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Game plans, tactics and all that jazz


binman
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Guys, i'm back.... WE WON THE FLAG!! (Finally remembered my password) still revelling.

As someone who watches Brisbane games regularly the common theme is once there is a bit of argy-bargy the Lions go south quickly, so let's play our brand of contested, ruthless footy and give them plenty of doubts leading into finals footy.

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10 minutes ago, binman said:

A big factor in the change to those inside 50 scoring ratio numbers is fatigue related to loading.

Makes sense  because our defensive sytem is completely reliant on all team defensive running. If that is off even a little bit our abilty to get back inside D 50 in numbers is compromised.

But even more significantly, our abilty to put pressure on the final kick inside 50 is compromised and that makes it much easier for the opposition to kick to their forwards advantage.

Fatigue wasn't an issue in the first half of the seaon, which is a factor in our better numbers in that period.

Fatigue is not the only factor of course.

For one thing, we have played some really good teams since Round 16. 

Other teams know tbey have no chance to beat us playing slow and that fast ball movement is critical. That is risk reward, and the reward is a higher inside 50 to score ratio.

We also elected to play high tempo, aggressive footy against the dogs, never seemingly trying to slow the tempo.  We did the same in the first half against the pies.

That style risks giving up lots of uncharacteristic slingshot, rebound goals.

And that is exacctly what happened against tbe dogs and the pies, particularly in the first half (at half time, the pies had 8 goals 2 from only 17 entries).

That's two games from kings seven game sample where we elected to play a different, more aggressive, high tempo model than our normal method. Shoot outs.

That's exactly what annoys me so much about kings shallow analysis. He doesn't consider or give any context to the data he speaks to.

Or try and understand the cause of the numbers. The numbers are symptoms and indicators of something, not cause.

Misunderstand the symptoms and you can't give a proper diagnosis, or more importantly land on an effective solution.

And leaving aside ignoring loading as a factor, any dees fans watching our last seven games would concede the opposition have been running out games better.

So at the very least king should be suggesting fitness levels and fatigue relative to our opposition are possible factors in the numbers.

Which would be well worth pointing out, because relative fitness levels are obviously going to be a key determinant in who wins the flag and are if we are not as fit as our finals opponents we are in trouble.

 

I understand the part regarding not being able to defend opposition i50s due to lack of defensive running from our mids but I'm still surprised at how poor our clearance work has been, which is inevitably causing us to lose field position more so than usual. 

King mentioned that at this time last year we were scoring +5 goals from clearance/centre clearance compared to opposition. Right now it's just the +1 point. I wonder what the reason behind this drop off has been because it probably isn't fitness. We have strong midfielders and coming up against a depleted Carlton and weak Collingwood midfield you'd expect us to dominate this area but it hasn't been convincing as of late.

 

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45 minutes ago, Action Jackson said:

Totally understand the percentage play and it is part of the reason our defence is so good.

I would like to see us maybe 15% of the time try a different option, especially if the other team has had repeat entries and we are bogged down.

Maybe it is a Jayden Hunt running 10-15 metres and launching it to space on the opposite wing. If the players know what is going to happen then they can have runners ready.

The other option is to setup for that May kick but instead look to hit up a player at around the 40 metre mark. The players on the wing can then break across the ground and look to get a mark through the centre square.

I think these little tweaks could really help us when we are a bit stuck and the other team has repeat entries.

I agree with this 100%.  Playing the percentages is one thing... but its not playing the percentages when the opposition know you are going to do this and have setup for it.

As @A F has said, maybe we're waiting to pull the trigger in the finals - I hope that's the case.  But we were so close last week to losing which means we would most likely finish outside the top 4.  Are we really prepared to risk the double chance (and possible week off if we win) just to get a couple of tactical wins in the finals?  Seems a stretch

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1 hour ago, A F said:

This was a terrific thread early on, but it seems to have descended into people complaining about our predictability.

I don't really care whether you find it frustrating or too predictable. As @binman said on the podcast on Monday, these are percentage plays.

As a result of this predictability, we're third. Our players need to win contests. That's what our game is based on. The predictability puts the onus on our players to get the job done.

But I would argue that the percentages have now changed by the way we are being defended.

The kick out strategy of going long to Gawn on the back flank is being set up for by the opposition and they are leaving plenty of space and free players down the centre of the ground. An AFL player should be able to hit an open 40m target at 80-90%. By taking these relatively free options more often, our Plan A becomes a higher percentage play.

