Hawthorn vs Western Bulldogs
Footy returned to Mars on Saturday, and it must’ve been on a different planet as Jaeger O’Meara got through a full game unscathed. The Jaeger-bomb finished with 16 disposals and 79 SuperCoach points from 85% time on ground, remaining a mid-priced option for our midfields. Fellow Hawk midfielder Tom Mitchell was at his ball-winning best, leading all comers with a lazy 30 and 123 points – astonishingly recording more kicks than handballs. The stats pig is locked into my side. Young star Marcus Bontempelli top scored with 125 and is an option that appears to be flying under the radar. However, the most interesting performance from Saturday was James Sicily, posting 114 points from his 24 touches. Not to mention he went at an elite 91%. Is he the real deal? I’m not sure, but considering he got towelled up by a Jed Lamb forward tag late last season, I will be sure to do my due diligence.
New recruit Hayden Crozier would have tempted those with mid-priced madness with a solid 85 point outing across half-back. Draftee Aaron Naughton looked like he belonged out there on his way to 63 points, and mature-age rookie prospect David Mirra scored the 15 points from a quarter of game-time. Keep your eyes peeled for these two in their second JLT encounter.
Brisbane vs Sydney
While we could see this result coming mile away, there was one thing we couldn’t; Dane Rampe. The Swans defenders who threatened to breakout years ago teased SuperCoaches with a massive 148 point return from just 21 disposals. Lance Franklin remains a relevant forward that few will probably start with, booting four majors on his way to 134. As do Josh P. Kennedy (130) and Luke Parker (108) in the midfield, and the latter in particular should be in for a big year after underperforming. Stefan Martin’s 125 should be taken with a grain of salt considering he was rucking mostly against Darcy Cameron, but I expect him to be a handy ruck POD in 2018. Popular selection (after averaging 90 in 2001) Allen Christensen managed 66 points rotating through the midfield and up forward.
On the other side of the equation, Isaac Heeney shocked the SuperCoach populous, scoring 45 points despite ample midfield time. Maybe he isn’t such a lock after all. I am certainly not jumping off the Heen-machine just yet, though. Alex WitherTON (38) didn’t live up to his name and future star Cam Rayner (31) suggested he may not be worth his elevated price.
Gold Coast vs Geelong
Gold Coast are looking at a top 4 finish after thumping the Cats on the weekend. Makes you wonder why Gary moved!
That might be what we’d be saying if Geelong didn’t have 21 of their best 22 out. Dangerwoodlett-less, the Cats were no match for the Suns, with Aaron Hall (115), Darcy MacPherson (113) and Brayden Fiorini (105) all raising the proverbial SuperCoach bat. Darcy Mac is slightly interesting at around the $250k mark as a forward, but I wouldn’t read into this effort too much. Pre-season specialist Zach Tuohy (105) top-scored for Geelong just as he did in their first JLT last year, while Sam Menegola (86) is a SuperCoach lock in a Dangerwoodlett-less side, but not to be.
It was the first time we saw youngster Charlie Constable in Cats colours and he was very solid with 74 points from 22 disposals, while ex-Blue Nick Holman tackled his way to 84 points for the Suns. At $102k, Holman will be hard to pass up if he is in Round 1. Speaking of hard to pass up, you can throw away the key with WAFL product Tim Kelly (72 from 60% TOG) who looms as a certain starter. Top-10 draft pick Will Brodie managed the 72 points and could be a preferred option over Dow or LDU depending on how they all fare in their second hit-out.