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AFL Round 5 rookie report

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Roar Rookie
20th April, 2021
6

Round 5 finally saw Errol Gulden fail to poll votes and saw two new players enter the top five.

Two players continue with consistent seasons, polling for the third time each, while another rookie regains his Round 1 form.

1. Tom Powell (North Melbourne)
Tom Powell had another brilliant match as he continues to develop his game. Powell was impressive in what was a much more competitive North Melbourne outfit, collecting 19 disposals at 78 per cent and taking six marks. He also had four inside 50s, six ground-ball gets and five score involvements (the second most for North Melbourne).

2. James Rowe (Adelaide)
Despite being Adelaide’s fifth pick in last year’s draft, James Rowe looks to be the best of the bunch. A quiet few games followed his first brilliant match, but the Crows’ young forward got back his Round 1 form. Rowe kicked two goals and had a hand in a few more, with two goal assists and five score involvements. His 12 disposals were efficient (83 per cent), and he laid three tackles and had four inside 50s.

James Rowe

(Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

3. James Jordon (Melbourne)
Melbourne would be very happy with James Jordon’s season so far. He has been a consistent contributor in the Dees’ engine room, applying heaps of pressure for his team. Jordon laid four tackles and had three clearances and helped link the forwards up with six score involvements. Eight of his 20 disposals were contested, which led to seven ground-ball gets, the second most for a Demon.

4. Archie Perkins (Essendon)
The third Bomber to poll a vote this year, the number nine draft pick showed promise in his third game. Archie Perkins took five marks, laid four tackles and had 408 metres gained. His 20 disposals only went at 55 per cent but you can forgive the poor efficiency from a third gamer in those extremely wet conditions. Perkins also led his team in score involvements with six and was second for Essendon for inside 50s (four) and pressure acts (27).

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5. Jordon Sweet (Western Bulldogs)
Anyone could have made the fifth spot this week, but it was Western Bulldogs’ mature-aged rookie Jordon Sweet that squeezed his way into the votes. After managing Stefan Martin, the 23-year-old held his own in the ruck, competing in 48 ruck contests, winning 31 of them. Ten of those hit outs were to advantage, and he helped around the ground with five score involvements, two clearances and four tackles.

Warming the bench
There were many rookies on the weekend that could have made the top five. Errol Gulden missed out for the first time. His 18 disposals were not enough this week.

Brisbane’s Jaxon Prior and Collingwood’s Beau McCreery kicked two goals while Heath Chapman had 15 disposals and four intercepts for Fremantle.

Miles Bergman had 16 disposals and took two intercept marks for Port Adelaide and debutant Finlay Macrae had 12 touches in the final term for Collingwood.

Rookie rankings
Errol Gulden (12 votes)
Tom Powell (11 votes)
Nikolas Cox (nine votes)
Heath Chapman (eight votes)
James Jordon (seven votes)
James Rowe (seven votes)
Matt Flynn (five votes)
Braeden Campbell (five votes)
Alec Waterman (three votes)