Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson now wants consistency from his side after they kept their AFL top-eight hopes alive with a gritty 31-point win over Fremantle in Launceston.
A hectic Easter weekend of football has concluded, now let’s turn our attention to the Round 5 Team of the Week.
Back Pocket – Tom Jonas (Port Adelaide)
The Port Adelaide co-skipper was a rock for his side on Friday night, standing the ever-lethal Josh Kennedy. Conceded just one goal, which came late, while taking four grabs and winning plenty of one-on-one contests.
Full Back – Alex Pearce (Fremantle)
The fact his direct opponent kicked four goals and he only had a handful of touches himself, this selection might seem strange on paper. But the reliable Docker was instrumental in keeping Jeremy Cameron on a leash, with the star Giant getting most of his goals out of the back.
Back Pocket – Dougal Howard (Port Adelaide)
A shock omission during Port’s JLT campaign, Howard had to fight his way back into the senior line-up, earning selection in Round 3. It culminated in a very good performance on Friday against the reigning premiers.
Had 20 touches, took seven marks and killed plenty of contests with a well-timed spoil. Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Nathan Vardy all combined for just one goal, and Howard was a major reason for that.
Half Back – Brodie Smith (Adelaide)
While he didn’t quite garner all of the attention going into the match given it was teammate Eddie Betts’ 300th game, Smith put in a best on ground performance in his 150 match milestone. Had 27 possessions at a reliable 85per cent efficiency, took five marks and got forward to kick two trademark goals on the run.
Centre Half Back – Michael Hurley (Essendon)
Had a huge game against a disappointing North Melbourne outfit, picking up 25 disposals and hauling in 12 marks. Spent a lot of time matched up on Kangas’ skipper Jack Ziebell, who had a dirty day at the office with six touches.
Half Back – Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn)
Is thriving playing more of a wing role in 2019, and could very well be in the top few of the Brownlow Medal leaderboard at this point of the season. Despite the loss to Geelong, Henderson was close to best on ground on Easter Monday with 33 possessions at 78per cent efficiency, ten marks and two goals.
Wing – Jack Billings (St Kilda)
Another player having a very good year, Billings was vital to St Kilda notching their fourth win from five games on Saturday, picking up 28 touches, taking seven grabs and kicking two goals.
Centre – Sam Petrevski-Seton (Carlton)
An unreal performance from a young star who, probably his own admission, endured a subpar start to the season. Smashed his previous career-best disposal figures with 35 touches, 15 of them contested, he won seven clearances, took seven marks and kicked a goal that arguably killed off any chance of the Bulldogs mounting a comeback.
Wing – Ed Langdon (Fremantle)
Continues to get better week after week, and his performance against the Giants in Canberra was superb. Racked up 32 disposals, using it at a deadly 90 per cent efficiency, while he took ten marks, highlighting his ability to spread across the ground and provide an outlet for his teammates.
Half Forward – Dustin Martin (Richmond)
Showed glimpses of his best on Saturday night against the Swans, winning 25 possessions, 16 of them contested, five clearances, taking five marks and booting three goals. Still has a couple of gears to reach, and if he can the Tigers probably return to premiership favouritism.
Centre Half Forward – Harry McKay (Carlton)
The rest of the competition got a good glimpse of the next big key forward in the AFL after his unreal match on Sunday against the Western Bulldogs. Hauled in 11 marks from his 20 disposals, while he was influential up forward with 4.3.
One of his behinds, if converted successfully, would have been a contender for goal of the year, after a four-bounce run down the broadcast side of the wing at Marvel Stadium. Up to 22 contested marks already this season. He had 20 from 13 matches last year.
Half Forward – Sam Gray (Port Adelaide)
The often-maligned Power midfielder was huge for his side on Friday night against the Eagles. Collected 26 possessions, using it at 84 per cent in wet conditions, while he took eight marks, laid five tackles and kicked two goals.
Forward Pocket – Eddie Betts (Adelaide)
Not the best six goal performance you’ll see, but when a player kicks the most amount of goals by an individual in a round, they deserve their spot in this team. His magical checkside goal in the final quarter of his 300th is almost unbelievable. Almost. Until you remember: it’s Eddie.
Full Forward – Matt Taberner (Fremantle)
Has always shown glimpses of his potential, and Saturday saw him put it all together with arguably a career-best performance. Gathered 21 disposals, hauled in 13 grabs and kicked an important, albeit inaccurate, 3.3. Deserved to finish with five or six majors.
Forward Pocket – Jack Petruccelle (West Coast)
On a dark night for West Coast, who got nothing from their experienced forwards inside 50, it was young Petruccelle shining brightly. The zippy Eagle kicked over 60 per cent of his side’s score on the night, booting 5.2 from 18 touches, seven marks and three tackles.
