The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined August 2014









Thanks for the article William, its definitely thought provoking. I’m a Bombers fan but I agree that they’re not a finals lock. But, no team is really, every season produces one or two teams who do much better or worse than expected. This time last year the Crows were dead certs for finals and West Coast were far from it. As for the Bombers, I agree that they have a game style that needs some tweaking and they were exposed by Richmond in particular last year, but a stronger midfield through Shiel and a more physical presence from Kyle Langford plus Jake Stringer and a stronger Andrew McGrath will increase their share of contested ball and make them less reliant on rebounding off half back. Its easy to forget that Shiel was All Australian in 2017, so he’s a bit better than ‘not that good’. I actually think that other new and returning players could have a bigger impact. Josh Begley only played 5 games last year before doing his ACL and once fit will add further to the midfield and forward lines. Martin Gleeson didn’t play at all in 2018 and was a big loss after being one of the leading intercept marks in the league in the 2nd half of 2017. And, Aaron Francis should paly a full season and showed great promise in defence in the last few rounds of 2018. Also, Orazia Fantasia only played 13 game and didn’t look fully fit in some of those. As for Joe Daniher, I’m erring on the side of caution and suspect his injury is worse than the club is letting on. I doubt we’ll see much of him until the 2nd half of the year. A recruit who has flown under the radar a bit is Zac Clarke. He could have a big impact in the Bombers game plan and be a hard matchup in the forward line and provide Bellchambers with competition in the ruck but also support when they play together. Another key recruit (though off field) is Ben Rutten, who seems to come with a good reputation for his defensive coaching.
All in all, it shapes as a season with a lot of pressure and expectation on the Bombers and John Worsfold’s game plan. With the expectations that seem to have arisen, anything less than finals and a win in the first week will be considered a disappointment but as I mentioned, I’m not so bullish.

Essendon aren't the finals lock you think they are, and here's why

As a Bombers fan I’m relieved the Shiel deal got done, but it would have been good to have had a crack at Ben Long or Tom Liberatore once Jack Martin was off the agenda. Bombers will miss Colyer’s pace but he probably wasn’t in the Bombers best 22 next year, so hopefully he’ll get more game time with the Dockers.

VOTE: Grade every club for our AFL trade period report card

Its been an interesting trade period and its good to see more players get the chance to pursue opportunities at new clubs. It wasn’t that long ago that 10-12 trades was considered a busy trade period. I suspect there’ll be some big surprise moves to come in the last few days so it should be entertaining. I’m a Bombers fan and very happy to get Shiel after seemingly being well out of the running. I’m a big Daniel Menzel fan and am puzzled why he is still out of contract. Whilst I get that he doesn’t apply a lot of pressure, give me a goal kicker over a pressure forward anytime. Geelong has enough of the pressure forwards (and another with Dalhaus joining them) plus a strong defence but what they lacked this year was goals and support for Tom Hawkins. Gary Rohan will be a good pickup for them but he is a little different to Menzel and I think Geelong can play them both in the forward line.

AFL Trade Wrap Day 6: Jesse Hogan, Tom Scully, Ryan Burton and more

This is a great read Ben, about one of our great Test performances of recent times. Two tests after the ignominy of Cape Town, this does more to restore our self respect and confidence in the team than anything else. You captured the moments perfectly.

This is why Test cricket is played

Thanks for this Cameron. Picking the Bombers best 22 and predicted finish pre season is like playing darts blindfolded. I reckon you’ve done well with the team and its hard to argue with much of it. But, assuming everyone is available, Id have Bellchambers on the bench, Hartley as FB with Brown on the bench, Myers at HB instead of Gleeson and Langford as a lock in. I reckon he was really stiff not to get a Rising Star nomination in Round 23 v Carlton and Laverde needs an extended run but will be a cert this time next year. McGrath could be a star but even as No. 1 pick I don’t think he’s in the best 22 yet.
So; Ins: Hartley, Bellchambers, Myers, Langford .
Outs: McGrath, Howlett, Kelly, Gleeson

We’ll have to agree to disagree on the drafting. I think since 2013 they’ve done really well. Merrett and Fantasia at 26 & 55 were great pickups, Langford and Laverde were top 20 picks in 2014 for good reason and in 2015 they had 7 picks, of whom 4 are in my best 22, injuries have stopped Redman and Morgan showing much and only Eades has been a miss.

