The Easter bunny gave fantasy coaches a holiday gift with a high scoring week in Dream Team and Super Coach.
The long weekend, which included eight games in the space of five days, was a highly successful one for fantasy coaches, with high scores had all round.
The Cats started off the weekend with a commanding 27-point win over their ‘bogey team’ Collingwood. St Kilda asserted themselves as proven contenders for the flag, demolishing West Coast. Brisbane and Essendon had hard fought victories Saturday night. Port Adelaide bounced back well from last week’s defeat. Hawthorn got their first win and Adelaide ran over the top of Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs defeated an dispirited Richmond on Monday.
There were quite a number of injuries to report: Ben Johnson, Xavier Ellis, David Hale and Scott Stevens. Fantasy coaches have been sweating over the health of Carlton prodigy Bryce Gibbs who was rumoured to have a fractured thumb but has been given the all clear by Carlton staff.
Fantasy coaches will be a little more anxious over the large number of reports. Heath Shaw has been sent straight to the tribunal and Peter Burgoyne has been offered a two-match ban with an early plea. An early plea for Campbell Brown
and Nick Maxwell will give them two-match bans, while Dominic Cassisi can accept a one-match suspension. Plus a little funny one in Steve Johnson, who can accept a $900 fine for pinching Harry O’Brien!
Geelong 18.14.122 def Collingwood 13.17.95
Geelong kept their winning record intact with a come-from-behind win at the hands of Collingwood. The Pies were strong early and went into quarter time with a 20-point buffer. But after that it was all Geelong, they kicked eight unanswered goals in the second term to blow the Pies out of the water. Collingwood had enough chances, but they were unable to convert when the game was on the line.
The Geelong midfield were yet again dominant. Chapman (152 DT/160 SC), Bartel (106/81), Ablett (134/150), Selwood (93/101) and Corey (85/92) were awesome, all getting at least 20 touches. They controlled the middle of the ground, something Collingwood weren’t able to do as they chipped around on the wings. Remember too, both clubs were coming off a five day break, so for Chapman and Ablett to get 37 and 35 touches respectively was remarkable. The latter had a lazy 27 disposals in the last half, including 17 in the last term.
Travis Varcoe (72/88) and Tom Hawkins (68/71), both in their third seasons of AFL footy, may have played their most important game for their club on Thursday night. Both kicked two goals, but it wasn’t what they did on the score sheet that would have impressed Bomber Thompson. Varcoe applied heavy pressure in the forward 50, while Hawkins led hard and created structure for his teammates. Steve Johnson (97/105) also played another good match.
Josh Fraser (130/134) again worked hard for his team as the lone ruckman, against the inexperienced pair of Trent West (13/12) and Mark Blake (71/62). He pushed forward hard, but couldn’t convert, being one of three Pies to kick 1.3 on the night. Dane Swan (112/116) was again good, picking up 30 touches and eight clearances.
The Pies’ goal kicking hopes rested on the shoulders of Paul Medhurst (95/97) and Alan Didak (72/97), who played well and combined for four goals, but Mick Malthouse will want more out of them than that this season, especially considering the lack of other scoring threats.
Ben Johnson (16/16) broke his leg early after tagging Ablett for most of the first quarter. His injury may pave way for the debut of Steele Sidebottom, or the return of Anthony Rocca, as the Pies look towards other avenues to goal. Their key forwards were quiet. Travis Cloke (39/34) didn’t trouble the scorers, while Leigh Brown (65/68) looked decent early but faded badly.
Heath Shaw must have been living under a rock this past week, as he made contact with umpire Michael Vozzo. Contact with umpires was a major talking point last week and it will again come under scrutiny after Shaw touched Vozzo on the arm. He may be looking at a few weeks.
Star Man: Paul Chapman. Whenever a man delivers with 35 touches and four goals straight, he demands the accolades as best on ground.
Shocker: Trent West. Didn’t touch the pill, apart from his 16 hit outs. Gazing across the stats he recorded just the one FA and one clanger, not to good as apart of a winning side.
When will we see the back of Mick Malthouse?
St Kilda 25.11.161 def West Coast 9. 10.64
St Kilda strengthened their claims for their first premiership in over 50 years, with a 97-point annihilation of West Coast. Geelong and Hawthorn will be on high notice, as St Kilda showcased a new relentless pressurising game on the hapless Eagles. St Kilda kicked 10 goals straight to West Coast’s two to open out a 63-point lead heading into half-time.
Brendon Goddard‘s (134/175) early move forward paid dividends for St Kilda and Ross Lyon, kicking four first quarter goals to get the ball rolling. Talk of him being less than 100% was proven to be hot air. Clinton Jones (140/138) was superb, picking up 25 touches and laying a round high 14 tackles.
