News Herald Sun SuperCoach Articles

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Hawthorn
Mitch Owens (St K) $117,300 MID
2021 SC Ave: 101 (NAB League) 2022 PS score: DNP, 39
Predicted average: 50-55 Job security: Low

Owens’ rapid development last year saw him shoot up significantly in his draft year – both in height and ability. The 190cm midfielder posted SuperCoach tons in his final three NAB League games – two of which exceeded 120. His overhead marking and size could add something different for the Saints up forward or through the middle in 2022. Showed promise in a quarter of game time in the AAMI Series, scoring 39 points from four disposals, including three clearances.
DB: PASS... Think it is a risk starting him over Stephens. But his cameo in the second practice match was promising.
TP: Will add another layer to the St Kilda side, but will he become a regular?
Jackson Mead (PA) $123,900 FWD
2021 SC Ave: 77 (SANFL) 2022 PS scores: 37, 24 (30.5)
Predicted average: 50-55 Job security: Low

Mead missed 12 weeks last year and even spent time in intensive care after suffering a lacerated spleen, and the uncapped midfielder has made up for lost time this pre-season. The 20-year-old is closing in on a debut, with assistant coach Nathan Bassett saying Mead has had an “outstanding pre-season” after a strong intra-club display. Entering his third year, Mead is hungry for opportunity and shapes as one of the leading cheap midfield-rookie contenders. However, he had just eight touches from 63 per cent game time in the AAMI Series and appears set to be squeezed out of that midfield group.
DB: PASS. I have cooled on Mead after his second practice game. Question marks over his scoring and job security.
TP: WATCH. This space. Had limited impact in the AAMI Series but could still be in the mix.
Angus Sheldrick $130,800 MID
2021 SC Ave: 152 (WAFLC), 108 (U18 Champs)
Predicted average: 50-55

Sheldrick’s SuperCoach potential was on full display in the WAFL Colts last season, where he averaged a mind-boggling 152 points from his nine matches, with a floor of 129 – now that’s consistency. The inside bull won an absurd 63 per cent of his possessions in a contest and averaged a goal per game, closing out the season with scores of 176, 144 and 164 during the finals. While he is being trialled in a less SuperCoach friendly role as a small forward in his first pre-season at the Swans, he has the tools to score well.
DB: A human battering-ram at 18, Sheldrick may well be a point-scoring machine by 23. Think he could play a similar role to what Power tough nut Sam Powell-Pepper did in his first year, with a 2022 debut on the cards.
TP: Sheldrick is one who can have an immediate impact but there are a number of other young midfielders pushing their case at the Swans.
RUCK
Jack Hayes (St K) $102,400 RUCK/FWD
2021 SC ave: 128 (SANFL) 2022 PS score: 33, 60
Predicted average: 50-55 Job security: Medium

Hayes is top of the list for KFC SuperCoaches out of these train-on players for two reasons. One, his scoring dominance in the SANFL across a three year period, which has seen the mobile big man record season averages of 128, 124 and 105. And second, he is a basement price RUC/FWD rookie – valuable as a swing and a cash generator. Hayes is in the box seat for a Round 1 debut after featuring in the second half in a ruck/forward role in the Saints’ pre-season match then playing a full game against the Bombers.
DB: BUY. Close to a lock with his DPP if he’s named for Round 1.
TP: BUY. Looming as the perfect F8 or R3.
Hugh Dixon (WCE) $102,400 FWD/RUC
2021 SC Ave: 88 (WAFL) 2021 PS score: 86, 45 (65.5)
Predicted average: 45-50 Job security: High

Key forward Dixon earned a spot on the Eagles’ list after an eye-catching performance in their practice match thumping – which coincidentally was against his former side, Fremantle. Dixon booted two goals and posted 86 points, finishing as West Coast’s fifth-highest scorer. With Jack Darling’s future still up in the air you would expect Dixon, who slotted 19 goals and averaged 13 disposals, three contested marks and 88 points in the WAFL last year, to be right in the mix for Round 1. Dixon finished with nine disposals, three marks and 45 points in the Community Series. A surprise Jack Darling return was a brief concern to Dixon’s hopes but but Darling is set to be sidelined for a month with injury.
DB: BUY. Key forwards aren’t our friends but I’m willing to make a compromise for one this cheap, especially with his RUC/FWD status. Pick him on your ruck bench and Jack Hayes in the forward line for a handy swing.
TP: BUY. Could be the Eagles No.1 forward soon enough. But, seriously, 86 points as a $102k cheapie? Put him on your bench, while Darling is still out, but don’t expect those scores every week, though.
Bailey Williams (WCE) $218,600, RUC/FWD
2021 SC ave: 40.2 (AFL), 77 (WAFL) 2022 PS scores: 50, 46 (48)
Predicted average: 50-55 Job security: Medium

Williams has been on pre-season watch-lists for the past two seasons as a cheap RUC/FWD, and he remains at a discount price. This is because he was used mostly as a forward in his six senior games, which resulted in paltry returns. He could have a more significant role in the Eagles side with Jack Darling’s future under a cloud, but will he have the same ruck share with Nic Natanui remaining at the helm? With Naitainui playing 58 per cent game time in the Community Series, Williams managed 46 points.
DB: Won’t be getting enough ruck time to justify selecting. Pass.
TP: PASS. Had some nice moments as a marking-forward early last year and in the WAFL, and that’s where the bulk of his scoring might need to come from. Not at the price for me.
 
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Hawthorn
Max Lynch (Haw) $207,700 RUC
2021 SC Ave: 52 (AFL); 97 (VFL) 2022 PS score: 38
Predicted average: 70-75 Job security: Low

Stuck behind Brodie Grundy at the Magpies, Lynch crossed to the Hawks in the trade period for greater opportunity. The 23-year-old ruckman held his own in his two games for Collingwood last year, and finished strongly in the reserves, averaging 113.3 points in his last four matches. While Jon Ceglar is out of the equation, the question mark remains whether he can leapfrog 2021 cash cow Ned Reeves in the ruck queue – especially at the price. Played limited minutes in Hawthorn’s second practice game, but still managed to win nine disposals, 11 hitouts and score 38 from 39 per cent gametime. Ben McEvoy’s Covid diagnosis means he will partner Reeves in round 1.
DB: PASS. Mitchell told the Herald Sun in the pre-season that it seems “unlikely” Ben McEvoy, Reeves and Lynch will play in the same side. I can’t see it being a long stay in the Hawks side.
TP: Might be just back-up at Hawthorn to start with.
FORWARD
Josh Rachele (Adel) $184,800 FWD/MID
2021 SC Ave: 129 (NAB League) 2022 PS score: 85, 85 (85)
Predicted average: 60-65 Job security: Very high

