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Bound For Glory News presents the Team of the Week for round four.

As good as Geelong were in dismantling West Coast, it was North Melbourne who made the biggest statement of round four.

Having not defeated Sydney since 2007, North went in as underdogs in the pouring rain and proceeded to beat the Swans by seven goals in clinical fashion.

Leigh Tudor’s impact on this Kangaroos side cannot be understated; they’ve undergone a complete transformation from a running and gunning side to a rising defensive powerhouse over the course of just one pre-season.

Elsewhere Carlton stooped to their lowest since the dark days of 2002-2007 with a loss to Melbourne. The Blues need a full rebuild; everyone but the board know it.

Enough on Carlton, though. Melbourne deserved to win on Saturday and nobody deserved to rejoice in the famous song being played after the siren more than the Melbourne faithful who have suffered for too long. On Saturday, they were reminded of the good times in footy.

Geelong, Fremantle and Hawthorn all recorded comprehensive victories, further establishing themselves as the teams to catch this year.

 

Here’s the Team of the Week for round four:

B: Matthew Jaensch, Scott D Thompson, Nick Smith

HB: Sam Mitchell, Luke McPharlin,  Jarrad McVeigh

C: Ben Cunnington, Nathan Jones (C), Travis Boak

HF: Dayne Beams, Aaron Black, Steve Johnson

F: Jack Gunston, Jay Schulz, Sam Lloyd

Foll: Sam Jacobs, Scott Pendlebury, Matthew Boyd

Int: James Frawley, Josh P Kennedy, Josh Jenkins

Sub: Josh Saunders

 

Defenders

Matthew Jaensch: Jaensch played just the 45 games in the four seasons prior to 2014 due to injury and poor form but that looks to be a thing of the past. He has been great for the Crows so far this year and has put his spot in Adelaide’s best 22 beyond doubt.

Scott Thompson: It was one of the best games from a full back I can remember. He was comfortably best on ground on Sunday afternoon, not only keeping Lance Franklin goalless but having 24 disposals of his own. Every time the Swans looked for Franklin inside the forward 50, Thompson was there to either mark the football or punch it away.

Nick Smith: Small forwards are always dangerous in the wet and Smith kept the competition’s most dangerous, Lindsay Thomas, to six disposals, five clangers and just the one goal.

Sam Mitchell: He’s in Brownlow form, the former Hawthorn skipper. He accumulates disposals like few can, and kicked two goals to go with his 36 disposals. The Hawks will need another big performance from him if they are to get over the Cats on Easter Monday.

Luke McPharlin: It’s not often that the key defender has led his team for disposals in his 228-game career, but that was the case for McPharlin on Sunday evening. He made the defensive 50 his own and even showed some of his prowess on the counter-attack when the game was as good as done. There were 22 marks between McPharlin and his partner in crime Michael Johnson.

Jarrad McVeigh: Some players just excel in the rain, and McVeigh is one of them. 28 disposals, six inside 50s and a goal playing off half-back is not bad at all.

Centre

Ben Cunnington: 30 disposals (20 contested), 11 clearances and 10 tackles in North Melbourne’s best win for a while says it all. He stands up when North need it. He will be a superstar sooner rather than later.

Nathan Jones (C): If the supporters deserve the win on Saturday most Nathan Jones is a close second. He has shed blood, sweat and tears for Melbourne through turmoil without a single public complaint. Once again, he gave his all for the club and sung the song louder than anyone in the rooms.

Travis Boak: He picked up 41 disposals as Port celebrated 10 years since their premiership success, and the way the Power are going it mightn’t be long until they’re celebrating another flag.

Forwards

Dayne Beams: I can’t be the only one who forgot how good Dayne Beams is as he struggled with injury last season. He has now surpassed Dane Swan as Collingwood’s second best midfielder. If he can kick a few goals more often than not he might even start to give Scott Pendlebury a run for his money.

Aaron Black: He stands at 192 centimetres, he’s fast, he’s silky smooth, good overhead and he’s capable of doing the impossible. Forget Daniher, Boyd and Hogan, there isn’t a defender who will be able to stop Black if he reaches his potential. In one play on Sunday he went to ground, picked himself back up, collected the football with one hand in the wet on the run and snapped a goal in traffic. That one play will send shivers down the spine of any opposition coach.

Steve Johnson: Kardinia Park is his playground. Johnson had another 37 disposals there on Saturday night. It defies belief that he isn’t the subject of a hard tag every week after what Ryan Crowley was able to do to him in the Qualifying Final last year.

Jack Gunston: 25 disposals, five goals and 10 marks are numbers normally reserved for a certain former Hawthorn forward, but Gunston and the Hawks have been quick to show that they’ll be no worse off following Lance Franklin’s departure.

Jay Schulz: The last thing Richmond supporters wanted to see was Jay Schulz kick a bag after their forward line’s dysfunctional display on Friday night but that’s just what they got. Schulz snared seven and shot to the top of the Coleman Medal standings.

Sam Lloyd: To halftime on Friday night Lloyd had kicked Richmond’s only two goals for the game. That’s not good enough from Richmond, but credit where it’s due: the debutant was superb against Collingwood, ending up with three goals and 22 disposals.

Followers

Sam Jacobs: Jacobs gave the Crows midfielders first use all day as Adelaide pieced it all together for the first time in 2014. He had 22 disposals of his own, too.

Scott Pendlebury: He didn’t have a ton of the ball, but when the game was there to be won, Pendlebury was the difference as he so often is.

Matthew Boyd: Just like Pendlebury, Boyd stood up when his team needed him. Trailing the Giants by eight points at half time Boyd took the game by the scruff of the neck with 15 last quarter disposals inspiring the Dogs to a comfortable win.

Interchange

Josh P Kennedy: Another who thrives in the rain, Kennedy had a huge 23 contested possessions amongst his 33 disposals. He tried his heart out but ultimately didn’t get the support he needed from his teammates.

Josh Jenkins: Jenkins narrowly edged Nick Riewoldt out for this spot as he played on the winning side. He showed he might be the solution to Adelaide’s forward problems of late with four goals and 11 marks.

James Frawley: Speaking of forward line problems, Paul Roos might have found the solution to his in ‘Chip’ Frawley. The rumoured $800,000 man showed his class on Saturday having 24 touches, 14 marks, two goals and four score assists.

Josh Saunders (substitute): It was not the best week for subs with most who sported the green vest having little to no impact on the game. While Saunders was unable to change the game his 20 disposals in 59% game time is enough for him to get a spot.

Apologies to Brent Macaffer who added Trent Cotchin to his growing list of scalps, whether you thought his tactics were legal or not. He was excellent in taking the Richmond skipper out of the game on Friday but he just couldn’t squeeze into this week’s team.