With things beginning to take shape after another enthralling weekend of footy, AFLPlayers.com.au highlights those that played an underrated hand in their side’s victories.
Collingwood: Josh Thomas
The positive comeback from suspension continues for Josh Thomas, who kicked two goals and collected 20 disposals to build on his five majors against the Blues last week. After signing a one-year extension at the end of 2017, the Queenslander is set for a lucrative extension.
GWS: Nick Haynes
Nick Haynes’ importance to the Giants was on display on Saturday against the Dockers. The Dandenong Stingrays product gathered 29 disposals, and took a game-high 15 marks, helping to repel a number of Fremantle attacks in difficult conditions in Canberra.
Richmond: Kane Lambert:
In what a was dismal day for the Brisbane Lions, Kane Lambert’s work ethic and execution stood out for the dominant Tigers. The hard-working half-forward went at 95 per cent disposal efficiency, to go with two goals and 24 touches in the thumping 93-point win.
Sydney: Dane Rampe
The Saturday twilight clash proved to be the most enthralling of the round, with the Swans pulling away by seven points at Etihad Stadium. The dour defender took eight marks, collected 24 disposals and went at 91 per cent disposal efficiency.
North Melbourne: Scott Thompson
In such a dominant display, it was hard to select one unsung hero for the Roos. Scott Thompson was a constant foil for the Blues, mopping up in defence with 15 marks and 25 disposals in the 86-point victory.
West Coast: Shannon Hurn
The skipper was at his skillful best on Saturday night, kicking the footy 17 times and only turning it over once. After four rounds, the Eagles have surprised the competition, winning three games by a total of 146 points.
Essendon: Devon Smith
It’s hard to believe Devon Smith only had 17 disposals because his impact seemed greater than that. With 11 tackles and four inside 50s, the former Giant is one the hardest working Dons and is rarely seen putting in anything less than 100 per cent. Alongside Josh Green and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Smith could accomplish great things in 2018.
Hawthorn: David Mirra
With Demon big man Jesse Hogan collecting 16 disposals while James Frawley battled a migraine in the first half, the Hawks needed a change and it came through a mature first-gamer. David Mirra, the former Box Hill skipper, was resolute in defence, collecting 18 disposals, six rebounds and 12 one-percenters as the Hawks conceded just one goal after quarter-time.
Geelong: Jordan Cunico
After one game in his first three years, Jordan Cunico’s development was perhaps worrying the Cats. But he made a significant step forward in front of a home crowd against the Saints in Round 4. The 21-year-old’s first outing in 2018 returned 21 disposals, five inside 50s and two goals as the Cats were never troubled by an out of form St Kilda.