Autopsy Round 20, 2019: Adelaide v St.Kilda *DUNSTAN'S 100TH*

VDS66

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It was an incredibly frustrating game of footy to watch last night by its nature, it had all the components, home ground umpiring, stupid self-inflicted 50 meter penalties and butchering opportunities with poor skills.

But honestly, I think there are too many over the top reactions to the loss on here.

For me (and I don’t think this is just confirmation bias at play) this was an improved performance from the Richo years when we came up against a better opponent away from home...and we were unlucky not to take the points in the end.

We went toe-to toe with them and I felt our midfield outplayed them nearly all of the night. Our midfield is often seen as our weakest point but I like the look of it the past few weeks with Dunstan, Steele, Gresh and Ross mixing it with so called better midfields.

In the end, what killed us was coming up against a team that have a gameplan we just can’t deal with at the moment at this point in our journey. Their precision kicking just kills us. But I saw enough last night to think that after another pre-season and an improved gameplan, we won’t be losing to this team for a long time.

All I want to see is composure being the main thing emphasized next pre-season. A new gameplan, and some more experience and composure injected into this group over the off-season and I see some great things in the future.

Nothing from last night changed it, I saw a greater resilience under pressure than I have for a long time. We just, unfortunately have too many bad habits to expel from the past so it will take time. Bring on the pre-season!
All very good observations.

The effort and resilience is there, no doubt.

My point of contention is whether there's enough improvement left in the current mids. I don't think there is and I'd say neither does the club.

Even Ratts let it slip and alluded to some players but being good enough.

Yep, plenty of injuries. Yes a brave loss.

IMO we are not good enough yet. We need to add more talent.

Like we did with Richo it's time to stop making excuses for some players.

Let's be honest, Adelaide is only one of about 10 teams with a game plan and precision kicking that we can't cope with.

Even more damning is the fact that their form was average coming into this game.b
 
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Diehard Saint

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Surely we can afford to trade Jake with Brown on the edge of retirement?

This idea that Carlisle can't defend is completely wrong. He is a very good one on one defender.
Our backline did play pretty well when he was out though.
Battle, Wilkie, Brown ( one more year) Savage and let’s not forget Marsh, possibly Joyce. Also Gears will be back, and Webster.

Maybe we can somehow turn Carlisle into a mid for us - through trade I mean, especially if he does want to go.
 

sunny3193

Premiership Player
Sep 28, 2016
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What the club hasn't been advertising is that we have moved on a huge amount of players. In a rebuild that's really unusual. Six players who were on the 2013 list are still at the club. Stuv- missing, Armo- missing, Geary- missing, Webster- missing, Newnes- missing and Ross- some seem to wish he was missing.

Any way the point is we are rebuilding the first rebuild and probably the second one too.
I’m glad you have highlighted this.
Most people wouldn’t be aware of it even though it’s the most transparent thing about a football club.

You should add in to that analysis change that’s also happened in football administration from 2013.
That’s something that the club hasn’t advertised either.

With the exception of Sexton (who has the survivability of a cockroach through a nuclear winter) and maybe Hamill, there’s been an even greater turnover in key football staff: coaching panel almost completely different, list management, recruitment, senior management are all different.

I don’t think the club gets credit for the effort that’s been put in here.
It’s all too easy to scapegoat.
 

Ads734

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Jan 24, 2013
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I get why people get frustrated with Billings I do. In the same way I think the expectation for him is unrealistic. I feel that we as supporter for some reason expect him to get 30 touches and two goals a game every game. Therefore we are disappointed when he doesn't achieve this. However no player in the AFL is able to do this and only some of the top players are even capable of doing this. What is more realistic is that he averages 25 touches and he kicks about a goal a game and every so often kicks 2 or more goals a game. If you look at his games this year he is going close to doing this. Considering how little we have scored most of the year I think his goals per game becomes more understandable.

