Monday, June 7, 2010

AFL Round 11 Team Assessments

Fine! Due to popular demand (or is it just whinging), here is the assessment of Round 11.

1. Carlton - A win they should have grabbed and importantly did. Due to the Dogs falling, and Freo failing, they are now 1 game out of the 4 and importantly 1 game clear of 6th. Big game against North this week. A win consolidates and if other results fall their way they may be equal top 4.

2. Sydney - It wasn't glamorous but it was just what they needed, a win to get back on the winners list after sliding badly, and similarly to Carlton, gain a game breathing space from the chasing pack. A win against Port in Adelaide and if the Dogs lose to the Lions, they jump into 6th and a game clear of 7th.

3. Hawks - It was damned ugly, but they did enough. Into the 8 for the first time since round 2 after stringing 4 wins on the trot. They haven't been convincing (barring Carlton) but they are wins nevertheless. A winnable game against the Crows up next and a game against a peer in the Dons after that. If they can stretch their streak to 6 then all the sudden they may lift above the pack a little.

4. Collingwood - Great win against a legit competitor (albeit one stumbling). Sure the last quarter wasn't anything to write home about but they did the job early and it was good enough to lift them from 4th to 2nd (thanks to Freo for taking the fall). They have Melbourne next week which should see them consolidate 2nd spot at least by percentage.

5. North Melbourne - They were desperate for a win and like the Pies, did the hard work early to save off a fast finishing Brisbane. Massive win for them as they are still in the hunt but with dreadful percentage. Need to keep winning. Carl and Port give them chances, but its unlikely they'll get both.

6. Adelaide - They needed the win to put some distance on the Tigers, and also to try to gain a little more respect by EOY. That won't happen and they'll definitely finish bottom 4. But they saw a champ in Edwards off in the right way.

7. St. Kilda - Need to win to stay with the top 4, only played the Tigers so it was bound to happen. Huge game v Freo next week in Freo. Need to win to demonstrate they are actually a decent side, rather than a Reiwoldt reliant one. Their record is middling since he went out.

8. Geelong - Meh.

9. West Coast - Really I should have put them above Geelong but they didn't quite do enough. If they lost by the same margin but coupled blame dreadful skills I would have. Tough work from here. May squeeze into the bottom of the chasers, but its unlikely. Very winnable game against the Tigers next, but it is in Melbourne, and the Tigers have been improving.

10. Brisbane - Only lost by a point which shows they are good enough to be in the chasing pack, but the fact that they didn't seize the opportunity consigns them to 10th on the assessment ladder. Dogs at Etihad next and that will be a tough assignment. If they are any good they'll win or go close. A big loss and I'm just about ready to put a line through them.

11. Essendon - Fought a hard contest and were hit by a massive injury in Hille. Sadly he is a huge part of this teams chance of success. Bleak times ahead, esp when they have the Cats next and in that context, they are close to the ink being run through them too.

12. Port Adelaide - Played 1.5 quarters of footy and only lost by 11. But in context their worst was woeful and their best superb. Need more consistency and won't find it with Treders out of the team. Lost all 4 since he went down I think. The MUST win against Sydney in Adelaide if they are to remain in contention for a top 8 finish.

13. Richmond - Just weren't good enough. They will finish last but if they keep getting valuable experience into their kids and sneak a few wins on the way, they'll be OK in a few years. To get 5 or more wins would be a sin, thankfully they won't have to tank to do that.

14. Melbourne - Very disappointing output. Not unexpected, but disappointing nevertheless. They weren't in the game at all, and now they slip to be clinging on 4 wins to the bottom of the chasing pack. They are teetering on bottom 4 and something unexpected. Just don't think they'll be good enough to get higher than 12th come season end.

15. Fremantle - It was a disappointing loss. Adelaide aren't much chop and Freo shouldn't have let this go. A win would have given them equal bragging rights with the Cats, the loss drops them to 4th. Need to win winnable games.

16. Dogs - Yep sure, talk about their fine finish with the last 6 goals (but didn't win), but the fact they were in that spot is the telling sign. They are all over the shop. The Essendon loss the week before was a worrying sign, and one I thought they would overcome, but now they are on 6 wins and a loss to Brisbane means someone in the pack below will catch them. A win and they still cling onto that separation on the ladder.

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