Thank god that’s over. Meaningless blow-outs are hard enough to watch during the regular season, let alone during the pre-season.
Essendon were insipid. Listless. Dilapidated. Barely palpable. Genuinely useless.
They provided absolutely no pressure and let Richmond prance around Wangaratta and do as they pleased.
And I had to sit there and watch it. Every. Single. Minute of it.
NOTABLE ABSENTEES: Richmond – Dion Prestia, Daniel Rioli, Nathan Broad
NOTABLE ABSENTEES: Essedon – Michael Hurley, Orazio Fantasia, Tom Bellchambers, Cale Hooker
INJURIES: Tony Nankervis (concussion), David Astbury (concussion), Zac Merrett (jaw/concussion)
It was very hard to draw too much out of this game, and the longer it went on the worse it got as the Bomber’s defence and tackling had as much substance as one-ply toilet paper in a truck-stop dunny.
Devon Smith was literally the only shining light for the Dons, playing in the middle all day and pretty much locking himself into my forward line.
The other bloke who stood out was this young up and comer called *checks notes* Dustin Martin. He looked okay.
Dustin Martin – $656,000 – MID
This kid’s going to be something one day. A Norm Smith medallist even. Possibly a Brownlow winner. Might even do it this year. I’d managed to convince myself not to start him and have a look when he price drops, but based on today it might not drop any time soon. Only 106 points but from 66 per cent game time. Damn he was better than that anyway.
Jack Higgins – $133,000 – FWD/MID
Shai Bolton will get a run ahead of him in round one, but considering Bolton’s 242k, he won’t score enough to bother considering him.Hardly sighted.
Bachar Houli – $517,400 – DEF
Was really crucial early with seven touches in the first when Essendon weren’t completely terrible, and sat out during the second half. 66SC.
Brandon Ellis – $502,500 – DEF
Far quieter than Houli. Did nothing to put himself back onto my watchlist and would need something exceptional to barge his way in at this stage. Only 54 points.
Corey Ellis – $228,400 – MID/DEF
Was by far the better Ellis. Finished with 96 points running off half back. I have no idea who this bloke is or if he plays, but at 228k in the
midfield I don’t really want to know. Scratch that, he’s DEF/MID. I am interested again. Keep an eye on him in JLT2.
Alex Rance – $492,300 – DEF
Damn he’s handsome. Nothing else to report.
The Nank – $488,300 – RUC
Slammed his head into the turf early and wasn’t sighted afterwards, sending young Marboir Chol into the ruck who did… not much. Not even a ruck rookie, instead listed as a 123k forward.
Kane Kambert – $472,500 – MID/FWD
Need another look. Didn’t do anything to write home about but also didn’t do himself a disservice. Playing without Prestia makes it hard to judge if the mid time he got will continue.
Nick Vlaustuin – $430,100 – DEF
Had a lot of the ball, did some nice things with it. Priced very nicely, but his tendency to play as the third tall or to lock down someone will hurt his scores on the odd week. Picked up some intercept marks, kicks more than he handballs, he’s one to monitor.
Josh Caddy – $419,600 – FWD
Caddy makes Richmond a much better side. He will not make your Supercoach team a better side. Looked good with 132SC but with Prestia to return I’d be surprised if he has as much mid time as he did today.
Trent Cotchin – $555,000 – MID
Managed 116 from 52 per cent game time and 17 disposals. Did the dirty work and still finished with immaculate hair. I’m not saying pick him, but that’s impressive.
Devon Smith – $439,100 – FWD
The one positive from today. Pretty much locked up in the forward line – played pure midfield and looked pretty good doing so. Finished with 26 touches and a goal. Scored 119 points. Yes please. Sign me up.
Jake Stringer – $356,000 – FWD
Has apparently bleached his hair. Last 15 minutes before Rance’s superb jawline split his skin and turned his hair pink. Suited him. Not much effort defensively, ineffective with ball in hand, played more forward than midfield.
No, no and no thank you.
Adam Saad – $399,800 – DEF
I’m very excited to watch this man play football. Extremely quick, extremely exciting, will play very well with Conor McKenna during the year. Wrote him off at quarter time as someone who’ll average 80 but look good while doing so.
Ended with 89 points, which is about what I expected, but I’ll be watching closely next game. Uses the ball well and players were looking for him. Others ahead of him for now, but don’t write him off.
— AFL (@AFL) February 24, 2018
Also kicked an INSANE goal to open his account.
Zach Merrett – $600,600 – MID
Merrett for PM. And for President. Future King of Australia. Can also play football. Chose not to play football after having two head knocks early and coming off gastro. The four touches he did have looked very good so don’t write him off.
Dyson Heppell – $547,300 – MID
Good at footy. Not as good at Supercoach. Got a bit of it but couldn’t do a huge amount with it. Spent long stints on the bench to manage his workload.
Brendan Goddard – 535,500 – MID
Has averaged 97 three years in a row. Looks to make it four. Pass.
Joe Daniher – $472,800 – FWD
Had terrible delivery and had little support without Hooker or Stewart. Apparently had 70 per cent time on ground but couldn’t get near it. Shaun McKernan made him look like a second-stringer.
Andrew McGrath – 388,400 – DEF
Started very slowly, with just the one touch in the first term, which was an ineffective handball. Finished with 18 touches and 63 SC. Nah.
Darcy Parish – $419,000 – FWD/MID
Might see some jumping on after playing the inside role for the Dons. Had 21 touches and did the dirty work, but only had the 85 points to show for it. That will go up when four players are whittled from the bench, but would need to see something special in JLT2 to consider him up forward.
And that’s about it from me. I can’t think about this game anymore. Essendon were AWFUL. Richmond looked really good. Hopefully it’s not a sign of things to come.