Jump to content

  • Podcast:      

  • Podcast:      

Centre Clearances - Considered Analysis Requested.



Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, Clint Bizkit said:

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

Cripes.

Probably not that much. He’s been average the past two seasons, wins less clearances and contested possessions than both Oliver and Petracca. He’s not a match winner either, and gets overrated by the media. Carlton have other more damaging players to worry about. 

Walsh is comfortably their best midfielder this year. We need to make sure he has strong pressure applied all day, as his disposal is poor when pressured. If he’s allowed to run then he’ll break lines and do damage though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We’ve lacked a defensive sweeper or defensive stopper at centre bounces the past fortnight with Viney out. Petracca and Oliver push to get on the offensive, which is fine, but they don’t react quick enough to get back the other way. Guys like Jordan, Harmes, Pickett etc also weren’t paying another defensive respect to opponents as the third mid. Our third centre stoppage mid needs to be coached to be more defensive to allow Trac and Oliver to be attacking. If they don’t win it, third mid needs to lock it in. Recently, that hasn’t happened and guys like Cunnington have just waltzed out of centre bounces. The return of Viney will help immensely, but regardless our third mid needs to be repositioned and have their role altered.

Both Goldstein and Hickey got on top of Gawn the last two matches and their follow up work was good too. Hickey had more clearances than most of our mids last night! We looked better with Jackson in the ruck because he’s less predictable with his taps than Max, and he follows up better at ground level too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


5 minutes ago, Lord Travis said:

We’ve lacked a defensive sweeper or defensive stopper at centre bounces the past fortnight with Viney out. Petracca and Oliver push to get on the offensive, which is fine, but they don’t react quick enough to get back the other way. Guys like Jordan, Harmes, Pickett etc also weren’t paying another defensive respect to opponents as the third mid. Our third centre stoppage mid needs to be coached to be more defensive to allow Trac and Oliver to be attacking. If they don’t win it, third mid needs to lock it in. Recently, that hasn’t happened and guys like Cunnington have just waltzed out of centre bounces. The return of Viney will help immensely, but regardless our third mid needs to be repositioned and have their role altered.

Both Goldstein and Hickey got on top of Gawn the last two matches and their follow up work was good too. Hickey had more clearances than most of our mids last night! We looked better with Jackson in the ruck because he’s less predictable with his taps than Max, and he follows up better at ground level too.

I've heard a few people say we've lacked a defensive sweeper - where would the defensive sweeper line up? I'm assuming you mean a player lining up at about half way towards the back of the square, but I'm not sure how you do that with 666. We had a player defensive side of the contest on all but one centre square bounce and they weren't getting drawn in to the contest, but they watched the ball sail over their heads a lot.

On Jackson - I think it's less that he's unpredictable with his taps, and more that he just doesn't win the tap. The only tap he won from the centre square went to himself. The rest of his impact in the centre square is because of his ground level work, which is exceptional, and better than Max, but he's got a way to go in terms of hitouts. It became clear to me why he isn't spending larger amounts of time in the ruck.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Lord Travis said:

 

Both Goldstein and Hickey got on top of Gawn the last two matches and their follow up work was good too. Hickey had more clearances than most of our mids last night! We looked better with Jackson in the ruck because he’s less predictable with his taps than Max, and he follows up better at ground level too.

I don't know that they've got on top, but they've at least broken even.  Hickey roved a couple of Max's taps for his clearances and Jackson did the same to Hickey.  Your point about predictability is a valid one, but not because of Jackson's taps - he rarely gets any.  His best work is on the follow up to the other ruckman's hitouts - almost a Max in reverse situation.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Clint Bizkit said:

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 

 

We stopped Cunnington after half time.

Kennedy, Florent and Parker were not too influential. In the past, can be game winners.

Hickey played well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours 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.

What a patient and  diligent analysis - hope Ooze and Goodwin at least read it. Great work.  
 

I tend to agree with those who say Jackson is involved with more clearances than Max not because of his tap work but because he is an extra mid. 
 

