Weekly wrap: Round 6 studs, duds, injuries

Check out our Round 6 AFL SuperCoach wrap, including the stars and strugglers, injured brigade, and suspensions.

AFL

Round 6, 2022 will forever be known as the week Callum Mills went bananas! With 214 SuperCoach points down in Launceston against the Hawks, the 25-year-old Swan stamped himself on the record books with the 23rd-highest AFL SuperCoach score on record.

If you had Mills, or were able to offset the pain of missing him with the likes of Clayton Oliver, Patrick Cripps or Jarrod Witts, it was a week with bulk points and ranking jumps on offer. My team managed a 2,429, good enough for 161st for the week and a jump of 4,700 season ranking spots, up to 899th overall.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. A couple of surprise Friday outs – Hugh Dixon and Tim English – threw many plans out the window, while Malcolm Rosas’ late scratching on Sunday would’ve been disastrous were it not for the new “Update Trade” feature (thank you SuperCoach gods).

On-field there were other minefields to negotiate. Rookie cash-gen is drying up across the board and the likes of Josh Rachele and Nathan O’Driscoll failed to step up to the plate when needed. One of the footy stories of the season – St Kilda’s Jack Hayes – suffered an ACL injury early on Friday night, which is devastating for a guy who’d worked so hard to get to the top level.

Plenty to talk about this week – let’s get in to it!

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GWS v St Kilda

A good showing from the Giants, but it’s fair to say the Saints are now one a genuine Top 4 contender and proved again it’ll take a lot to beat them.

The two Jacks – Steele (140 SC) and Higgins (129 SC) – were St Kilda’s best. This was a game built for Steele’s inside ballwinning, and he duly delivered with a 29 possession, 8 tackle demolition job. Higgins continues to impress playing that small forward role.

Jack Sinclair (112 SC) continued his excellent start to the year, Brad Crouch (96 SC) was important in the engine room and Rowan Marshall (92 SC) battled manfully despite a painful looking corky.

Down day for Jade Gresham (76 SC) and an awful result for Jack Hayes (16 SC) with the big man doing a suspected ACL in the first quarter.

For the Giants, Callan Ward (123 SC) was their best, while the tandem ruck duo of Matt Flynn (122 SC) and Brayden Preuss (117 SC) inflicted some misery on an undermanned opposition department. This is a big tick for Preuss owners and proof he can function as part of a two-ruck setup.

Tom Green (108 SC) and Stephen Coniglio (91 SC) were both slightly off the pace, while it was a pretty rough night for Tim Taranto (63 SC) and Lachie Whitfield (65 SC). Toby Greene (60 SC) will be better for the run.

Injuries

Jack Hayes’ knee injury was the big news out of this game. He will be out for 12 months but has already been offered another contract. Rowan Marshall’s corky looked horrible so will need to monitor his status through the week.

Reports

N/A

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Western Bulldogs v Adelaide

Boilover at MARS Stadium! What a performance by the Crows, who have sparked their season with three straight clutch victories and just managed to hold on by the skin of their teeth today.

Reilly O’Brien (133 SC) was immense, with his presence in marking contests a huge reason for the Adelaide win. Ben Keays (129 SC) has well and truly proved that last season wasn’t a fluke, while Rory Laird (123 SC) and Matt Crouch (91 SC) held their own against a strong Dogs midfield.

Taylor Walker (103 SC) now has three straight tons to start the year and is set for a handy price rise. Jordan Dawson (81 SC) didn’t play his best and neither did Josh Rachele (35 SC) or Lachie Gollant (38 SC). It might be time to cull both of them.

Josh Dunkley (142 SC) was easily the Bulldogs’ best and Tom Liberatore (137 SC) tried his guts out as usual, but it was a pretty dirty day for the Dogs’ stars. Jack Macrae (92 SC) was swung forward in the second half for some unknown reason, while Marcus Bontempelli (88 SC) struggled to have any impact on the game. Bailey Smith (80 SC) fell out of the game enormously after a massive start.