2017 AFL preview series: Essendon Bombers - 15th

Welcome to the site William, thanks for this article. Hope you enjoy your time on here. Zampa is an interesting prospect. His 1st class average has come down to 44 after his 10/119 in the Shield game that finished today but that’s still around 10 runs per wicket too high to be seriously considered for Test honours I’d have thought. His stats are mixed in that he’s an economical and penetrative bowler at ODI and T20 level but neither at Shield level (2.8 wkts per game @ 4.05 runs per over including today’s game) For a ‘defensive bowler’ (his words in a recent interview) who doesn’t turn his leggie much, 4 RPO is way too high. This Shield game could be his breakthrough though. He seems to have really good game sense and he could end up being a better bowler at international than state level.

What to do about Adam Zampa?

I agree with your view on Heazlett Ronan. I rate him not far behind Matt Renshaw. He and Renshaw started their Sheffield Shield careers within two games of each other but in contrasting fashion(Renshaw 6 & 0 in the final Qld game of 2014-15 and Heazlett 129 & 78 in the Bulls 2nd match of 2015-16). In the 2015-16 Sheffield Shield season, Renshaw averaged 43 with 2 x 100s and 1 x 50 and Heazlett 41 with 1 x 100 and 5 x 50s.

They both get to 50 every four innings. The difference so far is Renshaw’s capacity to go on to make big hundreds. Besides his 184 in the Sydney Test, two of his three Shield hundreds he has got to 150+. Heazlett has had several injury concerns and it could be that fitness has impacted on his concentration levels and his ability to push on much past 50. His strike rate is 56 compared to Renshaw’s 45 and this might suggest his more aggressive style has also led to some errors in shot selection.

Time spent with the National team might provide the guidance he needs to turn the 50s into 100s and that will see him in the reckoning for the Test team in the next 12-18 months.

Aussie selectors get it right over Heazlett

Great article David, its an impressive effort by Warner and it shows how hard it is that so few have done it in history. A couple of minor points to your well researched article. Sam was correct, the Chappell brothers double double was in early 1974. I think you missed one Aussie, making Warner’s the 22nd time. Dean Jones (116 & 121*) v Pakistan in Adelaide in Jan 1990. As an aside, Ponting missed by 1 run doing the double a 4th time (101 & 99) v South Africa, MCG, Dec 2008. A couple of other recent near misses by Aussies: Damian Martyn 114 & 97 v India, Nagpur in 2004 and Justin Langer 191 & 97 v Pakistan, Perth, 2004.

David Warner blasts his way into the Test record book

Great article Josh. St Kilda fans might be a bit grumpy about you forgetting the Saints in the review but they’ll get over it.

I’m a Bombers fan and I thought your rating for them was spot on. Apparently the Bombers are really difficult to deal with at trade time and that’s annoying, they shouldn’t try to win every trade. Despite that, with the restrictions they had, I reckon to get three guys potentially in their best 22 in Round 1 plus two picks inside top 20 was about as good as it could get for them.
True, its an ageing list, but there’s enough young talent coming through that they can ease those guys out over a few years.
Re the Crows: I read that they didn’t rate Gorringe’s ruck work and saw him as mainly a forward, but like you, still thought they would have a crack at him.
Geelong’s results will be interesting. I thought they lacked a bit of pace this season and they don’t seem to have addressed that, although Stanley is pretty slippery.

The 2014 AFL trade and free agency report card