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  • Podcast: Mid-Season Review 

POSTGAME: Rd 01 vs Fremantle



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Early thoughts from the early stages of the last quarter, we really need to become more clinical (which was Freo’s issue as well). While Freo have had better clear shots on goal we’ve had several chances where we’ve stuffed up the inside 50s (which sounds way too familiar). I was really hoping that Yze and Williams would improve that but jeez it’s the same issue every bloody year. 

I haven’t said it much because it’s been said a lot, but May and Lever were absolutely sensational and exactly the reason we’ve paid such a high price for them. We paid star prices for them and we got match winning performances. 

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I thought our midfield really lacked cohesion. As an elite player, Max has next to no influence in clearances anymore, except for the occasional flash (see the Langdon goal).  Oliver constantly f

Steven May and Jake Lever were incredible really. As good as I've ever seen from a defensive duo in our colours. 

I didn't log on once during pre-season. I thought I'd take a bit of a Demonland break. I watched round one and saw us cruise to an easy win, that never at any stage looked remotely in doubt, that

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Have just had a watch of the replay and it's amazing how many of the views expressed here seem way off the mark (in my opinion).  Some people forget that we were playing an opponent so are not going to have everything go our way.  Take a look at the Freo forums (or any team that is lost this week) and it looks very similar to us after a loss - just switch a few players names around and we wouldn't know the difference!

Not a perfect performance by any stretch but all teams develop over the season and I would have definitely taken this performance prior to the game if given the option. Freo had injuries but we did as well - No Brown or Weiderman makes us look very fragile on paper.  We will have a better indication after the next few weeks.

So aside from Lever / May dominance, Jordon's game, some of my takeaways were:

- Spargo and Kossie possies forward of centre lead to goals.  They are the best at lowering their eyes and finding people in dangerous spots inside 50.

- Hunt played much better than I remembered.  His job is high risk high reward and sometimes it doesn't come off.  But when it does, it is dynamic and in this game his closing speed was critical in a number of instances.  When people like Hunt (it happened to a number of players) get caught holding the ball it is usually more a symptom of what is (not) happening up the field.

- I have loved Jones because he carried the team for so long.  But beyond him getting 300 games I don't think he should be in the team.  If not for his years of service and proximity to 300 he would be the one I would drop first.

- We missed A LOT of easy goals - Petracca, TMac hitting the post, Fritsch, Lever after a 50 and Jackson in the last quarter.  Tighten a few of these up and it looks pretty different.

- Centre clearances are a problem.  We were unlucky a number of times.  But there were others where they just got us on the outside.  This happened around the ground a fair bit as well.  When the player standing on the defensive side of the contest gets sucked in, we look very vulnerable when we lose it.  Having said that, this happens to every team and we did it to Freo a couple of times too.  As Fyfe mentioned before the game, a key part of the strategy is to force their opponents into the contest in the centre square so that they have space on the outside.  What I like is we are trying lots of players in there and no doubt will be doing lots of homework and analysis on this - there is certainly a lot of scope for improvement here!

- Rivers started very strongly in the first quarter.  Seemed to rush his disposals after that - given our defence was largely on top, not sure if he was given a different role after quarter time as he was much quieter.

- I thought one of my absolute favourites in Nev might be on borrowed time.  But I thought he was solid - won a number of crucial one on ones.  I did notice however, that the dockers looked to exploit him and Salem's lack of height in the second half when they tried to narrow their eyes more going forward.  Will be interesting to see if Goodwin looks to bring in Hibberd or even Petty / Smith so we are not exposed in this way in future with teams that have multiple dangerous key forwards.

- Brayshaw did not attend one centre bounce.  Given Gus has played his best games in the centre square, Viney is out and some of the other players that attended centre bounces included Kozzie, Sparrow, Jordon, Harmes, ANB, Jones, I can't work out what is going on.  He kicked a couple of nice passes and got a few good tackles in but if he's not getting a run onball when Viney is not in the team, then why wasn't he traded? Maybe then we could have traded for a specialist winger?  I like him as a player but it seems like he's losing in being played out of position and we're losing in him (and Jones) playing as wingers - what am I missing?

