Analysis "The game has changed" - 2022 Strategy Talk

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Sir_Loin

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Oct 20, 2015
28,709
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Richmond
Was hard to watch this year because we gave up easy goals then our goals just looked so laboured. Exact opposite of our successful seasons and not a good sign at all. The functionality of our forward line was nonexistent. It’s was excruciating to watch actually. At least dimma commented on it many times so surely there will be some serious rethinking of our ball movement/strategy/structure.
I genuinely think we were cooked. Four prelims in a row (not forgetting our previous unsuccessful finals appearances under Dimma) three flags, rules changes, short preseason, injuries and a stacked fixture.

I was pissed off initially that we didn’t make finals this year but then when I think of the above I’m proud and have every reason to think we’ll be back.
 

Carnis

Debutant
Aug 9, 2018
141
376
AFL Club
Richmond
I genuinely think we were cooked. Four prelims in a row (not forgetting our previous unsuccessful finals appearances under Dimma) three flags, rules changes, short preseason, injuries and a stacked fixture.

I was pissed off initially that we didn’t make finals this year but then when I think of the above I’m proud and have every reason to think we’ll be back.
Add to this, how deflating it must be on the receiving end of systemically corrupt umpiring. Most games the guys came out firing, but a couple of dud frees later, often in front of goal, and they no longer gave a f***, and who could blame them. Also, our guys didn‘t know what to do to avoid getting pinged for something or other, so they stopped playing instinctively. You could see the cynicism on Vlas’s face especially, by the end. Grimes too. And Cotch. And Jack of course. Utter disenchantment with the game. In a team sport, it only takes a small change in mindset, especially in your leaders, to make a big difference.
 
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Sir_Loin

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Oct 20, 2015
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Add to this, how deflating it must be on the receiving end of systemically corrupt umpiring. Most games the guys came out firing, but a couple of dud frees later, often in front of goal, and they no longer gave a f***, and who could blame them. Also, our guys didn‘t know what to do to avoid getting pinged for something or other, so they stopped playing instinctively. You could see the cynicism on Vlas’s face especially, by the end. Grimes too. And Cotch. And Jack of course. Utter disenchantment with the game. In a team sport, it only takes a small change in mindset, especially in your leaders, to make a big difference.
can’t remember which game it was but it was the last one or two. Might have been against the giants. grimes is manning the mark and the oppo player runs off his line and practically runs past grimes (he can’t move) and kicks it. No “play on” call at all. Grimes just laughed - what else could he do?
 

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SleepingGiant

Club Legend
Apr 7, 2009
1,467
616
Geelong
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its not our style of play that hurt us this year. It was our inability to consistently execute it. We got crucified by the umpires. Caroline Wilson was right, the AFL didn’t want us in the finals. She also mentioned how Gale was consigned to the naughty corner at a meeting of AFL executives and club CEO’s held at Werribee mansion. Maybe it was our call for an independent review into the governance of the AFL last year that kicked things off. Plus the push for Gale to replace Gil when he steps aside. Something Gil isn’t enamoured with. Don’t upset the boys club. With this in mind, think back to the first time we played Brisbane at the Gabba. I’ve never seen umpiring like. Then we had that muppet Brayshaw commentating the game, pretending that the free kick differential was due to how we played the game. Our line coaches haven‘t been suited to their allocated roles. We haven’t replaced like with like - Leppitsch, Rutten and McRae. We desperately miss Caracella. Plus we’ve had a lot of injuries to key personnel. The media talks about Geelong missing Tom Stewart and how it’s destabilised their back 6. Think of the players we’ve missed.
This is why I think it’s best to yield and lay low for a few years. They won’t let us win again, we don’t have the coaches or talent anymore. There is absolutely no way we can catch the Dees now full of fit 25 year old bulls. What are we going to do? Roll out big grandpa Riewoldt, Cotchin, Edwards? It’s the end of an era for the top core and we need to trade in a new bottom for Nankervis, Vlastuin, etc to still have another crack while we have talent in the upper bracket. We can also appear to have fallen to make the socialist AFL happy why we secretly build for another assault in 3-4 years and load up on some free agents.
 

