NAB Challenge Review – HAW v CARL

Carlton played Hawthorn two times in 2015, losing by a combined total of 195 points, and while this may only be a NAB Challenge game, it has provided Carlton supporters with something that they haven’t had in a long while – a sense of hope.

The scoreboard shows a comfortable Hawks victory and many would suggest they didn’t get out of first gear, but they dominated the second-half, proving why they are back-to-back-to-back Premiers.

You aren’t going to find many Carlton players who will be consistent scorers week in and week out however I have managed to pick out three players who you should keep an eye on in the following weeks of the NAB Challenge.

(1) $137,600 Sam Kerridge (Mid/Fwd) – 122 points

LOCK! LOCK! LOCK! Frankly, nothing more needs to be said. We’ve found one rookie who is going to play pretty much every week and is likely going to score more than enough to make some really good cash. 28 touches tonight, and 122 supercoach points. While he may not score this well every week, he will find a spot in the young, developing Carlton midfield to become a must have pick.

(2) $308,700 Dale Thomas (Mid/Fwd) – 101 points

Burn baby burn. Yep. He’s back. DT is looking fit and was kicking the ball as well as I have seen him kick it since his best Collingwood years. There is a reason why Malthouse spent a truckload of money to get him over to the Navy Blues (besides being ‘besties’) and that is because he has the ability to turn it on. If you have a strong will it may be worth picking him in your starting forward line. Keep an eye on his other NAB Challenge games and if he continues to average 90-100 maybe you just need to lock it in Eddie!

(3) $500,200 Kade Simpson (Def) – 91 points

The consummate professional. 91 points last night in his first game of the year. You pick Simpson knowing exactly what you get – solid scores every week. Rarely will he give you the big 120+ score but he also won’t let you down. His price will consistently be around 500k so you can pick him knowing that he will be a keeper from Round 1. If you are looking to pick premiums and take no risks, there is no better player to start with than Simpson.

Hawthorn look primed for another tilt at a Premiership, and while Roughead is a huge loss, these are some of the players who stood out for me last night.

(4) $489,200 Josh Gibson (Def) – 142 points

I ruled a line through Gibson when Brian Lake retired because I thought it would mean a return to playing as the second defender on a good forward for Gibson. I couldn’t have been more wrong. His play tonight was scintillating. Not in the Gary Jnr or Nathan Fyfe sense, but Gibson generates an amazing amount of run from defence for the Hawks which is surprising considering he is hardly the fastest player.

Another of Gibson’s strengths is his ability to rarely be beaten in one on one contests, plus his ability to take a very good overhead mark. All of which adds up to SuperCoach points. Similar to Simpson you can pick him in Round 1 and he will likely provide you with good points. He can be a little inconsistent by giving you a low score every now and again. However, while his role hasn’t appeared to have changed in this game, we need to see how he scores against teams who actually have a couple of big power forwards.

(5) $465,000 Grant Birchall (Def) – 139 points

Every year, Birchall’s name is raised as a potential premium in defence and every year he never quite gets there. These are the types of scores that Birchall can churn out for 3-4 weeks in a row. The problem is these scored may be followed with 6 scores in the 50-70 range. Consistency is the key.

It was thought Birchall’s role may allow him to become a more run and carry type player with Suckling having been traded to the Bulldogs in the off-season and Gibson returning to take the second power forward in the opposition forward line. With both players scoring well tonight, it may mean good things for Birchall. If the remainder of his NAB Challenge games result in solid scores, Birchall may well be worth picking in your starting defence.

(6) $265,800 Daniel Howe (Def) – 95 points

A relatively unknown and unconsidered player regarding SuperCoach selection and while I have little to add there was plenty to like about his performance for the Hawks last night. Spots have opened up in the Hawthorn defence, with the retirement of Brian Lake and the trading of Matthew Suckling. Obviously we can’t read too much into one game, and even though he is awkwardly priced he may just be worth considering over a player like James Aish. One too keep an eye on!

Josh Gibson 142
Grant Birchall 139
Sam Mitchell 139
Jordan Lewis 123
Luke Breust 104
Daniel Howe 95
Ben Stratton 93
Billy Hartung 85
Luke Hodge 85
Angus Litherland 78
Isaac Smith 76
Jonathan O’Rourke 70
Bradley Hill 69
Taylor Duryea 68
Paul Puopolo 66
Jack Fitzpatrick 62
Tim O’Brien 58
Ben McEvoy 55
James Sicily 54
Brendan Whitecross 51
Dallas Willsmore 43
Kurt Heatherley 38
Ryan Schoenmakers 35
Kaiden Brand 30
Teia Miles 24
Zac Webster 0

Sam Kerridge 122
Nick Graham 111
Dale Thomas 101
Kade Simpson 91
Matthew Kreuzer 90
Sam Docherty 78
Sam Rowe 78
Levi Casboult 70
Bryce Gibbs 69
Jason Tutt 61
Matthew Wright 55
Ed Curnow 54
Mark Whiley 51
Blaine Boekhorst 48
Michael Jamison 46
Andrew Phillips 43
Andrejs Everitt 40
Zach Tuohy 38
Matthew Dick 35
Jed Lamb 29
Ciaran Byrne 27
Simon White 25
Daniel Gorringe 23
Andrew Gallucci 17
Liam Jones 10
Charlie Curnow 7

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