 

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3 hours ago, jnrmac said:

An AA ruckman dominating 40 to 17 in the hit outs against a 1st gamer and we comprehensively lose the clearances.

Yeah, I'd describe it that way.

I'd say we failed poorly to take advantage of Max, that's for sure. Although as I've said a lot when the plan is for both sides to rove to Max there's little to be done unless he starts jumping at the ball which he just isn't going to do. 

Otherwise after hit outs I thought we did about as well restraining them from the stoppages as they did restraining us. One horrible moment with the Brayshaw goal in the 3rd quarter but I bet Freo fans were thinking about all the times Oliver and Petracca went streaming free.

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11 minutes ago, deelusions from afar said:

- Brayshaw did not attend one centre bounce.  Given Gus has played his best games in the centre square, Viney is out and some of the other players that attended centre bounces included Kozzie, Sparrow, Jordon, Harmes, ANB, Jones, I can't work out what is going on.  He kicked a couple of nice passes and got a few good tackles in but if he's not getting a run onball when Viney is not in the team, then why wasn't he traded? Maybe then we could have traded for a specialist winger?  I like him as a player but it seems like he's losing in being played out of position and we're losing in him (and Jones) playing as wingers - what am I missing?

That’s a very big an interesting point particularly as we were clearly beaten in there, why not use Gus there more particularly with Viney out?

I’ve just finished watching the replay myself so here are my thoughts. 

POSITIVES

- we beat them through our ability to slow their advances forward though great interception marking. May, Lever, Gawn, with a little bit of Rivers, Hunt, and Salem being in the right spaces was massive. Yes they were undermanned in the forward area but our defenders did their job

- our pressure was back to a standard I’d expect to be the minimum standard. It could still be better but that has to be the standard week in week out

- TMac was back to close to his best, goal kicking (another point to come) needs to be better as he could’ve had 3.1 or better. Ironically he nailed the hardest while missing the easy ones. This could be huge for his confidence and was so important for the win. If he continues this then headaches could come when both Brown and Weid are available 

- Jackson was fairly quiet but good in moments for the first three quarters, but jeez his 4th term had me salivating. Someone teach the bloke to kick for goal though

- Kozzie was up for a fight, his pressure was immense and gave the team a lift. He was also all over the ground which shows he isn’t just a one trick pony. Boy he got high for his mark attempt!

- I also thought that there were many role players today, I couldn’t see a hell of a lot of passengers. I think we beat them by having a team performance

NEGATIVES

- it’s been said by many including myself but sort the effing clearances out. To be so thoroughly beat all day in an area where we should have an advantage is so frustrating. If Brayshaw wasn’t being played there you have to ask the question of why?

- the two old warriors had different days, Jetta looked solid and back to his best, while Jones seemed to be genuinely plodding along. He did some good moments but he just doesn’t seem to have the pace of the game. Is he being nursed to 300? Is that what a professional club does? He’d be one of the first question marks at team selection for me

- goal kicking and general composure when in that position was atrocious at times. Almost everyone was a culprit, it didn’t cost us today but it might later in the year. We should’ve won by 35+ points with the late chances we had, percentage has cost before

- still a little bit of bees to the honeypot and getting caught on the outside

- I also think on this form we will not beat the Saints so while the effort was good, we need to go to another level if we’re to go two in a row

 

Ultimately we got the win, the quality wasn’t worthy of third 3rd place we currently occupy but who cares.

 

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I dislike they way some players line up for goal and they kind of juggle or jiggle the ball around when in their hands as they walk into their routine to kick.

Pettraca and I think Kossie were doing it.

Wished they held the dammed thing steady after they set it straight and before they start their approach.

I think it is a precision thing not a feel kick.

Any slight change in ball drop and angle difference will show up on the flight of the ball, exaggerating slices, hooks, fade outs and aims. Treat it with respect and the elites can get it to fly and move the way they want it to.

The professional golfer does it with small tweeks of the swing.

Hoping our kickers can get the same precision. 

Takes alot of repetition. 

