Agree with Tony Jones?
The media will happily blow the trumpets of the players delivering foot traffic but at the end of the day, some players are not seen by the commentators and/or the public as much as they should. So here is their write-up after an awesome Round 2.
Adelaide – Shane McAdam
It was all about Taylor Walker on the socials and post game and although the Crows only had three goal kickers, this young man bagged himself a quartet.
He used the ball at 81 per cent, took four grabs and he got into great spots to snag his goals, with all of them coming from less than a 25-degree angle.
Brisbane – Daniel Rich
He had a horrific kick-in for sure but the old boy had a night of composure across his other 24 touches, going at 96 per cent on the night.
The Lions put up a gallant effort and should’ve pinched it but the former Rising Star winner had a good four-quarter effort, with six rebounds 50s, and he even delivered it inside 50 on three occasions.
Carlton – Lachie Fogarty
With the arrivals of Adam Saad (Essendon) and Zac Williams (GWS) into the Blues’ set-up, Fogarty is the forgotten man and he’s been fantastic in both games and he gets the credit here.
Following up from his slow start that turned into 20 touches last week, he worked his butt off in the forward half, staying composed and having 21 touches, kicking his first goal for the Blues, having four inside 50s and clearances but showed his two-way presence with five marks and four tackles. The Blues have a beauty here.
Collingwood – Jeremy Howe
Collingwood’s defence are owed all the credit during the week as when the Pies shut down at times during the second and third quarters, the likes of Darcy Moore and Jack Crisp stood firm the whole way and Howe was awesome too.
The biggest compliment you can give a player coming back from injury is they fit in seamlessly when they return and Howe hasn’t missed a beat. He had 22 touches (15 kicks), took kick ins, took six grabs and had six rebounds. That shows the class of the man. He had 81 per cent efficiency too.
Essendon – Jordan Ridley
On a dismal afternoon for the Dons on Saturday afternoon, Cale Hooker and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti were the rage up forward. But with Port having lots of territory, Ridley had to hold the tide and he was very good.
The 2020 Crichton Medallist has proven he’s not a one-season wonder with a good start to the season. A team-high 32 disposals and an equal team high efficiency rate (90 per cent, tied with Jayden Laverde, and Ridley’s kick tally was double of Laverde’s 11 touches) is an example of his composure. A season-high dozen rebounds and three contested marks capped his day off. The 2016 22nd pick is a genuine steal and a genuine star.
Fremantle – Ethan Hughes
For the Dockers to take the next step in their development, their B-grade players need to take steps forward. Sure, David Mundy, Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters will deliver quality footy and the kids like Adam Cerra, Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong are awesome prospects but it’s the middle tier that needs to improve.
Enter Hughes. At 26 years old, he is becoming the best version of himself out there and he showed that with 24 touches and half a dozen score involvements and marks. Solid performances like this will help the Dockers challenge the eight.
Geelong – Rhys Stanley
The much maligned former Saint has had flashes of brilliance without doubt but he’s been inconsistent. Friday night was a good performance, though.
Barring some deeper-range misses, Stanley was elite on Friday night, having a career-best 22 touches, a top-five career-high 34 hitouts, four clearances, seven marks – one contested – and ten score involvements. It was a brilliant performance, regardless of inexperienced opponents.
Gold Coast – Jarrod Witts
‘The rucks are back’, the AFL fraternity cried as Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy were fantastic in Round 2. But one of the only rucks who’s been better than good in both games has been the former Pie.
Neither Grundy nor Gawn have topped Witts’ 19-touch performance but just to shine the spotlight on the Sun, he was one of only a handful with ten contested possessions. He had 33 hitouts, half a dozen score involvements and clearances, along with five inside 50s. He got his hands dirty with four tackles. It is a really good start by an under-appreciated ruckman.
GWS – Isaac Cumming
He isn’t the complete package as a player yet but he is a prospect worth growing within the western side of Sydney.
Cumming had a match-high ten rebounds on Sunday night, took five grabs and laid four tackles. Also, 22 of his 24 touches were kicks and although he gave away free kicks, his body work will improve defensively. At only 22 and having played nine games, the Giants could have one.
