Unofficial Preview Rnd 1 - Fremantle vs North Melbourne 24th March 3:20pm

DaveLister

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#51
Quite possibly, it all comes back to ball movement speed and pressure up the field. He would play on the gorilla forwards normally.
Gorilla is sort of a dying breed. Strength is great to have but he has so much mass that it almost certainly limits him. Way more KPF are agility based than wrestling nowadays, only Hawkins comes to mind and he's a lot trimmer and agile than he was 3 years ago.

As to upfield situation, that applies to every forward contest ever. Being able to prevent opposition score when it's not on your terms is just as, if not more, important than intercepting when it is on your terms.

Fans get giddy when they see their kids with massive guns but they're just impractical in today's game.
 

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Kangaroos4eva

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#53
Gorilla is sort of a dying breed. Strength is great to have but he has so much mass that it almost certainly limits him. Way more KPF are agility based than wrestling nowadays, only Hawkins comes to mind and he's a lot trimmer and agile than he was 3 years ago.

As to upfield situation, that applies to every forward contest ever. Being able to prevent opposition score when it's not on your terms is just as, if not more, important than intercepting when it is on your terms.

Fans get giddy when they see their kids with massive guns but they're just impractical in today's game.
He will be well suited to your larger built mobile types as he’s fit and quick, I.e. Harry McKay and, to a lesser degree, Hawkin types. He is being talked up because he smashed the vfl this year. Zero concerns over him, Durdin is more concerning. He’ll probably rotate across multiple kpf’s. Looking forward to see how each club’s new players go and how much our youth has progressed.
 
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DaveLister

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#54
He will be well suited to your larger built mobile types as he’s fit and quick, I.e. Harry McKay and, to a lesser degree, Hawkin types. He is being talked up because he smashed the vfl this year. Zero concerns over him, Durdin is more concerning. He’ll probably rotate across multiple kpf’s.
Perfectly designed to play on his identical twin brother, taberner and the best forward at his own club. Who are the other larger mobile types? Resting rucks hardly need a dedicated defender. Just doesn't seem like he's built to take on the modern dangerous tall forward or to play the intecept role. I'd suggest there is a reason why no other defender in the AFL has the same build.

Maybe he drops mass over the preseason while trying to keep strength but it's easier said than done.

As for dominating the VFL, you can't do more at that level but it's hardly something to put in your trophy cabinet. Not many AFL standard forwards to beat. Sam Collins had similar success at the lower levels then came in and had his career temporarily ended.
 

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Thread starter #55
Looks tall and top heavy, would have a decent match up on Tabs but every other of our forwards would be too agile.
He looks a monster for sure. Though he does seem to be top heavy, his legs seem small when compared to his upper body. Considering footy players generally seem to benefit most from a solid core and a strong pair of legs I'm not sure what big arms help achieve.


Quite possibly, it all comes back to ball movement speed and pressure up the field. He would play on the gorilla forwards normally.
Tabs or Lobb likely to be the deepest forwards.

As you say it'll be midfield pressure that dictates how the talls go for both sides.

If we did run with 3 talls - who do you think would take who?
CHF - Hogan
FF - Tabs
Ruck/Fwd - Lobb

With no Waite who is your 2nd tall these days - Is it Wood or is he more your mobile 3rd tall type?


Both teams have quite a few new faces to settle into the B22? Should be a good game. Obviously I'm hoping/thinking we'll take the chocolates but it's still 3 months away so a lot can change.
 

Kangaroos4eva

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#56
He looks a monster for sure. Though he does seem to be top heavy, his legs seem small when compared to his upper body. Considering footy players generally seem to benefit most from a solid core and a strong pair of legs I'm not sure what big arms help achieve.



Tabs or Lobb likely to be the deepest forwards.

As you say it'll be midfield pressure that dictates how the talls go for both sides.

If we did run with 3 talls - who do you think would take who?
CHF - Hogan
FF - Tabs
Ruck/Fwd - Lobb

With no Waite who is your 2nd tall these days - Is it Wood or is he more your mobile 3rd tall type?


Both teams have quite a few new faces to settle into the B22? Should be a good game. Obviously I'm hoping/thinking we'll take the chocolates but it's still 3 months away so a lot can change.
Good question re matchups as our best 22 is much different with the retirement/delistings, new additions and the circumstances surrounding Majak. A bit depends on pre-season form. We have the leading VFL goal-kicker from last season in Larkey, but he's a thinly built Petrie like forward, without the strength, but with the same forward smarts. My educated guess is we will look to use quick and/or powerful medium forwards rather than the 3 tall forwards we have used on and off since 2012.