The Crows need class, skill and x-factor forward of centre, and Rachele fits the bill right away. Adelaide’s top pick in last year’s draft averaged 129 KFC SuperCoach points and booted 11 goals in four games, playing as a forward, in the NAB League last year and could be worth the top-end rookie price tag as a forward. Fears about his role in a struggling team were allayed by his sparkling 85-point display in his first outing as a Crow, booting three goals and having a significant impact. He then booted three goals, had three tackles and posted another 85 points against Port Adelaide.
Dan Batten’s verdict: MUST-HAVE. I did have my doubts, but now I am fully converted. Lock.
Phantom’s verdict: MUST-HAVE. Won’t need a lot of the ball to have an impact as he proved with back-to-back AAMI Series scores in the 80s. Hasn’t left my team for a while.
Will Brodie (Frem) $224,300, FWD/MID
2021 SC Ave: 41 (5 games), 121 (VFL)
2022 PS score: 120, 100 (110)
Predicted average: 80-85 Job security: Medium

In four VFL seasons at the Suns, Brodie averaged 121, 127, 124 and 100. But he managed just 25 senior appearances at the club after being drafted in 2016. And that’s despite ranking first at the Suns for hardball-gets, second for tackles and handballs, third for disposals, fourth for clearances and fifth for contested possessions in the final six games of 2019. But new coach Justin Longmuir likes Brodie’s strength and he impressed in a mid-forward role during recent match sim. And if that wasn’t enough, he racked up 120 points, 28 disposals and a game-high nine clearances against West Coast in Fremantle’s first practice match.
DB: BUY. There are some concerns about his job security with all of the Dockers’ midfielders fit in availabl, but it is hard to ignore those imposing pre-season performances. In my team.
TP: BUY. I’ve said all along if Brodie is named in Round 1, I’ll pick him.
Corey Durdin (Carl) $143,700 FWD
2021 SC Ave: 33 (2 games), 57 (VFL) 2022 PS scores: 57, 43 (50)
Predicted average: 50-55 Job security: Medium

Motlop has arrived but Durdin could be the one to fill the Eddie Betts void first this year, after playing in the final two games of his debut season, He dominated in the midfield as a junior, with his speed, skill and footy smarts, before playing as a forward at senior level in his draft year. He’s one who could have an impact with limited possession, once he finds his feet. Durdin slotted a goal and scoring 57 points against St Kilda in his first practice game. And he showed plenty of spark with two goals and five goals in under a half against Melbourne before succumbing to injury. But that appeared to be precautionary, as he is in for round 1.
DB: LOW-END BUY. His small forward role means he could throw up some stinkers but if you’re choosing between Durdin and Baldwin, the Blue looks to be a safer bet.
TP: CONSIDER. Durdin may find his feet quicker than anticipated after a two-goal first quarter against the Bulldogs. The 21-year-old played just 43 per cent game time but will be right to go in Round 1. An expensive bench option if you need.
Kaine Baldwin (Ess) $123,800 FWD
2021 SC Ave: DNP 2022 PS score: 49, 48 (48.5)
Predicted average: 50-55 Job security: Medium

Baldwin join the Bombers as an SSP signing in early 2021 after being overlooked in the draft. In terms of talent, the Glenelg junior was on par with fellow South Australians Riley Thilthorpe and Lachie Jones, but two knee reconstructions saw him overlooked. He’s on the way, however, to completing a full pre-season and could be one to surprise in 2022. Baldwin’s first game in a Bombers jumper was very promising, clunking a contested mark and booting a goal to go with 49 points. And an injury setback to tall forward Harrison Jones has handed Baldwin a debut, and it could be an extended run in the side.
DB: LOW-END BUY. Key forwards rookies don’t have a great KFC SuperCoach track record, but he is a bigger body. Shapes as a slow burn bench option with good short-term job security. But does he make enough cash?
TP: CONSIDER. An exciting talent, who is injury-free and impressing at Bombers training. Now a real Round 1 chance, who you could put on the bench.
 
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Hawthorn
Nicholas Martin (Ess) $102,400 FWD
2021 SC ave: 80 (WAFL) 2022 PS score: 45, 50 (47.5)
Predicted average: 60-65 Job security: Low

Martin was gunning for one of Essendon’s two list vacancies, following a similar path to fellow WAFL mature-ager Alec Waterman, who was plucked after kicking a bag of goals in a practice match last pre-season. Martin, a creative 190cm forward/wingman, got the nod after showing some encouraging signs with his skills in Essendon’s practice match and scoring 45 points. This came after Martin kicked four goals in an Essendon intra-club. The 20-year-old averaged 14.6 disposals, 80 SuperCoach points and kicked 24 goals for grand finalists Subiaco in the WAFL last season. Strengthened his Round 1 claims in just a half with 16 disposals against St Kilda in the Community Series.
DB: BUY. Alec Waterman 2.0 – but better for KFC SuperCoach. I’ll be starting him if he is named.
TP: BUY. Basement price forward that is a good chance for Round 1 - yes, please.
Tristan Xerri (NM) $208,200 FWD
2021 SC ave 38.2 (AFL), (VFL): 127 2022 PS score: DNP, 96
Predicted average: 60-65 Job security: Medium

With Todd Goldstein holding the ruck reigns at North Melbourne, Xerri has managed just 12 matches in five seasons at the club, eight of those coming last year playing predominately as a forward. But there could be a changing of the guard judging by North Melbourne’s match simulation, where Xerri has took the bulk of the ruck time with 33-year-old Goldstein up forward. Xerri is an interesting proposition if this ruck split translates into the season proper, given he averaged formidable 21.5 disposals, 15.5 contested possessions, 2.5 contested marks and 127 KFC SuperCoach points in six VFL games last year. This included a 209-point monster, where he amassed 36 disposals and 31 contested possessions. He put the Xerri on top of an impressive pre-season with 17 disposals, 14 contested possessions, 29 hitouts and 96 points, taking the lion’s share of ruck contests against Sydney
DB: PASS... Xerri will either average 85, or 40 depending on his role – there’s no in between. With nothing concrete from the Roos on their ruck set-up, I’m willing to wait until Round 3 to assess his role. Not sure Goldy is finished just yet.
TP: WAIT. Rocketed into the KFC SuperCoach conversation, and could be a shrewd selection if he really is the main man at the Kangaroos. He could gain ruck status by Round 6, too. But is Todd Goldstein really finished yet?
Charlie Curnow (Carl) $224,300 FWD
2021 SC Ave: 51 2022 PS scores: 47, DNP
Predicted average: 60-65 Job security: Very high

