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Centre Clearances - Considered Analysis Requested.



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Max is also not getting it right on the tap downs , as far as he is finding difficult to tap to a Melbourne player.

Thats where it all starts with the Ruckman and onballer connection.

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Posted (edited)

Goodwin really gave everyone an insight - it’s about territory.

We don’t care about clearances per se when the kick is under pressure - it plays into our plan; high backline interceptions through players who are seemingly destined to know when to ruin someone else’s day.

However, the more clearances you let the oppo have the closer those contests to intercept happen to the opposition goals and that means that mistakes matter more and we can leak goals.

We need to not get smashed like we did against good teams. That won’t matter against Carlton next week but def against Bulldogs et al. They will make you pay when given an opportunity to lace out forwards 1v1.

Edited by rpfc
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So I've just wasted 2 hours of my life making notes on all the centre bounces and comparing the setups. I've never done this before so I dunno how useful it is.

1 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Petracca (offensive side), Pickett (defensive side)
Kennedy sprints in to the centre from the wing side and leaves Oliver to eat his dust. The tap is neutral - both ruckman get a piece of it. Kennedy blocks Oliver out of the contest initially. Mills and Oliver compete with the ball; ball falls to Kennedy; Mills blocks Oliver and Kennedy boots it away unopposed. No impact on the contest from Petracca or Gawn. Pickett is standing defensive side ready to block the escape, but the ball gets kicked over his head. Goal results from this clearance.

Eventual goal: Swans

2 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Petracca (defensive side), Jordon (offensive side)
Oliver continues to be professionally blocked by Kennedy. Jordon receives what I would call an illegal hold by Warner - no whistle, play on. Hickey jumps, Gawn stays on the ground and wins the tap, hitting it towards the wing side. Balls go to space, both ruckman scramble after it. Gawn wins, handballs it to nobody. Jordon wins it back, handball to Gawn, handball to Oliver, who gets immediately tackled. Handballs it to nobody again. Hickey picks up the loose ball and boots it out of there. 

Eventual goal: Swans

3 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Petracca (defensive side), Harmes (offensive side)
Kennedy not present in this contest. Gawn wins a tap forward. Harmes chases after the ball and gets friendly fire from Alex Neal-Bullen who slides for the ball and takes Harmes legs out. Both MFC players eat dirt while the Swans half-backs pick up the ball unopposed and clear it. This one should have been ours but for a MFC player error.

Eventual goal: Demons

4 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Harmes (defensive side), Petracca (offensive side)
Oliver blocked out of the contest by Mills initially. Gawn again stays down while Hickey jumps. Hickey misses it, Gawn taps down to space and chases it himself. Swans players are all ahead of their MFC opponents. Mills stops blocking Oliver at the last minute and chases the ball, gets there well before Oliver does. Handballs to space to Parker (Petracca's man - seemed to get caught ball watching) who wins the clearing kick.

Eventual goal: Demons

5 (Swans clearance). Jackson, Jordon (near wing side), Neal-Bullen (defensive side), Petracca (offensive side)
Vastly different setup this time - Petracca as the offensive midfielder starts a lot further away from the contest (he is initially out of frame) and Jordon is starting on the opposite side to where Oliver had been. Bounce favours opposing ruckman (Sinclair) who taps down to Kennedy (Jordon's man). Jordon immediately lays a tackle but it's ineffective; Kennedy handballs out to Parker (Petracca's man) who has bolts out with a clearing kick. 

Eventual goal: Demons

6 (Demons clearance). Gawn, Jordon (far side wing), Neal-Bullen (defensive side), Oliver (offensive side)
Similar setup to previously but Jordon has changed sides. Gawn taps to the advantage of Oliver who hits the contest at speed, handball to Neal-Bullen who gets the clearing kick. 

Eventual goal: Swans

7 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Petracca (far side wing), Harmes (defensive side), Oliver (offensive side)
Gawn wins the tap decisively and appears to be attempting to replicate the previous tap to space, but Oliver doesn't get there this time and the ball is gathered by some Swans mullet on the wing, who was opposing Langdon. Handball goes backwards to Warner who gets tackled, but handballs out to Cunningham who clears it through half back.

No eventuating goal; quarter time.

