The season of player movement is almost over and the draft is just around the corner.
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First looking at the backs, Marcus Adams will be an important part of curtailing the Demons’ forward line, while Alex Rance has been an integral part of the Tigers’ back line this season and will show why against the Giants this weekend.
Brad Sheppard needs to be at his best to stop the Magpies forward line from having an impact, while Rory Laird is averaging 33 possessions a game, and provides plenty of run off a half back flank.
Robbie Tarrant is a quality centre half back and Jamie Macmillan is an important part of the Kangaroos defensive unit.
In the midfield, Mitch Duncan played an outstanding game in Round 16, Tom Mitchell is bound to have another standout performance this weekend if his achievements this season are anything to go by, and Shane Edwards could be an instrumental part of the Tigers defeating the Giants.
As far as the forwards go, I am looking forward to Jack Redden proving his efforts last week were the start of a trend, rather than an aberration. Alex Pearce is going to have a tough time negating Justin Westhoff, while Devon Smith was just about the Bombers best player against the Magpies and will be important if the Bombers are to overcome the Suns.
The Pies will struggle to find a match up for Jamie Cripps. Jack Riewoldt should get the better of Phil Davis, and Josh Caddy will continue his good form against the Giants.
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Of the followers, Rhys Stanley should outshine Sam Jacobs, Dion Prestia will continue his recent outstanding form, and Andrew Gaff will prove why he is possibly the best player in the competition this season.
At interchange level, Kane Lambert will illustrate why he is so important to the Tigers. Having a quality player like Ben Cunnington strengthens the Kangaroos’ line-up. Tom Rockliff had his second-best game from a possession perspective this season in Round 16, while Steven Motlop played his best game statistically for the season last week – hopefully they can both keep this up in Round 17.
B: Marcus Adams (Bulldogs), Alex Rance (Tigers), Brad Sheppard (Eagles)
HB: Rory Laird (Crows), Robbie Tarrant (Kangaroos), Jamie Macmillan (Kangaroos)
C: Mitch Duncan (Cats), Tom Mitchell (Hawks), Shane Edwards (Tigers)
HF: Jack Redden (Eagles), Justin Westhoff (Power), Devon Smith (Bombers)
FF: Jamie Cripps (Eagles), Jack Riewoldt (Tigers), Josh Caddy (Tigers)
Foll: Rhys Stanley (Cats), Dion Prestia (Tigers), Andrew Gaff (Eagles)
Int: Kane Lambert (Tigers), Ben Cunnington (Kangaroos), Tom Rockliff (Power), Steven Motlop (Power)