year and holding him back this year was to give those guys chances. We are grooming young mids it just doesn't mean we're going to play them there continually if they're not best 22.
 

bellpark

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Interesting analysis, on that basis Close should still have been in the team, in fact from your description, he is a prototype Tigers player, yet we dropped him.
 

00VicWard001

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Six times now in the last seven games we've played Richmond, Geelong has been pretty much been exposed as just not having the ammunition, speed and maybe fitness to go with them for the full 100 minutes. Truth be told maybe there have been signs even before our massive run of wins against them that they were getting closer, as several of the last few wins of our 13 game sequence were narrow, including that one from 39 points down in 2016 at the 'G.

Basically aside from the game where they had several out in that mid-year 2019 game, they are able to eat up our best efforts early on, and then just come home and whack us in the second half. All three finals have a similar score progression, although the 2017 QF was played in bitterly cold and wet conditions, Geelong drew level in the 3rd before the Tigers drew away. But all have the same sort of synopsis. They are just so quick, and our regular structure with our relatively tall defence just struggles to keep the fleet-footed Tigers in check. They never seem to fatigue, and generally win running away, and that's pretty much against all sides anyway, it's not that Geelong is Robinson Crusoe here. But how to actually beat the fleet-footed Tigers and their chaos style of taps, soccers, whatever means to get the ball in motion, and then of course to be on the runners as they scurry onto the ball and whoof it forward. To be honest it doesn't matter to Richmond by what means the footy enters the 50, they either create contests or mark with their two talls, or run onto it if that doesn't happen.

I am sure Hardwick has said that they identified their strength early in 2017 after a few finals failures was their speed. I guess they've then built a side of a bunch of quick smaller players, and even some taller ones who also have pace (and of course Dusty), and worked on that in 2017 and by season's end it was obviously proven to be successful. Their players have come through a fair few years of development as a group under Hardwick, and they believe 110% in their style, with good reason.

Geelong's style is more classical i guess, mark and kick, but in games of high pressure and when conditions are slippery those attributes lose their effectiveness, when all the opposition do is simply run and move the ball at all costs. The number of times the ball would enter a pack, but you'd see soccers, punches, taps and sometimes the ball would ricochet off a Geelong player and come out at any old angle, but of course a Tiger or two would be out there to run onto the ball. The Lachie Neale goal from 70m last week was a similar thing, a pinball type ball situation, but it pops out and they ran onto it. Geelong don't seem to be able to quite work through this, albeit it's hard to predict where the ball will go when it's completely random.

You'd even see the Tigers last night throw a boot at a ball in a marking situation, or a handball....they simply aim to propel the ball anywhere, although usually forward, but they always have blokes swooping onto it. And one kick that went wildly into their forward line last night when straight to Blicavs, who fumbled the footy and at best just munched a bad handball to Stewart i think for maybe a ball up. Against the tigers, a fumble is deadly. Hence that's why they might just tap it...there's no time lost in aiming to grab the ball, and they get it moving so quickly. It certainly works in Finals, 10 wins from 12 in the last 4 seasons.

But another aspect of their ability is to be clean picking up these loose balls. Whereas we fumble or bobble the ball in front and lose time trying to pick it up, so often the likes of Bolton, Pickett, Martin of course, Butler et al are able to simply pick up the footy first go. That's if they don't already just tap or soccer it forward. It gains them so much time, and of course their ability to always shimmy and evade tackles, or even when actually grabbed, their free their arms and dispose of the ball...mostly legally although far from always. Geelong often were oh so close to catching them, but they'd find a way out all the time.

I made a post in the autopsy thread, but look at how nimble and skillful their indigenous players are. So clean, so quick and so evasive. Geelong has Narkle and Cockatoo, but the latter hasn't played senior footy since early 2018, and Narkle sadly lost his place early in the year and couldn't get back. How those pair if fit would have helped last night! Maybe we need to recruit blokes who are expert at ball picking-up in packs, and who have lots of pace too. The Tigers are not an old side, only Edwards and Jack are much over 30, and i reckon those could be replaced quite easily. Their only limitation to me seems to be what their own fulfilment and hunger remains to be. Only a few sides have beaten the Tigers in the last few years, and only twice in Finals, and one of those was a Cox cameo.

So, do we get in Cameron, who will help certainly, but still look vulnerable with groundball speed against the Tigers? Can maybe Narkle (Cockatoo looks to be wanting to leave..and he just can never get fit) Fogarty, Cooper Stephens and others come in and help at least maintain Geelong's position. We are a very good side, but not in any way dominant like the '07-11 era. We may never be that again, but i guess do we continue to play in our own image as such, or specifically work out with Grigg (he should know what they do and how they do it) to build something that out-Tigers the tigers? I am not sure, and i think personally by the time we might build a side that can, the Tigers might naturally decline anyway. Their frenetic runball and chaos stuff has lasted much longer than the Pies in 2010-11, St.Kilda in '09-10, or Freo under Lyon from 12-15. And the Tigers have flags in the bag, only the Pies got one. And unfulfilled hard running sides i think lose their puff quicker.

What do you reckon?
It's difficult to put the brakes on the way that we are headed.

Essentially, the list has been built with the game style in mind. The training, recruitment, tactics. You'd have to go back 3 years in development to get to a stage where the Tigers game-style is being used. Even then, it would have evolved by the time we caught up, and we would already be behind other teams like Collingwood that use variations of it.

Just have to hold the course on what we're doing. It works. Just wasnt good enough against Dustin going Godmode and then his team catching on fire.

Pretty much, we can beat everyone but Richmond. In 2021, I suspect that this will be a major focus, with alot of analysis on how other teams did it/have done it. And I think that the hurt that's come through this loss will make the players and coaches more hungry to beat the best.
 
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