8. (Swans clearance) Gawn, Petracca (near side wing), Pickett (defensive side), Oliver (offensive side)
Terrible bounce; ruckman end up competing on the circle on our defensive side. Hickey jumps; Gawn doesn't (again), Hickey ends up jumping over Max and Max falls on his arse. Still manages to affect the tap, which falls to the ground. Kennedy is blocking Oliver out of the contest and Mills is blocking Petracca; Warner (Pickett's man) gathers the ball unopposed. Pickett attempts to smother but is ineffective.

Eventual goal: Demons

9 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Jordon (near side wing), Petracca (offensive side), Harmes (defensive side)
Gawn wins the tap and taps it to space on the offensive side. No MFC players in the vicinity, Mills pushes off Jordon and gets there first. Petracca was running in the wrong direction to receive this tap and Jordon was comprehensively outbodied by Mills.

Eventual goal: Demons

10 (Demons clearance). Jackson, Harmes (near side wing), Oliver (offensive side), Melksham (defensive side)
Hickey wins the tap but it goes to Harmes who beats a hold and and breaks a tackle, to run away with the ball and clear it. Unfortunately gets pinged for running too far before the kick. Unlucky because I thought he did everything right here. 

No eventuating goal; half time.

11 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Petracca (far side wing), Pickett (defensive side)
Obviously different setup here with no offensive side player, and all three mids very close by. Oliver and Petracca are both standing basically at the circle, Pickett only a couple of metres away. Gawn wins the tap and... taps to to the offensive side where there are no Melbourne players (or any players). Parker (on Oliver) is first to the ball, again, and handballs to Mills who clears.

Eventual goal: Swans

12 (Demons clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Harmes [I think] (far side wing), Petracca (defensive side)
Same setup as before but different personnel. Telecast is still showing the replay of the goal as the bounce takes place so it's hard to see (onya channel 7). I think it's Harmes on the far side wing, but whoever it is has gone by the time they switch back to the play. It appears Gawn wins the tap. Oliver receives and tries a hurried kick but it's smothered and goes straight up in the air. Petracca gathers and boots it out (down the throat of Sydney's half back).

Eventual goal: Demons

13 (Demons clearance). Jackson, Jordon (near side wing), Petracca (far side wing), Oliver (defensive side)
Slightly different setup again. Players are all very close to the contest still but Petracca is at about 2 o'clock (on offensive side) on the circle instead of at 12 o'clock. I reckon if we'd lined up like this in #11 we would have won a clearance instead of Gawn tapping to nobody. Ball is thrown up instead of bounced, Hickey grabs it. It's a scrap with all players in close. Kennedy initially wins the ball, but Jordon is able to lay an effective enough tackle to draw a dud disposal. Petracca wins the ball, we handball it out. All the mids from this contest touch the ball on the way out, including Jackson. Jordon is the final recipient who delivers inside 50 from half forward, but unfortunately the kick is poor. This was the first clean clearance of the game to us though.

Eventual goal: Demons

14 (Demons clearance). Jackson, Harmes (near side wing), Petracca (far side wing), Oliver (defensive side)
Different setup again, with all the players very close to the contest still, but the wing-side mids now both on the offensive side of the circle - Petracca at 2 o'clock, Harmes at 5 o'clock. Jackson taps to himself and runs the ball out, and wins the clearing kick.

Eventual goal: Demons

15 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Harmes (offensive side), Melksham (defensive side)
Back to the earlier setup with the offensive player a fair way out of the contest. Oliver as the wing side mid is more defensive side (about 7 o'clock). Defensive side player has been in the same position every bounce. Gawn wins the tap and hits it to the advantage of Harmes, who runs in to the space and collects. He is tackled instantly by Hickey and the ball spills. Kennedy gathers, fumbles and taps it forward towards Florent who soccers it clear.

Eventual goal: Swans

16 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Jordon (far side wing), Petracca (defensive side)
No offensive side player again, players all very close to the contest, Oliver at 7 o'clock, Jordon at 12 o'clock. Tap goes towards Florent and Jordon, who gets the quick handball away to Parker who has peeled off Oliver and is running in to the space where there is no Melbourne player to be seen, and gets a long clearing kick to half forward. 

Eventual goal: Swans

17 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Melksham (far side wing - 12 o'clock), Petracca (offensive side), Oliver (defensive side)
Scrap contest, with most of the players ending up on top of each other. Ball spills out and is collected by Mills. Petracca attempts to interfere but is off balance and ends up spinning away from the contest. Clearing handball goes offensive side towards Parker, who had broken away from the pack and was meters in the clear. 

