Casey are well placed in second on the ladder, kept from first by only percentage prior to round 11. They’ve always looked a threat with some big wins so far. Being bolstered by a constant flow of Demons players like Sam Blease, David Rodan, Jake Spencer have no doubt contributed to their success, as has the addition of Jesse Hogan, the 18-year-old key forward.

Season so far

Despite AFL affiliate Melbourne struggling, the Scorpions flew out of the blocks, winning four straight games before a three-point loss to Port Melbourne ended the run. Despite a few big wins, the Scorpions certainly don’t have a top two finish isn’t guaranteed, with a 10-goal loss to Box Hill proving the Scorpions aren’t quite as consistent as they’d like.

Big Improver: Jesse Hogan

There has been a lot talk about Melbourne recruit Jesse Hogan, and he certainly hasn’t disappointed. He’s kicked 20 goals from his eight games so far, with two four-goal hauls and one bag of five. In seven of his eight games, Hogan has kicked goals, with multiples in all games but one. If he wasn’t so young, Mark Neeld would have undoubtedly given him his AFL debut.

Big Slider: Rory Taggert

Although he has shown good signs, Rory Taggert hasn’t quite proved he has what it takes to play consistent elite football. Inexperience and lack of defensive application have meant his season hasn’t quite met expectations yet, but four goals in round eight highlighted his potential. Taggert has also proven a good user of the ball: if he can get his hands on the ball and use his skills Rory may be a mover in the second half of the season.

Second Half Preview

Theoretically, the Scorpions could win all their remaining games, but doing so will involve beating both the highly rated Cats and Hawks. A win over the Hawks in the last round would give the Scorpions the perfect run up to the finals. But after a 10-goal loss to them in the first half of the season, Casey will need to pull out a special performance.

Ladder Prediction: 15-3, second