aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in Round 13. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Richmond – Josh Gibcus
It may only be his first year at the top level, but Josh Gibcus has rarely looked out of place or overawed by the big stage. Transitioning seamlessly from defence to the forward 50, it was Gibcus who restored Richmond’s lead when Port Adelaide had seized all momentum, ultimately leading to his side’s crucial 12-point victory.
Carlton – Lewis Young
18 disposals at 100 per cent efficiency headlined Lewis Young’s statline, as the Blues spoiled Essendon’s 150-year celebrations on Friday night. The former Dog is quietly establishing himself as a vital cog in Carlton’s defence and has stepped up to shoulder the load in the recent absence of the injured Jacob Weitering. When it looked like the Dons had recaptured momentum, it was Young who read it best to thwart multiple forward thrusts, with his 18 disposals accompanied by seven marks, 14 intercept possessions and ten one percenters.
Fremantle – Hayden Young
Big names and big performances have headlined the Dockers’ upward trajectory, allowing Hayden Young to fly under the radar with a career-best average of 22 disposals this season. He was vital again in Fremantle’s 13-point win over the Hawks, recording 31 touches (including 21 kicks), ten marks and 585 metres gained – career-best numbers in all fields.
Brisbane – Oscar McInerney
He may not have dominated the stat sheet, but Oscar McInerney was able to play a vital role for his side as the sole ruckman tasked with nullifying the influence of St Kilda star, Patrick Ryder. While the Saints claimed a slight edge in the hit-outs, the Lions ultimately won the clearance battle to run over the top of the Saints and claim a 21-point win. Darcy Fort came into the game late as the medical sub, but it was the ‘Big O’ who did most of the heavy lifting.
GWS Giants – Harry Himmelberg
The game was ultimately sealed in the first half for the Giants, who conceded just two North Melbourne goals on their way to a comprehensive victory. Tasked with a new role down back, Harry Himmelberg was monumental in his career-best 37-disposal performance, eclipsing his previous best by three-quarter time, and making his possessions count at 95 per cent efficiency. His impressive tally of disposals was accompanied by 16 marks, 11 intercept possessions and 697 metres gained.
Collingwood – Mason Cox
Credit where it’s due, Mason Cox can step up when it counts. Cox imposed himself on the contest in a monster third quarter when the game was on the line, taking three marks in defensive 50, booting a goal from a centre-square clearance and helping Jamie Elliott to another major just before the final break. The big American finished with 21 disposals, eight marks and a goal, to help the Pies topple the reigning premiers and record their fourth straight win.