The future is now. We are seeing a changing of the guard, Community. The old firm has given us plenty of good memories, but the time of the young bucks has come.
A new wave of the brightest young SuperCoach prospects has emerged and boy did they put on a show on the weekend. The likes of Cripps, Kelly, Oliver, Merrett and Mitchell were absolutely prolific for their respective sides, smashing through the 130-point barrier in scintillating fashion.
And then there was Nic bloody Newman. A late inclusion into Sydney line up on Sunday, the youngster proceeded to smash out an incredible score of 151C.
The exuberance of youth has propelled these players into their prime ahead of time – they have well and truly arrived.
Patrick Cripps (157 SC) led all comers with a masterclass for the Blues. Had 30 touches – 20 of them contested – 11 marks and 2 goals all at 80% efficiency. Start the year off slowly after a back injury limited his pre season. Looks to be approaching full fitness now and should dominate for the remainder of the season.
Horse is really messing with us now. He didn’t pick Nic Newman (151 SC) initially, but then snuck him in as a late inclusion against the Roos. By then, most coaches had either traded him out or had him sitting on the pine. He had 35 disposals and 11 marks in a stunning display. The Swans are back in a big way, and their mids in particular had a day out against the Roos. JPK (137 SC), Dan Hannebery (134 SC), Isaac Heeney (130 SC) and Luke Parker (122 SC) all got in on the action.
Those who started with Josh Kelly (147 SC) would be pleased as the star Giant has been incredibly consistent this season and almost single-handedly helped his side get over the line on Saturday. Had it 36 times with 11 tackles and a goal. The Demons had a field day in their 51-point mauling of Adelaide, with Clayton Oliver (142 SC) leading the way with 30 disposals, 10 tackles and a brilliant goal from the boundary line. Team-mates Jack Viney (130 SC), Christian Petracca (121 SC) and Nathan Jones (120 SC) also joined in on the party.
Ball magnets Tom Rockliff (147 SC), Tom Mitchell (135 SC) and Zach Merrett (137 SC) were simply sensational for their respective sides. Rocky had it 30 times, 21 of them contested, and racked up a monster 13 tackles as well. But he dislocated his shoulder late in the match and faces a stint on the sidelines. Opponent Mitchell gathered 36 possessions and 9 tackles in another productive outing while Merrett was brilliant for the Bombers with 33 disposals and 12 tackles.
Sam Docherty (132 SC) is on track to be the number 1 defender in SC for the second consecutive year, accumulating 26 possessions, 11 marks and 6 tackles. However hot on his heals is Rory Laird (124 SC), who was one of the few Crows to perform in their disappointing loss to the Demons, racking up 37 disposals. Young Saint Jack Billings (136 SC) had a break out match with 30 touches and 5 goals while team-mate Seb Ross (129 SC) is proving to be one of the finds of the season, producing another good game which included 31 touches and 2 goals.
When Max Gawn went down, many coaches had the choice between two options – Brodie Grundy and Stef Martin (125 SC). Those who went Stef should give themselves a big pat on the back. He was excellent again tallying a huge 63 hit outs and 10 tackles. Speaking of gun ruckmen, Sam Jacobs (141 SC) has again entered the conversation. After a couple of barren years, big Sauce has returned to vintage form in 2017, smashing out an enormous 74 hit outs.
Speedy Freo forward-turned-midfielder Michael Walters (137 SC) absolutely cut Richmond apart with his run and dash while gun mid Lachie Neale (129 SC) continued his scintillating form after a slow start to the match. Andrew Gaff (121 SC) was close to best on ground for the Eagles in their win over the Dogs, gathering 35 touches and 15 marks to go with 1.1. West Coast teammate Shannon Hurn (121 SC) had it 28 times, including 20 kicks, at a proficient 89% efficiency.
Other players to break the 120-mark for the round were Bomber Michel Hurley (127 SC) and Swan Sam Reid (127 SC).
It was all meant to fall in to place for Brodie Grundy (83 SC). No Cox – check. 46 SC at quarter time – check. Due for a big score after a month of mediocrity – check. So what the bloody hell happened?