Not sure how this great analytical work will help but I sure hope it is taken on board. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Without post game watching of the matches, these are my thoughts.

We focus on pushing the opponents around with shoulder to shoulder contact hoping for a front position prior to the bounce. At the bounce we separate and hope for a look at the ball. If an opponent is being tagged, we stay with them.

The straggling that occurs, limits our ability to run onto the ball, from the taps. If we could find separation and watch the bounce and not the opposition, we could get to the ball quicker. Eye on the ball, back to basics.

We started reorganising the centre when the other teams were getting Max's taps. They don't get the taps now, but the opponents are winning the ground balls. The pushing gets us out of position and the opponents take advantage. 

Would like to see us go back to running with various angles through the bounce area. Hitting it with pace means they have to have less wrestling and more push off's, in order to take advantage of our tap wins.

Edited by kev martin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, monoccular said:

What a patient and  diligent analysis - hope Ooze and Goodwin at least read it. Great work.  
 

I tend to agree with those who say Jackson is involved with more clearances than Max not because of his tap work but because he is an extra mid. 
 

Not sure how this great analytical work will help but I sure hope it is taken on board. 

Wishful thinking.

They do review the video of each clearance in slo-mo, freeze frame and real time. There is plenty of analysis done and 'learnings' that come out of it. They also use overhead footage and down the ground footage.

They'll more than likely be at the game today with Carlton analysing the set ups as well.

 

But I think you know this..

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Just on Maxy. Last night he won 43 hitouts to Hickey's 17. Jacko had 7 to Sinclair's 12. I understand the debate about effectiveness of hitous etc especially in this game but talk of not having him in the ruck is fanciful.

I am pretty certain Max is carrying an injury. Maybe at least cracked ribs. Lynch kneed him in the kidney area in the first quarter of the Tigers game and a friend at the game said from that point on he was visibly struggling to get to contests around the ground. I'd say he's definitely playing through something. 

Edited by It's Time
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, It's Time said:

Just on Maxy. Last night he won 43 hitouts to Hickey's 17. Jacko had 7 to Sinclair's 12. I understand the debate about effectiveness of hitous etc especially in this game but talk of not having him in the ruck is fanciful.

 

Especially the way Carlton are dismantling the Bulldogs right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2018 Brayshaw was our clearance king. Finished 3rd in the Brownlow.

2019 Brayshaw was sent to half back, a position he hadn’t played previously. Was taken out of the game.

2020 Brayshaw was lucky to get a game and there was a lot of public talk of him being traded.

2021 Brayshaw back to the wing. He is one of our most sure handed players and has a great kick and handball either side. Should spend more time st centre bounces.

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been worried about the centre clearances for most of the season. I posted the below stats on the Gameplan, tactics... thread but have posted again as they've now become even more relevant.

Let's be clear Goody has recognised it as a real problem that needs fixing. He mentioned it after the Saints game and again last night. I know binman has a theory that they aren't that big an issue and it doesn't matter that much because we are winning. I respectfully disagree big time. Yes we are playing great footy at the moment and great defence but that is only disguising the fact that if they don't get sorted out we will not go to the next level. Both the Dogs and Port are better than us and Tigers are improving.  We were lucky last night. Buddy was out of form coming back in on a wet night and they missed a series of snaps that could easily have won them the game. We shouldn't have been in that position and they wouldn't have been in that position if they didn't win the clearances so dominantly. We won't survive against top teams at the pointy end of the season if we don't fix it. 

I put these stats together at the end of round 6 on the differentials on Hitouts and clearances and compared the top teams to the Demons. Some have changed a bit since then and if anything they are now worse for us. It's clear we are failing to get the benefit we should from Maxy's dominance. We have the players in there. It's a strange one. We were the no. 1 centre clearance team in 2018.