No eventuating goal, three quarter time.

18 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Harmes (near side wing), Petracca (offensive side), Oliver (defensive side)
No clear winner of the tap, ball goes to the defensive side where Oliver appears to be about to gather, but the ball bounces away and the ball is collected by Hickey, who handballs it to the charging Rowbottom who delivers inside 50.

Eventual goal: Swans

19 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Petracca (offensive side), Harmes (defensive side)
Gawn wins the tap, taps towards Petracca who has moved in ahead of his opponent, but the tap is too rich and goes over his and his opponents head. Contest falls Parker and Oliver; Parker clears the ball by kicking it out of the air while wresting Oliver. Can clearly see what we were trying to do here and there was a massive touch of luck in this clearance from Sydney.

Eventual goal: Demons

20 (no clearance). Jackson, Petracca (near side wing), Oliver (offensive side), Harmes (defensive side)
Seem to be settling back in to the earlier setups again now. Jackson wins the tap, and there's a ground level contest between Petracca and Rowbottom. They both overrun, Harmes and Jackson go for the same ball. A scrap ensues with no clearance and there's another ballup.

Eventual goal: Swans
21 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Petracca (near side wing), Harmes (offensive side) Oliver (defensive side/wing - 2 o'clock)
First contest where we didn't have a player directly on the defensive side of the circle. Gawn tap goes backwards in the direction of Petracca (basically stationary, still wrestling with Mills) and Oliver (been pushed out of it by Parker) - ball goes right in between the two of them and Parker hits it at pace and runs out.

Eventual goal: Demons
22 (Swans clearance). Jackson, Harmes (near side wing), Oliver (offensive side), Jordon (defensive side)
Hickey wins the tap, grabs the ball himself and boots it clear. No midfielders touch the ball.

No eventuating goal, game ends.

Thoughts:
I'm definitely no analyst - this is the first time in my life I've ever attempted to scrutinise our setups like this and often I found I had no idea what I was looking at really. But my general notes are:
- 3 of our 4 clearances came when Jackson was rucking - but none of them came from good taps, they were all because he involved himself in the midfielder's contest. Gawn does this too, but not as effecively.
- They sharked our taps from Gawn. This was a clear strategy.
- Sydney's mature midfield combo of Kennedy, Mills and Parker is brilliant. They pantsed our starting midfielders of Petracca, Oliver and Harmes/Jordon. They block for each other too - more than once I would see the player who has just dished the ball off immediately lay a block. I didn't see the Melbourne mids do this once.
- While they won a lot of clearances, very few of them resulted in goals. There were a lot of junk kicks out to the wing or kicks to half-forward where they were outnumbered. Overall despite the fact that they comprehensively beat us out of the middle, we still made it hard for them to score. 
- There was only one drawn contest in the middle. I'm not sure how that compares to normal but I expected more in such a fiercely contested game.

I'd love to sit down and do this for a game where Viney plays and see how it differs. I feel like I'll have a better idea of what I'm seeing and how it differs if I have more of a point of reference.

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34 minutes 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".

This is why we need to fix it up.  In 2018 Richmond had their best home and away season of the last 4 years but were terrible in centre clearance, and it didn’t affect them until 1 bad quarter in a prelim that cost their season.  They would have won 4 in a row if not for their centre clearance problem being exposed when it counted. 

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15 minutes ago, Nasher said:

I've never done this before so I dunno how useful it is.

Given your commitment Nasher, I’d hate to think it wasn’t useful. Beats going to church, either way. Top job!

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1 hour ago, Lord Nev said:

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

It's interesting, we're clearly not doing well in centre clearances this year.

But, we're 8th on team v opponent average clearances and 5th for team v opponent average stoppage clearances.

We're also a very, very clear 1st for team v opponent average intercepts, at +8.5. West Coast is second at +3.4. And we're also first for average marks inside 50 conceded, at 9.5 (Geelong at 9.8 is the only other side below 11).

So, we struggle in the centre bounce set up, but we generally don't concede marks from those inside 50s, and we're a strong side for stoppages around the ground.

The question I suppose is whether we can get better at centre clearances and add that string to our bow, or whether it's just not going to happen this year but it's also not going to destroy us, given our strength in other areas.

