Jack Darling’s 'junk time' goals for the West Coast Eagles are disguising how bad his form really is, but will the club finally pull…
The bye rounds are over but more great performances went under the radar over the weekend and we here at underrated HQ continuously look over the weekend’s games and find the performances that went over the heads of commentary teams and social media sites.
Brisbane: Lincoln McCarthy
The former Cat is having a career-best season in 2021 and is keeping on keeping on, having a terrific outing out in Hobart.
The 27-year-old had a baker’s dozen disposals but with 11 of them being contested, he was more than happy to get his hands dirty. What will make Chris Fagan happy is the seven score involvements, five tackles and three inside-50s for the crafty half-forward but the two goals as well was extremely pleasing, including his one in the last which was the first nail in North’s coffin.
Carlton: Matthew Kennedy
We love a fringe player here at underrated HQ, especially when one stands up, and Kennedy’s out of contract at the end of the year and with potentially his career on the line, he had a good game.
No Blue had more than his 27 disposals, he went at 70 per cent efficiency, came equal second in marks with eight, nine of his touches were contested, had nine inside-50s, had five clearances, laid four tackles and was the Blues’ best. It was just too bad Channel Seven focused on Sam Walsh getting tagged.
Essendon: Darcy Parish
Hear me out here, I beg of you. Darcy Parish has had an incredible year and I have him in the top three for the Brownlow. What was most pleasing about this performance was the commentary team thought he was good but down on his form, whereas Parish proved he doesn’t need 40 touches to be utterly damaging.
Instead, he had 24 touches at 79 per cent efficiency, ten contested possessions, eight score involvements, eight inside-50s, six clearances, three marks and kicked a vital goal. This man is a star.
Geelong: Cameron Guthrie
Guthrie for the first ten weeks especially was having an all-time career season, getting the footy at will, being a bull and making a Geelong midfield that has been a bit of a merry-go-round somewhat steady. He’s one of the hottest free agents but it was performances like Friday night’s that showed his true worth, consistency.
Without a lot of fanfare or fuss, he picked up 22 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency, laid five tackles, had five intercept possessions, had 29 pressure acts and was a key cog in a very tight Cats victory.
Gold Coast: Wil Powell
The boy from Claremont is having an underrated year in a poor one up at the Gold Coast and on Saturday afternoon, put in another strong performance in yet another poor performance by the Suns overall.
He picked up 20 touches at an insane 85 per cent efficiency, had eight contested, took nine marks (two contested), had five rebound-50s and can hold his head up.
GWS: Matt De Boer
He tagged Sam Walsh for three quarters, Patrick Cripps in the last, was a half-forward, tackling machine and centre-square specialist. No one put on their Swiss army knife costume quite like the former Docker.
His night read 16 disposals (six contested), 75 per cent efficiency, a dozen (yes, 12) tackles, five marks, four inside-50s and three score involvements. Walsh only had the four clearances and Cripps three so it was a huge tick from MDB.
Hawthorn: Blake Hardwick
Yes, there’s a touch of bias here because Dimma is a personal favourite but on a day where the Dons put inside-50 on inside-50 on the Hawks and Hardwick was a key cog in stopping many an Essendon thrust.
He had 21 disposals (17 kicks) at 85 per cent efficiency, took half-a-dozen marks and had the same number of rebound-50s, he laid a couple of tackles and was the only Hawks defender who could halt Jake Stringer.
North Melbourne: Cameron Zurhaar
I’ve called on him to do more in the past but credit where it’s due, his touches were more than valuable on Saturday and his Shinboner spirit was on display.
Ten touches for the ‘Zu’ but 2.2, five score involvements, four contested possessions, laid three tackles and had three inside-50s. Would I still love more touches? Sure but with what he had, he made them count.
Port Adelaide: Miles Bergman
In a win like that, you can throw a stone and hit half-a-dozen players who could’ve fit the mould; Karl Amon, Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jarrod Lienert, Tom Jonas (who had 18 touches at 100 per cent efficiency) and many others but the ever-improving Bergman gets the nod.
The 19-year-old had 23 touches at 95 per cent efficiency (seven contested), took seven marks, laid six tackles, four score involvements, had a couple of inside-50s and came alive in a big win.
Western Bulldogs: Bailey Williams
Williams is one of those players who inspired this whole segment. He’s a player who continuously wins his position and makes terrific footy decisions but the media and the commentary teams focus elsewhere. However, ask any Dogs fan and they’re extremely grateful the 23-year-old is at the Kennel.
On Friday night, especially when the Cats were grabbing some momentum in the second and third quarters, Williams was putting in one-percenters and spoils, disturbing the forward thrusts. He finished with 24 disposals, six score involvements, six marks, six rebound-50s, five contested possessions and three inside-50s in a very good performance.