Analysis The Case for Plan B and how it can be done

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Dazzler10

Premiership Player
Apr 30, 2015
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Throwing has become a blight this season. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the umps have been instructed to let it go in order to keep the game flowing.
 

FKASC

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May 28, 2017
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Throwing has become a blight this season. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the umps have been instructed to let it go in order to keep the game flowing.
It’s been like it for a few years now.

And yeah I have no doubt that they’ve been instructed to turn a blind eye to it unless it’s very obvious.
 

Chris_6678

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Oct 29, 2007
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There definitely has been some amendments since the Geelong game - most notably the forward flankers are no longer playing strictly goal-side of their opponents and are pushing much higher up the ground, often into the defensive zone, helping to block lead-up areas of opposition forwards. This is also providing an additional counterattacking outlet as they are presenting in the corridor as soon as the defence is able to gain possession.

Cripps in particular is being deployed in a more expansive role as evidenced by the recent jump in his distance covered figures.



As for the Melbourne game, I'm in alignment with your thoughts. The Demons committed extras to the stoppages on the back of Gawn's ruck dominance and tried to emulate Port's play-on mentality to keep the defence from settling from there. Two things occurred in the last quarter that in my opinion proved decisive:
  • Melbourne tired - Back-to-back road trips playing an exhaustive style that cannot be maintained for four quarters. As Gawn tired, his taps became less decisive and the clean clearances from Melbourne that caught out the defence earlier in the game dried up. With slower ball movement from the Demons and extras trying to get up the ground, McGovern and Hurn were able to zone off opponents and intercept mark.
  • Change in possession mentality - Rather than trying to be clean and play perfect football it became don't think, get it forward and apply pressure. Lots of tap ons and flicks forward over trying to take outright possession and handball. With Melbourne's midfield guilty of following the ball, clearing the initial contest and tackle zone through knocking it forward allowed the spread of Eagles players waiting on the outside to become involved and move the ball quickly into attack, completely exposing the injury-impacted defence of the Demons.
I do wonder if this has been a fitness issue in regards to our HFF's in the lead up to our season. Cripps, Venables and Rioli ( In Willies case an injury in the lead up) have all been injured or had a lack of pre-season which hasn't aloud them to push up the ground as easily. Cripps has built his fitness up enough to the point he is clocking up just as many K's as Gaff. Once Rioli gets back to peak fitness then look out!
 

BartBart

Premiership Player
Mar 30, 2008
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Interesting to see our tackle numbers since the Geelong game.

We were getting in the 30-59 zone up to & including that game.

Since then 87, 51, 75, 100. So it looks like we have amped that area up to keep teams from running away with it easily in the midfield.

Looking at individual midfielders tackle stats:

Yeo had 10 in the first 10 rounds
7, 8, 12, 6, 16, 15 since then

Redden 15 in first 5 round - 13, 3, 2, 15 since then.

Shuey averaged about 6 for first 8 rounds - 12 & 10 last 2 games

Gaff, Hutchings, Rioli, Pettr. pretty consistent with tackles per game (3-4)

Masten was averaging 2 before being dropped

Out rucken have been doing ok with tackles getting 6-ish per game.

So it seems that Yeo, Shuey and Redden have bumped up the tackle output with the addition of Cripps.
 

BartBart

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Throwing has become a blight this season. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the umps have been instructed to let it go in order to keep the game flowing.
Not just this season - Hawthorn did it consistently and WB used it as a tactic in their Premiership year.
 

BartBart

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Mar 30, 2008
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Maybe I've just noticed it more in 2019.
Throwing the ball is a bit of a pet hate of mine. Propelling the ball forward with what is supposed to be the stationary hand (WB), throwing it over the head or dropping it to a teammate's advantage the second a tackle happens (Haw). Grrrr.
 

Mr Casson

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Jun 27, 2008
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Dylan82

What do you make of the changes to our gameplan since you wrote the OP? Originally you suggested that a press would be a good backup for when oppo forwards were zoning off our defenders in order to create extra numbers at the stoppages. To my eye watching on TV this change seems to have been implemented to reasonably good effect. In recent weeks we are seeing all of Sheppard, Schofield, Jetta, McGovern, Cole getting possessions in the forward half. I'd also suggest we're seeing a lot less intercept marks from the guys we would usually expect to be taking them, but that would be an expected result of such a change, and based on the results, not a cause for concern.

Any thoughts?
 

BartBart

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It seems like we are willing to go heavy on tackles if teams are trying the play on at all costs route. And Gaff is getting a lot more of his possessions in our defensive 50m atm.

Adding Rioli back into team helps as has improved fitness of Cripps.
 

Dylan82

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Aug 14, 2004
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Dylan82

What do you make of the changes to our gameplan since you wrote the OP? Originally you suggested that a press would be a good backup for when oppo forwards were zoning off our defenders in order to create extra numbers at the stoppages. To my eye watching on TV this change seems to have been implemented to reasonably good effect. In recent weeks we are seeing all of Sheppard, Schofield, Jetta, McGovern, Cole getting possessions in the forward half. I'd also suggest we're seeing a lot less intercept marks from the guys we would usually expect to be taking them, but that would be an expected result of such a change, and based on the results, not a cause for concern.

Any thoughts?
Apologies for missing this one earlier.

I would say the team has made extra effort in making sure numbers around stoppages are equal and accountable - directly by moving a HFF position onto the ball, but also indirectly by having defenders continuing to mark opposition players when they roam higher up the ground.
By matching stoppage numbers and maintaining the ball in territorial advantage, this recent method shares some similarities with the press that I advocated in the OP.

I was hopeful that the lightbulb moment had occurred for the coaching staff during the Adelaide match - moving Hutchings from the stoppage to an outside opponent, going 100% attack with the inside players and cycling Gaff through the aerobic sweeper role makes the team a far more effective unit in my opinion.

The latest outing against the Swans however gives me a lot of cause for concern. Sydney did what they always do, flood and counter - there is nothing at all tactically nuanced about them. Read this report from last year and you will understand my frustration - tactically the club tried the exact same as they have done previously against the Swans and received the same result.

With Sydney simply flooding back with numbers constantly, if there ever was a time to deploy a forward press then this was it.

Instead the Swans extras behind the ball were allowed to become a counterattacking platform, much like as happened in the matches against Port Adelaide and Geelong, with similar results.
 

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Gwaihir

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May 20, 2018
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Interesting to see our tackle numbers since the Geelong game.

We were getting in the 30-59 zone up to & including that game.

Since then 87, 51, 75, 100. So it looks like we have amped that area up to keep teams from running away with it easily in the midfield.

Looking at individual midfielders tackle stats:

Yeo had 10 in the first 10 rounds
7, 8, 12, 6, 16, 15 since then

Redden 15 in first 5 round - 13, 3, 2, 15 since then.

Shuey averaged about 6 for first 8 rounds - 12 & 10 last 2 games

Gaff, Hutchings, Rioli, Pettr. pretty consistent with tackles per game (3-4)

Masten was averaging 2 before being dropped

Out rucken have been doing ok with tackles getting 6-ish per game.

So it seems that Yeo, Shuey and Redden have bumped up the tackle output with the addition of Cripps.
One midfielder is notable for their absence here. Not mentioning any names. Lets just call him Dom S. or D. Sheed.
 
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