By Dan Batten
I gathered my Leeder beans from lunch and set out to watch a pretty interesting contest at Leederville Oval – i.e. I had nothing else better to do with my Sunday night so I chucked the footy on.
Notable Absentees – WEST COAST: Nic Naitanui, Josh Kennedy, Willie Rioli,
Notable Absentees – PORT ADELAIDE: Tom Rockliff, Chad Wingard,
Injuries: Ah Chee, Motlop, McGovern
There was no love lost as the Eagles won another tight tussle, just as they did in the Elimination Final last year. Luke Shuey was prominent as he was in that game, and Charlie Dixon was too – except he could hit the side of a barn door with his goalkicking this time.
However, I would not have had money on Jack Redden finishing as the highest scorer on the ground, nor Lewis Jetta unleashing a 60m bomb to win the game in the last minute. Go figure.
Bear in mind that most of the scores were heavily shat on by scaling, so the scores aren’t a true reflection of each player’s influence during the 4 quarters.
Perhaps even stranger than the result was the writing in both of the change rooms:
Leederville is good,
Leederville is great
We surrender our will,
As of this date.
How very odd. Anyway, let’s get into the good stuff.
Luke Shuey – $529,100 – MID – 149 SC
Heres a pre-season teaser. Scored 52 points in a first half where he was Mr Steal Your Goal, taking the advantage of an Ah Chee free kick inside 50. He then reverted back to his regulation Duck-like nature, as we saw in the Elimination Final. Whopping 149 point-effort could be a sign of things to come this year after a disappointing 2017 campaign. You could do worse as nice POD midfield option considering he is the sole contested ball-winner in their midfield.
Jack Redden – $437,900 – MID – 162 SC
Appears to be shouldering the midfield load more with Priddis and Mitchell out of the picture. Had a really good last quarter which inflated his score. Was it a blue moon? Yes but definitely can see his average lifting from last year.
Lewis Jetta – $386,500 – MID – 114 SC
Exceptional today but cannot be trusted in the game of SuperCoach. Next.
Nathan Vardy $373,300 – RUCK – 83 SC
Speaking of teasers… Many learnt their lesson last year, but for those that are interested, he is nothing but a KFC Tempter. Had a very good day playing both ruck and forward, rotating with Lycett.
Elliot Yeo – $561,300 – DEF – 96 SC
Yeoooooo did his best work as an intercepting defender last year and played purely as a midfielder today. The same role that saw his scoring take a plunge in the back-half of last year. Looks like he will be playing there throughout the season, which reduces his relevance a touch.
Brendon Ah Chee – $255,100 – MID/FWD – 48 SC
Shuey stealing his goal wasn’t the only thing that upset Ah Chee today. Started well playing mid forward with a few centre bounce attendances but an injury stemmed his influence thereon. Had his ankle iced late in the fourth. Ow Chee.
Liam Ryan – $117,300 – FWD – 46 SC
The human highlight reel showed few highlights and lived up to his name early, booting the first goal with an acrobatic gather and banana from the goal square. He is going to win a car by seasons end and his mentality to win Mark of the Year at every marking contest he went in was clear. Missed a soda late in the last. Should be a handy bench option this year, and I’d expect him to get a Round 1 debut.
Daniel Venables – $123,900 – MID/FWD – 31 SC
Kept thinking this guy was Shuey. The former first round draftee has talent, but 5 disposals and 31 points from 74% gametime probably aint going to cut the mustard.
Francis Watson- $123,900 – DEF – 42 SC
Played the second half and looks up to the standard. Has a raking right boot his teammates like him to use. You can see why Eagles fans have been ranting and raving about this kid for the past year or so. If he plays Round 1 I’m picking him.
Jeremy McGovern – $498,800 – DEF – 10 SC
We didn’t get to see much of McGovern today thanks to an errant Robbie Gray shoulder. Can’t recall his three disposals but I’m sure they were good.
