Inaccurate kicking seems to be the curse of Patersons in the past few weeks.
Rewind to Round 4 and West Coast only just managed to beat Hawthorn after kicking 5.21 for the match. In last week’s Friday night game against Carlton, an inaccurate 7.15 gave the Dockers an eight point loss to the Blues, their second for the season. At least in the Eagles game there were factors, such as the weather, that contributed to so many misses. On a dry, calm Friday night, there was no excuse for why so many shots went wide. The sad thing is, it was the set shot, something that should be converted 90% of the time that gave the Dockers trouble, something that has plagued them in every game this season. There were not many (if any) goals that were kicked from a set shot in this game, the majority that I remember were running goals, a lot harder to control.
Unfortunately, for the Dockers, it was the second time this season where they let their opposition blow out a lead and then ran out of time to bring it back.Sydneywere giving Fremantle a hiding in round 2, leading at half time by 40 points before the Dockers rallied, falling short to lose by 13. Last week, 31 points was the highest Carlton got out to, before a fight back saw them lose by only eight. If they hadn’t waited so long to start playing good footy in both games, maybe their win-lose tally would be a different story. A couple of more minutes on Friday night and the Dockers might just have won the game. Hindsight is useless in situations like this unless the Dockers can learn from it.
The Dockers have two relatively “easy” weeks ahead of them, with Gold Coast away before facing Port Adelaide at home. However if they played like they did against Carlton and Brisbane in Round 3, both of these teams will give them a scare. Ross Lyon needs to get them to concentrate on their goal scoring skills. It is not good enough that out of 7 goal kickers (a decent spread on a normal day) one was kicked by a defender, one by a tagger, one by a ruckman and two by midfielders. Chris Mayne and Matthew Pavlich were the only forwards to kick a goal, scoring one each, but that is not good enough. They have the ability to kick more, and need to kick more with the help of players like Matthew De Boer if they want to make a run for the finals.
There is no point perfecting your defensive game if you cannot put goals on the board, and this is a problem they need to address quickly.
What I Liked About the Game
Stephen Hill: I seem to be writing his name here every week lately but its hard not to love his game on Friday. He was one of the only players who put 100% into every contest. Everytime he touched the ball he used it perfectly. Everytime he got anywhere near the ball the crowd would go nuts, hoping he would do something magical. His goal in the first quarter stamped his growth in confidence this season and his new found ability to break the tag. If he can continue to do this, he will provide some valuable oomph through the Dockers midfield.
Ryan Crowley: What can I say. So much controversy surrounding his treatment of Chris Judd. Yes, he did play the man more often then not. Yes, what he did was not always legal. But it’s no different to what almost every tagger in the AFL does. They will continue to do as much as they can possibly get away with and it is up to the umpire to pick it up. In the end,Crowleydid a job that every tagger would be proud of, keeping Judd to just 18 possessions.