Bulldogs Luke Dahlhaus (65 SC) and Jason Johannisen (77 SC) did not register a single tackle between them, with Dahl only having 4 contested possessions out of 25 and Top Deck just 3 contested touches out of his 26. This was the main factor for their low scores.
Jeez, Heath Shaw (77 SC) has featured in here a few times already this season. We are all waiting for him to hit his straps and it hasn’t bloody happened yet. Seems to be impacted by the emergence of Zac Williams in particular.
Veteran Saints Leigh Montagna (75 SC) and Nick Riewoldt (75 SC) have now appeared in this section two weeks in a row and could be starting to slow down in their old age. Scott Pendlebury (77 SC) appeared to be distracted by the impending birth of his first child, but, hey, at least he didn’t have to leave mid-match. Cats pair Joel Selwood (78 SC) and Zach Tuohy (66 SC) were ordinary in Geelong’s loss to the Bombers.
Rory Sloane (70 SC) had his second quiet match in a row and was hindered by a Bernie Vince tag. Expect teams to deploy this tactic on him for the rest of the season. Fellow Crow Matt Crouch (79 SC) again could not reach the heights expected of him. Superstars Gary Ablett (80 SC) and Robbie Gray (76 SC) did not standout during their historic Chinese match, while Swans pair Lance Franklin (82 SC) and Zak Jones (63 SC) were quiet despite Sydney’s strong victory.
Elliott Yeo (109 SC) is defying his previous Yo-Yo reputation and is starting to produce a season of real substance and consistency. Now appears to be a must-have forward. Jarryd Roughaed (99 SC) continued his resurgence with 2 goals while Jack Steele (114 SC) played one of his best games for the Saints.
Marc Murphy (108 SC) has shrugged off several injury-plagued seasons and now looks the real deal in 2017. If he continues his current form, a top 10 finish in the midfield is not out of the question. The only concern is his injury history which – as is evidence with Dayne Beams – could re-emerge.
Despite his modest first two scores, David Meyers (57 SC) looks the goods for the Bombers and his position in the Essendon side appears safe. He should be the number one trade-in target this week if you are looking for a downgrade.
Expensive trio Tim Taranto (82 SC), Will Hoskin-Elliott (75 SC) and Andrew McGrath (66 SC) justified their price tags with solid performances. Brisbane’s Jarrod Berry (71 SC) continues to improve with every game, while fellow Lion Jake Barrett (59 SC) did enough to hold his spot.
Ed Vickers-Willis (79 SC) had a much-improved outing for North, while counterpart Sam Durdin (48 SC) started to find his feet in his second match. Jy Simpkin (6 SC) copped an injury early. Swans rookies Will Hayward (38 SC) and Lewis Melican (31 SC) were unable to cash in on their side’s big win.
Port’s Sam Powell-Pepper (70 SC) had a decent outing in China, while Gold Coast opponents Jack Bowes (52 SC) and Brad Scheer (27 SC) must have been impacted by the pollution and hefty travel time. Freo’s Cam McCarthy (66 SC) looked lively up forward, while Tiger opponent Todd Elton (22 SC) was barely sighted.
Carlton’s rookies Caleb Marchbank (63 SC), Sam Petrevski-Seton (59 SC), Zac Fisher (39 SC) and Tom Williamson (38 SC) failed to impress as did Cats trio Tom Stewart (46 SC), James Parsons (38 SC) and first-gamer Mark O’Connor (28 SC).
Giant Daniel Lloyd (54 SC) looked OK on debut, while West Coast’s Kurt Mutimer (53 SC) and Hawthorn’s Blake Hardwick (32 SC) didn’t get enough of the ball to have an impact.
Crows pair Andy Otten (56 SC) and Curtly Hampton (52 SC) did not make their break evens this week and lost cash. Now is the time to move them on before they bleed any more coin. Melbourne opponent Mitch Hannan (30 SC) was again deplorable and surely won’t be in the Demons side much longer, while time may be up for Richmond forward Daniel Butler (36 SC) as well.
Cyril Rioli (75 SC) looks to have done a serious knee injury and will be out for a number of weeks, while Tom Liberatore (34 SC) just hasn’t been the same since his return from a serious knee injury. He had only 8 disposals despite playing 85% game time.
How did you go this week, Community?