Andrew Gaff – $512,000– MID 149 SC
Looked fit as ever. The running machine’s outside ball winning was first class as per usual, finishing with 35 disposals at 88% and 138 big ones. Could he lift to that uber premium level this year in the absence of Mitchell and Priddis? You’d be a braver soul than me to pick him.
Scott Lycett – $277,100 – RUCK – 81 SC
Was the primary ruckman of the two big boys. Solid return, and one who could be a genuine ruck option (wait, what’s that ?) if NicNat isn’t fit by the beginning of the season.
Shannon Hurn – $486,200– DEF – 79 SC
Much like his hair, his fantasy relevance is decreasing by the year. Reasonable return today, though.
Paddy Ryder – $566,500 – RUCK – 88 SC
Surprisingly quiet considering his opposition. Expected Ryder to really dominate, but did nothing around the ground. Tapwork was first class and saved his score. Without Trengove (the tall one) in I still think Ryder is the best ruck option (besides Gawn, obviously).
Robbie Gray – $504,300 – FWD – 40 SC
It was great to see the livewire out on the park after his cancer battle. Will be going on a bit of a holiday after a considerable bump to McGovern’s neckless noggin.
Kicked a bloody good snap around the body in the 2nd, but played almost exclusively as a forward. Do I hear alarm bells?
Jasper Pittard $434,000 – DEF – 105 SC
Top scorer for Port. Jasper the friendly ghost managed 105 from 67 per cent gametime and took 10 marks. Impressive display but I was a bit surprised to see him at the top of the chart for Port at game’s end.
Ollie Wines – $543,500 – MID – 69 SC
Johnny Butcher had his knife out today, going at just 40 per cent disposal efficiency from his 15 disposals. Won’t be amongst the top SuperCoach echelon if he can’t fix this.
Travis Boak –$467,800 – MID/FWD – 93 SC
I am taking this performance from him with a grain of salt, as Tom Rockliff is still coming in to this midfield group. Spent a fair bit of time forward regardless which is a concern. Better options at his price I think.
Dom Barry – $117,300 – MID – 99 SC
Rare situation where you can trust a guy with 2 first names. Kicked a very nice goal and looked classy whenever he got near it. Only concern is he will need to be fed the ball to score well, so I wouldn’t be expecting this return every week. Still at $117k, you take whatever you can get. Lock it in, Eduardo.
Charlie Dixon – $499,800 FWD – 79 SC
Played with attitude, bashing packs and throwing his weight around. Kicked three goals but cost his side the game by not taking Brad Sheppard out for the count. Difficult to justify any Port premiums with that ugly ugly bye but Dixon is one to consider with Port’s fairly easy run to start the season. Not for me, though.
Sam Powell-Pepper – $356,000 – MID – 43 SC
Channelling his inner Rhyce Shaw with that chrome dome he’s rocking. Question marks on his disposal as well as his haircut.
Riley Bonner – $257,300 – DEF – 49 SC
Watching his run off half-back and his delicious left foot gives me a bit of a Bonner. His scoring potential and consistency levels do not.
Jack Watts – $416,500 – FWD – 56 SC
Will he rise into fantasy relevance at a new club? Wouldn’t have thought so. Had a good game today but scoring of this level on a consistent basis is unlikely.
Jack Trengove – $162,7000 MID – 49 SC
11 disposals from 52 per cent gametime is handy, but he won’t score you points if he’s not playing AFL. Lock for SANFL SC.
Steve Motlop – $403,500 – MID/FWD – 24 SC
Had to check the stats to see if he was playing half-way through. Turns out he wasn’t. Only the 52 per cent gametime but did very little when he was on, even with midfield minutes. Had his leg on ice late in the last.
Not an awful lot to conclude from this game other than that Robbie Gray is potentially/maybe/sort of off my watchlist and Shuey is a legitimate option. Oh, and Jack Redden ownership will rise to 50 per cent.
What did you think community? Are you looking at Redden? Who else caught your eye?
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