Strategy The Ratugolea Conundrum

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HaroLad

HaroChad
Dec 11, 2013
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Baghdad
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Barrett has just published an interesting article on AFL.com.au:
Ratugolea is still beautifully raw as a potentially super AFL talent. But he is far from a seasoned footballer. He presents as a viable marking target inside 50, but can at times crowd the space otherwise set aside for the dominant Tom Hawkins, and has kicked only 3.5 from 10 matches this season, as well as averaging 8.5 disposals, and 2.3 marks.
This adds to comments made by Terry Wallace, and observations by several people on this board, that we might be better off without him currently.

“I think most of us really like Esava Ratugolea’s potential, but is he in their best side? I don’t think he’s in their best side at the moment,” Wallace told SEN’s The Match Committee.

“I think that they work and play better when he’s not in the side at the moment.

“He just can’t find the footy. When he’s not playing, I think Hawkins gets more space and becomes a better player.

...

He’s kicked three goals in 10 matches this season.
Obviously we can all see the potential in him, and it's crucial that in order for him to realise that potential, he must play. But it would seem to me that his presence in the forward line is a detriment, and he lacks the potency and skill to handle the ball in the middle when rucking, as evinced by the West Coast game, when on several occasions he clumsily turned the ball over in the middle of the ground, which comes at a dearer cost than if he had done so inside 50, and may have cost us the game.

So, what do we do? Do we give him one more chance this year and go for the flag? What about next year - we will presumably be in premiership contention still, and he will be 23 in July, too old to not be playing.
 

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catscollector

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Jun 30, 2018
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Pump games into the kid. It will work out for the club 5 years from now.
Unfortunately, Scott will opt for Jenkins or some other over-the-hill recruit and we are right back to square one again discussing this very same issue.
 

PhatBoy

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May 5, 2016
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Pump games into the kid. It will work out for the club 5 years from now.
Unfortunately, Scott will opt for Jenkins or some other over-the-hill recruit and we are right back to square one again discussing this very same issue.
Yeah and if he played Esava in a must win game and he puts in a howler the anti Scott brigade would be unanimous in saying ‘what the hell did we recruit a proven second forward in Jenkins for if we were just going to play that spud instead.’
 

gaz love x

Team Captain
Oct 6, 2019
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I don't think he's best 22 at the minute but there may still be a structural argument for a second tall forward. Maybe you give him another run against Essendon but I think you definitely go small against Richmond just to see how it looks. 1) does it look like Blicavs is needed back against Lynch and Reiwoldt and 2) is our forward line functional against a team with good key defenders and that puts pressure on up the field (ie no silver service). Two big questions, could be that we do want Blicavs back and another target against the Tigers and Eagles in particular. In which case we might have to play him even if he's not in our best 22 per se. Can still give him a run against Sydney in that case.
Jenkins is a non-starter for me, our forward line will be too slow with him in the side.
 

Seeds

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Sep 15, 2007
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I don't know
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Keep him in reserve for this year in case what xtatik222k says comes to fruition. But otherwise bring him back next year when we've got (hopefully) a VFL comp to send him back into.

This year is a real opportunity - no passengers.
Its a real opportunity if we have a second key forward. Our forward line functioned terribly on friday without him despite footscray being down two key defenders for most of the night.
 

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Landgraft

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 18, 2016
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I'm still disappointed that we didn't get a look at Kreuger this year.

Sav's future is as a ruck/second kpf so looking at his output just as a forward isn't that helpful. The bigger issue is that while we're crunched for spots it seems unlikely that we can include an attacking player with so little scoreboard presence. Maybe once Ablett returns for Close and we have a greater need for that extra bit of physical/ground presence that we'll lose in that swap.
 

STPer18

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Feb 12, 2017
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Remember he did kick 3 goals and take 4 contested marks in a cut-throat semi-final last year against the reigning premiers at the time. Unfortunate for him if we don't see him again this year, but there's far too much talent for him not to be in our long term plans.
 

PhatBoy

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May 5, 2016
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Can I suggest something that may get laughed at:

is there a reason Esava couldn’t ever be Considered to have a go in defence?

he’s tall.
He has a great leap.
He actually reads the flight of the ball fairly well and gets to where it’s going, he just consistently drops it.
he’s strong.
He’s fast enough for his size.
if he can’t make a go of being a forward what’s to stop him being tried as a defender where at the very least they can just say ‘stick with this guy and spoil everything.’
 