Adam Treloar (104 SC) was involved in everything and looks fit and hungry and Bailey Dale (121 SC) continued his All Australian form from 2021. Robbie McComb (37 SC) was okay, but will struggle to hold his spot.

Injuries

Gollant copped a broken nose early but played on courageously.

Reports

N/A

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Port Adelaide v West Coast

2022 goes from bad to worse for the Eagles, spanked by 14 goals by the previously winless Port Adelaide. This is going to be a long year for them.

Nearly all of Port Adelaide’s guns fired today. Connor Rozee (153 SC) looks magnificent with more midfield time, while Dan Houston (124 SC), Travis Boak (118 SC) and Ollie Wines (99 SC) were excellent as well. Todd Marshall (141 SC) and Jeremy Finlayson kicked five goals each and feasted on their inferior opponents.

The one downside from Port’s perspective was Zak Butters (58 SC) who was crunched at the opening bounce and looked listless all day. He gets a pass mark after being sick during the week, but only just.

Sam Hayes (94 SC) impressed again in his second game and is now a must-have downgrade option this week.

Alex Witherden (152 SC) has now gone 106, 127, 134 and 152 in the last month and is looming as a MASSIVE defensive POD. Luke Strnadica (56 SC) was okay in his first game, replacing Hugh Dixon, and Patrick Naish (56 SC) is an honest footballer.

Luke Shuey (102 SC) and Tim Kelly (97 SC) were badly beaten through the midfield.

Injuries

Robbie Gray hurt his right knee and was subbed off in the third quarter. Marshall had stitches in his head but returned.

Elliot Yeo was subbed off after a headclash with Hayes.

Reports

N/A

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Fremantle v Carlton

Coming out party for the Dockers as they moved to 5-1 for the season and second on the AFL ladder with a comfortable victory over the highly-touted Blues.

As seems to be typical for Freo this year, it was an evenly spread performance with no real standouts. Andrew Brayshaw (104 SC) did his usual damage and Will Brodie (103 SC) was again excellent, despite what looked like a nasty corky. 

Lachie Schultz (109 SC, 3.3) was arguably the Docker’s best. Caleb Serong (70 SC) and Nathan O’Driscoll (42 SC) both struggled to find the ball.

Patrick Cripps (139 SC) did not miss a beat on his return from a hamstring injury and looked every bit the player he has been all season. Adam Cerra (132 SC), Sam Docherty (122 SC) and George Hewett (114 SC) all got stacks of the ball, while Adam Saad (107 SC) and Sam Walsh (106 SC) didn’t miss out on the action.

Charlie Curnow (66 SC) had one of his down days, while it’s time to go for Corey Durdin (14 SC). 

Injuries

Matt Taberner had a sore head after a knee from Tom De Koning but played out the game. Sean Darcy (90 SC) failed a concussion test and was subbed off. Brodie copped a corky but should be fine.

In a blow for the Blues, Marc Pittonet was subbed off after clashing knees with Darcy in the first quarter. Harry McKay was sore after a similar knee knock but played out the game.

Reports

N/A

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North Melbourne v Geelong

After a shock loss on Easter Monday it was back to business as usual for the Cats, as they put on a masterclass down in Hobart to demolish the outmatched Kangaroos.

Jeremy Cameron (131 SC, 7.1) and Zach Tuohy (130 SC) were the stars at either end for Geelong, with the Cats moving the ball from half-back to full-forward with consummate ease. Tom Hawkins (119 SC, 4.1) and Tyson Stengle (101 SC) were the other beneficiaries of their slick ball-movement.

Tom Stewart (97 SC), Joel Selwood (95 SC) and Mitch Duncan (86 SC) did as they pleased around the ground against an inexperienced North Melbourne engine room.

