Team of the Week: Round 20

Trent Cotchin was again outstanding on the weekend.

Backs:

Andrew Mackie (GEEL) – Despite a couple of kicks that went astray, Mackie was fantastic. His defensive work and effort very nearly got Geelong over the line.

Daniel Talia (ADEL) – How do you stop the most in form forward in the AFL? Put a rising star on him, apparently. If you said he held Pavlich to two goals to an average fan it might not seem special, but say it to someone who has been paying attention and it suddenly seems amazing. As his coach Sanderson said, “give him the rising star”.

Heath Scotland (CARL) – Another powerful performance by the veteran. As Carlton resurge he is often overlooked, but his 32 disposals and 11 marks were important.

Half backs:

Grant Birchall (HAW) – Another fantastic performance. His 32 disposal, 12 mark performance at amazing efficiency basically has him as a lock for an All-Australian spot.

Ben Reid (COLL) – Completely shut out Adam Goodes for much of the game while consistenly plugging holes. A vital cog in the Pies win and one of his best games of the year.

Shannon Hurn (WCE) – One of the best kicks in the AFL didn’t let stats disprove his performance on Friday night. Absolutely nailed the clutch kicks and was a force out of the back line. 55 Dream Team points simply doesn’t make sense for this kind of performance.

Centre:

Patrick Dangerfield (ADEL) – An absolute star. Will make a strong charge for All-Australian after his 34 touch, 8 tackle game. Kicked one of the goals of the year after a miskick by a team-mate, drilling it from 60 metres out.

Dayne Beams (COLL) – Having an unbelievable year. When the commentators were talking about Sydney’s chances to kick the clutch goal at the end he comfortably shut them up by snatching the ball and booting a goal himself. 34 touches, 3 goals and no doubt 3 Brownlow votes. A champion in the making.

Josh P Kennedy (SYD) – Has been up and down a bit this year but put his critics to rest with his game against Collingwood. An amazing 40 touches and a goal along with his tenacity and hardness very nearly pulled the Swans over the line.

Half-forwards:

Brent Harvey (NMEL) – Evergreen. Is there a better word for this bloke? Somehow pulled three goals out when the game was on the line and racked up the touches in a huge game against the Bombers.

Beau Wilkes (STK) – The oft rejected, oft unloved key position player showed his worth on Saturday. In a scrappy performance by the Saints he booted five and showed his strength.

Sam Blease (MELB) – It was a week for the unloved goalsneaks and Blease got in on the action. He’s barely played a season but showed his ability with five goals, including an amazing snap, to be one of the Demons’ highlights.

Forwards:

Paul Puopolo (HAW) – He’s been in the bad books for his ‘Jackie Chan’ kick against Geelong, but comfortably made up for it with his performance against Port. His chance ability to get five goals out of seemingly nowhere is exactly what you want from a small forward.

Jack Riewoldt (RICH) – He’s been threatening, and complaining, but he proved against the Dogs. Five goals, which could have been more, is a great performance for the former Coleman winner.

Shane Edwards (RICH) – Edwards has re-invented himself up forward in 2012 after being a delisting candidate and thanked the Richmond fans on Sunday. He kicked 4 goals and racked up 22 touches in a showing that would have had black and yellow fans smiling.

Ruck/Rovers:

Dean Cox (WCE) – Outstanding, yet again. Was amazing up forward, better in the ruck and more sparkly than Nic Naitanui.

Trent Cotchin (RICH) – Is there a better young player in the AFL? Some of the things he did against the Dogs were unbelievable. From his contested work to a beautiful steal from a kick-in up forward, he did it all. You couldn’t ask for more than 35 great touches and 3 goals.

Jobe Watson (ESS) – Faded slightly in the second half but still starred. Earned himself another Brownlow vote or two in a defeat with 32 touches, 7 tackles and a goal.

Interchange:

Matthew Wright (ADEL) – Where did this bloke come from? Looks to be a future star for the Crows. 37 touches and two goals from a flank is an outstanding peformance, let alone from a guy who’s played less than 50 games.

Sam Wright (NMEL) – Fantastic against the Dons. Like his team-mate Gibson, often overlooked but worthy. 32 touches, 12 marks and a handy goal was a great return.

Will Hoskin-Elliot (GWS) – Has been threatening and came through against the Suns. He kicked 5 and took a spectacular mark over team-mate Tom Scully. Often runs through the midfield and can seemingly play anywhere.

Sub:

Claye Beams (BRIS) – Overlooked performance. The Lions look cooked for 2012 but Beams, yet again, gave them a bit of happiness. Kicked the highest score of his team in a quarter and was strong through the midfield. Looking like he could easily be as good as his brother.

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