                      Melbourne    Dogs  Tigers  Port       Eagles

Hitouts            +147              -25       -10      +21       +54

Clearances     +11                +53         4       +23         -6

C Clearances  Equal            +24       +12     Equal     +6

Stoppages       +11               +29        -8        +10      -12

I also had a look at how the top ruckmen are going. Here are the respective stats. The first Melbourne is Max, the next Jacko, Coll Grundy WCE Nic Nat then Vardy. 

1080981510_ScreenShot2021-04-25at10_47_28pm.thumb.png.c60e46290980dfd47692d1e2d3a29670.png.4fda33077ed429a700c7c44f814f8aa3.png

The most interesting stat's to come out of it for me is what impact Jacko is already having as a 19yr old second ruck.  The stat's show that as an example compared to Grundy Max is spending more time on the ground but attending a lot less ruck contests. I would say since round 6 Jacko is attending even more ruck contests. He is actually competing well in the contests but the effectiveness of his hitouts is below the others.  The stat's are pretty self explanatory but give an interesting view of what's going on. There are other stats AOB raised after the Saints game that I'd love to see updated like metres gained from centre clearances, pressure after the clearance etc. 

I have no idea what's going wrong atm. I figure with the  elite players we have in the centre clearances and the coaches involved they will get sorted before the end of the season. Assuming they do we are going to be a scary proposition. If we can get a proportionate benefit in clearances for our ruck domination and can clear it i50 a lot more we are going to be so hard to play against because we are now trapping it so well i50 it will make it that much harder for other teams.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Swooper1987 said:

Especially the way Carlton are dismantling the Bulldogs right now.

With 7 minutes left Dogs are pulling away. Centre clearances are 21 to 5 to dogs and hitouts 23 to 38 to Blues. Of course you have to fix centre clearances 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, It's Time said:

With 7 minutes left Dogs are pulling away. Centre clearances are 21 to 5 to dogs and hitouts 23 to 38 to Blues. Of course you have to fix centre clearances 

Yep - Carlton can't get it out of the centre.  Should be very interesting next week! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, It's Time said:

With 7 minutes left Dogs are pulling away. Centre clearances are 21 to 5 to dogs and hitouts 23 to 38 to Blues. Of course you have to fix centre clearances 

Richmond beat Geelong 18-12 in centre clearances, and lost by 63 points.

We haven't been great at them all year and are 8-0. I understand why Goodwin wants to improve them but they're frankly a bit overrated in importance.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We can thank Ooze for our centre clearance work.

I remember hearing Clarko say centre clearances weren't a KPI for the Hawks when they were winning all their premierships.

On a simple level our centre clearance strategy is to win when we will be damaging and at the same time ensure when they win it won't be and we will repel.

There is a reason we have Gawn, Ollver and Petracca in there and lose the centre Cley more often than not yet keep winning. We could adjust to win centre clearances every week with those blokes but we would be far less dangerous

  • Like 1
  • Shocked 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Wrecker46 said:

We can thank Ooze for our centre clearance work.

I remember hearing Clarko say centre clearances weren't a KPI for the Hawks when they were winning all their premierships.

On a simple level our centre clearance strategy is to win when we will be damaging and at the same time ensure when they win it won't be and we will repel.

There is a reason we have Gawn, Ollver and Petracca in there and lose the centre Cley more often than not yet keep winning. We could adjust to win centre clearances every week with those blokes but we would be far less dangerous

How?

I can accept that we can set up and plan to win whether or not we win centre clearances.

But how exactly will we be "far less dangerous" by winning them?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oliver needs to play the role of extractor at center bounces. He has sharp hands. Gawn should go to him regardless of whether the opposition are clued on. You cannot cover both sides of Oliver and if you do then it frees up a player. It’s basic common sense. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I particularly hate it when one of the midfielders gets the ball from the centre ball up (bounce down) and does a cutesy handball to a teammate under pressure ... turnover ... and away they (the opposition) go.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

How?

I can accept that we can set up and plan to win whether or not we win centre clearances.

But how exactly will we be "far less dangerous" by winning them?

