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Thread: Round 10: Sydney Swans Reserves v Gold Coast Suns Reserves

  1. #49
    Can you feel it? Site Admin ugg's Avatar
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    Arrived at the ground to hear the whistles of the umpires interspersed with unexpectedly loud cheers. I immediately thought 'bugger me the bastards have started the game early'. It turned out to be the end of a Swans Academy v GWS Academy game with the Swans winning 73-36. It must have been a good performance or unexpected victory as there was hearty cheers from both the players and the parents in the stands when the final siren blew.

    But I digress.

    The ground looked in great condition despite the rain and the fact that 2 Under 18 rep games were played there yesterday and the aforementioned Academies clash. The centre square had a sick looking pale brown tinge to it but it held out alright. But for one Cunningham tumble into the turf bringing up a sizable divot (he was unaffected), nothing major happened due to the surface bar the ocassional slip.

    It rained for the first half and was at its heaviest during the first quarter. It stopped during half time and never returned and the second half was played in relatively dry conditions. The match didn't degenerate into the ball-up rolling-maul fest that might have been expected given the downpour. In fact it was quite an open game where the Swans dominated possession and territory for most of the match. Mark Seaby was excellent in the ruck and handled all the Suns could throw at him, literally, as he had 4 different opponents throughout the afternoon in Zac Smith, Tom Nicholls, Josh Fraser and Jared Brennan. The extra mobility of Brennan troubled him somewhat but that was in the 4th quarter and might be due to fatigue as much as Brennan's movements but in general Seaby had a great game.

    Seaby's taps fed a hungry midfield of Tom Mitchell, Jarred Moore, Andrejs Everitt, Dylan McNeil, Harry Cunningham and Nathan Gordon. The Swans were more determined and more desperate when it came to winning the loose ball and once they won it, they often managed to spot up a free man or a hard leading forward target. Their spread was excellent and the Suns struggled to match the hard running of the Swans. Tackling and forward pressure were impressive all game and caused the Suns to rush or panic when in possession resulting in many intercepts across the wing. The Suns did not have many forward 50 entries during the first 3 quarters.

    Mitchell's hands are a highlight of his game, it's quick and it's clean and it invariably finds a teammate. He has great lower body strength which allows him to stand up wgukst being tackled and offload via a handball - a la Joey Kennedy. He had a great battle with Gold Coast's next big thing Jaeger O'Meara in the 2nd quarter. Played 3 quarters before being withdrawn. Moore the captain and traffic cop and found plenty of the footy by reading the ball off Seaby's taps expertly. McNeil also did a lot of the grunt work but was not as clean as Mitchell.

    Everitt had an interesting role midfield role - he started many of the centre square bounces and was opposed to Jared Brennan for long periods of the first half. He shows a surprising amount of pace when he needs to/has to and both of his goals were converted from long range. The first was an amazing spiral torpedo from 60m off a few steps in general play - and I don't think there aren't many players in the AFL who execute this as well as he does. However, he still struggles to take a contested mark in the forward 50 and his most valuable contributions were around the wing/half forward area. Will he ever play a similar role in the seniors? I highly doubt it which would bring into question why they persist in playing him in weird roles instead of the tall forward position which seems to be his role whenever he does get the call up to the seniors.

    Cunningham had a free role that required him to run to all areas of the ground. He used his pace to chase, harry, annoy and tackle the heck out of the Suns midfielders and defenders. It feels like the Swans coaches are working him hard on the defensive areas of his game. Cunningham completed a great rundown of a Sun defender in the forward 50 and won a HTB free kick and shot on goal but Morton played on advantage and goaled robbing Harry of a well deserved reward. Gordon was super busy playing as a link man. He read the play very well and used his leap to great effect to attack the marking contests or in intercepting Gold Coast kicks. However his ball use again let him down. He likes to try for the harder but more spectacular pass instead of sticking to the simpler option. He had a short spell down in defence in the last quarter when Malceski and Brown had departed the game (see below for more details). Shane Biggs was another link man between defence and attack. He was effective in that role displaying some evasive skills combined with neat and effective kicking.

    In defence, Campbell Heath, Jack Lynch, Nick Malceski, Alex Brown, Eugene Kruger formed a solid defensive unit. On paper, Heath and Lynch should have been troubled by the height of the Suns forwards but due to their teammates' dominance in the midfield, didn't have a lot of trouble dealing with the poor balls coming into them. Heath continues to impress and it wouldn't surprise me if Ted Richards is his mentor as there is a lot Richards-like play in the way Heath defends. Gets his body position correct in most instances and when he feels he can mark/attack the ball he isn't afraid to do so. Lynch is a Spangher doppelganger, from his hair and height right down to the strapping on his shoulders. He's a fine user of the ball as well and is athletic enough to run up the ground and provide another option as well.

