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 16
- Oh when the Saints!! They were on fire in the first half against the Tigers. Quick ball movement, brave use of the corridor, great tackling and 11 goalkickers, 6 kicking multiples meant Richmond were embarrassingly outplayed. It was the worst Damien Hardwick’s team has played this year and the big question is whether they had an off night or was St Kilda’s pressure too much for them. Coach Alan Richardson said his team played the way they want to play and if this is an indication of what they can do against top sides they may cause havoc if they make the 8. They have a better midfield than a lot of pundits gave them credit for with Seb Ross, a journeyman until this year, playing his 8th game straight of over 30 possessions.
- Port finally proved they can beat a top 8 side easily accounting for the Eagles at Domain. West Coast are finding their home base is not as impregnable as in previous years and were over-run by a fleet-footed Port. Like ST Kilda, when Port get their running game going they are impossible to stop. The issue is what they can do when a hard contested footy team like Geelong make their outside players more accountable. Ryder has been a revelation this season and like so many ruckmen works better as the number 1 man. The era of the big lumbering ruckman seems to be over. You have to be agile and cover a lot of ground at both ends and Ryder is a prototype. West Coast must be sweating on the imminent return of Nic Nat.
- For the second week in a row GWS were held to a draw, this time by a very competitive Hawks side at their Launceston fortress. It hasn’t happened since Carlton did it in 1921! GWS have been outstanding this year but it shows what a great competition the AFL is in 2017 when the second team is challenged by the 13th. The Hawks really needed to win this game to have a sneaky chance if playing finals and they thought they had after Burton punched the ball through for a point in what appeared to be the dying seconds. Clarkson was cheering when it became clear that the siren had blown but no-one had heard it. After a siren-gate episode in a previous season you would think the UTAS siren could be heard in Oatlands! GWS are looking like they own a double chance and finals at home which makes them very hard to beat.
- The Tiges once again found a way to disappoint their fans against St Kilda. They looked terrible and on that showing cannot be a genuine contender but as we know form-lines count for nothing in 2017. For the first time this season Dustin Martin looked mortal, perennial good-guy captain Trent Cotchin smacked Ryan Lonie in the stomach and their young speed brigade in the forward line looked ordinary. For supporters it was not the loss but the way they lost that will upset them. They looked lazy and apathetic. One worry for Richmond is that their only marking target up forward is Jack Reiwoldt who is being double teamed week after week. Coach Damien Hardwick showed his thin skin too over-reacting to ex- team mate Kane Cornes’ tweet that maybe the Tigers got ahead of themselves. I am sure there will be more rollercoasters action for the Tigers’ diehards before September.
- Bucks has to be gone doesn’t he? Sitting at 15th with no chance of finals action the club must be wondering when to hit the button. Pies’ players have said the constant media speculation about their coach’s future has unsettled the side but I would think that is a poor excuse for some limp performances. If they wanted to help Nathan Buckley they needed to be consistent. They have played some great football this year and have not been blown away all year but have been average at times. I think Bucks will make a great assistant at another club and if he returns to senior coaching could be successful but he needs to leave now. Despite media speculation that Paul Roos will move his AFL saviour franchise to Collingwood it seems very unlikely. Roos has said it won’t happen. Is there another Alistair Clarkson protege who can be plundered from the Hawks? His assistants Brendan Bolton and Chris Fagan have made huge improvements at their respective clubs.
- What has happened to the Doggies? I loved them last year defying their underdog status week after week. Luke Beveridge (another Clarkson acolyte) was brilliant in harnessing the desire to break a 62 year premiership drought and Bon Murphy captured the hearts of the AFL public. Roll on 2017 and Tom Boyd has gone backwards after Grand Final heroics and is now suffering depression. Recruit Travis Cloke has also struggled with the pressure. Jake Stringer is a shadow of his 2015 self and clubs have worked out how to contain Norm Smith medallist Jason Johanisen. I am sad to say it but they won’t make the finals this year despite saying all year that they would. Perhaps the spirit of 2016 allowed them to play above themselves and now that other sides have studied them more closely but a lot of the young talent from last year is looking pedestrian.
Thanks to Cripps - Cripps Master Loaf. Number 1 Choice for Tasmanian's daily bread!