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Whats changed?



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1 hour ago, DeeSpencer said:

The backline turnover has been high, and we’ve swapped from young to experienced tall defenders and vice versa with the flankers (Hunt seems youthful even if he’s not).

The midfield and forwards aren’t all that different, and we’ve replaced assistants but in a similar set up of an experienced development coach and a midfield coach on the rise. 

Watching our wins against the Cats, Hawks and the Tigers have felt incredibly similar to those finals in the style of play. The numbers on the jumpers have changed but it’s forward pressure, a marauding midfield and scoring in runs of goals.

If you went away in October 2018 after we landed Steve May and came back 2 weeks ago you’d be asking who Kossie, LJ and Rivers are but otherwise you’d be thinking it looks pretty familiar. 

If I went away in Oct ‘18, and came back to watch this season, then to be told that Kosi, LJ and Rivers had all played less than 20 games each, I’d be asking WTF?!!!

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Whats changed?

1  The Rules; man standing on the mark suits our game.

2  Covid - less impact on the season so far.

3 Defensive run - haven't seen the likes of this since ND was coach. Half expect to see Cam Bruce or Junior run past.

4 X Factor - Kozzie has it by the bucketful and our opponents don't like it

5 The back line - Tomlinson has been a great addition

6 Game plan - they say it is simpler

7 Gawn backup - Jackson can relieve in the ruck and can go forward and score

8 jenny Craig? - TMac has lost weight but not strength; 

9 Mark Williams - so the players say

10 Maturity - the Club had the maturity to get Jones to 300 when some may have said play a future prospect. Players seem happy with that.

11 Self belief - I have yet to see the players doubt that they will win

 

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Couple of podcasts I’ve listened to lately have gone to explain our improvement 

Firstly Jimmy Bartel talked about the Butterfly Effect on the Age’s Jake Niall podcast . It is where each player within the playing group understands how his positioning on the field effects his teammates. He said this comes with a team maturity and all premiership teams have it. 
Along the same lines football commentator Andrew Mayes was saying that Melbourne players looked to now understand their role in any given situation, whereas years prior they may know what they should be doing in just 23 out 25 situations. You only need a couple of players out of kilter for it to effect how you are playing. 
I find this stuff really interesting and makes sense when Gus Brayshaw was talking about I ‘unrewarded running’ and how it benefits the team. 

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Maturity and experience in the right number of players.

Adem Yze and Mark Williams being at our club.

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Really good clip on the couch last night showed Langdon and Brayshaw defensive positioning as wingers. Both in perfect sync ran behind the contest in our defensive 50 which is why it always looks we have spare behind or on the flank while their opponents like to hold their spot on the 50 to set up a press which is never really going to work when Brayshaw and Langdon are the easy outlets.

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I know we're talking about team and not individuals but one individual I want to mention is Rivers. He looks as if he could be an outstanding young talent. His spoil on what would have been an easy chest mark for Riewoldt led to Neal Bullens goal. He is cool in traffic and pretty skilled and efficient with disposals. 

Love that guy 

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On 4/26/2021 at 9:41 AM, Breggsy said:

Nice thread idea.

Injury List

I think we have benefited from a much smaller injury compared to other years. From the weekend maybe only Harmes? missing from our best 22. Not sure how long this can continue but the important thing is we can bank as many wins now so that if we do end up having a patch where we are missing a few key players, we aren't in the position where we need to keep winning to play finals.

Confidence and letting players play to their strengths

I feel like sometimes coaches can shift players around too much to fill a gap somewhere on the field and somewhere along the way they can lose touch.  I remember Richmond having similar issues back in 2016, trying to play small forwards out of position, back flankers in centre bounces and I firmly believe Carlton are going through it now.

All these players are drafted for a reason and will have some quality or skill to set them apart from your local footballer. I find it no surprise that players like Neal-Bullen, Spargo, Hunt are all playing good roles for the team. Neal Bullen is a great example. He has always been a great runner and great pressure player. He's not going to have 30 and kick 5 but as long as he's playing to his strengths then it's going to be a pro for the team.

