Just to break up your lovefest…
I think shifting Hooker back was a must. Stewart has been our best forward so he deserves a spot there. I also believe part of Daniher development should be to lead and command the forward line without needing Hooker there. Joe D, Jake and Stew should cause enough headaches for defences along with Tippa and Fantasia.
But after having seen Hooker down back, I think it’ll be more of a horses for courses arrangement. Whilst it was a success today and he communicated well with Hurley and Hartley, there were just worrying moments when Hurley was stuck on Robbie Gray or Wingard. Luckily the mismatch wasn’t exploited.
I think Hurley and Hooker prefer to play a little loose and as the third man up in a contest. That sort of means Hartley or Ambrose must take the key forward.
I also saw Hooker struggle for pace against Marshall a few times. I noticed it a few times when he plays forward, but in the backline, it was glaring.
I’m not sure how we set up against a team like Richmond who generally play mid sized and smalls around Jack Riewoldt.
If we go in with a tall slow backline, then there is a lot of pressure on the midfield forcing rushed kicks to our talls for easy marks. Something our midfield has struggled to do for a long time. If the midfield has time to kick to advantage, our tall backline is screwed.
Collingwood have Reid (good matchup for Hartley) and Cox (Hooker), so it’ll be interesting to see who Hurley ends up lining up on. The Melbourne game will be another interesting one. They have Hogan (Ambrose the better matchup) and the rest of their forwards are medium sized or smalls.
It’ll be interesting how the coaching group play it.
Hooker and Hurley should be our two key defenders. One will need to be lockdown and the other can roam a bit more freely depending on matchup. Hartley or Ambrose should only be used depending on who the third tall is.