Strategy Clarko unlocking the opposition's congested game plans?

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Cyrillic

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Watching our midfield dismantle the Sydney midfield group on Saturday night, it dawned on me that Clarko (and his assistants) appear to have devised some strategies to beat the Sydney and Freo heavy congestion around the ball game plans. I am not going to go into any detail on my theories (never know who is lurking :)) other than to comment it has proven successful in the 2 opportunities where we had the majority of our midfielders available for selection. And almost pulled it off earlier in the year against the Swans even when we had a few senior midfielders missing. It might be coincidental but our match ups seemed to be spot on and positioning around the contest perfect for spillages.

It doesn't happen by chance that we smashed the Freo and Sydney midfield despite both getting talked up as being so much better than ours. And then when you consider we have ruckman who apparently cannot win a tap out. How is it so?

Anyone notice some trends? Thoughts?
 

Davo23

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Watching our midfield dismantle the Sydney midfield group on Saturday night, it dawned on me that Clarko (and his assistants) appear to have devised some strategies to beat the Sydney and Freo heavy congestion around the ball game plans. I am not going to go into any detail on my theories (never know who is lurking :)) other than to comment it has proven successful in the 2 opportunities where we had the majority of our midfielders available for selection. And almost pulled it off earlier in the year against the Swans even when we had a few senior midfielders missing. It might be coincidental but our match ups seemed to be spot on and positioning around the contest perfect for spillages.

It doesn't happen by chance that we smashed the Freo and Sydney midfield despite both getting talked up as being so much better than ours. And then when you consider we have ruckman who apparently cannot win a tap out. How is it so?

Anyone notice some trends? Thoughts?

Yep, the kick off the ground has become an art form!

Prevents the massive packs contesting and you don't allow their them to create mauls.
 

Thaihawk

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Yep, the kick off the ground has become an art form!

Prevents the massive packs contesting and you don't allow their them to create mauls.
Once again we will see, Clarko leads while the other coaches follow.
Clarko has certainly come a long way in his years at Hawthorn. Let's hope there are many more, as I love this guy's initiative, and the way he is prepared to try new things, and change those that don't work.
 

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Cyrillic

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Yep, the kick off the ground has become an art form!

Prevents the massive packs contesting and you don't allow their them to create mauls.
Clearly, we don't want packs forming. We know we are the most skilled team and we want to use it. But have a look at our body shapes. Have a look at our tackles counts.

And yet we are one of the heaviest scoring teams from stoppages. Interesting.
 

madhawksfan

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I think we out Sydneyed Sydney with the way we used our hands to clear congestion. Dismantle is probably overstating it slightly, but we certainly got the better of Shitney's midfield on Saturday. We attacked with confidence through the corridor and seemed hell bent on keeping the ball moving at all costs. When it came off it was breathtaking to watch. However, a few times we over did it with the hand ball and put ourselves under pressure.

We did give Freo's midfield a hiding last time, but they were without Fyfe and Barlow (we had no Hodge or Sewell from memory) so it will be interesting to see how the midfields stack up next time around.
 

QuietB

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Here is one interesting stat. Josh Kennedy has had more handballs than kicks every single game this year except the round 1 loss to GWS. This year he has had 211 kicks and 298 handballs.

On the weekend he had 16 kicks and 9 handballs :confused:
 

Cyrillic

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Here is one interesting stat. Josh Kennedy has had more handballs than kicks every single game this year except the round 1 loss to GWS. This year he has had 211 kicks and 298 handballs.

On the weekend he had 16 kicks and 9 handballs :confused:
Interesting. And how many kicks did Rampe have coming out of defence?

Edit - Bomber on 360 just mentioned Clarko measuring effectiveness of an opposition player. Wow. Very coincidental.
 

Dipper

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Someone posted this on the Sydney board:

Smashed in the clearances, stats say it was close but most the meaningful ones went their way. Too many times they had a free player or two on the outside of the pack that they were able to flick the ball to, generally a Smith who broke lines for them

I seem to remember one of our posters making almost the same comment after the GF with Freo.
 

Strapping Young Lad

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Someone posted this on the Sydney board:

Smashed in the clearances, stats say it was close but most the meaningful ones went their way. Too many times they had a free player or two on the outside of the pack that they were able to flick the ball to, generally a Smith who broke lines for them

I seem to remember one of our posters making almost the same comment after the GF with Freo.
We are well drilled on having an "out". Other clubs or teams talk about not getting sucked into the contest, while we tend to take turns in going in.
 

Cyrillic

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We are well drilled on having an "out". Other clubs or teams talk about not getting sucked into the contest, while we tend to take turns in going in.
I agree with this but it relates to knowing positional play at a stoppage. I also have the view that if we don't win the contest by getting first hands on the ball that we try and 'assist' the opposition in giving them their out (that is to our preference - least damaging).
 

Argy

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Great topic! Thanks Cyrillic.
Someone posted this on the Sydney board:

Smashed in the clearances, stats say it was close but most the meaningful ones went their way. Too many times they had a free player or two on the outside of the pack that they were able to flick the ball to, generally a Smith who broke lines for them

I seem to remember one of our posters making almost the same comment after the GF with Freo.
I said before the GF (after Freo's unprecedented "pressure" in the prelim) that all we had to do was not to get too many players sucked into the maul. Have a few outside waiting for the scrambled disposal that comes out of the pack and then go for broke. Half way through the first quarter of the GF I said to my daughter that that was exactly how we were playing.

