Welcome to the weekly Brownlow Recap! This is how round 19 unfolded:
Hawthorn vs Sydney
The Hawks finals dreams remain alive with a narrow win over modern rivals Sydney. The Swans have come along way to make the eight, they can’t afford to fall asleep at the wheel now.
3. L. Shiels (Hawthorn)
Shiels played an important game through the midfield, but it was his clutch soccer goal that put him over the top for me. 28 disposals, 5 clearances, 7 inside 50s, and 2 goals.
2. J. Sicily (Hawthorn)
Sicily isn’t one of the most well-liked players going around at the moment, but there’s no denying his influence in games. 26 disposals, 14 marks, and 4 inside 50s.
1. L. Parker (Sydney)
Sydney’s best player on the night. Parker’s excellent second half of the season continued with 24 disposals, 9 clearances, 8 tackles, and 4 inside 50s.
No one’s votes are safe in this very evenly fought game. Ben McEvoy is an unlucky omission for his work in the ruck, as is Jarryd Roughead who did so much more around the ground than his 2 goals. Tom Mitchell came home strong but it’s hard to justify votes for him, so too Tom Papley (3 goals) for Sydney.
North Melbourne vs Melbourne
Melbourne have taken a tumble on the home stretch to finals, upset by the lowly Kangaroos. This is a jolt to the system, and potentially could decide where the Dees finish on the ladder this season.
3. C. Oliver (Melbourne)
Despite the loss, Oliver was still best on ground and was a beast at stoppages. 33 disposals, 12 clearances, 12 tackles, and a goal.
2. B. Brown (North Melbourne)
Brown lifted in his home state of Tasmania, proving to be too much for the Melbourne defence to handle in the air. 14 disposals, 8 marks, and 4 goals.
1. S. Higgins (North Melbourne)
Neck and neck with Brown for two votes, Higgins was North’s best midfielder with 28 disposals, 7 inside 50s, and a goal.
There aren’t many other contenders; the order is a tougher decision than the actual selection of players. Andrew Swallow (27 disposals) and Luke McDonald (21 disposals) are the best chances.
GWS vs Fremantle
Fremantle fought valiantly, but GWS were just too much of a challenge in their current phase of development. Is this enough to spark their finals tilt? Only time will tell.
3. N. Fyfe (Fremantle)
He’s back. Despite the loss, I felt that Fyfe was a class above everyone else, and it was his 5 contested marks that reminded everyone of how much of a freak he is. 31 disposals, 5 clearances, and 2 goals.
2. S. Coniglio (GWS)
GWS’ best in his return game, the Giants’ amazing midfield just got even deeper. 27 disposals, 9 clearances, and 6 tackles.
1. J. Kelly (GWS)
Kelly will be a big Brownlow chance in years to come, but for 2017 he’ll have to settle for a place in the top ten. 27 disposals, 6 clearances, and a goal.
Fyfe and Coniglio were the best two players on ground, but Kelly has some tough competition. Internally, Dylan Shiel (26 disposals) and Rory Lobb (2 goals) present threats, as well as Lachie Neale (30 disposals) from Fremantle.
Port Adelaide vs St Kilda
How about that finish? A coach’s dream (or nightmare depending on how you look at it). For the two players involved it proved to be the cherry on top.
3. R. Gray (Port Adelaide)
Gray has spent much of the season as a small forward carrying an injury, not so in this game. He was back excelling in the midfield, 27 disposals, 5 clearances, and the game winning goal.
2. P. Ryder (Port Adelaide)
Ryder might have cemented his All-Australian ruck position with his final play in this game. St. Kilda don’t pose the biggest ruck threat, but you still have to make them pay, and Ryder made them pay. 15 disposals, 45 hit outs, 8 clearances, and 5 inside 50’s.
1. J. Carlisle (St. Kilda)
Carlisle was brilliant in defence, swallowing up everything that came his way. 16 disposals, 8 marks (4 contested), 6 rebound 50’s, and 9 1%ers.
Luke Dunstan is very unlucky to miss out with 27 disposals and a goal. Seb Ross (31 disposals), Ollie Wines (23 disposals), and Jared Polec (30 disposals) are outside chances.
Gold Coast vs Richmond
Richmond got the job done against the injury-depleted Suns, I think both teams are ready for this season to end right now, albeit for different reasons.
3. D. Martin (Richmond)
The Brownlow is now his to lose. Another best on ground for the irrepressible Martin, 34 disposals, 7 clearances, 7 inside 50s, and a goal.
2. T. Cotchin (Richmond)
Cotchin is a familiar shadow slotting in for two, but Martin will be sweating on a lot of games this season that his shadow doesn’t start stealing votes from him. 25 disposals, 5 clearances, 5 inside 50’s, and a goal.
1. A. Hall (Gold Coast)
It’s hard to get a read on how good Hall actually is, and we may have to wait until he has a different coach, or a different team. He racked it up in this game as he is prone to doing once a month, 40 disposals, 8 marks, 6 tackles, and 10 inside 50s.
Martin and Cotchin can sit reasonably comfortably in this game, Hall on the other hand is under fire from Alex Rance. The All-Australian defender was stifling for the Tigers and could well poll, as could Brandon Ellis (27 disposals).
