A best-on-ground performance from Richmond’s Dustin Martin headlines the nominations for the third and final week of the MVP of the Finals, presented by Drummond Golf.
Martin’s teammate Toby Nankervis and Geelong’s Sam Menegola are the other candidates in line for the weekly finals award.
He’s arguably the greatest finals player of this generation and on Friday night Martin’s dominance helped secure his team their third Grand Final appearance in four years. After Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley said during the week that no one player would target Martin, 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.
It was one of the more impressive individual final quarters this year, with Tigers ruck Nankervis a pillar in defense. 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.
Establishing himself as one of the best wingmen in the game, Menegola continues to fly under the radar each week. Against the Lions on Saturday night, he 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.
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 21 at 5pm AEDT.