Preview Rnd 5 - Carlton vs Port Adelaide Sat April 16th 7.25PM @ MCG - Team Post #765

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Gethelred

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Round 5: Carlton vs Port Adelaide

Saturday, 17/4/2021

MCG

7:25pm

Form line

Port Adelaide

W-W-L-W

Port won their first two in fairly emphatic fashion (against North Melbourne and Essendon) before collapsing somewhat in Perth against the Eagles.

Their hitout on Friday was one of the games of the year, in which they took everything Richmond could throw at them physically and held on by two points.

Carlton

L-L-W-W

As we all know, we've been a bit hit and miss. We kept up with Richmond for three terms only to run out of legs in the last; we were exceedingly ordinary against Collingwood, performing well below what I'd consider to be our expectations.

The win against Fremantle came courtesy of an improved performance from Cripps and a seven goal haul from Harry. The less said about our victory against the Suns the better; it was noteworthy only for the points taken.

If anything, the two teams can say of their last games that they were games of contrast; Port were bloodied, and played fluent, attacking footy with real grunt, where our game against the Suns featured corralling, poor disposal and marking, players losing their feet and the back fifties for both sides getting clogged up with 30+ players.

We should - and the key word here is should - come away from Queensland a little fresher than Port should come to Melbourne.

Head to head

W-L-L-L-L

We last beat Port in 2016, and have played them only once a year on average since then. That first loss hurt, badly, but each year since we've gotten a little closer.

We all know how last year went; it took a Robbie Gray kick from after the siren to get them over the line.


Key Stats

Port are very much a contested ball team, and this is borne out in the stats; they average 147.8 contested possessions for a +13.5 differential, where we average 136.3 for a -3; back them, on this year's form, to beat us around the ball. They average 52.8 tackles a game to our 42.0. However, we average 101 marks, with a +17 differential, and 241 uncontested possessions for a +34.3 differential, as well as +28.7 effective disposal differential; they win the ball more effectively, but even despite our opposition we retain possession more than they do.

On average, they enter forward 50 one time more than we do, so that's not a significant enough difference. Where things get interesting is that we concede on average 55.3 entries, where they concede 48.8; we don't mind conceding the entry, backing Jones and Weitering to intercept the ball. We average more or less similar disposal numbers, but they average roughly 13 more handpasses a game than we do (146.7 vs 160), so they're a bit happier to go by hand than we are. We win more clearances than they do (39 vs 34.5) but that difference closes when centre clearances are considered. We are marginally better with ball in hand (disposal eff 75% vs 73%).

With this in mind, we should - in theory - compete well for first touch, and they will do as they do and try and handpass their way clear of a stoppage, before running and kicking forward. We will seek repeat forward entries, and try to beat their offense overhead. They take more intercept possessions than we do (71 vs 74) which demonstrates how much they rely on working together down back.

They close down space rather well, but can they do it on the G?


Analysis

Port have players with genuine leg speed, but their prime movers - Boak, Dixon, Wines, Gray, Hartlett - are not fast. In general, they will structure up around a stoppage to flick the ball out not forward or backwards, but to the side, looking to move the ball from these slower players to someone who is both free and better able to escape without being caught.

Once clear, they will run forward in numbers, using handpasses to draw the player and trying to extend the run beyond the wing and into the forward flank. Their ideal play is to run through forward 50 unopposed, and to either have a ping themselves or to spot up Dixon, Marshall, Ladhams, Gray; essentially, anyone loose.

They can get jumped, and pressure can be exerted to force the turnover around the ball; North were all over them early in round 1, and WC in round 3. Their stoppage game relies on finding that eventual free outlet player; if there is no outlet, they will keep looking by hand and keep trying to beat the tackler. It reminds me of 2007-2009 Geelong in style, actually; like to use the corridor, beat your opposition around the ball and treat the tackler with disdain.

I cannot emphasize enough how quickly they can go from one end of the ground to the other sometimes, if you cannot cut off the inboard kick from the back 50 to CHB. If they win clear of a stoppage and take that kick in space, back them to nail it and try to go straight away. It is a risk, and an exploitable one if there isn't an option, or if they succeed in that kick but you can effect the turnover then you've just got the ball at CHF, and they're out of position.


