Published on May 9, 2017 8:59 am

Ben Paton

STATS CENTRAL: Bushies back it up

For the beaten 2016 Grand Final team, the Murray Bushrangers have quietly gone about building a 5-1 record to sit second on the TAC Cup ladder.

Murray produced a competition-high 10 players added to AFL lists last year, including NAB AFL Draft pick no.12 Jy Simpkin who has impressed in five senior games for North Melbourne so far in 2017.

Second-year Bushrangers head coach Leon Higgins admitted earlier this year that it’d be difficult for his 2017 group to match the deeds of last year’s, but that they’ll “be more than competitive throughout the season”.

When asked about potential 2017 draftees, Higgins pointed firstly to Charlie Spargo – but the classy 175cm midfielder/forward hasn’t played a TAC Cup game this year due to commitments with the NAB AFL Academy and GWS Academy (of which he’s no longer a part).

Instead, a collection of unheralded players is emerging to record impressive numbers through the first six rounds.

Over-age defender Ben Paton has been one of Murray’s most consistent players averaging 23 disposals and six marks per game running off half back, and was in his team’s best players for its Round 6 victory over the Calder Cannons with 19 disposals and five rebound-50s.

Jessy Wilson was also crucial against the Cannons with three goals and the 184cm top-ager now leads the Bushrangers goalkicking table with 11, ahead of 196cm Daniel Johnston (10 majors) and livewire indigenous prospect David Smith (nine).

On a wet day at Rams Arena, the grunt of co-captain Harry Jones (averaging 23 disposals and six tackles per game) and over-agers Isaac Wallace (17 and six) and Nick Richards (21 and three) was important, while Doulton Langlands – a bottom-ager in Murray’s Grand Final team – stood out with 21 disposals and six inside-50s.

Add in the ball-winning ability of 170cm Angus Hicks (ave. 24 disposals and six tackles) and marking power of 195cm Jordon Butts (ave. 17 disposals and eight marks) and suddenly the Bushrangers seem to have enviable depth of talent.

They may not be as well known as Simpkin and Will Brodie may have been in 2016, but they’re proving just as effective for their team.

 

Round 6 keys to victory:

23: The Eastern Ranges had 11 fewer inside-50s and three fewer scoring shots than the Gippsland Power in their two-point victory but clearly made their forward thrusts count. Rowville product Trent Mynott’s damaging boot was a key factor for the Ranges, sending the ball inside 50 six times from his round-high 23 kicks.

19: The Bendigo Pioneers reaped the rewards of going direct in a 21-point win against the Sandringham Dragons. The Pioneers had 31 fewer disposals than the Dragons but recorded 13 more kicks, with Echuca product Darby Henderson and Strathfieldsaye junior Angus Schumacher racking up 19 disposals each by foot.

25: The Oakleigh Chargers relished the tough conditions during their 40-point defeat of the GWV Rebels, winning the clearance count by 25. 19-year-old Marcellin Old Collegians product Louis Cunningham starred in Oakleigh’s engine room, winning a clear game-high 10 clearances.

 

Round 6 stats leaders:

KICKS    
Trent Mynott Eastern Ranges 23
Hamish Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 23
Mitchell Andrews Northern Knights 22
Judah Dundon Western Jets 21
Nicholas Stuhldreier Western Jets 20
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 19
Angus Schumacher Bendigo Pioneers 19
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 19
Josh Bateman Dandenong Stingrays 19
Hunter Clark Dandenong Stingrays 19
Tom Murphy Dandenong Stingrays 19
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 19
Ben Caluzzi Calder Cannons 18
Dylan Moore Eastern Ranges 18
Will Stephenson Gippsland Power 18
HANDBALLS    
Jaden Rice Western Jets 20
Samuel Walsh Geelong Falcons 19
Bayley Cockerill Geelong Falcons 18
Dylan Moore Eastern Ranges 17
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 16
Hunter Clark Dandenong Stingrays 15
Ali Zijai Dandenong Stingrays 15
Nicholas Richards Murray Bushrangers 15
Lachlan Harris Sandringham Dragons 15
Nicholas Stuhldreier Western Jets 14
Ari Sakeson Sandringham Dragons 14
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 14
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 13
Sam Harte Oakleigh Chargers 13
Angus Styles Sandringham Dragons 13
MARKS    
Mitchell Andrews Northern Knights 12
Aidan Tilley Calder Cannons 12
Ari Sakeson Sandringham Dragons 11
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 9
Mitchell Podhajski Calder Cannons 9
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 8
Angus Schumacher Bendigo Pioneers 8
Kye Quirk Eastern Ranges 8
Sam Binion Northern Knights 8
Geordie Nagle Sandringham Dragons 7
Thomas North Eastern Ranges 7
Buku Khamis Western Jets 7
Matt Harvey Bendigo Pioneers 7
Angus Paterson Dandenong Stingrays 7
Bailey Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 7
HITOUTS    
Matthew Volkanovski Western Jets 40
Jasper Rouget Eastern Ranges 23
Joel Grace Northern Knights 21
Lloyd Meek GWV Rebels 21
Julian Patterson Gippsland Power 21
Daniel Hanna Calder Cannons 20
Bailey Williams Dandenong Stingrays 19
Noah Balta Calder Cannons 19
Jobee Warde Bendigo Pioneers 19
Sam Hayes Eastern Ranges 18
Patrick Bohan Oakleigh Chargers 18
Lachlan Harry Oakleigh Chargers 18
Cody Henness Gippsland Power 17
Brock McGregor Western Jets 16
Jacob McNicol Calder Cannons 16
TACKLES    
Callum Porter Gippsland Power 13
Dylan Moore Eastern Ranges 13
Joel Burleigh Eastern Ranges 13
Jaden Rice Western Jets 12
Will Stephenson Gippsland Power 12
Nick Lowden Gippsland Power 11
Oliver Wilson Northern Knights 11
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 10
Louis Cunningham Oakleigh Chargers 10
Braedyn Gillard Northern Knights 10
Kim Drew Gippsland Power 10
James Worpel Geelong Falcons 9
Connor Thar Western Jets 9
Lachlan Noble Geelong Falcons 9
Adrian Kalcovski Eastern Ranges 9
2017 LEADING GOALKICKERS Last Rnd Total
Gryan Miers Geelong Falcons 4 19
David Handley Geelong Falcons 2 15
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 2 14
Aaron Trusler Sandringham Dragons 2 14
Will Stephenson Gippsland Power 2 12
Riley D’Arcy Dandenong Stingrays _ 12
Jamison Shea Northern Knights 4 11
Jessy Wilson Murray Bushrangers 3 11
Daniel Johnston Murray Bushrangers 2 10
Jordon Reid Geelong Falcons 1 10

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