Similarly, we are kicking it long inside 50 on slow plays to Brown and Fritsch in the pocket against multiple opponents. Often we are ignoring free players 40m out. When our better users have the ball (Salem, Brayshaw, Petracca, Jordon, Rivers, Pickett, Spargo etc) they should be given more licence to go for these kicks. The other option for kicking into a congested 50 would be to go for a torpedo. 

The problem with our rigid game plan for inside 50 entries is has led to us making errors on fast plays. Against Collingwood, the strategy that cost us was that we were kicking long to a contest and ignoring loose players, instead of playing checkers,.

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24 minutes ago, Fat Tony said:

But I would argue that the percentages have now changed by the way we are being defended.

The kick out strategy of going long to Gawn on the back flank is being set up for by the opposition and they are leaving plenty of space and free players down the centre of the ground. An AFL player should be able to hit an open 40m target at 80-90%. By taking these relatively free options more often, our Plan A becomes a higher percentage play.

Similarly, we are kicking it long inside 50 on slow plays to Brown and Fritsch in the pocket against multiple opponents. Often we are ignoring free players 40m out. When our better users have the ball (Salem, Brayshaw, Petracca, Jordon, Rivers, Pickett, Spargo etc) they should be given more licence to go for these kicks. The other option for kicking into a congested 50 would be to go for a torpedo. 

The problem with our rigid game plan for inside 50 entries is has led to us making errors on fast plays. Against Collingwood, the strategy that cost us was that we were kicking long to a contest and ignoring loose players, instead of playing checkers,.

Watch this space

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I'm not gonna write anything in case they do it, but it seems logical to me in a % type of tactic

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17 minutes ago, Deenooos_ said:

I understand the part regarding not being able to defend opposition i50s due to lack of defensive running from our mids but I'm still surprised at how poor our clearance work has been, which is inevitably causing us to lose field position more so than usual. 

King mentioned that at this time last year we were scoring +5 goals from clearance/centre clearance compared to opposition. Right now it's just the +1 point. I wonder what the reason behind this drop off has been because it probably isn't fitness. We have strong midfielders and coming up against a depleted Carlton and weak Collingwood midfield you'd expect us to dominate this area but it hasn't been convincing as of late.

 

Fitness would a play role - fatigue impacts all elements of any game plan. For example a factor in the difference might be poor conversion. We have many players with poor kicking technique and fatigue exacerbates poor technique.

But given that specific comparison is comparing this year to last year, when fatigue would also have been a factor,  then there are no doubt many other possible factors and causes.

I haven't listened to the segment - did king give any explanation as to what he thinks are causing the numbers, because that is where my mind goes.  Otherwise the analysis lacks nuance and the solutions therefore will lack nuance and will be too simplistic For example he might just simply say the dees need to fix their scores from clearances because they are down on last year. 

Jackson has been taking a much higher percentage of the ruck time in the back half of the season this year, with Maxy pushing forward to mitigate our lack of an effective second tall and perhaps also because he is carrying niggles. It feels like it has almost been 50 50 in the last six or seven matches (the data on this would interesting). 

Jackson is not in Maxy's league (yet) as a ruck, particularly at around the grounds stoppages where his relative lack of strength is an issue, an issue compounded by any fatigue he might be experiencing (his form dropped right off in the middle of last season and again this year).

It seems logical that Maxy attending less stoppages would impact on how often we score from those stoppages as he is a far better ruck than Jackson. 

Another factor is we have had a much harder draw this season and so have played more games against teams with gun midfields than last season. 

There are probably any number of other possible factors too - eg opposition tactical strategies have been more effective this season. 

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Again, I'm with #PositiveBinners on this one. Fatigue is playing a factor in our ability to contest in the air and on the ground, so the question becomes do you change your system to combat fatigue? Or, do you try to do what Geelong always tries to do mid season and get as many wins as you can at sub optimal performance, to ensure you're in a strong position in the finals race?

The difference between us and them is whether their brand stacks up come finals time. This is what Geelong haven't been able to grapple with thus far. Their brand gets them top 4 every year, but then gets them nowhere in finals. Richmond were similar to us in this respect. Its high intensity saw them flip flop a bit during the H&A season, but they blew away teams come the pointy end. Just as we did last year.

