A weekend of controversy and close finishes has come to a close, let’s take a look at who made Round 13’s Team of the Week.
Back Pocket – Luke Ryan (Fremantle)
Took on a greater responsibility in the Fremantle backline with the loss of star teammate Alex Pearce and played a great game on Saturday against Port Adelaide. Had 16 disposals, took four grabs, laid four tackles and used the ball at a perfect 100 per cent efficiency. Should be All Australian.
Full Back – Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne)
One of few North Melbourne players who can hold their head high and say they performed from the very first siren to the very last.
Had the unenviable task of playing on the Coleman Medal leader in Jeremy Cameron and did a fantastic job on him, restricting him to just nine touches and one goal.
Back Pocket – Conor McKenna (Essendon)
The Irish speedster was at his running best on Friday night against Hawthorn, winning 25 touches at 80 per cent efficiency and taking four marks.
Half Back – Zac Williams (Greater Western Sydney)
Was in fine form on Sunday against North Melbourne, gaining a very impressive 619 metres from his 28 disposals, while he also took six marks, laid three tackles and converted an important goal from a 50-metre penalty.
Centre Half Back – Michael Hurley (Essendon)
Was like a brick wall in the Essendon defence on Friday night, repelling countless forward thrusts from the Hawks.
Finished with 26 possessions at 80 per cent efficiency and 12 marks, keeping his direct opponent, which was mostly James Sicily, scoreless.
Half Back – Jarman Impey (Hawthorn)
Was arguably Hawthorn’s best alongside Ricky Henderson on Friday night at Marvel Stadium. Gathered 24 touches at 83 per cent efficiency, took eight marks and got forward on more than one occasion, finishing with two goals.
Jarman Impey of the Hawks (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Wing – Jackson Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
Was part of a Western Bulldogs midfield that dominated possession for much of the night against Carlton on Saturday. Ended the game with 37 possessions at 81 per cent efficiency, six grabs and eight tackles.
Centre – Brad Crouch (Adelaide)
The AFL has a new total disposals leader after 13 rounds, and it is the eldest of the Crouch brothers from Adelaide.
Was brilliant in the clinches on Thursday night against Richmond, amassing a monster 43 touches, a career-high for him, with 18 of them contested. He also won 11 clearances.
Wing – Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney)
The smooth-moving Giant showed North Melbourne exactly what they are missing out on with a dominant display on Sunday at Blundstone Arena. Amassed 35 possessions, took seven marks, laid seven tackles and slotted a beautiful goal from the forward pocket in the second quarter.
Josh Kelly of the Giants (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Half Forward – Jack Billings (St Kilda)
The soon-to-be out-of-contract Saint continued to increase his value with another starring performance, this time against Gold Coast at Riverway Stadium in Townsville.
In a match St Kilda were lucky to prevail in, Billings was far-and-away the best player on the field with 33 disposals, 13 of them contested, eight marks, 11 tackles and two goals.
Centre Half Forward – Jesse Hogan (Fremantle)
Things just haven’t quite clicked for Hogan since his switch from Melbourne to Fremantle, but his performance on Saturday against Port Adelaide showed that the tide might be starting to turn for him.
Worked tirelessly up and down the ground, finishing with 17 disposals, 11 grabs and three goals. Impressively, he walked off the ground having ran 15.3 kilometres, the most of any player on the ground.
Half Forward – Toby Greene (Greater Western Sydney)
On his return from a one-week layoff due to a knee injury, Greene was the most dangerous forward on the ground in an impressive win on the road for the GWS Giants against North Melbourne.
Amassed 20 possessions, 11 of them contested, won seven clearances, took five marks, laid four tackles and booted three goals.
Forward Pocket – Kane Farrell (Port Adelaide)
Playing just his tenth career game, the 20-year-old Farrell was Port’s most potent attacking option in Perth against the Dockers. Didn’t get a lot of the ball but when he did he made it count, finishing with four majors.
Full Forward – Charlie Curnow (Carlton)
Appears to have a new lease on life under caretaker coach David Teague, having followed up his good performance last weekend with a sensational seven goal game against the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
Five of his majors came in the second half as the Blues got a run-on and nearly overcame their opponents.
Forward Pocket – Michael Walters (Fremantle)
Life couldn’t get much better for this bloke after two consecutive games in which he kicked the winning score, but he followed it up with an unbelievable performance on Saturday against Port Adelaide. Helped himself to 25 possessions, took six marks, laid four tackles and booted an equal career-high six goals.
Is there a player more watchable than Walters in the league right now? I’d argue not.
Ruckman – Reilly O’Brien (Adelaide)
Took full advantage of the fact the Tigers were without their first and second choice rucks on Thursday night and completely dominated.
