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Get Off The Bench: Round 22

Probably one of the two most challenging weeks of the Finals with a lot of people still hanging on to their Geelong Players. On top of that there are now no more scond chances, win or you are out! To make it even harder, some of our more trusted guys checked out last week and didn’t even give a whimper!

As more and more teams are running out of trades, the right decisions in regards to who to play on the field is more important than ever!  Last week we saw some reasonable efforts from a few guys like Gu, I Smith and even Krakouer who did ok, but then, Nick Lower, what the hell happened there!  That cost me a few of my matchups that is for sure!  One that did better than I thought was Paul Puopolo.  Perhaps it was because he knew I was there watching him that he wanted to put in a good performance, if he had asked I would have requested he and the rest of the Hawks take the avo off, but alas it wasn’t to be.  However, if you were near the MCC members and saw a group of 4 Power supporters go up like it was the winning goal for each of our 5 goals, chances are you saw me, hey we made the trek across, might as well have a bit of fun if we are getting flogged!

So this week, we have the Cats out of our teams.  Hopefully you have saved enough trades for this week and next (when we are without the Blues) and can side swap or upgrade your Cats.  If not, then you are going to be relying on your ever dwindling quality bench guys (because you have probably already upgraded all the ones that were ok and made you some cash).

These guys are a safer bet than Milney to kick the first goal! (he has done it 8 times this year)

Our best performers of late are the guys you want in your side, they are all scoring well, and scoring consistently.  They are headed up by Tendai Mzungu who has back to back tons and a pair of 80’s prior to that.  He has been thrown into the Midfield of late and this is really helping his DT output!  I can’t see any changes in this plan for him in the near future.  Isaac Smith is another guy that is on fire of late.  He has now a 90 95 and 115 in his last 3.  He really looked good on the weekend.  He will have a far greater test this week against Carlton than he did against Port on Saturday, but against some of the better opposition he is still scoring well.  Andrew Gaff has really come from the clouds now that Woosha has let him off the Green Leash!  Averaging 94 in his last 5 and with the Eagles soft run home, he is really looking like he belongs in that Eagles side.  3 tons in those 5 show me why I picked him in my initial side and why he was No. 3 in the draft last year.

David Hale has been very solid for the Hawks over the last 7 games with nothing lower than 76.  He is averaging 82 over that period so doesn’t vary his scoring a great deal at all.  Will have his work cut out for him against the Blues, but should still put in a solid performance.

Andy Otten moved up from the 60’s and into the 80’s ont he weekend with a good outing against the Cats, but take into account the ball would have been down his end a fair bit in this close one.  This week against the Gold Coast he will be doing a fair bit of rebounding across half back, but I expect another score in the 60-70 range for him.  Teammate Matthew Wright continues to surprise me.  He had his first ton since round 8 and his scores haven’t been terrible in between either, so he is certainly a contender to score very well against GCS as he often plays up forward a bit and likes to kick a goal.

I am going to leave Krakouer up in this part of the list this week despite his 55 last week.  His form leading up to this game against the Saints was very good and they play the Lions at the G this week and I think that he will come back this week.  Similarly I will give Dyson Heppell a free pass for his 68 on Sat night.  However, he is another that I think is looking forward to the end of the season.  He is at Patterson’s Playground this week and he scored 81 against the Eagles back in round 7.  I would expect a score of at least that this week.

Zac Clarke still had a great game despite the return of Sandilands.  he did have his lowest score for the last 4 weeks, but that was still an 87.

Sam Iles made a comeback on the weekend with a 91.  He had a 44 the week prior, but that was his lowest score for the season.  I think against Adelaide at home he should pull out a nice score.  The Cannon, Trent McKenzie, played a nice game but only got a 62.  This was his lowest since round 13.  However, I think he will bounce back this week.  I reckon about 75+ is what you can expect from him.  Danny Stanley has also had his worst score for a while (since rd 11), but he has played really well lately and should still be safe to play.  David Swallow was touted for a rest this week, however since he didn’t get one, I am a bit nervous about how he will go this week.  If they were talking about it he must be fairly tired.  His last two have been his worst two in the last 8 weeks.  I am very fearful that he will get a vest this week.

Do we need to say too much about the Hawks?  They had a good day on Sat and their form is still very good.  Isaac Smith, Max Bailey and David Hale all had good games.  They played above their average last week, so I would expect them to be on average this week.  Paul Puopolo came up with the goods as I didn’t expect him to score that well, but I also didn’t expect the blowout that I saw.  81 from Puopolo was his best since rd 15.

Matthew Lobbe has had a couple of 70’s in the last two and this is a good effort, particularly in last weeks game.  This week against the Dogs at home I think he should do very well and score in the 80’s.

There is no extra trades or money next year if you tank in DT, so don’t play these guys

Brodie Smith seems to be copping his fair share and more of green vests of late, 3 of his last 5 since returning to the team.  He should be played with extreme caution and not at all if you have a choice.

Pump a guy up and he lets you down every time.  Patrick Karnezis is certainly a case of this.  So much so that his Green vest this week actually saw him outscore his previous week by 2!  Unfortunately his time is done, don’t play him.  Same thing has happened to Dean Polo I gave him a wrap and now he has put out a 61 and a 66 in the last two.

Nick Duigan has been a bit inconsistent of late.  His last 4 weeks have been 31 58 84 and 47.  This doesn’t scream “pick me” to coaches.  I think the long season has started to take its’ toll and I think he won’t score much more than about 60ish this week.  I think Stewart Crameri is another that has been bitten by inconsistency.  His score of 62 is below par for this guy.  He had a great run but has declined over the past few weeks.

Dion Prestia copped a green vest on Saturday night,  His 30 points is not what coaches need!  I would be very nervous if you need to play this guy.

Stefan Martin is a guy I have liked this year, but his form has dropped off in the last few weeks to an average of about 60.  Not sure if this is due to a change in playing style now that Bailey is gone but this scoring trend worries me.  Dan Nicholson is another I get asked about and after some poor scores and now a Green Vest against West Coast, I wouldn’t play him either.  Jeremy Howe is here for another reason, he had 95 on the weekend, but his two before that were below 70, and that isn’t good enough in a finals match, you need to know your guy is going to get a score over 70 with some confidence.

Cameron Pedersen was coming good, but his last game was a full game for 21 pts, not good enough.

Ben Jacobs has hit the wall a bit I think, his scores of late have been struggling to get above 6o and when he does, he doesn’t go much higher.

Sam Reid has dropped off the radar as has Alex JohnsonJack Darling plummeted back to earth again this week with a 60 showing his 88 and 99 were not a true indication of how he is going at the moment.

Luke Dahlhaus is a bit up and down at the moment with 73 58 and 81 in his last 3.  However, against the Power, he may stay at that higher end scoring, but I am just not sure.


With a bit of carnage at the selection table for a few teams (read: my team) it could be a struggle.  This is exactly why you save trades for this time of year.  Good luck in your elim finals and hopefully you are able to field a good side!  Twitter me at @pkd73


  1. Stanley
  2. Puopolo
  3. Heppell
  4. Otten
  5. Martin
  6. Duigan
  7. Jacobs


  1. I Smith
  2. Mzungu
  3. Gaff
  4. Krakouer
  5. Wright
  6. Heppell
  7. Iles
  8. Swallow
  9. McKenzie
  10. Crameri


  1. Hale
  2. Z Clarke
  3. Bailey
  4. Lobbe
  5. Vickery


  1. I Smith
  2. Mzungu
  3. Krakouer
  4. Hale
  5. Howe
  6. Lobbe
  7. Dahlhaus
  8. Prestia





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