GWS v Adelaide
The Crows put on a bit of a clinic during the 2nd and 3rd quarters against the Giants as they looked to bounce back from a low 2018. The Crouch brothers, Gibbs & Sloane all played with each other for the first time as well. It amounted to a sloppy at times, possession-holding matchup.
Stephen Coniglio: Cogs did what he has been doing for some time now – getting a lot of the ball in the GWS midfield. He seems to be their main ball winner these days and yet is not the first cab off the rank for a tag (see Kelly et al). Should have another good year.
Lachie Whitfield: Seemed to be the Giants’ only way forward at times, as the Crows held onto the ball and dominated time in possession. Did take the odd kick out as well as a few Giants shared that around. Signs positive for another good year.
Tim Taranto: Looked solid in midfield yet again with another 28 touches as he continues on his upward trajectory. An awkward price as you’ll need him to score like a premium mid this year but one that some may take the risk on.
Heath Shaw: Heater certainly didn’t take all the kick ins, sharing with a few players, but he did take several of them in his customary role. Interesting he did simply kick to the pocket from the goalsquare a couple of times and was the pocket recipient himself on another. Looks good to go for another good season to be honest, the question is whether he’ll increase from last year’s average or stay around the same mark.
Hately/Caldwell: Both showed signs however neither was a huge ball winner. Caldwell had only eight touches from his half of footy and while Hately played more gametime he didn’t see a lot more of the ball. We’ll have to wait and see whether they crack a game for Round 1.
Toby Greene: Given his injury-affected pre-season (and 2018), this game was all about blowing out the cobwebs. Toby only played half a game and looked pretty rusty at times, yet he was involved in a lot of the play up forward (and even in defense a bit) and it is surely just a matter of time for him. The question is whether he’ll rediscover that form from Round 1 or whether he needs a while to get back into the swing of things.
Matt Crouch: Matty was back to his prolific best in this game, getting involved everywhere from centre bounces to link up play to last line of defense marks. 38 touches and 9 tackles later and he is hitting the season in form.
Brad Crouch: Brad is officially back. Uninjured for the time being and in form, a 30+ possession outing from him including a lot of centre bounce work suggests that he’s ready to roll from Round 1 and that the time to pick him, if ever, could well be now. The price is right, however there remains an injury risk with a player like him – certainly an interesting player to consider.
Rory Sloane: Just like the Crouch brothers, Sloane was involved in a lot during this match and had a terrific night, also showing he’s fit and in form.
Wayne Milera: Playing largely in defense, Milera got a lot of the ball yet still found time to sneak forward and kick a goal as well. Looked very good in this game – confident and involved in much.
Brodie Smith: Brodie was taking kick ins (playing on for the extra +3) but was also getting involved quite a bit on the wing and at half forward as the Crows chipped it around and looked for quality players to send them forward. Greatly promising and definitely one to consider given his price.
Rory Laird: An off night for Laird in fantasy terms, he wasn’t really the kick in guy (bar one occasion where he pretended to give it off elsewhere before playing on himself). He was involved in a lot of the possession game early as the Crows passed it around, however got involved in less as the night wore on and the Crows accelerated.
Chayce Jones: Wow, fair night from the rookie! A ripping tackle & goal, a goal assist to Sloane & a goal saving tackle on Coniglio down back all came in a big 2nd quarter and he kept presenting with pressure and another goal throughout the night. May have gotten himself a Round 1 berth with this game.