Talking stats can be dangerous. One slip… one incorrect number here or there and people jump down your throat like they have a strange affiliation for phlegm.
Fair enough, too, I suppose. I mean, the numbers are right there to use – all I have to do is add them up, or even read them properly to begin with, and there should be no problem, right? Then why do I have such problems? Maybe I am the mathematical equivalent to being dyslexic?
Anyway, a way around this is to concoct my own stats, or at least my own combination of stats to form a different one. That way, a slip here or there can be due to creativity, rather than unbridled stupidity. Or at least I can pretend that’s the reason.
As much as stats tend to burn me, I gravitate back to them often. I like to see which players do what and how it impacts their teams. I like to look for little anomalies that mean something, but more than that, I like to look for little things that mean nothing.
And that’s where we find ourselves today – with the unveiling of The Mongrel’s 40-20-10 club.
So, what does it all mean? Well, that’s the easy part. We often see players rack up big numbers through the midfield. We’ve seen Tom Mitchell top 50 touches a record three times. Lachie Neale notched his first and only 50-disposal game in 2019, making him the most recent player to do so, but we often laud certain types of disposals.
“Oh, Patrick Cripps had 15 clearances….”
“Man, Ben Cunnington had 25 contested touches…”
But what about when a player combines 40 touches, 20 contested possessions, and ten or more clearances? How often has that been done, and who has been the best at it?
That’s what I am here for. Here are the 25 members of the 40-20-10 club as we approach the halfway point of the 2023 season
Oh, and before you go any further, there are some undoubted stars who will be missing from this list due to the fact that contested possessions and clearances were not recorded for the majority of their careers (Buckley, Ricciuto, Williams, and so on).
SIX TIMES… THE MAN
GARY ABLETT JUNIOR
The Little Master tops another statistical table. All of these games came when he was a member of the Gold Coast Suns. He picked up two in 2011, one in 2012, another in 2013, then grabbed one more in each of 2016, and 2017.
ROUND 8, 2011 (41-23-13)
ROUND 24, 2011 (43-22-13)
ROUND 3, 2012 (45-27-13)
ROUND 17, 2013 (49-20-10)
ROUND 14, 2016 (40-25-15)
ROUND 6, 2017 (45-27-18)
A FISTFUL OF MASSIVE GAMES
Adding one more to his totals in 2022, Lachie Neale edged closer to knocking Gold Coast Legend (just kidding, Cats fans) off the top of the heap.
Neale was back to his ball-winning best in 2022, with a last-minute three-vote performance robbing him of another Brownlow. Missed adding a sixth to his totals by one possession in the Elimination Final.
ROUND 18, 2016 (42-22-10)
ROUND 3, 2019 (43-26-15)
ROUND 23, 2019 (51-25-14)
QUALIFYING FINAL, 2021 (46-25-13)
ROUND 2, 2022 (41/22/12)
The writing was on the wall for Tom Mitchell in 2022.
After Sam Mitchell replaced Alastair Clarkson in the coaches’ box, Tom’s role was destined to change, and with the new coach looking to invest in youth, the 2018 Brownlow Medallist was reduced to a lesser role.
And that meant no additions to the 40-20-10 tally.
ROUND 22, 2017 (44-20-11)
ROUND 2, 2018 (40-23-13)
ROUND 9, 2018 (46-26-11)
ROUND 20, 2018 (43-22-13)
JOSH P KENNEDY
And on four for his career is where JPK will remain, retiring this season after suffering several hamstring injuries (and copping a suspension in which he injured his hammy, initially).
An absolute warrior, JPK is one of just three men to record 400 contested touches in a season. And he did it three times.
ROUND 17, 2014 (41-29-12)
ROUND 19, 2016 (45-23-11)
SEMI-FINAL 2016 (42-21-10)
ROUND 6, 2021 (42-22-11)
CLAYTON OLIVER –
With three massive games in 2022, Clayton Oliver has jumped right into contention, and at his age, looks to be the odds-on favourite to surpass the feats of the great Gary Ablett Junior.
Oliver has every tool possible at his disposal to rack up these numbers. He is clean even in the wet, his hands are as quick as they come, he stands up under pressure, and is consistently the last player to get up from under a pack.
By this time next year, my guess is we’ll have a new leader in the 40-20-10 club, and if it isn’t Lachie Neale, it’s going to be Clayton Oliver.
ROUND 2, 2019 (44-25-13)
ROUND 6, 2022 (41/22/13)
ROUND 10, 2022 (45/22/11)
ROUND 21, 2022 (42/24/14)
THE TRIOS OF TERROR
THE DOUBLE BANGERS
Not many would have picked this one, but Priddis was an absolute warrior for the Eagles, and is probably underappreciated by those outside Western Australia.
