In what was a thoroughly enthralling ANZAC Day round of footy members of the impressive Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs and Collingwood outfits deservedly headline the Fiasco Sports team of the week.
Starting off in the back pockets are Collingwood’s Nathan Brown and Sydney’s Nick Smith who both played excellent defensive games not only holding off their direct opponents, but repelling opposition attacks.
Joining his teammate Brown in the line-up is fellow ANZAC clash victor Jack Frost, who was similarly a pillar in the Pies defence and a focal point in withstanding the Essendon onslaught of the second quarter to eventually outlast and break down the Dons.
For the other key-post defender spot, the Bulldogs’ Michael Talia cannot be overlooked with his role essential in his sides drumming of the Adelaide Crows, holding the in-form Taylor Walker to just one goal and nine disposals.
Rounding out the defensive end is West Coast flanker Sam Butler who was excellent in his sides win over Brisbane with two goals and 28 disposals (19 kicks), along with Port Adelaide star Hamish Hartlett, who took up the slack left by missing guns Robbie Gray and Ollie Wines, breaking opposition lines on the way to 22 disposals and a goal.
Moving on to the middle of the ground, Collingwood’s Paul Seedsman was an immediate selection with his ANZAC medal winning performance of 31 disposals, with 25 kicks and a goal a standout from the weekend.
The other ANZAC medallist from the night-time thriller between the Power and Hawks, Port Skipper Travis Boak was another automatic selection with his bullocking performance of 30 touches and 8 clearances a key factor in his sides win.
In that very same nail-biter at the Adelaide Oval, Hawthorn’s Jordan Lewis was fighting to keep his side in the contest and eventually led their comeback with a game-high 36 touches – earning him selection in the rounds best.
In the attacking 50 where all the glory is given there were some excellent performances over the weekend, but none better than the Western Bulldogs Jake Stringer who looked unstoppable against the Crows booting 6 goals and running rings around an off-song Adelaide defence.
Stringer’s teammate Luke Dalhaus was similarly damaging booting a goal, but it was his tackle pressure and ability to find the ball (27 disposals) that probably made him the small-forward of the round.
Earlier in the weekend on Friday night, Melbourne’s first year rookie Aaron Vandenberg took the game by the scruff of the neck with a goal, 20 touches and an incredible 12 tackles to earn himself a spot in the team of the week and most importantly lead the Dees to the win.
In the same game, but for the losers, Richmond’s Shane Edwards fought valiantly and if it wasn’t for his two goals and 24 touches the Toothless tigers could have went down harder.
As for the last small-forward position, it’s hard to look past North Melbourne’s Robin Nahas who played really well for the Kangas snaring three goals while also applying strong amounts of offensive pressure – everyone loves a goal sneak, don’t they?
Completing the forward-line is Power Spearhead Jay Schultz who returned to form over the weekend booting five straight and exploiting the undersized and undermanned Hawks defence.
Games are often won and lost at stoppages and with North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein having won 41 hit-outs, 21 disposals and 8 clearances it’s easy to see how his side topped Geelong.
It also helps to have gun rovers, Fremantle can attest to that with their current Golden Boy Nat Fyfe continuing his stellar start to the season with his 27 touches, 8 clearances and 6 tackles essential in taking them over the line against Sydney.
Not to be out-done, GWS superstar Dylan Shiel put together his own match-winning performance when his side belted the Gold Coast, turning in an ultra-impressive 39 disposals, 6 clearances and a goal.
Other strong performers over the weekend fill up the numbers on the bench, like the Carlton duo of Patrick Cripps and skipper Marc Murphy who both accumulated over 30 touches to steer the Blues to their first win of the season.
GWS youngster and relative unknown, Cameron McCarthy also scored a selection with his 5 goals and emphatic dominance over the Gold Coast defenders a sure fire brightener to any footy lover.
Finally, Essendon’s Dyson Heppel managed to sneak his way into the team with his class, ability to find the footy (35 disposals) and make space a highlight in the ugly arm-wrestle that the ANZAC Day clash turned into.
Written by Juan Estepa @EstepaJ