Sydney coach John Longmire couldn’t fault his charges’ efforts in a close home loss to Collingwood, although two of his co-captains didn’t have much luck.
Another round, another weekend of unpredictable results. Lets take a look at the best individual performances in Round 8’s Team of the Week.
Back Pocket – Caleb Marchbank (Carlton)
Played one of the better games of his career on Saturday afternoon against Carlton’s old enemy Collingwood. Had 23 disposals, took nine grabs and, importantly, used it at a safe 78 per cent efficiency.
Full Back – David Astbury (Richmond)
Back in the side having recovered from an ankle complaint, Astbury was sublime in a famous Richmond victory over Fremantle.
Spent most of the afternoon on Matt Taberner, keeping him to just one goal while hauling in 11 grabs of his own and collecting 17 touches.
Back Pocket – James Sicily (Hawthorn)
Was brilliant in a huge upset win for the Hawks over the GWS Giants on Sunday afternoon. Won 27 possessions, using it at 81 per cent, grabbed nine marks, laid three tackles and got forward to kick his side’s final goal of the day.
Half Back – Dan Houston (Port Adelaide)
The courageous Power defender was one of his side’s best in a gritty Showdown on Saturday night, amassing 25 touches at 84 per cent efficiency, taking seven marks and laying five tackles.
Centre Half Back – Alex Keath (Adelaide)
Continued his outstanding form this season with a starring role in Adelaide’s win over their crosstown rivals. Took wily Power veteran Justin Westhoff and completely shut him out of the contest while winning 26 touches of his own and hauling in five marks. Became the first defender to win a Showdown Medal since Nathan Bock in 2009.
Half Back – Christian Salem (Melbourne)
Was at his classy best in a game where clean disposal was rare. Racked up 23 disposals at 82 per cent efficiency while taking six marks and laying seven tackles.
Wing – Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn)
His year just keeps on getting better, with the former Crow amassing a career-high 36 disposals on Sunday against the Giants. Highlighted how valuable he is to the Hawthorn side as an outlet option with 10 marks.
Centre – Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
For the sixth time in seven matches this year, the Fremantle skipper picked up over 30 touches, starring in a valiant role against the Tigers.
Won eight clearances and kicked three goals, but, as seems to be the case every year, could be facing a week on the sidelines for a crude hit on Tom Lynch.
Wing – Kamdyn McIntosh (Richmond)
Played a really underrated game for the Tigers in Sunday’s win over the Dockers, taking on speedster Bradley Hill and putting a blanket on him, keeping the Freo speedster to just 15 touches. McIntosh won 19 disposals, took nine grabs and kicked a goal in a very disciplined performance.
Half Forward – Gary Ablett (Geelong)
Kicked multiple goals in a game for a fifth week in a row, however his impact on the contest was down on the lofty standards he set in previous weeks.
Finished with four majors from 16 disposals and six marks, but needs to start keeping his elbow down when applying pressure to opposition players.
Centre Half Forward – Tom Lynch (Adelaide)
Played his best game of the season in an important night for the club, racking up 20 touches, laying six tackles and booting three goals.
Is slowly getting back to his best form, which is a huge coup for the Crows who are flying under the radar at the moment.
Half Forward – Jamie Cripps (West Coast)
A severely underrated member of the West Coast forward line, Cripps starred in game 150, winning 21 possessions, 13 of those contested, taking three marks, laying five tackles and booting two goals.
Forward Pocket – Shai Bolton (Richmond)
The Richmond youngster chose a good time to play a breakout match, with Sunday’s game against the Dockers his first time playing AFL back in his home city of Perth.
Won 16 touches, laid six tackles and booted four goals in a terrific performance.
Full Forward – Ben Brown (North Melbourne)
Going into Sunday’s match, Brown had a poor record of five goals from six matches against the Cats, but he doubled that tally despite some close checking from star Geelong duo Mark Blicavs and Tom Stewart.
Almost single-handedly dragged North Melbourne over the line with a huge second half, including three goals in two minutes in the third quarter. Now into outright second position in the Coleman Medal.
Forward Pocket – Orazio Fantasia (Essendon)
While social media was focused on what the correct pronunciation of his surname is, Fantasia was focused on kicking goals up forward for the Bombers in a losing effort. Ended with four majors from 11 disposals and three marks.
