Disclaimer: I’m a West Coast Eagles fan, so figure that into your assessments when considering my objectivity. However, for the purposes of this prediction, I’m calling that the Eagles will be the best performed of all the expansion teams.
A controversial weekend of footy is over, so lets see who made the Team of the Week from the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round.
Back Pocket – Luke Ryan (Fremantle)
Was enormous for the Dockers in defence, especially in the first half, impressing with his intercept possessions. Ended with 32 disposals at 81 per cent efficiency, five grabs and three tackles.
Full Back – Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne)
Is really starting to hit his best form after a slow start to the year due to an injury-interrupted pre-season. Took on boom Western Bulldogs youngster Aaron Naughton, keeping him to just one goal and three marks, with Tarrant amassing 13 touches at a perfect 100 per cent efficiency and taking six marks.
Back Pocket – Nick Haynes (Greater Western Sydney)
The courageous defender put his body on the line on more than one occasion on Sunday afternoon against Melbourne. Hauled in eight grabs, using his 20 possessions at 85 per cent efficiency.
Half Back – Bachar Houli (Richmond)
The Tiger veteran was in vintage form in tough conditions on Saturday night, amassing a monster 37 disposals, using it at 75 per cent efficiency. Also took six marks and laid five tackles on the way to winning the Yiooken Award for the first time in his career.
Centre Half Back – Jordan Roughead (Collingwood)
Arguably the best value-for-money trade last season, the former Bulldog has excelled in the Collingwood backline in 2019, and that continued on Friday night against Sydney. Matched up on the returning Lance Franklin for most of the night, Roughead kept ‘Buddy’ to two goals and regularly peeled off his man to help his other defenders.
Half Back – Darcy Byrne-Jones (Port Adelaide)
Was one of Port Adelaide’s best on a disappointing day for the club in Launceston against Hawthorn on Saturday. Amassed a career-high 28 touches, took eight marks and laid six tackles.
Wing – Bradley Hill (Fremantle)
Owned the wings at Optus Stadium on Sunday night against Brisbane, racking up 31 possessions at 80 per cent efficiency and taking six marks. Was very important late as the Dockers overcame the Lions.
Centre – Tim Kelly (Geelong)
After an unusually-quiet game last weekend against the Bulldogs, Kelly returned to the form that has him as one of the Brownlow Medal favourites on Saturday night against Gold Coast. Finished the match with 35 disposals, 16 of them contested, eight clearances, five marks and four tackles.
Wing – Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney)
Is having a very underrated season and that continued on Sunday afternoon as the Giants broke their MCG hoodoo with a dominant first three quarters against the Demons. Kelly was sublime as well as hard-at-it, amassing 31 possessions at 74 per cent, taking three marks, laying an impressive 10 tackles and booting a goal.
Half Forward – Mitch Duncan (Geelong)
Continued his outstanding recent form with another superb match against the Suns on Saturday night. Had 27 disposals, took eight grabs and booted three goals. In three of his past four games, Duncan has had at least 22 touches and booted three goals. A Brownlow Medal smoky.
Centre Half Forward – Sam Reid (Sydney)
Had his first big day out as a forward since early in the 2017 season, monstering inexperienced Magpie Jack Madgen on Friday night. Reid finished with six goals, the third time he has achieved that total, while he took nine grabs and won 15 disposals.
Half Forward – Jade Gresham (St Kilda)
Provided the class in a game devoid of it on Sunday at Marvel Stadium, finishing with 29 touches, 12 of them contested, and six grabs. His ability to hit targets going inside 50 was pivotal in St Kilda notching its first win since Round 5.
Forward Pocket – Harry Himmelberg (Greater Western Sydney)
The third prong in a potent GWS attacking outfit had his time to shine on Sunday against Melbourne at the MCG, booting five goals from 18 disposals, seven marks and seven scoring shots. Averages two goals a game when playing at the home of footy, which bodes well for September.
Full Forward – Jack Gunston (Hawthorn)
Was superb on Saturday afternoon in Launceston, terrorising the Port Adelaide defence with a six goal haul, his best day out in front of the big sticks since 2015, and just the third time in his career he has booted a half-dozen. Also had 21 possessions and hauled in nine grabs.
