Marsh Series Report | Essendon vs Geelong
It’s over. It’s finally over. After a month of speculation, confusion, questions and answers, with the Marsh Series done we’re left with… uh… *checks notes* more speculation, confusion, questions and exactly zero answers. Awww speculation, I wanted a peanut.
Down at Colac, Geelong and Essendon lined up in the final pre-season game for 2020 and the DONS WERE FLYING. Absolutely FLYING. Except for the times they weren’t*, they were looking Richmondy and fast and slick and good and I’ll be devastated when they deflate the hype train in round three.
From a Supercoach point of view, Jack Steven was excellent in his first game, Dev Smith ticked all the boxes and if you hadn’t locked Brandon Zerk-Thatcher into your backline, do so now.
*If I see us kicking it high to Walla in the real deal I’m going to scream. So slate me in for a scream six minutes into our first game.
Jack Steven $361,700 FWD – Had 43 points in the first quarter with nine touches rotating between midfield and forward as his teammates looked to get him involved. Had 26 touches, looked fit and hungry and while he tired at the end of the game (only had 65 per cent game time), he finished with 97.
Does he still play that role with Selwood, Cam Guthrie and Duncan in the side? I genuinely have no idea, but you couldn’t have asked for more from him in his first game, and the fitness will only improve. He’s a lot safer than I thought he was a month ago.
Patrick Dangerfield $625,500 MID – Gave Essendon’s midfield an absolute bath in the first quarter with 12 disposals and what felt like 12 clearances and then did very Dangerfield things for the rest of the match. Efficiency by foot wasn’t great, but took the foot off the gas and still finished with 115 as a pure midfielder. You can’t go wrong with him.
Quinten ‘Sparkle’ Narkle $396,600 MID – Had plenty of midfield minutes and, if you’ll pardon the pun, showed plenty of spark. Finished with 78 points from a full game and didn’t do enough to convince me to pick him in either format. Leave him as a shiny distraction in draft and skip over him in classic. If you’re desperate for a mid-pricer, go with Andy McGrath.
Zach Touhy $386,300 DEF – Is absolutely value down back for what he can produce, and to be honest with you I’ve seen a lot worse selections in defence. Had 20 kicks and 112 points with a goal to boot. Depends on your structure as to if you flirt with him, but will sit around that 90 average again this year.
Tom Hawkins $TOO MUCH FWD – Nah. Not to start with, might be a Bruyn Manouvre candidate during the year, but not now. Only had the 45 points.
Zach Guthrie $190,100 DEF – Absolutely no-one’s mentioned him during the preseason, but he’s earned a spot as a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ elevated rookie should he be named by the Cats in round one. Was off the opposite flank to Tuohy and was serviceable.
The others: Tom Stewart looked fine. He’ll do exactly what he did last year. On the radar for a post-bye pickup but won’t be the worst to start with – scored 88. Gary Ablett is gone and dusted as a Supercoach option. Don’t pick him in classic, don’t pick him in draft. Was pinged for frees that either weren’t there or he didn’t deserve as a great of the game, but the days of Gaz scoring 160 are over. Arguably, the days of him scoring 100 are long behind him. All of Geelong’s rookies are kind of bad for Supercoach this year.
Brandon ‘Bezerk’ Zerk-Thatcher $189,000 DEF – Pick him. The gave him the job on Tommy Hawkins and evidently want to give him serious roles during the season. Won’t score incredibly well each week as a lock-down defender but we’ll get a 70-odd average. Showed his ceiling with a bunch of intercept marks, 20 touches and 104 points.
Devon Smith $335,800 FWD/MID – Kicked one out on the full from 25 out in the second but it was about the only knock I had on him. He won’t play as a pure mid like he did in his first season with the Dons but as a high half-forward and a winger will get more than enough minutes up the ground and for me is locked away. Had TEN tackles and 117 points to be the game’s top scorer.
Darcy Parish $465,400 MID/FWD – Parish lit the game up with a 3.2 third quarter when everything (well, everything a Marsh Series game entails) was on the line. Despite that, he only finished with 90 points and spent a bit more time forward than in the middle. Won’t benefit from Essendon’s new handball-heavy gamestyle and is a more expensive version of Dev Smith for mine.
Zach Merrett $573,600 MID – Oh my god I love him so much. Won’t be considering him in the real deal though, he’ll continue with more of the same but is more likely to be a value pick during the season than someone to start with. Had 106 points from 26 touches.
Andrew McGrath $399,400 MID – With 107 points backing up another ton last week, he’s an excellent draft slider but I don’t think he’ll take the next step to be a top 10 premo this year, and because of that I’m not convinced there’s space for him in the midfield. I’m happy to be proven wrong and pick him up early, but I just can’t see us being able to take a mid-pricer in the mids.
Jordan Ridley $332,600 DEF – Don’t be fooled, with McKenna back I don’t think Ridley is a lock to play, let alone score the 116 he did for the Dons on Monday. Did look very good though, as did Michael Hurley, who finished with the same score. He’s similar to Tuohy – undervalued at $423k but not convinced he bounces back as much.
The others: Will Snelling was excellent in the first Marsh game against West Coast but left a bit to be desired this week with 54. Both Tom Cutler and Jacob Townsend impressed on the field and while the former had 43 points from 42 per cent game time and was in everything early, I’m not convinced he locks down a wing. Meanwhile Townsend had 72 which at $222k in the forward line is fun, he did need three goals to score it.
What did you take from the game, community? Have you locked Steven or Smith in? How’s your side looking with less than two weeks to go before round one?