The Bombers took a stronger team over to tackle last year’s Grand Finalist. They were no match for the Eagles but tried very hard and showed quite a few positives overall.
What we learnt
Matthew Priddis: Matt Priddis had a very Matt Priddis like game. He seems to go under the radar a lot in every preseason. He featured at #35 in MJ’s Top 50 Most Relevant (click here to read). MJ sums it up perfectly in his first sentence! “Some premiums just sneak under the radar, and Mathew Priddis just continually gets the job done across the formats.” 18 of his 33 touches against the Bombers were contested. This game is what his owners expect week in week out and if you are looking for a round 14 bye premium mid who just gets the job done week in week out no matter the opposition then Priddis is your man!
Andrew Gaff: Looked super fit and moved very well. If Gaff was on your radar before this game, then you left feeling confident he is able to back up his monster 205 break out year. Gaff even pushed forward and kicked a couple of goals. If he can add that string to his 2016 bow then he is every chance to stay close to the top of the midfield premium tree.
Elliott Yeo: Had a very solid role in this game. Started in many centre bounces then pushed forward. I really don’t know where he is now at however. He just doesn’t get the numbers he should. There is no doubt he does things that others would struggle to do but he doesn’t have the accumulator touch at all where he can rack up decent DT points for periods of time. This is going to be a total gut feel selection if you are keen on him. The one good thing however is his bye round. Might be an interesting roller coaster on the Yeo train in 2016!
Shannon Hurn: While this game was against a team that the Eagles dominated, Hurn appears to have his link half back role back. Due to injuries in 2015, Hurn played often as a tall in the Eagles backline. It was great to see his teammates looking for him in this game. He has a beautiful kick and has some Supercoach history with season averages of mid 80’s and 90’s. Priced at value for 2016 in that format and becomes a real option if today’s role continues.
We learned a few things from this game but all in all it does need to be taken lightly. At times in this game it was very one sided. None the less, it was still a solid hit-out for the Eagles with many of their stars getting plenty of kilometres into their legs in preparation for round1. Eagles have a very fantasy friendly bye round for 2016 and I expect them to have quite a few very solid POD’s for fantasy.
What we learnt
Mark Baguley: Baguley is one of the only Bomber defenders left for 2016. If today’s form is anything to go off then he is a chance to be the half back general moving forward. He uses the ball better than any other Bomber defender so expect to see him with ball in hand a lot in 2016! I expect the Bombers to slow as the season rolls on due to the fill in players not having a full preparation but a guy like Baguley won’t. Loved his game yesterday and expect to see similar for the whole year.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti: I developed a man crush yesterday! Tippa was the story of yesterday’s game for me. Started to settle into the pace of AFL. He also seemed to be at the forefront of his teammates minds as they went looking for him a lot, especially in the first half. Was pushed forward in the third quarter. He used it very well in this game especially by foot. Basement rookie price, DPP and decent job security will now see him with a decent percentage of ownership to start 2016.
Zac Merrett: Was very outside in this game which is going to be a concern moving forward. Would have liked to see more of an even spread between in and out. Will still average very well and should feature highly in the forward rankings if he stays on the field across all formats. Kid is super talented so keep him on the radar even if he doesn’t feature in your starting plans.
Matthew Dea: Had the best game of his career in this game. Looked very solid deep in the backline. Was involved in a few chip marks sequences. His history tells us he is a 50 type of guy. It is a concern that his best career game so far only saw 20 touches and 80 odd DT points but he priced nicely and has great job security. Would make a very solid d6 if you choose to go that way but manage your expectations with him.
Nick Kommer: The last thing we need right now with the lack of rookie options, is for one of the more popular one to suck as badly as Kommer did in this game. He stayed in the forward pocket and hardly saw the ball at all. I have no idea what to think here now. His first game was awful. His second game showed promise. This game was meh. Cash generation is going to tough enough already without rookies every chance to score a 20 on any given week. Concerning signs!
The Bombers first quarter was terrible. But they did impress me from quarter time onwards in regards to effort. I also saw some very promising signs with team cohesion. There was a lot more link play by the Bombers late. One thing Bomber fans should be smiling about is young Joe Daniher! This kid is a beauty and is starting to really show signs of reaching his potential. Matthew Leuenberger needs to come straight into this team in my opinion! Jamar is average at best and was dominated by Nic Nat in the centre bounces.