Ruckman – Ben McEvoy (Hawthorn)
Another strong performance from McEvoy, who is making a case for All Australian ruckman after five rounds. Had it 16 times on Easter Monday against Geelong, took six marks around the ground, won 37 hitouts and got forward to kick two goals.
Ruck Rover – Dylan Shiel (Essendon)
It has taken a while for Shiel to truly shine at the Bombers, but he was white-hot against a slow Kangaroos outfit on Good Friday. Amassed 36 possessions, using it at 75 per cent efficiency, which is an improvement on his normal decision making, won five clearances, took seven marks and laid three tackles.
Rover – Adam Treloar (Collingwood)
Went head-to-head with in-form Brisbane gun Lachie Neale on Easter Thursday and took the chocolates, keeping the former Docker to 24 touches. Treloar himself won 35 possessions, using it at 80 per cent efficiency, while he hauled in eight grabs.
Interchange – Oliver Wines (Port Adelaide)
The second aspect of the Port Adelaide co-captaincy partnership to feature in this round’s team, Wines was superb on Friday night against a premier West Coast on-ball brigade.
In conditions conducive to his type of game, Wines collected 35 disposals, 13 of them contested, won seven clearances, took four marks, laid three tackles and kicked a crucial captain’s goal in a stirring victory.
Interchange – Tim Kelly (Geelong)
Was sublime on Easter Monday against Hawthorn, winning 29 touches, 12 of them contested, taking five marks and booting two goals. Can’t wait to watch him, Dangerfield and Selwood go head-to-head with the Eagles next Sunday.
Interchange – Michael Walters (Fremantle)
The dynamic Docker was sensational in the biggest upset of the season thus far on Saturday against the GWS Giants at Manuka Oval. Had 25 possessions, 12 of them contested, took six marks and booted three goals.
Interchange – Zach Merrett (Essendon)
Following on from last week’s performance, Merrett was brilliant on Good Friday against North Melbourne, picking up 39 disposals, 16 contested, seven clearances, taking four marks and laying nine tackles. Big Anzac Day test awaits.
Emergency – Orazio Fantasia (Essendon)
Got the Bombers rolling early against the Roos on Good Friday at Marvel, finishing with 18 possessions, three marks, four tackles and four goals.
Emergency – Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
Was on track for world-record type numbers on Sunday against the Bulldogs, and ended up taking a back seat in the second half as his Blues took charge of the match. Ended the game with 37 touches, 16 of them contested, 11 clearances and five marks.
Emergency – Tim Membrey (St Kilda)
Has shaken the goalkicking yips that plagued him at times last season, and has become much more effective inside 50 with his pressure, averaging a career-high three tackles per game. Had four of them on Saturday against Melbourne, along with 12 touches, eight grabs and four goals.
Emergency – Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
Similar to Cripps, Fyfe was a workhorse on Saturday against the Giants, but it was his teammates who ended up outshining him, which is a great sign for Fremantle supporters and coach Ross Lyon.
His 18 contested possessions and 13 clearances were crucial to setting up a famous win for the Dockers.
FB: Tom Jonas (Port Adelaide), Alex Pearce (Fremantle), Dougal Howard (Port Adelaide)
HB: Brodie Smith (Adelaide), Michael Hurley (Essendon), Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn)
C: Jack Billings (St Kilda), Sam Petrevski-Seton (Carlton), Ed Langdon (Fremantle)
HF: Dustin Martin (Richmond), Harry McKay (Carlton), Sam Gray (Port Adelaide)
FF: Eddie Betts (Adelaide), Matt Taberner (Fremantle), Jack Petruccelle (West Coast)
R: Ben McEvoy (Hawthorn), Dylan Shiel (Essendon), Adam Treloar (Collingwood)
I/C: Oliver Wines (Port Adelaide), Tim Kelly (Geelong), Michael Walters (Fremantle), Zach Merrett (Essendon)
EMG: Orazio Fantasia (Essendon), Patrick Cripps (Carlton), Tim Membrey (St Kilda), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
Adelaide: Smith, Betts (2)
Brisbane: Nil (0)
Carlton: Petrevski-Seton, McKay (2)
Collingwood: Treloar (1)
Essendon: Hurley, Shiel, Merrett (3)
Fremantle: Pearce, Langdon, Taberner, Walters (4)
Geelong: Kelly (1)
Gold Coast: Nil (0)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil (0)
Hawthorn: Henderson, McEvoy (2)
Melbourne: Nil (0)
North Melbourne: Nil (0)
Port Adelaide: Jonas, Howard, S.Gray, Wines (4)
Richmond: Martin (1)
St Kilda: Billings (1)
Sydney: Nil (0)
West Coast: Petruccelle (1)
Western Bulldogs: Nil (0)