We setup to win where we think we can be damaging. Gone are the days where we tried to win centre clearances at all costs and just banged it forwards in hope, only to have it go back the other way when our players were out of position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, bingers said:

I particularly hate it when one of the midfielders gets the ball from the centre ball up (bounce down) and does a cutesy handball to a teammate under pressure ... turnover ... and away they (the opposition) go.

This is exactly the biggest problem. Well put bingers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
7 hours 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. It was most revealing. The only two that I have noticed complete the screen/block from the centre have been Harmes (when in there) and Jackson (when not going in for the ball). Gawn has a problem at times in huddles bending to have an impact on the ball and yet on many occasions, he takes a hip-high possession with ease - or blocks an opponent's passage at that same level be it kick, handball or carriage.

Viney was missed. Kennedy had a field day without Viney's 'player' and 'short carriage' foci. Both Tracca and Clarrie do the clearance bit to perfection but as Clarrie is nearly always held by an opponent without the ball (it appears to be a tactic favoured by the snot goblins, themselves, and is never penalised) it can go wrong; Tracca is usually screened out when an opportunity exists. 

Looking forward to your next analysis with Viney in the picture, or even Harmes with his screening abilities when in/within the centre.

Edited by Deemania since 56
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a few multis on last night and had most of Sydney’s ball winners - mills parker Kennedy Lloyd - to get more than 20-25 depending on their averages and some deweighting due to our expected pressure. Still missed most of them all of which to say their major ball winners well held including Franklin who has average many goals pg this year

 

Always good to find a way to win 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was one centre contest I think was in the second half that they won and I just couldn't fathom what the heck was going on.

All 3 of our 3 mids were all behind Max for the bounce and he hit it forward.

He knew where they were and he still hit it forward to their players

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is where losing Viney really hurts. Teams will never tag him because you always tag Oliver or Trac. But he is an A grade clearance player who attacks the ball in a way Clarry and Trac don’t. He also can shut down his opponent. Something the other two will not bother doing because offensively they’re too important. 
When we play Trac, Oliver and let’s say Harmes or Kosi at the bounce, we are playing too many similar players. They all look to be offensive rather than defensive and they all are similar in the way they win the ball. It’s why Jackson adds to much, because he is a different beast and wins his own footy. 
JJ could probably play the Viney role, but it’s not that easy to teach and will take time. As a young player you don’t want to give him too many constraints. You want to let him play his natural game and attack the contest. He was very good last night. 

Sydney and North both have very good ruckman and very good clearance players. We take the 4 points and we take some lessons and hope Viney and his toe can get going ASAP. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    CAT SKINNING by George On The Outer

    When they defeated the Geelong Cats in the 2021 AFL Preliminary Final on Friday night in Perth, Melbourne proved that there is more than one way to skin those cats.  They did it in the ruck and in the middle, they did it in the forward line, they did it in defence and around the ground, but importantly, each and every player a Demon guernsey spent his night at Optus Stadium skinning an opponent. Following the after-the-siren win against Geelong in Round 23, there was an expectation of

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE POINTY END by The Oracle

    The AFL’s two oldest clubs, Melbourne and Geelong, face off on Friday evening in a sudden death Preliminary Final. It’s a game that promises plenty in terms of fascination and intrigue as a result of the rivalry that’s been building between the teams over recent encounters that have been tight struggles which have gone to the wire with two of them decided by after-the-siren goals. The added touch of mystery attached to this week’s meeting comes by virtue of the fact that it’s going to take

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE VFL YEAR THAT NEVER WAS by KC from Casey

    The rising case numbers and the continuing lockdowns in Victoria and NSW spelled doom for the 2021 VFL season which went through a slow, painful demise before its recent official cancellation. After weeks of indecision, the AFL decided to pull the plug on the season with the 10-0 Bulldogs recognised as minor premier, but without a premiership cup and without awarding the J.J. Liston Medal for the best and fairest VFL player. It was somewhat fortuitous for the integrity of the competition t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    TAMING THE LIONS by George On The Outer

