Chook’s Rooks – Round 17
You might’ve picked up Nick Lower and Danny Stanley for a song, but they’re playing like, um, certified-gold hits at the moment, making some of their supposedly “premium” rivals sound like white noise. The metaphors don’t get any better, but have a read of the Rooks anyway. What else are you gunna do while you wait for Calvin’s Captains?
My high school drama teacher was big on the theme of appreciating what you’ve got before it’s too late. I didn’t always agree with what she said, mostly because she shocked and embarrassed me in front of the class by labelling me a “sneaky fox” who was constantly stirring up trouble, when really it was my mate Russell Robertson doing the lion’s share of the trouble-stirring (don’t try to deny it, Robbo), but I had to side with her on this one. She drilled the message into us by selecting it as the theme for one our school’s Rock Eisteddfod productions, choreographing horribly amateur dance moves to the tune of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi, whose chorus is along the lines of:
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
You know the feeling. You get a new pair of flashy kicks and turf the old ones, only to realise within about a week that you much preferred the more comfortable old ones. You weren’t 100 per cent happy in your old rental place, but it now seems like a palace compared to your current abode, the one with paper-thin walls next door to the crack addict who loves a bit of American college speed metal at 3 o’clock every morning. You get penis extension surgery to add a bit of length, but are wishing you had your old tackle back after you trip over your new long dong for the fifth time. Everyone’s been there.
It goes to show that, sometimes, it pays to be content with your current situation and not always assume an “upgrade” is the best option. In my case, I should’ve appreciated my rookie-priced defender pairing of Nick Lower and Danny Stanley a little bit more. Those two got shipped from my team weeks ago, “upgraded” to Jed Adcock and Heath Shaw. After resisting Adcock through the opening stages of the season, I finally got sick of my league opponents benefitting from his 120-point games and took the plunge the very week he went on a run of sh*t scores or not playing at all. One-time Pie Stanley got the chop to make way and has, as those who’ve held on to him will gleefully tell you, strung together three consecutive scores in 90s. Shaw came in to my side about three weeks ago, so I got a couple of okay scores out of him, but it sh*ts me to tears that the guy I ditched to bring him in, former Port midfielder Lower, scores a monster 130 the very same week that Shaw gets rubbed out for the remainder of the DT season. Maybe I’ll never learn my lesson: I really shouldn’t’ve ditched Stanley and Lower and I really shouldn’t’ve had 10 inches added downstairs. Who was your “paradise” that you traded into a “parking lot”? Let us know in the comments.
Lower was the star of the round, which probably doesn’t surprise given two of the other major candidates to go that huge – Hawthorn pair Shane Savage and Isaac Smith – were having a rest. Thankfully, in to the breach stepped Geelong midfielder Allen Christenson, who did his best Savage impression with a big 120 in the Cats’ win against Brisbane. Three others broke through the holy three-figure barrier in round 17, namely Melbourne defender Stef Martin, Gold Coast midfielder Sam Isles and West Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff. Martin is no stranger to the hundred club, his 113 continuing a rich vein of form that has him being name-dropped as a genuine Shaw replacement (with plenty of coaches happy to pay the premium price of $350k for a player whose DT finals opponents are West Coast, Richmond, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide), but it was a cherry-popping experience for Isles and Gaff. It must’ve simply been Isles turn after teammates Dave Swallow and Trent McKenzie cracked tonnes in the preceding two weeks, while Gaff, back in Eagles colours for the first time since round eight, benefitted from finally being let off the leash by coach John Worsfold, who had shackled his young star with the sub’s vest in all but one of his previous appearances. I was kind of hoping Woosha was going to restrict Gaff to cameo roles for every game this year so that he started next season at a tasty DT price. He’s still only averaging a touch above 50 from his seven games, including his latest score of 104, so there’s hope yet. Another rook-star back from a long break was Adelaide backman Brodie Smith, but unlike Gaff he failed to dodge the sub’s vest and duly produced a value-sapping 13 points. Melbourne forward Jeremy Howe also copped a vest this week, limiting him to 21 points and a subsequent price drop of $13k. Here’s hoping he wasn’t your “Buddy” during the Hawks’ bye round.
Adelaide back-forward Daniel Talia leads the list of two-gamers who featured in round 17 action, but it is teammate Ian Callinan – absent from the Crows team that suffered a second-half fade-out to Essendon – that should attract the most interest this week. Callinan looks set to return from his second injury setback this season to line-up against St Kilda in what would be the $80k mid-fwd’s crucial third game. If you haven’t got him in yet, find the room. First-up scores of 89 and 64 give him a breakeven of -88. Talia has done reasonably well for a big bloke and could earn a string of games to give you all-important back-up through to the end of the season. Or he might get dropped this week. I’m banking on seeing a bit more of him, however, making him an especially tempting option for those who’ve stuck by the photographer Sam Gilbert and want to unlock his back-forward dual-positioning. Barring the recall of someone like Geelong’s Josh Cowan or Freo’s Josh Mellington,the two other options in the two-game bracket are both ruck-listed. Gold Coast big man Rory Thompson has had a 77 and 48, while Collingwood’s Lachlan Keefe has had a 53 and 33. If they’re selected, they’ll earn their first price rise on Saturday night when the Suns host the Pies at Metricon.
The trickle of fresh faces coming through has officially slowed to a drip, with Carlton midfielder Wayde Twomey the only rookie-priced debutant in round 17. Carlton have been sneaky in debuting two players this season that boast distinctive surnames beginning with “T”, but Twomey is a different bloke to teammate Tuohy, I promise. He’s priced at just $80k and nabbed 60 points in his first outing.
Disclaimer: Not all of this article is entirely true, or even a little bit true. Specifically I’m talking about the bit where I allude to having had knob surgery. That was Calvin. Okay? Cool.