So we know that we intercept

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34 minutes ago, Nasher said:

So I've just wasted 2 hours of my life making notes on all the centre bounces and comparing the setups. I've never done this before so I dunno how useful it is.

1 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Petracca (offensive side), Pickett (defensive side)
Kennedy sprints in to the centre from the wing side and leaves Oliver to eat his dust. The tap is neutral - both ruckman get a piece of it. Kennedy blocks Oliver out of the contest initially. Mills and Oliver compete with the ball; ball falls to Kennedy; Mills blocks Oliver and Kennedy boots it away unopposed. No impact on the contest from Petracca or Gawn. Pickett is standing defensive side ready to block the escape, but the ball gets kicked over his head. Goal results from this clearance.

Eventual goal: Swans

2 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Petracca (defensive side), Jordon (offensive side)
Oliver continues to be professionally blocked by Kennedy. Jordon receives what I would call an illegal hold by Warner - no whistle, play on. Hickey jumps, Gawn stays on the ground and wins the tap, hitting it towards the wing side. Balls go to space, both ruckman scramble after it. Gawn wins, handballs it to nobody. Jordon wins it back, handball to Gawn, handball to Oliver, who gets immediately tackled. Handballs it to nobody again. Hickey picks up the loose ball and boots it out of there. 

Eventual goal: Swans

3 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Petracca (defensive side), Harmes (offensive side)
Kennedy not present in this contest. Gawn wins a tap forward. Harmes chases after the ball and gets friendly fire from Alex Neal-Bullen who slides for the ball and takes Harmes legs out. Both MFC players eat dirt while the Swans half-backs pick up the ball unopposed and clear it. This one should have been ours but for a MFC player error.

Eventual goal: Demons

4 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (far wing side), Harmes (defensive side), Petracca (offensive side)
Oliver blocked out of the contest by Mills initially. Gawn again stays down while Hickey jumps. Hickey misses it, Gawn taps down to space and chases it himself. Swans players are all ahead of their MFC opponents. Mills stops blocking Oliver at the last minute and chases the ball, gets there well before Oliver does. Handballs to space to Parker (Petracca's man - seemed to get caught ball watching) who wins the clearing kick.

Eventual goal: Demons

5 (Swans clearance). Jackson, Jordon (near wing side), Neal-Bullen (defensive side), Petracca (offensive side)
Vastly different setup this time - Petracca as the offensive midfielder starts a lot further away from the contest (he is initially out of frame) and Jordon is starting on the opposite side to where Oliver had been. Bounce favours opposing ruckman (Sinclair) who taps down to Kennedy (Jordon's man). Jordon immediately lays a tackle but it's ineffective; Kennedy handballs out to Parker (Petracca's man) who has bolts out with a clearing kick. 

Eventual goal: Demons

6 (Demons clearance). Gawn, Jordon (far side wing), Neal-Bullen (defensive side), Oliver (offensive side)
Similar setup to previously but Jordon has changed sides. Gawn taps to the advantage of Oliver who hits the contest at speed, handball to Neal-Bullen who gets the clearing kick. 

Eventual goal: Swans

7 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Petracca (far side wing), Harmes (defensive side), Oliver (offensive side)
Gawn wins the tap decisively and appears to be attempting to replicate the previous tap to space, but Oliver doesn't get there this time and the ball is gathered by some Swans mullet on the wing, who was opposing Langdon. Handball goes backwards to Warner who gets tackled, but handballs out to Cunningham who clears it through half back.

No eventuating goal; quarter time.

8. (Swans clearance) Gawn, Petracca (near side wing), Pickett (defensive side), Oliver (offensive side)
Terrible bounce; ruckman end up competing on the circle on our defensive side. Hickey jumps; Gawn doesn't (again), Hickey ends up jumping over Max and Max falls on his [censored]. Still manages to affect the tap, which falls to the ground. Kennedy is blocking Oliver out of the contest and Mills is blocking Petracca; Warner (Pickett's man) gathers the ball unopposed. Pickett attempts to smother but is ineffective.

Eventual goal: Demons

9 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Jordon (near side wing), Petracca (offensive side), Harmes (defensive side)
Gawn wins the tap and taps it to space on the offensive side. No MFC players in the vicinity, Mills pushes off Jordon and gets there first. Petracca was running in the wrong direction to receive this tap and Jordon was comprehensively outbodied by Mills.