Game style and pressure

I heard on Purefooty about round 3 where they described the difference in our game plan compared to previous years. We are playing a more uncontested brand where in other years there was a real mentality to just win the hard ball and force it forward.  We have now had more centre clearances against us than we have won despite having gawn/trac/oliver in there. This was our whole game  only a few years ago and while we are still ahead in overall contested possession, we are currently ranked 5th for uncontested possession diff, 2nd for marks inside 50 differential, 1st for inside 50s and amazingly 18th for turnovers diff per game (something I would never have thought possible with some of our kicks).  This game plan is either really flourishing due to the new stand rule, or was we adopted it because of the new rule? Win the ball back and rather than just surging it forward with ala 2018, keep the ball out of the other teams hands, hit up lower risk kicks and then once we are in that wing to half forward space being able to find a player inside 50.  My only knock on this would be where these shots are coming from. Is it that we are able to generate set shots in poorer positions because we are happier to find options there or are we unable to generate targets in high look spots.

 

This is our set shots until round 5 leading to an overall conversion under 50%

image.png.5d2e6b479e00f4626bacd05b887cca4f.png
image.png.6b7e097b93bd1d21ec72fbfbabdba619.png

 

all good points. l know the club has a data scientist that analyses the scoring to develop probability based expected scores based on the difficulty of the scoring positions. seems like we can do some work to get the ball into better spots.

your points suggest we weren't coached well last year and l would agree i.e. too many players played out of position and a game plan focussed too much on contested ball

Edited by Demons1858
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What’s changed?

Lever, May, have finally clicked working as a well drilled unit now with Tomlinson allowing Lever to play the old Josh Gibson role intercepting everything.

numbers around the ball, replaying the match today I was astounded at how good we were on the outside against the benchmark, Richmond. Langdon has been huge for us and Brayshaw is becoming very good on the other wing. The Hunt/Langdon running duet must be giving opposition coaches nightmares. We still have the inside grunt but now there are numerous outlets. The way we flicked the ball around against the Tiges was the equal of the Bulldogs so kudos to Yze I believe. 
 

Delivery into the forward line has totally transformed. Gee TMac must be so pleased that he is not camped in the goal square with the 50 meter bomb coming in on top of his head surrounded by 3 defenders who know exactly where the ball is going. Now the ball carriers are running the ball to the fifty and lowering their eyes looking for a moving target. Why that has taken so long I have no idea? 
 

And looking at individuals Max is just playing an extraordinary role, dominating the ruck and dominating the air to an extent I haven’t seen since Jimmy’s Brownlow year. 
 

And Langdon has been a great recruit giving us so much run on the outside and because he is always there as an outlet I believe he gives others the confidence to go for the ball in traffic knowing he will always be to you left or right for a receive. 
 

Lever of course, now in All Australian form, and with May allowing Salem the time and space to maximise his attacking strength off half back. 

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On 4/26/2021 at 3:17 PM, DeeSpencer said:

The backline turnover has been high, and we’ve swapped from young to experienced tall defenders and vice versa with the flankers (Hunt seems youthful even if he’s not).

The midfield and forwards aren’t all that different, and we’ve replaced assistants but in a similar set up of an experienced development coach and a midfield coach on the rise. 

Watching our wins against the Cats, Hawks and the Tigers have felt incredibly similar to those finals in the style of play. The numbers on the jumpers have changed but it’s forward pressure, a marauding midfield and scoring in runs of goals.

If you went away in October 2018 after we landed Steve May and came back 2 weeks ago you’d be asking who Kossie, LJ and Rivers are but otherwise you’d be thinking it looks pretty familiar. 

