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bit soft on DBJ. was torn apart.Horrible performance. This ignites all suspicion that this group still melts faster than a snowman in summer when heat is applied to them. The fightback only masked our shortcomings, as we looked rudderless in defence without Jonas, and our star midfielders, Boak excepted, were insignificant when it mattered.
Conceding the first 7 goals probably wasn't the game plan...
Disgraceful first term, we didn't rock up with the right mindset. We were too attacking early, running forward of the ball and getting caught out on the rebound. Could not stick a tackle., and the ball fell for the team that was proactive. The defence was disorganised and the Gwoo forwards kept throwing different looks which kept us unsettled.
It started in ruck, where Lycett was smashed in hitouts and in general play by Grundy, and Ryder was only marginally more effective. Our inside mids barely got a look at it, and the ball got to the Magpie runners far too easily.
We righted the ship after the coach went thermonuclear at quarter time, and looked like momentum was with us when we got within 3 goals, but it was a false economy as the Magpies ramped up the pressure and intensity to blow us away. We are vulnerable to a quick, medium-sized forward line, with blokes like Bonner and DBJ poor in body contests, and Clurey on DeGoey was the wrong matchup. In hindsight, we had one tall defender too many for this opponent.
It's a genuine surprise when we move the ball smoothly beyond half-forward. Westhoff is a reasonable forward but cannot handle being the main man; Marshall is a work in progress but needs to do more, Paddy was forced to ruck because of Lycett's horror show, and Sammy is a front and square guy who needs someone to give a contest. Only Rozee adds any X-factor, and it's asking too much for a rookie to lead the band.
We were smashed, -90 in disposals, -35 for marks and -25 in contested possession, but won tackles because we were second to react too often. The spread and distribution from stoppages was the most noticeable failing, as Rockliff, SPP and Wines were comprehensively shut out of the game.
Powell-Pepper - Needs to impose himself on games more, and if he can't, he needs to at least give some defensive coverage around the packs. Has a tendency to go the glory kick instead of the smart one sometimes. 6/10
Burton - A lighthouse of serenity in the chaos of or backline. Usually takes the right option, and has an awareness of his surroundings that some of his fellow defenders lack. 7/10
Ryder - At least jumped with Grundy when swapped into ruck, but the need to cover Lycett robbed us of a forward target. Not a great night for our vaunted ruck combo. 5/10
Ebert - Nothing. Unless he was on the turf recovering from another hit, the commentators never called his name. No presence up forward, and couldn't keep up with the faster Crisp. Was almost a relief when he was eventually ruled out. 1/10
Boak - The boy with his finger in the dyke early, and wholly responsible for our first goal. Trav was easily our best midfielder and it is striking how much cleaner he is now with less responsibility. He has every right to feel that his fellow mids let him down badly tonight. 30 disposals again, and should still be captain on that performance, as he was the only one to show leadership. 8.5/10
Rockliff - Tagged by Greenwood, robbing us of the distributor around stoppages. Seemed to drop his bundle and stop working, which is uncharacteristic. I'd give him a mulligan because Buckley identified him as the player who needed to be stopped. 4/10
Marshall - As a roaming third tall, Todd could be very effective; matched on the opponent's best tall defender, he will struggle to impose himself. Took a couple of strong grabs, and was typically clever with some little taps. Moore was just a couple of years too advanced tonight. 5/10
Amon - Needs space to be effective and got none. Did little to justify his inclusion, and was always a strange replacement for Robbie. He is purely a receiver - it was alarming to see him pushed off possession several times. 3/10
Wines - Horrible, and should be ashamed of his performance in his predecessor's milestone game. When we needed him to get down and dirty, he was nowhere to be seen. Failed to read Grundy's ruckwork, and was run off his feet and shown up by Pendlebury. 2/10
Clurey - Won't be the last man to find DeGoey too powerful, but stuck to his task reasonably well. We missed his intercept presence because he was preoccupied holding back the tide. 5/10
Butters - Needs to get more involved. Showed glimpses, but lately glimpses are all we've seen, and he has not settled into senior footy as well as his alumni. May need a rest, but equally could tear the Showdown apart. 3/10
Rozee - Had a nice patch in the second, but like his rookie mates found the increased intensity to be stifling. Still had me gushing about his class at times, and it was heartening to see him given an opportunity to gain experience in the centre square when it was all over. 5/10
Duursma - Would have learned a lot about footy from playing on Sidebottom. He ran hard both ways but lost his opponent in traffic several times, which resulted in Collingwood goals. Backed up his RS nom with a reasonable game. 6/10
Bonner - Was one of the defenders who looked shellshocked in the first. Had Elliott, and wasn't good enough. He seems to struggle to lift his performance in games where he starts poorly. Failed to put his body on the line a couple of times. 4/10
Drew - Has dropped away and may be sent back to the SANFL for a while. Trengove may be a better option in the defensive mid role - Willem got caught out several times in the DMZ and allowed Beams too much latitude. Did work hard with the most tackles, but we need more. 4/10
Lycett - Schooled by Grundy and made way for Ryder as primary ruck. Had a bad night; butchered a goal and laboured around the forward line. Managed a couple of worthless Jenkins-like goals Hinkley didn't miss him, so a better performance in the Showdown is a given. 2/10
Howard - Quelled Stevenson after quarter time, and looked like he has confidence in his leap and his hands again. I would have liked to see him given a run up forward tonight, when we needed a presence there and he was surplus to needs against a small forward line. 7/10
Byrne-Jones - Caught too deep on Stevenson early, but fought back well when he got higher up the ground and had some clever moments while providing drive. 5/10
Lienert - The only defender who didn't look flustered early. Kept Mihocek quiet despite the avalanche of possession. He is in the embryonic stage of his career, but looks physically well matched to a third tall role, and his kicking is a weapon. Not sure if he holds his spot over Jonas, but is solid depth. 6/10
Westhoff - Lively when he moved to full forward, and applied pressure to the free-running Gwoo defenders. Not dominant, but definitely not our worst and found plenty of the ball, and it was an improvement on his recent performances. Will never be a reliable set shot at goal. 7/10
Houston - Think he mostly had Hoskin-Elliott, and kept him under control while being our best rebounder and interceptor. 7/10
S Gray - My biggest knock on Sammy has always been that he is anonymous against the better teams, and tonight was a prime example. He didn't work hard enough upfield, and it was comical to watch him in marking contests against Jeremy Howe. 3/10