It’s Carlton VS St Kilda, Jock VS LekDog.
The winner will be showered with praise. The loser will be taunted and booed until my throat is sore.
And it’ll be the LekDog I’ll have to be taunting today, with the Saints getting an easy win over the Blues. The sides went in a bit younger today, with the Blues missing the likes of Murphy, Gibbs, Simpson, Docherty and Kreuzer, while the Saints left out Riewoldt, Montagna, Geary, Weller, Roberton and Hickey.
This showed way more for the Blues than it did for the Saints, with the Blues struggling to create consistent chains of clean possessions, while the Saints produced some great spread from the contests and some fantastic pressure, especially in the forward half.
It was hard to pull much out of this game, it essentially turned into a training drill after the 1st quarter with the Saints dominating the play and the ball spending very little time in the Blues forward half.
But we’ll try extract some nuggets of info out of this think, just to justify to myself that it was worth watching the game!
Patrick Cripps | MID | $585,500
Looked like he was kept out of any of the contested stuff and the game was more about just getting some run in his legs and a bit of touch back. Wasn’t spotted in the 2nd half and finished with 7 disposals (only 1 contested) and 3 tackles from 39% ToG.
Rhys Palmer | FWD | $338,300
Was one of the Blues bigger ball winners, grabbing 19 disposals, but his DE was 52.6% and included 6 clangers. Don’t go near him at his mid-range pricetag.
Caleb Marchbank | DEF | $236,100
He had 9 disposals and 3 rebound 50’s in the first half, while running at 100% efficiency. Finished with 17 disposals, 4 rebound 50’s and might come into consideration as a slightly more expensive option down back.
Billie Smedts | MID/FWD | $217,100
Plenty of work across half back for him with 16 disposals @ 93.8% disposal efficiency and 5 rebound 50’s. Might not be that much work for him back there when Simpson and Docherty come back though.
Charlie Curnow | FWD | $267,500
Kicked a goal right on the line in the 1st quarter and was thrown into the middle to start the 2nd and finished the half with 7 disposals and 3 clearances. Shows some definite signs that he’ll be a quality player, reads the ball well off the tap, but I don’t think 2017 will be his year. Still needs to learn how not to rush his disposals, but that’ll come with time. Sat out the 2nd half to play just 48% ToG.
Harrison Macreadie | DEF | $117,300
Recorded 9 disposals in the 1st half, but had 3 clangers in there (2 were frees against though). Only had 3 more disposals in the game to finish with 12.
Jacob Weitering | DEF | $368,100
Struggled a bit at times, especially with the ball spending so much time in the Saints forward half. Was generally solid though, finishing with 17 disposals and 8 marks.
Zac Fisher |MID | $117,300
Did some work in the middle, grabbing 10 disposals and 4 clearances
Matt Korcheck | RUC | $117,300
Took the lead ruck duties with Kreuzer out. He did OK in the ruck in the first half, but like a lot of the big US basketball converts, struggled to have any sort of impact outside of the ballups. He’ll be back in the VFL again this year.
Harry McKay | FWD | $123,900
Came off in the 1st quarter with a torn jumper. I’m sure his Mum is very disappointed with the youngster wrecking his clothes, “YOU JUST GOT IT!” she was heard screeching at him from the stands. 5 touches in the first half, but looks like he still needs to work on his kicking skills. Wasn’t stopped much in the 2nd half, but the ball was barely up his end.
Jarrod Pickett | MID/FWD | $123,900
Used his speed to burn off Jimmy Webster and set up Cunningham with an easy goal in the 2nd quarter. Popped up on occasion with some nice play, but that may be the problem with picking him this year. He’ll pop up, but we may not get consistent output from him week to week, with Pickett finishing with just the 7 disposals.
Cameron Polson | FWD | $117,300
Just the 7 disposals for Polson from 61% ToG.
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Jack Steven | MID | $560,600
Just doing his thing out there, which isn’t massively surprising given the players missing from the Blues engine room. He had 23 disposals, 5 clearances and 5 inside 50’s from 62% ToG. All great numbers, but we’ll have to consider the opposition too.
Koby Stevens | MID/FWD | $467,900
Did some good work in the middle with 18 disposals, 4 clearances and 5 tackles. Could put up a decent average for the year, but even as a forward selection you’d be hesitant to pay his starting price straight off the bat.
Blake Acres | MID/FWD | $410,100
He had 15 disposals at 100% efficiency for the game, along with 3 clearances and 2 tackles. Only problem with selecting Acres is….
Jack Billings | MID/FWD | $407,700
Led the Saints in the 1st quarter with 7 touches, although only at 42.9% on the DE and finished the half with 14 disposals @ 64.3% DE. Finished to lead the game with 30 disposals, 5 marks, 2 clearances and 3 rebound 50’s. Great game for him.
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Luke Dunstan | MID | $391,700
Had 10 disposals and 3 clearances in the first half and finished with 17 disposals and 4 clearances. Get the feeling he’s going to be a B+ player for the Saints, he won’t be a superstar of the competition, but he’ll easily play over 250 games for them and probably be a consistent presence in the top 10 of the B&F. That probably isn’t good enough to pick him for Supercoach though.
Jack Steele | MID/FWD | $347,100
His defensive work looks fantastic, recording 5 tackles in the first half, along with 12 disposals and a goal. Booted 2 goals from free kicks, along with 25 disposals, 8 tackles and some fantastic forward half pressure. 158 SuperCoach points from Steele today.
Josh Bruce | FWD | $303,400
Spent some time in the ruck with Longer as the only genuine ruck out there for the Saints. Blues were having trouble with giving away frees late in the 1st and Bruce kicked 2 goals in the final 2 minutes because of it. Finished the half with 3 goals, 5 disposals and 2 hitouts and then ended the game with 7 goals, 13 disposals and 9 marks. That will be his year, he’ll have a big game, but a few quiet ones as well. Make him a CoachKings consideration instead.
Nathan Wright | FWD | $247,000
Was limited in game time at just 47% ToG, but booted 2 goals.
Paddy McCartin | FWD | $240,400
Looks to be developing nicely and is certainly helped out by having Bruce take the #1 defender. Kicked 1.2, but was involved a fair bit around the forward line, which is great to see, finishing with 18 disposals and 12 marks.
Ben Long | STK | DEF/FWD| $117,300
Sat out the first half, but came on at the start of the 3rd quarter. Showed some good defensive pressure, hit Simon White with a tackle, won the HTB call and slotted the goal right through middle of the big sticks from a 45 degree angle. Finished with 7 disposals and 7 tackles from 42% ToG.
Billy Longer | STK | RUC | $260,200
The big question for the Saints over this pre-season seems to be will they go in with Longer or Hickey as the main ruck this year? Probably wasn’t the game to make a decision on with Longer taking on Korcheck and handling him easy in the ruck, although he had limited involvement elsewhere. He had just 5 disposals with 6 tackles and 37 hitouts.
Bailey Rice | STK | DEF | $123,900
Had just 9 disposals in 84% ToG, but wasn’t exactly the day where the Saints defenders racked up huge numbers.
And that’s it from me, but for those of you who watched the game, who stood (or didn’t) stand out to you?
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— SEN 1116 (@SENNews) March 3, 2017