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Unsung Heroes — Round 12

Each week, looks at the players who flew under the radar in their team’s victory.

Port Adelaide: Darcy Byrne-Jones

It was pivotal for Port Adelaide to make a statement on Friday night while facing Richmond without Dustin Martin. Darcy Byrne-Jones wasn’t always clean, but his ability to take the game on, and run the other way without the ball was crucial to their success. He kicked the footy 19 times and finished with seven marks and six tackles.

Geelong: Jordan Cunico

When North Melbourne made a push late in the third term, someone from the Cats needed to stand up. As the last quarter began and the Kangaroos cut the margin to 10 points, Jordan Cunico pounced and kicked a massive goal to stem the tide. He finished the contest with 26 disposals.

GWS: Lachie Whitfield

There were a number of contributors for the Giants against the Suns in their comfortable 108-point win. Lachie Whitfield has been receiving attention from opposition stoppers in recent weeks, but was released from the shackles on Saturday, gathering 36 touches at 80 per cent efficiency.

Sydney: Zak Jones

The Saints were blown away in the opening minutes against the Swans. One of their key contributors was Zak Jones, who ran relentlessly off half-back as Sydney went in for the kill. He kicked a late goal in the first quarter to bury St Kilda.

Essendon: Andrew McGrath

The Bombers have managed to stay alive in the last month, winning three out of their last four. It was a simple message on Sunday, win and remain in the hunt for the finals. Second-year veteran Andy McGrath stood up under the pressure, collecting 22 disposals at 86 per cent efficiency.

Fremantle: Luke Ryan

The Dockers defence needed to stand up in Round 12 and Luke Ryan played an underrated hand. With teammate Joel Hamling having a colossal influence, Ryan collected 23 disposals, at 87 per cent efficiency, nine marks, eight redounds and six tackles as the Dockers won a close encounter.

Collingwood: Brody Mihocek

It wasn’t the greatest day for second-gamer Brody Mihocek but he stepped up when he was needed most. As the three-quarter time siren sounded, Mihocek had the ball in his hands from a set shot, lent back and drilled it to put the Magpies up by 30 points and the result almost beyond doubt.