The Allies State Of Origin Team is made up of players from The Northern Territory, Queensland, ACT, New South Wales and Internationals. Again, this is a merit-based approach, and I’ve implemented a floor of at least 10 games played in 2019.
Dane Rampe, SYD. Origin – NSW
Rampe is the swiss-army knife of Defenders. He can lock down on smalls and talls, accumulate, kill contests, climb goal posts. The New South Welshman had another fantastic year – averaging 20 disposals (elite) and 3 tackles (elite). In contests, he was only beaten 19% of the time, one-on-one. He is ranked 3rd in defensive 50 rebounds per game, and 6th in intercept marks per game.
His efforts in the Lions’ round 12 win against the Eagles were sublime, amassing 32 touches at 94% efficiency, 12 marks and 10 intercepts.
Harris Andrews, VICE CAPTAIN, BRI. Origin – QLD
The Lion’s fullback had his best year in 2019, culminating in him recieving his first All-Australian guernsey. He averaged 10 spoils a game (BANG!). He is ranked 1st in 1%er’s per game.
He had a huge day in a disappointing loss against the Bombers in round 4 – collecting 22 disposals to go with 12 one-percenter’s and 8 intercepts.
Callum Mills, SYD. Origin – NSW
The 2016 NAB AFL Rising Star winner was again solid down back for the Swans, playing 22 games. Somewhat of a hybrid at 190cm, his link up play, solid overhead marking and supreme foot skills were signatures.
His best game came in the Swans’ 27-point loss to the Cats’ in round 19 where he amassed 26 disposals, 4 tackles and 9 defensive 50 rebounds.
Zac Williams, GWS. Origin – NSW
A revelation in 2019, Zac Williams is a fine player. Dash, nous and excellent by foot, he has the ability to create and break lines across halfback, but also transition into the middle where his creativity shines. He is rated elite in disposals per game (24), kicks per game (17) and tackles per game (3.1) he also bobs up for goals at good times and is ranked 7th in the league for metres gained. Truly a utility of the modern era.
Round 20’s 2 point win against the Swans saw Williams, together with amateur optometrist Toby Greene, absolutely dominate. Williams managed 32 touches (15 contested), 10 marks, 6 tackles and 10 clearances, earning himself 3 Brownlow votes.
Jeremy Howe, COLL. Origin – TAS
While he isn’t a traditional CHB, he certainly has the leap and aerial prowess to perform the role. Averages close to 7 marks per game (elite), and is ranked 11th in total rebound 50’s.
The Tasmanian’s best was on display in the prelim loss to GWS where he had 28 disposals (20 kicks), 7 marks and 8 rebounds – one of the standout performers of the game, Howe did everything he could to keep the Pies in it.
Lachie Weller, BRI. Origin – TAS
The former Docker was one of the Suns few solid contributors in 2019. Weller averaged 22.1 disposals (13 kicks), 3 tackles and 12.6 pressure acts per game. He is ranked 14th in rebound 50’s per game (5.5)
His best was against the Sun’s embarrassing 70 point loss against the Hawks in round 22 where he managed 27 disposals, 5 clearances, 7 rebounds and a goal.
Mitch Robinson, BRI. Origin – TAS
Re-invented as a genuine Wingman, Robinson has flourished – and was probably unlucky to miss out on All-Australian selection. – his article here is a beauty. The tenacious (ritalin surely) Robinson set his 2019 on fire, averaging 22 disposals (15 kicks) and just under a goal per game (elite). He is ranked 10th in total metres gained and 12th in total inside-50’s.
In round 6 against the hapless Suns, Robinson ran amok. He finished the game with 26 touches (16 kicks), 8 marks, 5 tackles and 3 snags. He recieved 3 Brownlow votes also.
Dayne Zorko, BRI. Origin – QLD. CAPTAIN.
Does it all. Kicks (elite – 16.8 per game), tackles (elite – 6.7/game) and goals (elite – 1/game). Takes a tag most weeks and still prevails, mostly. Won his fourth successive Merrett-Murray Medal. He gets the ball inside attacking 50 more than any player, and tackles the most in there also. Ranked 3rd in total metres gained, just an absolute freak.
In round 7 against Sydney he was ferocious. 27 touches, 11 tackles, 11 clearances, 11 inside 50’s, a goal and a whopping 762 metres gained saw him earn 3 Brownlow votes.
Isaac Smith, HAW. Origin – NSW
One of the league’s best runners, Smith, as is his modus operandi, again had a solid year. Averaging 22.5 disposals (14.4 kicks), 5 inside 50’s, 2.7 rebound 50’s (showcasing his two-way running), and 474 metres gained. He also averages a goal every two games, which is a solid result for a wingman.
The evergreen 30 year-old showed no signs of slowing down, proving himself to still be a vital cog in the Hawthorn machine, his game in the Hawks win against GWS in Canberra was typical Smith consistency, finishing with 28 disposals (19 kicks) , 5 tackles, 10 inside 50’s and a goal.
Alex Sexton, GC. Origin – QLD
Sexton was huge for the Suns, one of their few shining lights, and their leading goal-kicker for 2019. He averaged just under 2 goals per game (ranked elite) and finished a respectable 12th in the Coleman medal.