The 23-year-old was a force to be reckoned with, finishing with 19 touches at 89 per cent efficiency, five marks, seven tackles and a career-high 54 hitouts. Also had 181 ranking points, which is the third-highest amount in a single game by a player this season.
Ruck Rover – Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
The Fremantle skipper was a monster in and around the stoppages on Saturday afternoon against the Power, amassing a season-high 37 possessions, 22 of them contested, and winning ten clearances. Might want to have a word to ‘Sonny’ Walters if he wants to win his second Brownlow Medal.
Nat Fyfe (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Rover – Josh Dunkley (Western Bulldogs)
Since his move to the midfield, Dunkley’s form has been quite incredible, and it culminated with a sensational performance on Saturday night against Carlton.
Dunkley could not be stopped, racking up a career-high 41 disposals, 16 of them contested, winning six clearances, taking five marks, laying ten tackles and booting a freakish goal. It’s hard to believe that Luke Beveridge was playing him forward of the ball at the start of the season.
Interchange – Travis Boak (Port Adelaide)
Should continue his Brownlow Medal charge with at least one vote from Saturday’s performance against Fremantle. The former Port skipper was outstanding again, amassing 36 touches, 15 of them contested, winning eight clearances and kicking a goal.
Travis Boak of the Power (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Interchange – Dustin Martin (Richmond)
In his first game in charge of the Tigers, Martin did everything he could to drag his side over the line for a memorable win on the road. Ended the game with 32 possessions, nine marks, four tackles and two goals.
Interchange – Zach Merrett (Essendon)
The gun Bomber was very good on Friday night against the Hawks, winning 28 disposals, 13 contested, taking three grabs, laying three tackles and kicking a goal.
Interchange – Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
The Adelaide co-captain is having a very underrated season and it continued on Thursday night, with Sloane racking up 28 possessions, 16 of them contested, winning nine clearances and taking five marks.
Importantly, he is also getting forward to have an impact on the scoreboard, kicking two goals for the second consecutive week.
Emergency – Anthony Miles (Gold Coast)
Played arguably his best game since moving from the Tigers to the Suns on Saturday against St Kilda, winning 27 touches, taking seven marks, laying six tackles and kicking a goal.
Emergency – Taylor Walker (Adelaide)
The other co-captain at the Crows was back to his imposing best on Thursday night against Richmond, finishing with 18 disposals, eight marks and an inaccurate 3.3. Would have made the team if he kicked straighter in front of goal.
Emergency – Phil Davis (Greater Western Sydney)
Had the big job on hometown hero Ben Brown on Sunday in Hobart and kept him to a modest 2.3. The GWS co-captain also had 14 possessions at an impressive 100 per cent efficiency, took seven marks and had 12 spoils.
Emergency – Patrick Lipinski (Western Bulldogs)
The impressive young Bulldog has been sensational since breaking his way into the best 22 in Round 10, and he played the best game of his career to date on Saturday night against Carlton. Lipinski had 29 disposals, using it at 86 per cent efficiency, took eight marks, laid five tackles and booted two goals.
FB: Luke Ryan (Fremantle), Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne), Conor McKenna (Essendon)
HB: Zac Williams (Greater Western Sydney), Michael Hurley (Essendon), Jarman Impey (Hawthorn)
C: Jackson Macrae (Western Bulldogs), Brad Crouch (Adelaide), Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney)
HF: Jack Billings (St Kilda), Jesse Hogan (Fremantle), Toby Greene (Greater Western Sydney)
FF: Kane Farrell (Port Adelaide), Charlie Curnow (Carlton), Michael Walters (Fremantle)
R: Reilly O’Brien (Adelaide), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Josh Dunkley (Western Bulldogs)
I/C: Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), Dustin Martin (Richmond), Zach Merrett (Essendon), Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
EMG: Anthony Miles (Gold Coast), Taylor Walker (Adelaide), Phil Davis (Greater Western Sydney), Patrick Lipinski (Western Bulldogs)
Adelaide: B.Crouch, O’Brien, Sloane (3)
Carlton: C.Curnow (1)
Essendon: McKenna, Hurley, Merrett (3)
Fremantle: Ryan, Hogan, Walters, Fyfe (4)
Gold Coast: Nil (0)
Greater Western Sydney: Williams, Kelly, Greene (3)
Hawthorn: Impey (1)
North Melbourne: Tarrant (1)
Port Adelaide: Farrell, Boak (2)
Richmond: Martin (1)
St Kilda: Billings (1)
Western Bulldogs: Macrae, Dunkley (2)
Brisbane, Collingwood, Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney and West Coast had the bye.