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Sun, 17 Sep 2017 • 17:25 WST
West Coast Greater Western Sydney
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Round 20: West Coast v St Kilda

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Re: Round 20: West Coast v St Kilda

Postby Mr Q on Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:55 am

MrWoollie wrote:Agree that our poor midfield was made to look better than it is due to the tap work of good ruckmen.


That though presupposes that the ruck is separate, rather than a key component of the midfield. I'd say it's a key component, and sadly for us, one that's not quite as easy to interchange in another player.

In our case, we effectively lost our best midfielder for the year, and the only player that had the skills to cover for him. That would be like Geelong playing the season without Dangerfield, or Sydney without their Kennedy, or Adelaide without Sloane, or Richmond without Martin. Or Pendlebury, Fyfe, Bontempelli beingout of their clubs. Or, dare I say it, Port not having Ryder, and we've seen how that went for them. And then compounding that by them losing another good midfielder for the season.

Yes, Naitanui makes our midfield look good. Because he's a bloody good player who plays in our midfield. If he'd been in our team all year, we'd almost certainly be looking at playing finals. Moaning about how our midfield is abysmal ignores the fact that we have one of the best in the game playing for us - just not this year.
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Re: Round 20: West Coast v St Kilda

Postby farmer joe on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:37 am

Mr Q wrote:Yes, Naitanui makes our midfield look good. Because he's a bloody good player who plays in our midfield. If he'd been in our team all year, we'd almost certainly be looking at playing finals. Moaning about how our midfield is abysmal ignores the fact that we have one of the best in the game playing for us - just not this year.

Very fair point. I also like, and share, your thoughts about Ryder. Their impact on the game and their teams is similar.
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Re: Round 20: West Coast v St Kilda

Postby domo_the_eagle on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:37 am

I agree with your point's Q. However if we compared our midfield group head to head, from best to worst with each opposition mid, we would probably be on the loosing side the majority of the time.
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Re: Round 20: West Coast v St Kilda

Postby Mr Q on Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:32 pm

I'm also going to muse on another issue - our fadeouts.

Look back to 2015, and our boys were *the* team in the latter stages of the match. IIRC, at the middle of the season, our percentage in just the second half of games was over 200%. We smashed the opposition into the ground late in games. Fast forward to this year, and well... not so much.

I don't think it's a coincidence that we're tiring a lot in games with no specialist rucks in the team. I'm in no way having a go at Vardy and Petrie - I think they've done damn well given the situation, but the reality is that even when they break even in the ruck, the quality of a makeshift ruckman's work is no substitute for Lycett, let alone Nic Nat. So the question has to be raised: how much harder do our boys have to work at stoppages than they did in 2015 as a result? Is *that* a possible part of why a team that used to run out games looking for a third half now barely gets through a third quarter?

I don't think it's the only cause by any means, but it would have to be having an effect; when the difference is silver service at a stoppage versus having to work your guts off getting the ball at all, then that has to be a problem. Equally, the opposition get a bit of an easier ride as a result, which can only be beneficial to them.

What could we have done about that? Nothing really. Our only available ruckman this year was Jon Giles, and he's at best a battler (and he'd know that) and only a ruck, which lost too much around the ground. He'd have been in the bottom few first ruckmen across the AFL had we played him. In hindsight it's easy to say we could have written off the season and done some development, but that would have been a big call for a team that won 16 games in the regular season in both the last two years, played in a GF and still has probably the best forward line in the competition (if only the ball gets there enough).

I agree with your point's Q. However if we compared our midfield group head to head, from best to worst with each opposition mid, we would probably be on the loosing side the majority of the time.


Only if you exclude the ruckman I think. Otherwise we break even with most of the competition, which is what we need.
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