Eventual goal: Demons

10 (Demons clearance). Jackson, Harmes (near side wing), Oliver (offensive side), Melksham (defensive side)
Hickey wins the tap but it goes to Harmes who beats a hold and and breaks a tackle, to run away with the ball and clear it. Unfortunately gets pinged for running too far before the kick. Unlucky because I thought he did everything right here. 

No eventuating goal; half time.

11 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Petracca (far side wing), Pickett (defensive side)
Obviously different setup here with no offensive side player, and all three mids very close by. Oliver and Petracca are both standing basically at the circle, Pickett only a couple of metres away. Gawn wins the tap and... taps to to the offensive side where there are no Melbourne players (or any players). Parker (on Oliver) is first to the ball, again, and handballs to Mills who clears.

Eventual goal: Swans

12 (Demons clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Harmes [I think] (far side wing), Petracca (defensive side)
Same setup as before but different personnel. Telecast is still showing the replay of the goal as the bounce takes place so it's hard to see (onya channel 7). I think it's Harmes on the far side wing, but whoever it is has gone by the time they switch back to the play. It appears Gawn wins the tap. Oliver receives and tries a hurried kick but it's smothered and goes straight up in the air. Petracca gathers and boots it out (down the throat of Sydney's half back).

Eventual goal: Demons

13 (Demons clearance). Jackson, Jordon (near side wing), Petracca (far side wing), Oliver (defensive side)
Slightly different setup again. Players are all very close to the contest still but Petracca is at about 2 o'clock (on offensive side) on the circle instead of at 12 o'clock. I reckon if we'd lined up like this in #11 we would have won a clearance instead of Gawn tapping to nobody. Ball is thrown up instead of bounced, Hickey grabs it. It's a scrap with all players in close. Kennedy initially wins the ball, but Jordon is able to lay an effective enough tackle to draw a dud disposal. Petracca wins the ball, we handball it out. All the mids from this contest touch the ball on the way out, including Jackson. Jordon is the final recipient who delivers inside 50 from half forward, but unfortunately the kick is poor. This was the first clean clearance of the game to us though.

Eventual goal: Demons

14 (Demons clearance). Jackson, Harmes (near side wing), Petracca (far side wing), Oliver (defensive side)
Different setup again, with all the players very close to the contest still, but the wing-side mids now both on the offensive side of the circle - Petracca at 2 o'clock, Harmes at 5 o'clock. Jackson taps to himself and runs the ball out, and wins the clearing kick.

Eventual goal: Demons

15 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Harmes (offensive side), Melksham (defensive side)
Back to the earlier setup with the offensive player a fair way out of the contest. Oliver as the wing side mid is more defensive side (about 7 o'clock). Defensive side player has been in the same position every bounce. Gawn wins the tap and hits it to the advantage of Harmes, who runs in to the space and collects. He is tackled instantly by Hickey and the ball spills. Kennedy gathers, fumbles and taps it forward towards Florent who soccers it clear.

Eventual goal: Swans

16 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Jordon (far side wing), Petracca (defensive side)
No offensive side player again, players all very close to the contest, Oliver at 7 o'clock, Jordon at 12 o'clock. Tap goes towards Florent and Jordon, who gets the quick handball away to Parker who has peeled off Oliver and is running in to the space where there is no Melbourne player to be seen, and gets a long clearing kick to half forward. 

Eventual goal: Swans

17 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Melksham (far side wing - 12 o'clock), Petracca (offensive side), Oliver (defensive side)
Scrap contest, with most of the players ending up on top of each other. Ball spills out and is collected by Mills. Petracca attempts to interfere but is off balance and ends up spinning away from the contest. Clearing handball goes offensive side towards Parker, who had broken away from the pack and was meters in the clear. 

No eventuating goal, three quarter time.

18 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Harmes (near side wing), Petracca (offensive side), Oliver (defensive side)
No clear winner of the tap, ball goes to the defensive side where Oliver appears to be about to gather, but the ball bounces away and the ball is collected by Hickey, who handballs it to the charging Rowbottom who delivers inside 50.

Eventual goal: Swans

19 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Oliver (near side wing), Petracca (offensive side), Harmes (defensive side)
Gawn wins the tap, taps towards Petracca who has moved in ahead of his opponent, but the tap is too rich and goes over his and his opponents head. Contest falls Parker and Oliver; Parker clears the ball by kicking it out of the air while wresting Oliver. Can clearly see what we were trying to do here and there was a massive touch of luck in this clearance from Sydney.