Our brand is built for finals and is most effective when we're as fit as possible (see Rounds 1-10). So the plan would be to get as many early wins on the board as possible and then load up for optimal performance in the last 2-3 weeks of the year (finals). We've got ourselves in a good position that in some years would already have guaranteed us top 4, but due to the closeness of the top 6, we're on a knife's edge between top 4 and finishing outside.

We beat Brisbane and all of a sudden these comments around predictability seem ridiculous. Equally, if we lose, people will hold it up as the reason for missing top 4.

If we miss top 4, it will be due to the difficulty of the draw and our inability to run out games, which has cost us at least 3 or 4 wins.

Edited by A F
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1 hour ago, Deenooos_ said:

I understand the part regarding not being able to defend opposition i50s due to lack of defensive running from our mids but I'm still surprised at how poor our clearance work has been, which is inevitably causing us to lose field position more so than usual. 

King mentioned that at this time last year we were scoring +5 goals from clearance/centre clearance compared to opposition. Right now it's just the +1 point. I wonder what the reason behind this drop off has been because it probably isn't fitness. We have strong midfielders and coming up against a depleted Carlton and weak Collingwood midfield you'd expect us to dominate this area but it hasn't been convincing as of late.

 

It’s important to note that King compared our last 7 rounds this year to our last 7 games (including finals) last year, which is skewed because we all know how bonkers our clearance work was during the finals. I think the comparison between the same periods in both years is actually much closer. 
 

King just using selective statistics to back up his opinion. 

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2 minutes ago, Stu said:

King just using selective statistics to back up his opinion. 

This is King's MO too.

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1 minute ago, A F said:

This is King's MO too.

Yep! I distinctly remember the discussion on Fox during the finals was how we were a team that scored from turnovers and how it suddenly changed to stoppage goals in the finals. So the analysis he offered is actually pretty useless. 

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37 minutes ago, Stu said:

Yep! I distinctly remember the discussion on Fox during the finals was how we were a team that scored from turnovers and how it suddenly changed to stoppage goals in the finals. So the analysis he offered is actually pretty useless. 

Good pick up @Stu, effectively what does that mean for us in the present as to how we are playing, and what is likely to change?

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1 hour ago, dazzledavey36 said:

When I read the article I couldn't help but laugh out loud. It's so blatantly obvious and labelled "insane" that at this point I actually think there will be a switch up come finals time. This or that we will be able to win more 50/50 contests in the air and when it hits the ground due to better physical readiness as our mids will get to the fall of the ball quicker.

We literally have a full FD of intelligent football brains and it's kind of hard to imagine that they would persist with an obviously dysfunctional way of exiting the 50 and moving the ball forward. It's either that or we're buggered.

Edited by Deenooos_
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I'm glad Rivers is finding some form at the right time of the season. 

In time, I'd like to see him tried in the midfield, which will enable Bowey to take his spot in defence.

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7 hours ago, monoccular said:

Yes.  I watched the replay and Sellerfield actually held arms around Oliver in many stoppages, let alone blocking and punching him in the guts,  and was ignored by the maggots (who of course we are supposed to respect - well, guys, earn respect)

Happens every single game to Oliver he is scragged non-stop, tackled before he even gets the footy - it's infuriating! It's remarkable is still as effective as he is.

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One small wrinkle I would like to see them make is Fritsch being used more to come at the footy or at least come up the middle of the 50. 

If Melksham/Brown can draw players to the pocket then Bayley should have some room to target.

Still allows the safer option but would catch the eye to see Bayley hitting good spots. 

I am sure many would say ‘of course they would want this’ but I mean actively engineer it with blocking and instruction to get ANB and Spargo and mids from setting up shop there. They clog when we have repeat entries.

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12 hours ago, deelusions from afar said:

I agree with this 100%.  Playing the percentages is one thing... but its not playing the percentages when the opposition know you are going to do this and have setup for it.

As @A F has said, maybe we're waiting to pull the trigger in the finals - I hope that's the case.  But we were so close last week to losing which means we would most likely finish outside the top 4.  Are we really prepared to risk the double chance (and possible week off if we win) just to get a couple of tactical wins in the finals?  Seems a stretch

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Part of me was thinking this could be a "rope a dope" tactic but if it is, I think it's time we started to play how we mean to play. I think there has been a bit of evidence regarding the settling of the line up eg Hunt and Melky. It's time now to show our cards if that's what's been happening. The Brisbane game is just so important to win.

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1 hour ago, dees189227 said:

It's interesting now people are starting to notice Mays kick outs and how one dimensional they are.