Leigh Montagna (144/174) was also a key, with 31 disposals and eight tackles. Nick Dal Santo (121/135) continued his awesome start to the year, with another 30+ touch game. Nick Riewoldt (102/104) was good but his kicking let him down once again, finishing with 1.3. Sam Gilbert (87/130) provided plenty of value for his coaches to ensure his price will rise. Justin Koschitzke (73/92) picked up just the 10 touches, but kicked four for the Saints.
Nothing went right for the Eagles, their kicking efficiency a measly 72%. Dean Cox (120/112), Daniel Kerr (79/108) and Matt Priddis (126/100) should be the only Eagles to have their heads at least some of the way raised on a dark day for West Coast, just six days after beating Port Adelaide by 50 points.
Star Man: Brendon Goddard. Started it all off with easily his best quarter of footy in his career. His 11 marks were a game high.
Shocker: Chris Masten (20/7). Still a young kid but didn’t do anything, just the eight touches.
Can St Kilda be now ranked alongside Geelong, Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn as the only contenders for the flag?
Brisbane 15.10.100 def Sydney 9.13.67
Brisbane got their first win over the Swans since 2004, as they won a hard fought contest in battering rain at the Gabba. Michael Voss’ new game plan paid off as the Lions got home by 33 points.
Josh Drummond (110/164) was allowed to roam the defensive 50 at ease picking up 25 disposals, 20 of which were kicks. He took a game high 11 marks. Jed Adcock (126/144) showed he is not a spent force in fantasy, collecting 25 touches plus 12 tackles, though the 44% disposal efficiency rate would bewilder his owners, only to think of what he could have reached. Justin Sherman (93/120) was good up forward in booting three, while 46% efficiency robbed Bradd Dalziell (101/99) of an excellent Super Coach score. Daniel Rich (84/112) strengthened talk of his Rising Star aspirations after another awesome display. B1 (Brown) (79/98) and B2 (Bradshaw) (73/95) booted 4.2 each.
Darren Jolly (133/131) again stood out for the Swans on a night Jesse White (52/49) went missing. Jude Bolton (104/95) was among the Swans’ best with 29 disposals, but an efficiency rate of only 38% due to the heavy rain cost him and his team.
Star Man: Darren Jolly. 46 hit outs, followed up last week’s display with another good game. Jolly again made use of his opposition’s weak ruckmen.
Shocker: Simon Black (36/43). Well held by Brett Kirk for only 16 touches. An ordinary efficiency rate of 44% didn’t help his scores either.
Were Sydney right in playing Barry Hall with below par fitness?
Essendon 17.14.116 def Carlton 16.16.112
Essendon got over the top of a confident Blues outfit by four points Saturday night. The best contest of the weekend was played out in front of the biggest crowd, 70,411.
Matthew Lloyd (105/151) proved he still has so much to offer booting 5.1 and showing Brendan Fevola down the other end the trick to kicking straight. Brent Stanton (106/112) got the better of his battle with Marc Murphy. Courtenay Dempsey (98/126) showed dash through the midfield, something the Bombers have been lacking in recent years, kicking two goals. Alwyn Davey (80/114) was electric, laying a game high seven tackles and kicking two. The hype surrounding David Zaharakis (58/45) was dulled after he only managed 12 disposals.
Bryce Gibbs (74/74) was the only member of the ‘Fab Four’ not to record 20 possessions. Judd had 33, Stevens (102/120) 23, Murphy (94/103) 20 and Gibbs 19. Brendan Fevola (104/116) had 11 scoring shots, but was unusually inaccurate in kicking 4.7. His six contested marks went some way to ensuring he had high fantasy scores. Ryan Houlihan (89/101) was also good for the Blues.
Star Man: Chris Judd (113/119). 33 possessions which included 12 contested.
Shocker: Jarrad Waite (59/65). Well beaten by Lloyd at Centre-half-back. He only recorded 15 touches, not worst on ground, but for his effectiveness and return for fantasy coaches, one of the worst.
Has Matthew Knights proved his worth as an AFL coach yet?
Port Adelaide 22.15.147 def Melbourne 14.6.90
Port Adelaide inflicted another loss on Melbourne as their already tortured season continued with a 57-point hammering. The Demons were again woeful showing they will be again easy beats this year. They did provide themselves something to carry into next week, winning the last quarter.
