Review Scratch match analysis of North V Saints

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DaveyBoy123

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 26, 2003
7,028
12,634
Melbourne, Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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I was at the game and will try to add a few things that I don't think have been mentioned as yet:

- I liked Zurhaar's occasional spurts in the midfield. He obviously can't stay there too long, but there were a couple of times in the 1st half when we were down and out, where you could tell that his carefree/careless attitude meant that no-one was going to stop him from getting the ball.

- Ziebs is very talkative in the backline and his organisational skills seemed ok from what I could tell (as skipper, you'd think he knows the game plan, positioning, etc...)

- As others have mentioned though, I do wonder if the balance is now thrown out down back. Adding Jack & Corr (even Young) might be an issue from a height/pace perspective. J.Walker and (to a lesser extent) Tarrant looked frustrated at times today. If Noble immediately noticed the lack of inside/outside balance in the midfield, he will hopefully notice this issue as well.

- Yes, we need another big fella down forward. But I can tell you one thing: Skinner ain't that fella. I could make some ridiculous comments here, but I'll leave it at that and add that Xerri should play most games if fit. Not only because X is relatively mobile & very aggressive (& can get a touch), but also because he's a better 2nd ruckman than Larkey is.

- I think Noble has to make a relatively quick call on Hall one way or the other. No in, out, in, out this season. He ain't changing his ways. You know what you get with him. Either pick him or don't.

- Interesting to see most of the non-players today & read into this what you will. I didn't see Cunners, Goldy or LDU at all. Dumont was commentating for the most part. About a dozen younger players (Xerri, Bonar, Phillips, etc...) were all in a big bunch. About 10-15 metres off to the side of them were Jed & Polec. Absolutely nowhere near them was Taylor Garner, who appeared to be with 2 mates!

- Not much has been said about Jy. He seriously could get to elite status the way he's going. The Saints paid him a lot of attention and he still played an above average game. He did look like he wanted to knock a block off a few times, so an eye will have to be kept on that. But some of his play was superstar stuff. I think I saw a triple shimmy at one stage which the Russian judge scored a 10.

Overall, 2 goals against in the first 2 minutes said it all. Ryder to Steele to Crouch to Billings... The rest of the script wrote itself.

As for the Saints: Yeah he may be a big sook, but Max King is gonna tear some teams apart over the next few years. 202 cms, can jump and has a good pair of hands. That's tough for anyone to stop. Also, Frawley is very hate-able in the Hooker/Lake mould.
 

AnEmptyChair

All Australian
Nov 12, 2020
648
2,162
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A regulation set shot at goal, 25-30m out, very slight angle, bread and butter for 99% of AFL small forwards, but Kayne Turner still hasn't mastered the art.
Zurhaar and Larkey both missed sitters too. In fact, it's one of the few positives about the scoreline. We gave away 5-6 goals through stupid free kicks/50m penalties as well as missed a bunch of sitters. The Saints are probably a 20-30 point better side than us with both best 22s on the park as it is, so those things as well as our playing our VFL midfield made the scoreline look a lot worse than it would be in a home and away game imo.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Seasoned Football Analyst
Aug 21, 2018
18,414
43,784
AFL Club
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Not worried about the score given the outs and saw glimpses of what can be. I do however think one of Taz or Bmac needs to move to full forward. IMO we seem too too heavy down back and too small in the front half. Let’s see if make any structural changes for the Hawks game. Xerri is going to be super important when fit.
Xerri going to be hugely important.

Skinner offered nothing
 

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Val Keating

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
11,797
25,547
AFL Club
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Not worried about the score given the outs and saw glimpses of what can be. I do however think one of Taz or Bmac needs to move to full forward. IMO we seem too too heavy down back and too small in the front half. Let’s see if make any structural changes for the Hawks game. Xerri is going to be super important when fit.
Also, it doesn’t make sense if we’re supposed to be going with a more attacking game style but we only have one tall up forward to kick to and 3 talls down back. Doesn’t add up.
 

samoodan

Senior List
Nov 4, 2020
242
304
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Jack will be best 22 this year. We haven’t got enough good players at the moment to kick him to the kerb.
I am a fan, but it seems we are trying to find a position for him.

He is not a midfielder anymore. He has had his shot in the forward line. Is he going to make it in defence? I hope so, but with Tarrant, Corr, MaKay, McDonald, Walker, Atley.... I don't know how a slow, mid sized 30 year old is going to force his way in there.

His leadership skills are clear. He an obvious captain, unless the coaches are not sure if he is a certain starter.
 

Passmore

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2001
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The Gasometer Wing
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Also, it doesn’t make sense if we’re supposed to be going with a more attacking game style but we only have one tall up forward to kick to and 3 talls down back. Doesn’t add up.
In truth we have 2 tall (McKay and Tarrant) and a bloke who’s slated to play on the third tall types (Corr).
 

Passmore

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2001
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The Gasometer Wing
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I am a fan, but it seems we are trying to find a position for him.

He is not a midfielder anymore. He has had his shot in the forward line. Is he going to make it in defence? I hope so, but with Tarrant, Corr, MaKay, McDonald, Walker.... I don't know how a slow, mid sized 30 year old is going to force his way in there.

His leadership skills are clear. He an obvious captain, unless the coaches are not sure if he is a certain starter.
Quite possibly. But for where we sit right now (2nd last), and what our our expections are, I reckon we’ll find a spot for him. If only for leadership.
 

