That was some round of footy. Upsets, fixture overhauls and some truly horrendous performances made it the most peculiar weekend of football this year. Here’s the talking points.
Two of the 22 players predicted for Round 4 didn’t play. Mason Wood was omitted from the North Melbourne team and Jeremy McGovern was a late out for West Coast due to an ankle injury.
Dayne Zorko suffered a calf injury for Brisbane in the first quarter of their game against Adelaide.
Six of the 20 players who played were given votes by the AFL coaches. Those six players were Marcus Bontempelli and Tim English of the Western Bulldogs, Dan Butler and Tim Membrey of St Kilda, Matt Taberner of Fremantle and Angus Brayshaw of Melbourne.
Picking this team is effectively a gamble as it’s done prior to the confirmation of the teams, but that’s what makes it such an entertaining exercise. When formulating this team, you have to try to predict the result of the game as well as the individual match-ups.
It’s fascinating to take all the facets into account, as it’s difficult to narrow down the team to 22 players!
This team consists of players I predict will be the best performers in the upcoming round.
B: Ryan Lester (Brisbane), Sam Collins (Gold Coast), Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs)
HB: Lachie Whitfield (Giants), Josh Walker (North Melbourne), Nick Haynes (Giants)
C: Lachie Weller (Gold Coast), Seb Ross (St Kilda), Jack Billings (St Kilda)
HF: Lincoln McCarthy (Brisbane), Eric Hipwood (Brisbane), Aaron vandenBerg (Melbourne)
FF: Dean Kent (St Kilda), Tim Membrey (St Kilda), Jacob Townsend (Essendon)
Foll: Jarrod Witts (Gold Coast), Shaun Higgins (North Melbourne), Darcy Tucker (Fremantle)
Int: Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne), Brandan Parfitt (Geelong), Kyle Langford (Essendon), Tom Phillips (Collingwood)
Ryan Lester should prove that his display in Round 4 wasn’t an aberration. Lester was arguably one of Brisbane’s most pivotal players against Adelaide and will need to be at his best if Brisbane are to beat Port Adelaide in Round 5.
Sam Collins will curtail the influence of Geelong’s full-forward in Tom Hawkins. It will be a fascinating duel. Expect Collins to win it comprehensively, though.
Caleb Daniel showed how good a player he is in the Western Bulldogs win over Sydney in Round 4. Daniel created plenty of run out of defence.
Lachie Whitfield will be an important part of the Giants back six in Round 5 as he provides plenty of run off the halfback flank. He may also spend time on the wing. Expect him to be at his best if the Giants can beat Hawthorn as it’s a tough game to predict a winner in!
Josh Walker will prove why he was recruited to North Melbourne. Walker should get the job of negating the influence of Bulldog Josh Bruce.
Nick Haynes is one of the best defenders in the competition, as he displayed in the Giants Round 4 win over Collingwood. That performance definitely wasn’t an aberration, as Haynes will prove in Round 5 against Hawthorn.
Lachie Weller will need to be at his best if the Gold Coast are to beat Geelong, which is possible, as the Gold Coast have won three consecutive games.
Seb Ross will prove why he should be rated higher than he is. Ross will probably go head to head with Carlton’s Patrick Cripps. Expect Ross to win the battle.
Jack Billings looks certain to prove why he is one of the form players in the competition. Billings should get the better of the likes of Jack Newnes and Marc Murphy, who will most probably line up on the wing for Carlton.
Lincoln McCarthy should prove what an asset he is to Brisbane as it’s difficult to find anyone from Port Adelaide to curtail his influence in Brisbane’s Round 5 clash with the Power.
Eric Hipwood should prove that Port Adelaide’s biggest weakness is their key defensive stocks.
Aaron vandenBerg will prove that he should be a permanent part of Melbourne’s best 22. Melbourne are playing against a Richmond team that’s struggling for form, and Round 5 should substantiate that.
Dean Kent should show why he belongs in St Kilda’s best 22 when fit and available, as he did in Round 4 when he kicked a couple of goals. Kent should continue on with that form against Carlton in St Kilda’s Round 5 game.
Tim Membrey showed that he is capable of being renowned as one of the best key forwards in the game. Membrey will gain confidence from his Round 4 display when he kicked three goals and translate that form by proving it wasn’t an aberration in Round 5 against Carlton.
Jacob Townsend has yet to recapture the form he displayed in Round 1. Despite that, Townsend is still a dangerous player, as he proved in Round 4 when he was extremely close to kicking the winning goal. He just needs to gain confidence in a big match, which Round 5 is as Essendon are playing against Collingwood, where he will be a danger around the goals.
Jarrod Witts will have far too much ability for Geelong ruckman Darcy Fort. Witts will lead from the front against an inexperienced opponent in Round 5.
Shaun Higgins will need to replicate his Round 4 if North Melbourne are to beat the Western Bulldogs. Expect Higgins to be motivated for the challenge.
Darcy Tucker is a quality player, as he displayed in Round 4. Expect him to continue with that form in Round 5.
Angus Brayshaw kicked a couple of goals for Melbourne in Round 4. Brayshaw should prove why he finished third in the Brownlow Medal in 2018. Expect him to recapture that form in Round 5 against Richmond, which is a must-win game for Melbourne.
Brandan Parfitt polled four votes in the AFL coaches votes in Round 4. Parfitt should prove why he is such a good player against the Gold Coast in Round 5.
Kyle Langford should prove why he is an important part of the Essendon team against Collingwood.
Tom Phillips has the opportunity to prove why he is one of the most underrated players in the competition following on from his Round 4 performance where he kicked two goals. Phillips should provide more of the same endeavour and quality against Essendon in Round 5.