Stats Central: Stats that mattered in the GF

Stats Central examines which stats influenced the Sandringham Dragons’ 17-point triumph over the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup Grand Final.

Sandringham’s defence often came to the rescue of its midfield on Sunday. Murray’s on-ball division – led by Will Brodie (22 disposals, 12 contested possessions, seven clearances) and James Cousins (20, nine, six) – helped the Bushrangers win the contested possession count by five, the clearance count by eight and inside-50 count by seven.

But crucially, Murray was only able to score a goal from 19 per cent of its inside-50 entries (the Dragons scored a goal from 30 per cent of entries) thanks to the work of Sandringham’s reliable defensive group.

Ari Sakeson played a crucial role in limiting Bushrangers key forward and potential match-winner Todd Marshall to three disposals, one mark and two goals, recording 21 disposals and nine marks himself. Fellow taller defender Max Williams (13 disposals, five marks) was also a strong presence, while smaller play-makers Reuben Hayward (25 disposals, six marks) and Darcy James (13 disposals, seven rebound-50s) capitalised on their teammates’ work in the air by providing drive off half back.

Jack Scrimshaw was composed and skilful when played mostly in defence in the first half, typifying Dragons head coach Jeremy Barnard’s clear game plan to control the ball and the tempo of the match in defence – often by handball – before finding the right option moving forward.

The plan was evident in Sandringham’s +90 advantage in disposals, +88 advantage in uncontested possessions and +58 advantage in handball-receives. TAC Medallist Andrew McGrath was his team’s biggest weapon in implementing the plan, recording game-highs of 38 disposals, 23 handballs and 14 handball-receives, while Corey Lyons (24 disposals, 14 handball-receives), Tim Taranto (31, 12) and Harrison Burt (24, 12) also helped make the Dragons particularly potent when going inside 50.

But after the main break, Sandringham lifted its intensity around the contests too. McGrath had 28 disposals in the second half and finished with a game-high eight clearances, while Taranto’s 11 tackles was clearly the highest tally for the match. Scrimshaw moved forward and took advantage of their work as well, booting a goal and setting up two others.

The Dragons claimed the 2016 TAC Cup flag by absorbing what Murray threw at them and counter-attacking the best way they knew how.


Grand Final stats leaders:

Ryan Garthwaite Murray Bushrangers 17  
Fletcher Carroll Murray Bushrangers 15  
Tim Taranto Sandringham Dragons 14  
Reuben Hayward Sandringham Dragons 14  
Oliver Florent Sandringham Dragons 14  
Andrew McGrath Sandringham Dragons 25  
Tim Taranto Sandringham Dragons 17  
Charlie Spargo Murray Bushrangers 12  
Harrison Burt Sandringham Dragons 11  
Jack Scrimshaw Sandringham Dragons 11  
Ari Sakeson Sandringham Dragons 9  
Goy Lok Sandringham Dragons 9  
Ryan Garthwaite Murray Bushrangers 9  
Nick Richards Murray Bushrangers 8  
Tim Taranto Sandringham Dragons 7  
Lachlan Filipovic Sandringham Dragons 27  
Max Lynch Murray Bushrangers 12  
Harry Boyd Murray Bushrangers 9  
Esava Ratugolea Murray Bushrangers 8  
Hayden McLean Sandringham Dragons 6  
Tim Taranto Sandringham Dragons 11  
Darcy James Sandringham Dragons 6  
Ryan Garthwaite Murray Bushrangers 6  
Will Brodie Murray Bushrangers 6  
Jack Scrimshaw Sandringham Dragons 5  
    Goals Total
Karl Brown Calder Cannons DNP 46
Brett Blair Geelong Falcons DNP 40
Lachlan Tiziani Murray Bushrangers 1 40
Sam Fowler Dandenong Stingrays DNP 35
Kayle Kirby Bendigo Pioneers DNP 32


Related content:

Dragons fly to TAC Cup premiership

TAC Medallist: Andrew McGrath

Game plan key for Jeremy Barnard

Stats Central: Stats that mattered in the Prelims

Stats Central: Stats that mattered in the Semis

Stats Central: Stats that mattered in Finals Wk 1


Comment Guidelines: The SportsTG Network is made up of players, families and passionate sports followers like you who have a strong opinion about sport. That's great - we want you to have your say and share your thoughts with the world. However, we have a few rules that you must follow to keep it fun for all. Please don't be rude, abusive, swear or vilify others. Apart from some pretty serious sport sanctions, we also can ban you and report you if things get out of hand. So play fair and have fun, and thanks for your contribution.