Hopng Ben Brown shows them what is needed to have a good gait that helps him feel comfortable, and gets the ball to fly where he wants it to. Hate for him to learn the "Melbourne way".

C'mon Dees kick straight, be professional. 

 

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5 hours ago, kev martin said:

I dislike they way some players line up for goal and they kind of juggle or jiggle the ball around when in their hands as they walk into their routine to kick.

I heard Peter McKenna interviewed a couple of years ago. He was asked about technique, what are the things you should do, what does he think of how modern players do it ... the first thing he said was it's a danger sign to him to see players spinning the ball like that. Increases the chances of the shot being sprayed.

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8 hours ago, deelusions from afar said:

Have just had a watch of the replay and it's amazing how many of the views expressed here seem way off the mark (in my opinion).  Some people forget that we were playing an opponent so are not going to have everything go our way.  Take a look at the Freo forums (or any team that is lost this week) and it looks very similar to us after a loss - just switch a few players names around and we wouldn't know the difference!

Not a perfect performance by any stretch but all teams develop over the season and I would have definitely taken this performance prior to the game if given the option. Freo had injuries but we did as well - No Brown or Weiderman makes us look very fragile on paper.  We will have a better indication after the next few weeks.

So aside from Lever / May dominance, Jordon's game, some of my takeaways were:

- Spargo and Kossie possies forward of centre lead to goals.  They are the best at lowering their eyes and finding people in dangerous spots inside 50.

- Hunt played much better than I remembered.  His job is high risk high reward and sometimes it doesn't come off.  But when it does, it is dynamic and in this game his closing speed was critical in a number of instances.  When people like Hunt (it happened to a number of players) get caught holding the ball it is usually more a symptom of what is (not) happening up the field.

- I have loved Jones because he carried the team for so long.  But beyond him getting 300 games I don't think he should be in the team.  If not for his years of service and proximity to 300 he would be the one I would drop first.

- We missed A LOT of easy goals - Petracca, TMac hitting the post, Fritsch, Lever after a 50 and Jackson in the last quarter.  Tighten a few of these up and it looks pretty different.

- Centre clearances are a problem.  We were unlucky a number of times.  But there were others where they just got us on the outside.  This happened around the ground a fair bit as well.  When the player standing on the defensive side of the contest gets sucked in, we look very vulnerable when we lose it.  Having said that, this happens to every team and we did it to Freo a couple of times too.  As Fyfe mentioned before the game, a key part of the strategy is to force their opponents into the contest in the centre square so that they have space on the outside.  What I like is we are trying lots of players in there and no doubt will be doing lots of homework and analysis on this - there is certainly a lot of scope for improvement here!

- Rivers started very strongly in the first quarter.  Seemed to rush his disposals after that - given our defence was largely on top, not sure if he was given a different role after quarter time as he was much quieter.

- I thought one of my absolute favourites in Nev might be on borrowed time.  But I thought he was solid - won a number of crucial one on ones.  I did notice however, that the dockers looked to exploit him and Salem's lack of height in the second half when they tried to narrow their eyes more going forward.  Will be interesting to see if Goodwin looks to bring in Hibberd or even Petty / Smith so we are not exposed in this way in future with teams that have multiple dangerous key forwards.

- Brayshaw did not attend one centre bounce.  Given Gus has played his best games in the centre square, Viney is out and some of the other players that attended centre bounces included Kozzie, Sparrow, Jordon, Harmes, ANB, Jones, I can't work out what is going on.  He kicked a couple of nice passes and got a few good tackles in but if he's not getting a run onball when Viney is not in the team, then why wasn't he traded? Maybe then we could have traded for a specialist winger?  I like him as a player but it seems like he's losing in being played out of position and we're losing in him (and Jones) playing as wingers - what am I missing?