partycorolla

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 16, 2009
8,004
12,982
Black Rock
AFL Club
Richmond
its not our style of play that hurt us this year. It was our inability to consistently execute it. We got crucified by the umpires. Caroline Wilson was right, the AFL didn’t want us in the finals. She also mentioned how Gale was consigned to the naughty corner at a meeting of AFL executives and club CEO’s held at Werribee mansion. Maybe it was our call for an independent review into the governance of the AFL last year that kicked things off. Plus the push for Gale to replace Gil when he steps aside. Something Gil isn’t enamoured with. Don’t upset the boys club. With this in mind, think back to the first time we played Brisbane at the Gabba. I’ve never seen umpiring like. Then we had that muppet Brayshaw commentating the game, pretending that the free kick differential was due to how we played the game. Our line coaches haven‘t been suited to their allocated roles. We haven’t replaced like with like - Leppitsch, Rutten and McRae. We desperately miss Caracella. Plus we’ve had a lot of injuries to key personnel. The media talks about Geelong missing Tom Stewart and how it’s destabilised their back 6. Think of the players we’ve missed.
Nothing to do with the umpires. We have regularly been down the wrong end of the free kick differiential in previous seasons and have won flags. The difference in free kicks per game between us and Dogs (top team) is about 6 a game. The only free kicks that matter would be free kicks missed and they don't publish those.

Injuries and the coaches not figuring out how we can apply pressure once we lose possession is what hurt us. As you said, some improvement from the coaching team (who have an actual full off season to prepare) and you'd expect us to be substantially better in 2020 (with a fitter playing list too).
 

SplintWhisky

Premiership Player
Feb 14, 2014
3,290
7,578
AFL Club
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can’t remember which game it was but it was the last one or two. Might have been against the giants. grimes is manning the mark and the oppo player runs off his line and practically runs past grimes (he can’t move) and kicks it. No “play on” call at all. Grimes just laughed - what else could he do?
After the Brisbane game if I were a player I would be very CBF. After a while I think I would be kicked out of the AFL for Smacking Razor
 

Football Tragic

Club Legend
Nov 11, 2010
2,208
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Punt Rd End
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I really do think our poor year comes down to two things - rules and injuries.

We all know how injuries snowballed, starting in the middle and moving to the backline, effectively crippling our defensive game plan and throwing too many unproven players into the same areas of the ground without experienced players to shield and guide them. It forced our better players to play out of position and for longer periods of the game than was prudent.

As a result, injuries begot more injuries and we ended up with a dysfunctional game plan with players who were not able to execute it to the same level as we have come to expect. It affected every area of the ground and every players performance as a result.

The rules are more easily fixed. We need to force teams down the line to contested situations where we can turn the ball over and rebound it quickly into our forwardline. Allowing players to slice through the middle and/or play on so they can deliver the ball quickly to their forwards killed us.

We either need to flood oppositions backline's like Melbourne have done this year or place a defender to the side of the ball user to sandwich/pressure them when they play on. We know more about how the new rules have affected our game plan and how other teams have successfully strategized to defend against it. We don't need to change our whole game plan but we do need to adapt it.
 

DoItForCaptBlood

Premiership Player
Sep 8, 2008
3,607
7,926
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Richmond
With all the doom and gloom from many posters in the other threads, it's nice to remember that I believe all our injured players will be doing preseason. The means some tweaks to the game plan is all that's needed for a top 4 finish imo.

From the 2020 premiership team, there will only be two players missing - Houli and Astbury. TWO! With Stack, Soldo, RCD, Dow, Ross, Miller to add to the mix and perhaps our pick 7/15 may be ready to go through the year.

So happy the Cats/Port controlled game was fisted with ferocity, and high pressure chaos has won two teams to the GF. That's our game plan. It needs some minor changes with the rules with just a couple of new players.

What is with the chicken little with a few fringe players leaving and a handful of high picks for new players in the draft!
 

Ceehook

Club Legend
Oct 3, 2017
1,216
3,299
AFL Club
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with the 666 rule , the stand and the kickin changes
the sides have been constantly evolving their tactics
the game doesn't stand still

and whats old is new again
like us isolating Dusty deep , what about Swans with Lockett & O'Brien

sides are also trying to cover up their weaknesses and play to their strengths

lots of good stuff in the discussion
the newer rules do seem to advantage outside skills so we have to make sure we don't get left behind

the free kick differential and add to that the frees not paid , the play on versus and eternity to kick ...
Benny being in the bad boy corner in the Werribee meeting ...
will not making finals be our whack ?
Lynch did behave himself this year , kebab gate is behind us

The Michaels & T71 show , post morteum of the late season GWS game , one said the first 5 mins of the game
was looking like a perfect example of match fixing , but then GWS were just too good
we can't have sides given an armchair ride till they get their confidence and game up and going each week by the umps

it just smacks that we've offended several people in AFL house , start with Gill and work your way down

heads down , bums up , work hard on list make up , skills fitness and game plans
keep mouths shout at all levels , make ourselves small targets

the successful formula will be some blend of chaos and manic pressure and clean outside skills with patience when required
 

4tune8

Premiership Player
Jul 31, 2017
4,942
10,601
AFL Club
Richmond
I really do think our poor year comes down to two things - rules and injuries.

