Here we go, the men’s competition is back, baby. Another year, another run of Essendon losing to Carlton. At least this game actually doesn’t matter, unlike that game which cost us a finals spot last year…
Carlton looked good, really good, but being the preseason we’ll give it a bit of time before we boost them up too high.
Oh hang on, Lekdog’s calling me.
“Hello? Mhm. Yes. Understood. See you later.”
I’d like to be the first congratulate Carlton on winning the 2019 premiership, Patrick Cripps on the Brownlow and Sam Walsh on his Norm Smith medal.
Let’s get into the game.
Carlton 15.10.100 defeated Essendon 14.7.91.
Best: Cripps, Walsh, Newman, Setterfield, Petrevski-Seton, Dow
Best: McGrath, Ridley, Saad, Clarke, Francis, Brown
Carlton: Sam Docherty, Alex Fasolo, Matthew Kreuzer, Caleb Marchbank, Matthew Kennedy, Levi Casboult, Hugh Goddard, Darcy Lang, Jarrod Pickett, Tom Williamson, Liam Stocker
Essendon: Mary Gleeson, Cale Hooker, Tom Bellchambers, Orazio Fantasia, David Myers, Matt Dea
Rule change impacts
6-6-6: The big impact out of the 6-6-6 rule was the amount of space in the centre square. As pointed out by the Fox Footy commentators, there was a ridiculous amount of space for Cripps and Petrovski-Seton to run around in the square after picking up the hard-ball get.
On the key forward front, the impact was marginal. Daniher had a goal come out of a quick inside-50 one-on-one in the square but I don’t think we’ll see any major impacts for key forwards – not for Supercoach at least.
Kick-ins: The first kick-in by Michael Hurley saw him run some 10-15 metres down the field and booted it long to a contest.
Kade Simpson – DEF – $570,300
“Kade Simpson not in sleeves? I don’t care if it’s 50 degrees you put those sleeves on.”
Lekdog was not happy over text message but it simply means it’s a non-canon Simmo game. However non-canon it may have been, it was still worrying from the first half.
Finished with 14 touches but a discussion needs to be had about if Nic Newman eats his opportunities at the ball.
He didn’t register a single touch in the first quarter (despite me swearing I saw him take a kick-out) with Nic Newman racking up eight possessions. Do we get concerned? Do we panic? Not yet.
Patrick Cripps – MID – $648,200
Show me someone who can watch this and not pick him is a fool. He’s a must-have and spent no time forward whatsoever.
Sam Walsh – MID – $207,300
Jeez he’s a ball magnet this kid. Played pure midfield with rests in the forward line. He started in the middle and was busy right from the first bounce.
I have a feeling Lekdog’s magazine stash will be replaced with a Sam Walsh highlights reel very quickly.
He had 15 touches to half time to go with two tackles, three marks and two frees for and finished with 28 touches and there’s little to no argument you could mount against not picking him based on the two games we’ve seen from him so far.
Michael Gibbons – MID – $102,400
Kicked two early snags, worked up the ground a little bit and did everything right. Will play as a small forward meaning he’ll have games where he scores stuff-all, but he should play for the Blues.
Looked a very lively presence as a small forward and had good goal sense. Stick him at M11 and watch the cash roll in. Only had nine touches though.
Nic Newman – DEF – $394,100
Was an absolute ball magnet and brought back memories of his debut season when he tore the Swans a new one. He needed a chance and despite murmers he wasn’t best 22, he absolutely looks to be a big cog in the Blues’ backline.
Even if he was priced at $475k we’d need to be having a serious look at him. Do I dare suggest he looks a better pick than Kade Simpson…?
He had 17 kicks and three handballs and looked the very crucial cog in their back six.
Charlie Curnow – FWD – $420,200
Was playing up the ground for parts, playing deep forward for others. He was up against Hurley and towelled him early, but I won’t be picking him.
Had a knock in the second quarter and didn’t return. Not this year.
Sam Petrevski-Seton – FWD – $364,900
Oooooh boy. OOOOOOH BOY. Is anyone on the SPS train? He played pure midfield and good lord did he play it well. He was on fire early, getting hard ball and outside run and looked exceedingly good at football.
Had 12 touches in the first half and looked like an absolute jet. Not a lock but at his price I’m very, very keen to have another look at the young gun. Would be an incredibly brave pick to go with him but he’s just cheap enough to justify as a cash generating option.
Finished with 18 touches.
Will Setterfield – FWD/MID – $144,900
I didn’t see a huge amount of Setterfield in this game but what little I did see was him playing very well.
He hardly handballed it and looked to be a link-up high half-forward player and ending up on a wing at times, and worked his way in to the second half very nicely. Had 19 touches of which only two were kicks. Approaching lockish levels at 144k.
Mitch McGovern – FWD – $368,200
Looks like he’ll be really, really good for Carlton and will allow Curnow to push up the field, but don’t go selecting him. He and his moustache will play deep forward and get up close and personal with the number one defenders each week. No for Supercoach, yes for Carlton.
