The Roar
The Roar



AFL Round 4 rookie report

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Roar Rookie
12th April, 2021

Despite there being another six debutants, Round 4 continued seeing the same rookies from previous rounds making the most impact.

Only one new player made their way into the rankings, Port Adelaide debutant Lachie Jones.

1. Nikolas Cox (Essendon)
The 200cm rookie can do it all. A footballing jack of all trades, Nikolas Cox has the height of a key position player as well as the agility of a midfielder.

Around the ground Cox took seven marks and had 18 disposals (at an efficiency rate of 83 per cent) and was required to pinch hit in the ruck. When up forward, he looked dangerous, kicking 1.2. His goal was a highlight from the match, the young Don scooping up the ball in one hand before kicking the goal from 40 metres at full stride.

2. Tom Powell (North Melbourne)
In what has been a dark season from North Melbourne, Tom Powell’s development has been a shining light. Pick number 13 in last year’s National Draft, Powell’s fourth game was easily his best.

The young Roo collected plenty of the ball (19 possessions at 79 per cent efficiency), taking five marks and and three score involvements. Powell’s best attribute was his pressure, laying an equal best eight tackles for the game.

3. Heath Chapman (Fremantle)
Heath Chapman backed up last week’s outstanding performance with another strong outing as Fremantle beat Hawthorn. Chapman continued take the ball of the opposition, gathering seven intercepts which included three intercept marks (equal most for Freo).

He went at 83 per cent from his 18 disposals and contributed in attack with a goal and four score involvements.


4. Lachie Jones (Port Adelaide)
The debutant had a huge influence in defence as Port Adelaide beat Richmond in a thriller. Lachie Jones had 17 disposals, 14 of them kicks which allowed him to generate the ball towards Port’s forward 50.

The 19-year old finished the day with 436 metres gained, four inside 50s and six marks. Jones’ eight intercepts and four rebound 50s helped his team turn the ball over and send it back towards their forward line.

5. Errol Gulden (Sydney)
Considering Sydney have so many talented young players it seems right that one of them makes the top five. It’s no surprise that Errol Gulden finds himself in the top five, this week just edging out fellow teammate Braeden Campbell.

Gulden kicked 0.3, but his 17 disposals, five inside 50s, two goal assists and a game high nine score involvements made for his inaccuracy.

Errol Gulden of the Swans celebrates after kicking a goal

Oh, Errol – I would do anything, just to be like him… (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Warming the bench
Braeden Campbell was the unlucky sixth man this week, the Sydney youngster with six intercepts and seven rebound 50s to go with his 19 touches. Will Phillips had 13 dispossess and a goal for North Melbourne.


Essendon forward Alec Waterman kicked another two goals, Collingwood’s Beau McCreery was impressive with a goal and eight tackles while West Coast debutant Isiah Winder scored a goal with his first kick.

Rookie rankings
Errol Gulden (12 votes)
Nikolas Cox (9 votes)
Heath Chapman (8 votes)
Tom Powell (6 votes)
Matt Flynn (5 votes)
Braeden Campbell (5 votes)
James Jordon (4 vote)
James Rowe (3 votes)
Alec Waterman (3 votes)
Lachie Jones (2 votes)