Round 19 saw six players earn a perfect-10 votes from the coaches, with Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins, Carlton’s Patrick Cripps, North Melbourne’s Ben Cunnington, Port Adelaide’s Charlie Dixon and Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell standing out above the rest to secure top-billing for the week.
Max Gawn has seen his overall lead in the 2018 Shadforth Financial Group AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award trimmed to two votes, despite polling nine votes against the Adelaide Crows. With Cripps and Mitchell both polling a perfect-10 votes in round 19, they now share equal second spot, just two votes adrift from the Melbourne ruckman.
Grundy was simply sublime, continuing the form that sees him in the conversation for this year’s All-Australian team. The Collingwood big man dominated against Richmond, with his 48 hit-outs, 23 disposals and 10 tackles ensuring he took home a perfect score from the coaches.
Hawkins proved last week was no fluke, booting another seven goals against the Brisbane Lions to help his Cats to a 42-point victory. The star full forward added 22 disposals and 10 marks to his bag of goals, capping off a clearly best on ground display that has helped keep Geelong in the hunt for the finals.
Cripps was indomitable; dragging his Blues over the line for their second win of the season over the Gold Coast Suns. The Brownlow medal contender amassed 37 disposals, laid 11 tackles and kicked a goal to lead the way for Carlton after recommitting to the club for two more years earlier in the week.
Cunnington showed pure strength in the contest for North Melbourne, as his side upset the West Coast eagles by 40 points. The hard-nosed midfielder had 39 disposals (22 contested), laid 10 tackles and kicked an important third-quarter goal to help keep his side in the hunt for a place in September.
Dixon epitomized the term ‘power forward’ for Port Adelaide, playing the role of talisman in the Power’s 44-point win over the Western Bulldogs. Dixon finished with 14 disposals and five marks to add to his bag of five goals in a win that put his side into the top four at the end of round 19.
Mitchell had another day out, further stamping his Brownlow medal credentials with a superb performance in Hawthorn’s 59-point victory over Fremantle. The talented ball magnet had 42 disposals, nine marks, eight inside 50s and kicked two goals in yet another midfield master class from the star Hawk.