Gerard Healy's round one analysis

Written By Unknown on Senin, 01 April 2013 | 23.40

Harry O ... Collingwood's round one use of Harry O'Brien drew plenty of interest from FOX FOOTY's Gerard Healy. Source: DAVID CROSLING / AAP

Round one of the AFL season always sees months of off-season strategy and planning on display.

The Sunday twilight contest at Etihad Stadium was an interesting case study. The Kangaroos surprised as they looked to go a lot wider than the high-risk, high-reward approach through the middle of the ground that took them to the finals last year. 

Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash Player

North Melbourne's handball numbers were down enormously on last year's average.

Ironically, Collingwood went the other. The Magpies, long-term users of the boundary-line approach, played more through the middle of the ground when the opportunity opened up. They backed themselves with some high-risk moves that paid dividends.

The most obvious alteration to the Collingwood set-up was shifting Harry O'Brien to the wing. 

We saw O'Brien move up the ground in the NAB Cup against West Coast and it looked to be promising on that occasion. After Sunday it appears it could be a season-long event for the dreadlocked defender. And it could be a move that reinvigorates the career of Harry O.

Last year was pivotal in a sense that the competition believed Harry had become vulnerable one out in defence.

Opposition forwards dragged him back to the goal square in an attempt to expose him in one on one contests. The ploy forced Nathan Buckley to consider what he would do with his talented premiership defender.

Harry's size and pace is a major weapon a bit further up the ground. At least half a dozen times on Sunday the 188cm O'Brien was the target for long dump-out kicks from the back half. He was also the go-to man on

Collingwood kick-ins and intercepted the North kick-ins, setting up shots for goal.

When O'Brien won the footy he quickly rebounded, put the Magpies in dangerous territory, and had the opportunity to kick a couple of goals himself. In time his ability to finish and hurt teams on the scoreboard will come but his attacking flair going forward was impressive. 

I haven't seen Harry run as freely and creatively for a long time. It reminded me of previous big wingmen who have had a big impact on the competition. There was all 100kg of Dipper for the rampaging Hawks, Jimmy Stynes for Melbourne, Matthew Richardson at Richmond, and Andrew Embley and Martin Pike for successful West Coast and Brisbane outfits.

If you've got athleticism, size isn't an issue. O'Brien can become a ball carrier, a marking target, a goal assist player for the Magpies – that's a difficult package to combat.

Interestingly, given Heath Shaw's late withdrawal, Buckley ignored the obvious thought to push O'Brien back to defence to cover. He appears to be committed to the move.

There were other interesting positional changes across the opening round. Young Gold Coast midfielder Dion Prestia performed the roll of small defender probably for the first time in his career in a serious match. It's a good move from Suns coach Guy McKenna. Prestia makes good decisions with the ball and Gold Coast have an abundance of young midfielders trying to find a place in the club's best 22.

Andrew Walker went back to the future for Carlton and was one of their better performers against Richmond while Chris Yarran's efforts in defence during the NAB Cup – which were too loose for coach Mick Malthouse – meant he was played forward. It should have won the game for the Blues.

Western Bulldogs also mixed things up with Robert Murphy released from defence by the inclusion of Brett Goodes as had been flagged by the coach. Nobody could have tipped how successful the move would be with Murphy performing well and Goodes near best on ground.

Coaches won't be locked into these moves for the season given the flexibility of players but on the early showing they'd be encouraged by what they saw.

Anda sedang membaca artikel tentang

Gerard Healy's round one analysis

Dengan url

Anda boleh menyebar luaskannya atau mengcopy paste-nya

Gerard Healy's round one analysis

namun jangan lupa untuk meletakkan link

Gerard Healy's round one analysis

sebagai sumbernya

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar Techie Blogger Techie Blogger