STATS CENTRAL: Bushies back it up

For the beaten 2016 Grand Final team, the Murray Bushrangers have quietly gone about building a 5-1 record to sit second on the TAC Cup ladder.

Murray produced a competition-high 10 players added to AFL lists last year, including NAB AFL Draft pick no.12 Jy Simpkin who has impressed in five senior games for North Melbourne so far in 2017.

Second-year Bushrangers head coach Leon Higgins admitted earlier this year that it’d be difficult for his 2017 group to match the deeds of last year’s, but that they’ll “be more than competitive throughout the season”.

When asked about potential 2017 draftees, Higgins pointed firstly to Charlie Spargo – but the classy 175cm midfielder/forward hasn’t played a TAC Cup game this year due to commitments with the NAB AFL Academy and GWS Academy (of which he’s no longer a part).

Instead, a collection of unheralded players is emerging to record impressive numbers through the first six rounds.

Over-age defender Ben Paton (pictured) has been one of Murray’s most consistent players averaging 23 disposals and six marks per game running off half back, and was in his team’s best players for its Round 6 victory over the Calder Cannons with 19 disposals and five rebound-50s.

Jessy Wilson was also crucial against the Cannons with three goals and the 184cm top-ager now leads the Bushrangers goalkicking table with 11, ahead of 196cm Daniel Johnston (10 majors) and livewire indigenous prospect David Smith (nine).

On a wet day at Rams Arena, the grunt of co-captain Harry Jones (averaging 23 disposals and six tackles per game) and over-agers Isaac Wallace (17 and six) and Nick Richards (21 and three) was important, while Doulton Langlands – a bottom-ager in Murray’s Grand Final team – stood out with 21 disposals and six inside-50s.

Add in the ball-winning ability of 170cm Angus Hicks (ave. 24 disposals and six tackles) and marking power of 195cm Jordon Butts (ave. 17 disposals and eight marks) and suddenly the Bushrangers seem to have enviable depth of talent.

They may not be as well known as Simpkin and Will Brodie may have been in 2016, but they’re proving just as effective for their team.


Round 6 keys to victory:

23: The Eastern Ranges had 11 fewer inside-50s and three fewer scoring shots than the Gippsland Power in their two-point victory but clearly made their forward thrusts count. Rowville product Trent Mynott’s damaging boot was a key factor for the Ranges, sending the ball inside 50 six times from his round-high 23 kicks.

19: The Bendigo Pioneers reaped the rewards of going direct in a 21-point win against the Sandringham Dragons. The Pioneers had 31 fewer disposals than the Dragons but recorded 13 more kicks, with Echuca product Darby Henderson and Strathfieldsaye junior Angus Schumacher racking up 19 disposals each by foot.

25: The Oakleigh Chargers relished the tough conditions during their 40-point defeat of the GWV Rebels, winning the clearance count by 25. 19-year-old Marcellin Old Collegians product Louis Cunningham starred in Oakleigh’s engine room, winning a clear game-high 10 clearances.


Round 6 stats leaders:

Trent Mynott Eastern Ranges 23  
Hamish Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 23  
Mitchell Andrews Northern Knights 22  
Judah Dundon Western Jets 21  
Nicholas Stuhldreier Western Jets 20  
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 19  
Angus Schumacher Bendigo Pioneers 19  
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 19  
Josh Bateman Dandenong Stingrays 19  
Hunter Clark Dandenong Stingrays 19  
Tom Murphy Dandenong Stingrays 19  
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 19  
Ben Caluzzi Calder Cannons 18  
Dylan Moore Eastern Ranges 18  
Will Stephenson Gippsland Power 18  
Jaden Rice Western Jets 20  
Samuel Walsh Geelong Falcons 19  
Bayley Cockerill Geelong Falcons 18  
Dylan Moore Eastern Ranges 17  
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 16  
Hunter Clark Dandenong Stingrays 15  
Ali Zijai Dandenong Stingrays 15  
Nicholas Richards Murray Bushrangers 15  
Lachlan Harris Sandringham Dragons 15  
Nicholas Stuhldreier Western Jets 14  
Ari Sakeson Sandringham Dragons 14  
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 14  
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 13  
Sam Harte Oakleigh Chargers 13  
Angus Styles Sandringham Dragons 13  
Mitchell Andrews Northern Knights 12  
Aidan Tilley Calder Cannons 12  
Ari Sakeson Sandringham Dragons 11  
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 9  
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 9  
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 8  
Angus Schumacher Bendigo Pioneers 8  
Kye Quirk Eastern Ranges 8  
Sam Binion Northern Knights 8  
Geordie Nagle Sandringham Dragons 7  
Thomas North Eastern Ranges 7  
Buku Khamis Western Jets 7  
Matt Harvey Bendigo Pioneers 7  
Angus Paterson Dandenong Stingrays 7  
Bailey Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 7  
Matthew Volkanovski Western Jets 40  
Jasper Rouget Eastern Ranges 23  
Joel Grace Northern Knights 21  
Lloyd Meek GWV Rebels 21  
Julian Patterson Gippsland Power 21  
Daniel Hanna Calder Cannons 20  
Bailey Williams Dandenong Stingrays 19  
Noah Balta Calder Cannons 19  
Jobee Warde Bendigo Pioneers 19  
Sam Hayes Eastern Ranges 18  
Patrick Bohan Oakleigh Chargers 18  
Lachlan Harry Oakleigh Chargers 18  
Cody Henness Gippsland Power 17  
Brock McGregor Western Jets 16  
Jacob McNicol Calder Cannons 16  
Callum Porter Gippsland Power 13  
Dylan Moore Eastern Ranges 13  
Joel Burleigh Eastern Ranges 13  
Jaden Rice Western Jets 12  
Will Stephenson Gippsland Power 12  
Nick Lowden Gippsland Power 11  
Oliver Wilson Northern Knights 11  
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 10  
Louis Cunningham Oakleigh Chargers 10  
Braedyn Gillard Northern Knights 10  
Kim Drew Gippsland Power 10  
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 9  
Connor Thar Western Jets 9  
Lachlan Noble Geelong Falcons 9  
Adrian Kalcovski Eastern Ranges 9  
Gryan Miers Geelong Falcons 4 19
David Handley Geelong Falcons 2 15
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 2 14
Aaron Trusler Sandringham Dragons 2 14
Will Stephenson Gippsland Power 2 12
Riley D'Arcy Dandenong Stingrays _ 12
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 4 11
Jessy Wilson Murray Bushrangers 3 11
Daniel Johnston Murray Bushrangers 2 10
Jordon Reid Geelong Falcons 1 10


Related content:

REVIEW: TAC Cup Round 6

STATS CENTRAL Round 5: Gippsland's power football


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