 

 

Nice summary. Agree with most of that. I watched the replay as well and Brayshaw. executed the nest passes of the day into the forward 50. Doing exactly what we hoped for. Our forward connection improved (Jordan helped as well, his kick to Petracca in the first for a goal was sublime), but our kicking for goal was particularly poor. 
 

not sure on hunt, yes his pace helped defensively but he was poor in his attacking positioning and fumbled a bit too much. I just don’t think he’s a backman. 
 

jones on the wing is one of the mysteries of the world. And I don’t rate Goodwin when he does that. I’d rather develop a baker there. 
Overall it was promising as I though we didn’t gel in the middle but that can quickly come and Viney is not far away. It’s just whether TMAC can keep producing. The opposition hold him and it could be hand over. 

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9 hours ago, deelusions from afar said:

Have just had a watch of the replay and it's amazing how many of the views expressed here seem way off the mark (in my opinion).  Some people forget that we were playing an opponent so are not going to have everything go our way.  Take a look at the Freo forums (or any team that is lost this week) and it looks very similar to us after a loss - just switch a few players names around and we wouldn't know the difference!

Not a perfect performance by any stretch but all teams develop over the season and I would have definitely taken this performance prior to the game if given the option. Freo had injuries but we did as well - No Brown or Weiderman makes us look very fragile on paper.  We will have a better indication after the next few weeks.

So aside from Lever / May dominance, Jordon's game, some of my takeaways were:

- Spargo and Kossie possies forward of centre lead to goals.  They are the best at lowering their eyes and finding people in dangerous spots inside 50.

- Hunt played much better than I remembered.  His job is high risk high reward and sometimes it doesn't come off.  But when it does, it is dynamic and in this game his closing speed was critical in a number of instances.  When people like Hunt (it happened to a number of players) get caught holding the ball it is usually more a symptom of what is (not) happening up the field.

- I have loved Jones because he carried the team for so long.  But beyond him getting 300 games I don't think he should be in the team.  If not for his years of service and proximity to 300 he would be the one I would drop first.

- We missed A LOT of easy goals - Petracca, TMac hitting the post, Fritsch, Lever after a 50 and Jackson in the last quarter.  Tighten a few of these up and it looks pretty different.

- Centre clearances are a problem.  We were unlucky a number of times.  But there were others where they just got us on the outside.  This happened around the ground a fair bit as well.  When the player standing on the defensive side of the contest gets sucked in, we look very vulnerable when we lose it.  Having said that, this happens to every team and we did it to Freo a couple of times too.  As Fyfe mentioned before the game, a key part of the strategy is to force their opponents into the contest in the centre square so that they have space on the outside.  What I like is we are trying lots of players in there and no doubt will be doing lots of homework and analysis on this - there is certainly a lot of scope for improvement here!

- Rivers started very strongly in the first quarter.  Seemed to rush his disposals after that - given our defence was largely on top, not sure if he was given a different role after quarter time as he was much quieter.

- I thought one of my absolute favourites in Nev might be on borrowed time.  But I thought he was solid - won a number of crucial one on ones.  I did notice however, that the dockers looked to exploit him and Salem's lack of height in the second half when they tried to narrow their eyes more going forward.  Will be interesting to see if Goodwin looks to bring in Hibberd or even Petty / Smith so we are not exposed in this way in future with teams that have multiple dangerous key forwards.

- Brayshaw did not attend one centre bounce.  Given Gus has played his best games in the centre square, Viney is out and some of the other players that attended centre bounces included Kozzie, Sparrow, Jordon, Harmes, ANB, Jones, I can't work out what is going on.  He kicked a couple of nice passes and got a few good tackles in but if he's not getting a run onball when Viney is not in the team, then why wasn't he traded? Maybe then we could have traded for a specialist winger?  I like him as a player but it seems like he's losing in being played out of position and we're losing in him (and Jones) playing as wingers - what am I missing?

 

 

Great analysis. What annoys me is we do hard work and get into great positions to score and the final possession is poor. Tidy this up and we should be able to hit the scoreboard more frequently. 

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Centre ball ups. Midfielders FFS keep moving. Start outside and run in. It is much harder to block or hold  multiple moving players. Max hit more outside. Max, please communicate with midfielders, learn to tap behind. Great to win, go dees! We should win more than half of Max's hit outs, if not we need to get a new ruckman or a new midfield.