His game against Fremantle, in which the Suns won (shock, horror) was fantastic albeit a bit wayward, finishing with 17 touches and shooting 4.5
Jack Riewoldt, RIC Origin – TAS
The lesser-Reiwoldt (yes, dual-premiership Riewoldt) has been through a change that has highlighted the remarkable about-face the Tigers embarked on in 2017, resulting in a flag, and another in 2019. Gone is the seemingly selfish, whiney, enigmatic forward (there’s still flashes), we now see a more complete, team-oriented Jack Riewoldt. One that shares, gets involved, gets around team-mates and gets on with it. He averages just under 2 goals per game (elite), and 1 goal assist (elite) per game, he was ranked 9th for marks inside 50.
He was fantastic in the Big dance, finishing with 5 goals and 8 marks.
Isaac Heeney, SYD. Origin – NSW
A solid 2019 from Heeney, and still has a lot of potential that is seemingly unlocked. Was asked to play a variety of roles throughout the year, but found himself forward quite a bit, particularly in the absence of Buddy. Very good overhead for his size, clunking an elite 5.7 marks per game. He also slotted 26 majors for the year at a more than handy 1.2 per game.
Heeney’s best game was in round 3 against the Blues, grabbing 26 touches (14 contested), eight marks and four goals as the Swans ran out winners.
Tom Hawkins, GEE. Origin – NSW
Say what you like about Tom, he’s a solid contributor, and 2019 was no exception. Clunking marks, important goals, brain fades…he provides it all. He was ranked elite in rating points (452) which is largely due to his above average (for position) stats in disposals (13), marks (5.3) and goals (2.3).
Tomahawk’s best game was against the Swans, where he had 17 disposals, 7 marks and 5 majors, earning 2 Brownlow votes.
Benjamin Brown, NM. Origin – TAS
When Benny is on, he well and truly the best full-forward in the league. A prodigious leap and an even more prodigiusor (what?) shot at goal (that run-up). 2019 saw him narrowly miss out on the Coleman, and averaged a tick under 3 goals per game at 2.9.
The Kangaroos’ thrashing of Pt. POW!er to the tune of 86 points at Marvel Stadium in round 22 was shown to be Ben’s pièce de résistance – he slotted 10 sausage rolls as the Roos ran rampant.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, ESS. Origin – NT
The excitement machine offers plenty. Goals, pace and electric run-down tackles. “Tippa” finished the year ranked 14th in goal assists, and 3rd in tackles inside 50. Early in the year he ebbed and flowed a bit with the Bombers hit and miss form, but he ended the year strongly.
His 20 disposal, 10 mark, 7 goal game in the Bombers trouncing of Brisbane in round 4 was phenomenal, the excitement machine showing his trademark class and x-factor.
Jarrod Witts, GC. Origin – NSW
The 26-year-old former Pie broke the record for most hit outs in the home and away season, racking up 1008 from 22 games at an average of 45.82. His work around the ground was also excellent, with the ruckman averaging 15 disposals, three marks and three tackles per game.
His best game came against GWS in round 23 which saw him amass 69 hitouts, 20 disposals (11 contested), five marks and four tackles.
Jack Steele, STK. Origin – ACT
Tackling machine. Tagger. Tough.
Averaging 22 possessions, 8.2 tackles (ranked elite) and 27 pressure acts (elite) per game, Steele provides grunt and is also a run-with option for the Allies. He is ranked number 1 in tackles per game, and 3rd in total tackles.
His best this year was against Carlton in St.Kilda’s 10 point win. Steele went toe-to-toe with one J.Cripps and probably drew even, accruing 28 disposals and 10 tackles.
Jacob Hopper, GWS. Origin – NSW
Surrounded by some genuine stars of the comp in Kelly, Greene, Whitfield, Coniglio, et al, Hopper certainly held is own, making his presence felt in 2019 – averaging 26 disposals, 4 tackles and half a goal per game. He is ranked 8th in total contested possessions in the league and 11th in total clearances.
He had a day out against Sydney in their epic 2 point win, notching 3 goals to go with 26 touches, 6 marks and 4 tackles
Sam Lloyd, WBD. Origin – NSW
Probably the best performed small forward in 2019 for the Allies, statistically speaking. Averages 1.7 goals per game, which is elite. He also averages 5 marks per game, which as a Forward, is also ranked as elite.
Matthew Suckling, WBD. Origin – NSW
Played both forward and back in 2019, and was effective at either end. His trademark long kicking was on display at either end also (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t). He averaged 20 disposals across 19 games, kicking 10 goals.
Jed Anderson, NM. Origin – NT
Anderson found more of the footy in 2019, averaging a career-high 20.5 disposals. He is very handy overhead, and led North Melbourne for tackles per game (5.5) and pressure acts (22.1)
Luke Breust, HAW. Origin – NSW
Probably not his best season, but was still more than serviceable, averaging 1.5 goals, despite playing chunks in defence. He also averaged 1.7 tackles inside 50 (rated elite), 1.1 score launches (rated elite) and is ranked 14th in goal assists.
EMERGENCIES – Willie Rioli (WCE), E.Hipwood (BRI), T.Nankervis (RIC)
COACH – John Longmire, SYD Origin – NSW
I’d expect WA and Victoria to be the big fish in a State Of Origin contest, but mocking this team up has been quite the surprise. There is an abundance of talent, particularly from NSW that could combine to give the big boys a scare.
Two games – WA vs VIC and SA vs Allies would be the ideal fixture in terms of competitiveness, and the more I think on it, the more I want it.
Make it happen, Gil.