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The Final Push to Secure a Top-Eight Finish

: The season is drawing to a close and we’re starting to get a real good look at who the serious contenders are to take the flag. No one can deny how strong the Adelaide Crows are looking and even the GWS Giants. However, as we saw last year when the Western Bulldogs came in seventh and won the premiership, you can never write off the teams that finish a little bit further down the ladder. So, who are the major dark horses that could upset the frontrunners in this season’s playoffs? Funnily enough, the Bulldogs are hitting their stride at the perfect part of the season. They once again sit in seventh and have won four out of their last five matches. In another positive boost for the club, star midfielder and defender Easton Wood has avoided the knife and won’t require surgery on his hamstring, with the club confident he will be ready for finals football if they can secure...

Sloane Leads the Crows to Victory in Top-of-the-Table Clash

: On Friday night, AFL fans witnessed the much-anticipated game between the Adelaide Crows and the Geelong Cats. The Melbourne club had become a ‘bogey’ team for the Crows in recent times and the boys from South Australia were looking to break a five-game losing streak against them. The Crows 13.13 (91) defeated Geelong 10.10 (70) and maintained their grip at the top of the ladder. Adelaide came out all guns blazing and dominated the match from the get-go. Their dominant performance in the fi...

Tigers Pushing for Top-Four Finish

: Source: Richmond FC via Facebook Richmond Tigers have continued to get their season back on track as they defeated the Carlton Blues at the MCG in front of 64,448 fans. In what should have been a relatively easy affair for the Tigers, they definitely didn’t do themselves any favours with their opening play and went in to the first break trailing by four points. Richmond had a much better showing defensively in the second quarter, limiting Carlton to no goals and finding themselves just on...

Customise your finals, Part 2

: OK, so you have read up on our previous article about customising your finals here and have decided to give it a go.  Lets say you want to run your finals series one week earlier than the standard final 4 rounds, for clarity, lets call that ‘Round 19’. But who can be shagged with manually calculating who plays who and manually keying in all those games…?  Well not us, and we assume not you either so we have built a tool to help called the “Game Builder Wizard”. To...

Nathan Buck-leave?

:   Should he stay or should he (Buck)leave? The question on many Pies supporters minds along with many other fans, pundits and AFL enthusiasts. So lets look at some stats… Buckley took charge of the Pies in 2012 having spent two seasons under Malthouse. In the 2010 and 2011 season they finished top of the ladder and won a flag as well. A good grounding perhaps… But since then, with Buckley in sole charge, they have fallen fallen fallen. League positions since have been 4th, 6th, ...

The (Potential) Game of the Week – Round 2

: The POMs (Potential) . Round One done and we dance along to Round Two… There were some crackers in that opening round including the demolition of the Pies, the smashing of Freo, the squeaky bum win by the D’s and the wonderful win by the Cats with one Mr Patrick Dangerfield performing rather well (imagine when he kicks straight as well!) All sets us up for an intriguing Round Two…. Now, we all know that the reigning Premiers (whoever they are) tend to start a little slower the ...

Beware the Bombers

: As has been well documented, more than once, the once glorious bombers, previously known for flying up, up have hit a wee snag this year.  Thirty-four players of their 2012 team have had to take their metaphorical medicine (bad pun I know!) and sit on the side-lines for the 2016 season.  Some of the players no-longer play or now play for other AFL teams.  The key point being… DON’T PICK THEM! Of those still playing, here is a list of the banned players to avoid for 2016: Angus Mon...

The (Potential) Game of the Week : Round One….

: The POMs (Potential) . With the new season kicking off shortly there are a number of fans who have heightened anticipation around their teams chances. Expectation, hope and plain delusion lead to thoughts of: – Can we make top 8? – Can we make Top 4? – Can we be minor premier champions? – And can we go all the way? For one clubs set of fans, theirs is a more pressing question. Can we avoid the wooden spoon and can we even win a game?!?! Usually reserved for the like of Me...

Top 5 Forwards for Round One

:   Top 5 Forwards for Round One only. But who makes the list? Most banter over a beer would reel off a couple of names straight away… Kennedy, Franklin, Gunston…. But lets look at the stats… And importantly, which stats to look at? 2015 – Top Goal Kickers Obviously a quick glance at the last years top goal kickers gives an indication: 1 Joshua Kennedy (West Coast)            80 2 Eddie Betts (Adelaide)                         63 2 Jeremy Cameron (GWS...

The Premiership Wager

: We have just launched a brand new feature on the bench called the Premiership Wager.     The Premiership Wager lets you put a bet on the outcome of your season long fantasy Competition.  All of the coaches submit their wager through the site which forms your competitions prize pool.  At the end of the season, the winner of the Competition will get their prize paid straight into their betting account. As a Competition Manager, you have probably been doing this yourself and so would kn...

