AFL 2019: Best and worst inside 50 kicks revealed — and Essendon ain’t so bad
Dylan Shiel, Clayton Oliver and Dayne Zorko kick the ball inside 50 a lot … with varying degrees of success.Source: FOX SPORTS
Effective kicking inside 50 can often be the difference between winning and losing.
And while Essendon has been highly criticised for its wastefulness going inside 50, what do the numbers say? And who is the player you want to have the ball in their hands?
With help from Champion Data , foxfooty.com.au digs deeper into the efficiency of teams going inside 50.
BOMBERS’ ‘DISGRACEFUL’ ISSUE
The nailbiting Round 8 clash between Sydney and Essendon revealed just how vital inside 50 effectiveness can be.
In the final quarter, Essendon dominated the midfield battle, winning the clearances 18 to eight and had 20 inside 50s to Sydney’s eight.
But inexplicably, the Bombers converted those entries to just 18 points, as opposed to Sydney’s 14. The final margin? Five points.
One extra goal, one extra converted inside 50 would’ve tipped the balance.
Essendon’s Dylan Shiel has been scrutinised for his kicking efficiency. Picture: Phil HillyardSource: News Corp Australia
“The inside 50s by Essendon is as bad as I’ve seen,” Brisbane great Jonathan Brown said on Fox Footy .
“If I was the forwards coach, I would be tearing absolute strips off the midfield.
“It is disgraceful the way they enter inside 50. Shocking.”
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BUT BOMBERS AREN’T THE WORST
While the Bombers’ kicking inside 50 has been poor, statistics reveal they aren’t the worst in the competition.
The Bombers have a retention rate of 46.6 per cent when going inside 50 — ranked 13th in the competition.
‘Retention rate’ is based on the team keeping possession of the ball, following the kick inside 50 (ie. a teammate marking it or a teammate picking the ball off the ground).
The numbers behind Essendon’s kicking inside 50.Source: FOX SPORTS
If the ball goes out of bounds or an opposition player collects the ball, it would not be considered retained.
Essendon marks 16.3 per cent of the time it kicks inside 50, which is ranked 14th in the competition.
Despite being ranked in the lower half of the ladder for the above two factors, the Bombers are ranked fifth for scoring rate (35.4 per cent) from their kicks inside 50 — a high number given their retention rate is low.
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Table-toppers Geelong is ranked No. 1 when it comes to retaining the ball inside 50, with a retention rate of 51.2 per cent after kicks inside 50.
But the Giants are actually the best team overall when it comes to scoring from their inside 50s. Their scoring rate is 36.6 per cent from their kicks inside 50, which ranks them No. 1 in the entire competition, ahead of Geelong and Collingwood.
It’s no surprise the three aforementioned teams are currently sitting in the top four on the ladder.
All 18 AFL clubs kicking inside 50 scoring rate.Source: FOX SPORTS
It’s actually Melbourne, not Essendon, that should be the club worrying the most about its inside 50 effectiveness.
The Demons are the worst team kicking inside 50, with just 40.4 per cent retention rate.
BEST AND WORST PLAYERS
It comes off the back of midfielder Clayton Oliver. He might be averaging 32.1 disposals and 6.2 inside 50s per game, but the Dees have retained just four of Oliver’s 45 kicks into forward 50, making him the worst kick inside 50 for the competition.
Melbourne also has the worst scoring rate, with just over one in four kicks inside 50 resulting in scores. The Demons’ rate of 25.6 per cent is well below 17th-ranked Gold Coast Suns, who have 30.2 per cent scoring rate.
Dayne Zorko of the Lions is the best inside 50 kick in the AFL.Source: AAP
As for individual players, Dayne Zorko is the best kick inside 50 for the competition. The Lion has kicked inside 50 on 43 occasions, with a 55.8 per cent retention rate for his side.
Hawk Jack Gunston, Saint Jack Newnes, Docker Bradley Hill and Magpie Scott Pendlebury round out the top five best kicks inside 50, with Gunston the only other player with a retention rate of over 50 per cent.
BEST KICKS INSIDE 50
Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions): 43 kicks — 55.8 percent retention rate
Jack Gunston (Hawthorn): 27 kicks — 55.6 percent retention rate
Jack Newnes (St Kilda): 29 kicks — 48.3 per cent retention rate
Bradley Hill (Fremantle): 27 kicks — 48.1 percent retention rate
Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood): 46 kicks — 47.8 percent retention rate
WORST KICKS INSIDE 50
Clayton Oliver (Melbourne): 45 kicks — 8.9 percent retention rate
Rory Sloane (Adelaide): 31 kicks — 12.9 percent retention rate
Ed Langdon (Fremantle): 30 kicks — 16.7 percent retention rate
Hugh McCluggage (Brisbane Lions): 34 kicks — 17.6 percent retention rate
Travis Boak (Port Adelaide): 38 kicks — 18.4 percent retention rate
What does this tell you?