My bad, i should have been more specific. I was thinking of games where we were outplayed but the opposition didn’t put the score on the board at crucial times, yet we did (GC, GWS, North, WC, Carlton) and games against top teams where the narrative was ‘we played well and really matched them’ where we were beaten comfortably across the ground. I actually thought in the Port game for example, that was a thumping that was only close due to their significant inaccuracy.
The games I have been happy with our play across the board were Melbourne, Collingwood (3 quarters) and Richmond. They were the three that I saw our team defence was right on point.
i think the point is though that opposition inaccuracy is at least partially down to our defensive system forcing more difficult shots at goal.
i also think that a lot of the behinds are from repeat entries where we can’t transition the ball or at least force a stoppage on the wing because of issues we’ve had with personnel. we’ve been very good out of the center most of the season so sometimes a goal for the opposition actually helps us break their momentum.
i think carlton’s “dominance” of the second quarter is being overplayed to a degree. they were not dominating stoppages, they weren’t forcing turnovers in dangerous positions. we just kept giving them the ball back from bad disposal (draper x2, hind, merret, hepp, caldwell all made bad unforced errors) and decisions across the middle, but with our defensive structure still in place.
they kick 2.5 for the quarter, but none of their misses where ‘easy’ shots. Mckay missed a snap from pretty deep in the pocket which is probably pretty high % for him. martin missed a snap from in front on his left that he’d like to convert. those were probably the easiest misses. the other’s misses were long shots from around the edge of 50 on angles. low % shots.
at half time i was pretty confident if we cleaned up the disposal errors we’d get on top and we did. i think those second quarter errors created the reasonable impression that carlton was dominating territory (they were) but it wasn’t because of anything in particular that they were doing. we just kept stuffing up. When we did transition we almost invariably got good looks. Weid and martin’s misses arguably being worse than the ones carlton had.
i heard king say this morning that carlton should have been 5 goals up at half time. that’s just complete rubbish. i think expected score had them a goal ahead which was probably fair but if we had not committed those skill errors i’m near certain we would have been an extra couple of goals to the good
yeah king sees 2.5 and thinks it should be 5.2. thing is a bunch of those behinds were in a string that lead to one goal. if you convert the first opportunity there is no guarantee you get the 2nd, 3rd, 4th look.
I think this weakness points directly to one of the big improvement areas Scott continues to elude to. I think once players become more experienced, get fitter, stronger build chemistry and understanding we will see improvement here. Old habits take time to break. I’m sure our game plan layers will be added to in the next 12 months as our chemistry, awareness, fitbess and strength evolve. In the meantime, hopefully we can get enough wins along the way to keep us energised.
Thst Champion Dats bloke did have a point though. Carlton had the game on their terms in the second Qtr and couldn’t put us to the sword. They nullified out uncontested kicking, put us under pressure and forced turnovers… But didn’t make us pay. Better teams have done previously and will do moving forward.
In time hopefully we add these layers to our game and become a little more balanced in our game abd less reliant on successfully rolling the dice from our D50…
Good analysis. You’re giving away the game plan mate! I think it’s all all intended. We also seem to turn the ball over in spots that we can easily defend so I think the capacity to defend arc to arc stat potentially then becomes irrelevant.
I actually disagree with this. They were on top for territory because of a number of skill errors errors by our players but not ones that were forced by Carlton pressure. Draper X2, Caldwell Merrett hepp and hind all made relatively unforced errors. Carlton were not dominating clearances, they were not intercepting the ball crazy amounts and catching us with our defence out of position. They didn’t squander easy chances at goal . 3 of their 5 behinds were from challenging angles at or outside 50 from goal, 1 was a snap in open play under pressure, 1 was a set shot snap from deep in the pocket. If anything the easiest misses of the quarter were ours. In the third quarter we didn’t make those 6 unforced errors and we annihilated them.
Perhaps not technical clearances but for big periods of the 2nd term we couldn’t get our hands on the footy at ground level. The territory ratio was firmly in their favour. The defence held up though, and we managed to score from our forward chances, which was crucial.
I’d have to go back and look but my impression at the time was of continual Carlton numbers running the ball out of the contests between the 50 meter arcs. At one point I was actually thinking we might be better off if they goaled because it’d reset the field and we’d looked better at centre bounces than in general midfield play. Hobbs, Perkins and Martin all had quiet 2nd quarters.
And to the injuries exacerbating some flaws, I just wonder how injuries to Wright and Jones robbed us of aerial capability down the wings and outlets, resulting in a bit of an over reliance on uncontested marking via short kicks out of defence? It looks vulnerable to opposition pressure and blocking corridor. That ‘unsustainable’ brand with together with strength in transition transition reliance could be turned around with the return of these players.
Anyway, back on topic, my impression from that first GC practice match was of a different setup that looked to push sides onto the wings and our half backs would come up to the contest quickly to prevent leapfrog handballs. Meanwhile, the half forwards looked to work back to protect the centre square from the 45 degree kick towards centre half forward.
We’ve not always managed it well - the HB’s have to understand when to come up, or when it’s too late and not leave themselves in no man’s land - and can get exposed. Likewise, in some games the switch to the outer side has caught us out too often. Possibly due to running power, possibly due to being too skinny and the far winger/half forward protecting the centre square too much. Probably both.
But we’re interfering with other sides ability to come through the middle and this is helping the backline. It also means we have numbers to use in the central part of the ground if we do rebound from the back half. Our small forwards not always being in the right spot is probably a symptom of this, but on balance id take this atm.
Be interested how this tallies with the large numbers of I50s being conceded. It hasn’t felt like we’ve been overwhelmed (at least not often, and not for long ), are we pushing sides wide, and marking so effectively they’re dabbing in & out of the 50 without ever having a look they actually like?
The way to unlock us will be getting really good kicks to overlap who can find & hit a target amongst the congestion. A few sides probably have that ability but not many.