The Geelong machine purred its way toward another dominant home & away season on Saturday afternoon.
The big fantasy news out of this game, never mind the Geelong win, was the form of Nathan Krakouer playing what has been described several times in the media as the “Peter Burgoyne role” rebounding off half back. Fantasy scores of 50 in AFL Dream Team and 81 in Super Coach at half time underlined how lucrative this role can be with the right player installed. Some words of warning to those who think they can lock in Krak to their fantasy forward lines: one, Krakouer has a history of soft tissue injuries; two, he went missing in the second half when the Geelong engine clicked into gear and got their act together; three, he only managed one mark, suggesting that he’s more of an SC play than a DT play with loose ball gets and handball receives being the way he gets the ball; and four, among those 22 possessions he managed five clangers, although judging from his 83% efficiency they must have been about his only inefficient disposals.
Those who had been wondering who, if anyone, Port would elevate to their senior list after the long-term injury to Jackson Trengove would have been interested to read during the week about how Danny Meyer had been offered the spot if he played well in the preseason. On his form in this game, I didn’t think he did all that much to justify elevation, though press reports later were glowing. Perhaps, given how he threw his body around enough to get reported, coach Mark Williams will see his assets as including a Byron Pickett-style enforcer role. For mine, Wade Thompson did enough to keep his head in front of that battle, though with Brett Ebert playing better than last year and Robbie Gray already finding it a little difficult to slot into the 22, Thompson might be defeated by structure rather than form.
On the Geelong side, the defensive role given to Corey Enright on Daniel Motlop was worrying for his status as an elite fantasy back, especially since he did such a good job! Like Krakouer, Enright could only manage a couple of marks and got most of his ball himself or by hand, which is not ideal for Dream Team purposes. Like a lot of senior rucks in the preseason, Brad Ottens was told to stay in the goalsquare at full forward and let the young blokes take all of the ruck work. Like Justin Westhoff down the other end, his supply in a windy and crowded game was virtually nil. Non-mobile tall forwards have been destroyed in this pre-season.