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.
1.29: Geelong 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:
|Nick Graham||Northern Blues||25|
|Michael Hibberd||Casey Demons||20|
|Brody Mihocek||Port Melbourne||19|
|David Mirra||Box Hill Hawks||18|
|Edward Morris||Casey Demons||18|
|Jack Trengove||Casey Demons||18|
|Ben Kennedy||Casey Demons||19|
|Toby Pinwill||Port Melbourne||19|
|Corey Maynard||Casey Demons||18|
|Angus Brayshaw||Casey Demons||17|
|Dallas Willsmore||Box Hill Hawks||16|
|Cameron Pedersen||Casey Demons||16|
|Mack Rivett||Port Melbourne||16|
|Brody Mihocek||Port Melbourne||13|
|Chris Jones||Box Hill Hawks||11|
|Dallas Willsmore||Box Hill Hawks||10|
|Cameron Pedersen||Casey Demons||10|
|Nick Graham||Northern Blues||10|
|Chris Cain||Port Melbourne||10|
|Jack Trengove||Casey Demons||9|
|Edward Morris||Casey Demons||9|
|Marc Pittonet||Box Hill Hawks||41|
|Charlie Kelso||Port Melbourne||23|
|Jack Fitzpatrick||Box Hill Hawks||22|
|Matt Korcheck||Northern Blues||20|
|Timothy Smith||Casey Demons||11|
|Kade Stewart||Box Hill Hawks||8|
|Mack Rivett||Port Melbourne||8|
|2017 LEADING GOALKICKERS|
|Jordan Lisle||Port Melbourne||7||7|
|Angus Scott||Casey Demons||4||4|
|Sam Switkowski||Box Hill Hawks||3||3|
|Development League||Last Rnd||Total|
|Aaron Cotte||Casey Demons||4||4|
|Jeremy Gleeson||Port Melbourne||4||4|
|Ethan Hanley||Port Melbourne||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|