Welcome to the weekly Brownlow Recap! This is how round 20 unfolded:
Geelong vs Sydney
It was the Cats’ biggest loss at home for a long time and Joel Selwood is out for the rest of the season, not the form they were looking for heading into finals. The loss to Sydney comes at a bad time as well, with the Richmond fixture looming as a make or break one for the Cats.
3. L. Parker (Sydney)
Another three votes for Parker, and he’s well and truly in Brownlow form through the last month and is one to watch next season. 23 disposals, 8 clearances, 13 tackles, and a goal.
2. M. Duncan (Geelong)
With Dangerfield on the sidelines and Selwood injured mid-game, Duncan shouldered the bulk of the workload for Geelong and was a constant presence through the middle. 32 disposals, 9 marks, 6 tackles, and 2 goal assists.
1. D. Hannebery (Sydney)
It’s been a roller-coaster year for Hannebery and he’ll be desperate for some consistency in 2018. It was a solid game from him this week though, 21 disposals, 4 clearances, and 2 goals.
I don’t really see anyone else breaking into the votes this game, although Duncan and Hannebery could well swap places in the eyes of the umpires. The next closest player I see is Jarrad McVeigh (21 disposals).
GWS vs Melbourne
There were many doubters pre-game given GWS’ depleted forward line. Onfield however, they showed no sign of weakness and are shaping up for finals nicely. Whether they will be at their competitive best in September is another question.
3. J. Kelly (GWS)
It was a dominant performance that we’ve slowly grown accustomed to seeing, Kelly is the next big thing and will get plenty of airtime on Brownlow night. 27 disposals, nine tackles, five inside 50’s, and three goals.
2. S. Coniglio (GWS)
His second game back was nearly as good as his first, 28 disposals, nine clearances, six tackles, four inside 50’s, and a goal. Cameron must be loving having his steely midfielder back.
1. C. Ward (GWS)
Another good game in what’s been a good year for Ward. 29 disposals, nine clearances, four inside 50’s, and a goal.
Much like the previous game, the three players are near certainties to poll, and the only question mark is over Coniglio and Ward’s positioning. Melbourne’s best was Max Gawn (52 hit outs), but he really doesn’t have a chance.
Essendon vs Carlton
With 15 minutes to go it looked like Carlton would claim the Bombers scalps for a second time in 2017. Late Bomber heroics saved the day though and their finals chances stay alive for another week. In other news, Zach Merrett is officially out of the Brownlow race, after accepting a one match ban for striking.
3. D. Heppell (Essendon)
The best game of the season for Heppell after a year spent out of the game. 34 disposals, 10 marks, six clearances, six tackles, four inside 50’s, and a goal.
2. A. McDonald-Tipungwuti (Essendon)
He’s more of an impact player, operating in short bursts, but in this game his burst proved to be the match-winning difference. A sensational last quarter gets McDonald-Tipungwuti his first votes of the season, he finished with 16 disposals, five tackles, and three goals.
1. L. Jones (Carlton)
The remarkable reinvention of Liam Jones continued as he was dominant in defence for much of the day. Joe Daniher was held to 3 goals while Jones picked up 14 disposals, eight marks (five contested), and eight 1%ers.
There are a few other contenders that could cause an upset in the polling this game. For Carlton, Matthew Kreuzer (38 hit outs) was dominant in the ruck after his concussion last week, and Bryce Gibbs (29 disposals) and Marc Murphy (32 disposals) both got it done in the midfield. For Essendon, David Zaharakis (33 disposals) is a big chance for a vote, and Cale Hooker (two goals) is an outside chance to feature despite his inaccuracy.
Brisbane vs Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs snuck past a spirited Brisbane, but with a hamstring injury to Easton Wood their premiership defence hangs by a thread.
3. M. Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
Back to back best on grounds for Bontempelli, although his inaccuracy in front of goals could cost him. 23 disposals, seven marks, six clearances, five inside 50’s, and 2.4.
2. J. Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
Another good game for Macrae, arguably a career-best season now. 32 disposals, 11 marks, six clearances, eight inside 50’s, and three goal assists. Could contest for three votes here.
1. D. Rich (Brisbane)
Brisbane’s best player on the night, Rich played his typical game out of defence and was damaging on the rebound. 24 disposals, seven marks, eight rebound 50’s, two goals.
Toby McLean (28 disposals, one goal) is the odd man out here and could well take Rich’s vote off him.
North Melbourne vs Collingwood
It was a one-sided affair with all the talk out of the game revolving around Grundy’s tackle. There were also some familiar names getting it done and are sure to feature for the Collingwood on Brownlow night.
3. T. Adams (Collingwood)
Taylor Adams has been good all year, but in the last few weeks he’s had more scoreboard impact and it puts him over the top for me. 30 disposals, eight clearances, nine tackles, five inside 50’s, and two goals.
2. A. Treloar (Collingwood)
A very close second is Adam Treloar. 34 disposals, four rebound 50’s, five inside 50’s, one goal, and three goal assists. Could go either way with these two.
1. J. Ziebell (North Melbourne)
Ziebell battled through a rib injury to be North’s best player by a mile. 22 disposals, seven marks, four inside 50’s, and five goals (of the team’s total of seven).
