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The Stats Files: Shirking Suns, and footy's slow start specialists

'Crude, dumb, weak' Suck it up, Gaz, and stupid, misplaced aggression


Ablett cops it for shirking Suns

GOLD Coast great Gary Ablett's teammates need to bear the brunt for the Suns' worst start to the season since 2012.

David Swallow, in his first game back since 2015, was the only Sun who could hold his head high after the 102-point loss to Greater Western Sydney.

But once again all the attention has turned to Gary Ablett's performance. On Access All Areas on Monday, hosts Garry Lyon, Matthew Lloyd and Damian Barrett questioned whether Ablett was invested enough to turn his season around (you can watch that video above).

The 32-year-old would be the first to admit his game was poor by his standards, his 16 disposals the fewest he had accumulated in 100 minutes of football with the Suns.

Using Schick AFL Player Ratings, Champion Data ranked it the sixth worst Ablett has played at the Suns.

Gary Ablett after two rounds

Stat AFL rank
Kicks 74th
Handballs 97th
Disposals 79th
Tackles 20th
Contested Possessions 47th

But it's worth looking at what his teammates contributed in the loss.

Ablett was one of seven Suns including Michael Barlow and Aaron Hall who did not have an effective kick in the first quarter against Greater Western Sydney.

The Giants had more tackles than the Suns in the first quarter despite kicking seven goals to one.

The Suns had already recorded six missed tackles midway through the second quarter when the AFL average per game is four.

Co-captain Steven May, Jesse Joyce, Peter Wright and Jack Leslie did not record a tackle for the game.

An attempted Sun tackle fails to land on Saturday, this one not through lack of effort. Picture: AFL Photos

Ablett can't afford to have such thoughts but you wonder whether he might have been human enough to drop his bundle momentarily when the Suns shipped 10 of the first 11 goals.

After all, he leads the team with 13 tackles in the first two rounds – the second highest tally he's recorded in the first two rounds in his career. 

If the blowtorch needs applying it must turn to Hall, Tom Lynch, Wright, Alex Sexton and Rory Thompson who are now responsible for ensuring the effort delivered on Saturday is not seen again this season. 

One Sun taking 'em on

Give Gold Coast's Adam Saad the ball and he'll run with it. So far in season 2017, Saad has bounced the ball more often on his own than 15 entire teams.

Saad recorded 12 bounces in round one and eight in round two for a season total of 20.

Not counting his own team, only Greater Western Sydney (33 bounces) and Geelong (24) have bounced the ball more.


114 games in, the Giants raise the bat

The 24.16 (160) the Giants kicked against the Suns was their highest AFL score. It also marked the first time in their 114 AFL matches they've inflicted a 100-point thrashing on an opponent.

They're the third-fastest expansion team to chalk up the milestone, behind the Eagles and Crows.

First 100+ point win by expansion clubs

Club First AFL game First 100-point win
Brisbane Bears / Lions 1987 Round 8, 1993
West Coast 1987 Round 3, 1988
Adelaide 1991 Round 20, 1992
Fremantle 1995 Round 7, 2005
Port Adelaide 1997 Round 23, 2002
Gold Coast 2011 -
GWS 2012 Round 2, 2017

Who are footy's slow start specialists?

Uniquely, eight teams are 0-2 after the opening two rounds. History suggests the Hawks are in trouble. Their last 0-2 start was in 2009 - the year they backed up a surprise premiership by missing the finals. However for the Swans the record books are more encouraging.

Most recent teams to start 0-2 and ...

Make the finals Sydney 2014, Carlton 2013, Melbourne 2006, Sydney 2006, Essendon 2004, Geelong 2004
Reach the last four Sydney 2014, Sydney 2006, Geelong 2004
Make the Grand Final Sydney 2014, Sydney 2006
Win the premiership Western Bulldogs, 1954

One Swallow doesn't make a ...

... quarter. Former Kangaroos skipper Andrew Swallow caught fans' and stat-watchers' attention by recording zero touches in Sunday's tense final quarter against Geelong. On top of his last term duck, Swallow has not kicked a goal in his past 31 games. His last? Against Carlton in round 18, 2015

One assailable club record set in round two

Rory Sloane set a new Crows record for tackling. Sloane's 15 tackles against Hawthorn topped Scott Thompson's total of 14 against Fremantle in round nine, 2015. 

And one we probably won't see broken soon

Hawk recruits Jaeger O'Meara and Tom Mitchell went handball mad on Saturday against Adelaide. O'Meara fell one short of equalling Sam Mitchell's individual club record of 31 handballs in a game. Tom Mitchell's 28 placed him fourth on the all-time Hawk list.

Together their combination of 58 handballs smashed the previous record by a pair of Hawks. That was set by Brad Sewell and Sam Mitchell, who recorded a comparatively modest 51 against the Western Bulldogs in 2007.

Stats: Champion Data, AAP, Cameron Sinclair

Want more?

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