Agony and ecstasy: Raines and Robinson in round 1

Mitch Robinson‘s debut was overshadowed by 2009’s most popular fantasy player injuring his knee.

AFL Rd 15 - Richmond v Melbourne

The mainstream media were all talking about Ben Cousins, but fantasy coaches’ eyes were mostly glued to the progress of Andrew Raines on Thursday night, and he was having about as good a game as could be expected under the circumstances until he fell with a grimace in the last quarter and came off limping with a problem in what coach Terry Wallace described later as the lateral outside of the left knee. Dr Peter Larkins diagnosed the injury as bruising on radio MMM at the time, but no one will know for sure until the swelling goes down and scans are done in the next couple of days.

Those of us who bought him – and according to FanFooty’s databases, he is the most popular player among those of you who have used FanFooty’s Exteam feature (which is how you get live team and head to head scoring) – will be hoping that it’s just bruising and nothing more serious, because this could be the start of a 2008-level backopalypse given the continuing paucity of options around his price. With Lachie Henderson not making the Lions 25, if his owners are to be forced into a sideways trade, the options are players like Jarryn Geary, Josh Head, Shannon Hurn and Ricky Petterd, all of whom have upside and/or fitness concerns. Depending on the length of the injury, the temptation may be to rely on Stephen Hill, Jared Petrenko or the like while Raines recovers… but that’s why they were on the bench in the first place, we didn’t want to start a darn rookie in the backs! Gah!

Robinson’s excellent numbers, however, were a welcome sight to those who made the right decision, especially those who were hemming and hawing over him or Dayne Beams and couldn’t get into the sites during the 160 minutes of maelstrom. For myself, however, it was tinged with a flash of hatred for Dean Laidley. I don’t need much reason to hate him at the best of times, but I have now discovered how, even though he has named Liam Anthony and Jack Ziebell in his starting 18 for round 1, he is going to sabotage my team: he has somehow managed to convince me subconsciously to leave Robinson as an emergency and start Anthony, which could cost me anywhere up to 80 points! Grr!

Ryan Houlihan looked like being a bit of a disappointment by not joining in the party, but it was an excellent sign for fantasy purposes that he got some cheap numbers in the last quarter when he was rotated into the middle to give the regulars a rest. He’ll be right. The frustrating thing about it from my point of view is that he may very well be the nuff-nuffs’ trade of choice for Raines, if (as they wouldn’t have if they hadn’t done their research) they didn’t have Houlihan to begin with. Feh!

Those of you who were whinging in the chat about my recent potting of Chris Judd will not get a retraction. My comments were only ever fantasy related – and I didn’t rule him out of SC considerations. Give it a month and see if he’s still averaging 100 in DT. Harrumph!

I’m sure there are plenty of other aspects of this game you want to talk about in the comments, so I’ll leave the rest to you and go to bed. It’s been a big day, with the kicker being that Champion Data have decided, in their infinite wisdom, that no one should have live Super Coach scores – not even the Super Coach site! Further news on this if it comes to hand. Rest assured that the SC numbers currently on FanFooty are the right ones – beware incorrect imitations. I’ll post my teams tomorrow for you to snipe at. I hope your team went well!

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