Gary Ablett is the centre of attention most weeks, and being the much-fancied Brownlow favourite it’s no surprise everyone’s watchful eyes await to see if he’s a chance to poll following his games each week.
As has been the unusual trend over the past couple of weeks, ‘Gazza’ will again struggle to find votes in round 19 given what was an ‘average’ performance by his standards.
Whilst he is still predicted to have quite a lead in the votes over the rest of his competitors, this may be the first time he could start to panic on the back of solid performances from other contenders, like that of Kieren Jack, who seems to have snuck up into Brownlow calculations.
But with Gold Coast to face an insipid Melbourne outfit at Metricon Stadium in the upcoming round, there’s no better time for the Suns captain to consolidate his lead as the Brownlow fancy.
North Melbourne vs. Geelong
North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey wound back the clock with a standout 37-disposal performance, which included seven marks, five clearances, nine rebound 50s and a goal.
The silky smooth skills were also on full display from Daniel Wells, who worked tirelessly gathering 18 disposals (10 contested), five clearances, three inside 50s and four goals.
Down back, Lachie Hansen was rock-solid, helping quell Geelong’s tall forward brigade with a game-high 10 marks, along with 30 disposals and a goal.
3. B. Harvey
2. D. Wells
1. L. Hansen
GWS vs. Melbourne
GWS sealed their first win of the season, and it was through the work of Callan Ward that helped make it happen. Kicking four crucial goals, he also finished with 31 disposals (14 contested), five marks, six clearances and seven inside 50s in a well-rounded best-on-ground performance.
Rising star Lachie Whitfield was another who stood out in the middle, picking up 26 disposals, 10 marks and kicking 2.1.
Tom Scully was another Giant who was just as dominant against his former side, finishing with 29 disposals (11 contested), 11 marks, five tackles and three inside 50s.
3. C. Ward
2. L. Whitfield
1. T. Scully
Hawthorn vs. Richmond
The late season form continued for Richmond captain Trent Cotchin, helping will his side to an upset win over the premiership fancies. His leadership and skill was undeniable as he accumulated 34 disposals (18 contested), six marks, nine clearances, nine tackles and four inside 50s.
Alex Rance played a dominant game in quelling Lance Franklin to one goal, all the while running off him with confidence and racking up 16 disposals (nine contested), six marks – all at a disposal efficiency rating of 93.7%.
Daniel Jackson helped put the cherry on top of the win for the Tigers, kicking two late goals to drive the dagger through the heart of the Hawks. He also finished with 19 disposals and six clearances.
3. T. Cotchin
2. A. Rance
1. D. Jackson
West Coast vs. Gold Coast
Big-man Dean Cox played one of his best games for the season, accumulating 19 disposals, nine marks, 44 hit-outs and kicking one goal.
Sharrod Wellingham played a crucial role for the Eagles, picking up 23 disposals (11 contested), six marks, five clearances, five tackles, six inside 50s and a goal.
Up forward, Josh Kennedy was unstoppable kicking 5.2 and taking eight marks in a dominant display.
3. D. Cox
2. S. Wellingham
1. J. Kennedy
Carlton vs. Fremantle
With 30 disposals (15 contested), seven clearances, three tackles and six inside 50s, Nathan Fyfe was the standout performer on the night.
Both Michael Walters and ‘pesky’ Hayden Ballantyne were dominant up forward for the Dockers, combining for seven goals.
3. N. Fyfe
2. M. Walters
1. H. Ballantyne
Brisbane vs. St Kilda
Brisbane made easy work of St Kilda, and the man leading the charge was Tom Rockliff, who accumulated 39 disposals (18 contested), five marks, six clearances, eight tackles and three inside 50s.
Pearce Hanley showed no signs of ailment from the broken hand that kept him out of the Brisbane side for a week, racking up 27 disposals, eight marks, six inside 50s and 2.1.
Lions midfielder Daniel Rich also played a standout game, which included kicking three booming goals from outside 50. He also finished with 19 disposals.
3. T. Rockliff
2. P. Hanley
1. D. Rich
Western Bulldogs vs. Sydney
Whilst all the talk was about the dominance of his teammate Dan Hannebery earlier in the season, Kieren Jack seems to have stolen the spotlight ever since. Jack was the clear best-on-ground, running havoc in the middle with 30 disposals (15 contested), 11 clearances, 13 tackles, seven inside 50s and two goals.
For the Dogs, Ryan Griffen continued his scintillating form with 41 disposals (18 contested), 10 clearances, six tackles and six inside 50s.
Meanwhile, up forward for the Swans, ex-crow Kurt Tippett looks to be the secret weapon in their run home to the finals, kicking 6 goals straight.
3. K. Jack
2. R. Griffen
1. K. Tippett
Adelaide vs. Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide snatched an unlikely last minute win against the Crows, and it was the last quarter heroics of emerging Port star Chad Wingard that was the tonic. Kicking five goals – three of which came in the last quarter – Wingard also picked up 24 disposals, six marks and seven inside 50s.
For the Crows, Brad Crouch was their best with 28 disposals (11 contested), six marks, eight clearances and five tackles, whilst Patrick Dangerfield was a force up forward with 17 disposals and four goals.
3. C. Wingard
2. B. Crouch
1. P. Dangerfield
Collingwood vs. Essendon
Steele Sidebottom was immense around the stoppages for Collingwood, racking up 30 disposals (11 contested), 11 marks, five rebound 50s and a goal.
The run and carry work of Harry O’Brien was crucial in slippery conditions, accumulating 27 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s and 1.2
In the middle for the Pies, Luke Ball was superb in his return from injury, finishing with 22 disposals (11 contested), four clearances, seven tackles, four inside 50s and a goal.
3. S. Sidebottom
2. H. O’Brien
1. L. Ball