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 favorite three things and his least favorite three things of the round.
Dave's 6-Pack - Round 21
- In my opinion the 3 sides most likely to be there on Grand Final day showed their wares on the weekend. The Giants have so much talent it is ridiculous. Their speed, accuracy by hand and foot and conversion rate from inside 50 are all remarkable. Their midfield led by Coniglio, Shiel and Kelly is brilliant. They are hitting their straps. The Swans were ruthless against a weak Freo who will be happy to take a higher draft pick at this point of the season- it's not tanking though! Buddy was brilliant and their evenness and work ethic suggests they want to avenge last year's GF loss. Adelaide blitzed the Bombers who had everything to play for with a place in the 8 up for grabs. The Crows have the best forward line in the comp, a great backline and a sturdy midfield. There looks to be a gap between these three teams and the rest.
- Josh Kennedy- the Eagles one- is a gun. Well they both are but the boy who was traded west for superstar Chris Judd has been the best forward in the comp for years. He has missed 5 matches and the Eagles have been average but he is leading the Coleman- again! He leads Daniher and Buddy with 60 goals after winning in 2016 with 80 and 2015 with 75, both good tallies in the modern era. To put it in perspective if he wins again in 2017 it will be 3 in a row for the first time since Ablett Snr from 1993-95! He was traded from the Blues and I am not convinced they got the best end of the deal. How much would they love a gun forward this season!
- C'mon I had to do it...a smaller revamped Demons side finally responded to the occasion and won a virtual elimination final against fellow bottom-of-the-eight contenders St Kilda. They had lost 3 of the last 4 and looked ordinary at times. First year coach asked them to be rave and adventurous and they were- for three quarters at least. I would love to see my blood pressure readings through a Melbourne game as they almost snatch defeat out of the hands of victory like they did on Sunday. Their midfield is looking like it did earlier in the year with Viney, Jones and Tyson all fit again after injury. The most pleasing note was Angus Brayshaw making a great return to the AFL after a year in the wilderness. A succession of serious concussions was threatening his career and after a very conservative rehab he finally lined up again only to have a sickening first quarter head clash which ended Koby Stevens day. Brayshaw played on and had a brilliant return with 26 composed possessions. The Demons can still miss September action but took a big step yesterday.
- Rocket Eade was sacked by Gold Coast last week- his third sacking as a coach showing what a fickle trade it is. It was also the third time he has put in a great foundation at a failing club that needed a cultural revolution. I think Eade expected the culture at Gold Coast- with tales of conflict, drugs and alcohol rampant- to be bad but not as bad as it was. He also thought the list would be hiding more diamonds than it is. Like a lot of clubs with poor culture the development of talented draftees is compromised and they often never recover. Melbourne was a case in point before Paul Roos. A number of first round draftees from that era are not even in the AFL system any longer. The Suns are going nowhere fast and the fact that Brisbane's rebuild is so far ahead now as was apparent in a 58 Pt thrashing is testimony to the degree they have wasted the money and talent the AFL have thrown at them. I love a post on a footy forum on the weekend suggesting the Suns should be relocated to Hobart!
- What has happened to the Doggies? They were my surrogate team last year in the finals and I loved their flair, ferocity, self belief that lead to a miraculous premiership. Stringer is a shadow of his former self, spiritual leader Bob Murphy still defies his age with moments of brilliance but cannot rally the troops behind him. Tom Liberatore exemplifies their fall. His contested ball and feverish energy around the ground was a catalyst for his team mates but his career is at the crossroads. Tom Boyd the Grand Final star of 2016 has not raised a yelp this year and is still unsighted. Luke Beveridge has been amazing marshalling his team last year and this year. It looks like some of his younger group played above themselves last year and the Premiership success has taken a few percent off their intensity. They will struggle to make it back after their percentage took a hammering at the hands of a rampant Crows outfit.
- Are the Pies dragging it out or what with regard to the future of Nathan Buckley? Collingwood didn't have the cattle to challenge Port in Adelaide and that may be the biggest criticism of Buckley and his football team. They have not been able to assemble a good enough list to threaten despite having a red-hot go at times this year. Jesse White and Chris Mayne are two highlights of a number of recruiting misfires. It will be interesting to see if the Suns would be interested if Buckley gets sacked. He may have learnt from his experience at the Pies as coach. I don't think senior coaching at the club you played for so soon after retiring works. It didn't for Michael Voss at the Lions and it hasn't for Bucks. What about the rumour that Ross Lyon has been talking to Collingwood? He left a sinking ship at St Kilda and maybe is is ready to leave another one at the Dockers.
Thanks to Cripps - Cripps Master Loaf. Number 1 Choice for Tasmanian's daily bread!