Toast Esava

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PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
30,490
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Why get so wound up about it? Just relax a little.


For the simple fact that someone can be so hellbent on mercilessly criticising one of our players that even daring to mention that they shared some similar characteristics with another player who, by any measure, did not have a noted career, that they will arc up for even mentioning it.

Like every club we have players at different levels and some are good, some are ordinary. They are all better than we are and they are all good enough to have a career out of it. I don’t get why we have to say things like ‘this guy is sh*t.’ Who wants to read that from their own fan base?
 

Down at K Park

Brownlow Medallist
May 18, 2016
12,324
23,538
AFL Club
Geelong
For the simple fact that someone can be so hellbent on mercilessly criticising one of our players that even daring to mention that they shared some similar characteristics with another player who, by any measure, did not have a noted career, that they will arc up for even mentioning it.

Like every club we have players at different levels and some are good, some are ordinary. They are all better than we are and they are all good enough to have a career out of it. I don’t get why we have to say things like ‘this guy is sh*t.’ Who wants to read that from their own fan base?
So we should just call of them superstars? Welcome to the real world. Some players aren't very good.
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
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So we should just call of them superstars? Welcome to the real world. Some players aren't very good.


******* seriously?

Where did I say that?

Ironically the person I was debating with almost sounded like he wanted to call a normal average player a superstar because I dared compare 1-2 characteristics of his with Ratugolea.

Answer the question.

Do you absolutely NEED to write ‘so and so is sh*t.’ ‘So and so is useless.’ ‘So and so is hopeless’ in order to convey that yeah, they aren’t a superstar, particularly when talking about your own team? What do you gain from it? Again. Any grown adult sportsman knows they will get criticism, and should be self aware enough to know roughly where their level is at. I’m sure they can all cop ‘he wasn’t at his best tonight. He needs to improve. He is on the fringe. He should have a spell in the magoos.’ Who the hell is going to get anything out of reading or hearing his own team’s fans going ‘he’s hopeless, he’s sh*t.’
 

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standupand

Club Legend
Sep 27, 2019
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To be honest "crashing packs" is just a modern euphemism for "can't mark".

In the same way "playing his role" means "he's really sh*t".
I actually think the opposite is true. We're better these days at acknowledging strengths that players have that don't necessarily get reflected in stats. There's a big difference between simply missing a mark for instance and sitting everyone in the contest on their arse in the process. And as for "playing a role", I always take that as a compliment. It acknowledges that even if a player didn't seem to get many stats, the things they did do - like getting into the right places, negating the opposition - helped the team a lot. It's just that we never say it of a FF who kicked 10 goals for instance because it's just goes without saying that they were playing their role.
 

Partridge

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2002
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I actually think the opposite is true. We're better these days at acknowledging strengths that players have that don't necessarily get reflected in stats. There's a big difference between simply missing a mark for instance and sitting everyone in the contest on their arse in the process. And as for "playing a role", I always take that as a compliment. It acknowledges that even if a player didn't seem to get many stats, the things they did do - like getting into the right places, negating the opposition - helped the team a lot. It's just that we never say it of a FF who kicked 10 goals for instance because it's just goes without saying that they were playing their role.

Maybe. I think it's a very convenient way of spinning a player's performance to infer they're effective when they simply aren't.
 

standupand

Club Legend
Sep 27, 2019
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Maybe. I think it's a very convenient way of spinning a player's performance to infer they're effective when they simply aren't.
Like this past season I would say of Dahlhaus that he was playing a role (closing down oppo space from fwd to midfield), it was just clear that his body was struggling to always keep up. Smith was playing a role (running winger) that we sorely needed and performed it excellently. But about Higgins, injury or no injury, and whichever way you want to spin it, no-one could really say he was playing a role.
 

goyoucatters

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 31, 2008
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Clint Bizzell was no world-beater. But he did play 150+ games of AFL footy over more than 10 seasons. And he did have a level of talent as a footballer that I don't think Esava will ever go close to approaching. No matter how ridiculous people subsequently found the comment, his being compared to Gaz by a fellow player does tell you that some saw something very special in what Bizz could do on the field. After all, nobody's going to throw around comparisons to the great man just to be laughed at down the track.

And even simply 'that torp' in the Kangas game in 2000 was miles above what most league players can produce, let alone Rata.




Just my opinion, of course.
 
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catscollector

Premiership Player
Jun 30, 2018
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Ironically the person I was debating with almost sounded like he wanted to call a normal average player a superstar because I dared compare 1-2 characteristics of his with Ratugolea.

Are you referring to my post about Bizzell v Esava?
I just think Bizzell was widely considered one of the most exciting players in the game when he burst onto the scene.
He never became a star but he did become a handy defender for Melbourne. Almost similar to Jared Rivers in his final years for Geelong.