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1 hour ago, Bay Riffin said:

Nice summary. Agree with most of that. I watched the replay as well and Brayshaw. executed the nest passes of the day into the forward 50. Doing exactly what we hoped for. Our forward connection improved (Jordan helped as well, his kick to Petracca in the first for a goal was sublime), but our kicking for goal was particularly poor
 

not sure on hunt, yes his pace helped defensively but he was poor in his attacking positioning and fumbled a bit too much. I just don’t think he’s a backman
 

jones on the wing is one of the mysteries of the world. And I don’t rate Goodwin when he does that. I’d rather develop a baker there
Overall it was promising as I though we didn’t gel in the middle but that can quickly come and Viney is not far away. It’s just whether TMAC can keep producing. The opposition hold him and it could be hand over. 

Kicking for goal - it was a bit swirly on the weekend.  Was that a factor?  No excuses under the roof this week!

Hunt - he's probably not a backman but given the rule changes, we need someone with pace back there and he's the best option we have at the moment.  I think it's worth persisting with.

Wing - I think they're just getting Jones across the line.  I don't rate Baker - he's done nothing to suggest (to me) that he has what it takes.  In reality though, Brayshaw played wing for 70-80% of the game and Jones was there for the rest.  So if Baker comes in to play wing, does Brayshaw play half forward or half back?  

TMac - spot on.  Probably the most promising thing on the weekend.  Can he keep that up?  What I found interesting was that most of his marks were not balls that were kicked to him - they were to Jackson / Gawn and he could get a run and jump at it (or go round the back for the one deep in the forwardline).  I think this is how he plays best rather than being the stay at home forward who has the ball kicked on top of him.

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1 hour ago, deelusions from afar said:

Kicking for goal - it was a bit swirly on the weekend.  Was that a factor?  No excuses under the roof this week!

 

I think this played a big part in what was at times comical kicks for goal from players on both sides

At one point I watched Fritta lining up and his shorts were seriously flapping in the wind - has to be pretty strong breeze for that you would think

Players on both teams totally shanked kicks for goal and in general play - strong gusts must explain at least some of those

I don't really like the ball spinning that Trac and others do - with goal kicking the less moving parts the better i would of thought. Trac doesn't even seem to make sure the laces are on top of the ball on his set shots - unless footy's are different these days its hard to connect perfectly when the laces are underneath as the ball tends to be firmer on the side 

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18 hours ago, titan_uranus said:

Quite a lot.

We didn't dominate time in forward half. We didn't dominate inside 50s. We didn't rely on clearances to generate momentum. We didn't bomb the ball as much as previously. We kicked far more than we handballed. We had a solid defensive half that was reliable. We generated scores from our defensive half, not relying solely on forward half turnovers. We won despite Gawn having a poor game overall.

Neither passion nor desperation were lacking yesterday (55 tackles to 49, 15 inside 50 tackles to 7, 49 one percenters to 45) either.

 

 

There were times that we absolutely dominated forward half. 

Freo were truly awful both in their forwardline and their movement from defence. Helped of course by Lever and May who arguably saved the game for us...

What I'm talking about specifically is the same problems that are clearly evident. Connection between mids and forwards. Our completely out of whack and sync midfield. Max Gawn's tap dominance to what effect? The continued deployment of inside midfielders as wingmen.

The poor skill level, the poor execution, the lack of intensity from our more senior players.

The list goes on.

Yeh, of course there were also different looks to the game too but that was not dictated by us. That was because Freo completely worked us over in the midfield, right up until the last quarter. It was because they had a makeshift forwardline who had no chance due to the way the ball was coming in. It wasn't our pressure. It was their poor use. Lever and May are almost the best one-two defenders in the comp and with a depleted freo forwardline, we dominated and obviously our drive had to come from there.

 

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I know that sometimes there can be something of an echo chamber of negative sentiment on DL - but I do think that there were some concerning aspects of the game which other posters have talked about.  

It's concerning for me that:

1. A debutant made our other midfielders look lazy. 

2. Our disposal inaccuracy was so inaccurate - and I want to emphasise that these poor disposals were often a result of not a great deal of pressure from the Freo defence. 

