Seven questions to come from AFL Round 12

Jono Baruch Roar Rookie

By Jono Baruch, Jono Baruch is a Roar Rookie

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    Last weekend, Gary Ablett again made us look silly, proving that he indeed still has it, the goal review system took a nosedive in terms of its popularity, and the latest premiership contender confirmed that they are indeed the real deal.

    As always, a lot of questions come from a big week of footy.

    1. Which player can Richmond least afford to be without?
    With Dustin Martin missing his first game since Round 22, 2014, how would the Tigers fare without one of their genuine superstars? Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt and Trent Cotchin are stars too, but simply cannot do what they do without Martin at the coal face.

    While Anthony Miles got plenty of the ball in his first game back, he is No Martin with his ball use, and Riewoldt seemingly had to do most of the work up forward, with Josh Caddy being deployed to the ruck.

    Premiership teams are built around stars and role players, but which one can they ill afford to lose for an extended period?

    2. What selection dilemmas will Geelong have?
    While the Cats got the job done again at Kardinia Park, the dilemma this team faces is what does their best team look like?

    Experienced players Lachie Henderson, Harry Taylor and Cam Guthrie all came back with limited game time in the VFL, while there were plenty of other AFL-listed contributors at the lower level involved in the 100-point win. Meanwhile, there are young kids performing too well to warrant being dropped.

    Jack Henry and Tom Stewart are shoring up their places in the backline, Jordan Cunico has found his place on the wing and half forward flank with his run, carry and poise, while Lachie Fogarty is a star. Jamaine Jones had a quiet week, but is continuing to play his role as a small forward.

    The battle for spots at the Cattery is well and truly on.

    3. How do you solve a problem like the Gold Coast?
    The plight of this team should be a major issue on the agenda at AFL House.

    Big names have all moved on to greener pastures and the Suns risk another mass exodus of players at season’s end, with captain Tom Lynch looking like the first domino to fall.

    There is pressure on the AFL to help, but ultimately the club needs to help itself. It is easier said than done but they need to get the right people in the back office before trying to entice players.

    It starts with getting their current group to compete.

    4. Are we sold on the Swans yet?
    As scintillating as they were on Saturday night, in particular their first quarter, the Saints were awful. You’d almost take points off the Swans for not finishing the job and turning on a 100-point win.

    Sydney sit comfortably in the top four, but in the next few weeks face West Coast at home, then the bye, followed by a trip to Etihad to face Richmond, before gearing up to face Geelong at home on a Thursday night.

    It doesn’t get any easier after that either, especially since their home record this year hasn’t been as formidable as it has in previous years.

    While I’ll still back this team to make the finals, they remain a ‘watch this space’.

    5. When will it click for Essendon?
    While the Bombers got the points in Brisbane, John Worsfold won’t rate the win as memorable. It was yet another one of those ‘what if’ days for the Lions, as the Dons just could not kill them off.

    We see the youth amd recruits Essendon have brought in, who are starting to collectively hit their straps, and we see the established stars who work hard week in week out, but when will it all click?

    While there is still a lot of footy to be played this year, the finals remain only a slight possibility.

    6. Where does Fremantle’s group of youngsters rank?
    Ross Lyon has finally given in and played his kids, and they are giving fans a big glimpse to the future.

    They have top liners in Andy Brayshaw and Adam Cerra, along with Griffin Logue – their first pick from last year.

    Brennan Cox, Mitch Crowden along with other draftees Stefan Giro, Ryan Nyhuis, Luke Ryan and Bailey Banfield have spent time in the seniors, while Darcy Tucker, Ed Langdon and Connor Blakley have all improved significantly over the past 12 months as regular members in their best 22.

    Alex Pearce is finally getting a clean run at it with his body and playing some brilliant footy, likewise Sean Darcy has battled injury but showed plenty last year.

    Hopefully Fremantle have their next young group ready to grow and rise up together.

    7. Is 13 the magic number?
    Last year, the Tigers jumped from 13th the year before, playing bold, exciting footy. This year, the Pies are doing exactly that.

    From the word go they were all over Melbourne and stamped themselves as contenders.