Sam De Koning (66 SC) did his job to perfection, while Oliver Dempsey (65 SC) was lively on debut and will hold his position all things being equal.

For the Kangaroos, Luke McDonald (102 SC) appears to be the major beneficiary of Aaron Hall’s injury, racking up 22 disposals and 7 marks off a half-back flank. Tristan Xerri (68 SC) and Jason Horne-Francis (65 SC) did just enough to ensure their price continues to rise, but it won’t be long before we need to think about moving on from both of them.

Paul Curtis (58 SC) was fairly lively on debut and should get another crack, while Tarryn Thomas (50 SC) may need some time to get going on his return from a nasty internal injury.

Injuries

N/A

Reports

Ben McKay was offered a week for a high hit.

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Gold Coast v Brisbane

The Q Clash usually provides some entertainment regardless of ladder position, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case this time out with the Lions proving wayyy too strong for the struggling Suns.

Zac Bailey (135 SC, 6.0) was probably the most deserving winner of the Marcus Ashcroft medal you could possibly imagine, completely dominating in all aspects of the game. Hugh McLuggage (113 SC), Jarryd Lyons (110 SC) and Charlie Cameron (108 SC) were also dominant through the mid-forward section of the ground.

Lachie Neale (108 SC) was a popular captain selection, but coaches would’ve liked a bit more out of him. Daniel Rich (106 SC) and Cam Rayner (88 SC) were serviceable while Jarrod Berry (84 SC) has now scored between 76 and 84 four out of six games so far this season, which is either great consistency or an annoying ceiling, depending on how you look at it.

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Keidean Coleman (76 SC) was decent in his first outing of the season, but popular defensive addition Dayne Zorko (74 SC) didn’t quite match the hype. 

Malcolm Rosas was a late out for the Suns, which threw the plans of many coaches out of whack. Kai Lohmann (32 SC) was a popular replacement but unfortunately was subbed off with a nasty looking ankle injury.

For the Suns, Jarrod Witts (143 SC) was immense. He had 43 hitouts against an outmatched Oscar McInerney and was dominant around the ball. 

Witts’ ability to give the Suns midfield first use was music to the ears of Matt Rowell (103 SC), Noah Anderson (100 SC) and Touk Miller (99 SC), although Miller definitely didn’t have his best day out.

Lachie Weller (77 SC) was okay, while Oleg Markov (61 SC) looked rusty.

Injuries

Lohmann’s ankle looked nasty and he didn’t return.

Reports

N/A

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Richmond v Melbourne

This ANZAC Eve game has become a real highlight of the fixture and didn’t disappoint tonight, with a decent showdown between the best team in the league and a finals aspirant in Richmond.

Clayton Oliver (168 SC, 41 disposals) may well have put in the performance of the round and was a clear winner of the BOG medal. Ed Langdon (130 SC) and Max Gawn (123 SC) were the other contenders for the award, but it was Oliver’s night.

Defensive options Jake Bowey (106 SC) and Angus Brayshaw (104 SC) were also fantastic, with Bowey allowed to roam loose in defense, a position he duly took advantage of with 23 possessions.

Christian Petracca (87 SC) had bursts of brilliance but couldn’t sustain it all night; whether or not to grab him when he bottoms out either this week or next is an intriguing question.

For the Tigers, Nick Vlastuin (155 SC) was the player freed up in defense to counter Bowey and he could not be stopped, taking 12 marks to go along with 30 possessions. 

There was plenty of ball to go around in the Richmond backline, with Nathan Broad (123 SC) and Jayden Short (111 SC) also seeing stacks of it. Rookie option Josh Gibcus (102 SC), who many (including me) sold last week, played easily his best game of AFL and now looks like a strong cash-generating option moving forward.

Toby Nankervis (107 SC) and Dion Prestia (105 SC) were the other ton-scorers for the Tigers, who now drop to 2-4 and 12th position on the ladder.