Can't compare Esava to Hickmott. Esava doesn't yet have the very basic skills of the game covered. Hickmott became a solid player at Carlton.
 

PhatBoy

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May 5, 2016
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Are you referring to my post about Bizzell v Esava?
I just think Bizzell was widely considered one of the most exciting players in the game when he burst onto the scene.
He never became a star but he did become a handy defender for Melbourne. Almost similar to Jared Rivers in his final years for Geelong.

Can't compare Esava to Hickmott. Esava doesn't yet have the very basic skills of the game covered. Hickmott became a solid player at Carlton.


That’s exactly the point of the comparison. Esava IS exciting. That’s unquestionable. He has athletic traits that others in our squad don’t have. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the nous or basic skill level to match it. Bizzell or Hickmott may have had more skill or nous or whatever but the overarching theme with both is that their output, like Ratugolea, never matched the spectacularly with which they played
 

Partridge

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Nov 12, 2002
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Clint Bizzell was no world-beater. But he did play 150+ games of AFL footy over more than 10 seasons. And he did have a level of talent as a footballer that I don't think Esava will ever go close to approaching. No matter how ridiculous people subsequently found the comment, his being compared to Gaz by a fellow player does tell you that some saw something very special in what Bizz could do on the field. After all, nobody's going to throw around comparisons to the great man just to be laughed at down the track.

I think also because at that exact time he was playing as a half forward flanker, and was by a long way our most exciting (and for a while genuinely dangerous) forward. Not a stretch at all to imagine in a team with actual key forwards (which then we didn't have) he would have been a real handful.
 

PzBlinky

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Sep 12, 2020
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I think also because at that exact time he was playing as a half forward flanker, and was by a long way our most exciting (and for a while genuinely dangerous) forward. Not a stretch at all to imagine in a team with actual key forwards (which then we didn't have) he would have been a real handful.

Bizzel could be a handful at times.

I made my yearly trek from Brisbane to Melbourne to watch the Cats play the Pies and Bombers in 2001. He was one of our main goal kickers in both games - 5 goals vs Pies, 4 vs Bombers. And that was playing in a forward line consisting of Ronnie Burns, Ben Graham, and Kent Kingsley - hardly comparable to the likes of Hawkins and Cameron (hell, even Rohan would be an upgrade... actually, considering our midfield back then, maybe not).

Over 2000/2001 he kicked 63 goals. Dropped off massively after that, but I think he spent his last few years playing in the back line, especially after moving to Melbourne. If Ratugolea started kicking 30/yr, I think most fans would be reasonably be happy (so long as he's not the #1 forward).
 

Partridge

Hall of Famer
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Bizzel could be a handful at times.

I made my yearly trek from Brisbane to Melbourne to watch the Cats play the Pies and Bombers in 2001. He was one of our main goal kickers in both games - 5 goals vs Pies, 4 vs Bombers. And that was playing in a forward line consisting of Ronnie Burns, Ben Graham, and Kent Kingsley - hardly comparable to the likes of Hawkins and Cameron (hell, even Rohan would be an upgrade... actually, considering our midfield back then, maybe not).

Over 2000/2001 he kicked 63 goals. Dropped off massively after that, but I think he spent his last few years playing in the back line, especially after moving to Melbourne. If Ratugolea started kicking 30/yr, I think most fans would be reasonably be happy (so long as he's not the #1 forward).

Correct. Geelong moved him on after 2001 - he was part of the deal that landed us pick 17 (I think), which netted James Kelly. Worked out very well in the end, but can't pretend I wasn't mightily annoyed that one of our few dangerous players was traded out. Melbourne to my knowledge never played him forward at all. it was 100% back pocket, which really didn't make much sense to me. But there you go.

Final call is spot on, if Ratugolea kicks 30 goals a year he's doing his job.
 

RegHickeyStand

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 29, 2009
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As with any athlete/sportsman, Ratugolea's dedication will tell the tale. He has the size and natural ability. He needs to turn that into skills and game fitness. And he needs luck injurywise, like they all do. I do not fancy his chances if they want him to ruck more than the bare minimum. He looks like the type that would break down.
 

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Partridge

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2002
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As with any athlete/sportsman, Ratugolea's dedication will tell the tale. He has the size and natural ability. He needs to turn that into skills and game fitness. And he needs luck injurywise, like they all do. I do not fancy his chances if they want him to ruck more than the bare minimum. He looks like the type that would break down.

I'm not convinced about the natural ability. He has superb natural athleticism, but far from convinced he's a natural footballer that others are.
 

catscollector

Premiership Player
Jun 30, 2018
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Bizzell played a lot of his footy with Geelong as a defender. One of the great attributes he had as a player, you could shift him to the forward line and he had immediate impact as he was an exceptional mark.