Key players

Boak is kicking a few goals via getting out the back this year. Gray is spending a lot of time forward. Wines is struggling for impact.

Aliir is a decent size, but at 195cm is the tallest of their KPD. Clurey is 193cm, Burton 191, Jonas 188cm. We saw against WC how they can be exposed for height; under the new status quo in the AFL, teams which relied on zoning struggle a bit with teams that have the talls to stretch them. Aliir was a colossal in for them; he's tall, fast and a terrific reader of the ball; akin to Liam Jones, actually, capable of the sublime and the ridiculous. Whoever Aliir is on needs to drag him away, and allow the next player to exploit that lack of size.

People wondered after our last game against them why we kept Jones on Dixon when he was clearly getting crazy separation. The answer is a combination of speed and very, very intelligent smalls who pick juuuust the right moment to put themselves in the way of the key defender. Sometimes it's an obvious block; sometimes it's as subtle as a dummy lead that cuts between the two players at the last minute. This is one of the rare occasions in which I'd play an extra behind the ball, because you can use them offensively and to sit directly in front of the ball carrier and to intercept. The longer you can keep them holding the ball as they look for an option inside F50, the more likely you can turn the ball over, and when you do you're off to the races on the other wing. Richmond never let him get an unobscured lead at the ball within scoring range, and that hurt Port in their efforts going inside forward 50. Depending on whether Marshall plays, Port go from being quite Dixon focused - relying on blocks to get him free, with mixed success; having one KPF isn't something that works if your ball movement is under pressure - to looking for the right option whilst still bing a bit Dixon focussed.

I suppose I should mention Gray here. He's been spending a lot of time forward, and he's kicked quite a few goals at important times for them, including against Richmond where his last quarter goal was the score they needed to regain the lead. However - and this might be contentious - he is a good deal slower than he was a year or so ago, and relies on positioning and power through his legs to take marks inside forward 50. He's a very good shot for goal, but by and large is not the biggest risk.

For our problem is not in the known, but the players who Port have who are - to this point - yet to reach their peaks. We can plan for Boak, Wines; we have the players to cover Dixon and to beat Cleury and Jonas. What we cannot cover is Duursma, if he plays and plays as he did late against Richmond, Rozee if he starts to exhibit why he is so highly regarded; Fantasia, even Motlop in their jumper is something of an unknown quantity, because you're not going to know which version of him is going to turn up. Butters is an absolute gun; he lands like a cat, and has a good bit of dash and an ability to avoid the tackler that is uncanny, but he was the medical sub. We'll see what the makeup of their squad looks like, and a more clear picture will emerge.

Observations

There is a massive chance both Butters and Duursma will miss. Todd Marshall should be back, though.

Their match with Richmond was hard fought from the first term, and was played at a breakneck pace throughout. A number of players were corked, and a number of players suffered niggles. This could result in a bit of reduced running, and could see them struggle to go as hard late.

Make no mistake, they will outtackle us. The stats don't really bear it out, but Lycett should defeat Pittonett; what we need, though, is for Pitto to halve those contests, ahead of trying for a direct victory. His kick behind game, though, could be absolutely perfect if our pressure is decent; Port can be pressured into going for distance within a stoppage, and were lucky multiple times against both North and Richmond that it didn't cost them the way it did against the Eagles.

Verdict

I don't like Port Adelaide.

In around 2003-04, my early teenage self had my parents do a favour for a friend, and let some Port supporters into my home, just as Port were due to play us. Said port fan was as boorish as can be imagined, and my father had to leave the room to keep from belting him. I didn't. I sat there, and watched as he revelled in his team over mine.

So, since then, I've had a soft spot for any hardship they have suffered. The Primus era. 'Port Adelaide vs The Bye'. The 2007 Grand Final. Their drubbing against West Coast this year.

I'd love it, just love it, if we could get up this week. I want us to go out there and hit them, keep hitting them. I want us to replicate Richmond's attack on the ball carrier, and to nail them often and hard, because it is through that pressure that you can force their handball game to fall apart.