My North Best 22 Round 1:

Williams - Tarrant - EVW
MacMillian - McKay - Pittard
Dumont - Anderson - Polec
Simpkin - Wood - Higgins
Ziebell - Brown - Zurhaar
Goldstein - Cunnington - Jacobs
I/C: Hall, Tyson, Wright, Ahern

Emergencies: LDU, Atley, Murphy

I don't expect Garner to get up, if he does, he'll take Zurhaar's spot probably. LDU isn't quite there yet body-wise, Atley is on the cusp and Murphy is a very promising HB/wing medium defender type. There's a few names that could easily sneak into our top 25. A very tight 18-30 group tbh. Pittard is dependent on pre-season form, if he's crap, someone like Murphy or McDonald or Wright will take his spot.

Wood is a very fit tall third tall forward flanker type, he take a contested mark, but that's not his game tbh. He's a thumping kick of the footy and lead's hard at the footy.

I would say we will go a tad undersized, but if we go in with 3 KPD's, it'll be Durdin, McKay and Taz.

McKay - Lobb/Tab (when he's rucking)
Tarrant - Tab
EVW to play undersized on Hogan and Wright/MacMillian to follow him up the ground.
 

wayToGo_

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#57
Are we honestly talking about a KPD who has only played 1 AFL game in his entire career coming in and being able to hold his own against seasoned key forwards? FFS, and here I was thinking we had the delusional fans :p

Thompson absolutely destroyed us the last time they played us - 14 intercepts (next best on the ground was 8). As did Waite (at the other end - 3 goals and was in everything), who was probably BOG in that game. Pretty much all of North's experienced players (ie 30yo+ - Higgins etc) killed our youngsters. Other potential good news for us is Neale was pretty close to useless in that game., so we won't be losing much there.

Should be a good game (as I think both our teams are in the same ladder region - we have more youngsters but evened out with better top end talent). I really can't get a proper read on North. They won 4 more games than us last season but 4 of the 5 teams they played twice were bottom 6 (3 were bottom 4). The other team being Sydney, who lets be serious were woeful most of last season. They had a couple of decent wins against top 8 sides but also lost to Gold Coast, so who knows? They were pretty abysmal playing away - not as bad as us though. Both teams also bad in round 1 last year - we got smashed by Port away, they lost to the Suns away!!!

They do hate to kick - 18th for kicks in 2018. They've added Polec, he is quality and will add a heap to their run and willingness to kick. And also added Hall, who must be having nightmares thinking he might get towelled up by Banfield again right from round 1 this time - Bailey really did break him and he wasn't the same for the remainder of the season. Not sure Pittard and Tyson add much? Are they even best 22? Losing Waite is big imo. And not having both Thompson and Daw round 1 will be 'interesting' given who is likely to be in our forward line.

We'll add a fair bit of size up forward with Lobb, Taberner and hopefully Hogan. And plenty of extra run with Brad Hill, who didn't play last time we played them, Colyer and Bewley. Plus Wilson won't be carrying a niggle like last time we played them. Whoever our small forwards are, they surely have to be better than last time we played them? Conca (who seems to always play quite well against North), Logue and Bennell the other additions since last time.

Really think it comes down to pressure. If we apply good pressure (mostly to their midfield) their many suspect ball users will struggle and start just dropping it on the boot hoping Ben Brown can work his magic every time. If Pearce and Hamling can nullify him, and others roll off and intercept then we can slingshot pretty quickly - and our new look forward line should get the job done. If our pressure is off they might smash us, as their forward line is quite strong and can score big with unpressured supply.
 

Kangaroos4eva

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#58
Are we honestly talking about a KPD who has only played 1 AFL game in his entire career coming in and being able to hold his own against seasoned key forwards? FFS, and here I was thinking we had the delusional fans :p

Thompson absolutely destroyed us the last time they played us - 14 intercepts (next best on the ground was 8). As did Waite (at the other end - 3 goals and was in everything), who was probably BOG in that game. Pretty much all of North's experienced players (ie 30yo+ - Higgins etc) killed our youngsters. Other potential good news for us is Neale was pretty close to useless in that game., so we won't be losing much there.

Should be a good game (as I think both our teams are in the same ladder region - we have more youngsters but evened out with better top end talent). I really can't get a proper read on North. They won 4 more games than us last season but 4 of the 5 teams they played twice were bottom 6 (3 were bottom 4). The other team being Sydney, who lets be serious were woeful most of last season. They had a couple of decent wins against top 8 sides but also lost to Gold Coast, so who knows? They were pretty abysmal playing away - not as bad as us though. Both teams also bad in round 1 last year - we got smashed by Port away, they lost to the Suns away!!!