I don't think this is your best work. Think Langdon and Brayshaw on the wings and Spargo as a constant pressure small forward that can stick a tackle and kick a goal. Tomlinson as a tall mobile defender with great endurance. Even Fritsch, who was left out of the Prelim loss.

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Leadership is a big factor.

One of the most significant moments in the season came when Stephen May went down against Geelong.  The way that Jake Lever took control and marshalled the defence - and the way that the back group responded - was fabulous to see.  Our defensive cohesion was maintained without a blip.

Also interested to see the coaches spending so much time working from the boundary rather than staying in the box.  Much has already been said about the influence of Mark Williams.  Watching Simon Goodwin having a quiet word with Kozzie after the little imbroglio near the end of the Richmond game was good coaching.

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On 4/25/2021 at 5:50 PM, leave it to deever said:

Thanks for all the input to this Demonlanders.

A lot to take in.

All I really know is that my calls to replace Goody were way too emotive.

And that I have never enjoyed watching footy as much as this except in 2000.

I admit I'd lost trust in Goodwin too, but winning has started to regain that trust. Footy is very fickle and if we had started the season say 3-3, even 4-2, I'd still have some reservations, but at 6-0 it's hard to have too many reservations. The game style is stacking up.

However, I like the philosophy that nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems in footy. My MFCSS will have reservations somewhere until we win a flag. Can we continue this form and perform in September/October? Will injuries curtail our season? Will the opposition figure out our defensive structure and be able to unlock it near the back end of the season? Will COVID rear its ugly head etc.

These are all questions on my mind at the moment, but as a few commentators have said in the press this week, we just have to enjoy it as much as possible. Things seem built on solid foundations. The maturity/age bracket of our core is about right (maybe a year or two too early); we have Goodwin, Yze and Williams who have all been involved in premierships at a playing or coaching level and this experience should hold us in good stead.

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On 4/25/2021 at 2:38 PM, Engorged Onion said:

Some bloke -and I paraphrase said - if you look real closely, overnight success is years of hard work @leave it to deever

The core players are now 25-27 not 19-23 - physically, tactically, technically superior to where they were 2-3 years ago.

Well done to Goodwin and the football department for staying true to the philosophy of 'winning from the contest out'.

Because that was in evidence last night, in why we won the game, and why we are 6-0.

 Now its the contest out, flourishing -  with additional add ons to the suite of services, like 1) constant pressure and 2) outside spread.

With the added recruits that we didnt have 2-4 years ago, which help the spread, and the outside game.

Yes, l would add there are also several players who have been around for a while from whom we are extracting significant more out put and improved skill levels this year compared to previous years: notably, Hunt, ABN and Hibberd. Frankly, it is like having three highly skill recruits, albeit mature age one. Add to that Jackson’s significant improvement this year - that all adds up to having very significantly increased capabilities. 

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On 4/26/2021 at 2:24 PM, DeeSpencer said:

The striking thing to me is that team wise we aren't all that different to the 2018 version that won 2 finals and beat GWS, West Coast etc to get in to finals. That was our line up then.

FB: Jetta  Oscar  Hibberd
HB: Lewis  Frost  Salem   Int: Fritsch
C: Tyson   Oliver   Jones
HF: ANB   Tommy  Petracca
FF: Spargo  Weid   Hannan  Int: Melk
Foll: Gawn  Viney  Brayshaw
Int: Harmes Vanders

Backs:
Out: Jetta Lewis, Fritsch Oscar Frost
In: Hunt, Rivers, Lever, Tomlinson, May

Mids: 
Out: Tyson, Vanders, Harmes
In: JJ, Petracca, Langdon (Gus to a wing)

Forwards:
Out: Weid, Hannan, Petracca (mid)
In: Jackson, Kosi, Fritsch

Coaches:
Out: McCartney In: Williams
Out: Jennings/Mathews In: Yze

I feel like we spent 2 years in the wilderness but really we've kind of come full circle back to a lot of what we were doing late in 2018.

