Cobba’s Round 17 Footy Graph – How good was God?

Football. Some say you are born with it, others swear that it takes years of hard work and dedication. Do modern day AFL teams and selection scouts over expect from the children of former stars, much like an admired breeding system at the track?

Since the Father/Son rule was incorporated into the draft in 1997, there have been 48 young sons come under that rule. Prior that selections were taken before the draft. Of those players, only 7 have played 150 games or more, just like their fathers.

Father Games Son Games Combined Team
Ken Fletcher 264 Dustin Fletcher 376 640 Essendon
Russell Ebert (port in SANFL) 391 Brett Ebert 166 557 Port Adelaide
Bryan Cousins (Perth) 238 Ben Cousins 270 508 West Coast
Gary Ablett snr 248 Gary Ablett jnr 247 495 Geelong
Tim Watson 307 Jobe Watson 168 475 Essendon
John Scarlett 183 Matthew Scarlett 284 467 Geelong
Vin Waite 153 Jarrad Waite 163 315 Carlton
min 150 games

Other notables include Sergio and Stephen Silvagni (before 1997), Peter and Paul Hudson, Brian and Jonathan Brown, Ray and Heath Shaw, David and Travis Cloke, John and Josh Kennedy, and Ron snr and Ron Barassi jnr.

Although Gary Ablett jnr isn’t at the top of that list, his profile grows beyond anyone had ever thought, his best was on display last Saturday night.

His 49 disposal effort has once again surfaced the endless argument of his greatness with comparison to his father. Gary snr, who is widely regarded as the greatest this game has ever seen, can be proud of his son’s efforts.

As junior has said before “I still rate my dad the best player of all time”. And how could you disagree? Seniors imposing and intimidating figure, could explode at any moment, snapping balls over his shoulder from 50 out.

But junior, in the midfield has his father over consistency. Last weekend’s effort included, Gary Ablett junior has had a total of 87 games with 30 or more disposals.

But combine the two greats, and it becomes and an almost unbelievable combination. So good, that The Age’s Rohan Connolly suggests they are the greatest Father/Son duo in world sport.

Just how do the two stack up? Scroll down to see Cobba’s Round 17 Footy Graph…

In other news…

Its been the recurring story of 2013, North Melbourne yet again suffer another heartbreaking loss. After leading for most of the match, Carlton almost made a mess of it, as the Kangaroos stormed home to kick 8 of the last 10 goals for the game. The Blues held on in dramatic circumstances to record the 3rd 1 point margin for 2013 – 2 of which, North have been on the wrong side of.

It was the 318th time in VFL/AFL history a game has been decided by a point.

For the Roos, it was the 5th time they have lost by less than a goal this season. The last time that has happened was Essendon in 1980. North Melbourne also did it in 1926. (Check out my Round 9 Footy Graph)

For the round, it was the 1st of 3 margins that would be under 6 points, the equal most this year (with round 5)

Such are the nature of North Melbourne’s defeats this year, that their high percentage of 114.76% is the highest ever for a team with 6 wins and 10 losses.

As Rogers Results point out, Carlton’s win/match% at the Docklands is now at 36.46%, whilst North’s is 57.86%.

In a great underdog story, Gold Coast have claimed their 1st victory against a top 8 side ever, when they achieved a stunning win in slippery Queensland conditions against powerhouse, Collingwood.

Inspired by their captain, Gary Ablett’s 49 possession game, the Suns were in the lead for much of the night, and finished 7 points in front of the Pies.

Ablett had been so good against Collingwood, that in his last 2 encounters, he has amassed a record 102 disposals in his last 2 games against the Magpies.

Player Match Team Against Disposals
Greg Williams R19,1989 SYD STK 53
Gary Ablett R10, 2012 GC COLL 53
Scott Thompson R22, 2011 ADEL GC 51
Tony Shaw R5, 1991 COLL BB 50
Dane Swan R17, 2012 COLL HAW 49
Gary Ablett R17, 2013 GC COLL 49
Greg Wells R13, 1980 MEL FITZ 48
Peter Featherby R16, 1981 GEEL MEL 48
Dane Swan R10, 2009 COLL PORT 48
Stephen Malaxos R22, 1987 WCE STK 48
Tony Shaw R7, 1984 COLL GEEL 48
Ryan Griffen R21, 2012 WB SYD 47

Young ruckman Tom Nicholls had another fantastic game that night. Since his entry into the team in round 10, Nicholls has won more disposals than any other ruckman in the league. Since then, he has also attended more contests and won more hitouts than Dean Cox.

Collingwood became the 10th team that Gold Coast have ever beaten, but they are yet to defeat Adelaide, Essendon, Fremantle, Geelong, Hawthorn Sydney or West Coast.

The attendance of 19, 721 was the 3rd highest ever at Carrara Oval, and the highest registered this year.

The Magpies look to be in a sadder place as they have now lost the 5 times of their past 6 interstate matches, after winning the previous 10.

A seemingly standard match-up between Geelong and Adelaide proved to be another exciting contest for round 17. The afternoon game at AAMI stadium turned into a corker when Adelaide, trailing by 30 points halfway through the 3rd quarter, kicked 8 of the last 10 goals to hit the front and win by 2 points.

Missed shots by Jimmy Bartel and Harry Taylor in the dying minutes kept the Crows in front, to register their 14th win from 19 matches against Geelong at Football Park.

Similar to Collingwood, it was the Cats 5th loss interstate from their last 10 matches after losing only 5 of the previous 26.

Geelong have now missed the chance to be sitting equal on points with Hawthorn at the top of the ladder, and have slipped to 3rd. Adelaide’s finals hopes stay alive with being only 2 games out of contention, sitting on 11th.

I understand I might cop a lot of flack over this comparison. They come from different eras, they played in different positions, the playing conditions back then were abysmal by today’s standards. There are so many differences which do not allow anyone to simply decide who was a better player, in truth it’s probably a question that could never be answered. But I did it anyway. Here is the graph…

Gary Ablett



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