Completed practice games wrap: Standouts, injuries, CBAs and kick-in statistics

The opening practice games offer a glimpse into what to expect from players in 2022, with sharp coaches keeping a keen eye on CBAs, kick-ins and roles, so we’ll be maintaining a rolling consolidated wrap to make it easy to monitor.

Photo credit: GWS Giants

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We do want to offer shoutouts to all those amazing people on Twitter tallying up CBAs and kick-ins, with some of those shared in the embedded tweets. As many say, you’re doing God’s work!

Saturday February 26

Geelong v Richmond

Ex-Adelaide small forward Tyson Stengle (AF $298k SC $247k FWD) was excellent for the Cats with four goals. The afl.com.au practice game report said: “Magnificent in his first game for Geelong & could have just solved its small forward riddle for coach Chris Scott. Put on a masterclass to kick four goals & have a hand in plenty of other scoring chains.”

Dustin Martin (AF $682k SC $503k M/F) got through his first competitive game sine his kidney laceration. The afl.com.au report said: “He was energetic, highly involved, and despite the odd mistake, showed his class in laying on a couple of goals with pinpoint kicks.”

Hugo Ralphsmith (AF $258k SC $206k M/F) got a few games last year and is one to monitor. The report said: “Hugo Ralphsmith was aggressive at half-back and gathered a number of contested possessions.”

Friday February 25

Sydney v GWS

Isaac Heeney (AF $639k SC $454k FWD) played well in a new midfield role. The afl.com.au report said: “Isaac Heeney’s class and strength around stoppages stood out for the Swans, with the 25-year-old poised to take on a permanent midfield role this season.”

Tom Papley (AF $545k SC $382k FWD) injured his hamstring. Sydney said on Twitter: “We are taking a precautionary approach and he will be assessed in the next few days.”

Stephen Coniglio (AF $695k SC $261k M/F) had plenty of CBAs and the afl.com.au report said: “Stephen Coniglio and Tim Taranto were prolific through the middle for the Giants, while Lachie Whitfield’s kicking from half-back helped his side move the ball quickly.”

WCE v Fremantle

The Eagles lost three players; Campbell Chesser (AF $264k $148k D/M), Elliot Yeo (AF $696k SC $470k MID) and Dom Sheed (AF $766k SC $447k MID) to injuries.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson said: “They all need scans. All lower leg injuries. I know (Yeo) is ankle. I think all three boys are pretty similar.”

Will Brodie (AF $387k SC $224k F/M) impressed Freo coach Justin Longmuir who said: “I thought he fit in really well. Will’s really impressed with his hunt and competitiveness. We’ve been really impressed with his pre-season.”

Brisbane Lions v Adelaide

Cam Rayner (AF $396k SC $278k FWD) successfully returned to competitive action and busy in a forward-midfield role. The afl.com.au match report said: “It’s been mooted that Rayner would play more midfield minutes and the former No.1 pick did just that. He got more involved as the match wore on and impressed with his physicality around the contest.”

Jarrod Berry (AF $725k SC $268k MID) impressed with plenty of possessions in midfield and three goals, while Lachie Neale (AF $792k SC $543k MID) eased any midfield time fears with a team-high 22 CBAs.

For the Crows, top 10 draft pick Josh Rachele (AF $280k SC $184k M/F) provided the high point. The afl.com.au report said: “No.6 draft pick Josh Rachele was magnificent for the visitors, kicking three goals and showing he was well and truly up for a Round 1 debut.”

Gold Coast v Port Adelaide

Port had a few injury concerns with Connor Rozee (AF $567k SC $400k FWD) (rolled ankle), Sam Powell-Pepper (AF $534k SC $377k M/F) (hamstring) and Scott Lycett (AF $718k SC $512k RUCK) (ankle) all benched early. The latter’s injury opened up time for Sam Hayes (AF $190k SC $123k RUCK) in the ruck, with Port’s report stating: “Hayes showed signs that he was capable at the level.”

