2017 Average: 91.7 (22 games)
2016 Average: 108.1 (19 games)
Current Ownership (%): 11%
The new and improved tribunal had its first hearing on Tuesday night, laying down the law on livewire Robbie Gray.
The Power star was found guilty of rough conduct and faces an indefinite suspension, a club imposed $10,000 fine and will be forced to train with the clubs VFL sid- wait. Wrong player…
While it certainly hasn’t dominated headlines as much as De Goey’s incident, Gray’s 1-match ban has much greater meaning in the game of SuperCoach.
Gray will now miss the season opener, which raises the question – can we risk picking him?
Short answer – probably not. In Round 1 we need 30 players hitting the park (maybe 29 if we have a Strnadica type sitting on the pine) and a premium warming your bench is a massive risk in the season opener. You’re practically chasing points for the next 22 weeks.
Another headache is Port Adelaide’s awful bye, which sits in Round 10 when all other teams besides Gold Coast are playing. Yuck.
This gives you another round where a bona-fide premium is out with a rookie being the likely replacement on-field. This is before we even consider the inevitable injuries and suspensions that will come over the first half of the season.
Then there is the other side of the equation. We have seen Robbie reach the heights of a 110 average in a full season (111 in 2014, 110 in 2015 and 108 in 2016), impacting in the guts then kicking snags while forward.
But as the saying goes, you’re only as good as your last year – yes, that does mean Richmond are set to win the next 5 flags.
Gray owners last year experienced exhilarating highs but with that came agonising lows. The goal-sneak averaged 91.7 points playing primarily as a forward, posting three scores that eclipsed 130 points but also falling below 50 on three occasions. Gray booted 47 sausage rolls on his way to earning a spot in the All-Australian team on the half forward flank.
Does he receive more midfield time in 2018? The signs didn’t look good in their opening practice match, where Gray played almost entirely as a forward, scoring 40 points from just six touches of the Sherrin. Not great for 66% time on ground…
The 29-year-old is such a damaging weapon inside-50 that another season as a pure forward looms large for Gray. Add Tom Rockliff’s inclusion to the midfield and that time up forward only looks set to rise in 2018.
Let’s set aside the game of SuperCoach for a second. It is fantastic to see Robbie Gray back out on the field after his battle with testicular cancer. He is one of my favourite players to watch on a weekly basis and we are truly privileged to be able to watch this wizard work his craft.
However, I would advise the 11% who currently have him on their SuperCoach field’s to reconsider. There are better options at his price, and the negatives outweigh the positives here.