The Roar
The Roar


The crucial cogs of AFL's Round 6: Which players need to be the difference makers?

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Roar Guru
17th April, 2024

There’s no disputing that the AFL competition is tough and season 2024 is no different. Coming into Round 6 there are two teams left undefeated, while at the other end of the ladder two teams haven’t won a game.

Melbourne and Richmond have the bye this round, therefore we will be taking a look at the other 16 teams and their respective players who will need to make a difference to get their side over the line.

St Kilda v Western Bulldogs

St Kilda

Mitch Owens has so much potential to be a key part of the St Kilda forward line. The 20-year-old has scope for improvement and should bring belief into the game against Western Bulldogs, having kicked multiple goals for the first time this season against GWS in Round 5.

Western Bulldogs

Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore.

Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Marcus Bontempelli will have to be at his best, as Tom Liberatore won’t be playing against St Kilda due to concussion. The Western Bulldogs skipper will be stung after being soundly beaten by Essendon midfielder Sam Durham, who restricted Bontempelli to just five disposals in the second half of Round 5.


Adelaide v Essendon


Sam Berry was the hero for Adelaide against Carlton in Round 5 as the sub kicked what proved to be the winning goal. It could be a season-defining win for Adelaide, which should give Berry plenty of belief; the midfielder had nine disposals and four score involvements in just 21 per cent of game time. It will be intriguing what role Berry plays against Essendon in Round 6, given he was so good playing the sub role.


Andrew McGrath has grown into his role as vice-captain this season. The defender could play a key part as to whether Essendon win the game against Adelaide, given he may have to negate the influence of Izak Rankine and Josh Rachele at times.

Collingwood v Port Adelaide



Josh Daicos is the reigning Collingwood best and fairest winner and was an All-Australian in season 2023. The winger could play a crucial role in what will be a tough test for Collingwood against Port Adelaide, but Daicos should be up for the challenge; he’s a valuable player for the Pies and should prove why in a tantalising contest.

Port Adelaide

Connor Rozee has justified Port Adelaides’ decision to make him captain; he has been a revelation in that role, having taken to it like a duck to water. There’s no disputing that he is in good form having polled 24 coaches’ votes. In Round 5 against Fremantle, Rozee set up what proved to be the winning goal kicked by Jason Horne-Francis and will need that sort of poise against Collingwood.

Carlton v GWS



Nic Newman should step up in the absence of Adam Saad and Mitch McGovern. There’s a chance that Newman could get the unenviable job of curtailing the influence of Toby Greene. Carlton needs the former Sydney defender to show leadership in the absence of two of their most important defenders.


Harry Himmelberg will have to cover for the loss of Sam Taylor, through concussion, up against a potent Carlton forward line comprising of Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow. In Round 5, the Giants key defender had the equal most intercept possessions, with nine, when GWS defeated St Kilda by a point.

Brisbane v Geelong


Harris Andrews will need to have a good day at the office, as he will be up against arguably the best forward line in the competition when Brisbane takes on Geelong. The 27-year-old played a key role against Melbourne in Round 5 and will need to take that form into the clash with a Geelong team comprising of key forwards Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron.



Tom Stewart has been in sublime form, as he has averaged the second most intercepts of any player in the AFL at nearly eleven per game. There’s no disputing that the Geelong vice-captain will face a tough task up against a forward line comprising of Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher, but I’m sure Stewart will be up for the challenge.

West Coast v Fremantle

West Coast

Tom Barrass may get the unpleasant task of trying to quell the influence of Jye Amiss, who has kicked ten goals in the opening five games of the season and kicked at least one goal per game. Along with that, Barrass could be matched up on Josh Treacy at times and will need to take the pressure off of Jeremy McGovern.



Michael Walters needs to lift as he isn’t having the impact on games that a player of his experience should be having. The 33-year-old looks to be past his best and must improve on what he dished up in his past two games, with an aggregate of 12 disposals and one goal, when Fremantle play the Western Derby. Walters must recapture the form he displayed in Round 3 against Adelaide when he kicked two goals and had 21 disposals and eight score involvements.

Sydney v Gold Coast


Errol Gulden has just extended his contract at Sydney until the end of 2028, which should mean the young prospect plays at his best, given he won’t have any distractions. The 21-year-old will prove hard for the Gold Coast to negate, given his running power, decision making and execution are exemplary.

Gold Coast

Noah Anderson is having a great season having polled 19 coaches’ votes. It’s a big game for Gold Coast when they take on Sydney and could be a season-defining game for them, where Anderson will go up against Isaac Heeney and Chad Warner. The Gold Coast vice-captain will need to have an impact on the contest, for his team to claim the four points; the midfield battle could be key to who wins the game.


North Melbourne v Hawthorn

North Melbourne

Luke Davies-Uniacke needs to tidy up his ball use and start hitting targets, given the North Melbourne midfielder is butchering the footy; if the 24-year-old can fix that it will go a long way to North Melbourne winning the game.


James Sicily must rally the troops and help Hawthorn to bounce back from a very poor performance in Round 5 against Gold Coast. It won’t be easy for Sicily as North Melbourne have Nick Larkey, who is one of the best key forwards in the game.