I was really looking forward to watching Sydney Uni in the final. I hadn't got to play or watch them all week during their undefeated run. Plus I coached them for over four years, so I have lots of connections to the club. The game itself was a surprise, or it least it seemed to be.
The Sydney Uni team that had walked over every other team at the tournament wasn't to be seen. Flinders got on top and never let up. Sydney Uni couldn't stop the Joel to Alec connection, either by 1) stopping Joel catching the disc, 2) hassling Joel's throws with the mark or 3) guarding Alec up field.
They clearly didn't have anyone who could do 3), and the zone they used wasn't as useful as, say, a straight up force for acheiving 2). But failing to do 1) was a mystery. Joel doesn't have a single healthy leg joint, and barely made a strong cut to get the disc. Sending one or maybe even two strong defenders after Joel would have at least pushed Flinders to change their offence a little.
The way Joel threw over the zone to a running Alec irrespective of the defenders made me analyse how I have played against zones. Perhaps this is a new tactic I will try: float looping throws to an elite receiver who is running straight line cuts upfield, and bank on the receiver skying the static zone defenders. I can add it to the list.
An elite male thrower with some targets will trump a deep team in the mixed competition of AUGs. Check out the history: Joel Pillar, Johnny Mac, Matt Dowle, Pete Gardner,
Perhaps the surprise wasn't Joel's team triumphing, but why they lost to Sydney in the pool rounds.
Now on to some team stats.
You can compare teams by looking at the points scored for and against them.
The AFL shows this as a percentage (%), ie points for divided by points against, multiplied by 100%.
The NRL shows this as points differential (PD), ie points for minus points against.
The NBA shows this as a differential (diff), ie points for minus points against, divided by games played.
Since teams at AUG 2008 played different numbers of games, I'm going with the NBA format.
The best five teams' differentials at AUG 2008 were:
Team A: +7.9
Team B: +5.4
Team C: +4.6
Team D: +3.5
Team E: +3.5
Your challenge: guess who teams A, B, C, D and E are.
Post your guesses in the comments.
In my next post, I'll reveal the team's identities, and explain more about the strengths and weaknesses of this stat.