A fit Charlie Curnow, who averaged 74 and 77 in his last two injury-free years – his second and third in the competition – is almost a no-brainer. And the signs are good so far this summer, but the fact is the talented forward, who played in the final four rounds of 2021, has played just 15 games since 2019. Curnow was kept goalless in Carlton’s first practice match but moved well, scoring 47 points. He was rested for the Blues’ second contest.
DB: AVOID. Curnow is a different kettle of fish to Joe Daniher last year. I don’t think he can justify the high asking price, and there are better options if you want to pay up.
TP: PASS. Could surprise us, but there are now better value options in the price bracket.
EXTENDED BENCH/UNCONFIRMED
Patrick Naish (WCE) $189,600
2021 SC ave: 34.8 (AFL), 125 (VFL)
Predicted average: 55-60 Job security: Medium

Naish travelled all across Australia in pursuit of another AFL chance, and an impressive Community Series outing earned him a list spot with the injury-ravaged Eagles. The delisted Tiger collected 14 disposals, 58 points and booted a goal in just 37 per cent gametime agains the Dockers. Naish’s 2021 average was hurt by back-to-back stints as the sub where he scored a combined six points. The skilful 23-year-old averaged 50 points in his remaining four games and a formidable 125 KFC SuperCoach points in the VFL last season. Naish also posted scores of 78 ad 67 in his first two senior matches in 2019 before being surprisingly dropped, leaving him on the bubble for the remainder of the season.
DB: PASS… Easy on the eye but his contested possession rate has been below 35% across most of his career. May come into the frame if some other rookies aren’t named for round 1.
Alex Davies (GC) $202,400 MID
2021 SC Ave: 60 (1 games), 86 (VFL) 2022 PS scores: 96, 53 (74.5)
Predicted average: 65-70 Job security: Medium

Davies, a 191cm midfielder, is a contested-ball star, who hunts the body when he doesn’t get his hands on it first. On debut in the final round last season, Davies won 14 of his 17 possessions in a contest and applied six tackles, on his way to 62 KFC SuperCoach points. In his final four VFL matches before the season was called off, the 19-year-old Suns Academy graduate averaged 21 disposals, 14 contested possessions, seven clearances, seven tackles and 111 points. Touted as a Hugh Greenwood replacement, Davies slotted two goals on his way to 96 points in their surprise win over Port Adelaide, putting his hand up to SuperCoach sides. He had less impact in the second match, attending just the four centre bounces and winning 11 possessions – 10 of those contested – on the way to 53 points.
DB: PASS. Any danger of saving his debut until 2022, Dewey? Would have been a no-brainer at $123k — but $200k is perhaps a bit much with other better options around.
TP: CONSIDER. Spent plenty of time forward in the AAMI Series but, as a full-time mid, he could be explode. Still could be a nice point-of-difference anyway.
FORWARD
Finn Maginness (Haw) $143,700, FWD/MID
2021 SC ave (AFL): 27.5, (VFL): 108 2022 PS score: 50
Predicted average: 55-60 Job security: Low

The endurance beast always features prominently in the 2km time trial, but is yet to stake his claim as a Hawthorn regular, playing three senior games across his first two seasons. Two of those games came last year, one of them as them starting in the subs vest, which means he is still available at a reasonable rookie price. Maginness averaged 15.2 disposals, 5.3 tackles and 64 KFC SuperCoach points in six VFL matches last year and is among a budding crop of Hawks midfielders hunting for spots. The 189cm Hawk played predominantly through the midfield in an encouraging first practice match. Played in defence at times during Hawthorn’s second practice game as well as the midfield (four CBAs), finishing with 15 disposals and 50 points.
DB: WATCH. Keep in mind up forward, but will he be named for Round 1?
TP: PASS. Did a lot right this pre-season and is a good chance for Round 1. But will he do enough at the price? Might be too much mid-price value to start Maginness and Josh Rachele on-field.
 
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SUSPENDED ROUND 1
Braydon Preuss $204,700 RUCK
2021 SC Ave: DNP
2022 PS score: 102

Preuss didn’t play a game due to injury in his first season at the Giants last year but the cheap R2 strategy could be back on. Remember, in the three games he played without Max Gawn at the Demons, Preuss posted scores of 84, 85 and 140. And in his two at North Melbourne without Todd Goldstein, he scored 111 and an injury-affected 39. Preuss impressed in a forward/ruck role – Matt Flynn taking more ruck contests - with 12 disposals, 14 hitouts, six tackles and 102 points, but a sling tackle will see him miss Round 1 with suspension.
DB: AVOID... as a starting pick. The suspension is a blessing in disguise. Starting Preuss at R2 and R3 had significant upside, but was fraught with risk given he was unable to assert himself as the No.1 ruck. Could be a trade boost option once he plays two games.
TP: PASS. For now. With Flynn starting the two pre-season games as the No. 1 ruckman, the Preuss at R2 play may have been too risky even before the suspension. But there’s still a case to start him at R3, given his potential cash generation, if you can afford it.
Darcy Wilmot $139,800 DEF
2021 SC Ave: 87 (NAB League)
2022 PS score: 48

With the retirement of Grant Birchall, there could be an opening for the talented Wilmot who not only offers line-breaking run and neat ball-use from defence, but also a strong defensive mindset. The youngest player drafted last year – who Dayne Zorko is tipping to play AFL footy in 2022 - wasn’t a big ball-winner as a junior but he wins it back off the opposition and makes it count. Wilmot gave the Lions drive and slick ball-use out of defence in their practice game, winning 12 touches and scoring 48, but an overzealous sling tackle means he will miss Round 1 with suspension.
DB: WATCH. It's a risk but with options dropping like flies, I’m warming to picking Wilmot on my bench with Keidean Coleman sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury. He may be straight in once his suspension ends.
TP: Hearing plenty of good things out of the Lions camp about Wilmot but he could still have a hard time finding an early spot.
 
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Carlton
Carlton’s Charlie Curnow back to his best after being ravaged by injury as Blues dare to dream

Ravaged by injury, Charlie Curnow missed 43 straight games. Half a decade after he was tipped to become the AFL’s best player, he’s back. The Blues are back and there’s already talk of finals.

Sam Landsberger

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@samlandsberger

6 min read

March 25, 2022 - 8:16AM

News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

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02:00

David King lauds 'unbelievable' Patrick Cripps

AFL: Carlton are back to their best in midfield spear-headed by star man Patrick Cripps, according to North Melbourne legend, David King.

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Likened to Anthony Koutoufides and tipped by Dermott Brereton to become the AFL’s best player, Charlie Curnow was once the centrepiece of a seemingly never-ending rebuild.

