Bound For Glory News presents the Team of the Week for round six.
Port Adelaide sit atop the AFL ladder. Imagine trying to tell somebody that would be the case six rounds into 2014 two years ago. They’re quick, they’re fit and they’re quickly making Adelaide Oval a fortress more daunting than any interstate trip in the AFL. We’ve seen they can keep it up for a whole season before, so 2014 could be a big one for the Power.
Another rising power in North Melbourne made a statement at Subiaco. With the Kangaroos’ troubles on the road seemingly a thing of the past the sky is the limit for Brad Scott’s men.
The Tigers and Bombers stooped to two more disappointing losses against the Hawks and Magpies respectively: the two clubs need an immediate turnaround in form if September action is to remain a realistic goal.
For all the talk of the club being in crisis Carlton now sit on equal wins as their bitter rivals Essendon and Richmond following a courageous win over West Coast. Finals are more than likely out of the equation, but if the Blues can produce the heart they showed in the last few minutes on Saturday evening, they will cause a few upsets along the way.
Our game went international once again and it was the Lions who had the most fruitful trip across the ditch, as they grabbed their first four points of 2014 – leaving the competition without a winless side.
The Suns, Swans and Crows did what was expected of them, recording decent, unremarkable wins against sides that they just had to beat.
Here’s the team of the week for round six.
FB: David Astbury, Tom Lonergan, Michael Johnson
HB: Luke Hodge, Joel Patfull, Jed Adcock
C: Leigh Montagna, Marc Murphy (C), Nick Dal Santo
HF: Brent Harvey, Tom Lynch, Dayne Zorko
FF: Cyril Rioli, Jonathon Patton, Robbie Gray
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Dane Swan, Gary Ablett Jr
Int: Dan Hannebery, Travis Boak, Jeff Garlett, Troy Menzel (sub)
David Astbury: He did his job on Roughead when the game was still up for grabs in the first half – even if his teammates couldn’t keep up their end of the bargain. Roughead gathered a few stats in junk time but the battle was well and truly won by Astbury.
Tom Lonergan: The Cats were killed at the coal face so Lonergan was under constant pressure in the backline, yet he managed to keep the leader of the Coleman Medal in Jay Schulz to one goal and nine touches.
Michael Johnson: Completes the trifecta of defenders who did their job even if their team couldn’t. Aaron Black was made to play on the wide expanses of Patersons Stadium but Johnson let him have just the 10 touches and one goal while having 27 possessions and 11 marks of his own.
Luke Hodge: Sam Mitchell had six more disposals playing a similar role but there is no doubting Hodge’s influence on the game was greater. Two goals were the icing on the cake of another clinical Hawthorn display.
Joel Patfull: If shutting down Gary Ablett isn’t the toughest job in footy then playing on Riewoldt definitely is. If it weren’t for Patfull largely keeping the St Kilda talisman out of the contest, the Lions would still be winless.
Jed Adcock: Easily forgotten is Adcock, but he’s still a seriously good footballer. Was consistently there to mop up any ball that hit the deck in Brisbane’s defence and finished up with 12 rebound 50s.
Leigh Montagna: Montagna was just the second player in history to win an Anzac Day Medal in a losing side. 37 disposals at 81%, eight marks, six tackles and eight clearances in a losing side says it all.
Marc Murphy: I was one of the first to dig the boot into Murphy when the Blues were down but he’s blown me away – as well as the rest of the footy world – the last two weeks. 11 tackles on Saturday makes it 23 in the last two weeks – a remarkable count by any standards. He is leading from the front better than anyone right now.
Nick Dal Santo: His performance on Friday night is exactly why North recruited him. Without Dal Santo North would have lost on Friday – his class and poise came to the fore when they needed it most.
Brent Harvey: Somebody forgot to tell Boomer that Ryan Crowley is the best tagger in the game. This was vintage Harvey – all it was lacking was a goal on the run from 45 metres after taking a few bounces down the wing. He will play 400 games and he will still be running opponents ragged.
Tom Lynch: In a relatively quiet week for key position forwards Lynch had 17 disposals (12 contested), eight marks – five of those contested – and kicked five goals. If he and Sam Day can develop some chemistry, Gold Coast will be set for a decade.
Dayne Zorko: 24 disposals, 12 tackles and a goal is exactly the performance you’d look for from a half-forward flanker and that’s exactly what Zorko produced. One of the Lions most important players when he’s at his best.
Cyril Rioli: 13 Hawthorn players had more disposals than Cyril but none came close to having the same impact he did. If he can have upwards of 15 disposals every week he will be one of the 10 best players going around. 17 disposals – 11 contested – at 100% efficiency, six tackles, four goals and a few more additions to that ever growing highlight reel of his on Sunday.
Jonathon Patton: His partner in crime Jeremy Cameron kicked twice as many goals, but Patton worked so much harder than Cameron and as a result had a better all-around game. 18 disposals – 12 contested – five marks and five rebound 50s along with two goals is a fine return from a key forward.
Robbie Gray: 20 disposals, 10 marks and two goals – the only disappointing facet of Gray’s game this week was his one tackle but the rest more than makes up for that.
Ben McEvoy: His 22 disposals and 22 hitouts were a very good return but most impressive from McEvoy were his six tackles.
Dane Swan: He’s back to his absolute best. It will be a long time until the Collingwood faithful forget Swan outrunning Cale Hooker and kicking his second goal from the boundary line then a minute later breaking a few tackles and kicking truly from 35 metres to seal the win for the Magpies. Swan was absolutely the deserving recipient of the Medal.
Gary Ablett Jr: It’s a special player who can have 30 disposals – 21 contested – 12 clearances, lay 11 tackles and kick two goals and receive little adulation for his performance. It’s just a standard performance by the little master’s standards.
Dan Hannebery: One day soon, all three of Kennedy, Hannebery and Jack will have blinders on the same day and there is nothing the opposition will be able to do. This week it was Hannebery’s turn to have a big one and he didn’t disappoint. It was an ugly win against the lowly Demons, but don’t let that detract from Hannebery’s performance – he was great.
Travis Boak: Narrowly gets the nod ahead of teammate Kane Cornes for his superior disposal efficiency and contested possession numbers against the side that he nearly joined a couple of years back.
Jeff Garlett: His time in the VFL looks like it was just what the doctor ordered for Garlett. Came back in on Saturday and did exactly what was expected of him – applied plenty of pressure, competed when the ball hit the ground and kicked three goals.
Troy Menzel (sub): Firstly, apologies to Brad McKenzie who was unlucky to miss out on this spot but for his game-winning goal Menzel gets the nod. In just over 30% game time Menzel had eight touches – seven contested – and stayed calm and kicked the goal that completed a great comeback for Carlton.