This season’s highest-scoring player – Jack Macrae – is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a hamstring complaint.
Those who own Macrae now face a tough decision – keep or trade? Most will be trading with the likes of Clayton Oliver and Josh Kelly looming as attractive options.
The second round of bye presented yet another challenging round for many coaches, with those scoring around the 1800-1900 mark performing well.
Fremantle pair Lachie Neale (159 SC) and Nat Fyfe (154 SC) were both enormous for the Dockers on Saturday. The pair kicked five goals and shared 27 contested possessions between them.
Ollie Wines (157 SC) had a night out on Thursday finishing with 35 disposals, 13 contested possessions, seven tackles and six clearances. Teammate Robbie Grey (121 SC) also joined in on the action with 28 touches, three goals and 14 contested possessions. Marcus Bontempelli (129 SC) was the Bulldogs’ best player in the same match, finishing with two goals, 16 contested possessions and 10 clearances
Elliott Yeo (144 SC) was arguably best on ground on Friday night with 29 possessions -13 of them contested –and two goals , while opponent Jake Lloyd (122 SC) continued his rich run of form with 28 disposals at 92% efficiency.
Hawthorn’s midfield ace Tom Mitchell (136 SC) had another 40-possession game, while defender Kade Simpson (123 SC) impressed for the Blues with 32 disposals.
Other significant scores: Rhys Stanley (149 SC), Seb Ross (136 SC), Jade Gresham (131 SC), Jake Carlisle (130 SC), Heath Grundy (127 SC), Luke Bruest (124 SC), Jack Gunston (123 SC), Jake Kelly (121 SC).
Port captain Travis Boak (64 SC) has been a popular inclusion in many forward lines but a disposal efficiency rate of just 47% hurt his score. The erratic season of Luke Parker (79 SC) continues, dishing out a poor score after registering two tons in his previous two matches.
Andrew Gaff (74 SC) was tagged by Dan Hannebery of all people and had his output limited, while Geelong defender Zach Tuohy (68 SC) was quiet against the Tigers.
Port Adelaide pair Tom Rockliff (127 SC) and Paddy Ryder (125 SC) have been underdone in their return from injuries but both showed they may have turned the corner this week. Rockliff had 25 disposals, six tackles and kicked three goals while Ryder finished with 41 hit outs and a goal.
Those who kept the faith and held Jack Billings (99 SC) were rewarded with his best performance since Round 1. Sam Jacobs (126 SC) has endured a substandard season but hit some nice form on Saturday night.
Ed Richards (99 SC), Hunter Clark (98 SC), Nick Holman (84 SC) and Ben Ronke (80 SC) were the best scoring rookies of the round.
On the bubble: Josh Battle (64 SC).
First gamers: Ryan Garthwaite (71 SC), Patrick Wilson (34 SC), Jarrad Brander (25 SC).
Jackson McRae (51 SC) will miss three to four weeks with a hamstring issue. Unless you think there’s a chance he may return earlier, it’s probably worth giving him the flick. Teammate Toby McLean (52 SC) is also under a cloud but should only miss one week at the most.
Popular defensive option Jimmy Webster (13 SC) succumbed to a groin injury and looks set for a stint on the sidelines, while the time has come to trade one of the year’s best rookies, Tom Doedee (59 SC), who has the bye this week.