The Power rewarded fans who took the trip down South to Noarlunga with a 28 point win over the Hawks in a game which we had many players to monitor with interest in their final JLT series hit-out. The game was played with a noticeably strong wind and there were periods of heavy rain which took away any chance we had of seeing a class game with clean skills from either side.
What we learnt?
Brett Eddy backed up my little pump-up for him on the podcast during the week by coming out and scoring 5.4 from 15 kicks and 4 marks. He started slowly but had a monster Q3 where he kicked 4 goals. He’s not going to make big scores consistently but he’s going to be one of our best rookie-priced forward options and should be in most sides.
After being mocked on this week’s podcast, Paddy Ryder hit back at some of his critics with a dominant display which included 35 hitouts, 12 disposals, 7 marks and a goal. Personally, I wouldn’t write him off as a legitimate mid-priced option for this year considering we’ve got some doubts lingering over a few of the top premiums. A good sign for him is that Matthew Lobbe was left out for this game.
Since we’re desperately on the hunt for midfield rookies this year, Sam Powell-Pepper gave us a bit of a shining ray of hope despite compromising his score with 8 frees against. The young lad loves to throw his body around and today he impressed with 23 touches and a goal. Joe Atley had 14 disposals (all handballs) in just over half a game and I’m not so confident he’ll be there for us in round 1.
The Power were missing regular senior plays Chad Wingard, Robbie Gray, Matthew Broadbent, Jasper Pittard and only had limited game-time from Travis Boak after he suffered a nasty corked-hip in some friendly fire by Ollie Wines which makes it hard to read too much into how a lot of their players scored. Hamish Hartlett was disappointing for anyone hoping he can return to premium level this year and Dan Houston may sneak a game early but could easily find himself back in the SANFL when some of the other guys return. Ollie Wines led the power for contested possessions and clearances and is showing no signs of going backwards. If you thought pre-season talk of Justin Westhoff moving up to the wing in a Nick Riewoldt/Matthew Richardson type role may bring him under consideration for this season, then I’m afraid you’re probably going to have to head back to the drawing board on that one.
What we learnt?
Particularly for AFL Fantasy/Dream Team scoring formats, Tom Mitchell showed he’s going to be an absolute force this year with 29 disposals, 6 tackles, a game-high 15 contested possessions and a team-high 8 clearances. I can’t help but think that sort of stat-line is going to be a weekly event for him this year, complemented with some of the monsters we have seen him dish-up in the past.
The other gun recruit Jaeger O’meara was equally as impressive with 27 disposals (13 contested) and 6 tackles. He’s almost the most-picked player across all 3 formats and I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds that mantle going into our first lockout of the year. We’ve seen plenty more than we needed to over the JLT series from him and everything seems to be a green light for him heading into round 1.
Another popular guy who I only expect to become more popular over the next couple of weeks is Jarryd Roughead. He’s an easy pick at a discounted price and today racked up 20 touches with 6 marks and 6 tackles playing all over the ground.
Will Langford was prolific today playing through the guts but I’m not sure he’ll put in that sort of performance regularly (or even guaranteed a spot in the side) when the Hawks have Liam Shiels, Luke Hodge, Grant Birchall and Josh Gibson back in. Isaac Smith was impressive with 25 touches, as was Kade Stewart with 16 disposals, 5 marks, 6 tackles and 1.3 (although he’s probably just a touch to expensive too come under real consideration). Teia Miles was okay, but I wouldn’t be holding too much hope for him to get regular games and is a risky option to start with even if he is named round 1.