The Power had seven players break the ton in Dream Team and 10 in SuperCoach. The Cornes brothers were again dominant, each having 29 possessions. Chad (121/126) and Kane (100/94). The midfield pair of Danyle Pearce (116/108) and Steven Salopek (108/134) combined for 62 possessions. Across half back Nathan Krakour (97/112) and Travis Boak (101/103) got a lot of easy touches.
Star Man: Warren Tredrea (113/120). Booted six goals to silence his critics.
Shocker: Brad Miller (42/24). Now one of the most experienced players at Melbourne and he needs to get more of the ball and kick more goals. Just the two goals from 9 touches.
Of the 16 clubs who do Melbourne have a serious chance at beating, maybe only Freo?
Hawthorn 19.9.123 def North Melbourne 10.9.69
Hawthorn got their first win of the season at the hands of a mentally fragile North Melbourne. After a week of off-field dramas, the Roos’ ended the week on a sour note going down by a massive 57 points.
Brent Guerra (119/126) compiled the round high of 38 possessions mostly in the back half, as he continued to play the loose man so well. Chance Bateman (114/107) was good, getting 29 disposals and kicking two goals. In only his first decent game all year, Stuart Dew (111/104) booted three goals. Grant Birchall (95/125) was again effective – his 26 disposals were at an efficiency of 92%. Jarryd Roughead (106/109) kicked five playing up forward and as the second ruckman. Lance Franklin (74/72) was well beaten by Josh Gibson early but kicked a few cheapies late.
Brady Rawlings (122/140) was easily the best for the Roos, he got 35 touches after tagging Cyril Rioli, a bit of a surprising one for mine. Andrew Swallow (112/111) had 24 possessions and laid nine tackles. Adam Simpson (115/87) toiled hard after a highly publicised week. Hamish McIntosh (103/98) continued his good start to the year.
Star Man: Sam Mitchell (112/147). 37 possessions, 14 of them contested, and at efficiency of 92% was sublime.
Shocker: Corey Jones (57/44). Recalled to the North Melbourne side, he did nothing to prove that he wants to stay there next week.
Are Hawthorn back or will Port give them a red hot go next week?
Adelaide 15.14.104 def Fremantle 11.14.80
Fremantle were again their worst enemy after they fell to Adelaide by four goals. Adelaide almost handed the match to Fremantle before a spirited last 15 minutes got them over the line.
Both sides will need to improve as they face tough opposition next week. The Crows host the unbeaten Cats at AAMI Stadium, while Fremantle travel to Melbourne to play the Saints.
Adelaide’s youngsters were again impressive, Patrick Dangerfield (72/102) had a good first half, Taylor Walker (85/88) showed promising signs and Andy Otten (73/83) was good picking up 20 disposals. Michael Doughty (95/102) and Richard Douglas (83/113) were solid contributors.
Paul Hasleby (107/131) looks a lot fitter than this time three weeks ago, he had 28 disposals. Ryan Crowley (93/100) looked good as the lead-up forward and Michael Johnson (106/120) provided good service into the forward 50. Matthew Pavlich (78/96) didn’t look himself, but still returned some decent scores. Watching the last quarter on Sunday, one man who impressed was Stephen Hill (73/66). All of those who traded him out last round may have to watch on in agony as he starts to get more of the footy.
Star Man: Tyson Edwards (86/90). Continues to perform for his beloved Crows. Had 22 disposals on a day where no player really stood out.
Shocker: Kepler Bradley (31/27). Continues to surprise me that he is able to conjure an AFL game. He and Mark Harvey must have a special bond from their time at Essendon.
Western Bulldogs def Richmond
Western Bulldogs continued their unbeaten run to the season and kept Richmond’s winless record intact at Etihad Stadium on Monday. The Tigers opened up an early lead but the Dogs got in front and never looked back, winning by 47-points.
Shaun Higgins (86/124) served his coaches well with another good match, he had 24 touches and booted two. Brian Lake (82/116) held Richo well early and had 17 disposals and nine marks himself. Lindsay Gilbee (100/81) shared the honours in his battle with Nathan G. Brown. Jason Akermanis (110/107) was very cheap, dominating the last quarter when most had given up.
Shane Tuck (123/109) was good for the Tigers, he had 33 disposals. Nathan Foley (118/88) had 29 touches in a losing side where he was near best on. Brown (111/91) had 28 possessions and kicked one, while Chris Newman (92/111) had 20 disposals.
Star Man: Daniel Cross (115/116). 27 possessions and seven tackles for the Bulldogs star.
Shocker: Richard Tambling (45/20). He didn’t do anything, much the same as the rest of his career.
What do Tigers fans think of their side after yesterday and seeing them sit last on the ladder? What are your thoughts from this high scoring long weekend of footy?