Thanks John. Nice to see some additional analysis particularly on the backline set up. Hodge has been important in close finishes against stronger sides. Unfortunately his lack of pace is exposed when we are beaten at the contest by a quicker team. Line ball wether or not he stays in the team. I am enjoying watching him in a Lions jumper. Fagan appears to be looking at Robertson to develop into a mobile third defender. He did a good job on Saturday in the role. I support this approach against a return to Walker who is much slower, has less running capacity and not really a better ball user. His marking and spoiling were Ok. Having said that I admire the fact that Walker has got the best out of himself and if Andrews is injured he is clearly first in line to replace him.From the bits of reserves games I’ve seen tom Berry looks very quick and a natural footballer and Toby Wooler looks to have a big tank (spends time in midfield) and is solid overhead (plays as a key position). Both might be worth a look.
Smith/OMac is an obvious change.
yesterday we had 7 defenders who are sole use defenders. Andrews, gardiner, Robertson, hodge, Rich, answerth, witherden. I don’t think that is sustainable. Andrews, gardiner, Robertson have specific defensive roles. Answerth showing a bit, but I’m concerned that rich/hodge/witherden are all low run players as our mid sized defenders.
To me the Hodge on field general lessons (should) have been learnt and he is the one that should be dropped for better balance on field. He doesn’t play on taller opponents anymore, he has lost a lot of agility and often kicks off the ground because he can’t get down to pick the ball up and he can be exposed for lack of pace. IMO his physical limitations outweigh his footy smarts in his personal play and now is as good a time as any to see if the boys can organise the defence without him.
Out: Rayner, Smith, McCarthy, hodge
In: wooler, OMac, Bastinac, Berry
Feel that basti would be a bit more flexible than Mccarthy pushing through midfield. Wooler potentially better over head and more run than Rayner at this point as a mid sized flanker. OMac better as a third tall forward.
Basti, Robinson, Berry, Allison to rotate through backline.