The new AFL season approaches. It’s a time for most to get excited.
The festival of footy is over, and after nine games across five days, we take a look back at the Team of the Week from Round 6.
Back Pocket – Tom Stewart (Geelong)
Continued his outstanding season with a terrific match against the reigning premiers on Sunday. Hauled in 13 grabs while collecting 25 disposals and laying four tackles.
Full Back – Joel Hamling (Fremantle)
The premiership Bulldog went head-to-head with his former side and was very good, shutting young star Aaron Naughton out of the game. Took six marks from his 16 possessions.
Back Pocket – Rory Laird (Adelaide)
Returned to the lofty heights he has set in the past few seasons on Saturday against St Kilda, picking up 33 touches, 10 of them contested, while he took five marks.
Half Back – James Sicily (Hawthorn)
Was a rock down back for Hawthorn on what was, at times, a tough day in Launceston. Chopped off plenty of forward thrusts from the Blues, helping himself to 12 marks, while he gathered 27 disposals and used it a very efficient 92 per cent.
Centre Half Back – Alex Keath (Adelaide)
One of the most-improved players in the league, Keath was sensational on Saturday against the Saints, collecting 21 possessions and using it at 90 per ent efficiency while also taking 14 marks.
Half Back – Nick Vlastuin (Richmond)
Was very good for the Tigers way back on Wednesday night when the round kicked off. Took 13 marks, won 28 disposals and used it at 82 per cent efficiency. Is stepping up in the absence of Alex Rance.
Wing – Tim Taranto (Greater Western Sydney)
Was a deserving winner of the Brett Kirk Medal as best afield in the Sydney Derby on Saturday night. Taranto collected 30 touches, 17 of them contested, won six clearances, laid ten tackles and booted a goal.
Centre – Travis Boak (Port Adelaide)
Continued his midfield revival with a superb game on Friday night against North Melbourne. Helped himself to 38 possessions, 15 of them contested, won 11 clearances, used it at 81 per cent efficiency and slotted a goal to claim his third Peter Badcoe VC Medal as best on ground for the Power in Anzac Round.
Wing – Liam Shiels (Hawthorn)
Led the charge as Hawthorn came back from a six-goal deficit to overcome Carlton in Launceston. In his first game back from a hamstring injury, Shiels collected 26 possessions, took seven grabs, laid nine tackles and, importantly, drifted forward occasionally to end up with three majors.
Half Forward – Sam Gray (Port Adelaide)
Backed up his terrific game last round with another huge performance on Friday night against the Kangaroos. Finished the match with 28 disposals, five tackles and four goals.
Centre Half Forward – Jeremy Cameron (Greater Western Sydney)
Continued his outstanding 2019 campaign with a sublime performance on Saturday night against the Sydney Swans. Had 21 disposals, took eight marks, laid five tackles and ended the game with 3.3. Yet to kick under three goals in a match this season, and currently on track for 80+ majors.
Half Forward – Gary Ablett (Geelong)
The little master has silenced any doubters with a supreme past fortnight. Was excellent against West Coast on Sunday evening, collecting 28 possessions, 12 of them contested, taking seven marks and booting two goals.
Forward Pocket – Brandon Matera (Fremantle)
Fresh off a four-goal performance against the Giants in Canberra last Saturday, Matera bobbed up with five majors against the Western Bulldogs. Has 12 majors from four matches in 2019, an impressive feat when you remember that he was kept goalless in Round 4.
Full Forward – Joe Daniher (Essendon)
A week after he was rushed back into the senior line-up from outside the emergency list, Daniher lit up the big stage on Anzac Day by booting four goals from eight marks and almost leading the Bombers to a come-from-behind victory.
Forward Pocket – Gary Rohan (Geelong)
Loving life as a Cat after growing stale in Sydney. Was a constant threat up forward against West Coast on Sunday, taking 10 marks and slotting four goals. Currently fourth in the Coleman Medal race.
Ruckman – Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)
Superb on Anzac Day against Essendon, picking up 24 possessions, 15 of them contested, taking six grabs, laying six tackles and winning 39 hitouts in his battle with Tom Bellchambers.
