Versus: Breust v Motlop
Who's your pick?
If we were gaze into our crystal ball to predict the 2018 All-Australian side I’m tipping Luke Breust and Steven Motlop might both be in it. They are rising stars of the game, and will be critical factors in Friday night’s Hawthorn v Geelong preliminary final.
In the absence of Buddy Franklin in the qualifying final against Sydney
the Hawthorn smalls proved to be a more than adequate strike weapon up forward, and Breust is pivotal to this group.
His strength is his crumbing. He puts some serious heat on his opponent because he hits the pack at speed, forcing the defender to go into full defence mode.
He reads it so well off the packs, using David Hale, Jarryd Roughead and Franklin as his reference points, and makes sure he gets there for his talls. He is quick to change the angle of his crumbing position, making it hard for opposition defenders to shut him out for the full day.
This type of player plays a more crucial role in the finals because the ball hits the ground more often that in the regular season. And his finish is absolutely first class.
Motlop has kicked 42 goals in 20 games this year, including 17 in his last seven outings.
He does a lot of his damage further up the field, running back towards goal. Afforded some space, he can really hurt opposition sides on the way back. Together with Allen Christensen and Travis Varcoe, he is a real Geelong line-breaker.
In Brisbane's planning we had someone with comparable speed and a bigger body go all the way with him. It limited his influence on the match but he only needs a couple of opportunities to do his damage.
His strength is his genuine “take them on” attitude, almost daring an opponent to come and tackle him before he puts on the after-burners and steps back inside to get around. When Geelong are up you can guarantee it is partly because this guy is doing some damage somewhere.
Such are his multiple talents, it can be working out of congestion, running back towards goal and staring down his opponent, hitting the packs, or even trying to go for a screamer.
Steven Motlop because he has more tricks.
Breust’s value to Hawthorn is unquestioned but Motlop has become one of Geelong's most valuable players among the proven finals professionals.
If Luke Hodge is saying the Hawks must do something different then Motlop has to get some attention.
What's your verdict?