STATS CENTRAL: Marcon the missing link?

Could last year’s top-ranked team for contested possessions and clearances per game have an even stronger midfield in 2017?

With the return of 2015 Williamstown premiership on-baller Adam Marcon (pictured) to Burbank Oval after a season on Richmond’s AFL rookie list, the Seagulls look ominous.

The 2015 Fothergill-Round Medallist dominated in a 23-point win against the Casey Demons in Round 1, racking up game-highs of 32 disposals, 21 contested possessions and 13 clearances, while also laying 12 tackles and kicking a goal.

Williamstown lost the uncontested possession count by 103 to the Demons – last year’s premier team for finding the ball in space – and also gave up 54 more marks. But as is their style, the Seagulls recorded more contested possessions (21), clearances (10) and tackles (44) than their opponents.

The usual suspects of Michael Gibbons (27 disposals), Willie Wheeler (25), Ed Carr (21) and Ben Jolley (20) were also amongst Williamstown’s top ball-winners on Monday, but Marcon could be the difference-maker senior coach Andy Collins wanted after defeat at the hands of Casey in last year’s preliminary final.

“We probably lacked a bit of versatility in the midfield last year,” Collins said earlier in 2017. “But this year we’ve got a lot more versatility, with (recruited players) Ben Cavarra (10 disposals, one goal against the Demons), Jason Pongracic and Corey Yeo, as well as Adam Marcon.

“Towards the end of the season we got beaten by bigger bodies in there. (Melbourne’s) Clayton Oliver was really good for Casey in our preliminary-final loss as was Koby Stevens when we played Footscray, but we feel we’re better equipped this year.”

Further improvement from Jack Dorgan (18 disposals, 10 tackles and one goal against the Demons) and Brett Bewley (17 disposals, nine tackles) will only increase the midfield riches at Collins’ disposal, while the changes to the third man up rule means they’ll all be better served by big man Nick Meese.

With pure one-on-one ruck contests guaranteed, Meese had 67 hitouts (and a round-high 14 tackles) opposed to Cameron Pedersen and Declan Keilty on Monday.

 

Round 1 keys to victory:

13: The Northern Blues scored just eight goals from 52 inside-50s against Port Melbourne and a big reason for that was Brody Mihocek. The Borough’s 2016 best-and-fairest was a wall in defence in his team’s win, recording game-highs of 13 marks (five contested) and seven rebound-50s among his 27 disposals.

21: 2014 JJ Liston Trophy winner Alex Woodward may be playing in different colours but his prodigious ball-winning ability clearly remains. The former Hawthorn/Box Hill Hawks midfielder had a round-high 21 handballs as he regularly ferreted the ball out of congestion for his new VFL club Collingwood in its thrilling victory over Coburg.

1.29Geelong lost several important statistical categories relating to the contests in its triumph over Werribee but when the Cats won the ball back, they moved it forward with purpose. With a kick-to-handball ratio of 1.3, Geelong – led by Jordan Cunico with 14 kicks and Tom Atkins with 13 – were much more direct than the Tigers (ratio of 0.8).

 

Round 1 stats leaders:

KICKS      
Nick Graham Northern Blues 25  
Darren Minchington Sandringham 24  
Nick O'Kearney Sandringham 22  
Lynden Dunn Collingwood 21  
Anthony Miles Richmond 21  
Adam Marcon Williamstown 21  
Michael Hibberd Casey Demons 20  
Sam Lloyd Richmond 20  
Brody Mihocek Port Melbourne 19  
David Mirra Box Hill Hawks 18  
Edward Morris Casey Demons 18  
Jack Trengove Casey Demons 18  
Craig Bird Essendon 18  
Mitch Honeychurch Footscray 18  
Willie Wheeler Williamstown 18  
       
HANDBALLS      
Alex Woodward Collingwood 21  
Koby Stevens Sandringham 21  
Heath Hocking Essendon 20  
Ben Kennedy Casey Demons 19  
Toby Pinwill Port Melbourne 19  
Corey Maynard Casey Demons 18  
Matthew Hanson Werribee 17  
Ed Vickers-Willis Werribee 17  
Lukas Webb Footscray 17  
Jacob Ballard Richmond 17  
Angus Brayshaw Casey Demons 17  
Ben Allan Coburg 17  
Dallas Willsmore Box Hill Hawks 16  
Cameron Pedersen Casey Demons 16  
Mack Rivett Port Melbourne 16  
       
MARKS      
Sam Lloyd Richmond 14  
Brody Mihocek Port Melbourne 13  
Lynden Dunn Collingwood 12  
Chris Jones Box Hill Hawks 11  
Dallas Willsmore Box Hill Hawks 10  
Cameron Pedersen Casey Demons 10  
Nick Graham Northern Blues 10  
Ben McNiece Essendon 10  
Chris Cain Port Melbourne 10  
Lachlan Keeffe Collingwood 10  
Jack Trengove Casey Demons 9  
Alex Hickey Geelong 9  
Nick O'Kearney Sandringham 9  
Edward Morris Casey Demons 9  
Jake Aarts Richmond 9  
       
HITOUTS      
Nick Meese Williamstown 67  
Ivan Soldo Richmond 50  
Marc Pittonet Box Hill Hawks 41  
Billy Longer Sandringham 40  
Tom Bellchambers Essendon 39  
Mason Cox Collingwood 34  
Majak Daw Werribee 30  
Mark Kovacevic Coburg 26  
Rhys Stanley Geelong 23  
Charlie Kelso Port Melbourne 23  
Jack Fitzpatrick Box Hill Hawks 22  
Matt Korcheck Northern Blues 20  
Tom Goodwin Coburg 19  
Wylie Buzza Geelong 17  
Ayce Cordy Williamstown 16  
       
TACKLES      
Nick Meese Williamstown 14  
Jack Sinclair Sandringham 13  
Rupert Wills Collingwood 12  
Adam Marcon Williamstown 12  
Timothy Smith Casey Demons 11  
Jack Dorgan Williamstown 10  
Declan Mountford Werribee 10  
Caleb Daniel Footscray 10  
Aaron Francis Essendon 9  
Darren Minchington Sandringham 9  
Nathan Drummond Richmond 9  
Brett Bewley Williamstown 9  
Kade Stewart Box Hill Hawks 8  
Mack Rivett Port Melbourne 8  
Nick Jamieson Footscray 8  
       
2017 LEADING GOALKICKERS    
VFL   Last Rnd Total
Jordan Lisle Port Melbourne 7 7
Ben Lennon Richmond 6 6
Jacob Townsend Richmond 5 5
Sam Lloyd Richmond 5 5
Darren Minchington Sandringham 4 4
Ryan Clarke Werribee 4 4
Angus Scott Casey Demons 4 4
Patrick Lipinski Footscray 4 4
Sam Switkowski Box Hill Hawks 3 3
Jacob Ballard Richmond 3 3
       
Development League   Last Rnd Total
Aaron Cotte Casey Demons 4 4
Corey Rich Sandringham 4 4
Jeremy Gleeson Port Melbourne 4 4
Ethan Hanley Port Melbourne 3 3
Joseph Fisscher Sandringham 3 3
Alex Browne Northern Blues 2 2
Ash Krakauer Port Melbourne 2 2
Damian Mascitti Port Melbourne 2 2
Dyson Stevens Northern Blues 2 2
Jai Rout Casey Demons 2 2



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