We all know how injuries snowballed, starting in the middle and moving to the backline, effectively crippling our defensive game plan and throwing too many unproven players into the same areas of the ground without experienced players to shield and guide them. It forced our better players to play out of position and for longer periods of the game than was prudent.

As a result, injuries begot more injuries and we ended up with a dysfunctional game plan with players who were not able to execute it to the same level as we have come to expect. It affected every area of the ground and every players performance as a result.

The rules are more easily fixed. We need to force teams down the line to contested situations where we can turn the ball over and rebound it quickly into our forwardline. Allowing players to slice through the middle and/or play on so they can deliver the ball quickly to their forwards killed us.

We either need to flood oppositions backline's like Melbourne have done this year or place a defender to the side of the ball user to sandwich/pressure them when they play on. We know more about how the new rules have affected our game plan and how other teams have successfully strategized to defend against it. We don't need to change our whole game plan but we do need to adapt it.
Agreed on all points, but there's which had a bearing on injuries too. Dimma mentioned that the boys were tired and worn out both physically and emotionally after, effectively, playing an extra year over the last 4 successful seasons.
 

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4tune8

Premiership Player
Jul 31, 2017
4,942
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Seems to me that the game changer in the GF was when Max moved out of the ruck and let Jackson do his thing, the amount of times that lad contributed to stoppage clearances was unreal. Tall, athletic, quick, good at ground level.

Who do we have on our list that could impact games to the same level?
 

DoItForCaptBlood

Premiership Player
Sep 8, 2008
3,607
7,926
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Richmond
Seems to me that the game changer in the GF was when Max moved out of the ruck and let Jackson do his thing, the amount of times that lad contributed to stoppage clearances was unreal. Tall, athletic, quick, good at ground level.

Who do we have on our list that could impact games to the same level?
Likely we will go with a 2 prong Soldo - Nank. You feel they aren't up to it?
 

Sir_Loin

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Oct 20, 2015
28,709
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Seems to me that the game changer in the GF was when Max moved out of the ruck and let Jackson do his thing, the amount of times that lad contributed to stoppage clearances was unreal. Tall, athletic, quick, good at ground level.

Who do we have on our list that could impact games to the same level?
definitely Nank. His clearance work when he’s up and about is top shelf
 

richoplzbreed

Team Captain
Apr 30, 2016
556
1,528
AFL Club
Richmond
Need to address our clearance work, kick ins, wings and small forwards. The rule was brought in allowing the kicker to run his measure and unload so you could potentially get it near the centre circle yet we always seemed to chip it to the pockets was frustrating to see other teams maximise it while we didn't. Having Nank and Soldo in same team allows more marking options. Our wingers are borderline putrid and we don't have it right. With Rioli holding down one flank and either Mansell other I'd move Short to the wing. He can run and carry and offload getting it in forward line quick. And someone tell the pea brain to stop taking a bounce after 1 step run your full measure then bounce eliminating unnecessary error potential. I'd like to see Balta or stack trialled on a wing or as HFF. Both have attacking strengts that we desperately need. Balta can provide another marking option can run like the wind unleashing 85m bombs to the forwards. Lynch and Riewoldt are getting old. Instruct one to never leave 20m from goal with MJR lurking 30-40m out ready to crumb/ shepherd/ harrass??? Opponents will never leave them so will open up congestion. Lastly banish Costanza and Aarts to Magoo's and only bring back if absolutely dominating at that level. Bolton more time in guts and Martin more time forward. Play the bloody kids like Ralphsmith, RCD Dow and give them continued games minimum 4 on the trot to build confidence.
 

Grrr

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 16, 2009
8,008
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mildura
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I think we need more potency on the forward line. Our transitioning from defence to offence was as horrid. We are not a possession finesse side yet we were made to play that way due to sides folding back and leaving to much to Jack and Lynch. It didn't help that Lynch played very deep for much of the season.

Jack was no longer able to play that lead up to the wing and jump on backs to either mark it or tap it in our favour. So often we were outmarked between wing and half back. So many games went into 3/4 time with just a handful of goals or less.

We need to add another tall marking mobile forward to take the weight off Jack, who should now be a third tall much like Fitsch for Melbourne. Fitsch has great forward craft, much like Jack. Balta to CHF because he has all the attributes. He can mark, run, kick it a mile and would be a real handful for any key back. It would also stop sides key backs from sagging off to intercept mark. Leave Jack alone or on a 4th defender and he will have a picnic, same with Lynch. With Tarrant in we do not need Balta as badly down back.

If not Balta then Miller could be trialled forward over summer. He is as quick as Balta and pretty nimble for a big bloke. He is also an excellent kick and the one time I have seen him played forward in the VFL he looked a natural.

