Category Archives: Dream Teams

The (Potential) Game of the Week – Round 2

The POMs
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 next season. Maybe due to one long and well deserved party, a lethargy over being champs, a downright lack of motivation… Whatever it may be it results in a sluggish start. But I for one didn’t expect the 30 point smashing by the Cats. That should kick start the Hawks into a sense of commitment !
On the other hand the losing finalists tend to be a little more motivated, assuming they didn’t get lucky in getting to the final in the first place of course. And whilst West Coast didn’t have the hardest Round One opponents against the Lions they still handed them a very good flogging!

With Round Two throwing up (not literally) the 2015 Grand Final replay at the MCG, the Hawks v Eagles is my “Game of the Week”. A must watch to see if the Eagles can take their good form into a game against the wounded Hawks.


Top 5 Forwards for Round One


top 5Top 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)                     63
4 Taylor Walker (Adelaide)                    59
5 Jack Gunston (Hawthorn)                  57

No Franklin for well known reasons but still I would have in my Top 5 Forwards for Round One… Wouldn’t you????

2015 – Top Averages

Maybe a better indication would be to look at an average, as the top goal kickers includes players who went further into the competition… Kennedy played in the Grand Final, but Cameron only played up until Round 23…

Lets have a look at that….

1 Joshua Kennedy West Coast     3.20
2 Jeremy Cameron GWS              2.86
3 Lance Franklin Sydney             2.76
4 Eddie Betts Adelaide                 2.74
5 Taylor Walker Adelaide            2.57

Kennedy still there ! As you’d expect a few similar names but a couple of new entrants to our Top 5 all of a sudden….

However, this still only gives you an average…. It doesn’t account for the other possible factors that really cam influence a score, such as:

1 – Opposition in Round One… A major factor of course ! For example consider these….

Geelong play Hawthorn so Gunston from our initial list may be scratched???

Adelaide are away to North… Betts and Taylor scratched??? Or keep one…

GWS play Melbourne and West Coast host Brisbane… Cameron and Kennedy are definite starters for sure. So we have two of five….

2 – Slow starter… Players can be really slow to start the season but give them a few games to warm up and watch their numbers fly. A Round 5 Top Forward may never make your Round One Top 5!

3 – One off performance (or inconsistent performance…. such as one Travis Cloke

4 – Pre-season form and any injuries. The latter is a major blight of any Fantasy Coach and a worry for this question…

5 – A newbie or rank outsider… Who knows who will come good this year!! And will they perform on Game Day One !!

So how easy is it after all…. we have left many out in our discussions above  who could be included and the question remains … who’s your Top 5 Forwards for Round One?




Super Rugby Dream Team

Super Rugby Dream Team

This weekend sees the last round of the regular Super Rugby season before the finals kick off.

So as we head into the Grand Final weekend on TheBench, let’s take a look at what the perfect team would look like.

For starters, if you have Boom Prinsloo you are probably well on your way to a maiden title. He is the first player to ever crack 100 points (we know it’s only the first season but shhhhh)! He is a massive 28 points ahead of the next best player. A big part of his dominance was his ability to sniff a try finishing equal second behind only TJ Perenara.

The backrow was the position to pick as the top three players were all back rowers – Prinsloo, Ardie Savea and David Pocock.

TJ Perenara dominated from half back scoring the most tries in Super Rugby (10).


Super Rugby Dream Team after 17 Rounds

# Player Club Tries Workhorse Total Points
1. Ben Alexander Brumbies 3 16
2. Dane Cole Hurricanes 2 19
3. Reg Goodes Hurricanes 3 1 21
4. James Broadhurst Hurricanes 5 27
5. Luke Jones Rebels 1 5 31
6. David Pocock Brumbies 7 6 68
7. Boom Prinsloo Cheetahs 8 11 100
8. Ardie Savea Hurricanes 3 9 72
9. TJ Perenara Hurricanes 10 60
10. Dillyn Leyds Stormers 6 40
11. Taqele Naiyaravoro Waratahs 8 47
12. Francois Venter Cheetahs 7 38
13. Samu Kerevi Reds 6 42
14. Nemani Nadalo Crusaders 7 53
15. Israel Folau Waratahs 5 48


We hope you’re enjoying the inaugural season of Super Rugby on TheBench.

Team of the Year so far…

Top Players on TheBench

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 #1 Josh Kennedy West Coast 261
Forward #2 Jeromy Cameron GWS 209
Forward #3 Eddie Betts Adelaide 202
Midfielder #1 David Armitage St Kilda 319
Midfielder #2 Nathan Fyfe Fremantle 315
Midfielder #3 Daniel Hannebery Sydney 313
Ruckman Todd Goldstein North Melbourne 480
Tackler Matthew Priddis West Coast 365


TheBench Full Field

The full field version of our game brings the ruckmen back to the pack.

The leading scorer after 10 rounds is Nathan Fyfe, which is a great reflection of just how damn well he’s going. He is among six player who have broken the magical 1,000 point mark so far this season.