The backline needed turnover and we've replaced young key defenders with more experienced options who have now settled in, then also replaced some older legs with fresh (and fast) legs on the flanks. Salem and Hibbo (in a modified role) are the only holdovers since 2018 so it's not a huge surprise that things took a while to get sorted. The shift from all out press to keeping a defensive anchor has been a big positive too.

The midfield was crying out for a Langdon player who we got, but there the biggest change has been the young leaders stepping up and starting to own the way they wanted to play. We also had to adapt to Petracca coming in last year which helped him go to another level but threw out the balance of 2018. JJ has given us what Harmes did (and could do again) as a negating and receiving option. 

The forward line is really getting back to what we did very well at the end of 2018. The pressure is more consistent. The talls have paired well. Tom is back to being Tom and LJ is doing what Weid did - offering something in the ruck and a contest forward. Fritsch is a bit different but he's taken over what Melk/Petracca gave us in 2018, and obviously there's still options with a 3rd genuine tall and changing things around. 

Brendan McCartney was very good in setting a culture and standard of young mids to hunt the ball and compete. He was the development coach and mentor we needed to get that aspect of the game right. Choco is now providing a bigger focus on run, skills and decision making, no doubt still stressing the need to win the ball. Soccer has had that system for a while of the 'manager' who controls everything but a 'first team coach' or similar who's job is to drill the players, I think it's a great set up as long as there's trust and the roles are defined.

The midfield set ups, coaching and leadership are huge factors in getting us playing well. A lot of it is that we've got maturing talent and one way or another they were probably going to start to click more but a fresh voice from outside the club has surely helped. 

Agree with a lot of this, but I think you're downplaying the significance of the shift in team defence and that goes for defending when we have ball in hand too - in that we're being more methodical with our ball movement when not on a fast break. Utilising Max or LJ or Tom as the get out target and ensuring we have numbers at the foot of the pack is both very Bulldogs 2016 and Richmond 2017-2020.

As you say though, we basically played a frenetic press with an anchor/goalkeeper like Frost at the back in 2017-2018, and I'd say in 2019 too, although it was shifted to a half team press in 2019 rather than a full 18 player press. This I suspect was partly due to our lack of fitness, to conserve energy, and partly because we knew the full 18 man press left us far too vulnerable out the back. 

Now all back 6 try and play as close to each other as possible, so Lever or May or Tomlinson or Rivers or Salem can intercept. I think having Lever in the team enables us to play the system much better than having Frost play the goalkeeper. Lever reads the play beautifully and Frost has little to no idea. 

The addition of Langdon and now Brayshaw's defensive running also means that our wings are used to cover our back 6, as well as then launch counter attacks. It's a very different look to 2018. It's quite similar to how Hawthorn used Hill and Smith on their wings, to fold back, but also then counter attack. We then have our mids like Oliver and Viney getting back to cover the defence and suddenly it's an impenetrable wall that the opposition faces. And that's before even mentioning Max sitting in the hole.

We also use the wings more to attack now, whereas in 2018 we were a corridor team when we were up and about.

I'd also say our forwardline is quite different from the 2018 incarnation. We have gone back to the pressure game, but we're holding our structure much better than we ever did or tried to in 2018. Our forwards no longer all get sucked up to half forward. We also clearly target 40m/the high forward pocket and are happy with repeat entries there, whilst also retaining a deep forward in the square.

Conversely, in 2018, we were using angles more to try and hit that 30m danger area directly in front of goal. But that was pretty finicky and we don't have the forward pace at ground level. It's a far simpler strategy now and catered to our list. Sure, we're happy to hit up passes in the central channels inside 50 if they're available, but often that's not the case unless we can move the ball quickly or turn the ball over between centre wing and our forward 50.

