We all know Triple M's Dave Noonan loves his footy...
As a self-proclaimed aficionado, we've asked him to share a little bit of his knowledge and insight every week by covering off on his favourite three things and his least favourite three things of the round.
Dave's 6-Pack - Round 11
- Dustin Martin’s salary next year is skyrocketing week by week. He is now the Brownlow Medal favourite and is leading Richmond’s best start to a season in many years at 7 wins- 4 losses. He has always had great talent but this season it is more consistent. He is unbeatable one-on-one, plays short and tall, kicks goals (2 on the weekend against North, 16 for the season), cannot be tackled or brought to ground, kicks 50+ metres with ease and can shoot a bullet-like pass into his forwards’ hands. No wonder everyone is talking about $1 million+ a season to win his signature. He is tough and even better- he is durable. He seems to have shed the weight of off-field issues and his father’s deportation to New Zealand. Coach Damien Hardwick would be pleased the Tigers are winning again as it makes it more likely Dusty will re-sign. The only concern is that the longer he leaves it- he says there will be no decision till the end of the season- the more likely it is he will be seduced by one of his many suitors.
- While we are talking star players how good is Paddy Dangerfield! Joel Selwood was heroic against Adelaide but Dangerfield was brilliant too. Like Martin he breaks lines, is a deadly long kick and can’t be tackled. His explosiveness makes him almost un-taggable and his ability to impose himself and change the flow of a game is a quality few players have. He is currently in the top 3 in the Brownlow market and is, with Selwood, leading Geelong to a Top 4 finals position. All teams in the modern era trot out the mantra “a soldier out and another soldier in” when players are lost through free agency or injury but the truth is that star players can make the difference between not playing finals and playing finals, and winning grand finals and losing them. This is why so many clubs are currently salivating over Fyfe, Josh Kelly and Martin. They know it can give them that competitive edge.
- I am confused about this one as, like most AFL fans who don’t support Collingwood, I have a deep irrational resentment of the Pies- but I have to congratulate them on a great effort in supporting their coach Nathan Buckley. They have won three in a row and sit behind the Dees in 10th Once again it was Treloar, Sidebottom, Pendlebury and Adams leading the wasy. Darcy Moore is finding form and they are a committed unit. The win against Freo in Perth is Buckley’s first as a coach and was under great adversity. Injury-prone recruit Daniel Wells did a calf, resurgent Jamie Elliott kicked another 3 but limped off with a damaged ankle and Tyson Goldsack struggled with an injured shoulder. This was a character building win for the team and sets up a ripper of a game with the Dees next Monday for the Queen’s Birthday blockbuster.
- West Coast are dreadful on the road. They can be bullies on their home turf and have one of the biggest differences between wins at home and away of any AFL side. This year they have lost 4 out of 6 games away. Despite remaining in the Eight it is hard to see them doing any damage in September, especially if they do not have a home final. Without Josh Kennedy they looked rudderless up forward. Jack Darling is having a poor season and did not step up in Kennedy's absence. Sam Mitchell has been brilliant after his surprising axing by Hawthorn but their midfield is starting to look slow. They may be the team to let Melbourne or St Kilda slip into the finals.
- The Hawks were smashed by Port. Port look back to their manic pressure of 2014. Where did it go for two years? Paddy Rider is in amazing form. Like many ruck men he works best as the number 1 man and Ken Hinkley's faith in him is justified. The same can't be said about Ty Vickery who has not improved after moving to the Hawks. Clarkson and co had a terrífic run with recycled players when the team was at its best- Josh Gibson, Brian Lake, David Hale and others were premiership players but Vickery is not in this league. After a win in Sydney many expected the Hawks to be competitive but as they rebuild Hawks fans will have to be patient.
- Nat Fyfe is off the boil. While Dusty Martin's free agent value goes through the roof Fyfe, also a free agent at season's end, is losing value by the week. There is speculation his knee injury is impeding him and this is always hard for a player. Do you play under your best or have a lay off to recover? As captain he is trying to lead the way but at the moment he is not "doing a Dangerfield". It is obvious Freo relies on him to inspire them as he has in the past. Without Fyfe at his best the Dockers will not remain in the Eight.
Thanks to Cripps - Cripps Master Loaf. Number 1 Choice for Tasmanian's daily bread!