Pies strangle ugly Blues: Round 17 review (Friday)

The Magpies were unconvincing in an ugly game but recovered from last week’s belting, writes Ryan Oswin.

AFL Rd 19 - Essendon v CollingwoodThe Magpies recovered from the belting they received from the reigning premiers last week by smashing, though at times unconvincingly, a Carlton team trying to secure its first finals appearance since 2001.

Atrocious goal conversion by Carlton was the difference in the first three quarters, with Carlton finishing with 4.16 – only a 20% conversion rate – compared to Collingwood’s 14.10 and a 58% conversion rate. This translated to a 54 point victory for the Pies from only four more scoring shots.

This game was not the prettiest of all times, with only five goals scored by either team in the second and third quarters, but the Magpies first quarter scoring dominance gave them a comfortable lead throughout the match. With Carlton providing no score board pressure, the Magpies’ poor middle quarters were forgiven with an outstanding fourth quarter.

In fantasy terms, this game was best highlighted by perennial spud – albeit a spud in line for an All Australian selection – Simon Prestigiacomo (38/51) outscoring Coleman medallist and All-Australian contender Brendan Fevola (34/24).

Fevola is an interesting conundrum for the 88,000 odd Dream Teamers and 125,000 odd Super Coaches who have him. Although his average (84/86) is respectable, his consistency is woeful. A high standard deviation (32/44) could be killer in a grand final, and with Carlton playing the defensive strong Adelaide in round 22, he maybe worth trading to a more consistent performer. An example would be Matthew Pavlich: if you exclude his injury driven score in Round 13, he has a better average (95/103) and standard deviation (23/26), and his price should drop as his comes back from injury. Of course, trades and money are always an issue!

The Collingwood midfield, lead by another massive fantasy performance by Dane Swan (131/136), arguably best on ground Leon Davis (115/117) and Scott Pendlebury (92/131) was again very strong. Pendlebury is looking like a bargain at his present price and Alan Didak (96/78) added some respectability to his score with some trash in quarter four.

Heath Shaw (102/161) had his second great game in a row, and Heater could give fantasy coaches desperate for more backline premiums some hope, while Travis Cloke (122/120) continues his return to form and is looking cheap if you can trust he won’t go missing again.

Dayne Beams (98/78) proved he is a very good bench player, and his new BE of 18 should mean he is a keeper for the coaches that have him. Those who persisted with Rising Star nominee Jaxson Barham would have been happy that he actually got a game, and even more happy with his 71/68 smashing his BE scores.

On the other side of the fence, captain Chris Judd (71/100) often kept Carlton in the game, but for fantasy coaches that had him as captain expecting him to “dine on Pies” would have been disappointed. Similarly good, but not great scores, came from Marc Murphy (111/109), Bryce Gibbs (92/102) and Kade Simpson (88/99). Paul Bower (93/108) and Bret Thornton (94/127) continued their fine back line form, while Chris Yarran (34/16) was a large disappointment.


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