aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in round 10. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Brisbane- Mitch Robinson
The rugged Robinson is into his 13th AFL season, but on Friday night, he showed his attack on the ball — and opposition players — is as fierce as ever. Jarryd Lyons earned plaudits, while Hugh McCluggage continued his classy start to the season. But Robinson’s game-defining tackle on Dustin Martin demonstrated how important his role in this flag-contending Lions side is. For as long as Robinson is around, the Lions won’t be fended off easily.
Carlton- Nic Newman
Newman’s successful comeback from injury should not be overlooked. Having not played since round two, 2020, when he ruptured his patella tendon, Newman returned to the AFL stage last week and demonstrated his worth across half-back in the Blues’ win over Hawthorn with 21 disposals at 86 per cent, five marks and five tackles.
Geelong- Quinton Narkle
While Joel Selwood wound back the clock, Quinton Narkle played the most consistent game of his career as he stepped up in the absence of the injured Mitch Duncan and Cam Guthrie. Narkle gathered a career-high 34 disposals (15 contested) to go with six inside 50s and five clearances. The Cats’ youngster also brought some of his customary ‘sparkle’ in his side’s big win.
Adelaide- Shane McAdam
A brief look at the numbers would tell you McAdam was serviceable with a goal, nine touches and six tackles. But deeper analysis reveals four of those tackles were laid inside 50, and up against a tough-to-crack Demons defence, McAdam’s pressure was a vital ingredient of the Crows’ stunning upset win.
Western Bulldogs- Cody Weightman
The Bulldogs’ star-studded midfield did as they pleased in a thumping win over St Kilda, which allowed fifth-gamer Cody Weightman to fly under the radar. In only his second game for the season, Weightman kicked 2.2 from 12 kicks, took six marks, and sent the ball inside 50 on five occasions.
Fremantle- Lachie Schultz
Schultz is beginning to compile a breakout season, having played nine out of the opening 10 games of the season. The small forward was crucial in Fremantle’s thrilling win over the Swans, booting 2.3 from 13 kicks, taking eight marks and laying five tackles.
GWS Giants- Tom Green
It’s hard to believe he is only in his second season. Just 15 games into his career, Green has quietly become one of his team’s most important midfielders. In the Giants’ win over West Coast on Sunday, the 20-year-old had 27 disposals, seven marks, 12 score involvements and two goals.
Port Adelaide- Peter Ladhams
Kept out of the Power side earlier in the season, Ladhams recaptured his spot in the 22 after strong SANFL form and a suspension to Scott Lycett. The big man took it up to Brodie Grundy on Sunday afternoon, and while illustrating his athleticism, had 21 disposals and took nine marks, four of which were contested.
Essendon- Dyson Heppell
It’s rare that a captain’s efforts go unsung, but while the microscope focuses on free agent Zach Merrett, the breakout story of Darcy Parish and the rise of Andrew McGrath, Heppell is rediscovering his best form behind the scenes after a 2020 season which was marred by injury. Only two of Heppell’s 26 disposals on Sunday weren’t effective. He also took 11 marks and had five score involvements.