We’ve completed two rounds of footy, and some of the game’s best players are starting to flex and remind everyone how good they are. Throw in some surprise packets as well, and it’s a good time to be a footy fan.
Following up from Round One isn’t always straightforward for some players, and you’ll see in our team after round two, many failed to deliver on their round one hype. As for the fans, well, we know every Tom, Dick, and Harry has their say. We’ve crunched the numbers, applied the eye test, and come to a conclusion about how this team looks for week two.
To refresh your memories, here’s how the round one team looked:
FB: James Sicily, Lewis Young, Jack Sinclair
HB: Harry Sheezel, Darcy Moore, Mason Redman
C: Finn Callaghan, Tom Green, Ryan Byrnes
HF: Kysaiah Pickett, Harry McKay, Toby Greene
FF: Junior Rioli, Nick Larkey, Charlie Dixon
Foll: Jarrod Witts, Darcy Parish, Luke Davies-Uniacke
Int: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jordan de Goey, Chad Warner, Archie Perkins, Nick Daicos (sub)
This team polarised many, and got people talking, which is always a positive. Round Two saw some more surprising results and has broadened the field for players being considered. In fact, there have been upwards of 10 changes to this side following round one. It’s almost like we are Oprah and handing out temporary blazers to everyone. Embrace the power I say!
I guess I should stop stalling and dragging this out. *cue drum roll* here’s the Mongrel Punt’s Rolling All-Australian Team following Round Two.
FB: Luke Ryan, Jake Lever, Jack Sinclair
HB: Nick Daicos, Darcy Moore, Mason Redman
C: Errol Gulden, Clayton Oliver, Josh Daicos
HF: Tom Mitchell, Jeremy Cameron, Toby Greene
FF: Michito Owens, Nick Larkey, Charlie Curnow
Foll: Darcy Cameron, Darcy Parish, Luke Davies-Uniacke
Int: Kyle Langford, Daniel Rioli, Chad Warner, Harry Sheezel, Will Setterfield (sub)
Where do we start? We could be here for days if we individualised selections and omissions, so let’s keep it simple. Some of the starters from round one couldn’t match their output in round two, and so some who upped their game considerably.
Luke Ryan and Jake Lever were close in round one, but have shown consistency and have earned their spot in our backline. They marshal those around them, and Lever in particular, without Steven May, has been able to have a considerable impact on both matches he has played. Ryan is one of the more underrated players in the game. There is a lot of fanfare about other similar defenders, but he is super reliable every week. And rounding out the defensive changes, Nick Daicos starts on the field and Harry Sheezel stays in the team, just shifting to the bench.
As we move further up the field, the entire centre line changes. Josh Daicos is reminding everyone that he can impact games just as much as his little brother can. On the other wing is Errol Gulden. He does it all and is fun to watch! Clayton Oliver has done Clayton Oliver things in the opening two rounds. He hasn’t stood out hugely, but the weight of numbers is hard to ignore.
The forwards have had a refresh. Jeremy Cameron and Charlie Curnow’s Thursday night shoot out was compelling viewing and sees both of them enter the side. However, with Jez unlikely to play in round three, he may be in the side for a good time rather than a long time. Mitch Owens has stood up amid the injury crisis at the Saints. A relatively unknown at the start of the year, he has hit the ground running and is offering a different look to the Saints forward line. And then there’s Tom Mitchell. His numbers so far this year are off the charts, especially in the front half of the ground, hence his selection on a half-forward flank. He’s reinvented himself somewhat at his third club.
And rounding out the bench, you’ve got a trio of Bombers who have been hard ignore, Daniel Rioli getting in on weight of numbers and some other defenders having weaker showings in Round Two, and Sheezel keeping his place.
This team is balanced, rewards those playing their roles, and recognises the contributions and impact players have. It’s easy to look purely at statistics, but they can lie. Let’s see if a few more can hold their spots post round three.
The Watch List
So, we’ve seen the team. What about those who are playing well and didn’t make it? They need to maintain the rage and keep doing what they’re doing. Here are some of the players awfully close to sneaking in.
Mason Wood has been outstanding on a wing for the Saints. He is running big km’s, hitting the scoreboard, and has become a ball movement lynchpin for the Saints. A slightly lesser game from the incumbent wingers will see him come in.
Adam Saad had a great showing against the Cats and continues form he showed last year – and it’s especially worth noting he played at the level he did while fasting during Ramadan. Again, another who isn’t far away.
A Bomber who has taken some considerable steps forward in 2023 is Brandon Zerk-Thatcher. He’s intercepted well and it’s the best I can recall him reading the game while also being effective with his disposals.
Gryan Miers is a left-field name, but he leads the league in goal assists and is in the top handful for score involvements. While his scoring output can improve, and his efficiency in general, but he’s one to watch going forward. And when the Cats are winning, his impact tends to increase even more.
The best celebrator in the game, Tom Papley, was great against the hapless Hawks. He took one of the early contenders for Mark of the Year and got his game going again. I can’t imagine it’ll take too long before Papley has earned his spot in this side and I reckon he’ll be pretty hard to dislodge once he’s in.
Stay tuned on our socials and find out who’s in next week.
You can buy Jimmy a coffee for his efforts if you like? Or you can take the low road, yell at him in the comments and complain that some of our stuff is behind a paywall… because that’s gonna change everything. 🙂
Hit the link below nd give Jimmy his caffeine fix.