As we saw on the weekend, the little master Gary Ablett again surprised with a mediocre showing against Melbourne – a team he was expected to rip apart in his 250th milestone game.
Due to a heavy tag applied by Jordie McKenzie and Colin Garland, Ablett was restricted to a season low of 19 disposals, which is the first time since 2010 he has accrued lower than 20 touches. Given his low numbers and minute impact on the game, Ablett will find it hard to receive votes, and now faces a battle for the 2013 Brownlow with the likes of Joel Selwood and Kieren Jack hot on his tail.
St. Kilda vs. Hawthorn
Jarryd Roughead proved an unstoppable force up forward for the Hawks, playing a commanding game that featured five straight goals and four marks.
For the Saints, Leigh Montagna was by far their best contributor with 35 disposals (nine contested), six marks, four clearances, four rebound-50s and four inside-50s.
Sam Mitchell was another who was damaging for the Hawks, racking up 24 disposals (10 contested), seven clearances, four rebound-50s and four inside-50s.
3. J. Roughead
2. L. Montagna
1. S. Mitchell
Richmond vs. Brisbane
The Tigers were pushed right until the end by the Lions, but the tireless contested work of Trent Cotchin ensured they held on to record the win and officially book themselves a spot in the finals. The Tigers’ captain finished with 30 disposals (14 contested), five marks, seven clearances and seven inside-50s.
The remarkable form of Daniel Jackson continued, with the much-maligned player well and truly making strides to strip himself of that tag. He finished with 30 disposals (16 contested), four clearances, three tackles and a goal.
Meanwhile, Tom Rockliff was the clear best for the Lions accumulating 34 disposals (14 contested), five clearances, four rebound-50s and five tackles
3. T. Cotchin
2. D. Jackson
1. T. Rockliff
Geelong vs. Port Adelaide
Geelong skipper Joel Selwood was head and shoulders above the rest on the day, and it was once again his contested work that stood out and made the difference. He finished with 28 disposals (14 contested), 12 marks, six clearances, five tackles, and kicked 4.2.
Steven Motlop was another standout for Geelong, with his precision and silky skills causing much of the damage. He finished with 23 disposals, four marks, four inside-50s and two goals.
For the Power, Angus Monfries put in a valiant effort, kicking seven goals to keep his side in the match, whilst gathering 19 disposals (11 contested), eight marks and three inside-50s.
3. J. Selwood
2. S. Motlop
1. A. Monfries
Carlton vs. Western Bulldogs
After many thought Jarrad Grant would have been facing the axe come seasons end, it would seem the young Bulldog has done enough to prolong his stay at Whitten Oval. And his best on ground performance on the weekend all but confirmed this. Kicking a game-high 4.3, Grant played like a 200-game veteran and went on to accumulate 24 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and four inside-50s.
In the middle for the Dogs, Ryan Griffen was once again immaculate, picking up 34 disposals (13 contested), seven clearances, seven tackles and eight inside-50s.
Also running through the centre, Adam Cooney looked to have wound back the clock to the year he won the Brownlow, putting in a scintillating performance made up of 31 disposals (12 contested), four clearances, three inside-50s and 1.2.
3. J. Grant
2. R. Griffen
1. A. Cooney
Sydney vs. Collingwood
The poise and skill was on full display by Scott Pendlebury in a clear best on ground performance. Dominant throughout the entire match, he finished with 35 disposals (14 contested), five clearances, seven tackles, five inside-50s and a goal.
Kurt Tippett continues to cause headaches for opposition sides, this time kicking 6.2 and taking six marks in a dominant performance.
Dane Swan is putting claim for his second Brownlow medal late in the season, putting in a solid game consisting of 31 disposals (13 contested), seven clearances, four tackles and four inside-50s.
3. S. Pendlebury
2. K. Tippett
1. D. Swan
Gold Coast vs. Melbourne
Former number one draft pick David Swallow showed glimpses of his talent, with his best game of the season thus far consisting of 28 disposals (10 contested), three clearances, five tackles, five inside-50s and a goal.
For Melbourne, Nathan Jones could feature in the votes for his standout virtuoso 29 disposal (15 contested) performance. He also finished with seven clearances and four inside-50s.
Another solid contributor for the Suns was Dion Prestia who picked up 23 disposals (10 contested), eight tackles and three inside-50s.
3. D. Swallow
2. N. Jones
1. D. Prestia
Essendon vs. West Coast
Essendon’s hopes of a top-four finish fell in a heap as the Eagles kept their tiny glimmer of a finals berth alive.
With 28 disposals (14 contested), six marks, seven clearances, three tackles, four inside-50s and a goal, Matthew Priddis was the clear best on ground.
Also for the Eagles, Sharrod Wellingham ran rampant both in the middle and up forward with 24 disposals (10 contested), six clearances, four rebound-50s, five inside-50s and two goals.
But it was Mark LeCras that proved to be the biggest focal point up forward, kicking 5.2 from eight marks.
3. M. Priddis
2. S. Wellingham
1. M. LeCras
Adelaide vs. North Melbourne
Clearance machine Rory Sloane ran rampant against the brave Kangaroos, accumulating 28 disposals (15 contested), 10 marks, eight clearances, eight tackles, eight inside-50s and kicking 2.1.
Another of Adelaide’s midfield brigade that turned it on was Richard Douglas, who finished with 27 disposals (nine contested), five clearances, three tackles, five inside-50s and 2.1.
Daniel Wells was the clear best for North Melbourne, with his penetration into the forward 50 proving lethal. He finished with 30 disposals, five clearances, 10 inside-50s and 2.1.
3. R. Sloane
2. R. Douglas
1. D. Wells
Fremantle vs. GWS
Fremantle made easy work of GWS, thumping the young side by a club-record 113 points.
Of course there were a bevy of contributors, among them; Nick Suban who picked up 26 disposals, eight marks, four clearances and two goals.
Youngster Lachie Neale looks to be coming into his own, as he gathered a modest 26 disposals (13 contested), four clearances and three goals.
Meanwhile, up forward for the Dockers, Chris Mayne was pivotal with 2.1 and 11 tackles.
3. N. Suban
2. L. Neale
1. C. Mayne