Round six marks the second time in as many weeks there is a new leader of the 2018 Shadforth Financial Group AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award. Four players were given perfect tens for their performances while Tom Mitchell had yet another massive game and moved back back to the top of the leaderboard.
The Western Bulldogs were too good for a struggling Carlton side on Friday night where young guns Marcus Bontempelli (30 disposals and seven inside-50s) and Patrick Cripps (32 disposals, 24 contested) battled it out and were given nine and eight coaches’ votes respectively. Cripps moves into the top five on the leaderboard despite his team remaining winless this season.
Seven coaches’ votes in Hawthorn’s 35-point defeat of St Kilda in Launceston were all Tom Mitchell needed to put him back in the lead. Mitchell had the ball on a string, finding it an astounding 45 times. However, Isaac Smith was judged best afield by the coaches for his line-breaking performance. Smith finished the game with 24 disposals, four goals and ten coaches’ votes.
Wayne Milera played his best game for Adelaide as they took care of the Gold Coast Suns at home. Adelaide cruised to 48-point victory as Milera collected a career-high 33 disposals across the halfback line. Both coaches recognised Milera’s play and awarded him maximum votes.
The much-anticipated match up between rivals Richmond and Collingwood didn’t disappoint the 72,157 spectators at the MCG on Sunday. Richmond captain Trent Cotchin led from the front, standing up when his team needed him and collecting 29 hard earned disposals. After a tight first three quarters, Richmond broke the game open with eight final quarter goals. Cotchin received the maximum ten votes from the coaches, whilst Brownlow Medallist Dustin Martin (29 disposals and 10 inside 50s) received five votes and also made a move up the leaderboard.
Melbourne bounced back from a disappointing Anzac Eve performance with a galvanising victory over an inconsistent Essendon outfit. Max Gawn was at the centre of Melbourne’s dominance, earning another best on ground performance and polling ten coaches’ votes. Gawn was able to take advantage of some missed opportunities by Essendon as he won 42 hitouts and kicked two goals.
At the completion of round 6, Tom Mitchell (33 votes) has a narrow lead over Steele Sidebottom (31 votes). Max Gawn and Dustin Martin (29 votes), and Trent Cotchin, Patrick Cripps and Nat Fyfe (28 votes) are breathing down their necks.