On The Couch: The goalkicking trend that suggests Isaac Smith may have the yips

AFL: Just like last year’s qualifying final, Isaac
Smith had a chance to win it for Hawthorn v
Geelong. But once again, he missed.

Isaac Smith’s goalkicking accuracy has dipped in
recent weeks.

THEY were the crucial final-term missed shots that
could’ve given Hawthorn two unforgettable wins over
archrivals Geelong.

But recent statistics revealed on Fox Footy’s On The
suggest Isaac Smith’s issues in front of goal in two
clutch moments against the Cats mightn’t be isolated.

With the Hawks down by just four points with just over 10
seconds remaining on Saturday, Smith had the chance to clinch a
memorable win for his side over Geelong at the MCG, only to miss the running shot for goal.

The behind came 10 months after a similar chain of events
against the same side on the same ground in a qualifying final,
with a post-siren Smith miss sealing a famous Cats victory.

Before Smith’s post-siren miss against the Cats last year, he
had taken 223 shots at goal with an accuracy rate of 50 per
cent, according to Champion Data.

But since that September night, Smith’s accuracy rate has
dipped significantly. Of the 22 kicks he’s had at goal since
that qualifying final, he’s only converted 32 per cent of them.

“He’s a brilliant kick … but there has been a bit of a
drop-off in his kicking since he missed in that qualifying
final. The numbers tell a story,” Brownlow Medallist Gerard
Healy told Fox Footy’s On The Couch on Monday night.

Isaac Smith's shot at goal accuracy was discussed during  <i>On The Couch</i>.

Isaac Smith’s shot at goal
accuracy was discussed during On The


“It’s probably a smallish sample, he may be in a lot more
pressure situations.

“But having been in the position — we’ve all been there, we all
understand — you miss an important goal, it’s pretty difficult
and even more difficult to get the next one.”

Smith drew some criticism from on-lookers for opting to play-on
after marking against Geelong on Saturday afternoon instead of
composing himself to take a set-shot.

But Hawthorn legendary goalkicker Jason Dunstall said Smith’s
decision was perfectly acceptable and that he didn’t deserve to
bear the brunt of criticism.

“I’m not as hard on him for playing-on as some other people
are,” Dunstall told On The Couch.

“If you’re comfortable kicking that way, do it. But the fact is
he’s got to kick one of these goals, hasn’t he?

“I take it as a real positive that he keeps finding good
positions and creating opportunities to win (games), but at
some stage you’ve just got to nail it.”

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Originally published as
The dip that suggests Hawk has the yips

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