AFL Team of the Week: Round 16

Josh Barnstable Roar Rookie

By , Josh Barnstable is a Roar Rookie

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    There were some brilliant individual performances from both up-and-coming stars and established guns Round 16, with a first-time making the Team of the Week.

    Back

    Back Pocket – Jake Kelly (Adelaide)
    The unheralded Crow played a starring role in his side’s big win over the reigning premiers on Friday night.

    Kelly spent time on Jake Stringer, restricting him to just one goal while collecting 17 disposals at 88 per cent efficiency, taking eight marks and laying nine tackles.

    Full Back – Kurt Heatherley (Hawthorn)
    In just his fourth game, the young Hawks defender went head-to-head with the Coleman Medal equal-leader Jeremy Cameron on Saturday in Launceston.

    In a disciplined effort, Heatherley kept Cameron to just one major (a ‘Joe the Goose’ from the goalsquare).

    Back Pocket – Connor Blakely (Fremantle)
    Back in the side after a club-imposed week out of the team, Blakely quickly went to work on restoring the faith of the coaching staff.

    Spending most of his time down back in a rebounding role, Blakely amassed 32 possessions – 10 of those contested at 84 per cent efficiency – took 12 grabs and laid four tackles.

    Half Back – Dane Rampe (Sydney)
    It’s no coincidence the star Swan’s return to the side has coincided with Sydney’s stunning recent form.

    On Saturday, Rampe took on Tom Lynch, who, despite kicking three first quarter goals, was kept quiet. Rampe collected 25 touches at 88 per cent efficiency and took 12 marks.

    Centre Half Back – Michael Hurley (Essendon)
    Continued his rich vein of form on Saturday against Collingwood, taking on Ben Reid and beating him silly.

    Hurley picked up 30 touches at 90 per cent efficiency, hauled in 11 marks and laid three tackles.

    Half Back – Jake Lever (Adelaide)
    The out-of-contract Crow showed why he is so sought after with a superb performance against the Bulldogs on Friday night.

    Lever picked up 22 possessions at a deadly 90 per cent efficiency, took 11 grabs and laid three tackles.

    Jake Lever Adelaide Crows AFL 2016

    (AAP Image/Ben Macmahon)

    Middle

    Wing – David Zaharakis (Essendon)
    Seems to save his best performances for when the Bombers take on Collingwood, and he was arguably best on ground on Saturday afternoon.

    Zaharakis amassed 38 disposals, 15 of those contested, won five clearances, laid three tackles and kicked a goal.

    Centre – Seb Ross (St Kilda)
    Led a St Kilda onslaught on Saturday night as the Saints raced out to an 82-point lead at half-time over Richmond.

    Ross finished the match with 33 possessions, 10 of them contested, five clearances, four marks, eight tackles and a goal.

    Wing – Mitch Duncan (Geelong)
    Having an outstanding season and it continued on Saturday night in Geelong’s rout over the Brisbane Lions.

    Duncan picked up a huge 38 disposals, 17 of them contested at 84 per cent efficiency, won eight clearances, took nine marks and kicked two goals.

    Forward

    Half Forward – Dayne Zorko (Brisbane)
    Despite the efforts of Duncan and Patrick Dangerfield on Saturday night, Zorko could potentially claim the three Brownlow Medal votes despite being on the receiving end of an 85-point loss, which is quite remarkable.

    Zorko amassed 36 possessions, 14 of those contested, won 10 clearances, took four marks and laid 12 tackles. Oh, and he also kicked four goals. An amazing player.

    Centre Half Forward – Taylor Walker (Adelaide)
    The Crows’ skipper was at his commanding best on Friday night against the Bulldogs, leading his side to a big win.

    Walker had 18 touches, took seven marks, laid four tackles and kicked three majors.

    Half Forward – Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)
    On an emotional night for the Saints champion, Riewoldt shone in St Kilda’s big win over Richmond at Etihad Stadium.

    Finished with 15 disposals, 12 marks, three tackles and three goals.

    Forward Pocket – Orazio Fantasia (Essendon)
    After a few quiet weeks, Fantasia returned to some of his best form on Saturday against the Magpies.

    The speedy Bomber terrorised the Collingwood defence with 11 possessions, five tackles and five goals.

    Full Forward – Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide)
    The big power forward was a hulking presence in the Power’s win over West Coast on the road.

    Dixon collected 14 disposals, hauled in seven marks and kicked five goals.

    Forward Pocket – Gary Rohan (Sydney)
    Is putting together a very solid season after a very stop-start career, with the fast Swan collecting 16 touches, taking nine grabs and, like Dixon and Fantasia, booting five goals.