The other argument is that you don't really notice his impact and then you see his stats and then your like "oh he had that much ball". I actually think this is a good sign because it means his base line performance is actually quite good. I really think with a stronger inside midfield and better forward line structures Billings will get better and be more damaging.
 

Jade Buddha

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Nov 16, 2014
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Parker has the tools to work with. He’s been a great pick up but needs to go back to sandy to hone his game
Dmac has lost confidence you could see it last night when he fumbled the ball that led to Walker’s goal. Teammates got around him, well done to them
Langlands has had a taste but last night got completely lost in the the intensity and speed of the game- it happens to young guys. He’ll be better for it back in Sandy
Long should have been in the thick of it more. His fades are an issue but not sure how they are fixed. Probably time for a rest.
 

NarklesHelmet

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All very good observations.

The effort and resilience is there, no doubt.

My point of contention is whether there's enough improvement left in the current mids. I don't think there is and I'd say neither does the club.

Even Ratts let it slip and alluded to some players but being good enough.

Yep, plenty of injuries. Yes a brave loss.

IMO we are not good enough yet. We need to add more talent.

Like we did with Richo it's time to stop making excuses for some players.

Let's be honest, Adelaide is only one of about 10 teams with a game plan and precision kicking that we can't cope with.

Even more damning is the fact that their form was average coming into this game.b
Agree broadly with what you say really.

But there is something about a good kicking team like the Crows we just can’t handle, no matter where we are on the ladder. It’s alway like that in footy, some teams you match up on better than others and we’ve been a few team’s bunnies for ages with the way we played.

There was just something about us last night though that I liked, I feel it was a big step forward, played with a real self-belief. It didn’t work out, but I reckon we are really close. With Richo, we would have been blown away early but here we were toe-to-toe all night.

We just need to have a bit of luck with injuries so the likes of Dmac etc. who aren’t up to it don’t get near the team.

Like I said, could be confirmation bias but it’s more a gut feel, eye test thing on my behalf that informs my opinion that we’ve turned the corner under Ratts. Will be telling how we end the season.
 

triggering bro

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We really missed Acres & Newnes last night. Acres has been our second highest pressure player behind Steele this year. His tackling has also been a feature. He’s starting to monster the opposition in his tackles. Newnes instead of Parker & Acres instead of McKenzie & we look far better. A little tall down back as well so Paton instead of Carlisle/Battle/Brown & we look far more balanced. Just didn’t go our way with injuries/illness.
 

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gringo2011

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Nov 12, 2011
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We really missed Acres & Newnes last night. Acres has been our second highest pressure player behind Steele this year. His tackling has also been a feature. He’s starting to monster the opposition in his tackles. Newnes instead of Parker & Acres instead of McKenzie & we look far better. A little tall down back as well so Paton instead of Carlisle/Battle/Brown & we look far more balanced. Just didn’t go our way with injuries/illness.

we def lacked our usual pressure.
 

AirWinmar

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Jun 18, 2018
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Agree broadly with what you say really.

But there is something about a good kicking team like the Crows we just can’t handle, no matter where we are on the ladder. It’s alway like that in footy, some teams you match up on better than others and we’ve been a few team’s bunnies for ages with the way we played.

There was just something about us last night though that I liked, I feel it was a big step forward, played with a real self-belief. It didn’t work out, but I reckon we are really close. With Richo, we would have been blown away early but here we were toe-to-toe all night.

We just need to have a bit of luck with injuries so the likes of Dmac etc. who aren’t up to it don’t get near the team.