Forward Pocket – Mason Wood (North Melbourne)
Chose a good time to stand up and perform in Brad Scott’s final game as coach of North Melbourne. The much-maligned forward was prominent all day, finishing with 22 touches, seven marks and three goals. This needs to be the standard for the remainder of the year.
Ruckman – Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)
Continued his incredible form with a monster performance against Sydney on Friday night. Collected 18 possessions, 14 of them contested, won seven clearances, took five grabs, laid eight tackles and broke his own hitout record in a match with 64.
Ruck Rover – Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
The Collingwood skipper was fantastic on Friday night against Sydney, controlling the midfield with 29 disposals, 16 of them contested, nine clearances, nine tackles and a superb goal from the boundary line.
Rover – Luke Shuey (West Coast)
Helped engineer a huge comeback victory for the Eagles on the road, finishing with 33 touches, 17 of them contested, 11 clearances, three tackles and 10 tackles. Make no doubt about it, West Coast are flying high at the moment.
Interchange – Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn)
Another week, another appearance in my Team of the Week for Henderson, who amassed a career-high 37 possessions on Saturday afternoon against the Power, also finishing with 11 marks.
Interchange – Elliot Yeo (West Coast)
Was in everything on Saturday against Adelaide, throwing his body on the line to collect 27 disposals, 16 of them contested, eight clearances and a whopping 15 tackles, which, remarkably, is one down on his total from last week. The last fortnight has seen Yeo rocket into first place in the tackle leaderboard.
Interchange – Nathan Wilson (Fremantle)
Was very effective for the Dockers in their narrow win over the Brisbane Lions on Sunday evening, collecting a career-high 30 possessions and taking eight marks.
Interchange – Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
Tried his very best to lift his side over the line against the Eagles on Saturday, winning 32 disposals, half of them contested, nine clearances, laying eight tackles and kicking a goal.
Emergency – Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne)
Took on the young bull in Tim English and took him to the cleaners, amassing an equal career-high 28 possessions, 14 of them contested, winning six clearances, taking seven marks and finishing with a monster 57 hitouts. Will he remain at North Melbourne beyond 2019?
Emergency – Darcy Parish (Essendon)
Played the best game of his career in trying circumstances on Saturday night against Richmond, amassing a career-high 31 disposals, 19 of them contested, winning nine clearances and laying five tackles.
Emergency – Tim Taranto (Greater Western Sydney)
Was very good against an undermanned Melbourne midfield on Sunday at the MCG, winning 32 touches, 13 of them contested, taking six grabs and laying eight tackles.
Emergency – Chris Mayne (Collingwood)
The heart and soul of the current Collingwood line-up was very important on Friday night, especially late. Had 20 possessions at a very effective 90 per cent efficiency, took seven grabs, laid five tackles and, most importantly, booted two final quarter goals to get his side over the line.
FB: Luke Ryan (Fremantle), Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne), Nick Haynes (Greater Western Sydney)
HB: Bachar Houli (Richmond), Jordan Roughead (Collingwood), Darcy Byrne-Jones (Port Adelaide)
C: Bradley Hill (Fremantle), Tim Kelly (Geelong), Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney)
HF: Mitch Duncan (Geelong), Sam Reid (Sydney), Jade Gresham (St Kilda)
FF: Harry Himmelberg (Greater Western Sydney), Jack Gunston (Hawthorn), Mason Wood (North Melbourne)
R: Brodie Grundy (Collingwood), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Luke Shuey (West Coast)
I/C: Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn), Elliot Yeo (West Coast), Nathan Wilson (Fremantle), Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
EMG: Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne), Darcy Parish (Essendon), Tim Taranto (Greater Western Sydney), Chris Mayne (Collingwood)
Adelaide: Sloane (1)
Brisbane: Nil (0)
Carlton: Nil (0)
Collingwood: Roughead, Grundy, Pendlebury (3)
Essendon: Nil (0)
Fremantle: Ryan, B.Hill, Wilson (3)
Geelong: Kelly, Duncan (2)
Gold Coast: Nil (0)
Greater Western Sydney: Haynes, Kelly, Himmelberg (3)
Hawthorn: Gunston, Henderson (2)
Melbourne: Nil (0)
North Melbourne: Tarrant, Wood (2)
Port Adelaide: Byrne-Jones (1)
Richmond: Houli (1)
St Kilda: Gresham (1)
Sydney: Reid (1)
West Coast: Shuey, Yeo (2)
Western Bulldogs: Nil (0)