Toast Esava

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Shooooltzey

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Oct 22, 2021
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You guys are all looking at this the wrong way. It wasn't Sav's responsibility to kick goals in 2021. So judging him on his goal output is just completely ridiculous. The game has evolved and thinking that it is a forwards job to purely kick goals nowadays is an incredibly poor interpretation. If Scott was judging his performance based off his goals tally he should honestly be sacked.

A forwards job in the modern game is to create opportunities. You guys want him to be this intelligent leading forward who reliably finishes of the work of others up the field. There isn't anything wrong with that role but it certainly doesn't suit Sav's strengths and weaknesses.

Sav's role for the majority of this season was to position himself at the marking contest down the line and if the ball was kicked down the line it was his job to do everything in his power to get the ball to come to ground at a bare minimum whilst providing ruck minutes whilst Stanley needed a rest. And I believe he did a terrific job at doing this in 2021. There isn't much opportunity to kick goals doing this aside from taking huge pack marks inside 50.

Now what's so special about Sav which gives him the scope to become an elite forward and create many opportunities. Its his athleticism. I certainly don't think we have seen the best of Sav due to a lack of experience and injuries. However we have seen glimpses of a rare ability to leap and take huge pack marks or bring the ball to ground and follow it up bulldozing anyone in his path.

I certainly agree that he is far from an elite forward. But his goal tally isn't the thing I would be looking for him to develop in the next year or two. Firstly I would want to see him show of his athleticism more consistently and confidently and improve his decision making by hand after using is combination of size and athleticism to release the outside runners. Developing these areas would drastically increase the amount of scoring opportunities he is creating each game.

This is the reason why Scott has said publicly that he thinks Sav can be a really special player one day and the reason why GWS really wanted him to be involved in the Cameron trade. I would like to see us persist with him for at least 2 more seasons and hope we see some rapid development in that time. He has played 55 games and is going into his 6th season so now is the time we start to see him stand up. But wanting him out the door right now is an incredibly flawed opinion in my opinion.
 

longtimecat

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I think we should train Esava to play fullback. As a third tall forward he doesn’t impact enough contests, but as a fullback he will be led to the contests where he can crash packs, Mark, spoil, tackle and run in straight lines. I believe he could be a revelation. Team him up with SDK at CHB, Bews, Henry, Stewart and Toughy/Mullin and give them 6-8 weeks to settle. Blicavs can go back to wing/second Rick.
 

Down at K Park

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I think we should train Esava to play fullback. As a third tall forward he doesn’t impact enough contests, but as a fullback he will be led to the contests where he can crash packs, Mark, spoil, tackle and run in straight lines. I believe he could be a revelation. Team him up with SDK at CHB, Bews, Henry, Stewart and Toughy/Mullin and give them 6-8 weeks to settle. Blicavs can go back to wing/second Rick.
That's the last position you'd want him in. No footy IQ. He'd have bags kicked on him. He'd be way more likely to crash into a teammate and have the ball spill out the back.

Why do people keep suggesting this? It's a horrid idea.
 

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cats_09

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Jun 21, 2011
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I think we should train Esava to play fullback. As a third tall forward he doesn’t impact enough contests, but as a fullback he will be led to the contests where he can crash packs, Mark, spoil, tackle and run in straight lines. I believe he could be a revelation. Team him up with SDK at CHB, Bews, Henry, Stewart and Toughy/Mullin and give them 6-8 weeks to settle. Blicavs can go back to wing/second Rick.
Is it April Fools Day already?

Other than the one time that Ratugolea knocked a certain Hawkins goal back into play, has he shown anything to suggest he understands what playing as a defender actually requires?

When was the last time he was actually 'crashing packs' where he was playing with the intention of crashing the pack, rather than simple being out of position, still flying for a mark thinking that he could take it and the result was him jumping into the back of the pack?

Watch training footage from during the finals where he was outmarked by Zuth, because Zuth read the flight of the ball, while Ratugolea came from 4 deep and still tried to take the mark rather than putting a fist through the ball

Even in the semifinal he was outmarked by Davis, because he tries to mark even when out of position rather than knowning when he just needs to nullify the contest and spoil the ball

And lastly, surely if there is any thought given to a positional change, he'd be spending extended time in the VFL showing he can actually play that role rather than throwing him into a new role in the seniors - no way he would be starting in the seniors in that role
 

goyoucatters

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It simply shows that Esava is becoming more and more a risk of being a wash that we have suggestions for him to play a role he's never tried and shows so little aptitude to complete.

Make a place your own up forward or in the ruck. If not, it'll be out the back rather than 'down back' which will be his next big move.
 

longtimecat

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As a forward he reminds me of Tom Lonergan, just not quite. Having played full back all my football life, I believe Sav could well be coached to excel on that roll.
 

cats_09

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As a forward he reminds me of Tom Lonergan, just not quite. Having played full back all my football life, I believe Sav could well be coached to excel on that roll.
Lonergan kicked 6 goals in a best on ground performance in the 2007 VFL GF

If Ratugolea could perform close to the level that we saw from Lonergan as a forward, then Ratugolea would make it as a forward

Don't understand why we think someone who hasn't made it as a forward at this stage of their career, will suddenly be able to transition to play in a harder position
 

calder_daddy

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I believe footy IQ can be taught and minding the best forwards on the league is a quick learning curve.
Footy IQ is something you have in your talent back.
You can’t just buy it or learn it at uni.
You either have it or you don’t.
Plenty who haven’t make solid footballers,
Yet not elite.
A lot who have potential but no IQ don’t make it due to the latter
 

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Partridge

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Nov 12, 2002
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I believe footy IQ can be taught and minding the best forwards on the league is a quick learning curve.

