Another impressive finals performance from Richmond’s Dustin Martin has earned him the fans’ vote as the MVP for the preliminary finals, presented by Drummond Golf.
Martin, who is earning a reputation as the AFL’s best finals player, secured the win with 38 per cent of the fan vote, edging out Geelong’s Sam Menegola (33 per cent) and his Tigers teammate Toby Nankervis (29 per cent).
After Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley said that no one player would target Martin in the lead-up to the game, the 29-year-old ran riot collecting 21 disposals and kicking two goals. While he didn’t set the stats sheet alight compared to some of his other games, Martin was dominant across the ground and out-bodied his opponent Darcy Byrne-Jones at a number of contests.
Continuing to establish himself as one of the best wingmen in the game, Menegola was influential around the ground gathering 19 touches and taking seven marks. But, it was his work in the forward-half that was more impressive with the Cats midfielder involving himself in a game-high 10 scores.
Richmond ruck Nankervis was a pillar in defense in the frantic final quarter of Friday night’s preliminary final. As Port Adelaide desperately bombed the ball into their forward-50 in the late stages of the game, Nankervis continued to push back and intercept everything that came his way. Nankervis finished the game with 13 touches, 67 per cent of which were in Richmond’s defensive half, a game-high 10 tackles – three more than the next best – and six intercept possessions.
The AFL Players’ Association MVP of the Finals is a new concept to recognise the best performers each week of the finals series. Fans will get the choice to select the MVP of the Week, after three names have been put forward by the AFLPA.
All fans who vote will go into the running to win a $200 Drummond Golf voucher. To vote, simply select the player you deem to be the MVP of the Finals for the week. Voting closes on Wednesday, October 7 at 5pm AEDT.
2020 MVP OF THE FINALS
Week three – Dustin Martin (Richmond)