I really need to open a padlock business just before the JLT Series next year. People are locking in players left, right and centre and by gum there’s a market for it.
Anywho, I’m going to recommend some locks from today’s JLT Series game between Adelaide and Port Adelaide because we have a few very good rookies, and I implore you buy them from Patch’s Lock Emporium. Leave your credit card details in the comments below and I’ll loot your credit limit for everything it’s worth.
We had a very quick and high-scoring game for a half and (especially for Port) the rookies led the way, but many people had eyes only on two names today.
Matt and Brad Crouch.
I’ve traditionally been completely unable to tell these two people who are definitely exactly the same person apart, so I made myself a handy guide to remind myself which Crouch has which number.
It did not work.
It was very, very hot a Port Pirie – 42 degrees – meaning players rotated very frequently. Plenty of players were off the ground for a fair bit and spent more time forward than they may have otherwise, especially the kids.
Anyway, Adelaide proved too strong after blowing the Power away in the second half of the second quarter. Port kicked five goals in seven minutes in the last quarter to threaten a victory, but couldn’t quite get there.
Notable absentees: Adelaide – Hugh Greenwood, Bryce Gibbs, Daniel Talia
Notable absentees: Port Adelaide – Charlie Dixon, Ollie Wines, Matthew Broadbent, Hamish Hartlett
Best: Rory Sloane, Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch, Brodie Smith, Eddie Betts
Best: Sam Powell-Pepper, Zak Butters, Paddy Ryder, Dan Houston
Having seen two games with the new rules now, I really like them. They’re not a massive tweak considering it’s only at centre bounces, but the forward lines are being opened up. I’m in no position to say what statistical impact it will have at this stage, but early stages we’re going to see better quality footy. Although we haven’t seen Gold Coast play yet…
Jason Dunstall said it might cut down intercept markers and those floating players, but having seen Francis just leave his man and float on Thursday I don’t see intercept players disappearing.
We also had both sides pick up lots of goals in a row, which was interesting, and repeat stoppages have also significantly dropped off. Make of that what you will.
More playing on out of the square, as expected. Nothing new to report on this front.
Brodie Smith – DEF – $332,500
The only thing hotter than the South Australian sun on Saturday was Brodie Smith. He was blistering early and the Crows looked to give him the ball at every chance.
Brodie was channelling his inner Mardi Gras by prancing around Port Pirie with gay abandon doing whatever he pleased.
Got his hand on the ball 27 times but slowed down dramatically in the second half due to the heat. Had nine touches in the first quarter. Is he a lock? Maybe.
Rory Laird – DEF – $587,500
If you thought Brodie Smith having a lot of the footy was a bad thing for Rory Laird, think again. Where Smith had nine in the first, Laird had 11 and looks every bit a premium defender. I don’t see any reason not to select him, finished with 28 disposals and most of them (19) were kicks.
Mad Bratt Crouch – MID
I genuinely cannot tell the difference between these two so they’re getting the same writeup. The Cheap Crouch (Brad, at $418,000) had 29 touches with 11 contested possessions, five tackles and a whole bunch of other impressive stats.
Meanwhile, Matt ($551,300) had more of the ball and looks the better fantasy option, and with those numbers at 42 degrees, oh boy is he an option. oh BOY is he an option.
With 32 touches from 77 per cent time on ground and a massive 14 contested possessions, he’s right in contention to be a top eight midfielder for the year, and if he is you won’t get him cheaper than his starting price.
They both played the right in the guts and fed each other the ball on multiple occasions. Absolute fantasy pigs and both will be locked in to the Adelaide midfield if fit.
Rory Sloane – MID – $524,300
Has 22 touches in the first half an should absolutely be higher on people’s radar. He’s in seven per cent of teams and could well be much higher radar, especially with eight games at the Adelaide Oval before the bye.
He is cheaper than Matt Crouch too, and has been named a co-captain of the side this year. Has trouble with the tag, but when Sloane breaks the chain there are few who can match him in the AFL. Finished with 28 touches after putting the cue in the rack at half time when he had 22. Who’s interested?
Tom Doedee – DEF – $446,200
Was intercepting absolutely everything and has filled Jake Lever’s spot arguably better than Lever himself did. I won’t be picking him but if keep an eye on him in a draft league as a slider down the order.
Eddie Betts – FWD – $363,400
He was ON. Kicked goals for fun, was marshalling the troops up forward and he’s just beyond words. Is he Supercoach relevant? Absolutely not, but good lord is he good at football.