Hawthorn – Sam Frost
Everytime ‘Snowman’ gets the footy, something happens. For certain it may not be positive but it’s fast, frenetic and exciting.
He plays the way Hawthorn tried to against the Tigers. That was the epitome of Frost. Every single touch was a pursuit to gain territory. He had 16 on the day at 87 per cent, along with seven rebounds and six marks. But if you were building the perfect player, you’d love his ticker.
Melbourne – Christian Salem
With so much of the conversation around Melbourne being around Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca, along with Ben Brown as he hopes to return, if the Dees want to keep progressing, they need others to step up. Enter Salem.
In a mistake-ridden game under the roof, Salem had 30 touches (22 kicks) and went at 83 per cent efficiency and his drive and urgency to move the ball forward was ultra impressive. He took ten marks, had six rebounds and took the ball inside 50 a handful of times and had a long-range shot at goal but was just offline.
North Melbourne – Aidan Corr
North are having a period living in the struggle streets and although he’s been put on very good money, Corr produced good form when the chips were down for the boys from Arden Street.
A very tidy 20 touches from the former Giant at 70 per cent efficiency was handy. He had six rebounds 50s and laid five tackles, doing his best to stop the Gold Coast onslaught. He deserved to cap it off with a goal but was astray.
Port Adelaide – Dan Houston
After seeing his highlight package leading into the 2018 draft, it seemed fitting that the CEO position of the Zak Butters fan club became mine and it’s a position that’s held dear.
While the commentators were lauding his unreal performance, there was a bloke who mopped up plenty of footy who went criminally unnoticed in comparison.
Houston’s resume on the afternoon reads like utter perfection for a rebounding defender: 25 touches at 96 per cent efficiency, 21 of them kicks, 11 score involvements, six inside 50s and rebounds, along with four marks, four tackles and a snag. It’s a chef’s kiss for the smooth-as-butter number five.
Richmond – Dion Prestia
The man affectionately known as the ‘Human Meatball’ did struggle in the pre-season with a hamstring injury but he is getting back to his best form.
A winner of a best and fairest during the premiership year in 2019, with Dustin Martin mostly taking up the media’s attention, even on Sunday afternoon, Prestia topped the Tigers’ disposal count with 29.
He had a handful of inside 50s, took four marks and laid four tackles and for someone who isn’t known as an elite ball user, he went at 82 per cent and was fantastic.
St Kilda – Jade Gresham
If it wasn’t for Jack Steele doing what Jack Steele does, Gresham would be getting a bit more recognition. He had two shambolic inside 50s, but his return after an injury-filled 2020 has been a credit to him.
He gathered 29 disposals and had ten-plus contested and uncontested possessions, had six score involvements, six marks, a bonkers nine clearances and ten inside 50s. He was nowhere near why they lost.
Sydney – Luke Parker
On a day all about Lance Franklin and the kids, this man slipped under the radar and has done for most of his career but that’s not the discussion here.
One of only three Swans to have ten contested possessions, he put his head over the footy, had seven tackles and seven score involvements, along with six inside 50s and four clearances. He just needs to stop giving away free kicks but he was very good on Saturday afternoon.
West Coast – Tom Barrass
The second defender in a row to feature for the Eagles, Barrass is an underrated player also and is a player who learns from his mistakes.
Barrass took a game-high ten marks across Marvel Stadium. He had 17 touches (15 kicks), five rebounds and three of his marks were contested. He is a player who understands his limitations and is always on the best forward so Jeremy McGovern can be the floating centre half back who takes intercept marks and rebounds.
Western Bulldogs – Adam Treloar
Round 1 was blasting with how Treloar was meeting his former teammates and for just the second time since his 33rd match (2013 playing for the Giants against Essendon) he had less than 19 touches so a response was imminent.
He had 25 disposals, eight score involvements, three marks and inside 50s, two tackles and clearances. Treloar had given a taste of what he can bring to the table at the Kennel. As for the criticism on his ball use, he went at 80 per cent with one turnover so credit has to be given.