FINALS-LIKE FINISH TO THE FINAL JLT
Its done!! The bloody pre-season circus has drawn to a close and that means we now begin the countdown till Round 1! I’ll be honest, the JLT has rarely made for good football given that the majority of sides couldn’t give a fly’s dong about the result…but this battle between St.Kilda and Sydney had some genuine feeling; it took me back to the time I served as an honorary Nawab in Chicacole- I won’t bother explaining why but needless to say, being a zamindar in the Tagore era had it’s benefits *wink wink*.
Onto the SC relevance of the contest: I am sure a lot of us are still unsure about our ruck structure, the bad news is a man by the name of Tom ‘Thick Stick’ Hickey has decided he too should be considered in the clustered wolverine’s breakfast of a ruck pool. Jack Steele put in a STEELY performance *cheeky chortle* and has us wondering whether it’s worth dipping our fruits into the piranha-infested pool of mid price mayhem.
The usual suspects in Buddy, Steven, Roo, JPK, Hanners and Parksy vindicated themselves as valid SC selections…where does this leave us?…..
….I have no idea….and I couldn’t be more trouser-firm about it…..
TOM HICKEY | ST.K | $458,100 | RUC
To put it in a sophisticated way: he went absolutely balls-out, bat-shit CRAZY!!!!!! Recorded a monstrous 29 Disposals (18 Contested), 10 Clearances, 7 Tackles and 39 Hitouts on his way to 146 SC, keep in mind that there are extended benches in the JLT so those 3300 points are distributed amongst 2 more players per team. This means that in-season, this performance (In a close game mind you) would probably get Hickey somewhere in the 160-170 range.
Do we consider him? It really depends on 1 thing: Will Billy Longer play as well? They played together in JLT1 and Hick only managed 48SC from limited game time. Longer got the second JLT to himself and performed very well, but Hick got this JLT to himself and he more or less left Longer’s performance twitching and bleeding in a pile of it’s own excrement.
If Longer plays with him R1, there’s no way you should select him. He is at an awkward price as well…my god there are some enormous decisions to be made in the next 10 days.
JACK STEVEN | ST.K | $560,600 | MID
Played in the guts and had a massive first quarter, definitely looms as an ultra-premo breakout but his ability to handle the tag is questionable. Finished with 28 disposals, 6 Clearances and 87 SC
LUKE DUNSTAN | ST.K | $391,700 | MID
I really like this bloke and I think he will have a solid year for the Saints after missing last year through injury, one for the future but not for 2017.
JACK STEELE | ST.K | $347,100 | MID/FWD
One of the stars of the night! Finished with a whopping 28 disposals (10 Contested), 12 Tackles and 5 Clearances. He was a gun at GWS but never got the opportunity and now he looks ready to come into his own. Plays the inside role to perfection and his tackling is reminiscent of Jock’s first game for the Senior 1’s as a wee 7-year-old. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tinkering with ways to include Steele in my starting 22.
NICK RIEWOLDT | ST.K | $549,500 | FWD
Is there anything he can’t do? Played on a Wing for almost the entire game and loved it. Finished with a tidy 24 Disposals, 7 Marks, 1.0 and 108 SC. Scored 70 from just 1 half in JLT2, he played 21 games last year and finished with average of 101. He barely ever needs a rest considering how well he looks after himself and the Saints are a side that will improve this year…tempted yet?
JACK BILLINGS | ST.K | $407,700 | MID/FWD
You could genuinely throw a dart at this St.Kilda side and hit someone worth selecting in SC… Billings had a quieter night by his standard and only really got in to the game later on. Finished with 25 disposals and 3 tackles but only 70 SC. Played well in JLT1 and 2 so he is still worth consideration at his price…was voted by the AFLPA as the most likely player to break-out in 2016, they might’ve sculled the schooner a year early.
DYLAN ROBERTON | ST.K | $415,600 | DEF
The forgotten commodity had a very neat game across half back. Played the +1 role at times and played key defense at others. Finished with 22 disposals and 6 marks on his way to 102 SC, he averaged 91 a couple of years ago before being forced to play key defense out of team necessity… he seems to be returning to his half-back role of 2015 so he might be worth a look. I’d hold off to see how he deals with the season proper before pushing the plunger though.