Zak Butters (AF $639k SC $443k FWD) was injected into Port’s midfield. The afl.com.au report said: “(Played) a large chunk of time around the contest. Butters was solid without being spectacular and will no doubt be better for the run.”

Josh Sinn (AF $268k SC $157k D/M) boosted his Round 1 debut chances. The afl.com.au report said: “The smooth-running left-footer had plenty of disposals early in the match and finished off his work with a goal in the final quarter.”

For the Suns, Lachie Weller (AF $669k SC $400k M/F) took plenty of kick-ins and racked up the touches. The afl.com.au report said: “Moved Weller from the wing to half-back and it paid off handsomely. Weller was magnificent with his run-and-carry and penetrating kicking and should be a lock there for the start of the season.”

Collingwood v Hawthorn

Nick Daicos (AF $284k SC $193k MID) “showed plenty of promise” for the Pies according to afl.com.au. Jack Crisp (AF $854k SC $571k D/M) got plenty of midfield time with 15 CBAs, while Scott Pendlebury (AF $708k SC $492k MID) played largely off half-back with two CBAs.

Potential breakout Finn Maginness (AF $311k SC $143k M/F) attended seven CBAs for Hawthorn, while the afl.com.au report highlighted top 10 draft pick Josh Ward (AF $278k SC $180k MID), writing: “Expect him to play plenty of footy this year after an encouraging start in Morwell.”

Thursday February 24

Carlton v St Kilda

There was a late injury scare for Charlie Curnow (AF $347k SC $224k FWD) but Carlton assured he’s fine. Blues assistant coach Ash Hansen said: “Charlie is fine. It was a heavy knock but at that stage of the game and at this point in preparations, we’re not going to take any risks with him. He’s fine.”

Patrick Cripps (AF $686k SC $454k MID) dominated for the Blues, and “led from the front” according to the club match report. The report added: “Cripps was prolific over the course of the game.” Take note of George Hewett’s (AF $537k SC $399k D/M) 14 CBAs too.

There was a bit of interest with Jack Hayes, who is set to join the Saints as an SSP signing. The Saints match report said: “Rookie hopeful Jack Hayes only played the second half and rotated between the ruck and the forward line.”

Also Jade Gresham (AF $509k SC $299k M/F) got through the game unscathed as he continues to recover from an Achilles injury.

Melbourne v North Melbourne

Plenty of onlookers were keen to see how top draft pick Jason Horne-Francis (AF $290k SC $207k MID) fared. The afl.com.au match report said: “Took some time to get going in the first half but was arguably the most influential player on the ground in the third quarter, instantly showing he is ready to make the step up from the SANFL to the AFL.”

North draftees Josh Goater (AF $248k SC $117k MID) and Paul Curtis (AF $222k SC $117k FWD) were both highlighted too: “Pick No.31 Josh Goater was impressive and is emerging as a round one option for North Melbourne. Paul Curtis also showed a bit for the Roos in another positive.”

For Melbourne, Max Gawn (AF $911k SC $657k RUCK) and Luke Jackson (AF $520k SC $389k R/F) split the CBAs 12-14 respectively.

Wednesday February 23

Essendon v Western Bulldogs

Jordan Ridley (AF $671k SC $537k DEF) starred for the Dons and was “best afield” according to afl.com.au, who wrote: “Dominant aerial display in Essendon’s defence, taking countless marks including a huge grab in the third term.”

Dylan Shiel (AF $779k SC $361k MID) was back from a knock and had 20 CBAs while Jye Caldwell (AF $488k SC $266k MID) didn’t get many at all.

For the Dogs, Josh Dunkley (AF $767k SC $558k M/F) “was solid floating across the half back and through the midfield” and Adam Treloar (AF $731k SC $483k M/F) “impressed in the engine room finding ample amounts of the ball.”

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