The HCFU Stat

Fremantle v Adelaide, Subiaco, Sun 12 April 2009

Richard Arrowsmith


When it happened twice in the first two minutes, and with memories of last week’s St Kilda debacle still fresh, I decided to keep count of the key Crows stat: The HCFU – the Handball Chain that – er, doesn’t work out.


It happened twice more in that quarter, and part way through the TV guys told us the Crows had kicked it 21 times, and handballed 43 times.  But we were kicking into the wind, I suppose.


Kicking with the wind in the second, we didn’t HCFU at all, but added 5 goals to none to take a three goal lead.


Freo came back nicely late in the third and early in the last – they kicked the first three goals of the last, and tellingly these were punctuated by two more Crows’ HCFUs.  But those were our last of the game, and we kicked away in the end.


David Mackay is looking forward, not sideways, this week – and running, and bouncing, and making one-handed gathers…  


The big difference between the teams was in skill and confidence.  This game was played in the open, with only patchy zones possible on the long Subiaco ground, and the Crows took full advantage of their freedom.  Kicking long! Yes!  Even into the wind.  And why not, when Walker and Tippett are waiting.


Dangerfield has put on a lot of muscle and – dare I say it – carries the Number 32 with a look of déjà vu.  He seems to have bypassed Roo’s initial bull-at-a-gate style and gone straight to the raking kick on the run.


The young Freo players, on the other hand, missed targets and didn’t take responsibility when it counted.  Perhaps Mark Harvey could have played them close and tight, but he doesn’t have the cattle for that.  These are young, quick, skilful (mostly) players and they’ll have to develop that way without being forced into the wrong shaped hole.  They could use a few hard nuts, though.


Oh, and the HCFU count?  Adelaide 8, Fremantle 4.  So maybe some stats don’t matter after all.


My favourite Crows team now has a lot of new names – Tippett, Mackay, Walker, Petrenko and Dangerfield.


At Easter we bought a crocodile egg – you soak it in water, the egg breaks and a baby crocodile emerges.  He didn’t pop out quite as fast as it said on the label.  And he’s not fully grown yet – that’ll take another week.


But a week is a long time in football.


Adelaide        1.3       6.7      9.12      15.14   (104)

Fremantle     3.5       3.7      7.12      11.14    (80)



Adelaide: Porplyzia 4, Walker 3, Dangerfield, Douglas, Edwards, Gill, McLeod, Symes, Tippett, van Berlo

Fremantle: Pavlich 3, Crowley 2, Hasleby, Hill, Hinkley, Mundy, Schammer, Tarrant



Adelaide:  Thompson, Porplyzia, Walker, Doughty, Reilly, Rutten, Goodwin

Fremantle: Hasleby, Ibbotson, Pavlich, Hill, Johnson, Palmer



Adelaide: Stevens (concussion)

Fremantle: Hill (finger), Broughton (ankle)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Margetts, Wenn, Keating


Crowd: 30,035


  1. johnharms says

    I reckon, despite the errors, running the ball into the wind with protracted chains of handball actually worked during the third quarter. I suppose it is a risk-reward thing. Maybe trying to kick into the wind (and find targets) was even riskier.

  2. I agree, John, about the into the wind thing. Still, the quarter by quarter breakdown of the HCFU may be worth something. 1st quarter, into the wind: 4 (to Freo 1). 2nd quarter, with the wind: 0-2 (and won the quarter by 32 points). 3rd quarter: 2-1. Final quarter: 2-0 (and both of those were in the first 5 minutes, interspersed with Freo goals). The high count in the 1st and third was probably due to the wind (ie more HCs were attempted).

  3. Watch out Pandora! Not a stat man, but finally you are uncovering key numbers. Watched this game at the Highway Inn…awful match, good pub and even a Port bloke told me Taylor Walker is the answer and the Crows are building. For what it is worth, I disagreed (habitually!).

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