AFL Team of the Week: Round 17

Josh Barnstable Roar Rookie

By , Josh Barnstable is a Roar Rookie

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    The best of the best turned it on in Round 17 of the AFL season.

    Back
    Back Pocket – Marty Gleeson (Essendon)

    The slippery defender was immense for the Bombers back on Friday night.

    Spending most of his time with St Kilda debutant Josh Battle, Gleeson also went with Nick Riewoldt for some of the night. Finished with 19 disposals at 94 per cent efficiency, ten marks and three tackles.

    Full Back – Daniel Talia (Adelaide)
    Went head-to-head with the in-form Tom McDonald and restricted him to just one goal whie racking up 19 possessions of his own and hauling in seven grabs.

    Back Pocket – James Kelly (Essendon)
    Was instrumental in Essendon’s big win over the Saints on Friday night.

    The former Cat played the loose role in defence to perfection, taking a career-high 13 grabs to go with his 28 disposals and seven tackles. His form is so good that he must surely be considering playing on in 2018.

    Half Back – Shannon Hurn (West Coast)
    The Eagles’ skipper, who has been under a bit of pressure lately, was sensational in West Coast’s win over Fremantle in the Western Derby.

    Hurn amassed 34 touches at a deadly 91 per cent efficiency while taking a huge 14 marks. Was a deserved winner of the Ross Glendinning Medal.

    Centre Half Back – Michael Hurley (Essendon)
    Like Gleeson and Kelly, Hurley was in complete control in his side’s big win over the Saints.

    Hurley collected 27 possessions at an incredible 100 per cent efficiency, took nine marks and even snuck forward for a goal. Seems an All-Australian lock.

    Half Back – Rory Laird (Adelaide)
    The speedy Crow was instrumental in Adelaide’s big win over the Demons in Darwin on Saturday night.

    Laird picked up 34 touches, 14 of those contested, took five marks and laid three tackles.

    Middle
    Wing – Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs)

    Was important in the Bulldogs’ circuit-breaking win over the Blues on Sunday at the MCG.

    Macrae amassed 31 possessions at 87 per cent efficiency, took eight marks and laid six tackles.

    Centre – Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn)
    Keeps on keeping on putting together brilliant numbers for the Hawks.

    Was at it again against Geelong on Saturday, picking up 43 disposals, 18 of them contested, winning nine clearances, taking six grabs, laying three tackles and kicking two goals. A contender for the Brownlow Medal.

    Wing – Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
    Returned to form in a big way over Carlton, collecting 30 touches, 13 of them contested, winning five clearances, taking six marks, laying four tackles and getting forward to slot two goals.

    Western Bulldogs player Marcus Bontempelli

    (AAP Image/David Crosling)

    Forward
    Half Forward – Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide)

    Got the ball rolling for the Power on Saturday afternoon against North Melbourne with three first quarter goals.

    Didn’t add to that tally but still finished with 30 possessions, 18 of them contested, six clearances, six marks and five tackles.

    Centre Half Forward – Taylor Walker (Adelaide)
    The big ‘Texan’ was in top form up in the Top End on Saturday night against Melbourne, slotting 4.4 from 21 disposals, eight marks and three tackles.

    Half Forward – Lance Franklin (Sydney)
    Roamed the forward line with authority on Saturday night in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ against the Giants.

    Took on Phil Davis and took him to the cleaners, kicking four goals from eight marks and 18 possessions.

    Forward Pocket – Daniel Menzel (Geelong)
    In his first match since Round 14, Menzel was a constant threat up forward against the Hawks.

    The talented forward finished with 16 disposals, eight marks and three goals.

    Full Forward – Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
    His day looked over after he collided with Jarryd Roughead in the opening quarter, injuring his foot in the process, but the Brownlow Medallist made a miraculous return to the field shortly after, taking up a position close to goal.

    Patrick Dangerfield Geelong Cats AFL 2016

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Was simply mesmerising as a one-out forward, hauling in 12 marks and booting an effective but wayward 5.6.

    Forward Pocket – Tom Lynch (Adelaide)
    In his return after suffering from viral meningitis, Lynch quickly reminded everyone of his important to the Adelaide line-up in his side’s big win over the Demons in the Northern Territory.

