NAB Challenge Review – St.K & NM, Syd & PA

The results weren’t necessarily spectacular or unexpected, but some of the performances raised some eyebrows. Here’s some of the players that caught my eye and will be getting some closer attention as the season approaches.

St.Kilda v North Melbourne

Seb Ross MID $365900, 129 SuperCoach points
The Saints’ midfielder Ross grabbed the most touches on the ground and looked comfortable through the middle, adding five tackles and four inside 50s to his 26 touches. Averaged 68 from 10 matches last year and needs to cement a spot in the best 22, especially with the returns of Leigh Montagna and David Armitage. Entering his fifth season, he’s primed for a breakout.

Blake Acres MID $256700, 72 SuperCoach points
Like Ross, Acres spent time in the middle but is only entering his third season with the Saints. The big-bodied midfielder grabbed 14 touches at an efficiency of nearly 80%. The substitute vest hasn’t been kind to Acres in his short career but the abolishment of that will only help him.

Eli Templeton FWD $196100, 60 SuperCoach points
You mightn’t recognise Eli without his trademark dreadlocks, but he still possesses the same intensity and appetite for the contest. He grabbed 16 touches and spent time through the middle and on the wings. If he can play further up the ground in a full-strength Saints line-up, at his price he could be a worth a look.


 

Luke McDonald DEF $284700, 100 SuperCoach points
After a good debut season, Macca’s 2015 was disappointing, averaging 53 from 13 matches. If his first match of 2016 is anything to go by, McDonald is set for a much improved season. 18 touches and seven marks rebounding off half-back made (including five inside 50s) him look very comfortable and was one of the best players on the ground.

Ryan Clarke MID $117300, 83 SuperCoach points
We’re always looking for rookies who will play and the signs from new draftee Ryan Clarke were very positive. He attended several centre bounces and grabbed 13 touches and six inside 50s, which included two goal assists. Was very impressed by his game.

Mason Wood MID/FWD $298300, 109 SuperCoach points
Perhaps not ready for SuperCoach selection, but Wood’s four-goal game was very imposing and hopefully for North supporters, a sign of things to come. Seven games last season means he’s not as cheap as we’d like, but one to watch perhaps for future seasons.

ST KILDA
Sebastian Ross 129
Jack Newnes 118
Shane Savage 98
Tom Curren 87
Tom Hickey 86
Tom Lee 73
Jimmy Webster 72
Blake Acres 72
Jade Gresham 71
Sean Dempster 70
Josh Saunders 68
Jack Sinclair 67
Luke Dunstan 61
Eli Templeton 60
Jason Holmes 59
Jack Billings 56
Josh Bruce 53
Maverick Weller 52
Jack Steven 52
Luke Delaney 48
Sam Gilbert 33
Nick Coughlan 32
Cameron Shenton 31
Jack Lonie 23
Hugh Goddard 23
Paddy McCartin 6

NORTH MELBOURNE
Mason Wood 109
Drew Petrie 109
Luke McDonald 100
Majak Daw 98
Jack Ziebell 97
Jarrad Waite 90
Shaun Higgins 90
Ryan Clarke 83
Jamie Macmillan 83
Andrew Swallow 81
Shaun Atley 79
Lindsay Thomas 69
Brent Harvey 68
Michael Firrito 65
Robbie Tarrant 65
Taylor Garner 57
Ben Cunnington 56
Jed Anderson 56
Will Fordham 48
Sam Wright 40
Joel Tippett 37
Braydon Preuss 35
Corey Wagner 32
Farren Ray 30
Scott D. Thompson 24
Kayne Turner 0

Sydney v Port Adelaide

Callum Mills MID $211800, 95 SuperCoach points
Mills comes with an elevated price-tag but given his first match, he may well be worth it. The Sydney Academy graduate grabbed 22 touches, 91& efficiency, three inside 50s and all from only 75% time on ground. It looks almost certain that he’ll play round one so you have to ask yourself, is he worth the extra cash?

Dean Towers FWD $259000, 127 SuperCoach points
Towers was one of the few bright spots for Sydney in their atrocious 2015 finals campaign, but his strong finish might pave the way for a good start in 2016. The elite runner will be looking for more midfield time this season and collected 20 touches and two goals against the Power. I’d say he’s in the best 22 and will play round one.

Kurt Tippett RUCK/FWD $483800, 86 SuperCoach points
Hardly a new name but one of the few good options with the ruck/forward DPP. His first combination with Callum Sinclair showed he’ll still have plenty of ruck time which is good for his SuperCoach scores. 27 hit outs and a goal was a good return from the big fella.


 

Jimmy Toumpas MID $289000, 79 SuperCoach points
Hard to believe I’m saying it, but the Toump had a good debut for Port. Three disappointing seasons at Melbourne prompted a change from the former number four draft pick, and the team from Alberton handed him a lifeline. 14 touches, five tackles and two inside 50s was a decent first up return.

Dougal Howard FWD $123900, 80 SuperCoach points
Bit of background on Dougal: 199cms, 92kg and was drafted at #56 in the 2014 draft. Now Matthew Lobbe didn’t play on Saturday so Howard got a fair bit of ruck time, and looked pretty good. Covered the ground alright and got ten touches for himself. Will he get a go in tandem with the Lobbster?

Sam Gray MID/FWD $480800, 92 SuperCoach points
The underated Sammy Gray won’t come cheap in 2016, but only because of his incredible finish to 2015. He scored 121, 138 and 125 in the last three rounds of the season and began to be a prolific ball winner. He was again amongst the Power’s top-ranked players on the weekend and with DPP, could be one to seriously consider.

SYDNEY
Jake Lloyd 151
Luke Parker 128
Dean Towers 127
George Hewett 118
Jeremy Laidler 112
Tom Mitchell 96
Callum Mills 95
Heath Grundy 93
Josh P. Kennedy 88
Kurt Tippett 86
Dane Rampe 84
Callum Sinclair 84
Harry Cunningham 83
Brandon Jack 78
Dan Hannebery 76
Toby Nankervis 74
Michael Talia 73
Nick Smith 63
Daniel Robinson 57
Xavier Richards 46
Lance Franklin 36
Jordan Dawson 30
Harrison Marsh 29
Tyrone Leonardis 25
Jack Hiscox 22
Isaac Heeney 14

PORT ADELAIDE
Cam O’Shea 95
Sam Gray 92
Dougal Howard 80
Jesse Palmer 79
Jimmy Toumpas 79
Brendon Ah Chee 72
Karl Amon 71
Darcy Byrne-Jones 67
Matt White 67
Jake Neade 60
Sam Colquhoun 58
Aaron Young 54
Jared Polec 52
William Snelling 51
Jackson Trengove 51
Tom Clurey 50
Tom Jonas 47
Kane Mitchell 42
Riley Bonner 42
Alipate Carlile 35
John Butcher 32
Paul Stewart 31
Aidyn Johnson 28
Cameron Hewett -1


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