A shedding semi-final this yr adopted a shedding preliminary ultimate final yr, which adopted a shedding grand ultimate the yr earlier than. It suggests a membership stepping away from rivalry. This incremental step backwards in finals has the texture of 2013 about it, with it a have to replenish the record.
Buckley agreed the Magpies wanted a couple of extra gamers just about in all places besides in defence . Troublingly, he appeared to forged doubt on whether or not the draft would provide them the solutions they wanted.
Hopefully this was not what he meant, for Port is a contemporary exemplar of a focused draft strategy. After false begins with different methods they determined to buy gamers of worth – Jared Polec, Chad Wingard – and attacked the draft with early picks. They had been good sufficient to do it in an excellent draft yr after which selected correctly. They’ve renovated, not rebuilt, and the brand new reno seems nice.
Adjustments to enjoying personnel and fixing a wage cap that’s perennially stretched (reaching a settlement with Dayne Beams would assist) are necessary issues to resolve, however a dialogue additionally must be had round teaching.
Collingwood’s midfield and ahead line misfired for 90 % of the yr. They solely had a couple of wins once they regarded like a staff with a plan and confidence about tips on how to transfer the ball. That’s not all all the way down to the gamers.
Buckley is contracted for subsequent yr so he stays, however like post-2017 they should change the dynamics of the recommendation he’s getting. The loss this yr of Justin Longmuir from the coach’s field was vital. They want to have a look at the administration of the midfield, ball motion and the forwards and alter the combo.
Was Brodie Grundy injured or was it the suffocating relentlessness of soccer in hub life? It is a crucial query as a result of in a financially regulated surroundings you can’t afford for one in all your highest-paid gamers to have a yr like that.
Jaidyn Stephenson has now had one excellent yr, one yr in shame and one yr of disappointment. From the skin, Stephenson seems like a participant who received the Rising Star and thought he’d arrived. Subsequent season will probably be important for him.
The subsequent large questions are about re-signing Darcy Moore and Jordan De Goey. The membership is assured Moore will re-sign quickly. De Goey is a extra vexed challenge not only for Collingwood however different golf equipment. A uncommon matchwinner, he is because of face court docket later this month on a cost of indecent assault.
QUERIES FOR CATS
Geelong’s drawback, should you can name it that, was that they performed so properly, whereas their opposition performed so poorly, that they are going to surprise in the event that they addressed a few of the worries that they had popping out of the qualifying ultimate the earlier week.
They had been virtually faultless from first bounce to final on the Gabba. Collingwood didn’t problem their midfield nor exploit fringe gamers the best way Port did.
What could be mentioned with certainty is their common Achilles heel within the ruck was nothing of the kind on Saturday.
Rhys Stanley was terrific for the second week in a row. He’s so necessary to them as a result of with Mark Blicavs they have a double act of athleticism and a degree of distinction with the opposite three groups.
Tom Hawkins kicked precisely. That’s all. The perfect factor a couple of romping win was it gave a confidence participant like Hawkins the sport he wanted in entrance of aim.
The midfield was so imperious they might afford to play Patrick Dangerfield completely ahead. When Dangerfield performs like that it’s cheap to ask whether or not he’s a greater ahead than midfielder anyway. Good gamers try this, they go away you with a way that wherever they play you’ll be able to’t think about them being higher used wherever else.
HILL TO CLIMB
St Kilda’s recruits from their aggressive low season trades largely did properly.
Even Dan Hannebery overcame his accidents to get again for finals, and was excellent final week.
However Bradley Hill was a disappointment. He had poor finals and though Brett Ratten supplied a sound defence of him earlier within the yr his season is greatest mirrored in the place Hill completed in the Saints best and fairest – outdoors the highest ten.
The perfect 4 groups within the season are the final 4 groups standing. Once more.
This undermines perennial talk of a wildcard round to find out the final couple of spots within the finals.
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports activities author specialising in AFL and athletics.