In a humid and muggy game at Metricon a relatively inexperienced Suns midfield held up valiantly in the first half, but the more experienced Crows overran and outclassed the Suns in the second half. Due to the humidity & recent wet conditions on the coast plenty of skill errors from both sides with poor hand balling, dropped marks & kicks missing the target a relatively common sight. While some of the polish you’d expect from a normal AFL game was off the intensity of he contest for 2/3 of the game was good.
What we learnt
Aaron Hall: If you had been considering Hall prior to this game & had him in your side you’ll find it impossible to take him out. While others may be tempted to find a way to squeeze him in considering his NABChallenge form has continued on his strong end to 2015. Maybe I’m a ‘doubting Thomas’ but I wanna see him deliver this type of game with a stronger midfield that doesn’t just consistent of him, Risky & Touk. No questions that he’s been brilliant but with Ablett, Longergan and now likely even Prestia to play round 1 it’s still unknown if he can smash out the 90-95+ average many expect when these boys roll though the guts with him. Half of me thinks he’ll enjoy the addition of these players and maintain his strong scores, while the other has serious doubts. An interesting thing to ponder.
Matt Rosa: If you look at his points, you’ll trade him out of your side instantly with a poor scoring return. A few times too he made silly errors resulting in free kicks to the Crows. However, his role as the link up outside player and roaming the wings is exactly what we want. If your a coach swayed by points chances are his gone already for you. But if role trumps points then you’ll be enjoying his uniqueness increase as other lose faith.
Trent McKenzie: Backed up the strong form of last weeks NAB challenge match and even though KK was missing, Trent looks to have reestablished himself as a key ball mover out of the Suns backline. With 3 inside 50’s & 4 rebound 50’s we are starting to see McKenzie get back towards his strong from for 2 years ago. If he can continue to apply himself and his defensive efforts he’d be a unique cheap defender to consider.
Ryan Davis: Basement priced rookie midfielder who is competing for one of the upgrade rookie spots available. He showed plenty of promise and positioned himself well especially in the first half & was to be able to find the ball continually. A quieter second term and at times did just smash the ball out of traffic which enabled the crows to quickly rebound out of 50 relatively easily. Worth keeping on your watchlist especially if the expected midfield guns don’t get up for round 1.
Touk Miller: Was one of our great midfield rookie options last year and with many Suns midfielders out he thrived on the extra midfield responsibility with winning 6 clearances and finishing with 25 disposals and operating at 84% disposal efficiency. It’d be difficult to start him in salary cap formats especially with the wealth of midfielders likely to return for round 1, but with a MID/FWD positional flexibility I like the pick of him late in a draft.
Just how will the Suns structure up in 2016? KK, Ablett, Prestia, Lonergan plus possibly even Currie and Day to come back in all for the round 1 clash against the Dons. For coaches it’s likely that all the players you had from Gold Coast should still very much be there, while others may well contemplate trading out a premium forwarding hope that Aaron Hall could match the scoring output early at $50,000-$100,000 less cost. While I won’t be doing that, it’ll be a popular plan for many.
What we learnt
Paul Seedsman: Crows fans would have been delighted with his game, especially the second half. ‘The seed’ was full of run and hit targets often as he linked up across the wings and with some penetrating kicks inside 50 which saw him be apart of 7 score involvements. Seedsman seems to be gradually finding his feet in his new side and while with Paul’s history says he can be hot & cold, coaches that get on will be hopeful of more of this type of performance.
Jarryd Lyons: Has worked himself clearly into the Crows best 22 for mine this preseason. He adds great presence and pressure when used forward, showed the ability to impact the scoreboard and has the versatility to be used inside the midfield rotations. A cheap and unique MID/FWD option.
Rory Laird: Those that had concerns over if Laird could back up his 2015 should not worry, Laird will once again be a solid defensive premium. Somehow ended up with the 4th most touches on the ground (28) and along with Brodie Smith rebounded plenty of times out of the Suns forward line. He gets plenty of cheap ball in the back half when the crows transition the footy. Even if your not starting many premium backs Laird will need to be considered as an upgrade target in 2016.
Cam Ellis-Yolmen: Like Touk Miller mentioned above CEY was one of the key starting squad rookies of 2015, and again tonight showed some of that form. Showed some strong signs as he started often in the midfield set ups and along with Lyons I believe now is going to form a key ingredient in the new look Crows midfield along with the Crouch brothers long term. While it’d be hard to choose him over Matt in a draft league format you’ll be able to daft him late and get some great value out of him as he has feat scoring potential.
Mitch McGovern: Yes, let’s get it out of the way he is related to West Coast Jeremy McGovern they are in fact brothers, however the surname isn’t the only thing the boys share. Mitch demonstrated why he’s nicknamed ‘buckets’ by some around the club by clunking 6 marks which is also a key feature of big brother Jeremy’s game. A 2 goal return from his first match of the year, Mitch is a sneaky outside chance to play round 1, and while I’d have little confidence in picking him in my starting squad an injury to one of the crows taller forwards could open the door for some consecutive games.
Matt Crouch was at his ball winning best and delivered another impressive performance and is making to harder for coaches to ignore. While Milera has all but locked away his round 1 debut and especially in SuperCoach is a great forward bench option. The crows were close to full strength tonight but with Brad Crouch playing the SANFL along with Atkins a strong showing him Brad will be all it takes for him to play his first game of home and away footy since 2014.