Eventual goal: Demons

20 (no clearance). Jackson, Petracca (near side wing), Oliver (offensive side), Harmes (defensive side)
Seem to be settling back in to the earlier setups again now. Jackson wins the tap, and there's a ground level contest between Petracca and Rowbottom. They both overrun, Harmes and Jackson go for the same ball. A scrap ensues with no clearance and there's another ballup.

Eventual goal: Swans
21 (Swans clearance). Gawn, Petracca (near side wing), Harmes (offensive side) Oliver (defensive side/wing - 2 o'clock)
First contest where we didn't have a player directly on the defensive side of the circle. Gawn tap goes backwards in the direction of Petracca (basically stationary, still wrestling with Mills) and Oliver (been pushed out of it by Parker) - ball goes right in between the two of them and Parker hits it at pace and runs out.

Eventual goal: Demons
22 (Swans clearance). Jackson, Harmes (near side wing), Oliver (offensive side), Jordon (defensive side)
Hickey wins the tap, grabs the ball himself and boots it clear. No midfielders touch the ball.

No eventuating goal, game ends.

Thoughts:
I'm definitely no analyst - this is the first time in my life I've ever attempted to scrutinise our setups like this and often I found I had no idea what I was looking at really. But my general notes are:
- 3 of our 4 clearances came when Jackson was rucking - but none of them came from good taps, they were all because he involved himself in the midfielder's contest. Gawn does this too, but not as effecively.
- They sharked our taps from Gawn. This was a clear strategy.
- Sydney's mature midfield combo of Kennedy, Mills and Parker is brilliant. They pantsed our starting midfielders of Petracca, Oliver and Harmes/Jordon. They block for each other too - more than once I would see the player who has just dished the ball off immediately lay a block. I didn't see the Melbourne mids do this once.
- While they won a lot of clearances, very few of them resulted in goals. There were a lot of junk kicks out to the wing or kicks to half-forward where they were outnumbered. Overall despite the fact that they comprehensively beat us out of the middle, we still made it hard for them to score. 
- There was only one drawn contest in the middle. I'm not sure how that compares to normal but I expected more in such a fiercely contested game.

I'd love to sit down and do this for a game where Viney plays and see how it differs. I feel like I'll have a better idea of what I'm seeing and how it differs if I have more of a point of reference.

Great analysis and exactly what happened.  Jackson is not a ruckman at this stage.  He plays the role of nuisance value at the ball up then acts as an extra mid.  His follow up work is very good, but for us to win the flag we need much better connection between the premier ruck in the game and the midfield at centre bounce.  Viney will make some difference to  this.  Love your work, Nasher.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe just me, but I feel when we do get our hands on it, our centre mids do look for that extra handball to a player in space or trying to hit a player running a fraction more than the opposition. Some would it call it being cute and perhaps means we dont 'win' a clearance when we could. I'm generally ok with it, as others have suggested it's what you do with the clearance that ultimately matters.

What's not great is when they do get clear, our starting centre mids are below average kicks.  Not an urgent need, but another elite kick through our midfield would make us very damaging.  

Edited by Jjrogan
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Pretty sure the brains trust don’t plan on conceding the centre bounces and definitely not by 17-4. That’s terrible.

I know our defensive shape is very solid but there’s no reason why we can’t have that and win our fair share of centre bounces. They are not mutually exclusive propositions.

The problem starts with Maxy. He’s off at the moment. Not winning taps and no use at ground level. At least Dogga brings the ground ball capability so looks a better option at the moment. Hopefully Max can re-discover his touch and form because until he does we’ll struggle. I think part of the reason for the loss of form is the opposition work him over physically. Over the first 8 weeks how many belts to the back of the head has he copped. The accumulative impact is taking a toll. I don’t think it’s a coincidence his output has dropped since the Richmond game when the Nank, Lynch et al gave him a sly dig at ever single contest. I don’t know how you combat this because umpires don’t pay the free kicks as its low level but the damage accumulates.

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amazing work @Nasher

imagine if the football media actually analysed footy like this; yes, i realise it's a bit myopic to have a single-team focus, but the thing is 'centre clearances' in this game were starkly in contrast to the rest of the stoppages and ultimately the result

fascinating stuff, two hours well spent i say!

