Saracens 2018 Post Season Draft Review.
Aiden Bonar. From my post draft thoughts -. “We view this as a top-10, two-year minimum selection.”. Which is just as well ! Because Aiden may well hold the record for “most number of times named as emergency before debuting”. By our count, it was 15, maybe 16 games out of 17 that he was an emergency without ever getting a game. Our frustration with the stuttering Giants grew by the week, as Neafl reports suggested he was a contested footy beast. Finally, he got a shot against Carlton and was impressive. Nothing spectacular but we’re content with Bonar for 2019.
Eddie Betts Like his side, Eddie didnt reach the heights i quite hoped for - or expected. Missed a few games, didnt break the tonne once and the reputed midfield minutes didnt eventuate. Averaged early 60’s, a bit mediocre to match the Crows. Plug and play but slightly disappointing.
George Horlin Smith. I should have known better. Particularly with early indications that Kelly was a gun and most likely George wouldnt get a game. A poor selection, and knowing that his job security was marginal at best makes it doubly so. If only i’d grabbed Guelfi.
Lachlan Murphy. Started the year ok, and early on his dual position got us out of a jam a few times. But his scoring never really picked up and with injuries to key players through the year his 50’s and 60’s never really helped us to a win. Not a great pick.
Dylan Moore. A speculative pick based on junior numbers, he never got a look-in for Hawthorn. We were hunting for another Tom Phillips. Had some injury troubles at Box Hill, but reports were good when he did play. Probably a failed pick but we’ll watch the preseason closely.
Aaron Francis Lets not pretend that we werent apprehensive about this pick. It was a huge risk, but almost inevitable that it had to be done given he was our first draft pick several years earlier. This was a long game selection, given where he was coming from. The season was lost well before Aaron returned, but holy mother of god! His final few weeks has optimism at feverpitch. Bring on 2019!!!
Daniel Rioli. . Taking into account that we knew Rioli would start the season late, we couldnt really complain that he was missing for the first month. However, we didnt anticipate that it would be a round 13 return! Once he did, he filled his role as a plug and forget forward, much like Betts, without ever really getting going.
Rowan Marshall. Now THIS was our upside Hail-mary pick. and we think it was a win. In the end. Only given 12 games, Marshall was another player we felt was underplayed by his club. A season average of 70.5 was respectable. But when finally given another chance from Round 17, he responded with 114, 88, 58, 74, 78, 95 for an excellent return of 84.5. Distinctly possible that he’ll be the Saints main ruck next year. Very happy with this pick, this late.
Danyle Pearce. I noted at the time that i just wanted a playing forward to sit on the bench, so if he got games then the pick had done its job. He didnt get games for long, so the pick didnt do its job. Was delisted by round 3 iirc as we hit early injury problems and needed to raid the FA pool.
Sean Lemmens. I liked Lemmens dual position status here but injury in the preseason dragged on and he was soon jettisoned in the search for playing Free Agents. A failed pick. Another who was ditched early to fill a gap from the FA list.
End result: Bonar, Francis and Marshall can all be best 22 next year, no question. Rioli and Betts will need some contemplation, but filled roles. The rest were write-off’s. Three keepers is probably as best we can hope for from a draft, and either way the season failed not because of the drafting, but because of injury/form issues for certain senior players.
We lost Gleeson for the year, Mills for most of it, Fanta for much of it, Patton to the LTI, Marchbank for 10+ weeks, Acres for 8 and sweated on Francis/Bonar/Marshall for longer than we hoped. A tough year in which we found ways to score reasonably well but never quite went our way.