Carlton vs Geelong
The biggest talking point of the round. Patrick Dangerfield accepted a one match suspension for his tackle on Matthew Kreuzer, making him ineligible for the Brownlow Medal. Aside from that incident, Geelong had a field day and feasted on the young Blues.
3. T. Hawkins (Geelong)
This was Hawkins’ best game of the season, rotating through the Carlton defence and beating all of them. 27 disposals, 12 marks, 7 inside 50’s, 6 goals, and 3 goal assists.
2. M. Duncan (Geelong)
Often playing third fiddle to Dangerwood, Duncan took the midfield spotlight in this game. 28 disposals, 7 marks, 5 inside 50’s, and a goal.
1. S. Selwood (Geelong)
Scott Selwood did the job on Bryce Gibbs, limiting his influence on the game, while picking up 26 disposals of his own. A great effort and well worth the one vote.
Should the umpires disagree, there are a few viable options. Dangerfield had 23 disposals and 2 goals, but wasn’t at his normal standard. Zac Smith had 33 hit outs, helped greatly by Kreuzer’s absence post-concussion. And unlikely suspect Jordan Murdoch had a good game, 22 disposals and 3 goals.
Western Bulldogs vs Essendon
Essendon’s season hangs by a thread after losing a shootout with direct competition in the Western Bulldogs. After competing for the early parts of the game, The Bombers were blown away by some slick football in the final quarters.
3. M. Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
It was one of those games where Bontempelli decided his team was going to win and no one could do anything to stop him. A dominant last quarter punctuated his 23 disposals, 7 marks, 6 clearances, 5 inside 50’s, 2 goals, and 4 goal assists.
2. J. Daniher (Essendon)
Far and away Essendon’s best player, Daniher was sensational from the first bounce. 18 disposals, 11 marks (5 contested), and 6 goals. His 4 behinds stop him from pipping Bontempelli, but a great game nonetheless.
1. J. Johannisen (Western Bulldogs)
Tired of having his prize half back tagged, coach Luke Beveridge swung Johannisen forward to positive results. 18 disposals and 4 goals in an impressive display.
Shane Biggs (29 disposals) is a clear next-in-line to me and is unlucky to miss out. Jordan Roughead was also good for the Bulldogs and is probably ahead of Bomber hopefuls Darcy Parish (29 disposals) and David Zaharakis (32 disposals).
Collingwood vs Adelaide
It was an incredible comeback to salvage a draw for the Crows, and a great way to add leverage to your future contract if you’re Mitch McGovern. Nathan Buckley and Co will be kicking themselves after having led by 50 points.
3. D. Wells (Collingwood)
An easy best on ground, Wells had his best game in Collingwood colours. 34 disposals, 9 marks, 6 inside 50’s, and 3 goals.
2. T. Adams (Collingwood)
Adams had a great game in the midfield in the absence of Scott Pendlebury, what’s baffling however is his measly 65% game time. Despite setting up camp on the bench, Adams still managed 34 disposals, 8 clearances, 6 inside 50’s, and 3 goals.
1. M. McGovern (Adelaide)
It’s a line call, but surely kicking the match-saver is worth something. McGovern had 4 goals from 8 marks and looks a player beyond his years at times.
The man McGovern’s heroics force out is regular fourth wheel Steele Sidebottom (33 disposals). It hasn’t been the case recently but his run of votes comes to an end here. Adelaide’s next best chance is Matt Crouch (36 disposals).
West Coast vs Brisbane
Brisbane have caused a lot of teams trouble this season, however the trip to Perth was too much for them. The Eagles did what they do best, and romped home to an easy win.
3. J. Kennedy (West Coast)
Kennedy’s Coleman chances remain alive with 6 goals against the fledgling Brisbane defence. He also burned some chances with 4 behinds, but was still the most dominant player on ground.
2. D. Sheed (West Coast)
Eagles’ breakout player of 2017, Sheed had another great game against Brisbane. He finished with 29 disposals, 6 clearances, 8 inside 50’s, and 2 goals.
1. D. Beams (Brisbane)
It’s very hard to poll votes in a 70 point loss, but Dayne Beams cannot be ignored with his solo performance in the absence of Dayne Zorko. 41 disposals, 9 clearances, 6 tackles, and 4 inside 50’s.
Should the umpires decide to vote more conventionally then Luke Shuey (27 disposals) is a natural selection, having been electric through the middle.
32 Votes: Dustin Martin (Richmond)
28 Votes: Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
22 Votes: Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)
21 Votes: Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
20 Votes: Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn)
19 Votes: Zach Merrett (Essendon)
18 Votes: Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
The race is effectively over. With Patrick Dangerfield’s disqualification, Dustin Martin is on the verge of having an unassailable lead with only four rounds to go. Gary Ablett was a late withdrawal through injury, while Rory Sloane, Tom Mitchell, and Zach Merrett all received heavy attention from the opposition and failed to poll. Congratulations to Marcus Bontempelli on re-joining the leaderboard, while the top spot appears to be sewn up, the top 3, the top 5, the top 10, and the individual team races are still alive.
Next week! Merrett vs Gibbs and Murphy, Bontempelli vs Zorko and Beams, Ablett will probably not travel to take on Fyfe, Martin head to head with Mitchell, and Sloane will probably get tagged by Boak. The major players are jockeying for position with one month to go!
Who is leading your Brownlow votes? Is Dusty the only contender, or will a surprise contender emerge? Share your thoughts below.
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