Injuries

Thomson Dow was subbed off in the third quarter with a corked thigh, although given he looked surprised to be handed the red vest this may have been more of a tactical substitution.

Luke Dunstan clashed heads with Jack Graham but was able to play out the game, despite sporting a black eye. 

Reports

N/A

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Hawthorn v Sydney

Bit of a weird vibe with this game kicking off at 12.30pm on ANZAC Day, and the vibe carried over in to the game with the Swans coming back from two goals down in the third quarter to win comfortably by six.

Callum. Mills. The 25-year-old jet went to another level today, his 214 SC the 23rd highest SuperCoach score on record. 37 possessions, 11 marks, 5 tackles, 6 clearances and a goal, going at 91% efficiency, is pretty much the perfect game of football. Priced at $632k, with a breakeven of 36 and in just 2% of teams as it stands currently, now is the time to get Mills or be prepared to miss him entirely.

Peter Ladhams (164 SC, 6 clearances, 34 hitouts) was also monstrous for the Swans. He’s now averaging 115 in his three games for the season, and priced at $461k with a negative breakeven, it’s one to have on your radar. Chad Warner (113 SC) continued his solid 2022 campaign, while Luke Parker (100 SC), Nick Blakey (89 SC), Justin McInerney (89 SC) and Errol Gulden  (83 SC) were all serviceable.

Isaac Heeney (81 SC) didn’t have a kick to half time, but battled through late to put up a respectable score. 

For the Hawks, James Sicily (113 SC) was again brilliant, although a couple of clangers meant his score wasn’t quite as high as it could’ve been. Tom Mitchell (105 SC) was solid without lighting the world on fire.

Rookie options Josh Ward (46 SC) and Connor Macdonald (30 SC) struggled and are overdue a run in the ressies.

Injuries

Paddy McCartin (44 SC) copped a head knock and was subbed out, which is a worry given his history – monitor this during the week, but it would not be a surprise to see him miss a game or two. Logan McDonald was also sore after a knock to the head late.

Reports

N/A

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Essendon v Collingwood

Huge crowd on hand for the traditional ANZAC Day showdown and as usual it did not disappoint!

Brodie Grundy (129 SC) returned to form and kicked a big goal late to seal the game, in a welcome sight for the 40% of teams holding him. Scott Pendlebury (109 SC) spent three quarters behind the ball but was thrown into the guts late in a masterstroke. 

Jack Crisp (103 SC) was solid and appears to have settled nicely into his midfield role, while Jack Ginnivan (80 SC) kicked 5.0 and won the ANZAC medal.

Jordan De Goey (76 SC) struggled to get in to the game, while Nick Daicos (71 SC, 23 disposals) found plenty of the footy through the midfield but went at below 70% disposal efficiency.

Patrick Lipinski (62 SC) was badly beaten by Darcy Parish, while Reef McInnes (17 SC) was barely sighted and will likely be given a spell at VFL level.

The aforementioned Parish (133 SC) was dominant, with 30 disposals before halftime (he finished with 44). Zach Merrett (123 SC) looked spry on his return from ankle surgery and Nick Martin (95 SC) did what Nick Martin does – he is a jet.

Sam Draper (93 SC) had his best game of the season, but it remains a disappointing campaign for Jordan Ridley (83 SC). Jye Caldwell’s (74 SC) scoring continues to be consistently in that 70-80 range and it might be time to move him on if you can afford it.

Ben Hobbs (34 SC) was more involved in the game than his score might suggest, and should hold his spot. The same can’t be said for Kaine Baldwin (24 SC).

Injuries

Nathan Kreuger (5 SC) hurt his shoulder and was subbed out early. Brodie Grundy copped a knock to the knee from Draper in the third quarter and news today (Tuesday) would suggest he’s going to be out for quite some time.

Jayden Laverde tried to play through a knee complaint but was eventually subbed out. Parish looked very sore after tweaking an ankle but he also returned and played out the game.

Reports

N/A

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