I thought he was a much more consistent and accountable player when he went to Melbourne. Played 90 games for Melbourne and it ended after sustaining a string of leg injuries in his final season.
 

PzBlinky

All Australian
Sep 12, 2020
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Considering this has had 34 pages (and most of us have watched him play for years), I'm not surprised media figures outside have no idea about Esava.

The AFL Daily talks about him twice being a ruck option and being a "point of difference". I only switched it on because it was discussing the Cats list regeneration. To be honest, nothing new there (you can't do much analysis in 6 mins) and I get that as a journo, you're spread across 18 teams, but it's not very useful if you're talking about options that aren't really options.

Anyway, if you like listening to high-level, shallow analysis...

 

Farmer2Goggin

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 17, 2009
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I'm not convinced about the natural ability. He has superb natural athleticism, but far from convinced he's a natural footballer that others are.

Agree - Sav shows so much promise but his poor judgement of the ball in flight limits his effectiveness in marking contests - he either runs under it or has to come from 3 deep to contest. When he gets it right he generally gets his hands on it but often can't clunk it. His kicking really worries me also.

I'd like Sav to succeed but if he struggles Neale should be given a chance - not quite as athletic but he's a natural footballer.
 

cats_09

Moderator
Jun 21, 2011
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Agree - Sav shows so much promise but his poor judgement of the ball in flight limits his effectiveness in marking contests - he either runs under it or has to come from 3 deep to contest. When he gets it right he generally gets his hands on it but often can't clunk it. His kicking really worries me also.

I'd like Sav to succeed but if he struggles Neale should be given a chance - not quite as athletic but he's a natural footballer.

Totally agree

And I feel like those who talk about him offering a point of difference up forward & Ratugolea crashing packs, are somewhat misunderstanding the bolded and that it's more him misreading the flight of ball but still trying to mark it

There doesn't always seem a lot of control in the manner in which he "attacks" the marking contest, rather just a 'see ball, get ball' style almost...
 

standupand

Club Legend
Sep 27, 2019
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Totally agree

And I feel like those who talk about him offering a point of difference up forward & Ratugolea crashing packs, are somewhat misunderstanding the bolded and that it's more him misreading the flight of ball but still trying to mark it

There doesn't always seem a lot of control in the manner in which he "attacks" the marking contest, rather just a 'see ball, get ball' style almost...
I'm probably one of the one's you're talking about. I don't deny he can work on judging the ball better in flight. But as for attacking the contest, I can't find any fault. He is one of the most selfless players. Reminds me a lot of a young Cam Mooney.
 

cats_09

Moderator
Jun 21, 2011
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I'm probably one of the one's you're talking about. I don't deny he can work on judging the ball better in flight. But as for attacking the contest, I can't find any fault. He is one of the most selfless players. Reminds me a lot of a young Cam Mooney.

Question of curiosity - what aspects of Ratugolea's game do you believe makes him one of our "most selfless players"?

Not sure I've heard others describe him in that matter, so curious what you see from him that's selfless
 

standupand

Club Legend
Sep 27, 2019
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Question of curiosity - what aspects of Ratugolea's game do you believe makes him one of our "most selfless players"?

Not sure I've heard others describe him in that matter, so curious what you see from him that's selfless
Two things:
1. His willingness to play roles for the team (and learn roles) that may not be where he feels most comfortable.
2. His willingness to put his body on the line in contests to create space for and set up his teammates.
 

BORIS332

Premiership Player
Dec 22, 2016
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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.

Judging the ball in flight? Pardon? He was our only competitive aerial threat in the finals.
 

small 4wards

Draftee
Jul 29, 2021
19
50
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Geelong
Question of curiosity - what aspects of Ratugolea's game do you believe makes him one of our "most selfless players"?

Not sure I've heard others describe him in that matter, so curious what you see from him that's selfless

Loved his attitude in the post game interview when he kicked four against NM, spoke about how he wants to work for the club as a whole, not just himself. He didn't mind where he was playing or if he was playing, just wanted to help see Geelong to a flag.
 

catscollector

Premiership Player
Jun 30, 2018
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Judging the ball in flight? Pardon? He was our only competitive aerial threat in the finals.

Needs to do a lot more than manage 1 mark in a game.
Even if he gets on his bike and roams around the wings to get some marks and confidence early on.
 

BORIS332

Premiership Player
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Needs to do a lot more than manage 1 mark in a game.
Even if he gets on his bike and roams around the wings to get some marks and confidence early on.

What does getting cheap uncontested marks up the ground have to do with Esava’s reading of the ball in flight?

He impacts contests in the air, that’s his strength and his value to our 22. The criticism that he doesn’t read the flight well couldn’t be further from the truth.
 

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