The Roar
The Roar



AFL Round 3 rookie report

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Roar Rookie
6th April, 2021

They were no outstanding performances from the 2021 rookies this week, however players certainty contributed for their clubs.

Round 3 saw three new players make their way into the top five, while Sydney’s Errol Gulden remains the the only player to poll votes each week.

1. Heath Chapman (Fremantle)
In what was a disappointing result for Fremantle, Heath Chapman was a shining light. His 18 disposals went at an incredible 88.9 per cent, an impressive stat when half of those possessions were contested.

The 19-year-old looked composed down back, collecting eight intercepts with five rebound 50s helping set up attacks. Five spoils, eight ground ball gets (best on ground) and six tackles completed a great match from the second gamer.

2. Nikolas Cox (Essendon)
Essendon fans have every reason to be optimistic about the future after the performances of their young blood last weekend. One player that played well was Nikolas Cox. In just his third game, the Bomber was everywhere, collecting 17 disposals at 88 per cent efficiency.

His brilliant snap in the first term set the tone for the day and his nine score involvements helped the Dons pile on 22 goals as the Dons dismantled St Kilda.


3. Alec Waterman (Essendon)
Handed a lifeline by Essendon after not getting a game for the Eagles, the mature-aged rookie was exceptional on debut, providing the Bombers with a genuine option up forward.

Waterman displayed an excellent left foot, slotting through his first goal from outside 50. He added another major in a game that included 12 disposals (eight of them contested), nine score involvements and three goal assists.

4. Errol Gulden (Sydney)
Compared to his first two games, Gulden had a quiet match but was still influential in his side’s upset win over Richmond. He racked up 18 possessions, including 15 kicks and nine marks. His pressure was instrumental laying four tackles with 22 pressure acts (equal most for Sydney).

His attacking presence was felt with six inside 50s and six score involvements.

5. Matt Flynn (GWS)
Even though his direct opposition, Max Gawn, had a day out, Matt Flynn did enough to sneak his way into the top five. Still managing 24 hitouts, the Giant only had four less than Gawn and only had 77 per cent game time (compared to Gawn’s 95 per cent).

Of his hitouts, 11 were to advantage and he helped around the ground with three tackles and 18 pressure acts. A solid game up against one of the best ruckmen in the league.

Max Gawn

No mean feat coming up against this bloke. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Warming the bench
Bulldogs rookies Anthony Scott and Lachlan McNeil continue to keep their spot in their side with consistent efforts. Scott had 15 disposals and a goal while McNeil kicked 1.2 to go with nine touches.


James Jordon missed out on the votes for the first time, but his 16 touches and goal were still impressive. And Geelong’s Max Homles showed promise getting 16 disposals on debut.

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Rookie rankings
Errol Gulden (11 votes)
Braeden Campbell (5 votes)
Heath Chapman (5 votes)
Matt Flynn (5 votes)
James Jordon (4 vote)
Nikolas Cox (4 votes)
James Rowe (3 votes)
Alec Waterman (3 votes)
Tom Powell (2 votes)
Logan McDonald (2 votes)