Round 17 – Fremantle v Geelong: Why do Geelong over-handpass?

Why do Geelong over-handpass?

by David Fordyce


Geelong’s midfielders handpass too much.


Here’s the stats from the Freo game.


Player Kicks Handpasses
Dangerfield 15 16
Selwood 16 15
Motlop 13 13
Duncan 11 14
Guthrie 8 17
Murdoch 5 9
Blicavs 5 8
Menzel 6 6
Cowan 6 5
McCarthy 4 6
Total 89 109


In Q1 and Q4, Selwood handpassed completely backwards. Maybe he saw nothing ahead, as our forwards do seem stagnant. In Q3 Dangerfield handpassed completely backwards, instead of kicking to CHF, while in Q1 he gave off a very poor handpass that wasn’t needed, running through the centre.


In Q1 and Q2, Motlop twice bounced the ball in the first few steps. The second time it bounced behind his back and he had to retrieve it like a basketball trick. In Q4 he gave an extra handpass to Dangerfield that caused trouble. A confident Motlop bursts into space and gets the ball on quickly. It was great to see him get stuck in and play hard, but his game-breaking confidence is still down.


At the start of Q4, Guthrie handpassed backwards on the wing, when the Dockers were coming at us. Then Kersten gave an extra handpass out of defence that wasn’t needed, as did Ruggles, causing a turnover and they are both great kicks. Twice Duncan held onto the ball too long, and was indecisive.


There seems to be a rule that Murdoch doesn’t kick the ball. He had five kicks. One was a sideways chip out of bounds in the back pocket, another was after the siren, and one was an unnecessary sideways chip on the wing. That leaves two other kicks. I’d like to see his metres gained.


A dozen over-handpasses can mean half a dozen less shots on goal, and gives the opposition extra shots on goal. It encourages the opposition to tackle and create turnovers. The Kolodjashnij turnover came after 4 or 5 sideways kicks. He was 30 metres clear but wasn’t moving. There was no go-forward, no speed. If our leaders are stuffing around with the ball then so will the whole team.


There is a lot of talk about Hawkins being out of form, but the midfield is mucking around with the ball and slowing it down, giving it back and forth to each other, and not getting it in the forward line quickly. They need to take the game on and give our forwards a fighting chance.


Likewise, on AFL stats, Geelong are 17th for rebound 50s, so are also not moving the ball quickly out of defence, and are 11th for one-percenters, whereas Hawthorn and Sydney are second and third. We need players who are prepared to move the ball quickly.


Cockatoo tries to move the ball quickly, his return has been a revelation, and maybe Cowan might become the second small, feisty defender that we need.


On a positive note it was great to see the tackling after quarter time v Freo, which got us back in the game. Linc McCarthy is a serious tackler and has now put Murphy and Barlow out for weeks.


Andrew Mackie has the second-most wins in reaching 250 games


191 Harry Collier (six-time Collingwood premiership player 1927-30, 1935-36)
185 Andrew Mackie
184 Chris Langford
184 Gary Ayres



  1. Spot on David! Hope the coach reads the Almanac. They can kiss goodbye to a top 4 finish if they continue this pattern. Hopefully, we’ll see a change this week.

    Thanks for your perceptive analysis!

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