Priddis picked up his 40-20-10 games in 2014 and 2016, and will feature heavily when I compile the 30-10-10 club at some stage (30 disposals, ten clearances, and ten tackles in a game).
ROUND 20, 2014 (42-22-12)
ROUND 1, 2016 (43-24-12)
Injury slowed Fyfe significantly in 2022, and you have to wonder whether he will get close to this type of form again?
I’m guessing not, with a role forward likely, particularly given how his body did not hold up in 2022.
ROUND 5, 2018 (43-21-13)
ROUND 9, 2015 (40-26-10)
Very close quite a few times, but he got the job done twice in what were his peak years as a player.
Seems to be more of an impact player now, making big plays rather than the consistently dominant force. Sadly, that does not bode well for racking up big numbers.
ROUND 12, 2016 (48-23-13)
ROUND 15, 2017 (45-25-13)
Underrated when people talk about the great mids – even with a Brownlow to show for his efforts.
Swan was a beast in the middle, notching 40+ disposals on 13 occasions, with his most complete games coming as part of his 40-20-10 efforts.
ROUND 5, 2012 (42-20-13)
ROUND 17, 2012 (49-20-13)
There’s no list without Dusty.
Only had 40+ three times, but two of those outings have been monstrous, with the third seeing him fall short of the 40-20-10 mark by just two contested touches.
ROUND 17, 2016 (43-22-13)
ROUND 3, 2017 (40-21-15)
Another underrated star in his day, Rockliff was a monster at stoppages and rarely met a contest he did not want to crack into.
‘His admission to the 40-20-10 club first came in 2014, and five years later, he proved he belonged, with his second effort.
ROUND 14, 2014 (45-21-12)
ROUND 8, 2019 (41-23-10)
JACK MACRAE –
Hasn’t managed to trouble this stat in the past couple of years – mainly due to the spread of the load in the Bulldogs’ midfield, but remains a constant threat.
Finds the footy as well as anyone, and with Josh Dunkley seemingly moving on, could find a little more space to operate in the middle.
ROUND 7, 2018 (40-25-12)
ROUND 20, 2019 (45-21-12)
The only player to notch this mark in the 2023 season to date, Cripps started the season on fire, and in Round Five, cleaned up the GWS midfield with a dominant display of power football.
ROUND 20, 2022 (41/21/12)
ROUND FIVE, 2023 (42, 20/13)
THE SWINGING SINGLES
DARCY PARISH – ROUND 16, 2021 (43-28-13)
OLLIE WINES – ROUND 16, 2021 (43-23-14)
TIM KELLY – ROUND 7, 2021 (42-22-13)
STEELE SIDEBOTTOM – ROUND 4, 2018 (43-26-12)
MATTHEW BOYD – ROUND 5, 2011 (45-24-12)
SAM MITCHELL – ROUND 4, 2016 (44-20-10)
DAVID MUNDY – ROUND 19, 2016 (44-24-13)
DAYNE BEAMS – ROUND 9, 2017 (40-21-11)
JACK STEVEN – ROUND 16, 2016 (41-22-12)
JOSH KELLY – ROUND 20, 2018 (41-22-10)
BRETT KIRK – ROUND 9, 2009 (41/21/15)
WAYNE CAMPBELL – ROUND 15, 1999 (41/20/12)
No Bont? No Judd? No Cunnington? No Sloane? No Cousins?
Yep, none of them ever hit the 40-disposal mark in their career, let alone put these three stats together. I was pretty surprised by that in regard to a few of them, as well.
Christian Petracca missed on joining the club, and also missed being the only man to top the 40-20-10 milestone in a Grand Final. His 39-11-24 game in 2021 will go down as one of the better GF performances in history.
There’ll be more than this, as I wasn’t really looking for those who almost achieved it.
Patrick Cripps missed his first appearance back in Round 19, 2019 by one disposal in a game that was, until 2022, his career-high game.
Josh P Kennedy had two near misses, missing by one clearance in one game in Round 15, 2015, and one disposal in another in Round 9, 2014.
Gaz Jr missed extending his lead by one contested possession on one occasion in Round 17, 2017, whilst Jack Macrae fell short of becoming a two-time member by the same margin in Round 7, 2018.
Luke Shuey missed joining the club by one disposal in Round 15, 2019, whilst Jaeger O’Meara missed out by one clearance in Round 6, and Jarryd Lyons could have been part of the club with just one more disposal in Round 15, 2017.
Matthew Boyd narrowly missed adding two more to his total, with a miss by one contested touch in Round 19, 2011, and again in Round 7, 2012. He was an incredible player.
Clayton Oliver missed out this season by just one clearance, notching 41/9/25.
And Zak Butters missed by two contested touches in Round Ten, with 41 disposals, ten clearances, and 18 contested possessions.
As always, if I have missed one, my apologies.
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