3. I continue to believe that Max Gawn's impact at stoppage is more than nullified by the inablity to connect ruck to midfield.  I say more than nullified, because it is actually becoming a disadvantage given just how easily midfielders seem able to read and shark Max.  Early in the first quarter we were losing the clearance count something like 7- 0.  Against Fremantle.

 

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9 minutes ago, Altona-demon said:

I know that sometimes there can be something of an echo chamber of negative sentiment on DL - but I do think that there were some concerning aspects of the game which other posters have talked about.  

It's concerning for me that:

1. A debutant made our other midfielders look lazy. 

2. Our disposal inaccuracy was so inaccurate - and I want to emphasise that these poor disposals were often a result of not a great deal of pressure from the Freo defence. 

3. I continue to believe that Max Gawn's impact at stoppage is more than nullified by the inablity to connect ruck to midfield.  I say more than nullified, because it is actually becoming a disadvantage given just how easily midfielders seem able to read and shark Max.  Early in the first quarter we were losing the clearance count something like 7- 0.  Against Fremantle.

 

At one point, Fyfe shunted Oliver away and off the ball from the Gawn tap. I presume nothing illegal (umpire didnt call it not that they would if Fyfe was anywhere near the ball) There was no actual holding but he just pushed with his chest and of course he was left holding Max's tap down. The other method of nullifying Max is for the opposition to try and win the tap but to stand wait and pounce on our midfielders and there is another stoppage.  Surely the coaches/players are aware of all of this but we seem to continue playing the expected midfield role. Could we do the reverse and become the hunters of the opposition midfielders. Just try something different. It looks great when Oliver can get a quick handball or pass out but against classier teams its not working (or didn't last year). Unless Max can tap the ball long a couple of times with half forwards or half backs virtually playing the midfielders role and as a result opposition midfielders aren't sure where the tap is going, they have to come up with a solution otherwise we are losing the huge advantage that Max bring us.

What I find extremely frustrating is the opposition constant blocking Max off ball. There doesn't seem to be any inclination by the umpires to do anything about it which of course results in Max becoming more and more frustrated and constantly looking to the umpires for protection and then results in the umpires even less willing to call it.

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21 minutes ago, Altona-demon said:

I know that sometimes there can be something of an echo chamber of negative sentiment on DL - but I do think that there were some concerning aspects of the game which other posters have talked about.  

It's concerning for me that:

1. A debutant made our other midfielders look lazy. 

2. Our disposal inaccuracy was so inaccurate - and I want to emphasise that these poor disposals were often a result of not a great deal of pressure from the Freo defence. 

3. I continue to believe that Max Gawn's impact at stoppage is more than nullified by the inablity to connect ruck to midfield.  I say more than nullified, because it is actually becoming a disadvantage given just how easily midfielders seem able to read and shark Max.  Early in the first quarter we were losing the clearance count something like 7- 0.  Against Fremantle.

 

Fair enough.  But I'' bite - it is round 1.   I remember we didn't play particularly well against Geelong round 1 in 2018 and ended up losing with Max's kick at the siren.  That loss hurt us later in the year.  It's great to start with a win and with a solid defence we are now well placed to fix up the other areas of the ground.

 

1. JJ was great.  He could be the missing cog in the midfield (one that does the two way running, 1%ers etc) but he may also have just had a good game.  Let's see how he goes after a few more.  And I think it's a bit simplistic to say they're lazy.  By that definition Dusty would probably be the laziest footballer in the comp - its about finding the way for each players strengths to be maximised and weaknesses covered - maybe (hopefully) JJ allows us to do this.

2. It was a windy day.  Fremantle were probably even worse and they have enough decent ball users to be much better as well.  I think you should wait until next week to judge our footskills.  Maybe the handball misses is less forgivable but again, it's round one - we will improve.

