Crows v Lions at Alice Springs Review
Rabbit caught the NAB Cup game at Alice Springs on Saturday night and jotted down a few things for us Dream Team coaches to take out of the match.
I underwent an AFL run course last week and am now an Accredited level 1 AFL Coach. One step closer to the FJ cruiser I thought. Have to say it wasn’t very helpful though. They didn’t discuss the merits of Guns and Rookies over mid-pricers and I’m still going to struggle with the byes but the course came with a ticket to the lions V Crows game so I’ll share what I learnt from that instead.
Whilst the rest of Australia may have felt cut off from the game it was great to see AFL being played in Alice Springs. I’ve been to games in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Perth but nothing compared to the brilliant atmosphere at Traeger park. Indigenous women hilariously sang out claiming Johncock and Tambling as their family members and the general atmosphere was sensational.
With Alice Springs Council’s ban on goon and other cheap alcohol there was an added sense of sophistication in the crowd. Supporters sipped their low-carb mid-strength beer whilst politely applauding gaols and tackles whilst snacking on caviar.
Despite Huge rains being predicted none came. Rain had bucketed down over the preceding days however and had left a soft and greasy pitch behind. I can’t really qualify how wet or how soft it was except for pointing out that just down the road the Todd River was flowing and the Stuart Hwy had been cut off by floods on Thursday. It wasn’t too hot so despite being I the Red Centre none of the players should have been experiencing anything too different from normal.
The game started really scrappy and I was getting pretty close to putting a bet on the Giants winning beating both team this year. But then the crows started to move and showed signs that they may have some relevancy in DT this year, especially when rebounding from the backline.
As seems to be the emerging trend there were stacks of Long kicks, especially when entering the forward 50. This really didn’t work for Brownless Brisbane and all they managed to do was boost the scoring of the crows back men. To be honest though, the Lions were pretty inaccurate with their short kicks too.
Both sides used the opportunity to blood some young players even if only for a sub affected half but as I have not really followed the draftees of either team and I was, and remain, ignorant of any rookie talent. If you want anyone from either team you’ll probably be selecting an awkwardly priced player about to break out or an established gun.
Be mindful that several key players were out that would have artificially raised the scores of others, Adcock, brown, Tippett and Thompson being the most obvious.
Flashes of brilliance and was pretty much everywhere. Copped a knock early in the game that got me nervous but was up and going in no time. I don’t think many people will be willing to pay the awkward asking price but with last nights performance I reckon he deserves a spot on your watch list.
I have to say my eye sight isn’t what it used to be but I only saw Mckernan get close to the ball a few times and not once did it look like he was going to score as high as 85 points. He turned the ball over on multiple occasions and seemed lost a lot of the time but he still got the plus threes and is in the best 22 so maybe worth a look after all, especially with that last name.
The key factor here is Jed Adcock, obviously he wasn’t there and all you informed DTer will be saying once Adcock is back M&M scores will take a hit. BUT with Adcock spending more time in the midfield in 2012 we may see more scores in the 90s from Maguire. He and Ashley Mcgrath shared the kick in duties. Selection requires seriously balls here
Ok fine he didn’t play but the lions really lacked a forward presence and continually turned the ball over in the forward half. I know Brown was rested but even after almost a full 2011 the Lions don’t have a Plan B when he isn’t playing. The score line doesn’t reflect how many times the lions sent the ball forward it just shows how little the forwards did with it. It will comes as news to no one but in 2012 the lions will look for Brown at absolutely every opportunity and he should get plenty of ball. .
Rockliff and Redden.
Obviously had plenty of the ball, especially Rocky but I reckon they both would have got even more if this wasn’t a nab game. Nothing new here they’ll continue to score well in 2012.
I comment on Golby only because he top scored for the Lions and to say I wish I’d seen this coming. He wasn’t on my radar before the game and I didn’t take much notice of him throughout. There was a lot of scrappy play in crows forward 50 and I think that’s where he got most of his points. I’m sure someone else will be able to clarify.
With a risky combination of value, potential, injury scares and an acceptable bye Porpoise has been in and out of my team and I don’t think I’m alone. Last night didn’t hurt his chances as he was subbed on at half time and showed he was pretty capable. He doesn’t have the DPP that Danger has but he is significantly cheaper.
So to sum up, with the exception of Rockliff, Redden and maybe Brown, it’ll take a brave DTer to pick any of the above and it is not up to me to foster such courage. I can however tell you Alice Springs deserves more footy and that the coaching course is about as DT relevant as a full back.
Article submitted by Rabbit.