As the final two teams were decided in what were two whitewash Preliminary Finals, AFLPlayers.com.au have found those who played an underrated hand from the penultimate weekend of footy.
Adelaide: Kyle Hartigan
Kyle Hartigan is one of the more underrated defenders in the competition, and he proved yet again to be too good for the Geelong forward group on Friday night. Sharing the Tom Hawkins task with Daniel Talia at various stages, Hawkins collected only eight disposals, three marks and one goal as the Crows stormed to their first Grand Final in 19 years.
Geelong: Mitch Duncan
In what was a rough night for the Cats, Mitch Duncan never stopped trying. The 26-year-old collected 25 touches, six marks, four clearances and kicked a goal as his side was on the outer from the moment the ball was bounced at Adelaide Oval.
Richmond: Jason Castagna
When the game was hot early, Jason Castagna came to play. The 21-year-old was everywhere, bobbing up at opportune times to collect 18 touches and kicking a goal as the Tigers erupted on Saturday afternoon. While he turned the ball over a few times — as is the caper of playing as a small forward — Castagna’s liveliness and pressure in the forward half of the ground was crucial to the weekend’s play.
GWS: Adam Tomlinson
It couldn’t have gotten any harder for the Giants’ defenders on Saturday afternoon but Adam Tomlinson can hold his head high. The 24-year-old collected 26 touches, seven marks and five tackles across half-back and was also in the top fiver players on the ground for distance covered at high speed. The athletic Tomlinson was arguably the club’s best alongside skipper Callan Ward.