    Gary Rohan Sydney Swans AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/David Moir)

    Followers

    Ruckman – Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide)
    Continued to stake his claim for All-Australian honours with a starring performance against West Coast on Sunday evening.

    Ryder dominated the Eagles duo of Nathan Vardy and Scott Lycett, finishing with 17 possessions at 82 per cent efficiency, five marks, six tackles, 39 hit-outs and two majors.

    Ruck Rover – Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
    The reigning Brownlow Medallist, just a week after celebrating the birth of his first child, put in a sensational performance against the Lions up at the Gabba.

    Dangerfield finished with incredible numbers, amassing 38 disposals, 23 of them contested, winning 10 clearances, taking nine grabs, laying three tackles and slotting three goals.

    Rover – Callan Ward (Greater Western Sydney)
    Put in another superb performance in the Giants’ second consecutive draw against the Hawks.

    The co-skipper collected 32 possessions, 12 of those contested, won 10 clearances, took four marks, laid eight tackles and booted a goal.

    Interchange

    Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
    Returned to some of his best form in the first half against North Melbourne on Sunday at Etihad Stadium.

    Copped a hard tag from Sam Gibson in the second half, but the Brownlow Medallist still managed to finish with 33 touches, 18 contested, 12 clearances, six marks, four tackles and a goal.

    Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn)
    Another week, another sensational performance from Mitchell.

    The former Swan racked up 39 possessions, 19 of them contested, won 10 clearances, laid nine tackles and booted a goal.

    Marc Murphy (Carlton)
    The Blues skipper was brilliant in Carlton’s gutsy loss to Melbourne on Sunday at the MCG, finishing with 35 disposals, five marks, four tackles and a couple of goals.

    Ryan Nyhuis (Fremantle)
    The second-best footy story of the round (those honours go to Tom Lonergan playing his 200th game). Called up for his debut game after David Mundy was ruled out with illness, the rookie defender was sent to the forward line to play a negating role on North star defender Robbie Tarrant.

    Nyhuis limited Tarrant’s rebounding ability while bobbing up with four goals, including Fremantle’s final two of the match as they held on for a four-point win. As a result, he joins Clay Smith as the only current player to kick a bag of four goals on debut.

    Ryan Nyhuis Fremantle Dockers AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/David Crosling)

    Emergencies

    Josh Jenkins (Adelaide)
    Often criticised for getting easy goals out the back, Jenkins was commanding in Adelaide’s win over the Dogs on Friday night.

    The tall forward collected 15 touches, took 11 marks and kicked four goals.

    Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney)
    The sought-after Giant increased his value with a starring role in his side’s draw against Hawthorn on Saturday.

    Kelly finished the match with 34 disposals, 14 of them contested at 82 per cent efficiency, five marks, 10 tackles and a goal.

    Charlie Curnow (Carlton)
    The young Blue has put together a very good month of football and his performance against Melbourne might be the best of his young career to date.

    Curnow amassed 19 possessions at 78 per cent efficiency, hauled in 10 marks, laid four tackles and booted two goals. Rising star nomination incoming?

    On paper

    FB: Jake Kelly (Adelaide), Kurt Heatherley (Hawthorn), Connor Blakely (Fremantle)
    HB: Dane Rampe (Sydney), Michael Hurley (Essendon), Jake Lever (Adelaide)
    C: David Zaharakis (Essendon), Seb Ross (St Kilda), Mitch Duncan (Geelong)
    HF: Dayne Zorko (Brisbane), Taylor Walker (Adelaide), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)
    FF: Orazio Fantasia (Essendon), Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide), Gary Rohan (Sydney)
    R: Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong), Callan Ward (Greater Western Sydney)
    I/C: Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn), Marc Murphy (Carlton), Ryan Nyhuis (Fremantle)
    EMG: Josh Jenkins (Adelaide), Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney), Charlie Curnow (Carlton)

    By team

    Adelaide: Kelly, Lever, Walker (3)
    Brisbane: Zorko (1)
    Carlton: Murphy (1)
    Collingwood: Nil (0)
    Essendon: Hurley, Zaharakis, Fantasia (3)
    Fremantle: Blakely, Fyfe, Nyhuis (3)
    Geelong: Duncan, Dangerfield (2)
    Gold Coast: Nil (0)
    Greater Western Sydney: Ward (1)
    Hawthorn: Heatherley, Mitchell (2)
    Melbourne: Nil (0)
    North Melbourne: Nil (0)
    Port Adelaide: Dixon, Ryder (2)
    Richmond: Nil (0)
    St Kilda: Ross, Riewoldt (2)
    Sydney: Rampe, Rohan (2)
    West Coast: Nil (0)
    Western Bulldogs: Nil (0)

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