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Val Keating

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
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In truth we have 2 tall (McKay and Tarrant) and a bloke who’s slated to play on the third tall types (Corr).
Still doesn’t change the fact that we’re desperate for another target up forward. Unless the plan is to get it in there quick, lock it in and get rebound F50’s till we score.
 

Wild Bill

Brownlow Medallist
May 28, 2013
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Still doesn’t change the fact that we’re desperate for another target up forward. Unless the plan is to get it in there quick, lock it in and get rebound F50’s till we score.
Tigers won a flag with 1 key forward. We have enough fire power with Thomas, Stephenson, Taylor & Zurhaar to trouble teams. A couple of the small forwards we just draft look exciting as well.
 

Val Keating

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
11,797
25,547
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Tigers won a flag with 1 key forward. We have enough fire power with Thomas, Stephenson, Taylor & Zurhaar to trouble teams. A couple of the small forwards we just draft look exciting as well.
Just need to lock it in there when it gets into our F50
 

Psicosis

Norm Smith Medallist
May 7, 2012
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Bird Rock
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Just need to lock it in there when it gets into our F50
Just curious VK, what difference would another KPF made today?

Personally I think until we get our midfield/ball movement/game plan right, it’s kind of irrelevant tbh.

Throw Brown in there today, he’d have made minimal difference. Throw a Hawkins or Dixon in there, they would definitely have added some physicality, but how much are they going to influence today’s outcome?

The other reality is that unless we trade first round picks, we aren’t going to get an elite KPF of Dixon/Hawkins/Cameron etc. IMO an elite, physical KPF is what we need down the track to compliment Larkey (not a Ben Brown).

If we want a stop gap to compete whilst Comben/Xerri develops, whose available as a free agent that is going to genuinely make a difference in 2021? Personally I think J.Walker can play this role for the next 1-2 years whilst we get our ducks in line.

Not finger pointing at you VK, but the whining on here about our forward line and implying that an additional KPF would have made a big difference is exhausting.
 

Waussie

Club Legend
Nov 26, 2017
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4,384
AFL Club
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Perplexing that you can label a 21 year old with 9 games under his belt as a plodder.

Even more perplexing to do so right after playing well in his natural position for the first time, against senior opposition.

I counted 6 clearances today against the likes of B.Crouch & J.Steele, without Goldstein.

What a stupid bizarre statement.
Check out previous posts, he doesn't like the kid and generally singles him out. Just ignore it
 

Waussie

Club Legend
Nov 26, 2017
2,844
4,384
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Hard to take much out of a game where we only one of our five best clearance players/mids was on the park.

On some individuals:

Scott: Very good. Won a one on one on his defensive flank where he left his man to go and contest the loose ball and killed the situation. Had he not left his man St Kilda would have got it and easy inside 50, had he lost the contest, same. But he won the contest by tying it up.

Thomas: Very good. I like him roaming the ground as a utility, looks quite nice in defence, dare I say Bunji McLeodish but nowhere near the runs on the board yet. He operates with a class we need. As a seasoned football analyst, I'd have him slightly higher than fifth or sixth in line for a spot as a mid/fwd, in fact he'd be one of my first picked. Will be a very different player at 100 games.

Curtis: See above. Get him to 100 games asap. He has dash and talent in equal measure. Plays very tall, hits them hard and has exquisite skills. There's something of a J. Hird about him in the way he's so skinny but utterly fearless too. If he becomes 75 per cent the player Jimmy Hird was, we've got an absolute gun.

Kyron: I fail to see how anyone ever has any doubt on Ronny. From his first game where he was giving one of the great mids of the modern era a touch up as a tagger until he got hurt, his work last year, he's a player. Did some real nice things in the middle against a finals quality unit without much real class by his side.

Jaidyn: They tried to rough him up early and he wasn't phased. He's getting his head around how we want him to play mid. He'll be our Higgo replacement for a decade - that same mix of inside/outside ability that is lethal round goals. We got a bargain off the Woods.

Ziebs: I thought he was fine down back. Did what was asked of him. Defensive unit as a whole was under siege. Experiment working for mine.

Powell: Kid can play. Deadset play. Get him to 100 games asap as well. Get the boy laid, eating steaks and playing ones. If he needs a rest from getting belted week in week out, send hinm down top the two for fortnight to rack up a lazy 50 touches against some NEAFL mob. Is exactly what we need.

Big Bobby Campbell: Heart the size of Phar Lap, goes when it his turn, leaves everything out there, but not AFL standard.

SPECIAL NOTES ON THE ONE FLAG BUT FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT DISCO SAINTS

Hunter Clark: Bloke is a jet. Absolute gun. Get him in your DreamCoachFantasySuperFooty teams if he isn't already. Play like a classic old school centreman. Would love him at North.

Max King: Big sooky la la mopey free kick wanting drip. Looks amazing when he gets a run at it and can take a spectacular grab, but he's already got the Nick Riewoldt turn pleading to the umpire at the slightest sensation of contact, even if it a blade of grass brushing him, down pat. "Free" King. Brother better anyway and less of a tool. Looks kind of like Sandi from Monkey Magic.

Mason Wood: They will probably give him an extra year off the back of this. Seen this preseason Mason many many times.
Big like👍
 

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