3. I agree this is a problem but I think sometimes looking at the stats on their own is misleading.  Freo killed us at the clearance for parts of the game but I don't think they had many more than us that were clear effective clearances.  Serong in particular got away a few times - but we had a few ourselves that people seem to forget about.  The position of the players on the defensive side was exposed a couple of times (but I think that went both ways).  The major changes (from what i can see) is that we don't want to bomb it out of the centre if it leads to a turnover.  That's a positive step - we all watched better sides essentially concede the centre square to us in 2017-2018 only to have us turn it over with our first kick out of the centre.  Hopefully we still have a few more gears to go up.

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17 minutes ago, longsuffering said:

At one point, Fyfe shunted Oliver away and off the ball from the Gawn tap. I presume nothing illegal (umpire didnt call it not that they would if Fyfe was anywhere near the ball) There was no actual holding but he just pushed with his chest and of course he was left holding Max's tap down. The other method of nullifying Max is for the opposition to try and win the tap but to stand wait and pounce on our midfielders and there is another stoppage.  Surely the coaches/players are aware of all of this but we seem to continue playing the expected midfield role. Could we do the reverse and become the hunters of the opposition midfielders. Just try something different. It looks great when Oliver can get a quick handball or pass out but against classier teams its not working (or didn't last year). Unless Max can tap the ball long a couple of times with half forwards or half backs virtually playing the midfielders role and as a result opposition midfielders aren't sure where the tap is going, they have to come up with a solution otherwise we are losing the huge advantage that Max bring us.

What I find extremely frustrating is the opposition constant blocking Max off ball. There doesn't seem to be any inclination by the umpires to do anything about it which of course results in Max becoming more and more frustrated and constantly looking to the umpires for protection and then results in the umpires even less willing to call it.

Agree re blocking Max. It is becoming a bit of a joke. Was at Metricon last year when we just lost to Lions and he was being blocked, pushed etc. all the time and mainly about 30-50 yards away from the play as he was trying to get in position. Umpires have got to see it.

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The template for beating Melbourne - and it is a well known one now is:

1. Rough up Max Gawn.  It never gets called, and it always has the affect that longusffering referred to above, Max goes off the boil and either (a) plays worse, or (b) alienates the umpires.  This template was provided by Port Adelaide in 2019 - when they just deliberately played hard on Gawn. 

2. Maintain the outside shoulder of the Melbourne midfielders - either waiting for the opportune shark, or the tackle to create another stoppage.  This is effective against Melbourne for two reasons.  Holding the outside, puts midfielders in a box seat to receive outside half-baked handballs which Clayton Oliver will inevitably provide.  Secondly, Melbourne midfielders show week in week out that they are like seagulls to the chip - Harmes is particularly poor at this, there is no need to throw three men at a contested possession with a likely outcome of a 50/50 disposal. So other teams throw 1 in - and either (a) concede the contested possession and receive the half baked handball on the outside (because they have the number) or (b) just make the tackle on the Melbourne player and allow the other Melbourne players to lock the ball in. 

I'm not sure how many games I've watched with this pattern plays out week after week, and tbh it was better against Fremantle with Petracca, Brayshaw and Jordon through the middle, least they can sometimes provide a bit of stoppage spread.  It gets demonstrably worse with Viney and Harmes in the same midfield as Oliver.  

If people are interested, I'd be happy to pull together some footage from the weekend and show the examples of how we lose clearances in this predictable manner week after week.  As an earlier poster said - can we not just adjust our stoppage set up and have Maxy really exploit his first tap advantage by pushing beyond the immediate area.  Just doesn't seem to be much variety in our stoppage play?

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Everyone calling for Max to be protected by umps. 

Why not call for our own players to dish out the same to oppo ruckmen? 

Perhaps even get them to protect Max? Show some anger? Care? Passion?

Just a thought..

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54 minutes ago, Altona-demon said:

I really agree with that point Jimmy - one of the main reasons I like Kozzie is because he doesn't take a backward step and he has got a bit  about him.  I know that's simplistic.  But jeez some of these nicer than your next door neighbour sort of blokes we have running the red and blue could take note.

I can't keep track of the amount of times some one will lay a cheapie on one of our players and our boys dont run across and give em hell (excuse the marketing pun) - compare that to say Richmond, where if that happened there would be a brawl.

