Collingwood’s devastating duo, Brodie Grundy and Steele Sidebottom, both scored 9 votes and were at their scintillating best helping the Pies get their second win for the year against the Crows. Grundy’s performance against last year’s AFL hit-outs leader, Sam Jacobs, improved his case for the crown of the competition’s best ruckman. The development shown by Grundy in 2018 goes far beyond just his ruck work, demonstrated by his 33 disposals of which 23 were contested. Grundy was not alone in his hunt to win the football as Sidebottom also collected a career high 43 disposals (26 contested).
Liam Shiels gathered 31 disposals and 14 tackles as he demonstrated his two-way play and led a dominant Hawthorn midfield group in their convincing 67-point win over a disappointing Demons outfit. Shiels took over from Tom Mitchell collecting the maximum ten votes from the coaches.
On a windy day at UNSW Canberra Oval the Giants made up for a disappointing result against the Swans last week. The Giants overcame a nine-point quarter time deficit as they powered on seven goals to Fremantle’s two in the second quarter. Medium-sized defender Nick Haynes played a large role in the Giants 31-point victory and was subsequently granted maximum votes from the coaches. Haynes was impressive overhead across the half backline, taking 12 intercept marks in his round high 15 marks.
In Hobart the Kangaroos had their largest win of the young season, defeating a troubled Carlton side by 86 point. Hometown hero Ben Brown proved again why he is considered one of the competitions premier power forwards. Brown kicked five majors and took eight marks including a game high three contested marks. The coaches awarded Brown his second ‘best on ground’ performance of the year seeing him move up the leaderboard of both the Shadforth Financial Group AFL Champion Player of the Year award and the Coleman medal.
Last season’s Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin set a new career high with six goals. This included an impressive snap on the run in the closing minutes of the last quarter which improved Richmond’s lead to 93 points over the inexperienced Lions. He was given best on ground recognition from the coaches, earning nine votes and moving him to fifth on the Shadforth Financial Group Champion Player of the Year leaderboard.
The final ‘ten’ for the round came from Geelong young gun Brandan Parfitt. Parfitt had career-high’s in disposals, contested possessions and score involvements (28, 16 and 14 respectively), as well as three goals for the Cats.
Despite some valiant efforts across the round Tom Mitchell (26 votes) still holds a tight lead in the 2018 Shadforth Financial Group AFLCA Champion Player of the Year award. The race is heating up as some players are starting to hit their straps with a few games under their belts. Rounding out the top five is Collingwood duo Sidebottom (24 votes) and Grundy (23 votes), as well as Adelaide defender Rory Laird (23 votes) and Richmond Gun Dustin Martin (22 votes).