Like I said, could be confirmation bias but it’s more a gut feel, eye test thing on my behalf that informs my opinion that we’ve turned the corner under Ratts. Will be telling how we end the season.
I like and agree with your observations Narkles. Thought our mids did really well and have done the last couple off weeks. Some seem to be still have a crack at them even tho they are doing well. I would say they had the better of the Crows, Demons and close to even with the Dogs if i remeber correctly. They have all been taking the game on more too. Ross has been doing a lot less of the slamming it on the boot and breaking out into space a lot more. Steele as well. This is a massive improvement.Adelaide may be old and slow, but theyve still got good players and they rarely make a mistake with ball in hand same as last time around. Even decimated by injury and playing away at one of the most hostile venues we were right in it. I feel with the pressure of the game we oftened fell into our old habit of bombing it, either to get it out of defence or into our fwds. Capitalize better on this and we probably would have won it. Disappointed we lost, bloody frustrated at times watching it, same as nearly every game but liked some things about it for sure too
 

The_Steadier

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Surely we can afford to trade Jake with Brown on the edge of retirement?

This idea that Carlisle can't defend is completely wrong. He is a very good one on one defender.
2 AFL coaches disagree with you- both richo and now ratten play brown ahead of jake at FB.
They tried jake at FB when he first came back into the team... and swiftly brought brown back in
 

BrutThough

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2 AFL coaches disagree with you- both richo and now ratten play brown ahead of jake at FB.
They tried jake at FB when he first came back into the team... and swiftly brought brown back in
Brown got brought back in because Battle hurt himself. Nothing to do with Carlisle.

Carlisle's best position of CHB over FB, but that doesnt mean he can't defend one-on-one. He can and is very good at it. Even when he got brought back severely underdone, he did a great job on Ben Brown and Tom Lynch one-on-one but tired late so their kicked a few goals to flatter their performances.
 

The_Steadier

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Brown got brought back in because Battle hurt himself. Nothing to do with Carlisle.

Carlisle's best position of CHB over FB, but that doesnt mean he can't defend one-on-one. He can and is very good at it. Even when he got brought back severely underdone, he did a great job on Ben Brown and Tom Lynch one-on-one but tired late so their kicked a few goals to flatter their performances.
I wholeheartedly encourage you to rewatch jakes performance 1 on 1 on tom lynch earlier in the year.
Outright embarrasing at times.

Beaten at every single 1 on 1 situation.

There is a reason why 2 coaches and counting don't want him at FB.
 

John2010362340

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Mar 10, 2017
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The reactions to the loss have been over the top, although it was an all to familiar game, we played with spirit and above all else we are a very young team.

We don't have a bunch of 26-30 yr olds running around. We should win our remanding games and to finish the season off with one of the youngest list with a record of 11-11 would be a good result. Definitely gives us an opportunity to sign some players that want to come to play in Melbourne.
 
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BrutThough

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I wholeheartedly encourage you to rewatch jakes performance 1 on 1 on tom lynch earlier in the year.
Outright embarrasing at times.

Beaten at every single 1 on 1 situation.

There is a reason why 2 coaches and counting don't want him at FB.
Thats categorically incorrect. He faded as the match went on, which was an indication of this lack of fitness from being brought back prematurely. Carlisle had the better of him for the first half and Lynch started impacted late in the third and mainly the 4th quarter.

Also had the better of Ben Brown the week after. Brown kicked three goals but he got a few of them from questionable free kicks. I remember the commentary team confirming that Carlisle was defending him really well but was unfortunate with some of the free kicks Brown was given. Yes, his best position is CHB but that doesn't mean he can't defend in one-on-one contests.

I don't quite get this whole 'coaches don't want him at FB' argument you're rolling with. He was playing full back until Battle got injured. Brown was the next best defender to come in, whose only position just happens to be FB which allowed Carlisle to move to his optimal position. Both have played well in the games since, so there hasn't been a need for any positional adjustments. If Brown is omitted in the next few weeks, Carlisle will be the one to go back to playing FB and Battle CHB. It's not that Ratten doesn't want him playing there, it's that the circumstances and player form have meant that positional change hasn't been needed.
 

Enclosed_Animal

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Some statistical quirks from the game:

At h/time, the top ten AF players were Crows.
Eight of the top ten at f/time.

The top five GPS most distance travelled players were all Saints (Wilkie top at 14.7km)
Adelaide heat map indicated Adelaide played mostly in their defensive half.
St Kilda heat map indicated St Kilda played mostly in the centre or wing.

