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Hawks v Bulldogs NAB Cup Review

For all those who don’t have Foxtel, or have no interest in sitting through 100 minutes of pretty boring pre-season footy (I envy you), I penned some thoughts from the Hawthorn vs Bulldogs Round 2 NAB Cup match on Friday 1 March 2013.


For all those who don’t have Foxtel, or have no interest in sitting through 100 minutes of pretty boring pre-season footy (I envy you), I penned some thoughts from the Hawthorn vs Bulldogs Round 2 NAB Cup match on Friday 1 March 2013.

The Match

Well the Bulldogs won by a point. But who cares.

The Players Who Impressed

Matthew Boyd (MID – $593,700)

I hadn’t considered Matty Boyd until half time of this game. He always goes under the radar, and yet is always a top 5 mid at the end of the season – and is a sure fire thing to be a Top 5 total point scorer again this year. One thing I noticed in this game was… He hasn’t changed. He is still a ball magnet, runs hard, kicks the ball and tackles hard. He is the epitome of a dream team star. Another 31 touches and 98 DT points for the hard working bulldog captain – and he deserves to be in more teams than he is currently in.

Sam Mitchell (MID – $523,500)

Although he only scored 82 points (19 touches, 4 marks and 6 tackles), he looked as fit and as well prepared for a season as I have ever seen him. His ability to create room under pressure was again a standout, and he will always be a ball magnet. Point of Difference this year for those looking for one – he is a star.

Brett Goodes (DEF – $121,300)

This was the first time I’d seen him live – and all I’ve done now is lock him in my side and he won’t leave. Extremely composed, strong and experienced, he is the ideal fit for a young Bulldogs backline that needs some direction. He will play 22 games this based on his performance which saw him net 70 points, kicked a nice goal, and didn’t handball. This year I will start with Goodes – only it won’t be the Sydney version.

Lance Franklin (FWD – $521,300)

Buddy ended the night with 17 touches, 7 marks, 3 tackles and 5 goals for a total of 98 DT points. The fact that he looks this good this early in the season is downright scary, and if you are serious about DT he should be locked and loaded in your squad.

Matthew Suckling (DEF – $426,900)

At this stage of the NAB Cup (after 3 games), it appears Suckling’s role has changed – and for the better for DT coaches out there. Clarkson loves having the ball in Suckling’s hands. Based on the 3 games to date, Suckling looks like he will find more of the ball between half back and the wing, while also pushing forward to snag the odd goal.  Although he only ended with 60 DT points, it was a very scrappy affair and once the skills start improving you will see him picking up plenty of cheap +6’s.

Nick Lower (MID – $352,300)

Subbed off just after half time with 50 points to his name – in all reality I’m not sure why he was subbed off. His precise kicking is what is required at the Whitten Oval, and he slots nicely into the midfield/half back flank in that team.  Looked very composed, and I can’t see there being an issue with his Job Security based on his performance so far in the NAB Cup.

Clay Smith (MID – $331,000)

He kicked a fantastic super goal at the end of the game to give the doggies the lead, which they never gave up. This kid is an absolute superstar, and even though he is entering just his second season, he really needs to be considered. 16 touches, 4 marks and 4 tackles are some great stats for a young player in the second round of the NAB cup. But the most impressive thing (to me) about his game is his goal sense. He is 100% in the bulldogs best 22, and will seldom be given a vest.

Jed Anderson (MID – $108,500)

This kid is a gun. He just looks ready to play AFL footy, albeit probably as a sub for a majority of the games, especially early. He only had 6 touches, and his disposal needs work, but he had 7 tackles on Friday night, indicating just how hard he works. Keep an eye on him for the next few weeks.

Jonathan Simpkin (MID – $195,800)

After another very good performance from Simpkin on Friday night, I think he is really pushing his claim for a Round 1 selection. His toughness at the footy really stands out; he plays like a man who knows what it takes to be a league footballer. Ended the game with 14 touches (6 kicks 8 handballs), 4 marks and 2 tackles, for a total of 58 DT points – which is not fantastic numbers, but he is still adapting to the Hawthorn style.

The Players Who Didn’t

Shane Savage (MID – $285,700)

Those who read my 52 Pick Up articles would see that I bandied Savage about as a smoky in DT this year – however, given his pretty un-impressive start to the NAB cup campaign I don’t think he is in the best 25 even at Hawthorn. Considering Sewell, Mitchell, Lewis, Hodge and others have missed many (or all) of the games, it was time for Savage to stand up show something. He didn’t. Just 11 touches and 46 DT points without being a sub is not good enough.

Luke Breust (FWD – $389,100)

Another smoky being bandied about in pre-season 2013 – 6 touches and 24 DT points and no influence on the game isn’t what we were hoping for (even though he was subbed off just after half time). Although he is a very good player, it appears he will take the route of many young crumbing forward occasionally pushing up onto the wing, and be highly inconsistent.

Luke Dahlhaus (FWD – $384,300)

While he didn’t have a bad game, his run and carry was pretty impressive, at this stage of hid young career, it appears like he is not going to be a consistent DT scorer (see Luke Breust above). Flashed in and out of the game without stamping any real authority on it, and ended with 12 touches and 55 DT points – doesn’t exactly scream “pick me”.

A few minor points:

  • If you are considering Dale Morris because of his low starting price – don’t.
  • Jarryd Roughead’s role will not change much (if at all) from last year.
  • Ryan Griffin is a great pick in DT draft leagues.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @cruttonhutton, and join in the banter in the lead up to season 2013!



  1. Mondi23

    March 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    First! 2013 booya!

  2. TDominator

    March 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    What are thoughts on jordan roughead???

  3. Matthew

    March 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    jeez i have 5 of the 9 players who impressed. stop telling everyone some of unique picks ;)

  4. GB

    March 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Crutton, the fact you talk about Nick Lower’s “precise kicking”, when he was delisted by Freo for lacking just that, shows you don’t actually know anything about him as a player.

    Makes it a bit hard to take the rest of what you say seriously. It’s fine to admit you don’t know about a player, just don’t try and pretend you do.

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