Power calling: Round 8 review (Sunday)

Port’s Warren Tredrea was the star of the weekend with a mobile game that will get coaches talking.

AFL Rd 7 - Port Adelaide v KangaroosThe game at Footy Park was arguably the best of the round, with rain not dampening the attacking play from both sides. Tredrea got away early on Kelvin Moore and it was only when Joel Bowden was shifted onto him that Tredders slowed down. Down the other end, Robin Nahas had three goals at quarter time to keep the Tigers in the game. The two least accountable, most overpossessing teams in the AFL were treating the greasy conditions with contempt and delivering some pretty good fantasy scores.

A couple of players outperformed expectations, with Mark Coughlan scoring at an elite level in Dream Team if not Super Coach with 57% efficiency from his 28 disposals, while Travis Boak had a similar ratio with 60% efficiency from his 25 possessions including five clangers.

Andrew Raines was a disappointment to those coaches who had held onto him for all this time, having to play a defensive role on Brett Ebert who carved him up by running up the ground and racking up score assists. Similarly, Nathan Krakouer stamped his departure papers for thousands of fantasy teams with a por return of only 12 possessions, leaving his breakevens at unsustainable levels.

Kane Cornes pulled a Richo by delivering a terrible score and getting reinjured, though the knock to his shoulder wasn’;t as bad as Richo’s hammy tear. He spent much of the game getting cold standing next to Brett Deledio on a half forward flank. His owners have a big dilemma this week.

At the G, the game went much the same way as last week’s Collingwood match, with the Pies breaking even in the midfield with inside 50s, but their forward line being so completely useless that they could barely muster any kind of score by half time. At the other end, Bret Ratten told Brendan Fevola to take Simon Prestigiacomo up the ground and leave Jarrad Waite one on one with Nick Maxwell in the goal square, which worked a treat. The same structure with differing opponents persisted for the rest of the game, leaving Fev goal-less but enjoying himself by high fiving team mates after their goals.

Bryce Gibbs beat Dane Swan, while Chris Judd shaded his battle with Scott Pendlebury – maintaining the trend of coaches deciding to try to exploit Judd on the counter-attack instead of tagging him.

Over at Docklands, St Kilda got the jump but after quarter time Essendon remembered how they played against Hawthorn and held their own for the rest of the match, without ever really threatening to hit the lead. As happened in a number of games this weekend, a head to head match up produced high fantasy scores from both players, in this case being Lenny Hayes versus Jobe Watson. Watson had more touches (39 to 33) but also had more clangers (6 to 2) and trailed badly in efficiency (62% to 82%), which tells you why Hayes got the accolades.

Nick Dal Santo and Brent Stanton suffered under their tags, from Heath Hocking and Clinton Jones respectively. The Saint half backs weren’t as productive due to the huge amount of pressure both forward lines were putting on, though this same dynamic led the Bomber defence to overpossess so players like Tayte Pears and Henry Slattery got big numbers.

Finally, Patrick Ryder owners must be concerned by images late in the game of the kid getting his hamstrings worked over on the boundary line. Ryder got very few rotations with Tom Bellchambers in his battle against the twin towers of Steven King and Michael Gardiner, and it is worrying that Matthew Knights might be working the boy into the ground.

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