From 2017 to 2019 it was Curnow who kept the flame of hope flickering for crestfallen Carlton supporters.

Then, disaster slowly set in.

Curnow injured the medial ligament in his left knee in the final match of 2018 and jarred his right knee in the second match of 2019.

Curnow booted 7.1 against Western Bulldogs in round 14 and strained the medial ligament in his right knee the following week, ending his 2019 season.

In October surgery was required to stabilise the patella after Curnow took a tumble while playing basketball with Patrick Cripps and Zac Fisher.

The next month Curnow slipped on tiles walking upstairs at his family home in Torquay and fractured his kneecap.

Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney, who suffered a similar injury, feared Curnow would never be the same again.

Charlie Curnow of the Blues and Zaine Cordy of the Bulldogs

Curnow was pumping iron in the home gym during Covid lockdown the following April when a squat went wrong and a hairline stress response in the bone was detected.

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“His patella is showing us that there is still a weakness around one of the original screw holes. This stress response is an indication to us that his knee requires more time to heal,” football boss Brad Lloyd said.

“It remains difficult to determine if Charlie will be ready to play this season, however, it does appear more unlikely than likely.”

Curnow missed the entire 2020 season and suffered a fresh stress injury to the patella in November.

“His specialist orthopaedic surgeon feels that surgery to reinforce the area of bone stress will hasten his return to training and minimise the risk of further injury,” Lloyd said.

More surgery. Another season in doubt long before it had even started.

The ‘Curnow Curse’ had every Carlton supporter wondering if they would ever see this wunderkind again.

It was a fair question. Curnow missed 43 consecutive games, which was almost former coach David Teague’s entire reign (50 games).

Boy, those Bluebaggers must’ve gone home from Marvel Stadium on Thursday night feeling bullish.

THE SIGHT ALL FANS WANTED TO SEE

There was Curnow at his captivating best, five years after Brereton’s bold prediction.

The mercurial forward booted five goals, his final three coming at critical moments to quell the Western Bulldogs’ fightback.

Girlfriend Amaani sat right behind Curnow’s fourth, a right-foot set-shot from 45m on the boundary.

“I had really good family support, my partner stuck by me the whole time,” Curnow said after he celebrated consecutive wins for the first time in five years.

“All that stuff helps and gets you in every day to your rehab.”

Last week the twin towers of Harry McKay and Curnow brought the ball to ground for the smalls and this time the power forwards did it all.

Patrick Cripps of the Blues celebrates his teams win after round two

They combined for nine goals as the Blues booted 100 points back-to-back for the first time since 2016.

Caretaker coach Ash Hansen said Curnow was a “lovable kid” and it was hard not to fall in love with the chemistry Carlton is creating.

McKay is the monster and Curnow is the creative athlete. It’s a perfect match.

Externally, Charlie will be all the rage. Internally it is all about celebrating the little things.

What stood out to new coach Michael Voss about Melbourne’s march to last year’s flag?

The selfless language seeping out of the club.

A TEAM UNITED

Suddenly these Blues are singing to the same tune.

McKay said there was “genuine care and excitement” for those who help teammates.

“It’s been a big shift and I’m loving it,” McKay said.

Take your pick from Thursday night. What about Sam Docherty smothering Tim English at halfback, leading to Jack Silvagni’s first goal?

Or running machine Lochie O’Brien running straight at Ed Richards to lay a crucial tackle right before three quarter-time?

Or Jacob Weitering’s six spoils in the last quarter when the Blues were under siege?

Or Matthew Kennedy (15 disposals in the last quarter) taking a flying mark on the wing to break a run of about six re-entries when the Blues just couldn’t clear the footy?

Docherty, whose comeback from cancer will be hard to top as the story of the season, said “trust” was key to the new gameplan.

“We’re not very one on one at the moment,” Docherty said. “It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of running.”

Last year the Dogs went on an eight-goal burst to convert a 27-point deficit into a comfortable win against the Blues.

They were far from alone.

Carlton as a team are looking better than they have in years

EXORCIZE THE DEMONS

Carlton’s season crashed under waves of momentum, but psychologist Tara Kavanagh got to work exorcizing those mental demons.

Cripps is probably leading the Brownlow Medal with six votes, having booted five goals and broken the Bulldogs with a bullocking first half.

But Hansen declared: “The selfless nature of his game has never been greater”.

Hansen said the Blues wanted to “embed their identity” and Sam Walsh said they wanted to “build their identity”.

So, what is this identity?

“Be reliable teammates to each other,” Walsh said.

Well, talk about reliable.

Walsh (34 disposals) ran 3.7km in the first quarter after healing from a syndesmosis injury in five weeks when it takes some players eight.

Bulldog Adam Treloar conceded: “When teams win contested footy they generally win the game”.

The Blues were +38 for contested footy with their brand new midfield.

“No disrespect to our previous midfields in the last six years, but this group that we’ve got now is a serious midfield,” Weitering said.

“When it’s their moment they go and when it’s not they protect each other.”

Cripps, Walsh, Kennedy and George Hewett combined for 133 disposals.

They absorb pressure like sponges and then spin the Sherrin to the outside.

“We’ve got some guys who love putting their heads over the ball – Georgey Hewett, Matty Kennedy to name a few,” Cripps said

When Marcus Bontempelli started to “heat up” it was Hewett who cooled him down.

When he was signed as a free agent last year some supporters were probably asking: “Who?”

Walsh was almost one of them.

“He’s played outstanding. I honestly didn’t even see that coming,” he said.

The Bulldogs are building and will take plenty away from the second half. They leaked 45 points from turnovers in the first half and zero in the second.

They took 11 marks inside 50m after halftime. They did everything but finish off their work and Champion Data’s expected scores even had them in front.

MORE TO COME

But for a Carlton team missing Jack Martin and Adam Cerra on-field and plenty more off-field it was a win dripping in maturity and resilience.

The super-impressive Hansen ran the show and several VFL development coaches were in charge of lines that are not even their specialty due to the club’s mini Covid cluster.

But after nine consecutive 0-2 starts from 2013-2021 a cluster of victories beckons.

Winnable games against Hawthorn, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide (MCG), Fremantle, North Melbourne and Adelaide lie ahead.

There are premiership pieces everywhere - McKay, Curnow, Cripps and Walsh, McGovern, Weitering is a mighty spine - and now a sustainable system to boot.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan of the Bulldogs, Zaine Cordy of the Bulldogs and Charlie Curnow of the Blues contest the ball

Last August president Luke Sayers declared finals were the expectation, long before they had even appointed Voss as coach or recruited Cerra and Hewett.

“Our expectation, based on the list that we have, we are looking to make finals in 2022,” Sayers said.

One bookmaker has already paid out on a return to September.

