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 17
- The Swans have won five in a row to sit in 6th spot with a great percentage of 113.4. GWS have now drawn 2 and lost one in 3 weeks leaving the Swans as the competition's form side. A huge part of it has been the presence of Buddy Franklin who again kicked a bag of 4. Buddy leads the Coleman Medal with 47.45, over 90 scores which far outstrips his competitors. His goal assists are high as well. He is earning his $1 million + a year in 2017. Incredibly the Swans can push for a top 4 spot if their winning streak continues.
- If all finals were played at Etihad you would pick Essendon to win. They smashed the Eagles there by 61 points, Port by 70 and now the Saints by 61. The Saints were brilliant the previous week against the Dogs but were made to look very ordinary by a fast and high scoring Dons outfit. In the same way Buddy has led the Swans revival Joe Daniher is a barometer for Essendon. He kicked 4 and is second behind Buddy in the Coleman with 45 goals. He is playing brilliantly with his contested marking stretching back lines. It shows that a power forward is still a huge asset but these days they have to be fast, mobile and have a big tank like Franklin and Daniher.
- Port Adelaide have quietly established themselves in 4th spot with the second best percentage in the comp behind Adelaide. They are a high scoring unit and inflicted North's worst defeat of the year winning by 70 points. Like the Swans and Essendon they have a good mix of mobile talls, inside grunt and outside speed- it seems to be the magic formula for a successful side in 2017. Port had 11 goal-kickers and have some potent small forwards in Wingate, Robbie Grey and Sam Grey who kicked 4. Port have recaptured the frenetic attack on the ball from a few seasons ago and are looking good for a double chance.
- Gold Coast were again lacklustre against the Pies and it seems more likely out of contract coach Rocket Eade will be gone in 2018. They were at home at Metricon in wet conditions and lost 2 players including captain Stephen May with a hamstring injury which provides excuses for the loss but it is a concern that 33 yo Gary Ablett was their dominant player still with 41 possessions. Unlike GWS who have established a formidable midfield and leadership group from their recruits the Suns are still struggling to develop their young champions. At the beginning of 2017 many commentators were predicting Gold Coast would improve and press for a finals position but they have gone nowhere this year.
- Adelaide showed Melbourne they have a long way to go before they play finals in 2017. I am not convinced that Melbourne's deal with the Northern Territory does the club any favours. MFC has had to sell games to the NT and previously Brisbane for many years as they have struggled financially. It is a different scenario from those of North and the Hawks in Tasmania. Firstly the travel to Darwin and Alice Springs means we play two more interstate games and under difficult conditions with ongoing stress to players in 30 degree heat. Compared with the short haul from Melbourne to Tassie they are difficult trips. Secondly, unlike UTAS Stadium and Blundstone Arena the Dees do not have a fortress in the NT. The Hawks and North have both established great winning advantages in Tasmania and in addition have grown membership and fan bases here. By contrast Melbourne has a chequered record in the NT and Dees fans are hugely outnumbered by Crows and Port fans in the far North. Melbourne would have performed much better at home at the MCG against Adelaide and would have a better recovery for next week. It does not seem to be doing much for the club.
- Patrick Dangerfield's heroics have sniffed out the Hawks' slim chance of playing finals. Clark Don's new look side has been playing good football and could easily have beaten 2nd placed Geelong except for another match winning performance by Dangerfield who overcame a leg injury to kick 5 goals. He has helped his side to at least four wins this season with individual efforts. In Hodge's 300th Hawthorn made a last quarter comeback but could not pull off a miracle losing by 3 points. Hodge played well in his milestone game after announcing his retirement at season's end. Despite the loss Clarkson is weaving his coaching spell on his young group as he rebuilds after a decade at the top.
Thanks to Cripps - Cripps Master Loaf. Number 1 Choice for Tasmanian's daily bread!