    Malceski did well defensively in the first quarter, often peeling off his man to help out his fellow defenders being the third man up. His ball use was a little askew to start with but improved signficantly as he found more of the ball (and his teammates were looking for him) and it was a performance that will be a much needed confidence booster. He played the first 3 quarters before being taken out of the game as the emergency for the seniors. Brown didn't have an onerous match up to contend with but when he did have the ball in hand, he disposed of it tidily and considerately. At this stage of his career, despite his height, he would be more suited to a half back flank than a key position. He also played 3 quarters before heading into the sheds. Kruger also did a fine job defensively but didn't find a lot of the football.

    Matthew Spangher was the star of the show, in particular shining in the wetness of the first half. His attack on the football was inspiring, leading quick and direct out of the forward 50, competing well when the ball hits the deck and tackling ferociously but fairly which is not an easy task to complete in difficult conditions. He took a nice contested grab holding out two defenders in the goal square for his 2nd goal and for his 4th he neatly crumbed a spilled mark and snapped quickly and accurately with his non-preferred left foot. He didn't have as much impact in the second half and seems to have been given a role further up the ground than in the first half.

    Tommy Walsh had a rotten first quarter when the marks just wouldn't stick and perhaps was a little unfairly manhandled by his opponent Lewis Moss. He started hanging onto a few grabs later on but they were too far out the threaten the scoreboard. He likes to look for the short pass when he marks just outside the 50 or if he fails to spot one will bomb long and in hope, rather than taking option of kicking long into space and/or the 'fat side' for other forwards to run into. His short kicking can be hit and miss at times, he overcompensates for the distance and it ends up falling way too short. It was a passable performance but not one that would propel him back into the seniors any time soon.

    Then we come to the enigma that is Jesse White. Freed of second ruck duties, White played a mixture of forward and midfield roles. He did a lot of right things as a forward, leading well, pushing off his man to create separation and just as he looks like he will mark it, the ball hits his hard hands and bounces out. Commentators often want forwards to extend their hands and mark it in front of their body instead of completing a chest mark but in Jesse's case I often pray it's the other way around because he just seems to have a incredibly hard time marking it in his hands. He played further up the ground in the second half and showed great acceleration in burning off his man a few times but then let himself down by choosing the wrong option or just having a complete brain fade and kicking the ball wildly without any intent or purpose. His one moment of magic came when he ran down a lethargic Fraser near the half forward flank and then took his time before spotting up a leading Seaby who marked between 3 defenders.

    Mitch Morton was very quiet but managed to inflate his goal tally with the last 2 goals of the game. His opponent Josh Toy played him very well, not only marking him tightly but always ensuring he stayed goal side of Morton to prevent any of the sneaky goals that we've become accustomed to. The defensive side of his game was solid, making a couple of crunching tackles in the forward 50 that went unrewarded.

    Jed Lamb did not play, unexplained.

    Topups: Jackson Potter is a reliable option off half back, he'll compete as hard as any listed player but lacks their polish. Big Sam Naismith relieved Seaby in the ruck but it wasn't for long spells. He wasn't embarassed against Smith and co but found it hard to get front position against them. Up forward he leads hard and is not afraid to throw his bulk around but takes too long with his decision making and gets caught with it often. Little Andrew Moody may literally be only 5 foot 5 but he plays like he's a foot taller. He'll go for the marks, won't shirk the tackles and is a noted finisher in fron of goal. Jack Davis has been a constant presence in the side this year and has made strides. Usually plays in the defensive hard, he also takes the game on courageously and this was exemplified when he copped a late and high bump from Jackson Allen in the 4th quarter and despite looking really sore coming off the ground, came back on and played just as hard as before. I'm not sure about the other topups, there was a 52 and a 54 but there was also a topup being called "Josh" which doesn't correspond to any of the other topups (Max Carter, Dane Rampe, Beau Henney) in the named side on Friday.

    Lastly I have to mention the great camaraderie within the team. The team structures work really well because of the communication out there on the field. Moore and Heath are the main players when it comes to directing traffic out there but others like Gordon, Cunningham or even Potter aren't afraid to tell their teammates who to mark or what role they should be playing. There is also a great team spirit out there which may seem difficult to foster given that many players are competing against each other for spots on the seniors or on the playing list. But when Morton kicked his last goal, Gordon was just as happy or even happier than Morton himself. And when I was leaving the stadium the team was participating in a hearty rendition of Cheer Cheer, definitely with more gusto than the seniors did following their victory.

    Next week: a trip to Canberra (the 2nd and last regular season fixture there) to face the top side Queanbeyan Tigers.