The others: Sam Jacobs and Reilly O’Brien shared the ruckwork, I can’t see both of them playing with only four on the bench but neither of them looked much chop – they were fine, but I don’t want fine in my ruckline.
Tom Lynch looked really good but again won’t quite be fantasy relevant. Cam Ellis-Yolman had plenty of the ball and Wayne Milera were excellent at times but I don’t think either should be considered.
I’m not sure what’s happening with the Crows’ last forward spot, if Shane McAdam, Tyson Stengle, Ned McHenry (all missing on Saturday) and Myles Poholke duking it out? Chase Jones also did some nice things after sitting out the first half.
Changed their gameplan halfway through the second quarter and slowed the game down. It didn’t work for them in the slightest until they threw Robbie Gray in the middle, but it wasn’t enough.
Zak Butters – MID – $157,800
Lock him in and throw away the key. Was in everything early, and although he’s nowhere near big enough to run out a full season and pick up 30 possessions a week but for a rookie-priced player he’s locked in.
Picked up the hard ball, was on the outside but will take a step back when Wines returns to the side. Finished with 25 touches and was everywhere. He did also have his shoulder checked, and an 18-year-old with two taped shoulders isn’t an overly promising side (Chris Judd being the exception that proves the rule), but if he’s named round one I’m picking him.
Xavier Duursma – DEF/MID – $130,800
Boy oh boy we’ve got one to watch here. He had his named called off the half-back flank several times early but quietened down in big ways after half time. Will be interesting to see how Broadbent fits back into the side, but with Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard no longer at the club there’s certainly a spot for him and early signs are he’ll have a crack at it round one.
Only finished with the nine touches which is a mild concern. One to watch.
Connor Rozee – DEF/FWD – $189,300
Kicked a goal early after Westhoff gave it off to him and looks the goods for Port Adelaide fans, but will need a lot of goals to score enough to justify his higher starting price.
Six touches and two goals, I’ll pass on him.
Willem Drew – MID/FWD – $123,700
A big-bodied mifielder now in his third year on Port Adelaide’s list, he spent a lot of time in the midfield in the first half and saw a decent chunk of the footy. Had a decent amount of time on ground considering the conditions, finishing with 16 touches. Twelve of those were handballs, but 11 contested possessions has me very intrigued.
One for the watchlist but you’d think Kenny Hinkley would be happy with that game.
The Hoff – RUC/FWD – $549,500
Westhoff played at centre half-forward for much of the first quarter, and while the Power had plenty of ball forward, I’m not excited by the idea of selecting a Justin Westhoff who’ll be deep forward.
Seven touches, two goals and his stints in the ruck are all but gone with Lycett’s arrival. He’ll move around during the year but I won’t be starting him based on what I saw today.
Robbie Gray – MID/FWD – $525,500
Hardly sighted early, playing deep forward. He’ll be electric for the Power, but will have very, very quiet weeks. Was thrown into the midfield when things went wrong and did some nice things there, but unless he’ll consistently be there I’m not interested in picking him in my Supercoach side.
Every single one of his possessions was contested, mind you.
Dan Houston – DEF – $420,500
Ran off half-back and looked like a general for Port. Had a fair chunk of the ball but will need to back it up to convince me – still behind Williamson and Williams in the Supercoach mid-priced stakes.
He had 21 touches loping off the half-back line and I rated his game, but probably not enough to pick him.
Patrick Ryder – RUC – $490,300 and Scott Lycett – RUC/FWD – 411,200
Ryder rolled his ankle in the final minute of the game but early indication (i.e., less than 10 minutes after the game had finished) he looks fine.
However, Port set up to have Ryder running out of the goal square and Lycett as the number one ruck. The two of them look like they’ll be switching fairly regularly, which means neither of them looks overly likely to score well. Pass on both unless one or the other is injured or dropped.
Paddy did look like an absolute beast in the middle during the final quarter, so for Port’s sake I reckon they should play Ryder as #1, but from my point of view it looked like he was forward far more often.
The others: Stevie Motlop looked to be running off a back flank and a wing at times, but I didn’t see anything to interest me Supercoach-wise. Sam Powell-Pepper was bullocking and strong in the last quarter, but won’t be worth selecting. Tom Rockliff was… fine, I guess? Didn’t do much to be noticed for mine.
That’s it from me, community – who’s stood out to you from either side?