aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in week one of the finals. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Port Adelaide – Willem Drew
Drew has been an important contributor for Port Adelaide throughout the season. While Ollie Wines and Travis Boak look to hunt the ball, Drew’s role is to be primarily defensive and raise the pressure on the opposition’s best midfielders. The hard-at-it midfielder did that effectively against Geelong, spending time on Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield. Drew had 12 disposals, but laid a game-high 11 tackles (four more than anyone else on the ground).
GWS Giants – Zach Sproule
Sproule has returned to the GWS Giants’ side late in the season and is playing a pivotal role in Leon Cameron’s side. Shane Mumford spends a large part of the game in the ruck, but the Giants also have to be careful about managing his minutes throughout a full finals campaign. So Sproule acts as the back-up when Mumford’s not in there and he can also push forward and kick a goal, the most notable one coming with a bomb from outside 50 at the start of the third term.
Melbourne – Trent Rivers
In a backline with All-Australian stars Jake Lever and Steven May, Melbourne’s Trent Rivers has been flying under the radar. The 20-year-old continued his stellar season which earned him 22Under22 selection, collecting 17 disposals, 11 intercept possessions, and four marks. It was an impressive first finals outing and one that would have left Melbourne fans impressed with their 2019 draft haul.
Western Bulldogs – Mitch Hannan
Mitch Hannan is fast becoming an important figure in the Bulldogs’ dynamic forward-line. In difficult conditions against Essendon, the 27-year-old had an equal game-high seven score involvements to go with his 15 touches, four tackles and two goals.