Ruckman – Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)
Was a colossus on Saturday against the Blues, amassing monster numbers including 25 possessions, eight marks, 48 hitouts and two goals. Has had over 20 touches six times from eight games so far in 2019, which is just incredible when you think about it.
Ruck Rover – Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)
The Demons’ ball-magnet was exactly that in a sloppy affair against the Suns on Saturday evening at Metricon Stadium. Won 38 touches, 22 of them contested, along with nine clearances, five marks and a massive 15 tackles.
Rover – Tim Kelly (Geelong)
One of the best individual performances of the year from the second-year midfielder, who tore apart the Kangaroos midfield.
Finished the game with 36 disposals, 21 contested, 11 clearances, three marks, seven tackles and two terrific goals.
Interchange – Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
Was monstrous in the midfield against Collingwood, winning a whopping 13 clearances from his 35 touches, which included 19 contested possessions, taking four marks, laying seven tackles and kicking an inspirational captain’s goal late in the match.
Interchange – Luke Parker (Sydney)
Took it upon himself to get the Swans’ season back on track with a thrilling win over Essendon on Friday night. The co-captain amassed 33 disposals, 12 of them contested, won six clearances and laid five tackles in an impressive display.
Interchange – Josh Dunkley (Western Bulldogs)
Continued on from his massive performance last weekend with a huge game against Brisbane in Ballarat on Saturday. Won 36 touches, 22 of them contested along with 10 clearances, while he laid eight tackles and kicked a goal.
Interchange – Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
Stood tall for the Crows on Saturday night, especially late in the game when Port were coming hard. Finished Showdown 46 with 26 possessions, a huge 13 tackles and a goal.
Emergency – Liam Ryan (West Coast)
Had a mixed day on Saturday, which started by getting stuck in a lift along with four of his teammates.
Luckily he got out in time to play an important role up forward for the Eagles against St Kilda, winning 17 disposals, 10 of them contested, taking six grabs, laying three tackles and booting an inaccurate 1.4.
Then, much to the amusement of his teammates, Ryan was seen heading for the team bus while all 21 of his teammates, along with the West Coast coaching staff, were sitting in a meeting room at Marvel Stadium.
Emergency – Ben McEvoy (Hawthorn)
A typical workhorse-like performance from McEvoy, who took Dawson Simpson to the cleaners on Sunday. Picked up 15 touches, took eight marks, laid four tackles and won 33 hitouts.
Emergency – Mitch Duncan (Geelong)
Worked tirelessly up and down Marvel Stadium in Geelong’s four-goal win over North Melbourne on Sunday, finishing with 29 possessions at 79 per cent efficiency, 12 grabs and eight tackles.
Emergency – Zach Merrett (Essendon)
Was Essendon’s best on Friday night against Sydney, winning 28 touches, 12 of them contested, taking five marks, laying nine tackles and kicking a goal.
FB: Caleb Marchbank (Carlton), David Astbury (Richmond), James Sicily (Hawthorn)
HB: Dan Houston (Port Adelaide), Alex Keath (Adelaide), Christian Salem (Melbourne)
C: Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Kamdyn McIntosh (Richmond)
HF: Gary Ablett (Geelong), Tom Lynch (Adelaide), Jamie Cripps (West Coast)
FF: Shai Bolton (Richmond), Ben Brown (North Melbourne), Orazio Fantasia (Essendon)
R: Brodie Grundy (Collingwood), Clayton Oliver (Melbourne), Tim Kelly (Geelong)
I/C: Patrick Cripps (Carlton), Luke Parker (Sydney), Josh Dunkley (Western Bulldogs), Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
EMG: Liam Ryan (West Coast), Ben McEvoy (Hawthorn), Mitch Duncan (Geelong), Zach Merrett (Essendon)
Adelaide: Keath, Lynch, Sloane (3)
Brisbane: Nil (0)
Carlton: Marchbank, Cripps (2)
Collingwood: Grundy (1)
Essendon: Fantasia (1)
Fremantle: Fyfe (1)
Geelong: Ablett, Kelly (2)
Gold Coast: Nil (0)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil (0)
Hawthorn: Sicily, Henderson (2)
Melbourne: Salem, Oliver (2)
North Melbourne: Brown (1)
Port Adelaide: Houston (1)
Richmond: Astbury, McIntosh, Bolton (3)
St Kilda: Nil (0)
Sydney: Parker (1)
West Coast: Cripps (1)
Western Bulldogs: Dunkley (1)