I don't think this is the entire story however. I think Clarko and the coaching team has a really balanced approach to all this. It gets down to game theory. You have to recognise that you're not going to win every contest, but you need to have the balance in your favour, so that over the course of a quarter, or a game, the odds come your way.
I agree with this but it relates to knowing positional play at a stoppage. I also have the view that if we don't win the contest by getting first hands on the ball that we try and 'assist' the opposition in giving them their out (that is to our preference - least damaging).
I don't agree that we help the opposition by giving them an out. When the swans got quick possession out of the center the killed us - it allowed them to hit the targets of Franklin and Tipper far too easily.
 

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Cyrillic

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I don't agree that we help the opposition by giving them an out. When the swans got quick possession out of the center the killed us - it allowed them to hit the targets of Franklin and Tipper far too easily.
Yeah I agree. It goes without saying any clean clearance from a centre bounce is always dangerous irrespective of the team.
I was more referring to stoppages around the ground and how we position around the ball.
 

QuietB

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I agree with this but it relates to knowing positional play at a stoppage. I also have the view that if we don't win the contest by getting first hands on the ball that we try and 'assist' the opposition in giving them their out (that is to our preference - least damaging).
I don't agree that we help the opposition by giving them an out. When the swans got quick possession out of the center the killed us - it allowed them to hit the targets of Franklin and Tipper far too easily.
And this would be the reason why Kennedy was allowed 16 kicks and only 9 handballs. Clarko is happy for Kennedy to kick it.
 

Argy

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when we have our best players on the park..or getting close to...we can beat the teams above us with impunity...lets hope this trend continues into September..
I'm hoping our poor run with injuries and suspension works to our favour in coming weeks. On the one hand we have discovered some true talent that should bare fruit in coming seasons. On the other, as we get top line players back we can expect them to be fresh and raring to go in the finals. We still have a long way to go. There are five teams vying for top two/top four positions and each game is now very important in terms of both point and percentage.

I listened to Brendon Bolton twice over the weekend; once at the Legends function before the game and then on Sunday on ABC's Grandstand. One thing that impressed was just how much the coaches work as a team. And also how they involve the players and the leadership group in particular. Bolts made it pretty clear that every person involved in the process (including the players) is focussed on getting the most out of everyone and how they all know their roles and are willing to challenge one another. Hearing Jed Anderson, also at the legends function, and Roughie who spoke at the "inside the huddle function" a few weeks back, just reinforced how well coached this team is; how well they understand team structures, their roles and their responsibilities. We might not have the stars that teams like Sydney has, but I have a tremendous faith in our strength and resilience as a team
 

Cynic

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I thought our game plan stood up well...but I also thought Sydney's switch and counter punch strategy exposed us a number of times as well.
 

La Vache

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I'll say one thing about this. Sydney are vulnerable when you get the footy even slightly out of congestion, as quick as possible. Geelong did this brilliantly last season when they won up there. Same in the second half of the QF and second half Saturday night.

1. Do not necessarily take possession of the ball, because there is always a seagull waiting behind you to get his tackle numbers up.
2. Kick the ball off the ground or out of the air to clear the congestion.
3. When they have the ball, concentrate on deflecting the handball or knocking the ball out of the hands, instead of grappling or tackling them.
4. Allow them their release players, as long as they in the least dangerous spot.
5. Do not allow Mcveigh or Malceski to be this release.
 

Great 2008

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I had a Roos mate call me this morning (a footy nut). He could not fathom how against a lot of teams the Hawks can, at times, look the inferior side for large portions of the game. Then in the blink of an eye we are 20-30 points up. No-one can work us out.;)

I love (like a boxer) how we absorb pressure and seem to know when we can attack quickly adding telling goals which rock our opponent. I admit not not being sure how we do it. One thing I know is that we have some very good players in our team who are continually underrated by the general football public. e.g. Shiels, I can hardly remember a game where he has had his colours lowered.
 

hawkheart

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Cheers guys, one of the best threads of the season. Love getting into the nitty gritty tactical stuff.

A boxer absorbing pressure is one good analogy for our magnificent team; another was referred to by (I think) Jake Niall in his post-game report: he compared us to a sapling that might bend in the wind but does not break. I'd like to take that analogy one step further - a sapling that bend, bends, bends and then too late - it's a trap! - and WHAM it comes whipping back at speed.

 

Randy Campbell

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Is it let Sydney have some of our less effective kickers and let them look good and get a lot of the ball to get there team to move forward to create space for the rebound were we use our very effective kickers.

The good thing is Clarko is probably setting everyone up for his next plan.
 

Argy

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I've noticed how our game plan has subtly changed as this year had progressed. In the early days of the NAB cup and early rounds we seemed to be breaking up the opposition with lightening fast handball - sort of like Geelong a few years ago. In the last few games we seem to have added the long kick into vacant territory; a la the long kicks from Birchall and Lewis to Breust and Poppy in Saturday night's game. We also seem to create a lot of opportunities with quick tap-ons. I noticed this with Gunston a number of times - a quick flick or tap behind him or out to a running player on the side.
 

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