    Its been a long and painful build for Collingwood supporters, but they are seeing the results of building their list, backing them in and recruiting smartly.

    With a favourable stretch of games after the bye (Carlton, Gold Coast and Essendon), sitting pretty in the top six, this exciting Magpies team are becoming a joy to watch, with quite possibly the most mobile and unpredictable young forward line in the competition.

    It wasn’t too long ago this team couldn’t hit a target, yet now have goalkickers coming from everywhere.

    The Magpie army is cheering loudly and proudly again.

    State of Origin 2 is here, with the Blues looking to wrap the 2018 series up and the Maroons hoping to keep it alive and force a decider. Follow along with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 live scores and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • Roar Pro

      June 12th 2018 @ 3:09am
      anon said | June 12th 2018 @ 3:09am | ! Report

      Friday night is the test for Sydney. I thought they were looking a little old and like they lost a step early in the year, but I did qualify that by saying they had 18 out of their last 22 games so you can’t write them off. Also, Buddy and Hannebery were subsequently left out for injuries, so maybe they had players carrying niggles.

      At the moment they’ve won 24 of their last 30 games.

      Their only black marks since going 0-6 last year have been getting outcoached by Clarko a couple of times, blown out of the water in the semi-final last year (in fairness the Swans had been playing sudden death football for about 2 months), and the home losses early in the year.

      Being an interstate team they will need to finish top 2 to be a chance, and then avoid Richmond on their home ground on Grand Final day.

      • June 12th 2018 @ 8:23am
        IAP said | June 12th 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Sydney won’t win it. They lack something come finals. I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s a lack of genuinely classy players to get them across the line. They also don’t have a plan B.

        • June 12th 2018 @ 12:18pm
          Aw said | June 12th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

          Don’t like Sydney obviously then

          • June 12th 2018 @ 2:16pm
            Aw said | June 12th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

            Il be honest tho the best players seem 2 go missing in finals. A couple go ok but the rest… maybe it will be different this year. Il agree that Longmire needs to sort out his plan b when its going wrong

        • Roar Pro

          June 13th 2018 @ 11:34pm
          anon said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:34pm | ! Report

          Really they should smack West Coast on Friday but have no confidence. In fact I think it could go either way which is ridiculous when you consider ladder position and West Coast’s away record.

    • June 12th 2018 @ 3:47am
      Chris said | June 12th 2018 @ 3:47am | ! Report

      The real test for Collingwood comes after the Essendon game,We face four of the top eight contenders in the matches between Round 17 and 22. I won’t predict anything till the Finals start. I would prefer a flag to a Sidebottom or Treloar Brownlow medal, too.

    • Roar Guru

      June 12th 2018 @ 8:41am
      Paul D said | June 12th 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      I don’t think anyone has the answer to the Suns. Just keep pulling the levers available and pray for player development or free agency

    • June 12th 2018 @ 9:11am
      Don Freo said | June 12th 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      The Rossie has “finally” given in comment indicates some football blindness. He did it all last season and all this season.

      Do you think that Ryan, Darcy, Cox, Tucker, Logue, Langdon and Blakely weren’t playing last season? This season’s new crop have been playing from the start.

      Do you think Ross should have played Pearce and Apeness when they were injured?

      • June 12th 2018 @ 9:28am
        Chris said | June 12th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Don Freo, the dockers are on the right track. They are where Collingwood was two years ago. They will come to life in 2020. The occasional shock win and the big losses are part of growing pains. They have a good coach at the helm. It’s only a question of time. The one thing you don’t want to do is to start bringing in rejects from other clubs unless they are deemed absolutely necessary.

        • June 12th 2018 @ 10:09am
          Don Freo said | June 12th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          Freo is doing that with great recent imports, returning locals Brad Hill, Hamling and Wilson. The only dud is Matera but it’s good to give an opportunity. He didn’t cost anything.

          Bennell and McCarthy were cheap as chips and have fantastic upsides. Should be draft only this year unless a Hogan or a McGovern expresses interest.