    Swans 5.2 8.4 12.7 16.13 (103)
    Suns 1.1 1.4 3.6 8.8 (56)

    Swans goals: Spangher 4, Morton 3, Seaby 2, Everitt 2, Mitchell, Walsh, White, Cunningham, Moody
    Suns goals: Brennan 2, Fraser 2, O'Meara, Smith, Matera, Hall

    My Best: Spangher Seaby Moore Malceski Heath Mitchell Cunningham

  2. #50
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    Thanks Ugg! I was out there and agree with everything you've said - as a regular ressies watcher, who would you consider to replace Parker? You would assume it would have to be a genuine mid rather than an Armstrong/Malceski type replacement.

  3. #51
    Senior Player GongSwan's Avatar
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    Dejavu?????
    You can't argue with a sick mind - Joe Walsh

  4. #52
    It's Goodes to cheer!! Site Admin ScottH's Avatar
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    Thanks Ugg.

    Did you get to the Seniors game ok??

  5. #53
    pr. dim-melb; m not f
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    Thanks ugg, great work again.
    He reminds him of the guys, close-set, slow, and never rattled, who were play-makers on the team. (John Updike, seeing Josh Kennedy in a crystal ball)

  6. #54
    Good summary ugg - I am not a regular reserves watcher so I was a bit rusty on the names of some of the fringe players.

    AGree that White, Everitt and Malceski are doing a lot of things right, but really need to polish up on their disposals before coming back into seniors.

    Hope you made it out to the SCG ok - I think I saw you through the binoculars just before the main game. Was a wet walk for me to the car at Blacktown at halftime, but it got better.

    177th Senior AFL Match - Round 4, 2009 - Sydney vs Carlton, SCG. This is obviously out of date. I suppose I'll update it once I could be bothered sitting down with the fixture and working it out....
    Des' Weblog

  7. #55
    Senior Player Ruck'n'Roll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primmy View Post
    Bless you ugg. Above and Beyond.
    He deserves a medal Scott.
    +1
    Bye for now - I'll be back in time for the 150th birthday in 2017. R'n'R

  8. #56
    Can you feel it? Site Admin ugg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alison.z View Post
    Thanks Ugg! I was out there and agree with everything you've said - as a regular ressies watcher, who would you consider to replace Parker? You would assume it would have to be a genuine mid rather than an Armstrong/Malceski type replacement.
    Once you consider the options a genuine mid replacement doesn't look likely:
    • Moore - if we assume his lack of pace is the main reason he hasn't had a real opportunity in the last 2 years, playing the speedy Bombers under the closed roof of the Dome would be an unlikely game to recall him.
    • Gordon & Cunningham - Both haven't been seen in the midfield in the seniors. Cunningham has real pace though and could do a job as a defensive forward on a Dempsey. He would need to be promoted back onto the senior list first of course.
    • Everitt - We have seen him on the wing in the seniors but only for short stints and only after he has failed to have an impact as a forward. He is deceptively quick but I guess we don't get a chance to see Everitt at full flight playing from the goalsquare.
    • McNeil - On the rookie list and probably not in consideration anyway
    • Meredith & Lamb - Didn't play assumed injured.
    • Mitchell - It looks like the coaches and fitness staff are being extra cautious in managing his game time. His played 3 quarters and was rotated on and off quite a bit so I doubt he played more than 75 minutes. It is highly unlikely they will jeopardise this carefully managed comeback by selecting him, even as a sub. You have to remember he had no pre-season and will require to build up the match fitness to tackle the pace of the AFL, which is a big jump from the pace of the NEAFL.


    It's more likely that Armstrong will swap the sub's vest for a spot in the 21 and the replacement will take his spot as the sub. Spangher deserves a promotion given his recent form but to bring in another tall for a small would send the side's balance out of kilter. So my best guess would be Malceski or Everitt with the green vest with Cunningham and Gordon the smokies. Bird to spend more time in the midfield.

  9. #57
    Can you feel it? Site Admin ugg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desredandwhite View Post
    Good summary ugg - I am not a regular reserves watcher so I was a bit rusty on the names of some of the fringe players.

    AGree that White, Everitt and Malceski are doing a lot of things right, but really need to polish up on their disposals before coming back into seniors.

    Hope you made it out to the SCG ok - I think I saw you through the binoculars just before the main game. Was a wet walk for me to the car at Blacktown at halftime, but it got better.
    Des the rain disappeared once you left! The drive along the M7 was nice and dry but it turned to a horror show on the M2 around the Epping-Beecroft tunnel, the rain was torrential and visibility really poor but I got through in one piece. The drive itself took about 45 minutes from Blacktown to the Liverpool St car park so had plenty of time to get on the bus on into the stadium.

    It probably wasn't me you saw through the binoculars, I decamped from my usual spot to sit with some mates under cover in the Trumper. (NARF)

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  11. #59
    Senior Player Bleed Red Blood's Avatar
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    who snaps the goal at 44 seconds in? and is it j white roving the ruck and kicking a goal at the end?

  12. #60
    Can you feel it? Site Admin ugg's Avatar
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    44 seconds is Walsh and yes to your second question.

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