Round 21 can be dubbed a carnage round, as a handful of main Brownlow contenders fell victim to injury left, right and centre. Josh Kennedy was the first to go down with a minor hamstring strain, Scott Pendlebury injured himself in Collingwood’s pre-game warmup and Dayne Beams sustained a knee injury during that very same match.
Joel Selwood was one of the few who came out unscathed, and was headed for maximum votes early on for his fast start against Carlton, but faded dramatically in the second half.
In round 22 the Geelong skipper faces Hawthorn – the second-best team he polls against, having registered 12 votes in his previous 15 encounters.
As it stands, Selwood and Gary Ablett share the lead on the BFGN Brownlow Leaderboard. Can Ablett hold on to win his third Brownlow despite not having played a game since round 16, or could Selwood take the Hawks to task and seal his first Charlie with votes next round?
Carlton vs. Geelong
Geelong scored a narrow win over a brave Carlton outfit, and Josh Caddy was the catalyst behind it. He finished with 28 disposals (16 contested) six marks, four clearances, two rebound 50s, four tackles, four inside 50s and 1.2.
Bryce Gibbs was the standout for Carlton with his precise kicking across the ground, accumulating 25 disposals (eight contested), four marks, six clearances, one rebound 50, one tackle, seven inside 50 and 2.1.
Steven Motlop broke the game open with his influence in front of the goals, kicking 3.2 among 18 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s.
3. J. Caddy
2. B. Gibbs
1. S. Motlop
Others in contention: A. Carrazzo, C. Judd, J. Selwood.
Sydney vs. St Kilda
Lance Franklin is all but a shoe-in for maximum votes for his scintillating performance in his milestone game, comprised of 9.4 along with 19 disposals and 13 marks.
Luke Parker also put in a solid display, racking up 33 disposals (17 contested), five marks, six clearances, six tackles and two inside 50s.
Jarrad McVeigh was another driving force, 28 disposals, 10 marks, one clearance, four tackles, eight inside 50s and one goal.
3. L. Franklin
2. L. Parker
1. J. McVeigh
Others in contention: K. Jack, D. Hannebery.
Gold Coast vs. Port Adelaide
Hamish Hartlett was superb all match up until he limped off with an ankle injury, accumulating 24 disposals (15 contested), three marks, two clearances, four tackles, four inside 50s and 1.2.
Harley Bennell was the shining light for Gold Coast, as his side tried in vein to arrest their slide out of the top eight and finals contention. He finished with 27 disposals (14 contested), three marks, six clearances, five rebound 50s, seven tackles, one inside 50, and two goals.
Robbie Gray was another standout for Port Adelaide, after struggling early with a tag from Danny Stanley. He finished with 26 disposals (20 contested), three marks, nine clearances, two tackles, 11 inside 50s and 1.1.
3. H. Hartlett
2. H. Bennell
1. R. Gray
Others in contention: M. Lobbe.
Essendon vs. West Coast
After being well held in the first half, Dyson Heppell took the game by the throat with 29 second-half disposals to finish with 39 disposals (15 contested), three marks, four clearances, three tackles and four inside 50s.
Jason Winderlich also struggled early, but got on top of his opponent to kick three crucial goals among 19 disposals (seven contested), seven marks and two rebound 50s.
Travis Colyer provided crucial run and drive when the game was on the line in the final quarter. He finished with 24 disposals (10 contested), six marks, two clearances, two rebound 50s, two tackles and four inside 50s.
3. D. Heppell
2. J. Winderlich
1. T. Colyer
Others in contention: D Zaharakis, L. Shuey, J. Watson, M. Hibberd, M Baguley.
Collingwood vs. Brisbane
Tom Rockliff continued his stellar season with another great performance consisting of 43 disposals (15 contested), nine marks, six clearances and nine tackles.
Dayne Zorko was the best man on the ground in the first half, but faded late, otherwise he would have been a lock for the three votes. He finished with 36 disposals (15 contested), four marks, nine clearances, four rebound 50s, five tackles, eight inside 50s and 2.1.
Pearce Hanley was also prominent and tore Collingwood to shreds with 34 disposals (seven contested), six marks, seven clearances, one rebound 50, six inside 50s, 11 tackles and 1.1.
3. T. Rockliff
2. D. Zorko
1. P. Hanley
Others in contention: S. Martin.
Adelaide vs. Richmond
Brett Deledio proved to be the winning tonic in the end for Richmond, as his side toppled Adelaide to keep their finals dreams alive. He finished with 29 disposals (14 contested), three marks, five clearances, seven rebound 50s, two tackles, four inside 50s and two behinds.
Trent Cotchin was another Tiger who stood up when it mattered, racking up 28 disposals (19 contested), one mark, five clearances, two rebound 50s, 10 tackles, five inside 50s and 1.1.
Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs was among his side’s best, dominating in the ruck to finish with 14 disposals (11 contested), four marks, 46 hitouts, seven clearances, five tackles, four inside 50s and one behind.
3. B. Deledio
2. T. Cotchin
1. S. Jacobs
Others in contention: B. Ellis, R. Sloane.
North Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs
Andrew Swallow played one of his best games of the season since returning from injury, accumulating 29 disposals (13 contested), four marks, 10 clearances, two rebound 50s, 11 tackles and seven inside 50s.
Ben Cunnington was solid for most of the day, but especially in the last half as he went on to kick four goals alongside 18 disposals, four marks, four clearances, two rebound 50s, nine tackles and one inside 50.
Sam Gibson was another shining light for North Melbourne with 31 disposals (eight contested), seven marks, four clearances, six rebound 50s, five tackles, five inside 50s and one goal.
3. A. Swallow
2. B. Cunnington
1. S. Gibson
Others in contention: S. Thompson.
Melbourne vs. GWS
Devon Smith was unstoppable in the middle and for his work up forward, kicking 2.1 to go with 31 disposals (five contested), 10 marks, two clearances, two rebound 50s, five tackles and six inside 50s.
Rising Star nominee Josh Kelly also looked impressive against the side that could have drafted him has they kept the number two draft pick. He racked up 27 disposals (six contested), nine marks, one clearance, two rebound 50s, seven tackles, five inside 50s and two goals.
Dylan Shiel was another Giant who ran amok in the middle, accumulating 28 disposals (eight contested), five marks, five clearances, one rebound 50, seven tackles, five inside 50s and one goal.
3. D. Smith
2. J. Kelly
1. D. Shiel
Others in contention: W. Hoskin-Elliott, R. Palmer.
Fremantle vs. Hawthorn
Fremantle returned to form in emphatic fashion, with Matthew Pavlich leading his charges to victory over Hawthorn. He finished with an impressive 21 disposals (nine contested), eight marks, two tackles, eight inside 50s and 5.1.
Jordan Lewis continued his hot run of form with 44 disposals (11 contested), nine marks, seven clearances, five rebound 50s, four tackles and three inside 50s.
David Mundy could also be in line for minor votes for his performance consisting of 33 disposals (14 contested), three marks, nine clearances, three rebound 50s, six tackles and six inside 50s.
3. M. Pavlich
2. J. Lewis
1. D. Mundy
Others in contention: M. Barlow.
BFGN Brownlow Leaderboard:
25 J. Selwood
25 G. Ablett
24 N. Fyfe*
19 J. Kennedy
19 M. Priddis
19 R. Gray
18 T. Rockliff
18 S. Johnson*
17 S. Pendlebury
17 D. Beams
16 L. Franklin