The Roar
The Roar


Why does everyone knock Bryce Gibbs?

Roar Pro
29th March, 2014

Everybody keeps telling me Bryce Gibbs is soft, has a terrible haircut and is incapable of playing football.

While I’m not doubting his current hair-do is absurd, I think people tend to criticise Gibbs for no good reason. They do it because it’s fun.

One player who no one criticises is Travis Boak. He’s tough, respected, a leader and highly rated. Boak, like Gibbs, was selected ahead of Joel Selwood in the 2006 National Draft.

Not many people say Port Adelaide could have picked Selwood. They say Boak is a very good player. People say Carlton made a big mistake.

But are Gibbs and Boak that different? Is Boak really that much better?

Statistically he isn’t. Since 2009 Boak has averaged about 12 kicks, 11 handballs, 3.5 marks, 4.5 tackles and half a goal each game.

Gibbs has averaged 15 kicks, 8 handballs, 5 marks, 4 tackles and half a goal in the same period. There is hardly anything between the pair.

Boak handballs more and Gibbs kicks more. The tackle count is similar. Statistically, Gibbs, who everyone hates, is the equal of Boak, who everyone loves.


In fact, there aren’t many AFL players who have better statistics than Gibbs, including tackling, which is one way of measuring hardness. Those that do are the genuine elite, such as Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett and Scott Pendlebury.

Gibbs will probably never be in the top few players in the AFL. It’s time we pay him a bit of respect though. He is an excellent player and would be in the top five or six players at any club in the competition.

He’s not as crazily aggressive as Selwood, but neither is anyone else.

Maybe because he cares about his hair, was a number one draft pick, and isn’t overtly aggressive, people like to deride him. If you look at his game rationally though, you will find he is no worse than many of the competition’s finest.