Two clubs hoping to be there at the pointy end of the season clashed today at Subiaco.
And boy what a clash it was. Geelong looked in complete control early in the game, but the Dockers kept chipping away until two supergoals broke the camel’s back.
In the searing heat, the cage fight between Dangerfield and Fyfe went off, with Danger scoring all the points early. They went head to head in the second and Danger came out on top, before Fyfe lifted in the last. Danger takes the cake today, though.
Absent Best 22
Fremantle: Matt De Boer, Aaron Sandilands
Geelong: Joel Selwood, Scott Selwood, Daniel Menzel, Corey Enright, Mitch Clark
Injuries: Jimmy Bartel got a bonk on the head during the first and was taken off for a concussion test and didn’t come back on:
Looks like he’s done for the day. We’ll get more info post-match. https://t.co/uLDjfyRGWs
— Geelong Cats (@GeelongCats) March 12, 2016
Nat Fyfe was heavily tagged by Mark Blicavs all day, and never looked to reach full match intensity. However, he is the Teen Wolf. Even with a ruckman hanging off him all day, he got the pill 26 times and was amongst it, and got especially busy in the last. He did spent minutes up forward, however.
The less noticed members of Fremantle’s midfield – David Mundy and Lachie Neale – were both excellent. Mundy went under 100 3 times from 22 games last year, and Neale had an explosive breakout year. I expect both to continue on last year’s form. Mundy had it 23 times and Neale 30.
Michael Barlow started forward but worked his way through the middle as the game wore on, and did nothing to suggest he shouldn’t be in our sides round 1. 27 disposals and six tackles sits him in my forward line.
The flavour of the week on Twitter at D3, Tommy Sheridan was impressive, with lots of uncontested kicks while rebounding off half back. He finished with 21 disposals, but smokie of a few teams in the comments section, Cameron Sutcliffe, collected more of the pill. He had it 24 times and looked more of the go-to man than Sheridan. However, both Garrick Ibbotson and Stephen Hill also strolled off half back in that rebounding role at times.
Harley Bennell was lively, switching between the midfield and forward. He will set some games alight this year, and is one to look out for in CoachKings. 17 possessions, a mark and 1.2. However, he unselfishly gave off two goals, which indicates he has a very different attitude over in the West.
Beyond that, Zac Clarke will be a good CoachKings pick when Sandilands is injured or suspended, but otherwise he – and most of the Freo’s side – share the points too much for my liking. Michael Walters another one I’d look at in the daily format. Oh, and Zac Dawson is an angry, angry human. It’s not relevant to fantasy footy because we don’t select potatoes, but I just noticed it.
I got exclusive footage of Patrick Dangerfield frolicking through the middle of Subiaco in the first half:
He had it 23 times in the first half and looked as slick as you can possibly look with a football in your hands. Kid in a candy shop. Lock. Him. In.
The other blokes in Geelong’s engine room paled in comparison. Mitch Duncan had it times by halftime, and Josh Caddy 7. However, captain Joel Selwood is still to come back into that side.
The ruck situation down at Geelong is no closer to making any sense. Rhys Stanley opened up for the Cats in the centre square, had Nathan Vardy chop him out five minutes in, with Mark Blicavs occasionally leaving his hard tag on Nat Fyfe to go third man up. However, by midway through the first quarter, Zac Smith was in the backline going up in the ruck.
That ruckline is all over the place, and as much as I really, really want to take a gamble on Zac Smith, I don’t like buying into uncertainty. Smith and Stanley ended up splitting the ruck work 50/50 for the rest of the game, Smith ending with 12 touches and 17 hitouts, and Stanley 16 and 11.
Mark Blicavs stayed mostly out of the ruck, tagging Nat Fyfe for a large portion of the game. He still managed to peel off and collect his own ball 17 times. Buyer beware with Blicavs – he can, and will – play anywhere.
Naika Cockatoo solved the “do we start him” question by getting reported for a gnarly sling tackle which left Michael Johnson very groggy. On top of that, Lincoln McCarthy confirmed his place in my starting 22. He won’t be incredibly consistent as a small forward, but at 137k I’m happy to have him there. The Prez finished with 3 sausage rolls and 8 possies.
Rookie Tom Ruggles did his chances to be elevated in place of Jackson Thurlow no harm. He was busy in the first half and got among it. He was quieter as the game went on, finishing with 10 touches, but if he gets elevated and named he is an option for us. Josh Cowan is a 155k defender but not someone I’m looking at. On the fringe and not the most reliable in terms of Supercoach output.
Harry Taylor looked very solid across half-back, rebounding the ball 8 times. CoachKings option as he’ll have very good games, but I’d be inclined to skip him in the longer form. Lachie Henderson started forward before swinging back, but there are better options out there.