I believe it absolutely can not be taught and it's why pure footballers always trounce pure athletes when it matters.

You only need to watch Martin, Oliver, or even Petracca. None are especially spectacular athletes. They're all brilliant footballers though.
 

Drunkcat

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I don't see the need to trade him he would not cost much, So just keep him he will play some good games who knows mite even have couple of good years, but just keep him for depth
 

PzBlinky

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Lonergan kicked 6 goals in a best on ground performance in the 2007 VFL GF

If Ratugolea could perform close to the level that we saw from Lonergan as a forward, then Ratugolea would make it as a forward

Don't understand why we think someone who hasn't made it as a forward at this stage of their career, will suddenly be able to transition to play in a harder position

Wasn't that the same game he spent the first half destroying the oppo's KPF, then went forward to kick 6 in a half? Pretty handy "switch man" early on, but fair to say that most players - forward or back - wouldn't be able to do it.

Ah ha, yep it was that game...

"The third quarter belonged to Geelong rookie Tom Lonergan, who wrote his own grand final fairytale. Having towelled up 18-year-old prospect Jack Riewoldt in the first half, restricting him to one ineffective possession, Lonergan went to the forward line and proceeded to kick five goals in a dazzling display. "

 

cats_09

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One thing that seems very common amongst key defender type players is a high level of endurance where they are repeatedly playing 95%+ TOG, if not closer to 99% or even 100% week in, week out

Has there been any indications with what we've seen from Ratugolea to date, which suggests he'd be capable of repeatedly playing 95%+ game time, especially when opposed to an opposition key forward?

If I was the opposition coach and I saw Ratugolea lining up in defence, the instructions to his opponent would be simple - run him up & down the ground, and see how long he lasts
 

ShaunWDT

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Let this thread be a reminder to all who are writing off Esava this early. It was posted at the start of his tenth season, Esava is going into his sixth.
Yeah nah I dont buy this one, Hawkins kicked 34 goals in his 3rd season of footy far better than anything Esava has ever done.
 

standupand

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Sep 27, 2019
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Yeah nah I dont buy this one, Hawkins kicked 34 goals in his 3rd season of footy far better than anything Esava has ever done.
There's no question Hawkins is a stronger player and was a stronger prospect when he was drafted and early on in his career. I think the comparison was more to the perception and over-expectation we can have of key forwards. Experience tells us that it is worth being patient with their development. The other thing with Esava is that he's competing for the key-forward role with the likes of Hawkins himself. When Hawkins was the same age, Mooney was coming to the end of his career and we were calling out for a key forward to make the position his own. Let Sav learn as much as he can from Hawk and he'll be ready when the team needs him.
 

ShaunWDT

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There's no question Hawkins is a stronger player and was a stronger prospect when he was drafted and early on in his career. I think the comparison was more to the perception and over-expectation we can have of key forwards. Experience tells us that it is worth being patient with their development. The other thing with Esava is that he's competing for the key-forward role with the likes of Hawkins himself. When Hawkins was the same age, Mooney was coming to the end of his career and we were calling out for a key forward to make the position his own. Let Sav learn as much as he can from Hawk and he'll be ready when the team needs him.
Im all for being patient but at some point youve got to cut the crap and accept that a player just isnt that good, Sav will have had 8 pre seasons by the time his current contract ends, if he hasnt drastically increased his output by then I'd cut him.
 

Farmer2Goggin

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Im all for being patient but at some point youve got to cut the crap and accept that a player just isnt that good, Sav will have had 8 pre seasons by the time his current contract ends, if he hasnt drastically increased his output by then I'd cut him.

There's no doubt his trajectory has tapered alarmingly over the last few seasons - maybe injuries have hampered ?
He should be on a watchlist this season - he's got a lot to work on - set shot kicking , judging the ball in flight and getting to more contests for a start.
He's also got a ready made replacement in Neale so time is of the essence for Sav.
 

ShaunWDT

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There's no doubt his trajectory has tapered alarmingly over the last few seasons - maybe injuries have hampered ?
He should be on a watchlist this season - he's got a lot to work on - set shot kicking , judging the ball in flight and getting to more contests for a start.
He's also got a ready made replacement in Neale so time is of the essence for Sav.
Sav's biggest weakness for me is how he judges the footy in flight, hes continually ran under the footy from the first game he was selected, not sure thats something thats ever going to improve either, generally you either read the game well or you don't.
 

cats_09

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Sav's biggest weakness for me is how he judges the footy in flight, hes continually ran under the footy from the first game he was selected, not sure thats something thats ever going to improve either, generally you either read the game well or you don't.

On the above, some talk about Ratugolea "crashing packs" and that it's an apparent strength or point of difference be offers, - but I'm not sure there's really too many times where he's "crashed a pack" with the intention of doing so, versus him just misreading the flight of the ball or misjudging his ability to mark the ball & the result is him just jumping into a pack
 

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