Paddy Dow – MID – $323,500
Played really, really well for the Blues and ran through the guts and took the game on. Hugely promising player for the Blues, but as his price point as a mid-only selection I’m not having a bar of him.
The others: Zac Fisher looked very good running through the middle and half-forward, but he’s about 400k as a mid/fwd option – he played well and had 26 touches, but I wouldn’t go there.
Daily Thomas had a lot of the ball but don’t @ me about him and Harry McKay will be a very good player, just not for Supercoach.
Andrew McGrath – DEF/MID – $384,300
Was playing pure midfield but he looked a bit sloppy and a bit rusty. He turned the ball over at times and gave it up too easily at others.
He looked lost forward of centre and was moving to some of the wrong spaces at the wrong times in the first half but stormed home in the second half an had two goals in the last quarter to surge towards a win.
Had 25 touches, two goals and four tackles.
Give him another chance to stake his claim on his spot. Popular consensus is that I’m wrong on McGrath and on review I’m being far too harsh.
He was a bit shakey in the first half but his second half was absolutely excellent and as a pure midfielder at 400k in defense has to be considered. I’d be interested to see his Supercoach score (should they ever come out).
Zac Clarke – RUC – $142,600
Played as the number one ruck all night and did a decent job at it, but with Bellchambers out it was a moot point. The question we need answered is if he’ll play with Bellchambers in the side, and we’re no closer to unravelling that mystery.
He took a strong pack mark up forward during the third quarter and slotted the goal, but I’m really not sure how it all comes together. I wouldn’t be planning on starting him as R2, I still think Shaun McKernan will be used as the backup ruckman.
He had 34 hitouts, 15 touches and a goal.
Aaron Francis – DEF – $350,900
If you’re open to selecting him you would have been very, very encouraged by the young redhead’s game tonight. He looks to be floating across half back as an intercept player, which means big, big points.
He picked up a lot of free kicks, was always composed and from a football perspective I was absolutely stoked with what I saw.
However, the danger of picking him was evident in the second quarter when he dropped off the face of the earth. He doesn’t need a lot of possessions to score well, but won’t get a lot of possessions often – if at all.
Had 15 touches, three marks and two frees for.
From a Supercoach perspective? I need another look, especially at 350k, but he’s put in a ripping first audition.
Dylan Shiel – MID – $487,700
Oozes class, bursts of speed and excellent disposal – he’s going to be an excellent addition for the Bombers. Only had the 15 touches.
I’m still not convinced he’ll be a top-shelf premium selection – he could finish as a top-15 midfielder if things go well, but I doubt he’ll crack the top 10 even under the best circumstances.
Zach Merrett – MID – $544,800
Hard to judge as no-one tags in JLT games anyway, but he didn’t do a whole lot tonight. Looks a bit slow and a bit off the pace, which might be due to his three weeks off with an ankle injury?
Just needs more time on the park – he improved as the game went on and will be far better for the run. Don’t dump him just yet.
Only played the first half as well, racking up seven possessions.
Devon Smith – MID/FWD – $531,300
Sat out the first half but had a tackle within a minute of the second half. Played mostly through the midfield and set up at a lot of centre bounces. As a clearance player I wouldn’t be surprised if he bumps his average up again this season.
For a forward-eligible player he’s looking dangeously close to a must-have option alongside Dangerfield. Had 12 touches in a half and two tackles.
Jordan Ridley – DEF – $233,100
Played off half back and was the leading possession winner for the Dons for much of the first half. He had eight touches in the first two quarters and looked to use it well and put himself in the right spots. Looks to have been given a Brendan Goddard-style role.
Finished with 23 touches.
From a Supercoach perspective, he’s a really annoying price prospect. I’d need to see if Gleeson will play in the same side, and I’m not huge on mucking round in an Essendon backline which could well see McKenna, Saad, Francis and Ridley all playing interchanging roles.
Tom Jok – MID – $117,400
Jok wasn’t someone I was expecting anything from tonight but he made himself really busy at both ends of the ground.
He looks strong and agile and used to footy pretty well. I don’t see him breaking into Essendon’s round one lineup, however.
Jake Stringer – FWD – irrelevant
Looked good, was up the ground, but for the love of god DON’T. DO. IT. Do not select him.
Joe Daniher – FWD – $277,800
Kicked the first goal of the game but it was his first hit-out in nearly 10 months and it showed. I don’t think he’s overly relevant and tonight did nothing to allay those thoughts.
He’ll be better for the run, but cross him off the list.
The others: Adam Saad was very good for 21 touches but I wouldn’t go near him. Michael Hurley looked scratchy and slow and probably worth scratching off your list if you had him on it. Essendon rotated the kick-outs so he doesn’t have a monopoly on that either. Mitch Brown looks to have locked his position down as a high centre half forward, leaving Clarke and McKernan to battle it out for the last spot.
What did you take out of the game community? Who caught your eye? Will you be starting Walsh?