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6 hours ago, Wells 11 said:

centre clearances were 17-4 against!  I wonder how long it’s been since ANY team has been beaten like that in that stat. 

When you think about the quality of the players in there ( three probable AA’s) it’s just hard to fathom. 

I look forward to seeing our positioning and % of wins in the centre evolve! 

How many of those Center Clearances resulted in clean entrys into our F50? and how many resulted in scores? That would be the concerning aspect of it.

Its not great and you would like to be breaking even in the center, but because our defensive systems are off the charts.

We are the elite of the elite, we can withstand a comprehensive  statistic differential like this and still win in others areas and get the chocolates.

Its a massive feather in the caps of the coaching and analytical set ups in place.

 

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41 minutes ago, Watson11 said:

This is why we need to fix it up.  In 2018 Richmond had their best home and away season of the last 4 years but were terrible in centre clearance, and it didn’t affect them until 1 bad quarter in a prelim that cost their season.  They would have won 4 in a row if not for their centre clearance problem being exposed when it counted. 

Best it happens now, it's exposed and our coaching team can go to work on it and fix this problem.

It has come at a good time and no damage has been done. 8-0

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Nasher said:

So I've just wasted 2 hours of my life making notes on all the centre bounces and comparing the setups. I've never done this before so I dunno how useful it is.

Well Done Nash.

A few points  in general, (not specifically about your post) - Viney would have helped, but he's obviously not the reason we're getting beaten in that area because it's been happening for a while and as others have pointed out - how important is it really?  The first and second best pressure sides playing each other and we lost 4-17 and yet it really didn't have as much influence on the result as say the weather  did.  

I feel over the last two  weeks the opposition have really put a lot of work into us in that area.  Guys like Kennedy, Parker and Cunnington are inside specialists and one of the biggest changes this year is we are far more outside the contest than we have ever been.  I'm sure it's not the plan to lose centre clearances, but equally you don't want the ball to get outside the contest to clear air for a better kick into your defensive fifty.  You can't have both, so how do you set up. I felt last night a lot of Hickey's influence was to keep the ball in tight to get Swans first hands on the pill and they were happy to get the scrambled kick out of the middle where as we flick it around until we can get a more precise kick away.   Yes there was a lot of scragging and holding but there always is, it doesn't seem to effect either Oliver or Tracc in how they play. 

I think Yze has a look, but it's not a huge concern nor do we need to play any trump cards in  terms of changing our centre square set ups at this time of year either.  Roll on Dees!

Edited by grazman
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I'm not sure on the details but superficially it appears to be down to Max looking at the stats.  Hickey had 3 centre clearances himself - Max 0.  They each had 3 around the ground.  Oliver had 10 total - 9 around the ground, 1 centre.  Max just doesn't seem to be giving a 2nd effort at the centre bounce to block for the mids.  He doesn't really jump so he should be able to follow up - he generally wins the tap so he knows where the ball is.  

As @Lucifer's Hero observed he's playing massive game time - 95% last week and 84% this week - that seems excessive with Jackson in the side and 3 tall forwards and 3 tall backs.  He's just not holding his marks around the ground either - although it was slippery last night and only TMac seemed able to - Sinclair dropping 2 regulation chest marks and even Steven May spilling one.  I think Max is beaten up and needs to play less minutes or have a week off.

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When we were winning the initial clearance decisively, oppo teams would wait on the outside and sweat on us. We would often cough the ball up. We would win clearances but lose the game. That was a clear strategy to beat Melbourne.

Too many bees to the honeypot, see ball get ball types in there.

A real focus under Yze is to win the contest after the initial contest as this is often more important.

 I think the pendulum has swung too far and we aren't adjusting very well.

And Viney is a much bigger loss than people realise.

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4 hours ago, rpfc said:

Viney does things for Oliver and Trac; blocks, takes the coverage on the offensive side, or just takes the most dangerous player in the stoppage. 

So he hurts when he isn’t there.

But don’t confuse the contest with stoppages - we are still elite with contests around the ground and pressure the ones that the opposition win so much that they turn it over. 

So while we are putting ourselves on the back foot it isn’t the end of the world that are we are getting done in the centre clearances.

It backs up what I was posting a few months ago about clearances losing importance as teams adjust to rules that allow them to counterattack so easily.