Those last three are strange given football is territorial nowadays, from that you’d think we were dominant.
Translation:
We have players that work really hard, and are committed to chasing and contesting. We play with high effort and intensity. Our pressure causes turnovers but when we finally have the ball we aren't clean with our disposal. We have repeat entries but they are of really low quality, and we have little to no scoreboard impact relative to our hard work.

They have good defensive structures that can soak up periods of pressure without expending much energy (see Lever, Doedee and Keath killing it as intercept players despite their inexperience). They also have a number of players whose disposals make a greater impact on the game when given the opportunity. They have higher quality I50 entries as their players aren't gassed from a high intensity gamplan. They score more frequently and more easily.

The above is a definite hangover of a side built by Richo. Strong in the contest, and hardworking. Equal or more emphasis placed on what a player does without the ball than with it. We struggle to maintain our shape and are less effective with our kicking than other teams.

Unfortunately, that's our current reality. Any significant changes to our structure / gamestyle to emphasise organisation and skill is going to take time. We simply cant undo 5 years of being an 'effort based' football team overnight. But until we learn how to defend without expending this much energy, and we phase out the average / below average ball users we carry every week, we will continue to be this frustrating to watch.


As for DMac, I just finished watching the replay and I absolutely stand by my comments calling him worse than Raph. Most of the defence of his performance relates to a couple of possessions he had in the forward half. People do realise he was only moved forward after Betts kicked multiple goals from his mistakes (something Eddie has only managed to do against Gold Coast the year) and he predictably only managed to fall over when trying to pick the ball up on the last line of defence. Extremely Raph like in execution.

Overall, DMacs first quarter and a half in defence resulted in 0 touches and led to 3 goals kicked either by his direct opponent or as a result of his mistakes. He was moved forward ONLY because he was a defensive liability for a quarter and a half.

Yes other players were average too. Long was equally pathetic. Parker, Lonie, Langlands and Hind all varying degrees of average. Sinclair not far behind. But DMac is the only one of that group who has multiple better options in the VFL that are A) fit & B) outperforming him. Any / all of JWebb, White or Marsh deserved selection prioritisation over DMac.

And yes, I guess he improved once he was shifted forward. In 2 and a half quarters forward he managed 10 touches @ 50%, 1 tackle, 3 turnovers and no score. Compared to his own baseline that is definitely an improvement, and that actually constitutes one of his better games for the year.

But rather than focusing on the 5 possessions he got that actually hit a target, I consider him (along with Long) to have been an absolute liability overall. Once again he plays one of the few positions where we do have better options currently fit and performing, and its not like he has any credits in the bank from his previous 47 games. His selection was bad before the game started, and laughable when he was moved forward after his pathetic first 40 minutes in defence (the same defence that got him shifted forward and then dropped a few weeks ago). It hasn't magically improved after two mediocre (at best) VFL games. That's why he is copping it more than others!

Just really wished we judged players primarily on execution and impact rather than effort and intensity. We aren't a local footy side, this is the pro's.


Separately, I absolutely disagree on the Brown comments. On a second watch, for me he was our best defender and was really really good in the air. IMO, we lose by closer to 10 goals without him.

And for me Billings and Gresh are also copping an unfair whack here. Billings still in our best few despite being down on his usual output. And has anyone actually noticed how much our improved midfield performances have coincided with Gresh finally playing full time mid?? Currently a couple of clearances off cracking the top 20 for center clearances in the league. Steele, Ross, and Dunstan not even close. Tracking to be a star...
 
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Enclosed_Animal

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Can I also add my EXTREME annoyance with Matty Parker! Don't get me wrong I love the kid. But I also backed in the history of our performances against both Adelaide and in the VFL.

Had a multi with Sandy to get flogged, Crows to cover the line and Tex to kick 3+

Parkers fu**in goal cost me a lot of $$. Little sh*t better perform for the rest of the year now ...
 
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