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Centre Clearances - Considered Analysis Requested.



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No Viney no centre clearances it would seem. Hope he gets up next week, I reckon we’ll see the difference right away 

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Is it a case of opposition strategists researching how Gawn prefers to play and just reading what he does? That might account for us being better in the past two weeks when Jackson plays in the centre square.

I always remember Damian Monkhorst saying ruckman should never attempt to tap to a player but rather a designated spot on the ground for mids to run onto. I wonder if opposition midfields have got hold of Max's bag of tricks?

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It's a combination of factors IMHO. We are 10 in a row and on top of the ladder because we are hard to score against. The back six, with support from the mids, Max and the forwards drifting down into the middle third of the ground, have been brilliant. This is easily the best defensive set-up I’ve seen in 45 years of watching the Deez. 

The forward set-up continues to be a work in progress. Picking up BBB for what was virtually a song, in today’s terms, was an act of genius. He’ll be a much better player with us than with Norf, and he was darn good with them. I’m yet to speak to a Norf person who does not think that clearing BBB was an act of mindless ludicrousness. 

The midfield, as has been the case for years now, is one paced with similar positive attributes and flaws. These are well documented elsewhere on Demonland. What is required urgently is silk in the square. Think Scott Pendlebury, Simon Black, Shaun Burgoyne, Marcus Bontempelli and the prince of princes, Robert Flower. These players are what I call ‘kill ya’ players. Virtually every time they handle the ball, a scoring opportunity is created. We have one of these on the list, and potentially two, depending on how Kossie develops. In short, it’s time to get Salem into the guts. 
 

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This is a great discussion.  I've read how we look better with Jackson in there.  Jackson barely wins a hit out. What he can do is play as a an extra on baller and will sometimes clean up the opposing rucks hitout.  It is an ok occasional strategy if he can clear it and move it forward.  The problem is that Gawn and most of our midfield work better in real congestion, hence why we almost always win clearance around the ground. We will get the centre work right and when it does happen we will really mess some teams up.  Those advocating Jackson spend more time in the ruck however are not seeing what's actually happening.

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1 hour ago, Clint Bizkit said:

Just think what Cripps will do to us next week from the centre.

Cripes.

Screening at centre bounces, please. Better reading of what Max is going to do, please. More fist hit-outs, please; less 'wristy' kitten taps, please. More pace at the contest - for the ball and for opposition bodies, hopefuls, play readers. Within the rules, mongrel needs to be applied and achieved.

 

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And who is our midfield coach? part problem with the centre clearances is Max no longer jumps for the ball Goldstein cleaned him up in that area last week last around the ground Max is great but this is one area he is struggling against good ruckman.

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It’s not so much the 4-17 discrepancy that hurts us, it’s the manner of the 17 against. 

Far, far too many were cleared out the Sydney attacking side of the circle. So we’re conceding them in the most dangerous way possible. 

It’s not talent. We were 33-22 in all other stoppages. So IMO it’s strategy more than anything.

I’m convinced other teams are planning for us at a level we’ve never experienced before. I’m also convinced Viney being out is a huge loss. Jordon, Harmes and Jones (last week) aren’t close to his level and don’t apply defensive pressure on the opposition mids like Viney does. 

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Just a thought.

When the Hawks were busy winning premierships Clarko said that winning the centre clearance numbers was overrated. Clarko learned his coaching craft under Choco.

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It's not a new problem, we've been trending this way for a while.

MFC Centre Clearances

2018 - 1st
2019 - 2nd
2020 - 13th
2021 - 17th

Team v Opponent Averages

2018 - 1st
2019 - 3rd
2020 - 12th
2021 - 16th

 

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2 hours ago, rjay said:

Yes, but if I had the choice of winning the centre clearances or winning on the scoreboard I know which one I would prefer.

Exactly.

Put yourself in the shoes of a swans supporter. 

They smashed us in centre clearances. And had more inside 50s.

And lost.

How frustrated would you be?

Well, we all know the answer because in most games we have lost under goodie that has been us.

We now have beaten last years two grand finalists, a side that won a final last year and a side sitting fourth this year after round 7. 

All have super midfields. And all very  good teams.

Yet our defence has held up. And we have prevailed. No reason why it won't against future opponents, assuming we apply our base line all team pressure as we did last night (and didn't do in the first half against the roos).

Again, you don't want to lose centre square clearnces. But break even is fine. Whereas we used to aim for winning that metric, as evidenced by being near the top of clearnce differential tables under goody.

In that same period the tigers have been bottom or near bottom of that table. And won three flags.

This year when we are mirroring the tigers. And ate unbeaten after 8 rounds for the first time in 56 years.

As problems go, it's fair to say the dees have much worse ones than our current clearance differential numbers.

Our emphasis on clearances has changed. 

But one thing that hasn't - and won't- is the importance of pressure and winning the contest.

As goody said in his presser - contest is king

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, binman said:

Exactly.

Put yourself in the shoes of a swans supporter. 

They smashed us in centre clearances. And had more inside 50s.

And lost.

How frustrated would you be?

Well, we all know the answer because in most games we have lost under goodie that has been us.

We now have beaten last years two grand finalists, a side that won a final last year and a side sitting fourth this year after round 7. 

All have super midfields. And all very  good teams.

Yet our defence has held up. And we have prevailed. No reason why it won't against future opponents, assuming we apply our base line all team pressure as we did last night (and didn't do in the first half against the roos).

Again, you don't want to lose centre square clearnces. But break even is fine. Whereas we used to aim for winning that metric, as evidenced by being near the top of clearnce differential tables under goody.

In that same period the tigers have been bottom or near bottom of that table. And won three flags.

This year when we are mirroring the tigers. And ate unbeaten after 8 rounds for the first time in 56 years.

