SuperCoach RD21: The Heroes, The Villains, The Damned.
What a bizarre season it has been, Community.
With 2017 drawing to a close and many coaches in the midst of finals competition, there was an expectation that most teams would be at full capacity and pumping out scores north of 2400.
But instead injury, suspension, poor form and lack of trades have united to decimate thousands of sides.
It meant 2200 became the par score for Round 21. It was an absolute horror show of a round with many scoring below this mark.
There is little doubt 2017 has been one of the most difficult SuperCoach seasons in recent memory.
Many, including myself, will be glad when the nightmare is over.
Crows ball magnet Matt Crouch (140 SC) is coming home like an absolute steam train. There’s a bit of Tom Mitchell about the way Crouch can consistently find the pill and extract it from congestion. He had it 35 times on the weekend, 20 of them contested. It was his 11th ton in a row and third score over 130 in the past four weeks. The kid is on fire and should be considered if you still have the trades.
Patrick Dangerfield (138 SC) did Patrick Dangerfield things on Saturday. He had 30 disposals, 21 of them contested, 10 tackles and 11 clearances to help the Cats to strong victory despite missing Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan and Tom Hawkins.
Taylor Adams (138 SC) has hit a purple patch of form at the right time of the season, smashing out his third 125+ score in as many weeks. Adams racked up 31 disposals, 9 tackles, 14 contested possessions and 8 clearances – all at an elite 90% efficiency.
Speaking of good form, Dayne Beams (138 SC) is another coming home with a wet sail. Beams had 32 possessions, 7 marks and kicked 4.1 in Brisbane’s big win over the Suns. It’s his third 120+ score in the past month.
While the likes of Gawn and Jacobs failed to get the job done, Matt Kruezer (136 SC) and Stef Martin (129 SC) rewarded their owners handsomely. Kruezer has been by far the best big man in 2017 and Martin isn’t far off claiming second place.
The exceptional season of Josh Kelly (132 SC) continued on the weekend, with the sought-after Giants midfielder gathering 25 disposals, 2 goals and 6 tackles at 80% efficiency.
Marc Murphy (129 SC) has completed one of the best comebacks of the season and will finish 2017 close to a top-10 midfielder. This writer will put his hand up and confess he doubted Murphy’s ability to be able to recover from a long string of injuries, but he has certainly proved me wrong. Hats off to the coaches who had the gonads to start the season with him.
Swans pair Isaac Heeney (130 SC) and Luke Parker (126 SC) were rampant in their big win over Freo, while Jack Gunston (124 SC) is relishing a new role in defence at Hawthorn. He gathered 22 kicks, 5 handballs and 11 marks at 85% efficiency yesterday. Steele Sidebottom (122 SC) was in good touch for Collingwood with a 27-possession return against Port Adelaide.
Essendon’s gun defender Michael Hurley (121 SC) again got the job done for his owners, with his 34-possession and 8-mark outing an excellent return for a key position player. Fellow bookend Josh J Kennedy (120 SC) has made a brilliant comeback from an Achilles injury, sitting atop the Coleman Medal leader board after booting another 6 on the weekend. He’s kicked 60 goals from just 15 games this season.
Other significant scores: Cameron Pederson (137 SC), Rory Adkins (131 SC), Lewis Taylor (129 SC), Nathan Jones (128 SC), Jack Martin (127 SC), Dion Prestia (126 SC), Brodie Smith (126 SC), Aaron Hall (122 SC), Josh Jenkins (122 SC), David Swallow (121 SC).
Popular ruck duo Max Gawn (56 SC) and Sam Jacobs (57 SC) were both well below their best. Jacobs had a quiet game against Essendon while Gawn was well beaten by Billy Longer, giving away 5 free kicks and having just 21 hit outs.
It was a bloody horror show for Lachie Neale (44 SC), with the Freo midfielder restricted to just 9 disposals in a listless display. The magnificent one Dayne Zorko (78 SC) performed his famous disappearing trick again, letting the likes of Beams and Rockliff upstage him in Brisbane’s big win.
The most popular player in the competition, Toby Greene (83 SC), will come under obvious scrutiny for his flying kick to the head of Luke Dahlhaus. Greene had a quiet match despite kicking 2 goals, managing only 16 disposals.
Bad things came in threes for the Bulldogs and Swans, with Jack McRae (61 SC), Luke Dahlhaus (66 SC) and Mitch Wallis (37 SC) all stinking it up for the Dogs and Swans trio Jake Lloyd (82 SC), Zak Jones (80 SC) and Nic Newman (24 SC) all below par for Sydney, although Newman did cop a nasty leg injury.
Some of the game’s most popular defenders in Sam Docherty (83 SC), Kade Simpson (81 SC) and Rory Laird (81 SC) failed to hit triple figures, while Saints pair Seb Ross (61 SC) and Jack Steven (69 SC) also had games they would rather forget.
It was a spectacular comeback from Swans champion Lance Franklin (169 SC). When he had been all but written off as a legitimate SuperCoach force, Buddy produced a 24-possession 4-goal masterpiece to lead his side to a percentage-boosting victory. Teammate Dan Hannebery (117 SC) also got in on the action after an up-and-down 2017.
Speaking of inconsistent seasons, Tom Rockliff (125 SC) has been a repeat offender in 2017. But the signs are encouraging as he banged out his second triple-figure score in a row following a 24-touch, 3-goal return on Saturday, while also going at 83% efficiency.
After we all hailed Dylan Roberton (100 SC) as a defensive savour earlier in the season, he has hit a baron patch. But his form line might be on the up after registering his second ton in eight weeks on the weekend.
Has there been a bigger fall from grace this season than Todd Goldstein (32 SC)? Playing in tandem with Braydon Pruess, Goldy had just 4 possessions despite his 84% TOG. After averaging 114.3 over his past four seasons, the North big man is languishing at 93 points per game in 2017 and has been dropped from the senior side during the season. Is it the beginning of the end?
Heath Shaw (75 SC) has been rubbish all season and would challenge Goldy for the biggest failure of 2017, while the forward role of Toby Nankervis (57 SC) is killing his output.