Thanks ugg. Really appreciate your match reports as ever, especially details about how individual players are travelling.
Ludwig, persuasive analysis, especially the first few paragraphs! I would love to see Dawson get a run but wonder if he is ready for the step up to AFL, especially after injury-limited pre-season. I'm doubtful that Edwards will be selected Round 1 (especially not if they select Towers) and possibly not even Foote.
I'm intrigued that Cameron didn't do much rucking. This suggests to me that, for the time being, Sinclair remains in our top 3 rucks. Once we have two rucks playing AFL then Cameron will get more ruck time at NEAFL level so that he is ready to step up if injuries require it and this will also give him the opportunity to move up the pecking order as he works on his rucking and his tank (which may also be a limiting factor for him at present). I can't see them selecting Cameron as a 4th tall in the front half for the AFL side, especially with the importance we place on putting defensive pressure on in the forward 50.
It's been said before, including, very possibly, by me, but the silver lining to having so many of our best 22 injured is that we get a look at and get some game time into some of our other fringe players. I'd rather be carrying injuries at this stage of the season than running into finals (sadly the two are not mutually exclusive). Can't wait for the footy to begin. I'm not currently a subscriber to Foxtel or afl.com.au so have been fairly footy deprived, although I have enjoyed watching some AFLW and am even considering travelling to Brissy for the AFLW GF (I've got a mate up there who I'd like to visit too).
I can't say who but I suppose there is a real chance one of Foote, Fox, Edwards, Hayward, Rose, Cameron is going to get a game. It's also likely that at least one of Towers or Harry C will play. Looking a little less rosy for Laidler and Maibaum however.
I will be thrilled if Melican gets his debut. We've been watching him a while but I confess my focus drifted away a little later last year when he had been plagued by injury problems so I've perhaps been caught napping with his strong JLT season even thought I had been waiting for it for much of the past two years. I perhaps had concluded it was going to take him another year. A back six of Reg, AA, Melican, Rampe, Swampy, Smooch and with Lloyd, Jones and Mills also splitting their time back and midfield (or wing in Lloyd's case) looks pretty good to me. Hopefully Rampe will cover for Macca in the fingerpointing/quarterback department, with support from Reg and Smooch, and we won't miss a beat. One of those players (most likely Swampy or Louis) might miss when Heeney returns and Jones/Mills are less required midfield.
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)
I had a bit of an exchange with someone who was lauding the bye before the finals as it allowed teams (aka the Bulldogs) to get their injured players back for the finals. I don't have any big objection to the bye but am unconvinced by this rationale. My point was/is that injuries incurred during the H&A season have no more disadvantage (and possibly less) than ones incurred during the finals. And the Swans were hit with serious injuries during the finals - including sadly early in the GF itself in the case of Buddy (plus he carried a shoulder injury into the GF which we weren't told about at the time).
I'm not against two byes in the season, but I'd prefer them to be evenly spaced and a general bye for everyone - say after round 8 and round 16, or something like that. That would be much fairer, and completely remove the potential distortion the one before the final creates. But like the twilight grand final, I fully expect the AFL will sweep away any suggestion of changing it on the basis of some vague notion of 'general consensus'.
"You get the feeling that like Monty Python's Black Knight, the Swans would regard amputation as merely a flesh wound."
depth of the club was generally exposed by the fact that on Grand Final Day some supposed 'big names' were pretty ordinary. (Rohan and Tippet spring to mind and can take 'ordinary' as a complement really)
whilst this club is the envy of most for their ability to regenerate...some high priced-low effort contributions will ask too much of the kids before they are really ready
i think it is fair to acknowledge that the Bulldogs were exceptional coping with the injuries they had to in 2016
Thanks for the link, liz.
Interesting to see the Academy U16s beat Syd Uni U19s. Also that one of the U16s was called Bayliss - presumably not the progeny of Trevor the long time NSW cricket coach and now England coach, but possibly related?