Once again these are undoubtedly your three best players in the game although the order on Brownlow night remains to be seen.
Fremantle vs Gold Coast
The game that proved to be the final straw for Rodney Eade’s tenure at the Suns. Fremantle got the job done and will be eagerly awaiting season 2018.
3. L. Neale (Fremantle)
A great game from Neale as Fremantle’s internal race heats up. 32 disposals, nine marks, 11 clearances, 10 tackles, four inside 50’s, and a goal.
2. N. Fyfe (Fremantle)
Fyfe’s resurgence continued here for two votes with a possibility of three. 29 disposals, 10 marks, five clearances, and six inside 50’s.
1. L. Ryan (Fremantle)
Ryan has had big shoes to fill across half back in the absence of Connor Blakely, however he’s taken up the role seamlessly. 28 disposals, 16 marks, and five rebound 50’s.
There are a few contenders coming after Ryan’s vote, Neale and Fyfe are relatively safe. Brad Hill (33 disposals) and Stephen Hill (27 disposals) were both great, as was Pearce Hanley (24 disposals) and Gary Ablett (33 disposals) for Gold Coast.
St. Kilda vs West Coast
It was an 8-point game in the race for finals, and despite their best efforts to leave the door open for the Eagles, St. Kilda emerged victorious.
3. J. Steele (St. Kilda)
Jack Steele’s best game in his young career. 26 disposals, 10 clearances, 12 tackles, and two goals. Very crucial and instrumental for the Saints in a tight game.
2. J. Billings (St. Kilda)
Another good game for Billings in his breakout season. It will be pleasing for Saints fans that their two best players were two of their youngest. 25 disposals, seven marks, four inside 50’s, two goals, and five goal assists. Also iced the game with a clutch goal in the games final minutes.
1. J. Kennedy (West Coast)
Kennedy has been dominant since his return from injury and another five goals in this game puts him right back in the Coleman race. Kennedy’s five came with 14 disposals and 7 marks.
The unlucky 4th wheel in this game is Blake Acres. He had 30 disposals and a goal and could well knock someone out of the votes.
Richmond vs Hawthorn
Richmond put any doubts about their top 4 credentials to rest with a dominant display over dangerous Hawthorn, and it was their new recruits that got the job done.
3. J. Caddy (Richmond)
Caddy’s best game in Richmond colours in what’s been a rocky first season. 28 disposals, nine marks, six inside 50’s, and four goals.
2. D. Prestia (Richmond)
For Prestia too it was his best game in Richmond colours after a rocky start. 31 disposals, seven clearances, four inside 50’s, and a goal.
1. D. Martin (Richmond)
Martin spent more time in the forward line this game but remained as damaging as ever. 32 disposals, six clearances, six inside 50’s, and two goals. Each passing week, he inches closer to his first Brownlow.
Josh Caddy is the only lock for this game as there were quite a few good performances. Kane Lambert (30 disposals) was efficient through the middle, and Alex Rance (nine 1%ers) was reliable as ever down back. On Hawthorn’s side Tom Mitchell (35 disposals) racked it up, as did James Sicily (29 disposals).
Adelaide vs Port Adelaide
This was one of the ugliest beat downs you’ll ever see. Port Adelaide were an abomination and have well and truly have earned their pretenders tag. On the flip side, Adelaide have rediscoverd their ominous early-season form.
3. S. Jacobs (Adelaide)
Jacobs won his third Showdown medal with a dominant display over the in-form Paddy Ryder. 12 disposals, 42 hit outs, and two goals.
2. R. Sloane (Adelaide)
Despite the attempted tag from Travis Boak, Sloane bobbed up consistently at contests around the ground. 30 disposals, nine clearances, seven tackles, 10 inside 50’s, and a goal.
1. E. Betts (Adelaide)
The real star of the show. Betts was at his magical best, with 16 disposals, six marks, and four goals. Had his fall-away shot at goal not been touched by Hamish Hartlett, he could have had two goal-of-the-year entries in the same game.
Adelaide are always the hardest team every week and this was no exception. Here we go, Brad Crouch (29 disposals), Matt Crouch (34 disposals), Taylor Walker (three goals), Josh Jenkins (four goals), Hugh Greenwood (13 tackles), and Tom Lynch (29 disposals) are not only all chances to poll, some of them could get two or three!
33 Votes: Dustin Martin (Richmond)
28 Votes: Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
23 Votes: Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
22 Votes: Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)
21 Votes: Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
20 Votes: Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn)
19 Votes: Zach Merrett (Essendon)
18 Votes: Josh Kelly (GWS)
Rory Sloane did his best to close the gap, but it’s too little too late. With three rounds remaining Dustin Martin’s lead is now unassailable by my count. Marcus Bontempelli continued his late charge for the podium, and Josh Kelly re-joins the leaderboard on the back of a dominant performance.
Next week! Its Bontempelli vs Kelly on Friday Night Football, Dangerfield vs Martin down in Geelong, and Merrett vs Sloane at Etihad. Gary Ablett will try and cash in against Brisbane, and Tom Mitchell will try the same against North Melbourne. 3 weeks to go!
Can anyone catch Dusty, or is it now as good as over? Who ranks where in your Brownlow count? Share your thoughts below.
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