At 0-2 – historically a tricky spot to recover from – Dogs coach Luke Beveridge said he wasn’t a believer in past results dictating the now.

But recent history shows there is always one team that leaps from outside the top eight into the top four.

Last year it was premier Melbourne. In 2020 it was minor premier Port Adelaide.

In 2019 it was Brisbane Lions, rising 13 rungs from 15th to 2nd.

In 2018 it was grand finalist Collingwood and Hawthorn. In 2017 it was premier Richmond.

In 2016 it was Geelong and Greater Western Sydney. In 2015 it was grand finalist West Coast.

There is a long, long way to go.

But in 2022 there is no club better positioned to continue that trend than the old, dark, navy Blues.
 
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Carlton’s Charlie Curnow back to his best after being ravaged by injury as Blues dare to dream

Ravaged by injury, Charlie Curnow missed 43 straight games. Half a decade after he was tipped to become the AFL’s best player, he’s back. The Blues are back and there’s already talk of finals.

Sam Landsberger

Follow

@samlandsberger

6 min read

March 25, 2022 - 8:16AM

News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

0 comments

02:00

David King lauds 'unbelievable' Patrick Cripps

AFL: Carlton are back to their best in midfield spear-headed by star man Patrick Cripps, according to North Melbourne legend, David King.

View more related videos

Likened to Anthony Koutoufides and tipped by Dermott Brereton to become the AFL’s best player, Charlie Curnow was once the centrepiece of a seemingly never-ending rebuild.

From 2017 to 2019 it was Curnow who kept the flame of hope flickering for crestfallen Carlton supporters.

Then, disaster slowly set in.

Curnow injured the medial ligament in his left knee in the final match of 2018 and jarred his right knee in the second match of 2019.

Curnow booted 7.1 against Western Bulldogs in round 14 and strained the medial ligament in his right knee the following week, ending his 2019 season.

In October surgery was required to stabilise the patella after Curnow took a tumble while playing basketball with Patrick Cripps and Zac Fisher.

The next month Curnow slipped on tiles walking upstairs at his family home in Torquay and fractured his kneecap.

Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney, who suffered a similar injury, feared Curnow would never be the same again.

Charlie Curnow of the Blues and Zaine Cordy of the Bulldogs

Curnow was pumping iron in the home gym during Covid lockdown the following April when a squat went wrong and a hairline stress response in the bone was detected.

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“His patella is showing us that there is still a weakness around one of the original screw holes. This stress response is an indication to us that his knee requires more time to heal,” football boss Brad Lloyd said.

“It remains difficult to determine if Charlie will be ready to play this season, however, it does appear more unlikely than likely.”

Curnow missed the entire 2020 season and suffered a fresh stress injury to the patella in November.

“His specialist orthopaedic surgeon feels that surgery to reinforce the area of bone stress will hasten his return to training and minimise the risk of further injury,” Lloyd said.

More surgery. Another season in doubt long before it had even started.

The ‘Curnow Curse’ had every Carlton supporter wondering if they would ever see this wunderkind again.

It was a fair question. Curnow missed 43 consecutive games, which was almost former coach David Teague’s entire reign (50 games).

Boy, those Bluebaggers must’ve gone home from Marvel Stadium on Thursday night feeling bullish.

THE SIGHT ALL FANS WANTED TO SEE

There was Curnow at his captivating best, five years after Brereton’s bold prediction.

The mercurial forward booted five goals, his final three coming at critical moments to quell the Western Bulldogs’ fightback.

Girlfriend Amaani sat right behind Curnow’s fourth, a right-foot set-shot from 45m on the boundary.

“I had really good family support, my partner stuck by me the whole time,” Curnow said after he celebrated consecutive wins for the first time in five years.

“All that stuff helps and gets you in every day to your rehab.”

Last week the twin towers of Harry McKay and Curnow brought the ball to ground for the smalls and this time the power forwards did it all.

Patrick Cripps of the Blues celebrates his teams win after round two

They combined for nine goals as the Blues booted 100 points back-to-back for the first time since 2016.

Caretaker coach Ash Hansen said Curnow was a “lovable kid” and it was hard not to fall in love with the chemistry Carlton is creating.

McKay is the monster and Curnow is the creative athlete. It’s a perfect match.

Externally, Charlie will be all the rage. Internally it is all about celebrating the little things.

What stood out to new coach Michael Voss about Melbourne’s march to last year’s flag?

The selfless language seeping out of the club.

A TEAM UNITED

Suddenly these Blues are singing to the same tune.

McKay said there was “genuine care and excitement” for those who help teammates.

“It’s been a big shift and I’m loving it,” McKay said.

Take your pick from Thursday night. What about Sam Docherty smothering Tim English at halfback, leading to Jack Silvagni’s first goal?

Or running machine Lochie O’Brien running straight at Ed Richards to lay a crucial tackle right before three quarter-time?

Or Jacob Weitering’s six spoils in the last quarter when the Blues were under siege?

Or Matthew Kennedy (15 disposals in the last quarter) taking a flying mark on the wing to break a run of about six re-entries when the Blues just couldn’t clear the footy?

Docherty, whose comeback from cancer will be hard to top as the story of the season, said “trust” was key to the new gameplan.

“We’re not very one on one at the moment,” Docherty said. “It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of running.”

Last year the Dogs went on an eight-goal burst to convert a 27-point deficit into a comfortable win against the Blues.

They were far from alone.

Carlton as a team are looking better than they have in years

EXORCIZE THE DEMONS

Carlton’s season crashed under waves of momentum, but psychologist Tara Kavanagh got to work exorcizing those mental demons.

Cripps is probably leading the Brownlow Medal with six votes, having booted five goals and broken the Bulldogs with a bullocking first half.

But Hansen declared: “The selfless nature of his game has never been greater”.

Hansen said the Blues wanted to “embed their identity” and Sam Walsh said they wanted to “build their identity”.

So, what is this identity?

“Be reliable teammates to each other,” Walsh said.

Well, talk about reliable.

Walsh (34 disposals) ran 3.7km in the first quarter after healing from a syndesmosis injury in five weeks when it takes some players eight.

Bulldog Adam Treloar conceded: “When teams win contested footy they generally win the game”.

The Blues were +38 for contested footy with their brand new midfield.

“No disrespect to our previous midfields in the last six years, but this group that we’ve got now is a serious midfield,” Weitering said.

“When it’s their moment they go and when it’s not they protect each other.”

Cripps, Walsh, Kennedy and George Hewett combined for 133 disposals.

They absorb pressure like sponges and then spin the Sherrin to the outside.

