A best-on-ground performance from St Kilda ruckman Paddy Ryder has earned him the fans’ vote as the MVP of the Finals for week one.
Ryder was a clear standout in his side’s thrilling three-point victory over the Dogs, claiming 41 per cent of the vote ahead of Collingwood’s Brody Mihocek (36 per cent) and Brisbane’s Hugh McCluggage (23 per cent).
After 257 matches with Essendon, Port Adelaide and now the Saints, Ryder played in his first finals victory, amassing a game-high 20 hit-outs, to go with his nine disposals and two goals. It was an unfortunate ending for the veteran, sustaining a hamstring injury in the dying seconds of the Saints’ first finals series since 2011 which will rule him out for the rest of the season.
After a slower start than he would have hoped for, Collingwood forward Brody Mihocek stood up in the second-half to help his team over the line in a thrilling one-point victory. Mihocek collected 10 disposals and took four marks to go with his three majors, two of which came in a tense final quarter, as the Magpies secured a semi-final against the Cats.
McCluggage was also pivotal in the Lions’ first finals victory since 2009, collecting 20 touches, including six intercept possessions, seven score involvements and laying five tackles.
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 one – Paddy Ryder (St Kilda)