But I cannot pick us this week.

We have been over the last few years a team of almosts. Honest, talented, brave, competitive; 'almost' good enough. Last year's game against Port is a testament to this; we should've found a way to ice that game from Gibbons mark.

Against GC, we almost lost it. We refused with utmost stubbornness to kick straight. We had 33 shots at goal, and only kicked 9.13 from those shots with three rushed behinds. Against a team that will be in contention for the flag this year, that will not be remotely the level of performance required.

Port do enough most weeks to win. Their victory against Richmond is noteworthy, because that is the first time I've seen Richmond's plan A fail despite an opposition walking clearly and cleanly into it. That game was played on Richmond's terms from start to finish, but they were just better. We are a different team to Richmond and to a certain extent arguably we match up against Port better, but as tired as they could be or as many as they have out, they are a better team than we are at the moment. They are consistent, and we are not.

I'm putting it on the club, the coaches, and the team to prove me wrong. If they want me to start picking them to win games of footy, they need to start winning games of footy, and not solely those expected to win. This kind of a game is the difference between a team being finals bound and being an also-ran; a beaten up but still victorious opponent against us at home. West Coast, Sydney, Brisbane; hell, Adelaide would take that most marginal of advantages and would turn that into a win.

This is the kind of match in which we can prove that this team, this coach, these players are different. It's about belief, and not just mine in them; it's about theirs in themselves.

It's on you, boys. Get it done.

Port by 10.
 
Last edited:

Mr_Plow

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From the autopsy thread but my changes:

In: Gov, Stocker, Williams
Out: Jsos(inj), Dow, Setterfield

I don’t expect to win this game but hopefully the conditions are favourable and we put in a much better performance than GC.
Same changes. They should all be relatively simple to make, but we'll see what excuse they can conjure for keeping Dow in at the expense of Stocker.
 

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BlueLocke

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Pittonet is my biggest worry for this game - he was not inspiring tonight. Lycett and Ladhams are solid opponents.

Hopefully Butters misses for Port; he’s a dynamic player and sets up a lot of their forward work, especially for Dixon.

I don’t know if we can carry Casboult much longer, I understand the role he is meant to be playing but he doesn’t seem fit enough to play it.
 

bluebaggerjuls

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Pittonet is my biggest worry for this game - he was not inspiring tonight. Lycett and Ladhams are solid opponents.

Hopefully Butters misses for Port; he’s a dynamic player and sets up a lot of their forward work, especially for Dixon.

I don’t know if we can carry Casboult much longer, I understand the role he is meant to be playing but he doesn’t seem fit enough to play it.
out for 6-8 weeks with syndesmosis. Butters that is
 

bigm386

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From the autopsy thread but my changes:

In: Gov, Stocker, Williams
Out: Jsos(inj), Dow, Setterfield

I don’t expect to win this game but hopefully the conditions are favourable and we put in a much better performance than GC.
If Plowman doesn't pull up well id say Willo in also. But agree​
 

The Bighouse

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out for 6-8 weeks with syndesmosis. Butters that is
Bugger for him.
Any update on Duursma?
Rozee hobbling around too.

We need to sew this one up. Hopefully our execution & forward functionality improves.
No Westhoff to spring up.

Will Kennedy come in for a full run? A few marks which was good to see & required.
Z. Williams back?
 

skadoosh

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From the autopsy thread but my changes:

In: Gov, Stocker, Williams
Out: Jsos(inj), Dow, Setterfield

I don’t expect to win this game but hopefully the conditions are favourable and we put in a much better performance than GC.
Same ins and outs. Although I'm hoping JSOS will be right to play. Dow and Setter field were far too comfortable being passengers tonight.
Our ball skills should be better playing at the G.
 

Sammoll

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In the 24 years this mob have been in the comp for our highest ever home game attendance against them has been 29,000 (rd 8 2013 at Docklands) which is pretty pathetic really. Surely we've got to break that this week and I really implore everyone who is considering coming to really get around the boys and give us that home crowd advantage which is really important. Forecasted to be a beautiful Saturday night primetime at the G coming off back to back wins and a good chance to get revenge on that after the siren loss last year and cement a spot in the 8, can't wait!
 