They do hate to kick - 18th for kicks in 2018. They've added Polec, he is quality and will add a heap to their run and willingness to kick. And also added Hall, who must be having nightmares thinking he might get towelled up by Banfield again right from round 1 this time - Bailey really did break him and he wasn't the same for the remainder of the season. Not sure Pittard and Tyson add much? Are they even best 22? Losing Waite is big imo. And not having both Thompson and Daw round 1 will be 'interesting' given who is likely to be in our forward line.

We'll add a fair bit of size up forward with Lobb, Taberner and hopefully Hogan. And plenty of extra run with Brad Hill, who didn't play last time we played them, Colyer and Bewley. Plus Wilson won't be carrying a niggle like last time we played them. Whoever our small forwards are, they surely have to be better than last time we played them? Conca (who seems to always play quite well against North), Logue and Bennell the other additions since last time.

Really think it comes down to pressure. If we apply good pressure (mostly to their midfield) their many suspect ball users will struggle and start just dropping it on the boot hoping Ben Brown can work his magic every time. If Pearce and Hamling can nullify him, and others roll off and intercept then we can slingshot pretty quickly - and our new look forward line should get the job done. If our pressure is off they might smash us, as their forward line is quite strong and can score big with unpressured supply.
Your posters kept asking, so I kept answering.;) Seasoned forwards no, it is a thrown to the wolves situation re McKay.

Thompson had a very average second half of the season. Last year we had a few injuries and a few of our 'best 22' struggled, re Turner, Wood, Waite, etc. The GC match was in a proto-typhoon in Carins in March, would not read into that one bit. Historically, we don't go well in Round 1.

Not so much hating kicking, but we play a very direct style of football and don't share the ball around like Mitchell or a team like the Bulldogs. Polec will play wing, Hall has been earmarked for an inside spot, so Higgins will probably complement our half-forward line and rotate with him. Hall has not been right for two seasons tbh. I'm not losing sleep over Colyer or Conca or Bewley. Conca actually goes fairly average against North, but really cashed in when Richmond were on a massive winning streak during last season. He got flogged in the 2015 final.

Logue is a good addition, really rate him, likewise Cox. Higgins, Hall, Polec, Dumont, Wright, Ahern and Simpkin are all neat to good kicks of the footy, but I do agree that class is something we still lack in, particularly off half-back. Half-back is my main concern as we lack a decent rebounding defender as is our lack of small forwards. Agree about the pressure, but I always believed it comes back to the coal face. Win the contested footy and cash in enough when you are dominating, you win the game.
 

Jezzitizle

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#59
Very difficult game to tip, both teams with some significant changes.

Both teams also looking to see how much their kids have improved to get a feel of strong they will be for the year.

No idea who will get up.
 

wayToGo_

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#60
Agree about the pressure, but I always believed it comes back to the coal face. Win the contested footy and cash in enough when you are dominating, you win the game.
It doesn't though. The last three premiers didn't win because of dominant midfields that won heaps of clearances. They won because they were all good at moving the ball from half back to their forward line. All very different styles but all effective at pressuring around the ball, causing intercepts and then rebounding effectively. It's no coincidence the top 4 teams for intercepts last season were Richmond, Collingwood, Melbourne and West Coast. You guys were number 8 which is why I think you were fairly competitive in most games. Thompson was easily your best interceptor with your other defenders being fairly even behind him.

It's why we've completely transformed from our contested ball winning midfield bulls (in 2012-15) to far more defensive/pressuring mids and adding quality ball users in the back line. The two main missing pieces for us last season were interceptors and some semblance of forward line targets (plus carrying a heap of very young/inexperienced midfielders). We've addressed some of that but it's almost certainly not all going to come together round 1 like magic. You guys should still be clear favourites to win but if our young mids pressure well (like they did in the early part of last season) it could go either way.

Am a bit surprised you are looking at using Hall in the middle, he's been woeful there every time I've seen him play there but maybe he'll work better with a different team dynamic around him? He's got talent but seems to too easily get nullified and have zero impact. He'll probably come out and kill us now that I've said that.
 

Kangaroos4eva

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#61
It doesn't though. The last three premiers didn't win because of dominant midfields that won heaps of clearances. They won because they were all good at moving the ball from half back to their forward line. All very different styles but all effective at pressuring around the ball, causing intercepts and then rebounding effectively. It's no coincidence the top 4 teams for intercepts last season were Richmond, Collingwood, Melbourne and West Coast. You guys were number 8 which is why I think you were fairly competitive in most games. Thompson was easily your best interceptor with your other defenders being fairly even behind him.

It's why we've completely transformed from our contested ball winning midfield bulls (in 2012-15) to far more defensive/pressuring mids and adding quality ball users in the back line. The two main missing pieces for us last season were interceptors and some semblance of forward line targets (plus carrying a heap of very young/inexperienced midfielders). We've addressed some of that but it's almost certainly not all going to come together round 1 like magic. You guys should still be clear favourites to win but if our young mids pressure well (like they did in the early part of last season) it could go either way.