Viney plays the defensive role. It’s why I wanted Sparrow to play because this is also where he excels. 

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4 hours ago, Clint Bizkit said:

Great thread.

Major alarm bells were going off last week when we decided to let Cunnington do as he please.

Sadly, nothing changed this week and perhaps that’s just a result Viney being out but either way it’s a huge issue that needs to be fixed ASAP.

In fact, it’s remarkable that we are so bad with the best ruckman in the game and so many competitive beast midfielders.

The issue with losing centre clearances is it essentially a free inside 50 to the opposition with even numbers.

 

Yep Clint. We need to sort this out ASAP and at least even it up. We win our share of centre clearances which allows BBB and TMac plus the smalls to be one out and good chances for quick goals. Keep it up same as last night and very difficult to keep kicking winning scores from back half.

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7 minutes ago, Pollyanna said:

I'm not sure on the details but superficially it appears to be down to Max looking at the stats.  Hickey had 3 centre clearances himself - Max 0.  They each had 3 around the ground.  Oliver had 10 total - 9 around the ground, 1 centre.  Max just doesn't seem to be giving a 2nd effort at the centre bounce to block for the mids.  He doesn't really jump so he should be able to follow up - he generally wins the tap so he knows where the ball is.  

As @Lucifer's Hero observed he's playing massive game time - 95% last week and 84% this week - that seems excessive with Jackson in the side and 3 tall forwards and 3 tall backs.  He's just not holding his marks around the ground either - although it was slippery last night and only TMac seemed able to - Sinclair dropping 2 regulation chest marks and even Steven May spilling one.  I think Max is beaten up and needs to play less minutes or have a week off.

Agree completely Polly week off v Carlton or Adelaide 

He looked tired and hurt last night we need him fit and healthy for later in the season

Maybe ruck Daw and LJ for a couple of weeks Just a thought

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We had no one playing the defensive sweeper role last night.

Hickey won or neutralised many of the contests or appeared to so don't underestimate his contribution.  Tapping/knocking forward or diagonally forward.

No sweeper and most either at the contest or not goal side of their opponent allowed the Swans to exit front of stoppages far too easily under little or no pressure.

In addition they seemed to have a bit of extra toe at ground contests.  Adding Kozzie into the mix for short stints, as we've been doing prior to last night, may have helped even things up a little.

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And before everyone goes completely off the rails about Gawn and his value to the team, look back over the first 6 rounds.  Even Simon Madden wasn't best on every week.  He's not been beaten in either of the last two games (both the Age and Herald Sun listed him amongst the best last night).  Not at his best perhaps, and definitely we've looked worse because of it, but suggestions that we are better when he isn't in the ruck are ludicrous and based on a very small sample size.  Let's see what the coaches and players come up with this week.  I'm expecting a return to regular programming next week.

Total clearance numbers 39-37 our way, which means we won 35-20 in around the ground clearance.  That's always been Gawn and Oliver's greatest strength.  The space afforded centre clearance doesn't help us and the swans ability to block for space stood out as Nasher pointed out.  Around the ground with 20 plus bodies involved is where Max and Clarry do their best work.  

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I would give Gawn a week off against Carlton. It allows him to freshen up. Weideman can come in for a game. Jackson and Tmac can take the ruck work and Brown can ruck up forward with Weideman. 
 

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One thing I'd love to have a better handle on is who determines how the midfield sets up - I saw several different setups, but the midfielders always lined up 1-on-1 against each other - so which players are leading and which players are following? Whatever the case may be, Parker was nearly always able to find space, no matter where the gap was in the initial setup. Of the 6 core midfielders (Parker/Kennedy/Mills vs Oliver/Petracca/Harmes), he was by far the most damaging in the centre clearances because he was always able to get clear.

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This is an on going problem. I don't really blame the ruckman for this but our centre bounce pplayers seem to have "nimble" fingers in that they often get 1st touch of the ball but turn it straight over to opposition players who then clear it. How to solve such a problem is not easy. We need at least 1 utside runner who can get the ball passed to him for better clearances. But who. Brayshaw ?.A;so we seem to be bettter with Jackson in the ruck at the  moment. Maybe time to rest max for a week or use him more down back or forwards as required.

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  • Nasher changed the title to Centre Clearances - Considered Analysis Requested.

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