A Crafty Draft (by the POM)

: An obvious question is what makes a great team. An obvious question that is difficult to answer… To make it even more complicated take a game that is not played on the world stage, that you didn’t grow up watching or playing and that you have only really seen live at the ground about five times… Though one of those was a Grand Final… and it makes even damn harder to put out a Bench team. (BTW I am still not sure why it has to be a called GRAND Final… surely The Fina...

Preparing your Competition for a new Season

: The following video tutorial will take you through the process of preparing your Competition for the new season.   The video starts by showing you how to download the results from last year that you can save away in your historical archives for future generations. After posting some banter to your Coaches about the draft, that video takes you through resetting the competition to the “Pre-season” mode.  In resetting, you have two options: Reset and Keep the Squads: this is ide...

Nailing your draft

: So you want to win The Bench? It all comes down to one thing: Nailing the draft.  Get that right and you’ll sail through the season, stuff it up and you’re headed for the wooden spoon.  This guide will run through a solid preparation strategy.  We play the standard rules with 3 mids, 3 forwards, 1 ruck & 1 tackler on the field plus an emergency.  Our squad size is 20, so I’ll base the article on that, if your rules are different you’ll need to adjust for that. Here’s what you n...

Draft position and finals

: Some interesting stats from Chris (one of our veteran Commissioners). Draft Seat Titles – getting No 1, 9 or 10 are historically the better seats. Seat 2 is the worst. In fact in 35 season (across a few grades) only 1 title has been won from seat 2. Draft Seat for Wooden Spoons – There have been 6 wooden spoons for draft seat 2, 5 for seat 8. Draft Seat for getting a finals birth – 1, 6 and 7 are the best. 4, 5 and 8 the worst. Once in the finals – winning the minor premi...

Team of the Year so far…

: After ten rounds of the 2015 season it’s time to take stock and look at the top players of 2015 so far on TheBench.   TheBench Classic In the most popular version of the game, our 9-a-side Classic, it’s the tall boppers in the ruck leading the way. They currently hold the top six overall scores with Todd Goldstein (480) ahead of Aaron Sandilands (467), Shane Mumford (440), Sam Jacobs (439), Stefan Martin (410) and Mike Pyke (371). Position Player Club Score after Rd 10 Forward #...

Customise Your Finals, Part 1

: Want to know how to customise the finals for your competition?  This is a quick tutorial to set you off in the right direction and explain some of the options that TheBench makes available for you when it come to the finals. Change the number of participating Clubs By default, finals always run in the final 4 rounds of the standard home and away season. The most simple level of customisation, lets you choose the number of Clubs that will participate in the finals.  As the Competition Manager ...

Super Rugby Dream Team

: Ten rounds into the Super Rugby competition it’s time to assess who the top players are so far. The three top players so far are all back rowers which shows the dominance of the workhorses tackling each and every week. The Hurricanes’ Brad Shields leads the way overall. The blonde bearded warrior has completed 92 tackles so far in ten rounds at an average of 10.2 per game but trails the overall tackling leader Warren Whitely on 121. In the backs Waisake Nahalo leads the overall try s...

Players to learn from Libba’s lethargy

: When the final siren sounded on the 2014 Bench Grand Final I’d lost by a solitary point despite scoring well over 200. So I did what any great coach would do – I looked for someone to blame. And it didn’t take long for the spotlight to home in on one man. Tom Liberatore’s 2015 season has been cut short with a knee injury before it started, and Bench recruiters have immediately scurried to the stats sheets to determine who will now become their number one target for their vacant Tackler p...

Dancing with the Devil: My first AFL Draft

: Sometime late last year I got in touch with a bloke called Ben. NRLCEO had been floundering for a year or two and hadn’t gained much ground despite the founders paying a group of developers a lot of money to essentially take us backwards. Fantasy Footy sites are a complicated beast. We got to a position where it was sink or swim for our game. With our passion and product, we felt like we still had something to offer, so we just couldn’t give up. So I got in touch with TheBench website throug...

First Annual Debate

: First posted on NRLCEO.  See the original story here: http://www.nrlceo.com/first-annual-nrlceo-debate/ There are two new features added to TheBench in 2015 that have some people hot under the collar. So we decided to debate the positives and negatives of each feature so you can decide what you want to do in your own competition. On one side of the debate we have the NRLCEO Trade Doctor – Mr Ryan Lynn – a silver tongued silver tail who talks on the phone for a living. On the other side we ...