Position Player Club Score after Rd 10
Full Forward  Josh Kennedy  West Coast  953
Forward #1  Jack Gunston  Hawthorn  959
Forward #2  Buddy Franklin  Sydney  917
Forward #3  Taylor Walker  Adelaide  870
Forward #4  Jack Riewoldt  Richmond  859
Half Forward  Luke Dahlhaus  Footscray  1,008
Ruckman  Stefan Martin  Brisbane  1,057
Midfielder #1  Nathan Fyfe  Fremantle  1,109
Midfielder #2  Patrick Dangerfield  Adelaide  1,083
Midfielder #3  Dustin Martin  Richmond  1,015
Midfielder #4  Luke Parker  Sydney  996
Midfielder #5  Robert Gray  Port Adelaide  953
Half Back  Dyson Heppell  Essendon  1,062
Defender #1  Sam Mitchell  Hawthorn  928
Defender #2  Corey Enright  Geelong  898
Defender #3  Heath Shaw GWS  867
Defender #4  Tom Bell  Carlton  863
Full Back  Tom McDonald  Melbourne  843

Super Rugby Dream Team

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 scoring in the Super Rugby and is also the leading scorer on TheBench scoring 0.9 tries per game.


Super Rugby Dream Team after 10 Rounds

# Player Club Tries Workhorse Total Points
1.  Ben Alexander  Brumbies  3  –  16
2.  Keven Mealamu  Blues  2  –  11
3.  Reg Goodes  Hurriances  1  1  11
4.  Will Skelton  Waratahs  1  2  17
5.  Luke Jones  Rebels  –  3  16
6.  Marcell Coetzee  Sharks  5  1  34
7.  Boom Prinsloo  Cheetahs  4  4  41
8.  Brad Shields  Hurricanes  1  7  47
9.  TJ Perenara  Hurricanes  5  –  31
10.  Bernard Foley  Waratahs  2  –  20
11.  Waisake Nahalo  Highlanders  6  –  34
12.  Malaki Fekitoa  Highlanders  3  –  20
13.  Rob Horne  Waratahs  3  –  19
14.  James Lowe  Chiefs  5  –  31
15.  Nehe Milner-Skudder  Hurricanes  3  –  24


We hope you’re enjoying the inaugural season of Super Rugby on TheBench.

Best Teams Round 4


If you are playing in a Classic League, Tom Rockcliff was the player of the round as a Tackler with 13 tackles! The rest of the Team of the Round is featured in the image. How many of these players did you have in your squad this week?







1380363_10152050444885885_8972092907067601180_nSteve Johnson was the Man of the Round this week in the Full Field style game with 168 points. See below for the rest of the Team of the Round. How many of these players did you have in your squad?


Travis Cloke – A Bench Favorite?

clokeWritten in today’s Herald Sun is an article called AFL umpiring department does not see an issue with lack of frees paid to Collingwood’s Travis Cloke’

In writing this entry I’ll be the first to admit that not having him in my Bench team makes it easy to take the ump’s side but because he is a pie, it makes it so much more enjoyable.

In July 2013 a similar article was written in the Australian Newspaper when head coach Nathan Buckley approached the AFL Commission for an answer to the lack of frees paid to Cloke, whilst not privy to the response, the resultant outcome for the rest of the year was 12 frees for and 10 against.

Like many I get frustrated watching Travis Cloke play primarily because the only way he seems to kick goals is as a result of a one on one tussle and if he doesn’t take that mark, out come the Kleenex.

Coaches today have worked out how to play Cloke. Ross Lyon in round 1 had Michael Johnson dropping back to help McPharlin, in round 2 against Sydney, Richards and Grundy doubled up and on Saturday night against Geelong the whole team understood their role in helping Lonergan.

I remember watching full forwards of the past, either climbing packs or taking marks on the lead at full pace. Ablett, Lockett and even Fevola all had the full complement in their artillery.

When was the last time Cloke took a screamer or even managed to take a mark on the lead.. certainly not this year as his only 2 goals have been a result of a mark on the boundary line and you guessed it, a free kick.

If you’re in front of your opponent on a lead there has never in the history of the AFL been a free kick against the lead for contact made to his direct opponent, perhaps this something Cloke and his brains trust should consider.

In round 9 I’ll be up against a coach with Cloke as one of his full forwards, that game is against Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval. Needless to say I’ll be holding my breath every time the ball is launched into the Collingwood forward line where a possible one on one matchup  it taking place, here’s hoping the umpires maintain this current stance.

Don’t get me wrong he is a power full forward, and at over 105kgs he’s one big unit, but  next time you watch a pies game (if you must), take note of which player initiates contact and how many times that contact could be deemed illegal, most of the time it’s in fact Cloke.



Round 1 – Best Teams

Had Nostradamus been playing TheBench, (and drafted in a competition with no other coaches!), this is the team he would have picked at the end of round 1.

TheBench Classic:

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 9.30.22 am


TheBench Full Field:

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