Farmer2Goggin

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Can I suggest something that may get laughed at:

is there a reason Esava couldn’t ever be Considered to have a go in defence?

he’s tall.
He has a great leap.
He actually reads the flight of the ball fairly well and gets to where it’s going, he just consistently drops it.
he’s strong.
He’s fast enough for his size.
if he can’t make a go of being a forward what’s to stop him being tried as a defender where at the very least they can just say ‘stick with this guy and spoil everything.’
I think there is merit in that - wouldn't be the first forward to spend time in defence to gain experience and then revert back to playing forward.
Could be something we try in 2021 but I think the defence is very well settled presently and we won't tweak it from now beyond what we have already tried.

Not getting ahead of myself but I think our biggest threats are Tigers and Eagles both of whom have a few tall forward targets - defending them well will be crucial if we are to go all the way.
Can Taylor, Henderson and company do that without having Blitz there?
If we don't play Sav then Blitz has to ruck more and relieve Stanley who also has to rest forward more as a second tall?
Will this generate enough goals - feel it could if Gaz is back in the side with his superb ball use and goal sense.
Will this combination be more effective than playing Sav/Jenkins and having Blitz back in defence - a decision made harder as Henderson is the one to drop and he's been playing very well :think:
 

Goggin Our Best

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May 23, 2011
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Pretty simple equation for mine - Richmond are the best team ( are now flag favourites in the betting ) - you have to beat Richmond to win this years Premiership - and Tigers side does include Noah Bolta at CHB and Lynch at FF - both about 6ft 5inc

Bolta is in fantastic form - SAV is the ideal match up for him at CHF - otherwise Bolta is going to have an absolute picnic at CHB - and give the Tigers tremendous run off CHB

Blicavs with his extra height goes back to FB on Lynch - that means Henderson gets squeezed out . Henderson has been going ok - but Naughton outmarked him in that 1st qtr ( beat him pointless ) that was pretty concerning i thought .
 

00VicWard001

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Sep 3, 2011
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Can I suggest something that may get laughed at:

is there a reason Esava couldn’t ever be Considered to have a go in defence?

he’s tall.
He has a great leap.
He actually reads the flight of the ball fairly well and gets to where it’s going, he just consistently drops it.
he’s strong.
He’s fast enough for his size.
if he can’t make a go of being a forward what’s to stop him being tried as a defender where at the very least they can just say ‘stick with this guy and spoil everything.’
Tackles really well too, with aggression.
 

00VicWard001

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 3, 2011
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Pretty simple equation for mine - Richmond are the best team ( are now flag favourites in the betting ) - you have to beat Richmond to win this years Premiership - and Tigers side does include Noah Bolta at CHB and Lynch at FF - both about 6ft 5inc

Bolta is in fantastic form - SAV is the ideal match up for him at CHF - otherwise Bolta is going to have an absolute picnic at CHB - and give the Tigers tremendous run off CHB

Blicavs with his extra height goes back to FB on Lynch - that means Henderson gets squeezed out . Henderson has been going ok - but Naughton outmarked him in that 1st qtr ( beat him pointless ) that was pretty concerning i thought .
Makes alot of sense, horses for courses. Likely Geelong and Richmond end up 3 and 4, which means that we are more likely to only play in the GF (expecting to win against 1 and 2).

If Hawkins is effectively double teamed and zoned against by Richmond, which they will do, as all the top teams do this, then he'll have Astbury/Grimes and Balta/Vlastuin constantly contending with him. On the other side, they can very easily spread our defence with Riewoldt and Lynch.
 

Landgraft

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Dec 18, 2016
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Pretty simple equation for mine - Richmond are the best team ( are now flag favourites in the betting ) - you have to beat Richmond to win this years Premiership - and Tigers side does include Noah Bolta at CHB and Lynch at FF - both about 6ft 5inc
I'm trying really hard to figure out how you arrived at this but it just isn't there.
 

Down at K Park

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May 18, 2016
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Can I suggest something that may get laughed at:

is there a reason Esava couldn’t ever be Considered to have a go in defence?

he’s tall.
He has a great leap.
He actually reads the flight of the ball fairly well and gets to where it’s going, he just consistently drops it.
he’s strong.
He’s fast enough for his size.
if he can’t make a go of being a forward what’s to stop him being tried as a defender where at the very least they can just say ‘stick with this guy and spoil everything.’
Imagine how many goals he would cough up due to basic skill errors. Just look what happened when he totally shanked 2 handballs against the eagles. 2 goals, and that was in the centre of the ground.

Just doesn't have the reliable skills to be played in the defensive 50.
 

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