Marsh Series Report | Essendon vs Geelong

Published by Patch on

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?

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Hart attack

Parish I think will finish top 10 fwd but can't fit him in along side Dusty Whitfield Smith and now probably Steven

Evil emporer ZURG looks impressive but it seems most rookies this year are coming woth a price tag

Gonna be an interesting year


Lek and I have just spent an hour on the phone groaning, then saying "wait! but what if I…." followed by 30 seconds of silence, and then expletives.


Judging by today's performance, Steven should average 90-100, making him a fwd lock presumably. Does Guthrie and Selwood knock him out of the mids as much? On the other hand, Sicily should average 95-105 and Birchall should average 70-80 (not a keeper but good value)

With Budarick unlikely to start round 1,

T/U Sicily and Budarick
T/D Birchall and Steven


Hahaa.. TU/TD is SCT ..


Hahaha awkward


Hard to do when we don't have a thumbs down button but fortunately Sic and Budarick is (in my opinion) the best option


What do we reckon guys …
Steven & Nobel
Houston & C.Taylor


all 4


Can Steven hold his midfield role when Guthrie, Duncan & Selwood all return? That’s my only knock on him…
If you believe he does take Steven & noble imo, Houston has an R11 bye also.


I'm scared of Jack Steven too. Injury history playing a factor too.


Taylor is the only must have there so I'll pick any combo with him in it. Infact, I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't pick him


No North v Swans report yet?…did anyone see the North V Sydney game?, wondering what happened with Jordan Dawson and why he scored so low, cheers in advance

Jorg Ancrath

I want to know if Naismith is a goer.


I'm checking the schedule and trying to find out what the go is


There will be one on the way tomorrow. Blame the AFL for putting one in on a Monday afternoon


the L O N G boi looks really good and is at a much nicer price than a lot of the other mob. In and out of my team too as a cash grab


Thanks for that Neil, that's a bloody shame I almost had him locked in and then he drops a 50 on us?!
Looks like Lloyd affected him big time, as far as Long goes mate I'm still not sure about him, first game scores 64 from 11 disposals and 80% tog and 2nd game he scores 85 from 24 disposals and 89% tog, a lot of extra possessions for only 20 points more.
Seems to be getting plenty of tog though, I'd still pick Roberton over him I reckon, maybe even Zerk or Noble first.


Wow! The Sharkmove of 2020 is finally starting to gather some traction. Get on the Lukosius train! Many rated this guy higher than Walsh, playing as a intercept defender he is gonna kill it! Reminds me of when Pavlich started his career as a defender.


I just watched his highlights from the sanfl, he takes a great grab and kicks very well…only averaged 50 last year but as a forward, could be good in the backline…I'm interested.


G'day Rusty, it will be posted tomorrow morning. There was a breakdown in communications as to who was covering the game.


Hi Damo, no worries, thanks for the reply and to Patchy, who has 2 Footy games on a Monday anyway ay ?! ain't natural lol


Yes I locked them in at F3 and F4 with the lack of rookies available


Cogs, Macpherson, Tom Green
Mitchell, Brayshaw, 123k Rookie


Flip a coin.. green will probably have better JS than any 123k mid rookie you select so that probably gets the top option over the line for me . Although I think I prefer cogs brayshaw & green


Number 1, considering there aren't any two words which scare me more at the moment than "123k rookie"


Are there any???

Major rejig required with gawn, lloyd, Dusty on chopping block.

Or do we chop.a premo mid and go down to Viney?

With guys like noble and Rowell our choice of rooks we will have to find the cash from somewhere.

Oh and patch get your a$$ into the happy place league! <img draggable="false" role="img" class="emoji" alt="😁" src=""&gt;.


Do people think McRae will still do as well as he has over the past few years?

Jorg Ancrath

No 1 mid I reckon. Can't see him going backwards.


Not concerned for BZT once Cale Hooker comes back?