“We’ve got some guys who love putting their heads over the ball – Georgey Hewett, Matty Kennedy to name a few,” Cripps said

When Marcus Bontempelli started to “heat up” it was Hewett who cooled him down.

When he was signed as a free agent last year some supporters were probably asking: “Who?”

Walsh was almost one of them.

“He’s played outstanding. I honestly didn’t even see that coming,” he said.

The Bulldogs are building and will take plenty away from the second half. They leaked 45 points from turnovers in the first half and zero in the second.

They took 11 marks inside 50m after halftime. They did everything but finish off their work and Champion Data’s expected scores even had them in front.

MORE TO COME

But for a Carlton team missing Jack Martin and Adam Cerra on-field and plenty more off-field it was a win dripping in maturity and resilience.

The super-impressive Hansen ran the show and several VFL development coaches were in charge of lines that are not even their specialty due to the club’s mini Covid cluster.

But after nine consecutive 0-2 starts from 2013-2021 a cluster of victories beckons.

Winnable games against Hawthorn, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide (MCG), Fremantle, North Melbourne and Adelaide lie ahead.

There are premiership pieces everywhere - McKay, Curnow, Cripps and Walsh, McGovern, Weitering is a mighty spine - and now a sustainable system to boot.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan of the Bulldogs, Zaine Cordy of the Bulldogs and Charlie Curnow of the Blues contest the ball

Last August president Luke Sayers declared finals were the expectation, long before they had even appointed Voss as coach or recruited Cerra and Hewett.

“Our expectation, based on the list that we have, we are looking to make finals in 2022,” Sayers said.

One bookmaker has already paid out on a return to September.

At 0-2 – historically a tricky spot to recover from – Dogs coach Luke Beveridge said he wasn’t a believer in past results dictating the now.

But recent history shows there is always one team that leaps from outside the top eight into the top four.

Last year it was premier Melbourne. In 2020 it was minor premier Port Adelaide.

In 2019 it was Brisbane Lions, rising 13 rungs from 15th to 2nd.

In 2018 it was grand finalist Collingwood and Hawthorn. In 2017 it was premier Richmond.

In 2016 it was Geelong and Greater Western Sydney. In 2015 it was grand finalist West Coast.

There is a long, long way to go.

But in 2022 there is no club better positioned to continue that trend than the old, dark, navy Blues.
Is this a supercoach article? 🤔🙂
 
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A good article on must have rookies.

https://honeyball.com.au/2022/03/28/supercoach-price-watch-rookies-you-need-and-the-premos-trade/

It’s been a high scoring start to the season, thanks to big scores from rookies and stars alike, and perhaps it may not have played out as planned.

But don’t trade for sake of trading. The season is long and there’s plenty of time to climb the ranking or pull back the league wins.

Where you do need to get it right early is with the rookies. These are the players with the biggest break-evens heading into week 3, meaning big price rises are coming. If you don’t have ‘em, get ‘em.

Jack Hayes (SC $102k F/R, breakeven -135),
Tristan Xerri (SC $208k FWD, BE -77),
Josh Rachele (SC $184k M/F, BE -68),
Jack Ginnivan (SC $199k FWD, BE -66),
Patrick McCartin (SC $157k D/F, BE -58),
Dylan Stephens (SC $167k MID, BE -56), and
Jason Horne-Francis (SC $207k MID, BE -52)
It’s wonderful to finally see McCartin firing after his concussion problems and his DEF-FWD dual position status makes him even more valuable.

Then have a look at the gambles that haven’t paid out and cut your losses.

Dyson Heppell (SC $541k DEF) seemed like a great point of difference at the start of the season but bottom line he hasn’t got enough of the footy in the first two rounds to have an impact, averaging just 12 effective disposals. With a breakeven of 202, time to go.

Other high breakevens among mid-price defenders are Bailey Williams (SC $419k DEF, BE 210), and Blake Hardwick (SC $496k DEF, BE 165).

Look to Jayden Short (SC $535k DEF), Sam Docherty (SC $533k DEF), or even Hayden Young (FRE $418,400) who looks set for a breakout year. Young is into his third year, averaging 24 touches from the 2 games, and he’s lifted his score involvements and disposal efficiency.

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In the middle of the ground, if you went with Jack Steele (SC$685k MID, BE 203), you’ll no doubt be tempted to ditch him, but stick fat. No doubt he’s a fraction down on his outstanding 2021, with his kick-handball ratio going the wrong way, fewer inside-50s and score involvements.

Jarrod Lyons (SC $640k MID, BE 188), Cam Guthrie (SC $616k MID, BE 173) and Marcus Bontempelli (SC $651k MID, BE 171) are also in this boat with eye-watering breakevens – but back your best guys to come good.

Steele, for example, is still averaging 25 touches and 10 tackles a game so look to patch other holes before going after this one. If you really feel the need to shift them on or there’s other midfield holes to plug, back some cash and get behind Patrick Cripps (SC $454k MID, BE -28), or Matt Rowell (SC $342k MID, BE -27) – it’s the last time you’ll see these boys this cheap.

Up forward, many Supercoaches will be wrestling with the Dustin Martin (SC $503k M/F) trade decision – his price won’t change this week, even if he does come back into the Tigers fold, but it’s a hefty sum to have sitting on the bench.

If you decide to trade, there’s two schools of thought. One is to take advantage of the value on offer, with players such as Xerri and Will Brodie (SC $224k M/F, BE -46) looking enticing.

But in a season where forward points are harder to predict, it might be the time to go with the form and get behind Isaac Heeney (SC $454k FWD, BE -15) or Zac Butters (SC $443k MID, BE 9), who shape as top-6 forwards this year.

Luke Jackson (SC $389k F/R, BE 3) is another point of difference. He’s not far behind teammate Max Gawn for time on ground, and he’s averaging more marks and disposals, with forward status to boot.
 
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I appreciate these articles as points of reference and thanks for the guys that post them… but

its sort of like your mum helping you with scrabble when you’re 8 and playing against all your aunties. Let me see your letters..

I do I understand that they want as many subscribers as possible, but it sort of makes it a bit annoying for the guys and girls who do their own research.
 
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I appreciate these articles as parts and thanks for the guys that post them… but

its sort of like your mum helping you with scrabble when you’re 8 and playing against all your aunties. Let me see your letters..
Yeah, but new SuperCoaches would find it helpful and also SuperCoaches that are currently busy and haven't got time to do a lot of research.
 
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Yeah, but new SuperCoaches would find it helpful and also SuperCoaches that are currently busy and haven't got time to do a lot of research.
Yeah I know, and I understand. It’s hypocritical that I complain really, considering how much I’ve learned from this site - but no one makes any money here, and that’s what I love. Its so egalitarian and good natured.

