aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in Round 14. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Richmond – Kane Lambert
The hard-running Tiger has faced a challenging season with a hip injury limiting him to just six games so far in 2022. Despite ongoing management, Lambert looked to be moving far more freely against the Blues on Thursday night after starting as the medical sub last week. Lambert, who is so important to the way the Tigers play, gathered 23 disposals in what was his best return for the season as he builds into the second half of the year.
Essendon – Jye Caldwell
A gaping hole was left in Essendon’s midfield when the injured Darcy Parish came from the side, but what was left was an opportunity which was seized with two hands by Jye Caldwell. Caldwell put together arguably his best performance in the sash, with his increased inside minutes translating to an equal-career high 23 disposals, five clearances and seven tackles – playing a key hand in Essendon returning to the winner’s list for the first time since Round 8.
Port Adelaide – Todd Marshall
Just as Port Adelaide have turned their season around, so has key forward Todd Marshall. Marshall’s past month of football has been headlined by ten goals – four of those coming in the Power’s crucial win over the Swans on Saturday. The 23-year-old is reliable with ball in hand when in front of the big sticks – boasting a return of 27.7 this season.
Geelong – Tyson Stengle
More often than not this season, when Tyson Stengle fires, the Cats take home the four points. Stengle has been quietly building out a breakout campaign, having kicked three or more goals on seven occasions thus far. He contributed another three in the Cats’ win over the Eagles, alongside eight score involvements – a vital contribution in a tighter than expected tussle.
Western Bulldogs – Cody Weightman
Cody Weightman’s five-goal first half may have been impressive, but it was his ability to play through injury in the second half which earned him even greater plaudits. Weightman landed heavily in the third term, with the fall resulting in a dislocated elbow – an injury which many expected to sideline the forward dynamo for the remainder of the game. However, after having the joint strapped, Weightman bravely returned to the field and ran out the game. He didn’t add any further to his tally, but his presence, dash and pressure were vital to the Bulldogs’ ability to continue piling on the goals in their 20-point victory.
Gold Coast – Izak Rankine
It’s been a mighty month for Gold Coast’s Izak Rankine, who has played a leading hand in steering the Suns’ season back on track. Rankine booted another three goals against the Crows, finishing with 17 disposals, 11 score involvements and two assists. His forward craft and silky skills were on full display in the comprehensive victory, his ability to not only hit the scoreboard himself but bring his teammates into the fold proving the difference.