See some of the best stats from Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL Round 1, when the Box Hill Hawks feasted inside 50 in the 2018 Grand Final rematch and one of Werribee’s greatest success stories returned to do what he does best.
* CLICK HERE to see full match results, goalkickers and best players from VFL Round 1.
* CLICK HERE for the review of VFL Round 1.
THREE KEYS TO VICTORY
- Collingwood broke Coburg hearts by coming from 18 points down at the last break to triumph by three points, but the Magpies’ superior ability to find the ball in space was perhaps always going to catch up with the brave Lions. The victors racked up 75 more uncontested possessions and 46 more uncontested marks than their opponents, helping set up enough quality scoring opportunities to prevail. Ben Crocker (37 disposals) recorded a round-high 26 uncontested possessions and Ben Reid a game-high 10 uncontested marks for Collingwood.
- Clashes between the VFL’s oldest rivals are always fiercely contested and, sure enough, it was in the contests where Williamstown set up its 10-point victory over Port Melbourne. The Seagulls lost the uncontested-possession count but won contested possessions 158-130 and clearances 43-32, helping them generate 63 inside-50s to the Borough’s 40. Williamstown recruit Ben Kennedy (25 disposals) won a game-high 17 contested possessions, teaming well with Seagulls old-timer Nick Meese who had a game-high eight clearances.
- The 2018 Grand Final rematch was a one-sided affair from the get-go, thanks mostly to the Box Hill Hawks’ devastating efficiency inside 50 during a 62-point defeat of the Casey Demons. Box Hill booted 15 goals from 49 forward-line entries (31 per cent efficiency) while the Demons could only manage four majors from 48 entries (eight per cent). Hawks twin targets Jackson Ross (five goals from 16 disposals) and Mitch Lewis (four from eight) certainly grasped their scoring opportunities when they presented.
— 7VFL (@7VFL) April 7, 2019
TOP FIVE STATS OF THE WEEK
- Will Hayes took all before him at Footscray in 2018 having graduated from a dangerous forward to a full-time midfielder. It resulted in his drafting by the AFL Bulldogs, but not much seems to have changed for him on the field: Hayes recorded 25 disposals, six marks, four inside-50s and one goal in Footscray’s 43-point win against Sandringham.
- It was one of the biggest stories of the VFL off-season: Williamstown champion Ben Jolley crossing to traditional rival Port Melbourne. However, as with Will Hayes, not much seems to have changed for the 33-year-old. Jolley produced a typically prolific stat line of 22 disposals, 12 marks and five tackles as his Borough fell just short of the Seagulls.
- The development of Sam Draper was one of the keys to Essendon making a run to a VFL preliminary final last year, and the 203cm ruck has picked up from where he left off in 2019. Draper produced a complete game for a big man in the Bombers’ 121-point defeat of Frankston, recording 22 disposals, five marks, 39 hitouts, 10 clearances and two goals.
- The move of usual small forward Shai Bolton into Richmond’s VFL midfield paid immediate dividends in the Tigers’ 14-point victory over Geelong. Bolton posted a game-high 23 disposals as well as six tackles, five clearances and a round-high 12 inside-50s to show he’ll help fill the void left by departed AFL-listers Anthony Miles and Sam Lloyd.
- One of Werribee’s greatest success stories turned the clock back to 2009 – when he was rookie-listed by Fremantle – in Round 1. Michael Barlow has returned to his former VFL club as a playing assistant coach and was instrumental in the Tigers’ 39-point defeat of North Melbourne with 32 disposals, 16 contested possessions and seven clearances.
— Werribee FC (@WerribeeFC) April 6, 2019
ROUND 1 STATS LEADERS
DISPOSALS (37): Ben Crocker (Collingwood)
KICKS (22): Eli Templeton (Port Melbourne)
HANDBALLS (21): Dylan Clarke (Essendon)
MARKS (13): Ben Reid (Collingwood)
TACKLES (12): Willie Wheeler (Williamstown)
CLEARANCES (10): Sam Draper (Essendon) and Marcus Lentini (Coburg)
CONTESTED POSSESSIONS (18): Rupert Wills (Collingwood)
UNCONTESTED POSSESSIONS (26): Ben Crocker (Collingwood)
INSIDE-50s (12): Shai Bolton (Richmond)
REBOUND-50s (10): Patrick Veszpremi (Port Melbourne)
HITOUTS (55): Max Lynch (Collingwood)
GOALS (5): Mitch Brown (Essendon) and Jackson Ross (Box Hill Hawks)
* CLICK HERE for a full preview of all VFL teams for 2019.