Tex takes flight
Wednesday, 20th May, 2015
By Peter Argent
Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts, after the opening seven rounds of the AFL season are proving to be the most dangerous forward combination in the competition.
Broken Hill lad Walker, in his initial season as skipper, has kicked 21 majors, while experienced small forward Betts has 26 and is one goal behind Coleman Medal leader at the moment, Josh Kennedy.
But as a combined entity, they are currently the most potent pair in the league.
The Walker and Betts duo have 47 goals this year, while Kennedy and Mark LeCras from the West Coast are next best with 42, followed by the Greater Western Sydney couple of Jeremy Cameron and young Cam McCarthy on 41
Fourth of the list is the high profile pair from the reigning premiers Hawthorn, 2014 Coleman Medallist Jarryd Roughead and creative small forward Luke Breust with 38.
Following them are the twin towers from the Harbour city, the Sydney pairing of Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett with 32.
The other club with a pair having kicked 30 goals is North Melbourne with Lindsay Thomas and Carlton expatriate Jarrad Waite, along with St Kilda, where Josh Bruce has been a stand out with 23 goals.
Interestingly all these clubs except the Saints have a positive-win loss ratio and there is a correlation between having effective key targets and winning games of football.
The Crows, this season early bolters Greater Western Sydney, and the West Coast Eagles all have enjoyed five wins and a pair of losses.
Hawthorn, who have four players that have kicked 10 goals or more, their Grand Final opponent last year, Sydney and North Melbourne have four wins, to go with three losses.
This year Walker has taken to the captaincy role like a duck to water, leading from the front. His best effort was a six-goal haul against North in round one, and he has yet to be kept goal-less this season
In total, he’s had 33 scoring shots this year at an average of three goals a game.
Betts is in a rich vein of form currently, having snaffled 20 goals over the past four rounds (which included a pair of defeats), including a season high six against the Saints on Saturday - at an average of 3.7 goals per game.
The best effort as a pairing (Walker - six, and Betts - four) was 10 goals in the season opener, followed by last Saturday’s effort of nine.
In total, 42 players have kicked 10 or more goals at the AFL completion of round seven, with the Kangaroos leading the way with a spread of five - Thomas (17), Waite (13), Ben Brown, Shaun Higgins (both 12) and Drew Petrie (10), all in double figures.
Hawthorn and the Eagles are the next best with four, while the Crows with Betts (26), Walker (21) and Tom Lynch (11) are among a large group who have three players on 10 or more.
When you compare the Crows pair to their cross town rivals Port Adelaide, they have only two players Jay, Schulz (18) and Chad Wingard (10), who are in double figures at the moment, reflecting their sporadic start to the year.