Am a bit surprised you are looking at using Hall in the middle, he's been woeful there every time I've seen him play there but maybe he'll work better with a different team dynamic around him? He's got talent but seems to too easily get nullified and have zero impact. He'll probably come out and kill us now that I've said that.
To an extent, I agree; however they also won because of good contested footy combined with effective interception structures and long kicking. I was not talking so much about clearances, which are important, but not as integral as winning the contested footy and winning most of the one-on-ones. West Coast were 15th for tackles and while their pressure was good, it was not as good as other teams. Their long-kicking, contested work, in particular marking, and structures won them a premiership and it is why they have been very good in the West for a very long time. West Coast were 15th for tackles in 2018 (can't find team stats on pressure acts, but they would be around middle of the pack if I had to guess average wise), Richmond were 7th (their pressure acts would be high) and the Western Bulldogs were 13th the year before that (again, high enough pressure acts). Pressure is a non-negotiable, Richmond were still great at it in 2018 and better than West Coast at it, but they were undone due to an over-reliance on almost pure pressure based structures. It is better to copy West Coast's model than the Dogs or Richmond's style in my opinion.

You highlighted Freo's main issues last season from the limited amount of Freo games I get to watch in country NSW. Who do you see playing that role with Johnson gone? Is that something you would ask Pearce to do? Yes the forward line needs work, but now you've got the personnel to build a decent forward line for now and the future. Your recruiting over the last two seasons has been spot on and I can see you guys rising up the ladder very soon. It is your young midfielders that impress me the most, but they'll take time as you duly noted.

I don't see us as current favourites, we historically struggle in round 1 games, our forward line is an unknown at this stage in terms of structure, our midfield needs re-jigging with Tyson/Polec/Hall coming into it and we still lack a decent small forward (Simpkin is more of a half-forward mid type). We added Tyson because as soon as Cunnington rested and with Ziebell up forward, we struggled to win enough clearances, with the exception of Anderson.

Hall said he played his best with Ablett as that inside mid, so the pre-season games should be interesting. A full-preseason would help. TBH, I want us to instill him as a nippy small forward and tell him to tackle and pressure or GAGF. Him coming into the inside mid affects Higgins/LDU/Dumont (who is an inside mid playing as a winger). I'm really looking forward to see how both squads shape up for this one and if there are any major game style changes from the 2018 season.
 
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#62
Can anyone remember if Jacobs has ever been effective on fyfe. I can see that being a key match up as our midfield is still in diapers.
 

theGav56

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#73
Concas good, but he’s not gonna get the #1 tag each week.




Somehow I don’t think that’s where you were taking this :oops: Conca the Subanator?
Yes I see him in the Suban role a bit. But we will see. Big body who doesn't mind crashing and bashing.
 

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#74
I finished rewatching our last game against North this morning... Geez I forgot how the umpires (Williamson in particular) killed us in the second half of the game. The non-free for Hamling when he got sling tackled without the ball and they ran in for a goal (worst non-decision all year?), the 50m call against Banfield when Higgins just got warnings, the high free for Wood right in front of goal when he clearly ducked into it, Walters getting molested all day but just play on, and on and on... Despite their (umpires) best efforts, we still won back momentum in the 4th (started from Langdon's amazing chase down, followed by some Fyfe-Walters magic) but once Sandi got concussed we got smashed in the ruck we went to pieces. Final scoreline didn't do justice for majority of the game.

Thought our young midfield did pretty well (Banfield was great on Higgins, Brayshaw solid, Walters all class, Fyfe dominant most of the game despite the hard tag, Neale was useless - his worst game of the season?), backline was fairly solid (Hamling awesome, Ryan so composed, Wilson tagged most of the time, Pearce not at his best), but our forward line was woeful (Ballas, Matera, McCarthy did nothing and although Cox looked dangerous at times he dropped most marks and couldn't kick straight when he did). Mundy was our only forward and found it interesting we didn't resort to putting him in the midfield - backed in the youngsters! Having Lobb as a backup would have made a massive difference when Sandi went down. Thought we kept pretty good structure most of the game.

Can't wait for Round 1 to see where we are at.
 

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Thread starter #75
Hogan might be the better footballer but I think Lobb is the more important recruit this off-season.

Not many clubs have capable ruck/fwds. If Sandi/Darcy go down in game we still have a player capable of handling the No1 ruck duties in Lobb, plus he gives us height/structure and a potential mismatch when he plays up forward.

If he can average over a goal a game, dominate the opposition backup ruck and provide an outlet along the wing we'll be laughing all the way to the bank.
 
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