In this sense, I wonder if the 'simple game plan' that a few of our players have referred to is actually more about predictable inside 50 entries that go to that pocket, as opposed to the top of the square and crumbers that we used in 2019-2020. The pocket means we are limiting exits that the opposition can use, particularly in comparison to if we were aiming at the top of the goal square. It's harder for the opposition to hit the corridor from the pocket too and it's risky and could lead to a turn over.

Against Hawthorn in that last quarter just about every one of Jordon's kicks went to that left forward pocket. If you think about a young player like Jordon coming in and playing his role, that sort of predictable ball movement, knowing that he'll have an option in that area of the ground like a Max or an LJ, it would make things so much easier. Instead of it potentially being whisked away after a kick to the top of the goal square, most of the kicks actually end up over the boundary line for a reset. But in this instance our team isn't hurt and therefore someone like Jordon doesn't go into his shell when he gets it next time, he goes to the same spot again.

This simplified strategy would explain the growth in some of these younger guys too. If the KPIs are simple, things like tackles and knowing where to be to receive, and where our guys will also be, it makes it much easier for players to play their role. Using the boundary pocket as extra defensive cover is also similar to the way Malthouse's 2010 Collingwood team used the boundary lines to limit opposition exits.

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On 4/26/2021 at 3:17 PM, DeeSpencer said:

The backline turnover has been high, and we’ve swapped from young to experienced tall defenders and vice versa with the flankers (Hunt seems youthful even if he’s not).

The midfield and forwards aren’t all that different, and we’ve replaced assistants but in a similar set up of an experienced development coach and a midfield coach on the rise. 

Watching our wins against the Cats, Hawks and the Tigers have felt incredibly similar to those finals in the style of play. The numbers on the jumpers have changed but it’s forward pressure, a marauding midfield and scoring in runs of goals.

If you went away in October 2018 after we landed Steve May and came back 2 weeks ago you’d be asking who Kossie, LJ and Rivers are but otherwise you’d be thinking it looks pretty familiar. 

We could never defend our defensive 50 like we can now. That Richmond first quarter would have seen 4 or 5+ goals against in 2018. It's not just defensive personnel, it's system. We clog up space so much better, we're well organised, which leads then to the inevitable long kick to a contest inside 50, and it's usually to a bunch of contests/10-15 players. Our mids and backs defend the drop of the ball and try and use this situation as a way of slingshotting back the other way or getting it out of bounds for a reset. In other words, the manic forward pressure from 2018 and this year, is now in our defensive 50 too.

The only way Richmond could score from this sort of play was from a mistake, kicking an arsey or freakish goal (see Riewoldt nutmegging Tomlinson and soccering from the boundary) or a big contested mark (see Bolton a few times). The commentators were saying as much on the night.

And given we clutter up the D50 so heavily, it's a very low percentage play for the opposition kicking to such a big contest. It makes them second guess themselves. In previous years that wouldn't bother a team like Richmond, because their smalls would hit that drop zone of the Riewoldt, Lynch or Martin contest. But that's harder to do with Max dropping back in front of their talls and the greater defensive intensity and hardened bodies of our mids and defenders at the drop of the ball.

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5 minutes ago, A F said:

As you say though, we basically played a frenetic press with an anchor/goalkeeper like Frost at the back in 2017-2018, and I'd say in 2019 too, although it was shifted to a half team press in 2019 rather than a full 18 player press. This I suspect was partly due to our lack of fitness, to converse energy, and partly because we knew the full 18 man press left us far too vulnerable out the back. Now all back 6 try and play as close to each other as possible, so Lever or May or Tomlinson or Rivers or Salem can intercept. I think having Lever in the team enables us to play the system much better than having Frost play the goalkeeper. Lever reads the play beautifully and Frost has little to no idea. 

 

That's been the big change but I think the whole comp took note of Richmond in 2017 being very different to Hawthorn and especially the Dogs with how deep they sat Rance (and then Grimes) and everyone made that adjustment over the next few years. The only team that hasn't really is the Dogs who are still backing their full zone. It's amazing how assertive the dogs are in peeling off really early to make that zone work. Port were similar last year but I reckon they're sitting deeper this year too.

