Can Dusty make history and win the Norm Smith/Brownlow double?
The Norm Smith medal is awarded to the player judged by an independent panel to have been the best player in the AFL Grand Final.
Punters will need to remember that the voting takes place late in the final quarter before the match has actually finished. So if you fancy a player to fire late, they may win their team the Premiership but not take home the Norm Smith.
IS THE NORM SMITH A MIDFIELDER’S MEDAL?
No. In recent AFL Premiership history there is not really a common thread of the medal being awarded to a particular position on the field. Whilst Brian Lake won the medal for the Hawks from the backline in 2013, Luke Hodge won it from the midfield in 2014 and Cyril Rioli from the forward line in 2015.
CAN YOU WIN THE MEDAL IN A LOSING TEAM?
Punters who fancy Dusty to win the Norm Smith will be betting against the market which has the Tigers as the underdogs going into the Grand Final. The medal has only gone to a player on the losing side 4 times in AFL history including Gary Ablett Sr (1989), Nathan Buckley (2002) and Chris Judd (2005).
If you fancy an omen bet on Dusty to win the medal and the Crows to win the Premiership, the last time Richmond played in a Premiership was in 1982 when they lost to Carlton by 18 points. Maurice Rioli was awarded the Norm Smith in the Tigers loss and is the first player to ever win the medal in a losing side.
THE ENGINE ROOM
The favourites for the Norm Smith are all midfielders. Dustin Martin ($5.00) is the warm favourite although no player has ever won the Brownlow Medal in the same year as they have won the Norm Smith.
If the medal winner usually comes from the winning team then Rory Sloane ($7.00), Matt Crouch ($7.00) or Tom Lynch ($14.00) will all be in the mix, especially considering that Sam Jacobs will give them first use of the ball and they have such a dominant midfield.
Charlie Cameron ($23.00) and Daniel Rioli ($41.00) both played the kind of game that attracts the attention of voters in their respective Preliminary Finals.
Small forwards have a history of winning the medal with Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli and Geelong’s Stevie Johnson and Paul Chapman just some of the small forwards to have won recently. Goals are what count in the end and it is often the player that kicks them that is rewarded.
The big forwards will need to kick a bag to seal the medal and there is a strong case to be made for Tex Walker ($23.00). He kicked 5 on the Tigers in their last encounter in Round 9 and it will take at least that many (realistically 6-7) to win the Norm Smith. The amount of goals needs to be the number at which you can say that the forward is completely dominant.
Remember that Cam Mooney kicked 5 when the Cats smashed the Power in 2007 and still lost out to Stevie Johnson.
Jack Riewoldt ($26.00) is a fan favourite although he was very quiet against the Giants. He is definitely playing a role in their structure but not the kind that wins the Norm Smith.
FINAL SAY: Punters need to consider what type of game they think the Grand Final will be before they choose their Norm Smith medallist. In a close Richmond win you are likely to see Cotchin or Martin win the medal because you know they will need to fire for the Tigers.
A close Adelaide win could go either way simply because the Crows midfielders might take votes off each other. A small forward will need to kick 3-4 match-breaking goals whilst a big forward will need about 6-7.
The Tigers will be constantly defending Adelaide’s penetrating inside 50 attacks so the ball may be at ground level enough for a small forward to break the game open.
Based on the fact that we think the Crows will win by 30+ points and we think that the score for the Crows will be quite high we can look to their forwards and midfield.
- Rory Sloane ($7.00)
- Rory Laird ($15.00)
- Eddie Betts ($17.00)
Roughie: Sam Jacobs ($17.00)