STATS CENTRAL: Falcons flying forward

The Geelong Falcons are perched on top of the TAC Cup ladder after two rounds thanks to a potent forward line full of variety.

Last year’s preliminary finalists have put 259 points on the board in their two victories so far – 73 more than any other team. They booted 20.9 (129) in defeating the GWV Rebels by 82 points in Round 1 and last week posted a score of 19.16 (130) to knock off the Dandenong Stingrays by 77 points.

The Falcons have promised so much in recent seasons but failed to produce in the finals. They’ve finished in the top four after the home-and-away rounds in each of the last four years but haven’t made a Grand Final appearance since claiming their second TAC Cup premiership in 2000.

Could Geelong’s 2017 forward line help them take that long-awaited next step?

The Falcons already boast six players to have kicked three or more goals this season, led by Geelong West Giants junior David Handley who booted 6.2 in Round 1 and 1.4 in Round 2. The 181cm half forward is complemented inside 50 by 194cm Torquay forward/ruckman Jordon Reid and 192cm St Joseph’s key forward Tom McCartin, who have both scored five majors this year.

McCartin’s three-goal outing against the Stingrays could have been bigger too, managing only 3.5 from 21 disposals and eight marks. 177cm Grovedale midfielder/forward Gryan Miers – whom Geelong Talent Manager Mick Turner recently compared to Western Bulldogs premiership star Luke Dahlhaus – had his goalkicking radar on though, slotting five straight majors from 23 disposals.

Miers has six goals to his name for 2017, while 171cm South Barwon junior Lachlan Noble (pictured) has four and 176cm Barwon Heads bottom-ager Ned McHenry three.

The Falcons forwards have certainly benefited from their midfield teammates’ dominance, but a potent and varied forward line is the envy of most other teams.

The forward group at Adelaide – top-ranked in the AFL for points scored in 2016 – is evidence of that. If talls Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins don’t get you, mobile forwards Tom Lynch and Mitch McGovern might – or failing that, the dynamic Eddie Betts and Charlie Cameron.


Round 2 keys to victory:

23: The Western Jets recorded an advantage of 23 – more than double the amount of clearances than opponents the Calder Cannons (40 to 17) – in their 31-point win in Round 2. Jets co-captain and Keilor junior Luke Hitch was a key player in the contests, racking up match-highs of 15 contested possessions and nine clearances.

26: In a match decided by only 12 points, 193cm Bendigo Pioneers ruckman Jobee Warde put in an important effort to neutralise the influence of 202cm GWV Rebels powerhouse Lloyd Meek. Despite conceding nine centimetres to his opponent, the Moama junior had 26 hitouts to Meek’s 23 to help the Pioneers to victory.

8: 193cm key forward Toby Wooller exemplified why the Oakleigh Chargers defeated the Eastern Ranges by 21 points. The Chargers lost the clearance count by 15 but consistently won the ball back by laying a round-high 87 tackles. Oakleigh captain and Old Scotch junior Wooller had an equal-team-high eight of them.


Round 2 stats leaders:

Judah Dundon Western Jets 24  
Callan Wellings GWV Rebels 21  
Samuel Walsh Geelong Falcons 20  
Matty Lloyd GWV Rebels 20  
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 18  
Charlie Constable Sandringham Dragons 18  
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 17  
Adam Cerra Eastern Ranges 17  
Lachlan Fogarty Western Jets 17  
Joel Garner Eastern Ranges 16  
Jackson Ross Eastern Ranges 16  
Gryan Miers Geelong Falcons 16  
Jordon Butts Murray Bushrangers 16  
Nicholas Coffield Northern Knights 16  
Josh Bateman Dandenong Stingrays 15  
Cassidy Parish Geelong Falcons 18  
Andrew Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 16  
Lochie O'Brien Bendigo Pioneers 16  
Max Dreher Northern Knights 16  
Charlie Thompson Oakleigh Chargers 16  
Hamish Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 16  
Jack Higgins Oakleigh Chargers 15  
Harrison Jones Murray Bushrangers 15  
Callan Wellings GWV Rebels 14  
Samuel Walsh Geelong Falcons 14  
Luke Hitch Western Jets 14  
Charlie Constable Sandringham Dragons 13  
Lachlan Fogarty Western Jets 13  
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 13  
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 13  
Callan Wellings GWV Rebels 10  
Charlie Constable Sandringham Dragons 10  
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 10  
Ethan Phillips Oakleigh Chargers 10  
Jordon Butts Murray Bushrangers 10  
Jake Riccardi Calder Cannons 9  
Tom McKenzie Northern Knights 9  
Max Dreher Northern Knights 8  
Samuel Walsh Geelong Falcons 8  
Alfie Jarnestrom Sandringham Dragons 8  
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 8  
Tom McCartin Geelong Falcons 8  
Ben Caluzzi Calder Cannons 8  
Matty Lloyd GWV Rebels 8  
Mohammed Moustafa Calder Cannons 8  
Jobee Warde Bendigo Pioneers 26  
Julian Patterson Gippsland Power 25  
Floyd Bollinghaus Murray Bushrangers 24  
Ethan Casey Sandringham Dragons 24  
Nathan White Oakleigh Chargers 24  
Lloyd Meek GWV Rebels 23  
Sam Hayes Eastern Ranges 21  
Bailey Williams Dandenong Stingrays 21  
Tristan Xerri Western Jets 19  
Jasper Rouget Eastern Ranges 17  
Riley Ham Western Jets 16  
Tom Roberts Dandenong Stingrays 13  
Jacob McNicol Calder Cannons 12  
Lukas Essenwanger GWV Rebels 10  
Blake Schlensog Geelong Falcons 10  
Jordan Lynch Eastern Ranges 12  
Ali Zijai Dandenong Stingrays 10  
Noah Balta Calder Cannons 9  
Callan Wellings GWV Rebels 9  
Grady Cocksedge Gippsland Power 9  
Andrew Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 9  
David Handley Geelong Falcons 9  
Nick Lowden Gippsland Power 9  
Mitch Cotter Dandenong Stingrays 9  
Luke Hitch Western Jets 9  
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 8  
Tom Campbell Bendigo Pioneers 8  
Callum Porter Gippsland Power 8  
Jordan Troani Oakleigh Chargers 8  
Thomas Berry GWV Rebels 8  
2017 LEADING GOALKICKERS Last round Total
Jaidyn Stephenson Eastern Ranges 3 8
David Handley Geelong Falcons 1 7
Gryan Miers Geelong Falcons 5 6
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 4 5
Dylan Morris Dandenong Stingrays 1 5
Brent Daniels Bendigo Pioneers 5 5
Max King Sandringham Dragons 1 5
Jordon Reid Geelong Falcons 3 5
Nicholas Coffield Northern Knights 1 5
Tom McCartin Geelong Falcons 3 5


* Photo: Brian Bartlett


Related content:

REVIEW: TAC Cup Round 2

STATS CENTRAL Round 1: Dragons keep flame burning


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