    With nine finals debutants in the side, the Melbourne Football Club had a daunting assignment ahead of it in the First Qualifying Final — to overcome the competition’s highest scoring side, the Brisbane Lions. In the end, the Demons accomplished the task by putting the bite on their opponents on their way to taming the Lions and recording a 33 point win that propelled them into one the two Preliminary Finals of 2021.   It was one of those debutants, Luke Jackson, who put the bite in more

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    RETURN TO NEVERLAND by Whispering Jack

    The greatest Demon A HIGHWAY OF DEMONS by Whispering Jack CHAPTER SIXTEEN - RETURN TO NEVERLAND  I have a six year old grandson who recently took up the family tradition of following the Demons. He had his first taste of the game a few years ago when he went to the “G” with his parents to watch the 107-point massacre of Carlton and he went to another game in the following season which was also a W for the Dees. But his appetite for the club has grown exponentially this year and wh

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 13

    METAMORPHOSIS by Whispering Jack

    I’ve always believed that when the home and away matches come to an end, the football season takes on a completely different shape and character. During the regular season, each team’s goals progress as the weeks pass and if you’re good enough to survive and make the grade, the situation changes. The comparison can be made with the life cycle of a butterfly going through stages from egg to larva to caterpillar, cocoon and in the end to a bright and colourful creature that emerges from darkness i

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    STEALING THE CATS’ CREAM by George On The Outer

    They were leading by 44 points well into the third quarter of a game to decide the minor premier, having kicked nine unanswered goals. The Cats were about to lap up their bowl of cream, dreaming of next week but the Demons led by Max Gawn had other ideas. In a stunning finish, they stole the game from under them to claim the plaudits as best team and top of ladder position. In a remarkable game, it all came down to Max having to kick the winning goal after the final siren, something which s

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    SKIN THE CATS by Whispering Jack

    The task ahead for the Demons as they wend their way down the Princes Freeway to Geelong on Saturday night will be to skin the Cats. For them to come away with the points from this game would mark an historic occasion for the club as it will finish on top of the ladder for the first time since its last premiership year, 1964. And it was in that year, that a trip to Corio Bay to meet the reigning premiers in Round 12, was one of the catalysts for Melbourne’s surge to the flag. It was a top o

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    REACH FOR THE STARS by George on the Outer

    It was a game of great significance for the Melbourne Football Club. A win would see them keep top spot on the ladder with one round remaining. To achieve top place in the Round for Reach when we are all inspired to “Be Like Jim” and reach for the stars was a great way of honouring one of our heroes. All the better given that it was done by way of an emphatic 41 point win against Adelaide! It is worth remembering that, but for the umpiring mistake in the previous encounter with the Crows, t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    TICKETS PLEASE by The Oracle

    A lot of water has passed under Princes Bridge in the five years since Melbourne last met Adelaide on the MCG. The Crows were riding high at the time while the Demons were mid-table and scrambling for a win to stay in the race for the finals. The 30,000 fans who had tickets to the game were thoroughly entertained by a close, high scoring affair that ended in tears for fans of the home team. Not even an eight-goal second term could help them.   Times have changed.    In the fi

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    ELECTRIFYING by George On The Outer

    What more can they throw at the Demons of 2021? Covid restrictions, hubs, aircraft circling between airports before landing for games and now a match stopped for 30 minutes to give a flagging opponent its second wind? To date, none of those distractions has swayed the team from their winning objectives. The game against West Coast in Perth can be marked on their report card as another positive outcome after yet another test. There was much at stake for both sides.  Melbourne had t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY by Whispering Jack

    When the combatants that are due to face off on Monday night at Optus Stadium last met, it was 11 days after the World Health Organization had declared the Covid19 outbreak a global pandemic. In Australia, the first cases had just come to light, including visiting US actors Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, the toilet paper panic was in full flight and the world was starting to reel in anticipation of impending disaster. Half an hour before this last game of the opening round was due to comme

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!

×
×
  • Create New...