Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom has grown his lead atop the Gary Ayres Award leaderboard, following his 41 disposals and 13 marks against Richmond on Friday night, but interestingly, the coaches weren’t in agreement as to whether he was best on ground, awarding eight votes.
Mason Cox’s breakout performance was rewarded with seven votes from the coaches, while Taylor Adams also received seven for his 36 disposals.
In the other game over the weekend, West Coast’s Jack Redden received a perfect 10 following 31 disposals, 13 marks and nine tackles, while Jamie Cripps, Shannon Hurn and Josh Kennedy all received six votes.
It all comes down to Saturday to decide the winner, with Sidebottom holding firm with a six-vote lead over Jack Redden, with Taylor Adams out of the picture 11 votes votes adrift from Sidebottom.
Votes for the Gary Ayres Award are issued for every game of the final series by the competing coaches on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.
The award was introduced by the AFLCA for the 2016 season, with Josh Kennedy (2016) and Dustin Martin (2017) the only recipients, and is named in honour of one of the game’s great finals players.
Gary Ayres won five premierships with Hawthorn between 1983 and 1991, claiming the 1986 and 1988 Norm Smith medals in the process.
The AFL Coaches’ Association votes for the third week of finals (see every vote from all the rounds in 2018 at AFLCoaches.com.au):
Richmond V COLLINGWOOD
8 Sidebottom (Coll), 7 Adams (Coll), 7 Cox (Coll), 5 Grundy (Coll), 3 Riewoldt (Rich).
WEST COAST V MELBOURNE
10 Redden (WCE), 6 Cripps (WCE), 6 Hurn (WCE), 6 Kennedy (WCE), 1 Darling (WCE), 1 Lycett (WCE).
23 — STEELE SIDEBOTTOM (COLL)
17 — JACK REDDEN (WCE)
12 — TAYLOR ADAMS (COLL)
10 — DYLAN GRIMES (RICH)
10 — JACK VINEY (MELB)
10 — ELLIOT YEO (WCE)
9 — TOBY GREENE (GWS)
9 — TOM MCDONALD (MELB)
9 — SAM WEIDEMAN (MELB)
8 — PHIL DAVIS (GWS)
8 — JAMES HARMES (MELB)
8 — BRAYDEN MAYNARD (COLL)