Conclusion? The culture in the team is soft - you're right, why do we sit back and take it - we should be the bully not the meek bullied team that basically other teams just expect to beat. 

To be more relevant, we must be MORE aggressive. 

Fine with being aggressive but stupid remonstrating and targeting players with the view to roughing them up will likely lead to suspensions - that we certainly don't need or want  

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55 minutes ago, Altona-demon said:

I really agree with that point Jimmy - one of the main reasons I like Kozzie is because he doesn't take a backward step and he has got a bit about him.  I know that's simplistic.  But jeez some of these nicer than your next door neighbour sort of blokes we have running the red and blue could take note.

I can't keep track of the amount of times some one will lay a cheapie on one of our players and our boys dont run across and give em hell (excuse the marketing pun) - compare that to say Richmond, where if that happened there would be a brawl.

Conclusion? The culture in the team is soft - you're right, why do we sit back and take it - we should be the bully not the meek bullied team that basically other teams just expect to beat. 

To be more relevant, we must be MORE aggressive. 

Our best aggressor is AVB and we often play well when he’s aggressive but he’s no longer best 22. He had a real poor 2020 and has fallen a fair way back I’d say.

Viney back in will add some mongrel and to a lesser extent Melksham who at least stands up for his teammates but again had a real poor 2020 and is borderline best 22 now. May of course will never take a backward step. 
 

Other than that yep we are a pretty “nice” team. A far cry from 2018 when I reckon our physicality won games of footy.

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4 minutes ago, Demon Dude said:

Gawn in my opinion is soft. there's a reason he gets targeted. he doesn't get angry, he just complains to the umpires.

Great player but too much of a 'good bloke'.

With his size and frame hes the one that should be dishing it out.  

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19 hours ago, Pates said:

Finally sitting down to watch the replay, early thoughts are Tommy Mac, Lever, and May were important early. May in particular was so important, he saved at least a couple of goals by choosing to mark instead of spoiling. 

Second thing was it’s incredibly frustrating watching us have very clear ruck dominance but it takes until 10min in before we win our first clearance. We have Clarry, Brayshaw, and Petracca who are all very good in the clinches, we can’t keep losing the clearances like that. If we’re not going to use Max’s ruck dominance then perhaps we need to rethink how we use him. Ultimately we should be finding a way to win or break even on the clearance count. 

Max's taps are becoming readable with complementary readings being taken by opponents in the movements of our midfielders before and during the ruckwork process. Interception for clearances is thus relatively easy - and most of Max's taps (that he wins so frequently) are soft making it even easier for opponents to manoeuvre for the ball. Crackers Keenan, a great tap ruckman, varied the force and tapped regularly in unanticipated directions using both hands / sides and force, plunging the ball down the very throats of the midfielders or out (East, West, South or North) to pre-arranged clearance assistants now known as 'outside mids'.

Maxy, you are great. Now put a bit of power execution science to work - and force midfielders to respond to force, not dance to a 'close-in' spot usually too closely lateral to yourself.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Deemania since 56 said:

Max's taps are becoming readable with complementary readings being taken by opponents in the movements of our midfielders before and during the ruckwork process. Interception for clearances is thus relatively easy - and most of Max's taps (that he wins so frequently) are soft making it even easier for opponents to manoeuvre for the ball. Crackers Keenan, a great tap ruckman, varied the force and tapped regularly in unanticipated directions using both hands / sides and force, plunging the ball down the very throats of the midfielders or out (East, West, South or North) to pre-arranged clearance assistants now known as 'outside mids'.

Maxy, you are great. Now put a bit of power execution science to work - and force midfielders to respond to force, not dance to a 'close-in' spot usually too closely lateral to yourself.

 

I actually think that playing Jackson in the ruck contests might be a good way to go, make the percentage closer to 40% Jackson 60% Max. Jackson is looking a lot better at ball ups and he’s less predictable. 

I think you’re right that Max needs to mix things up a little bit, which was what he did a couple of times by thumping it forward. With good communication between himself and the mids that could actually be a weapon. 

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