I also think Cumberland can come in and have real impact. He is fast, tough and aggressive, the defensive forward that we like, but has a fair bit of flair and X-factor as well which we are lacking.
 
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juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
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At the end of 2016 to the start of 2017 we looked completely different gamestyle.

I'm fascinated to see what they come up with particularly on offence, as we know our dysfunctional ball movement and forward 50 entries and forward structure need a hell of a lot of work.

Defensively, I think we can still do the job when we're at full strength.
 

Simche

Team Captain
Oct 5, 2004
462
138
Fitzroy
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From a pure strategy talk I think our game style is now at the point where it is borderline effective. Our turnover work can still be elite, but the common denominator in the top 6 or so sides was the importance of square clearance work. Outside the finals series last year, that has been a significant weakness of ours. Add in the injuries that impacted our defensive structure and it was a bit of a disaster season.

I personally think to rebound there are a few things that need to happen:
- Our clearance work MUST improve. It's not enough to have a good turnover game anymore. Teams like Melbourne hurt you from the bounce and then can keep the ball in.
- Forward pressure really dropped away. Personnel were out of form (Castanga, Rioli (when forward) and Lynch in particular had bad years) or had diminished from previous years (Aarts). This and our forward structure was just abysmal at times, which I do not know whether to put down to coaching or the aforementioned players being out of form. Need this to improve significantly to get back to winning ways.
- Keeping continuity in the back 6, particularly Vlastuin, Grimes, Tarrant and Balta staying fit should keep us watertight back there.

For mine it centrally comes down to the midfield. We couldn't keep really important pieces like Prestia fit and Cotchin looked finished at times. We have never been a clearance team but the rules and other teams strengths are turning it back that way. We need to catch up or find a different edge.

The other thing I have reflected on is the importance of the wing position in modern footy. Our personnel on the wings has diminished from having guys like Grigg and Ellis out there. Pickett and Mackintosh tended to play well when we won but fell away or were out of form when we needed them most. I think we either need to look at upgrading here by trying blokes like Ralphsmith, trading/FA or drafting.
 

Winter_Rose

Lady of Punt Rd 17🏆19🏆20🏆
Oct 7, 2021
137
516
AFL Club
Richmond
From a pure strategy talk I think our game style is now at the point where it is borderline effective. Our turnover work can still be elite, but the common denominator in the top 6 or so sides was the importance of square clearance work. Outside the finals series last year, that has been a significant weakness of ours. Add in the injuries that impacted our defensive structure and it was a bit of a disaster season.

I personally think to rebound there are a few things that need to happen:
- Our clearance work MUST improve. It's not enough to have a good turnover game anymore. Teams like Melbourne hurt you from the bounce and then can keep the ball in.
- Forward pressure really dropped away. Personnel were out of form (Castanga, Rioli (when forward) and Lynch in particular had bad years) or had diminished from previous years (Aarts). This and our forward structure was just abysmal at times, which I do not know whether to put down to coaching or the aforementioned players being out of form. Need this to improve significantly to get back to winning ways.
- Keeping continuity in the back 6, particularly Vlastuin, Grimes, Tarrant and Balta staying fit should keep us watertight back there.

For mine it centrally comes down to the midfield. We couldn't keep really important pieces like Prestia fit and Cotchin looked finished at times. We have never been a clearance team but the rules and other teams strengths are turning it back that way. We need to catch up or find a different edge.

The other thing I have reflected on is the importance of the wing position in modern footy. Our personnel on the wings has diminished from having guys like Grigg and Ellis out there. Pickett and Mackintosh tended to play well when we won but fell away or were out of form when we needed them most. I think we either need to look at upgrading here by trying blokes like Ralphsmith, trading/FA or drafting.
Would anyone have a good understanding of centre square tactics?

How could we improve in the middle tactically (unrelated to list changes)?

It would be amazing if someone could explain midfield tactics with mention of tactical roles (I often hear Fox Footy commentators like Jordan Lewis talk about the 'Sweeper' role).
 

YeOldTiger

67-69-73-74-80-17-19-20 Fully Vaxxed
Jul 22, 2016
4,086
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This is why I think it’s best to yield and lay low for a few years. They won’t let us win again, we don’t have the coaches or talent anymore. There is absolutely no way we can catch the Dees now full of fit 25 year old bulls. What are we going to do? Roll out big grandpa Riewoldt, Cotchin, Edwards? It’s the end of an era for the top core and we need to trade in a new bottom for Nankervis, Vlastuin, etc to still have another crack while we have talent in the upper bracket. We can also appear to have fallen to make the socialist AFL happy why we secretly build for another assault in 3-4 years and load up on some free agents.
I volunteer you to be the one to tell Dusty that we aren't going to bother and just lay low for a couple of years. What utter rubbish.
 

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