It’s not bad or good, and I’ve already done this in the last week.

Good luck to everyone. Use all the info you can get. I guess the point is that to push that trade button or not is finally your decision, so yeah.

But I’ve honestly thought that if by freak of chance I happened to win this thing, I’d be giving 5k straight to this site. This is where I’ve learned how to think about the game, and this is where I engage with people who, no matter what team they support, give the best advice they can give.

Wasn’t meaning to be negative about those valued members that post the articles for those who chose not to subscribe either - they are contributing to the whole spirit of the place I’m talking about.
 
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Yeah I know, and I understand. It’s hypocritical that I complain really, considering how much I’ve learned from this site - but no one makes any money here, and that’s what I love. Its so egalitarian and good natured.

It’s not bad or good, and I’ve already done this in the last week.

Good luck to everyone. Use all the info you can get. I guess the point is that to push that trade button or not is finally your decision, so yeah.

But I’ve honestly thought that if by freak of chance I happened to win this thing, I’d be giving 5k straight to this site. This is where I’ve learned how to think about the game, and this is where I engage with people who, no matter what team they support, give the best advice they can give.

Wasn’t meaning to be negative about those valued members that post the articles for those who chose not to subscribe either - they are contributing to the whole spirit of the place I’m talking about.
I just see it as handy info for some obvious things that I might have missed.
Charging people to subscribe to Supercoach is a rort in my eyes, there's enough advertising on Supercoach to make it worthwhile for the Murdoch family to make profits.
Also people like myself would never give the Herald-Sun money on principle due to their at times far-right wing political bent and disgusting opinion writers who get paid money to promotes coal, deny climate change is an issue and vilify people like Adam Goodes.
But I do see your point.
I just see it as a way of getting basic info that most other people get.
I don't really value 'The Phantom's' opinion anyway. I would much prefer to hear what Rowsus, Wogalita and others have to say.
This is easily the best supercoach site going around and it's all not for profit with no advertising thanks to Impromtu who started it.
 
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I just see it as handy info for some obvious things that I might have missed.
Charging people to subscribe to Supercoach is a rort in my eyes, there's enough advertising on Supercoach to make it worthwhile for the Murdoch family to make profits.
Also people like myself would never give the Herald-Sun money on principle due to their at times far-right wing political bent and disgusting opinion writers who get paid money to promotes coal, deny climate change is an issue and vilify people like Adam Goodes.
But I do see your point.
I just see it as a way of getting basic info that most other people get.
I don't really value 'The Phantom's' opinion anyway. I would much prefer to hear what Rowsus, Wogalita and others have to say.
This is easily the best supercoach site going around and it's all not for profit with no advertising thanks to Impromtu who started it.
RE:........This is easily the best supercoach site going around and it's all not for profit with no advertising thanks to Impromtu who started it.......
That's why I'm happy to give a small annual donation. :)
 
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RE:........This is easily the best supercoach site going around and it's all not for profit with no advertising thanks to Impromtu who started it.......
That's why I'm happy to give a small annual donation. :)
Yep. If you use this site on a regular basis a $10 donation is way better value than supercoach gold.
 
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I appreciate these articles as points of reference and thanks for the guys that post them… but

its sort of like your mum helping you with scrabble when you’re 8 and playing against all your aunties. Let me see your letters..

I do I understand that they want as many subscribers as possible, but it sort of makes it a bit annoying for the guys and girls who do their own research.
You're just in the wrong camp is all, come over to our side where you can drink beers by the fire all preseason then throw a decent team together 2 days before lock out that will actually do better than the team you researched for 3 months anyway! :cool:
 
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Anyone got this HS article on possible DPP changes? Possible rnd 6 pos changes
KFC SuperCoach 2022: Which players are on track to earn dual-position status
The first position changes in KFC SuperCoach are coming, and some surprising names could be assigned dual-position status. Here’s who to put on your watch list.

The first mid-season position updates in KFC SuperCoach are just two weeks away.
In an exciting new feature for the game in 2022, Champion Data will review where players are spending time in the first five rounds and add new dual-position classification where warranted – so a player currently listed as a midfielder could become a MID/FWD or MID/DEF if they are spending around 35 per cent of game time in a secondary position.

Gaining DPP status will open up a new world of trade possibilities and bring new players into KFC SuperCoach calculations.

So who’s in line for a possible position change in time for round 6?

LOCKED IN

Tristan Xerri FWD to FWD/RUC

Another great score for Xerri in Round 3 as he had 25 hitouts and 11 disposals against the Lions. He attended 64 ruck contests and 23 centre bounces, almost double Todd Goldstein (11 CBAs and 33 contests) in both statistics. Xerri has fast become the first-choice ruckman at North Melbourne and jumped by almost $70k in price.

Mason Wood FWD to FWD/MID

Not exactly a household name when it comes to KFC SuperCoach, but Wood has enjoyed his best month of AFL playing in a wing role for St Kilda. It would be an almighty gamble to add him to your KFC SuperCoach team, but MID status is all but guaranteed based on where he’s spent large chunks of the opening three rounds.

Angus Brayshaw MID to MID/DEF

Take this one to the bank. After spending 75 per cent of game on a wing in 2021 and 11 per cent in defence, Brayshaw has played 100 per cent as a defender in the first three rounds. And he has adapted brilliantly to the new role, ranking fifth in the competition for disposals among general defenders, first for marks, first for uncontested possessions and second for intercept marks. Anyone who can score 176 points in a game – as Brayshaw did against the Bombers – is a player to keep an eye on.

Jack Sinclair DEF to DEF/MID

Sinclair’s flowing locks charging through the middle of Marvel Stadium have become a regular sight in 2022 as the Saints defender averaged 110 points over the first three rounds. He spent 85 per cent of game time down back last year but that number has dropped to 33 per cent, with a 59 per cent midfield and 8 per cent forward split making him a very relevant proposition.

MAYBE
Scott Pendlebury MID to DEF/MID

The Magpies skipper had a slight role change against the Cats, with his CBA numbers up from 10 and nine in the opening two rounds to 16. He’s still spent considerable time in defence in the first three rounds, but the shift back into the midfield was noticeable. It’s clear Craig Macrae wants his players to be versatile, which showed in his use of Pendlebury and Nick Daicos against Geelong. Don’t jump on Pendlebury before Round 6 in case his push back into the midfield continues. But, if he gains DPP, he’s well worth a look.

Nick Daicos MID to DEF/MID

Daicos impressed against Geelong, finishing with 26 disposals and a score of 91. His role changed from previous matches though, spending time at half-forward after starting on the bench. The Magpies father-son needs to spend about 35 per cent of game time in defence to be eligible for DEF status at Round 6. Daicos only had one disposal and two kick-outs in the defensive 50 against the Cats, so those KFC SuperCoaches banking on being able to use him as a defender come Round 6 might need to have a back-up plan. Daicos did his best work in the middle and at half-forward against the Cats.

