The average winning margin across round nine was 50 points with a number of teams displaying their dominance. Jack Darling was huge for West Coast in their dismantling of Richmond, earning the ten votes and moving into the top five on the leaderboard. Melbourne recorded their largest win in 25 years with their thrashing of Carlton, with medium forward Jake Melksham awarded ten votes. Whilst four other players were given perfect tens by the coaches in the race for the Shadforth Financial 2018 AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award.
In his 100th game for the club Eddie Betts proved there is still a place for wet weather specialists as the Crows defeated the Dogs by 37 points. Betts, who earned ten coaches votes, was the difference on Friday night kicking four miraculous goals. Paul Seedsman (22 disposals and six inside-50s) continued his excellent start to 2018 collecting seven coaches’ votes.
The key forward combination of Jarrad Waite and Ben Brown was telling for North Melbourne against GWS, as they improved their winning record at Blundstone Arena. Waite kicked three of his four goals in the opening quarter, earning nine coaches votes, whilst Brown kicked all five of his goals in the third quarter, earning eight votes. Fellow big man, Todd Goldstein (17 disposals, 39 hit-outs), also had his best game for the season, earning five votes.
Sam Powell-Pepper (26 disposals and two goals) starred for Port Adelaide in Shanghai despite his interrupted start to the season. Powell-Pepper earned nine coaches votes in his sides 40-point victory over an injury-riddled Gold Coast. Port skipper, Travis Boak (28 disposals, seven clearances), also put on a show for the local Chinese crowd and was subsequently awarded the Shanghai medal for best afield and six coaches votes.
After a tough week for the club Essendon rallied to produce a season-defining victory over Geelong. Cale Hooker (21 disposals and eleven marks) was at the forefront of Essendon’s success, marking everything in defence and controlling play for his side. Hooker was given the maximum votes from both coaches, whilst Shaun McKernan earned eight votes for his four-goal effort.
Jordan De Goey’s career-best six-goal haul was enough for both coaches to recognise his brilliance on Saturday night. The Collingwood young gun once again showed he is one of the more devastating medium forwards in the competition, earning ten coaches votes for his effort against the Saints.
Despite recent woes Sydney owned the SCG on Saturday night, thrashing Fremantle by 59-points. Jake Lloyd and Jarrad McVeigh featured prominently in defence for Sydney, collecting 72 possessions and 21 marks between them. The coaches couldn’t split the pair, giving them nine votes apiece.
Contributors were everywhere for the Demons as they thrashed Carlton by 109 points at the MCG on Sunday. However, in their largest recorded victory in the last 25 years, it was Jake Melksham who got the ten coaches votes. Melksham had his best game for the club, kicking five goals to go along with his 21 disposals.
Brisbane finally got on the board for the 2018 season, taking the four points for their surprise victory over Hawthorn at the Gabba. Former number three draft pick, Hugh McCluggage, showed promising signs for Lions fans with a best on ground performance. McCluggage was awarded nine coaches votes as he collected 27 smooth disposals.
The Eagles dismantled the reigning premiers in the West on the back of an unstoppable performance from Jack Darling. Six goals and seven contested marks was enough for Darling to claim maximum ten coaches votes in his sides 47-point thrashing of the Tigers. In the middle of the ground, Elliot Yeo won a crucial 29 disposals and laid six tackles on his way to eight votes.
On the leaderboard, the main mover of the round was Jack Darling who dashed into equal second spot. Despite going voteless Nat Fyfe was able to hold onto top position on 48 votes, six votes clear of Max Gawn and Darling on 42 votes.