    Amassed 27 touches, took 11 marks and kicked three goals. The Crows have got him back at the right time of the season.

    Followers
    Ruckman – Tom Bellchambers (Essendon)

    The big Bomber is in arguably career-best form and that continued on Friday night against St Kilda.

    Matched up on Tom Hickey, Bellchambers made him look silly with a supreme performance that entailed 14 disposals, four marks, five tackles, 26 hitouts and two goals.

    Ruck Rover – Brad Ebert (Port Adelaide)
    Continued his impressive season with another hard-nosed performance against North Melbourne on Saturday.

    Ebert collected 30 possessions, 19 of them contested, won 14 clearances and laid five tackles.

    Rover – Zach Merrett (Essendon)
    The young Bomber was sensational yet again against the Saints, amassing 37 touches, 15 of them contested, winning six clearances, taking five marks and laying ten tackles.

    Interchange
    Taylor Adams (Collingwood)

    Often criticised for wasting the ball, Adams cleaned up his act in a big way against the Suns on Saturday evening.

    Even in trying conditions, Adams was classy with 31 possessions, 17 contested, four marks and four tackles.

    Liam Duggan (West Coast)
    The talented young Eagle put in a career-best performance in Sunday’s Western Derby against Fremantle.

    Duggan cleaned up in defence, finishing with 31 touches and taking 11 grabs.

    Sam Gray (Port Adelaide)
    Robbie didn’t get the Kangaroos but Sam definitely did. The lesser-known Gray was terrific against the Roos on Saturday, amassing 25 disposals, taking ten marks and slotting four goals.

    Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)
    The former skipper tried his hardest on return from injury against the Magpies on Saturday.

    Ablett finished with 41 possessions, 19 of them contested, 11 clearances, eight marks and six clearances.

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Emergencies
    Dustin Martin (Richmond)

    Was the best player on the ground in Richmond’s win over the Lions on Sunday.

    Martin finished with 40 touches, 18 of them contested, 14 clearances, four marks and a couple of goals. His afternoon was hurt by poor ball use, finishing with a disposal efficiency of 57 per cent.

    Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood)
    Was classy in wet conditions on Saturday evening against the Suns, collecting 32 disposals, 11 of them contested, taking four marks, laying three tackles and kicking a goal.

    Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
    In a midfield that was dominated from the get-go, Cunnington was a shining light for the Roos against the Power.

    Finished the game with 33 possessions, 26 of them contested at 78 per cent efficiency, 11 clearances, five marks and eight tackles.

    On paper
    FB: Marty Gleeson (Essendon), Daniel Talia (Adelaide), James Kelly (Essendon)
    HB: Shannon Hurn (West Coast), Michael Hurley (Essendon), Rory Laird (Adelaide)
    C: Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs), Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn), Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
    HF: Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), Taylor Walker (Adelaide), Lance Franklin (Sydney)
    FF: Daniel Menzel (Geelong), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong), Tom Lynch (Adelaide)
    R: Tom Bellchambers (Essendon), Brad Ebert (Port Adelaide), Zach Merrett (Essendon)
    I/C: Taylor Adams (Collingwood), Liam Duggan (West Coast), Sam Gray (Port Adelaide), Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)
    EMG: Dustin Martin (Richmond), Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood), Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)

    By team
    Adelaide: Talia, Laird, Walker, Lynch (4)
    Brisbane: Nil (0)
    Carlton: Nil (0)
    Collingwood: Adams (1)
    Essendon: Gleeson, Kelly, Hurley, Bellchambers, Z Merrett (5)
    Fremantle: Nil (0)
    Geelong: Menzel, Dangerfield (2)
    Gold Coast: Ablett (1)
    Greater Western Sydney: Nil (0)
    Hawthorn: Mitchell (1)
    Melbourne: Nil (0)
    North Melbourne: Nil (0)
    Port Adelaide: Wingard, Ebert, S Gray (3)
    Richmond: Nil (0)
    St Kilda: Nil (0)
    Sydney: Franklin (1)
    West Coast: Hurn, Duggan (2)
    Western Bulldogs: Macrae, Bontempelli (2)

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