As has been said in recent weeks, the only things that could halt Gary Ablett’s assault towards claiming his third Brownlow Medal are injury and suspension. It was the latter that became a distinct possibility following a questionable elbowing incident that involved himself and Western Bulldogs tagger Liam Picken.
Punters and fans of the great man collectively breathed a sigh of relief after it was found the incident involved insufficient force to constitute a report, and didn’t involve any head-high contact.
As we exit the byes, Ablett still holds a sizeable lead over all comers on top of the BFGN Brownlow Leaderboard. Among the movers, Scott Pendlebury put his hand up for maximum votes for his performance against West Coast, while Port Adelaide captain Travis Boak is starting to string some solid voting games together.
Geelong vs. North Melbourne
It was a blast from the past as both Jimmy Bartel and James Kelly were thrown into the middle to inflict damage to North Melbourne’s engine room.
Bartel was the game-breaker in the end, finishing with 32 disposals (14 contested), nine marks, three clearances, seven tackles, five inside 50s and 2.2.
As for Kelly, he also seemed to have the ball on a string, racking up possessions with ease to finish with 33 disposals (nine contested), 10 marks, three clearances, six tackles and three inside 50s.
Up forward for Geelong, Tom Hawkins was the focal point, kicking 4.3 to go with 17 disposals (14 contested) and seven marks.
3. J. Bartel
2. J. Kelly
1. T. Hawkins
Others in contention: L. Greenwood, J. Selwood.
GWS vs. Richmond
Jack Riewoldt faced criticism during the week leading into the match for comments he made about the club, but what a way to respond, as he went on to kick a massive 11.2 in a virtuoso performance, equalling West Coast’s Josh Kennedy for most goals kicked this year. Riewoldt also finished with 17 disposals, 12 marks and was underlined by a passage of play where he chose to unselfishly dish off a certain goal to captain Trent Cotchin.
Dustin Martin looks to be in blistering form as of late, with the no-fuss midfielder racking up the ball at will and relishing every contest he finds himself in. He finished with 36 disposals (11 contested), four marks, six clearances, three rebound 50s and seven inside 50s.
Brett Deledio also looked classy with the ball in his hand, finishing with 34 disposals, seven marks, eight rebound 50s and six inside 50s.
3. J. Riewoldt
2. D. Martin
1. B. Deledio
Others in contention: B. Ellis.
Collingwood vs. West Coast
Scott Pendlebury was all class in his side’s win over West Coast, accumulating 32 disposals (18 contested), five marks, nine clearances, five tackles, six inside 50s and a goal.
Contested possession machine Matt Priddis was the biggest shining light for the Eagles, racking up 35 disposals (19 contested), three marks, seven clearances, eight tackles, three inside 50s and 2.1.
In his 100th game, Dayne Beams also stood out – especially in the game-changing third term when he collected 10 disposals. He finished with 31 disposals (12 contested), four clearances, six tackles and 2.1.
3. S. Pendlebury
2. M. Priddis
1. D. Beams
Others in contention: S. Sidebottom.
Port Adelaide vs. Hawthorn
Travis Boak should be first in line for maximum votes after his impressive performance, with the Port Adelaide captain accumulating 34 disposals (19 contested), four marks, 10 clearances, four rebound 50s, seven tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal.
The Hawks were well driven in the midfield by Jordan Lewis, who dominated with 38 disposals (13 contested), seven marks, nine clearances, six inside 50s and two goals.
Not for the first time this season, Jared Polec sees himself vying for votes to continue what has been an impressive first season at Port Adelaide after crossing from Brisbane. He finished with 26 disposals, eight marks, six rebound 50s, three inside 50s and a goal.
3. T. Boak
2. J. Lewis
1. J. Polec
Others in contention: B. Ebert, M. Suckling.
Gold Coast vs. Western Bulldogs
Dion Prestia was prolific in the middle for Gold Coast, stepping up while Ablett was well held by Liam Picken. He finished with 35 disposals (12 contested), six marks, three clearances, four rebound 50s, five tackles and five inside 50s.
Tom Lynch was damaging in attack for Gold Coast, kicking 4.1. among 16 disposals and three marks.
For the Western Bulldogs, Tom Liberatore was among their best, thriving on the contested ball to finish with 27 disposals (21 contested), nine clearances, three rebound 50s, 12 tackles and two inside 50s.
3. D. Prestia
2. T. Lynch
1. T. Liberatore
Others in contention: J. Harbrow, R. Griffen, H. Bennell, M. Shaw.
Carlton vs. Adelaide
Kade Simpson’s leadership shone through in his side’s grinding win over Adelaide. Leading from the front and constantly marshaling his troops, the Carlton veteran finished with 37 disposals (11 contested), 11 marks, five clearances, five rebound 50s, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.
For Adelaide, Scott Thompson stood out for his hard contested style and nous around the goals. He accumulated 30 disposals (14 contested), two marks, four clearances, five tackles, four inside 50s and 1.1.
Chris Yarran’s blistering pace and hard tackling proved a winning combination, restricting the Crows’ use of space and applying pressure when the game was on the line. He finished with 23 disposals, seven marks, two tackles, four inside 50s and 1.1.
3. K. Simpson
2. S. Thompson
Others in contention: B. Gibbs, S. Jacobs.
BFGN Brownlow Leaderboard:
18 G. Ablett
13 J. Selwood
12 J. Kennedy
11 S. Johnson*
10 S. Pendlebury
10 P. Dangerfield
9 M. Priddis
9 N. Jones
9 T. Boak
9 S. Thompson