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F_therest

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Same changes. They should all be relatively simple to make, but we'll see what excuse they can conjure for keeping Dow in at the expense of Stocker.
No issue on Dow and Setters going out but can anyone actually articulate why Stocker deserves a shot?

Seen many people calling for him to come in. I haven't watched any reserve games and willing to bet most who are calling for his return haven't either. But for those who have, why? My biggest concern is him still not having the tank to play midfield at AFL level.

Surely Kennedy comes in before Stocker. He was medical sub tonight which indicates he's closer to a recall and though he wasn't on the ground for long, was solid enough.
 

Jamie007

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Setterfield has given us nothing all year. Im not seeing what the big deal is with him. Not convinced. 0 tackles tonight when compared with Kennedy who played for 15 minutes had more tackles than him. Im not quite sure what Teague is seeing with him and why he is an automatic selection. Must be dropped this week. Being a mid and laying no tackles when u play a whole game and when u arent contributing much else should not be tolerated.

Going on Kennedys 15 minutes he showed more than Dow and Setterfield put together. Must play next week.

Stocker can't be any worse than what Dow is at the moment so should get a go.

My outs would be:
Sos (injured)
Saad (injured)
Dow (omitted)
Setterfield (omitted)

Ins: Williams , McLovin, Kennedy, Stocker, and if plowman comes out then O'Briien.
 

james Dean

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Out: Dow, Casboult, Setterfield, Saad (inj), Silvagni (inj)

In: Williams, McGovern, Stocker, Williamson, Kennedy

Saad is clearly not fit, we can’t take any liability’s into a game against Port. SOS will surely miss at least one game,
Hopefully his season isn’t over though.

The other 3 just aren’t contributing enough
 

jelly

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Out: Dow, Casboult, Setterfield, Saad (inj), Silvagni (inj)

In: Williams, McGovern, Stocker, Williamson, Kennedy

Saad is clearly not fit, we can’t take any liability’s into a game against Port. SOS will surely miss at least one game,
Hopefully his season isn’t over though.

The other 3 just aren’t contributing enough
+1
 

Cringle

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Thought Setterfield was good when he started in centre bounces. Is an elite extractor with his hands but needs to be inside to utilise this.

Dow’s confidence looks a little shot at the moment. Maybe a spell in the 2s as a FT midfielder to work on his game and see him back later in the year.
 

Mr_Plow

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No issue on Dow and Setters going out but can anyone actually articulate why Stocker deserves a shot?

Seen many people calling for him to come in. I haven't watched any reserve games and willing to bet most who are calling for his return haven't either. But for those who have, why? My biggest concern is him still not having the tank to play midfield at AFL level.

Surely Kennedy comes in before Stocker. He was medical sub tonight which indicates he's closer to a recall and though he wasn't on the ground for long, was solid enough.
Kennedy is more deserving based on form, certainly. Although, if anyone should be replacing Dow, it's Cuningham.

We need to begin cycling through the likes of Dow, Setterfield, Kennedy, Cuningham, Stocker, until one or two of them grab their opportunity.

And a half-fit Saad is still an elite small defender, for those listing him as an out, he'll be fine for next week.
 

F_therest

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Kennedy is more deserving based on form, certainly. Although, if anyone should be replacing Dow, it's Cuningham.

We need to begin cycling through the likes of Dow, Setterfield, Kennedy, Cuningham, Stocker, until one or two of them grab their opportunity.

And a half-fit Saad is still an elite small defender, for those listing him as an out, he'll be fine for next week.
Personally I'd have Kennedy and Williams for Dow and Setterfield. Midfield looks way stronger based on form.

Cunners prob needs a bit more form in the 2s after his concussion to build a case. 12 tackles or whatever in his last game was good to see, another game like that and really force his way into the seniors.

Gov for Jsos if he isn't fit. If both are fit will be interesting to see who gov replaces.
 
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