Jason Horne-Francis MID to FWD/MID

The more we see of Horne-Francis, the more likely it seems David Noble wants to use him more in the middle for North Melbourne. Most of the No.1 draft pick’s 21 disposals against Brisbane were either in the middle, on the wing or in defence and he didn’t have one disposal inside the attacking-50. Horne-Francis registered 20 centre bounce attendances in a game which would have diminished the chances of him getting FWD status at Round 6. If he stays MID only it shouldn’t be a major issue with so many mid-price and rookie options emerging up forward.

Mitch Hinge DEF to DEF/MID

Hinge had nine of his 16 disposals against Port Adelaide between the 50m arcs, five in defensive-50 and two kick-outs. Hinge spent significant time in defence in Round 1 but has had a more advanced role in the past two matches for the Crows. If that continues in the next two rounds, he could pick up valuable DPP status. That would allow you to swing him with Nick Daicos, should Daicos become a DEF-MID. Hinge gaining DPP status would mean should Josh Rachele be in your midfield, you could trade him, swing Hinge to defence and grab a defender too. It would open up plenty of possibilities.

Tom Mitchell MID to MID/FWD

This would throw the Hawk among the pigeons. Mitchell’s scores have frustrated his owners so far this season but they can largely be attributed to a new role, with his centre bounce attendance dropping from 70 per cent to 58 per cent and his midfield/forward split evolving from 90/10 to 71/29. He would need a bit more time in front of goal in the next two rounds to become a DPP but he’s not far off. An ideal scenario would be picking up a cut-price Mitchell as a forward then hoping Sam Mitchell injects him back into the centre square as some of the Hawks youngsters start to tire.

Dayne Zorko MID to DEF/MID

Another game where Zorko spent considerable time in defence and after being a must-have FWD-MID last season he’s edging closer to DEF status. Zorko didn’t attend one centre bounce against North Melbourne and although many of his 28 disposals were between the arcs, his role suggests DEF status is incoming. If it doesn’t arrive in Round 6, it’s a big chance mid-season - albeit Chris ***an said last week he wouldn’t commit to using Zorko in the backline long-term.

LONG SHOT

Andrew McGrath MID to DEF/MID

McGrath played more of a centre-bounce role without Zach Merrett as his CBAs increased from six in Round 2 to 22 against Melbourne. That was more than McGrath had in the opening two rounds combined, having registered 15 in Round 1. If McGrath continues to fill Merrett’s role while he’s out injured, the DEF DPP some were expecting will be unlikely come Round 6.
 
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KFC SuperCoach 2022: The Phantom’s Round 4 trade advice and burning questions
Is Braydon Preuss the man to solve ruck issues? What’s up with Tom Mitchell? Is it time to trade Josh Rachele? The Phantom answers the big KFC SuperCoach questions.

The Phantom

5 min read
April 5, 2022 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom



10:23
GWS...





“It was good to see Preussy’s first game.”
Understatement of the year from Giants coach Leon Cameron on Saturday.
And Braydon Preuss’ performance in Round 3 leads to the hottest of burning KFC SuperCoach questions this week …
Can we trust Leon?
Not that one. I’m not answering that.
Is Preuss the man for R2?
That’s it. And my answer is yes.
Yes, I do already have him at R2 – after Sean Darcy’s Round 1 injury – but I do really think he’s the man to solve your ruck issues.
After tallying 21 contested possessions and 140 KFC SuperCoach points in the VFL, while Matt Flynn struggled – another understatement – against the Tigers, Preuss finally made his GWS debut, 15 months after he was traded to the club.
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And he didn’t disappoint, finishing with 16 disposals, 12 contested possessions, nine hitouts-to-advantage and 109 points in 69 per cent game-time against Jarrod Witts.

Braydon Preuss scored a KFC SuperCoach ton on debut for the Giants. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
“I thought he (Preuss) really did the lead the charge …. our connection hopefully just gets better and better,” Cameron said post-match.
“I thought he gave us a lot of confidence around stoppage.”
The 26-year-old attended 71 ruck contests – the fourth-most of any big man in Round 3.
Sure, there’s risk, particularly around Cameron’s two-ruck comments on Saturday and the fact Preuss has played just four AFL games since 2019.
“Where we end up in the next month with those two rucks is intriguing,” the Giants coach said of the prospect of Matt Flynn returning to the side.
But, with Paddy Ryder returning and Jack Hayes holding his place, Rowan Marshall played alongside two other ruckmen in Round 3 and attended the 15th-most ruck contests (44).
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten says they “will have a look that (the three talls) and work out which way we go” but Hayes didn’t do any ruckwork, anyway.
If I had Marshall, I’d be cashing him in for Preuss.
Given the GWS big man has only played one game, you don’t need to jump on this week. Problem is, Marshall’s price will fall by another $30k even with a KFC SuperCoach ton.
Take the cash and improve your side elsewhere, immediately.

Tim English is on his way to elite KFC SuperCoach premium territory. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Or is it Tim English?
After 24 disposals, 11 contested possessions, 10 hitouts-to-advantage, eight clearances and 152 points against the Swans, pushing his three-round average to 125, English is fast-becoming the elite KFC SuperCoach premium we’ve all been hoping he’d become.
Sure, Stefan Martin is likely to come back in to help out at some point, but coach Luke Beveridge wants English as the No. 1 ruckman, and he can do things – marking around the ground and run and carry the ball, in particular – that no other big man, let alone Martin, can do.
The Western Bulldogs gun looms as a must-have forward in KFC SuperCoach, and is still great buying at $521k.
Ideally, you bring in English as a forward with the money you make from the Preuss trade, giving you a fallback option if Leon pulls a swifty.
Would he do that?
Where does Max Gawn fit into all of this?
Good question. I said last week we needed more time, given the lack of confidence in replacements.
Gawn was better, finishing with 117 points against the Bombers, but there are still a few concerning signs. If you jumped off for English last week, consider it a win.
I’m not sure $95k is worth it this week after the Melbourne skipper’s KFC SuperCoach ton.
But if you’re set on dumping Gawn, I prefer the Preuss money-play route.
Brodie Grundy?
Nah. Two KFC SuperCoach tons to start, then a 96-point score which was heavily affected by eight clangers, four of them free kicks against.
Back to Preuss, could I trade him in for the cash generation alone?
Ask me again next week, but start thinking about how you could do it. With four more similar scores, Preuss will be worth more than $400k by Round 7.
 
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