          I wouldn’t mind us having a nibble at Patton. He could come cheaply and warm to the prospect of proper coaching. Nevertheless, with Taberner, Cox, Apeness and Dixon, Freo doesn’t need a tall forward unless one falls into our lap.

      • Roar Pro

        June 12th 2018 @ 2:18pm
        anon said | June 12th 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

        Just a quick google search shows that Stucliffe played 13 games last year, Ballantyne 10 games, Johnson 22 games, Sandilands 10 games (would have played more if not for injury). Suban 12 games, Spurr 16 games, showed Lyon didn’t have the stomach to commit to a proper rebuild. Still trying to win games with veteran players who were either never good to begin with or on the way out of the club due to age (Sandilands, Johnson).

        As of a couple weeks ago he was still playing Pearce, Johnson, Ballantyne.

        Danyle Pearce was finished as a footballer 2 years ago yet Rossy pumped a further 32 games into him. That’s 32 games of valuable experience taken from young players. Spread between three players that’s three solid 1/2 seasons each of experience. Zac Dawson played 18 games in 2016 despite it being clear at about 0-5 that a rebuild was on the cards for Fremantle.

        If you’re experienced and bring something to the table like Mundy (or even Sandilands) then it’s different you keep them out there,

        • June 12th 2018 @ 4:54pm
          Don Freo said | June 12th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          How about googling Sutcliffe’s age. You have him as a veteran? You don’t really know much, do you? Fancy following footy, advised by Google!

          Counting games indicates little. Do you care to google how many games players over 26yo played in other clubs last year? Many more than that. You make no point.

          • Roar Pro

            June 12th 2018 @ 4:58pm
            anon said | June 12th 2018 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

            Sutcliffe was never going to make it as a footballer. His skills are diabolical, makes poor decisions.

            Another Rossy favourite though.

            • June 12th 2018 @ 7:14pm
              Don Freo said | June 12th 2018 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

              Another Rossy ‘favourite’ not getting a game. Have you ever looked at a team list?

        • June 13th 2018 @ 2:33pm
          Jon Boy said | June 13th 2018 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          Trumpee your right again ,Don just cannot grasp it, Ballantyne played 10 last year only because he was injured and he is still pumping games in him now at the expense of Crowden and other youngsters.

          • Roar Pro

            June 13th 2018 @ 11:36pm
            anon said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

            Ballantyne should never step foot on an AFL field again.

    • Roar Guru

      June 12th 2018 @ 12:49pm
      Peter the Scribe said | June 12th 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

      The Pies still missed a lot of targets against Melbourne but the weight of entries takes care of the result. 63 inside 50’s to 42. We also dominated clearances at both centre and stoppage. Stephenson was fantastic but erratic. If he and a few others get cleaner in forward line, we have the potential to damage sides. Trouble is coaches like Bolton and the Scotts will try and clog up our games and turn it into rolling rugby scrums which we are not good at. That’s how Geelong beat us.

      • June 12th 2018 @ 3:37pm
        truetigerfan said | June 12th 2018 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

        Diddems.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 12th 2018 @ 4:06pm
        Bangkokpussy said | June 12th 2018 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

        . Afl is not a game that revolves around the magpies.Coaches will adjust their strategy to the strengths they have. The are not likely to adjust their game plan to suit you. If it has escaped your notice we have had a lot of LTIs on our forward line. Geelong has been known for its attractive football in the past and will do so again when we get the players back.In the mean time you can take solace in the fact that you get to play Geelong home games at the MCG

        • Roar Guru

          June 13th 2018 @ 10:47am
          Peter the Scribe said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t blame Chris Scott for clogging up the game. He may well have started the ugly style this year because of injuries, but it now appears it will be his “go to” for any tough games. I guess we will see what he tries to do against the Tigers this week. Will it be a 85-60 scoreline?Let’s see. Would I take the ugliest footy ever seen if it got Bucks pies a flag? Absolutely! It is not up to the coaches. Coaches job is to win games. Gill Mclachlan this morning on SEN has basically ratified the starting positions 6 x 6 x 6 at each centre bounce for 2019. That is a start but they still need to get rid of congestion in game play.

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