DAN HANNEBERY | SYD | $616,800 | MID
He could have had 1 disposal and 0% from 100% TOG and it shouldn’t really affect your opinion of him. Will turn it up once the real stuff starts, genuine superstar who WILL average over 110. He didn’t drop below 600k until the 13th round last year…if you haven’t had a look at him- do so now.
JOSH P KENNEDY | SYD | $617,100 | MID
See above. I’ve locked him in. You should too.
OLIVER FLORENT | SYD | $166,800 | MID/FWD
Now here’s one to seriously look at! He managed 16 disposals, 3 tackles and 58 SC from just 59% TOG!!! The word is that the Swans really like this bloke as a shooter for Rd 1. Awkward price makes him tough to fit in, job security for the youngsters is always a question at Sydney considering that everyone including their catering staff are probably talented as hell.
CALLUM MILLS | SYD | $420,000 | DEF
Played midfield to start and put together 11 disposals at a tidy 90% DE. Didn’t play the entire second half so you’d have to say his figures are very respectable. I still don’t believe he will finish as a top 10 defender, therefore, he doesn’t warrant a spot in my side. But what’s that they about opinions and buttholes?…..
DARCY CAMERON | SYD | $117,300 | RUC/FWD
I like the kid and I hope he gets a chance come round 1. Only played the 2nd half and finished with 5 disposals, 2 marks, 4 hitouts and 1.0 (39 SC). Has reasonable agility for his size and is always in the action when the ball comes forward, competes hard and does the basics well so I think Horse will be hard pressed to NOT pick him. Is an absolute lock on the forward bench if selected.
LANCE FRANKLIN | SYD | $514,600 | FWD
A buddy good night that could have been a buddy lot better if he kicked straight! Finished with 22 Disposals, 7 Marks, 4 Tackles and 2.4 (97 SC). Only went at 45% DE which held him back further, I can tell you right now that Buddy will probably be in my forward line at some stage of the year…just not at the start.
LUKE PARKER | SYD | $608,900 | MID
Similar to Hanners and JPK, the bloke is a bonafide superstar who would probably win the Brownlow if he was at any other club (Considering he has 2 other bonafide superstars standing right next to him at the centre bounce). 26 Disposals, 8 Tackles and 1.0 capped off a stellar warm up. Do we pick him in SC? Maybe. It certainly wouldn’t be crazy having all of Parker, JPK and Hannebery post-byes…I don’t think you can get away with having more than 2 of the 3 to start though.
ROBBIE FOX | SYD | $102,400 | FWD
Didn’t really do his selection chances any favours, played for most of the game but only managed the 8 touches (7 handballs) @50%. He is bargain basement so I guess we must look at him if picked Rd1…even if he is selected though, he’d be a round-by-round proposition for the Swans and we don’t have unlimited trades…
JAKE LLOYD | SYD | $460,200 | DEF/MID
I like him. I like him a lot. Took 99% of kick-outs for the Swans and loved loitering around in the back half, he also kicked-in to himself on 8 occasions which I’m sure a lot of you would love to hear. Finished with 30 Disposals @93% DE and 7 Marks (113 SC). He kicks long quite often and loves the old switch in defense so he’s viable as a selection in defense. Will he finish top 10? Personally- I don’t think so: limited score sources, needs to accumulate a ton of the ball to score well and will struggle when Sydney struggle (which isn’t that often to be fair).
ZAK JONES | SYD | $307,000 | DEF
Impressed me a lot and I wish he wasn’t so awkwardly priced. Loved playing through the midfield and showed it with his performance: 26 disposals (20 Kicks!) and 6 tackles for 103 SC. It’s a no for me unfortunately, I doubt he will be this prolific once JPK, Hannebery and Parker start taking things seriously.
It’s done. It’s dusted. It’s got a similar feel to relieving oneself after a long car ride, or relieving oneself after a long bus ride (We don’t discriminate between preferred modes of transit here at JR). It’s time now for you all to go away to your respective fortresses and use the information you have, if you have been following the JR website- you should have a BLOODY LOT OF IT!
Assess it, acknowledge it, take it out for a nice a dinner by the river. Understand that you can’t fit everyone in, and that making tough calls is the bread and butter of this caper.
And of course, in the words of Dave Barry: