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  1. #1
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    The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    This was published before yesterday's game...

    The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances



    THE WESTERN Bulldogs have managed just eight fewer scoring shots than Geelong this year, yet have scored 198 points less than the ladder-leading Cats.

    Inaccuracy is killing the 12th-placed Bulldogs, despite having some of the most accurate goalkickers in the League.

    Of the players who have registered at least 50 scoring shots, Tory Dickson is the second-most accurate goalkicker in AFL history, going at 74 per cent across his career.

    Since the start of the 2018 season, Mitch Wallis boasts the second-highest goalkicking accuracy in the League at 67 per cent, trailing only Port Adelaide's Kane Farrell.

    Patrick Lipinski, Josh Schache and Sam Lloyd are all holding up their end of the bargain too.

    It's when you factor in Champion Data's 'expected score' that you realise it's some of the best Bulldog midfielders who are really letting their team down.

    The expected score measure is a formula that factors in where on the field a shot was taken, what type of shot it was (set shot, on the run, snap around the body) and weather conditions.

    Think of it like this: a set shot from the top of the goalsquare in perfect conditions is likely to have an expected score of six points, whereas a banana from the pocket would be much lower on the expected score scale due to the difficult nature of the shot.

    Jack Macrae has taken five shots at goal in 2019 one shot from outside 50 on the forward flank didn't register a score, one shot from 40 metres out on a 25-degree angle was a behind, and the other three shots were all goals, ranging from 35 to 45 metres out on tough angles.

    Due to the difficult nature of his shot chart, Macrae's expected score is 9.9, and yet he's scored 19 points from those five shots. His actual score is 91 per cent above his expected score.

    The concerns lie with Marcus Bontempelli, Josh Dunkley, Lachie Hunter and Toby McLean.

    Bontempelli's goal kicking has been the biggest drop off. In 2018, he exceeded his expected score by 17 per cent. This year his actual score has been 26 per cent below his expected rate, a 43 per cent difference from one year to the next.



    Bontempelli ranks seventh in the League in behinds, and 89th in the League for goals in 2019.

    Hunter, Dunkley and McLean have reputations as below-average kicks, and the expected score stats for that trio have not been kind.

    Hunter hasn't taken that many shots over the last two years, but his actual score was 19 per cent below the expected rate in 2018. That figure has dropped to 33 per cent below the expected score in 2019.

    Dunkley sits 151st in the League for goalkicking accuracy. Like Hunter, he's had a steeper decline in 2019 after already having a sub-par year in 2018 in terms of converting his chances.

    In 2018, Dunkley was 16 per cent below his expected score, and he's tracking 24 per cent below where Champion Data thinks he should be in 2019.

    McLean's data reads similarly to Dunkley's; he's 153rd in the League for accuracy and 19 per cent below the expected score in 2019.

    With three games lost by less than 15 points this year, the Bulldogs midfielders will be lamenting their misses if they miss out on playing in September.

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  3. #2
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    That opening sentence is amazing!

    This could well be “the season that got away” in many ways. Unless we win the flag... which we’ll probably still do.

  4. #3
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    Ouch. Maybe Bont read it pre-game and his kicking confidence nosedived further.
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
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  5. #4
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    The issue is we have conceded 293 points more than Geelong.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  7. #5
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    Good, detailed article. Truth be told I cringe when Hunter gets the ball in front of goal. Pulled off a ripper from the boundary though. Dunkley I sort of expected not to have the best goal kicking stats. Bont's action seems good. Above the shoulders I guess.
    "We've got to be good in the phone box, and good in the tardis" - Pearls of wisdom from Luke Beveridge.

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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    It is still a big issue. The Bont in particular yesterday missing shots. Our defence has held up well recently as for a couple of weeks there it was leaking a lot of goals although that probably was down to the mids not working hard enough but now they certainly are. Naughton, Schache, Crozier, English really good marks. Naughton and Schache have proven they are very good in front of goal. Rorake Smith as well and he finished well in front of goal yesterday.
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  10. #7
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    The issue is we have conceded 293 points more than Geelong.
    We seem to have rectified the leaky defence though, the goal kicking not so much.

  11. #8
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post
    We seem to have rectified the leaky defence though, the goal kicking not so much.
    The defence over the past few weeks has certainly been better as before the bye it was very leaky.
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  12. #9
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Dog View Post
    Good, detailed article. Truth be told I cringe when Hunter gets the ball in front of goal. Pulled off a ripper from the boundary though. Dunkley I sort of expected not to have the best goal kicking stats. Bont's action seems good. Above the shoulders I guess.
    I saw that banana goal and thought "how the *!*!*!*! does he get that one and miss from 30 out almost dead in front?"

    Frustrating in the extreme.

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  14. #10
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    Quote Originally Posted by westdog54 View Post
    I saw that banana goal and thought "how the *!*!*!*! does he get that one and miss from 30 out almost dead in front?"

    Frustrating in the extreme.
    Yeah it’s amazing. From the tough angles they convert and from 30m directly in front they don’t.
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  15. #11
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    Re: The misfiring mids cruelling the Dogs' finals chances

    Westdog54 well said...
    When I play pool or table tennis I can pull of some pretty good tricky shots. But I miss the basic ones. I get lazy and don't watch the steps. With trick shots I take my time That's my theory with Hunter. Watch footage of Hall or Plugger. They cared about their kicking of set shots from 20 or 30 out as much as those from a distance. Could see them going through their steps. Head over ball, kick to someone in the crowd, etc .
    "We've got to be good in the phone box, and good in the tardis" - Pearls of wisdom from Luke Beveridge.

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