Team of the Week – Round 23

Defenders

Grant Birchall (Hawthorn) – Birchall was one of the best on ground against West Coast on Friday night. Not just for his defensive efforts but also for his ability to win possession and drive the ball forward. He finished with 29 disposals, 5 rebound 50’s and 5 inside 50’s.

Harry Taylor (Geelong) – Taylor effectively shut direct opponent Adam Goodes out of the game. He was also able to involve himself in the play with 21 possessions and 14 marks. He’s been a regular feature in the team of the week this year.

Scott Thompson (North Melbourne) – Not so long ago it would be hard to imagine how key defenders would be racking up 39 disposals in a game whilst still fulfilling their defensive duties. But that’s what Thompson achieved against GWS, as well as a number of other game-high stats including 13 marks and 139 Dream Team points.

Robert Murphy (Western Bulldogs) – One of the few Dogs to have had a good year, Murphy finished off the season with a quality game. He showed his usual dash and creativity off half back and almost kicked a goal of the year contender that was cut short on the line. He finished with 25 touches, a game high 7 rebound 50’s and 107 Dream Team points.

Bachar Houli  (Richmond) – Houli played a great game off half back, chopping off Port’s attacks and showing a safe pair of hands on a number of occasions. His 26 possessions were delivered with class and the Tigers will be hoping he can play more games like that next year.

Jason Gram (St Kilda) – Gram’s long kicking, including a couple of torps was a real feature in the Saints win against the Blues. He finished with 26 touches and enjoyed moving up the ground with 5 inside 50’s and 2 goals.

Midfielders

Aaron Sandilands (Fremantle) – Sandilands proved that he and Jon Griffen can co-exist in the same side, and Griffen will be happy about that! Sandilands’ 34 hitouts translated into Fremantle’s dominance in the clearances and he also floated forward dangerously to finish with 2 goals. Too big.

Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn) – Mitchell capped off yet another great home and away season with 28 possessions and 5 clearances and an overall commanding midfield performance that should earn him either 2 or 3 Brownlow votes.

Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) – In the potential ‘Brownlow battle’ at AAMI Stadium on Saturday, Dangerfield emerged the victor. He played another amazing game with 36 possessions and two first quarter goals, setting up a comfortable victory over the Suns to help deliver the Crows a home final in week 1. It will be interesting to see how the Swans deal with him.

Daniel Rich (Brisbane) – Rich saved his best performance for the last round of the season. His special left foot was on fire. He used it to either hit up J. Brown on the lead or unleash a 60 metre goal. He finished with 25 possessions and 4 goals.

Brock Mc Clean (Carlton) – Mc Clean’s great second half of the season continued in Round 23. He amassed 39 disposals and an amazing 11 clearances, despite having 5 free kicks against. He also kicked a goal and had 156 Dream Team points. Hard to believe how quickly his career has turned around.

David Mundy (Fremantle) – Mundy beat up on on a hapless Melbourne outfit with 31 disposals, 9 clearances and a goal. He seems to be getting some of his class back at the right time of year.

Forwards

Travis Cloke (Collingwood) – Not sure what it was, maybe either Dawes being out of the side, something to do with his contract, or some poor defence from the Bombers, but either way Cloke got his mojo back! It was a dominant performance by the big man. He finished with 16 marks (including 7 contested), 5 goals and 147 Dream Team points.

Lance Franklin (Hawthorn) – Although he wasn’t prominent after quarter time, the magnitude of Franklin’s four goal first quarter was enough to break the game open and give the Hawks a lead that couldn’t be caught.

Jack Riewoldt (Richmond) – The only thing the Tigers could earn from their game was a Coleman medal and Jack duly delivered. Not only did his 6 goals give him a clear win of the medal but many of them came at crucial times in the context of the match and he clearly had the better of his opponent Carlisle.

Paul Chapman (Geelong) – How many great games has Chappy played at the Cattery over the years? Add this one to the pile. He played a lively half forward role and finished with 3 goals and 17 possessions, as well as a few goal assists. He also caused a reshuffle of the Sydney defence when Richards was moved onto him, clearly causing a match up headache for Longmire.

Jonathon Brown (Brisbane) – Brown was on the end of some particularly good work in the Lions midfield. He took 6 marks inside 50 and kicked 5 goals. He once again proved he is a great set shot.

Jarrad Waite (Carlton) – Waite only had 14 disposals but most of them were high quality. He was a great forward target, taking 4 contested marks and kicking 5 goals straight. The Blues need him in the side for a full season.

Bench

Joel Selwood (Geelong) – Selwood tuned up for September action with a dominant and tough midfield performance. He had 27 possessions, 9 clearances and another bandage on his head. He’s got that September look on his face.

Ian Callinan (Adelaide) – Callinan’s game epitomised the role of an annoying small forward. He applied forward pressure, had 17 sneaky touches and kicked 4 goals.

Toby Greene (GWS) – The “real” rising star shone in the last game of his brilliant debut season. He had 38 touches, 1 goal and 113 dream team points. He was the Giants’ best player.

Substitute

Kieran Harper (North Melbourne) – Replacing Hansen in the second quarter, Harper proved that he should have been in the starting side. It was one of the better 6 possession games you will see, with 4 goals and 100% disposal efficiency.

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