By Liam Melrose and Ollie Nash
The Tigers proved they are still the team to beat with an impressive come from behind victory over the undefeated Western Bulldogs. Photo: AFL Photos
Stop writing off the best
I don’t know why people do it to themselves. Every time the slightest crack appeared at Hawthorn during their dominant era, the headline read ‘Hawks dynasty coming to an end?’ With the New England Patriots in the NFL during the Tom Brady era, once a year the media said the dynasty was ending. Last week Richmond endured it. I’ll say what I said after that round; they’re the favourites until their beaten, plain and simple. So were the Golden State Warriors during their run and so are the Los Angeles Lakers now. The Hawks and the Cats were the same, as were Brisbane. When you’ve won three of the last four premierships and made a preliminary final the other year, you earn that right.
Does anyone actually know what holding the ball is anymore?
Firstly, by asking this question this is not me looking to criticize the umpires, it’s a genuine question. It seems as though every match there are different requirements for what is holding the ball and what isn’t. What is deemed to be prior opportunity seems to change every game to the point where it’s incredibly inconsistent. I remember the days where if you took on the tackler and you dropped the ball, the umpire would pay holding the ball, it was rarely missed. I’d love to see that again. The rules are constantly altered every season, however holding the ball is a staple rule and there shouldn’t be confusion over what is and what isn’t holding the ball.
Is Tom Hickey the recruit of the year to date? Photo: Getty Images
Tom Hickey is the recruit of the year to date
We’re only seven rounds in but the Swans have found a diamond in the rough, in ruckman Tom Hickey. Hickey has done the nationwide tour of Australia but looks as though he is right at home on the Eastern beaches of Sydney. Currently averaging 16.2 disposals and 11 contested possessions, it’s his ability to win clearances that has been the most impressive for me. He currently averages six clearances and he has effectively become another midfielder for the Swans. He moves around the ground well and right now is arguably the second best ruckman in the league behind Melbourne’s Max Gawn. The Swans are 5-1 with Hickey in the line-up and could very well be 6-0 if it wasn’t for an injury to his knee midway through the Swans’ loss to the Giants. He is a major reason why Sydney currently sit fourth on the ladder.
Stop blaming the umpires
If you’re a Geelong supporter blaming the umpire mistake at the end of the game for your loss, you need to wrap it up. A missed mark call, of course. Happens a lot throughout a game though and I know for fact the Cats were the beneficiary of some handy bad calls throughout the game that resulted in goals. The Brad Close free kick was a prime example. Geelong fans should be looking at the fact their side had the game in control and could never put Sydney away, or that they allowed the Swans to kick three of the last four, or the fact they led 41-13 at quarter time and then proceeded to concede 5.1 in the second term to 1.3.
Jesse Hogan was terrific in round seven kicking four goals in his debut with the GWS Giants. Photo: AFL Photos
Is there a sleeping Giant in the west of town?
Jesse Hogan had a dream debut for GWS against the Adelaide Crows on Saturday with the former Demon and Docker kicking 4.1 and looking right at home in the Giants forward line. Hogan burst onto the scene with Melbourne in 2015 kicking 85 goals in his first 41 games across two years before moving to Fremantle where he struggled to find his feet. While the Giants defeated the Crows with ease, Hogan slotted in perfectly in the GWS forward line and could be the perfect replacement for Jeremy Cameron. While it is early days the Giants could have found themselves an absolute steal.
Players you can’t win flags with
As a Richmond supporter, I’ve seen my fair share of bad games and results. One thing we always used to discuss was guys we couldn’t win a premiership with. Daniel Jackson was a real battler for the Tigers, a best and fairest winner, a very good player, but we weren’t going to win a premiership if he was in our starting midfield. If you look at the Bulldogs, they are not winning a premiership with Josh Bruce and Josh Schache up forward. Schache was never going to be in the team at the end of the year, Tim English will come back, however, the point remains; you can’t win flags with these guys. I love every other part of the Dogs game and line-up, but if the forward line doesn’t change, a premiership is out the window.
Cover Photo: AFL Photos