The Shermanator is back: Round 8 review (Sat night)

The Crows stopped in the third quarter – again – while the Swans held off the fast-finishing Eagles.

AFL Rd 19 - Richmond v Brisbane LionsJustin Sherman and David Mackay wouldn’t have been the first two names you would have thought of as the most crucial match up in the Brisbane game, but it turned out that way in the first half, with Sherman knocking up a DT ton by half time and Mackay also topping the fantasy scores for Adelaide. However, in general play it was Mackay who was judged the more damaging, so at half time Michael Voss made what will probably be regarded in hindsight as his first game-winning tactical move as a coach, by shifting Travis Johnstone onto Mackay. Johnstone beat Mackay soundly, while Sherman was allowed to carry on racking up touches.

In the Brisbane forward line, both Jonathan Brown and Daniel Bradshaw on Bradshaw and Ben Rutten on Brown. Stevens, who has had a poor year after getting crunched by Luke McPharlin at Subiaco, was given a lesson by Bradshaw in the third quarter. Crow coach Neil Craig, who has come under fire before for not making the right moves, refused to make the obvious switch of Rutten back to Bradshaw, and this ultimately led to Adelaide’s downfall.

Elsewhere in the game, all but one of the cash cow rookies made their Dream Team breakevens, though it was harder for some – e.g. Andy Otten‘s BE of 61 – than others like Taylor Walker with a BE of -5. Mind you, TW almost looked like he’d give -5 a shake after not touching the aggot for an hour past kicking the opening goal of the game. Daniel Rich breezed past his BE and proved that you didn’t need to trade him yet – though this was only an option in Super Coach where his BE was 74 – while Patrick Dangerfield and Sam Sheldon were average. The real disappointment, yet again, was Jared Petrenko, who by part way through Q4 had only registered a single tackle and a free against. Scores of 19.16 will see him as #1 priority for thousands of coaches this week.

Finally, Simon Goodwin was rested for the last quarter but this is probably good news for his owners, who would like him to be rested up for the remaining three weeks that this hamstring injury is apparently going to affect him for.

In the game at Homebush, it looked very much like Dean Cox was going to lift the Eagles over the line by sheer force of will. His battle with Darren Jolly was titanic, with 14 of Cox’s 30 hit outs coming in Q4. Most noticeable was the fact that many Sydney goals were answered immediately by Cox palming the pill down the throat of an Eagle who bombed long to the West Coast talls who answered the call with goals of their own. The see-saw nature of the battle, with the Swans unable to shake West Coast even to the final siren, made it as watchable a game as those during the halcyon flag years of this rivalry in 2004-05. Local boy Kieren Jack snapping the winner was a suitably showbiz finale.

From a fantasy perspective, it was interesting that Ryan O’Keefe posted his first Dream Team ton of the 2009 season, followed most of the night by Scott Selwood. The youth and inexperience of his opponent could possibly count against this performance, but nevertheless ROK is underpriced and has significant upside as a low-end keeper. The rest of the match went as you’d expect for fantasy purposes, with Adam Cockie doing alright in his bubble game and Martin Mattner not getting freed up by Nick Malceski‘s absence.

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