7 minutes ago, A F said:

The addition of Langdon and now Brayshaw's defensive running also means that our wings are used to cover our back 6, as well as then launch counter attacks. It's a very different look to 2018. It's quite similar to how Hawthorn used to use Hill and Smith on their wings, to fold back, but also then counter attack. We then have our mids like Oliver and Viney getting back to cover the defence and suddenly it's an impenetrable wall that the opposition faces.

 

Langdon's been huge, obviously we wanted him for a long time in that role. Gus I see as pretty similar to Tyson who was maligned for skills and speed but did all the right defensive running too. It's taken our inside mids until this year to cover the extra space left by leaving the backline deeper, they were always going to take time to grow in to that I think. It's still a bit of a watch and see.

10 minutes ago, A F said:

Against Hawthorn in that last quarter just about everyone of Jordon's kicks went to that left forward pocket. If you think about a young player like Jordon coming in and playing his role, that sort of predictable ball movement, knowing that he'll have an option in that area of the ground like a Max or an LJ, it would make things so much easier. Instead of it potentially being whisked away after a kick to the top of the goal square, most of the kicks actually end up over the boundary line for a reset.

I'm not entirely sure of that. I reckon that was just a young player playing the percentages against a drilled and quality defensive side when they're on. From the stoppages Max was getting it over the back but we couldn't capitalise. Then Melksham and others broke the game open by finding the corridor.

There's certainly been a degree of keeping it simple and we haven't tried for the glory kick up the corridor, but the one thing we have done is had Tommy and other targets at CHF do what Richmond have done which is lead back towards the point of the centre square at half forward rather than get sucked to the boundary. We've often gone wide to Gawn out of the backline, then worked it back in through CHF and got more space to enter both sides of the forward 50. We make the big aerial contest point as that forward flank, slam our mids in to the corridor and then force the opposition to go back down the line or sideways - unless they can run through us. 

There's definitely less russian roulette through the corridor than there was in 2018, we seem more comfortable playing percentages and knowing we don't have to score on every forward entry. But there's still plenty of that counter attack and quick ball movement, and when we do find space to get it to Petracca or Oliver in the middle running free they are taking the game on.

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4 hours ago, MurDoc516 said:

Really good clip on the couch last night showed Langdon and Brayshaw defensive positioning as wingers. Both in perfect sync ran behind the contest in our defensive 50 which is why it always looks we have spare behind or on the flank while their opponents like to hold their spot on the 50 to set up a press which is never really going to work when Brayshaw and Langdon are the easy outlets.

Yep, the problem is this very likely won't work all season and we don't do it every time, but I'm hopeful our coaches have a few extra aces up their sleeves as the season progresses. It reminds me of the Diamond Defence. It was innovative, but combatted pretty quickly. 

The wingers defending in this way means that the opposition could well have an outnumber at the stoppage or at contests in the middle of the ground. This is where our contest game comes up trumps and where our ability to use the ball better from half back forward means we don't get exposed by those opposition wingers.

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9 minutes ago, A F said:

We could never defend our defensive 50 like we can now. That Richmond first quarter would have seen 4 or 5+ goals against in 2018. It's not just defensive personnel, it's system. We clog up space so much better, we're well organised, which leads then to the inevitable long kick to a contest inside 50, and it's usually to a bunch of contests/10-15 players. Our mids and backs defend the drop of the ball and try and use this situation as a way of slingshotting back the other way or getting it out of bounds for a reset. In other words, the manic forward pressure from 2018 and this year, is now in our defensive 50 too.

The only way Richmond could score from this sort of play was from a mistake, kicking an arsey or freakish goal (see Riewoldt nutmegging Tomlinson and soccering from the boundary) or a big contested mark (see Bolton a few times). The commentators were saying as much on the night.

