STATS CENTRAL: Oakleigh’s tackling terrors

The Oakleigh Chargers have rebounded from a humbling first-round loss to win three straight games on the back of suffocating pressure.

Last year’s preliminary finalists were completely outplayed by 2016 premiers the Sandringham Dragons in Round 1, suffering a 54-point loss.

In the week following the defeat, Oakleigh Talent Manager Craig Notman labelled the performance “dismal”, saying the Chargers were beaten by “a well drilled unit” and were keen to quickly make amends.

And make amends they have.

One of the most notable statistical improvements in Oakleigh’s three victories over the Eastern Ranges (by 21 points), the Calder Cannons (42 points) and most recently the Bendigo Pioneers (34 points) has been in its total tackle numbers.

The Chargers laid just 57 tackles in Round 1 – eight less than the Dragons – but have increased that number to 87, 98 and 112 against the Ranges, Cannons and Pioneers respectively.

In Rounds 2 and 3, Oakleigh captain and 193cm key forward Toby Wooller led the way by laying 17 total tackles, the same number as tough midfielder Charlie Thompson and second-round inclusion Jack Hewitt.

Xavier O’Neill (pictured) also missed Round 1 but came into the line-up the next week before applying eight tackles against Calder in Round 3. He backed that up with 11 in wet conditions against Bendigo, when the Chargers out-tackled the Pioneers by 47.

However, the two biggest tacklers in the TAC Cup in Round 4 were O’Neill’s teammates Jack Higgins and Lachlan Bugeja with 15 and 14 tackles respectively.

Bugeja impressed as a bottom-ager but Notman would likely have been most pleased by the efforts of top-age NAB AFL Academy midfielder Higgins. Earlier this year, Notman said he was looking for the East Malvern product to “step up his leadership” in 2017.

“Jack certainly leads in terms of the way he goes about his training – he’s as good as we’ve got here – but what I’m looking for is for him to drag some of the other boys up to a similar standard,” Notman said.

Higgins’ tackling last round would have set the perfect example for his teammates.


Round 4 keys to victory:

300: The Geelong Falcons became the first club to notch 300 TAC Cup wins when they defeated the Eastern Ranges by 52 points. The Falcons now have an overall record of 300 wins, 184 losses and five draws from 489 games since joining the competition in 1992. Second on the list of total wins is the Dandenong Stingrays with 296.

26: In a game decided by only six points, the Western Jets’ ability to win crucial contests shone through in their victory over the Gippsland Power. Many statistical categories were even but Western won the contested possession count by 26, led by bottom-age St Bernard’s product Xavier O’Halloran with a game-high 14.

38%: The GWV Rebels capitalised on Calder’s poor kicking for goal in their 80-point win, booting a goal from 38 per cent of inside-50s (20 goals from 52 entries) while the Cannons could only score a major from 11 per cent of their forward-line entries (registering 5.21 (51) from 44 inside-50s).


Round 4 stats leaders:

Matty Lloyd GWV Rebels 23  
Angus Hicks Murray Bushrangers 23  
Ethan Floyd Geelong Falcons 22  
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 21  
Aiden Domic GWV Rebels 20  
Oliver Stapleton Northern Knights 20  
Judah Dundon Western Jets 20  
Callan Wellings GWV Rebels 19  
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 19  
Jack Higgins Oakleigh Chargers 19  
Callum Searle Oakleigh Chargers 19  
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 19  
Dylan Landt Calder Cannons 18  
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 18  
Bayley Cockerill Geelong Falcons 18  
Cassidy Parish Geelong Falcons 22  
Xavier O'Halloran Western Jets 16  
Hamish Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 15  
Max Lohan Sandringham Dragons 14  
Kim Drew Gippsland Power 14  
Max Dreher Northern Knights 14  
Mitch Cotter Dandenong Stingrays 13  
Jaden Rice Western Jets 13  
Angus Hicks Murray Bushrangers 12  
Matthew Ling Geelong Falcons 12  
Bayley Cockerill Geelong Falcons 11  
Tom Murphy Dandenong Stingrays 11  
Cooper Henson GWV Rebels 11  
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 10  
Jack Higgins Oakleigh Chargers 10  
Max Lohan Sandringham Dragons 16  
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 12  
Matty Lloyd GWV Rebels 11  
Louis Cunningham Oakleigh Chargers 10  
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 10  
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 9  
Geordie Nagle Sandringham Dragons 9  
Ari Sakeson Sandringham Dragons 9  
Aiden Domic GWV Rebels 9  
Hayden McLean Sandringham Dragons 9  
Thomas Boyd Murray Bushrangers 9  
Dylan Landt Calder Cannons 9  
Bayley Cockerill Geelong Falcons 8  
Harrison Nolan Eastern Ranges 8  
Lloyd Meek GWV Rebels 8  
Jobee Warde Bendigo Pioneers 37  
Lloyd Meek GWV Rebels 26  
Brock McGregor Western Jets 22  
Sam Hayes Eastern Ranges 21  
Hayden McLean Sandringham Dragons 20  
Bailey Williams Dandenong Stingrays 19  
Rick Read Geelong Falcons 19  
Ben Kelly Murray Bushrangers 18  
Matthew Harman Northern Knights 16  
Joel Koger Eastern Ranges 14  
Daniel Johnston Murray Bushrangers 13  
Josh Gibbins Sandringham Dragons 13  
Tylar Watts GWV Rebels 13  
Anthony Jenkins Oakleigh Chargers 13  
Julian Patterson Gippsland Power 13  
Jack Higgins Oakleigh Chargers 15  
Lachlan Bugeja Oakleigh Chargers 14  
Aidan Quigley Gippsland Power 12  
Xavier O'Neill Oakleigh Chargers 11  
Harry Benson Geelong Falcons 11  
Jacob Bakes Sandringham Dragons 10  
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 10  
Edward McHenry Geelong Falcons 10  
Will Walker Sandringham Dragons 9  
Lucas Barrett Sandringham Dragons 9  
Callum Porter Gippsland Power 9  
Kim Drew Gippsland Power 9  
Riley Collier-Dawkins Oakleigh Chargers 9  
Anthony Fable Northern Knights 9  
Louis Cunningham Oakleigh Chargers 8  
David Handley Geelong Falcons 4 13
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 4 12
Gryan Miers Geelong Falcons 3 12
Aaron Trusler Sandringham Dragons 4 10
Brent Daniels Bendigo Pioneers DNP 9
Jordon Reid Geelong Falcons 2 8
Jaidyn Stephenson Eastern Ranges _ 8
Lachlan Noble Geelong Falcons 2 8
Riley D'Arcy Dandenong Stingrays _ 7
Will Broadbent Gippsland Power 2 7


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REVIEW: TAC Cup Round 4


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