These days , the mids cannot put the cue in the rack at the centre stoppage for even 10 minutes or you can undo 2 quarters of hard won advantage.
But you can handily demolish Essendon with them.
TBH I'm not sure Hocking is the solution to anything round 1. He looked rusty as all hell last game and I'm concerned that if we expect brilliant things from him it will be the Baguley thread mk 2. He has only played 5 games in the past 2 and a half years. 2012-2103 was a long time ago now, if he makes it back he's going to need some time first.
Care to expand on this?
I did forget about the earlier meeting, and that is encouraging assuming Hartley lined up on Hawkins.
The second game at Etihad, Hawkins rag-dolled him on multiple occasions.
You neglected to mention that Hawkins kicked 3.4, took 10 marks (6 contested), with 8 of the 10 inside the F50.
Brown being on Hawkins late in the game (like you say) confirms that the coaches also thought that Harts was well beaten.
I think mentally, Hartley might find it tough on Hawkins in the Rd.8 clash.
I'd be hoping for Hooker or Ambrose, with Harts taking the resting ruck or Harry Taylor.
You've got my vote for the most optimistic post of the pre-season.
In the country game, Hartley totally blanketed him, in the second game he was well beaten and yes, rag-dolled.
But, why wouldn't Hurley play on him again? Are you writing off Hurley because of one quarter of pre season footy?
TBH, I didn't see the 2nd half yesterday, so I'm not swayed either way regarding Hurls on Hawkins.
I've always felt that Hurls may not be suited to the genuine gorillas of the competition, and now with him seemingly having dropped some body weight (and perhaps muscle mass), he might be less suited to that KP negator role.
I could certainly change my mind between now and Rd.8 though !
When a good fwd is getting great delivery there is often little the backman can do. The reason both Hurley and Hartly got beat was due to that fact. Little pressure on the ball carrier delivering the ball, and little help from the mids and other backs to flood back and fill space. Clean clearances from the centre, make it very hard when its kicked to the fwds advantage.
In saying this the obvious best matchup for Hawkins is Hooker.
As much as I love Hooker fwd I would no be opposed to dropping him back at times if our fwd line can still function. From the looks of the JLT series, if we are moving the ball quickly, I think he may be able to go back, perhaps even permanently.
Not a bad call here. Hooker has trained as a forward all summer so I doubt that they will throw those plans out the window right away, but if we have something resembling a functioning forward line with the smalls we have and the gradual improvement of Stewart as a 2nd tall to support Daniher, then putting Hooker back is a real possibility. Does any other club have All-Australians at FB and CHB? Hurls is a bit of a track horse IMO. He needs games under the belt in order to hit top form. He always takes 2-3 games to regain touch after injury or whatever. Not concerned at all with him...
We saw what a class midfielder will do to us if we don't pick a defensively minded mid. I expect Hocking or Bird will come into the side for R1.
Do you remember the game? I can't remember which one it is but I don't care about the stats, @bltn is right. I felt embarrassed for the poor bastard, Hawkins absolutely monstered him.
I think Saladin touched on a pretty good point. We miss someone who intercepts really well down back and can put the skids on an onslaught of F50 entries by zoning off and intercepting and slowing things down. Hooker was the pre-eminent player at this for the whole league for a couple of years and Carlisle was excellent at it too. I like our other backmen but Hartley and Patty are pure spoilers and Hurley doesn't have the great hands (or probably ability to read the play) to do this. Gleeson seems to be trying but I'm not sure if he will get there, he is reading the game OK but doesn't have great mits. Maybe he'll get there.
Another reason why I really prefer Hooker as a backman, not that I don't understand that that debate is long since finished.
I like that our issue of fading out and rolling over after we've established a solid lead has been addressed.
Are you maybe thinking of the Shepparton NAB Challenge match? I remember Hartley and Hawkins being one out a lot.
Has anyone any ideas on why Hartley was not played. He was named in the squad, but no appearance.
Any thoughts? I would have him in the starting 18 for round 1.
Enter the FRANG
Bird or Hocking need to be in. They also need to position themselves defensively at centre bounces, we are so ■■■■ at this consistently.
I know! WTF is this about? How can we not address this?
Are there any panic dollars left?