On different footy shows they are saying how opposition clubs just get near gawn or Jackson because they know where the ball is going 

Rope a dope?

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6 hours ago, rpfc said:

One small wrinkle I would like to see them make is Fritsch being used more to come at the footy or at least come up the middle of the 50. 

If Melksham/Brown can draw players to the pocket then Bayley should have some room to target.

Still allows the safer option but would catch the eye to see Bayley hitting good spots. 

I am sure many would say ‘of course they would want this’ but I mean actively engineer it with blocking and instruction to get ANB and Spargo and mids from setting up shop there. They clog when we have repeat entries.

I mean this is leading patterns 101. Have the tall decoy into the forward pocket and then have your best kick and lead in mark run at the ball carrier.

The only thing that makes this unlikely is our forward 50 entry angle. We are usually coming in from the flank, which leaves the fat side completely exposed if we can’t hit the target. 
 

What Geelong do is switch it to the corridor. Before pulling off that kick inside to Hawkins. 

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46 minutes ago, dworship said:

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Part of me was thinking this could be a "rope a dope" tactic but if it is, I think it's time we started to play how we mean to play. I think there has been a bit of evidence regarding the settling of the line up eg Hunt and Melky. It's time now to show our cards if that's what's been happening. The Brisbane game is just so important to win.

I find this a little hard to believe because you actually need game practise to develop the skill of execution. If we have a plan B under wraps for finals, I very much doubt it’s the silver bullet everyone thinks it is. Without real game application, it won’t stand up in the pressure of finals. 

The ‘pressure’ rating and the elusive switch we all expect to flick to rediscover our manic 2021 form is just as much about positioning, trusting your team mate to do their role and being on the same page as it is about effort and fitness. I think this has been off all year bar a few games when it magically appears. 

The only part of our game that is in check is the contested game and that bodes well in finals. But as we saw with the Pies, it only gets you so far, when a team brings dare and elite running. It’s no surprise that all the genuine contenders have a similar game plan, it is our game plans kryptonite.  I hope the coaching dept aren’t continuing with the sole reliance on our game plan execution and that we look to deploy some tactics to disarm them - this is what we would potentially have under wraps. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

Good pick up @Stu, effectively what does that mean for us in the present as to how we are playing, and what is likely to change?

Great question, and one I'm unqualified to answer adequately, but for what it's worth:

I think our scoring shots from centre clearances over the past four weeks would have to be the best or near to the best in the league. Without knowing exactly, I expect the inside 50 efficiency from centre clearances is much higher than those from standard clearances. They're figurative gold for AFL sides because of the 6-6-6 rule. 

This year has shown that teams have adapted to our strengths, beginning with a strategy to combat our clearance domination, and then a pivot to working around or nullifying our defensive structures. That is why our form and fortunes have been a bit harder to gauge compared to last year because teams have been throwing the proverbial sink at us trying to beat us and different teams have employed different tactics.

I believe our form on scores from clearances this year is in a better position than at the same time last year. I think this is a good indicator for the finals series, where there is often very little room and opposition players are rarely left free. When things get tight, muscle memory and consistency is important - our consistent gameday strategies, strength at the contest, and enviable ability to score from centre clearances will make us a daunting challenge for any team. 

Just one final comment on our form - the Bulldogs (60%) and Collingwood (65%) had scoring accuracy far in excess of the season average (49%). It's even significant when compared to the most consistently accurate team over the last seven years (the Eagles at 52%). If things had gone our way just a little more in those games, our form since the bye would read 7W-1L or 6W-2L if you think Carlton were more deserved winners on Saturday night. We'd also be on a 3 game winning streak and all of us would be talking about the similarities to last years form.

 

Edited by Stu
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14 hours ago, Deenooos_ said:

I understand the part regarding not being able to defend opposition i50s due to lack of defensive running from our mids but I'm still surprised at how poor our clearance work has been, which is inevitably causing us to lose field position more so than usual. 

King mentioned that at this time last year we were scoring +5 goals from clearance/centre clearance compared to opposition. Right now it's just the +1 point. I wonder what the reason behind this drop off has been because it probably isn't fitness. We have strong midfielders and coming up against a depleted Carlton and weak Collingwood midfield you'd expect us to dominate this area but it hasn't been convincing as of late.

 

I reckon its to do with Jackson spending more time in the ruck. Also, Petracca hasn't been as impactful in the centre this year.

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