The rookies are emerging, Community.
Alex Witherden was sensational in his fourth game with a delightful 109, while other mid-season picks like Hugh Greenwood and Luke Ryan continue to produce consistent output.
The performance of Dogs debutant Lewis Young, who had 8 intercept marks and 21 disposals in his 67 SC, was also exciting.
While it is promising to see these players putting their hands up, one can’t help but think they would have been more valuable presenting themselves earlier on in the season. Oh well.
Par was about 2300-2350 in what was a solid round by many coaches, headlined by the magnificence of Dangerfield and Ablett.
Shannon Hurn (165 SC) produced one of the best performances of his career on Sunday. His disposal efficiency was an elite 91% and 22 of his 34 touches were kicks. He also clunked 14 marks. Gary Ablett (159 SC) is staking a claim as SuperCoach’s best ever player after another monster outing on Saturday. He compiled 27 kicks, 14 handballs, 8 marks, 6 tackles and 11 clearances in a masterful display.
Chad Wingard (157 SC) and Brad Ebert (148 SC) were absolute dynamite for Port Adelaide during their rout of North Melbourne. The Chad had 30 disposals – 18 of them contested – as well as 3 goals, while Ebert extracted a massive 14 clearances from his 30 touches.
Hats off to Patrick Dangerfield (141 SC). After developing a foot injury late in the first quarter, the great man swung himself forward with devastating effect. He finished with 20 possessions, 12 marks and 5.6 in a match-winning performance.
Ben Cunnington (137 SC) has been in fine form in the past month, averaging 119 in his last four matches. Against Port he was workman-like playing as an inside mid, with 26 of his 33 possessions contested. He also had 11 clearances and 8 tackles. Tom Mitchell (136 SC)’s consistency is becoming ridiculous. His 43 disposal, 2-goal effort was the latest in a long list of supreme performances from Hawthorn’s star recruit in 2017.
Essendon’s Michael Hurley (133 SC) enjoyed one of his best games of the season with 27 possessions and 9 marks – all at a pristine 100% efficiency. Nat Fyfe (126 SC) continued his resurgence, while Bulldog pair Jack McRae (124 SC) and Marcus Bontempelli (120 SC) helped their side get across the line against Carlton.
50 hit outs helped Matthew Kruezer (120 SC) cement his position as the number 1 ruck option of 2017, while popular selections Rory Laird (121 SC) and Zach Merrett (120 SC) produced prolific performances, racking up 71 touches between them.
Other 120+ scores: Liam Duggan (129 SC), Shane Savage (125 SC), Trent Cotchin (123 SC), Steele Sidebottom (122 SC), Liam Shiels (121 SC), Connor Blakely (121 SC).
The magnificent one Dayne Zorko (55 SC) performed a magic trick on Sunday when he made himself disappear. Was barely sighted during Brisbane’s disappointing loss to Richmond and finished with just 11 disposals. And just what the hell is wrong with Tom Rockliff (57 SC)? He hasn’t been the same player since returning from a shoulder injury a month ago. He had just 14 possessions on Sunday. It was horrific. I’m still of the belief Rocky will come good, but those owners carrying him are having their patience tested.
St Kilda trio Jack Billings (66 SC), Seb Ross (64 SC) and Leigh Montagna (60 SC) were below their best against Essendon, as was North’s Todd Goldstein (62 SC) who had only 6 disposals. Tom McDonald (48 SC) came up against a good full back in Daniel Talia and struggled up forward while Dees teammate Max Gawn (57 SC) looked sluggish up in Darwin and went at only 36% efficiency.
Collingwood pair Scott Pendlebury (83 SC) and Brodie Grundy (77 SC) have been disappointing over the past month, while Suns duo Jarrod Harbrow (43 SC) and Tom Lynch (58 SC) had matches they would rather forget against the Pies.
Other popular selections including Luke Parker (84 SC), Toby Greene (83 SC), Zach Williams (82 SC), Robbie Gray (81 SC), Luke Dahlhaus (76 SC), Alex Rance (66 SC) and Nic Newman (63 SC) produced below-par performances.
Taylor Adams (125 SC) was back to his best with 31 disposals and 9 clearances for Collingwood, while Michael Hibberd (124 SC) bounced back from a 64 last week with a nice outing against Adelaide.
GWS ruckman Shane Mumford (120 SC) pumped out 2 goals, 9 tackles and 37 hit outs to register his first ton in 6 weeks, while Lance Franklin (118 SC) is on an upward trajectory after a quiet patch in the middle of the season. Buddy’s averaging 113.6 in the past 6 rounds.
Dylan Roberton (101 SC) and Dan Hannebery (105 SC) both hit triple figures after a recent poor run of form, while Mitch Wallis (110 SC) also bounced back after a string of disappointing performances. Joel Selwood (94 SC) is an absolute bargain this week. Priced at just $450K with a break even of 56, he looks to have recovered from his concussion issues and will be set for a big finish to the season.
Alex Witherden (109 SC) is a young star on the rise. He had 28 touches to handsomely reward his owners with a triple figure score. Collingwood’s Josh Thomas (96 SC) also had a decent game, while other popular selections including Hugh Greenwood (71 SC), Matt Scharenberg (70 SC) and Luke Ryan (69 SC) were all serviceable.
There were three debutants, with Bulldog Lewis Young (67 SC) looking the best of them. He took 9 marks and collected 21 disposals. Keep an eye on how the 117K FWD option goes in his second match this week. Other first-gamers Cameron Zurhaar (30 SC) and Josh Battle (8 SC) didn’t show much.
Four players are potentially on the bubble this week – Sam Simpson (54 SC), Ryan Nyhuis (48 SC), Daniel Nielson (42 SC) and Joe Atley (31 SC).
Rory Sloane (50 SC) is in doubt due to concussion after knocking his head on the ground in a tackle. He was tagged by Vince again and was having minimal impact before the incident in the third quarter. His output has severely dropped in the past month, so a trade needs to be considered.
Those still holding Jack Steele (59 SC) should be looking to offload him. He just doesn’t get enough of the ball to score well consistency and relies too much on tackles to boost his numbers.
Steven May (15 SC) sustained a hamstring injury and will most-likely be sidelined for a number of weeks, meaning a trade out may be necessary.