And given we clutter up the D50 so heavily, it's a very low percentage play for the opposition kicking to such a big contest. It makes them second guess themselves. In previous years that wouldn't bother a team like Richmond, because their smalls would hit that drop zone of the Riewoldt, Lynch or Martin contest. But that's harder to do with Max dropping back in front of their talls and the greater defensive intensity and hardened bodies of our mids and defenders at the drop of the ball.

Yeah we used to be either win the ball back right away or we were in trouble. I still think we've got a bit of work to do on what happens in the first 10 or so seconds after a quick forward entry if we don't get an intercept mark or a clean spoil - the Hawthorn goals in the first quarter and the start of the last were examples of that - but it's improving, the intercepting is better and the cavalry is arriving faster.

Rivers and Hunt can probably track their men and tackle better and the talls still aren't at full cohesion on how to block and when to stay down but yeah it's certainly better than the days of praying we won the ball back immediately. 

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2 minutes ago, A F said:

Yep, the problem is this very likely won't work all season and we don't do it every time, but I'm hopeful our coaches have a few extra aces up their sleeves as the season progresses. It reminds me of the Diamond Defence. It was innovative, but combatted pretty quickly. 

The wingers defending in this way means that the opposition could well have an outnumber at the stoppage or at contests in the middle of the ground. This is where our contest game comes up trumps and where our ability to use the ball better from half back forward means we don't get exposed by those opposition wingers.

The brilliance of Langdon is he can be dropping 30m behind his man then in a flash he's closed right up on them. The number of times he overtakes his opponent on a wing run is quite freakish. My main worry is a team has a big wing who can sit on the 50 and out mark him but they'll need to move the ball fast and wide to do so.

Gus probably needs a bit more half forward cover to find his man when he drops back but that's ANB and Spargo's job.

Collingwood have been the masters of dropping the wings. They've just struggled to get any attacking power from them. 

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I'm sure it's been mentioned in this thread already but I go back to the forward 50 pressure. It seemed with all the inside 50s were getting we really just needed to get more forward 50 stoppage and more scoring shots from entries. It's pretty simple but it's been in my opinion the biggest difference. You a unit of Kozzie, Spargo and ANB but also guy like Fritsch are making good tackles in the 50 as well. I feel that this has rubbed off on those guys but also the others who have bought in and we don't look unsure of ourselves anymore. We're forcing more stoppages which is what guys like Clarry and Viney want all day. 

We really did play like individuals at times last year. Certain players wanted to be the hero and they were 'me' guys before 'we' guys. We now have a team of switched on players who are willing to do whatever necessary to help a mate out. With all these factors the confidence grows and multiple players look better as a result. 

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11 minutes ago, Neil Crompton said:

A big difference this year is that, so far, we have not conceded goals in the last minute or so of quarters. 

We have a long history of doing this, and thus going to the break deflated - instead of empowered.

Great change - especially for us supporters.

Forgot about how often it used to happen. It was always the case and so annoying.

Now we arw doing it against teams. Love it.

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21 minutes ago, layzie said:

I'm sure it's been mentioned in this thread already but I go back to the forward 50 pressure. It seemed with all the inside 50s were getting we really just needed to get more forward 50 stoppage and more scoring shots from entries. It's pretty simple but it's been in my opinion the biggest difference. You a unit of Kozzie, Spargo and ANB but also guy like Fritsch are making good tackles in the 50 as well. I feel that this has rubbed off on those guys but also the others who have bought in and we don't look unsure of ourselves anymore. We're forcing more stoppages which is what guys like Clarry and Viney want all day. 

We really did play like individuals at times last year. Certain players wanted to be the hero and they were 'me' guys before 'we' guys. We now have a team of switched on players who are willing to do whatever necessary to help a mate out. With all these factors the confidence grows and multiple players look better as a result. 

Was great to see Kozzie kick to Fritta and not just blaze away himself.

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