As problems go, it's fair to say the dees have much worse ones than our current clearance differential numbers.

Our emphasis on clearances has changed. 

But one thing that hasn't - and won't- is the importance of pressure and winning the contest.

As goody said in his presser - contest is king

Goody also said:

""That means you're sucking up a lot of territory, so it's an area of our game we have to get better. We'll look at that, learn and get better, but it's important to get that right, you give up a lot of territory and have to move the ball from your back half, and that's not how we want to play."

"It's an area we have to get better at. It's a big part of our game and lot of teams' games, so we have to get better at it."

 

Edited by Lord Nev
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1 minute ago, binman said:

Exactly.

Put yourself in the shoes of a swans supporter. 

They smashed us in centre clearances. And had more inside 50s.

And lost.

How frustrated would you be?

Well, we all know the answer because in most games we have lost under goodie that has been us.

We now have beaten last years two grand finalists, a side that won a final last year and a side sitting fourth this year after round 7. 

All have super midfields. And all very  good teams.

Yet our defence has held up. And we have prevailed. No reason why it won't against future opponents, assuming we apply our base line all team pressure as we did last night (and didn't do in the first half against the roos).

Again, you don't want to lose centre square clearnces. But break even is fine. Whereas we used to aim for winning that metric, as evidenced by being near the top of clearnce differential tables under goody.

In that same period the tigers have been bottom or near bottom of that table. And won three flags.

This year when we are mirroring the tigers. And ate unbeaten after 8 rounds for the first time in 56 years.

As problems go, it's fair to say the dees have much worse ones than our current clearance differential numbers.

Our emphasis on clearances has changed. 

But one thing that hasn't - and won't- is the importance of pressure and winning the contest.

As goody said in his presser - contest is king

All of that’s true binman, but (and it’s a great position to be in - seeking to improve an already winning formula) as Goody pointed out, getting smashed in the centre clearances is effectively a free hit to the opposition. Squaring it up would be an excellent outcome.

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7 minutes ago, binman said:

Again, you don't want to lose centre square clearnces. But break even is fine. Whereas we used to aim for winning that metric, as evidenced by being near the top of clearnce differential tables under goody.

In that same period the tigers have been bottom or near bottom of that table. And won three flags.

Richmond Center Clearances v Opponent Averages

2017 - 2nd
2018 - 15th
2019 - 11th
2020 - 8th

That's an average of 9th, I wouldn't call that "bottom or near bottom of that table".

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2 minutes ago, Webber said:

All of that’s true binman, but (and it’s a great position to be in - seeking to improve an already winning formula) as Goody pointed out, getting smashed in the centre clearances is effectively a free hit to the opposition. Squaring it up would be an excellent outcome.

100% agree.

Which is why I said you don't want to lose centre square clearnces. But break even is fine.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Lord Nev said:

Richmond Center Clearances v Opponent Averages

2017 - 2nd
2018 - 15th
2019 - 11th
2020 - 8th

That's an average of 9th, I wouldn't call that "bottom or near bottom of that table".

Total clearance differential table.

Again, as I said abive (and in mutiple other posts about this topic) you don't want to lose centre square clearnces. But break even is fine.

As evidenced by the stats about the tigers in your post. 15th, 11th and 8th in the last 3 years shows tbe shift in tbe game. I assume those rankings correspond to about break even?

Edited by binman
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3 minutes ago, Webber said:

Squaring it up would be an excellent outcome.

When we were dominating centre clearances we were overcommitting to the contest. Now that we are less committed to the contest we have better balance over the whole ground. What would we have to sacrifice from our current structure to square up the centre clearance numbers?

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, binman said:

Total clearance differential table.

Again, as I said abive (and in mutiple other posts about this topic) you don't want to lose centre square clearnces. But break even is fine.

IMO you can't judge it accurately by total clearance differential because there will be different amounts of clearances in every game, and also we're specifically looking at centre clearances. For mine, team v opponent averages is the most accurate picture and Richmond were smack bang in the middle for that over the last 4 years.

I wasn't arguing that break even is fine, I agree with that mate, just that I don't think the stats back up your assertion that Richmond were "bottom or near bottom" for centre clearances.

Edited by Lord Nev
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Lose a clearance count like that to Port, Richmond, Geelong or West Coast and we won't win so we're lucky it was Sydney. 

One player that is starting to bug me is Max Gawn. He's been immense for us around the ground up until the North game. But all year and especially his last two games, his tap work, ability to use his body and his physicality at centre square bounces has been extremely disappointing for a captain. 

Hickey was absolutely all over him, looked much more physical and the same with Goldy the week before. Max needs a serious wakeup call, I'd love choco to get in his ear and show some vision of Max during those contests. 

Maybe he's injured, sore or tired but one the ball leaves his area he just looks completely out of gas. He needs to be far more combative and aggressive in that D1 area. He's the biggest man on the ground for christ sake. 

Get angry Max, stop floating about. 

As for the mids, agree that we're missing Viney, but his addition will not fix a clearance obliteration like we saw last night. This is mostly on Max imo. 

His around the ground work was poor last night too. Missed marks, spoiling our own players, his touch was off, missed a sitter for goal. 

Get to work Max, maybe give your podcast a break this week. 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Lord Nev said:

IMO you can't judge it accurately by total clearance differential because there will be different amounts of clearances in every game, and also we're specifically looking at centre clearances. For mine, team v opponent averages is the most accurate picture and Richmond were smack bang in the middle for that over the last 4 years.

I wasn't arguing that break even is fine, I agree with that mate, just that I don't think the stats back up your assertion that Richmond were "bottom or near bottom" for centre clearances.

I meant total  clearance differential  - stoppages AND centre square 

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