Ruck Rover – Jaeger O’Meara (Hawthorn)
Had the ball on a string against the Blues in Tasmania, picking up 26 first-half touches. Ended the game with a career-high 42 disposals, 23 of them contested, nine clearances, eight marks and a goal in a sublime match.
Rover – Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
Carved the Bombers up on Anzac Day as he so often does, winning 38 touches, 16 of them contested, taking seven marks and laying six tackles. His third Anzac Medal ties him with James Hird for the most by any single player.
Interchange – David Mundy (Fremantle)
Celebrated his 300th game with a vintage performance on Saturday against the Western Bulldogs. Collected 28 possessions, 11 of them contested, won six clearances, laid seven tackles and kicked two goals. Very deserving of the win.
Interchange – Mitch Robinson (Brisbane)
Was powerful in a must-win clash for the Lions against their rivals Gold Coast on Saturday. Won 26 touches, took eight grabs, laid five tackles and had an impact up forward with three goals.
Interchange – Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs)
The pint-sized Daniel is enjoying a terrific year playing across the half back line for the Bulldogs, and it continued on Saturday night against Fremantle. For the fourth time from six games this year he collected over 30 disposals, using it at 86 per cent efficiency.
Interchange – Lachie Neale (Brisbane)
Returning to form against the Suns in his first ever Q-Clash, Neale won 28 touches, 14 of them contested, took four marks, laid six tackles and booted a goal.
Emergency – Tom Clurey (Port Adelaide)
Wore Ben Brown like a glove on Friday night, restricting him to just one behind. Had help from his partner-in-crime Dougal Howard.
Emergency – Ryan Nyhuis (Fremantle)
With Taylin Duman out of the side due to suspension, Nyhuis slotted into the Fremantle defence and played with aplomb. Had 19 disposals at a perfect 100 per cent efficiency and took six grabs. His desperation helped save quite a few goals against the Dogs.
Emergency – Tom Hickey (West Coast)
Adam Simpson made a statement at selection by dropping premiership ruckman Nathan Vardy, instead opting for former Saint-and-Sun Hickey as the main man. His faith in the big man was rewarded with an incredible individual performance, albeit in a losing side.
Hickey collected a career-high 25 possessions, 12 of them contested, won 12 clearances, took seven grabs, laid five tackles, won 32 hitouts and kicked a nice goal in the third quarter. Vardy has a huge task ahead of him to get back in this side.
Emergency – Dale Thomas (Carlton)
Played arguably his best game in the navy blue colours on Sunday as Carlton came so close to knocking off Hawthorn at their Tasmanian fortress. Finished with 25 touches at 80 per cent efficiency, took eight grabs and laid four tackles.
FB: Tom Stewart (Geelong), Joel Hamling (Fremantle), Rory Laird (Adelaide)
HB: James Sicily (Hawthorn), Alex Keath (Adelaide), Nick Vlastuin (Richmond)
C: Tim Taranto (Greater Western Sydney), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), Liam Shiels (Hawthorn)
HF: Sam Gray (Port Adelaide), Jeremy Cameron (Greater Western Sydney), Gary Ablett (Geelong)
FF: Brandon Matera (Fremantle), Joe Daniher (Essendon), Gary Rohan (Geelong)
R: Brodie Grundy (Collingwood), Jaeger O’Meara (Hawthorn), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
I/C: David Mundy (Fremantle), Mitch Robinson (Brisbane), Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs), Lachie Neale (Brisbane)
EMG: Tom Clurey (Port Adelaide), Ryan Nyhuis (Fremantle), Tom Hickey (West Coast), Dale Thomas (Carlton)
Adelaide: Laird, Keath (2)
Brisbane: Robinson, Neale (2)
Carlton: Nil (0)
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Grundy (2)
Essendon: Daniher (1)
Fremantle: Hamling, Matera, Mundy (3)
Geelong: Stewart, Ablett, Rohan (3)
Gold Coast: Nil (0)
Greater Western Sydney: Taranto, Cameron (2)
Hawthorn: Sicily, Shiels, O’Meara (3)
Melbourne: Nil (0)
North Melbourne: Nil (0)
Port Adelaide: Boak, S.Gray (2)
Richmond: Vlastuin (1)
St Kilda: Nil (0)
Sydney: Nil (0)
West Coast: Nil (0)
Western Bulldogs: Daniel (1)