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Unsung heroes — Round 16

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

Geelong: Jamaine Jones

He only had 10 touches but Jamaine Jones did what was required on Thursday night. Playing only his fourth AFL game, Jones recorded 11 tackles with his pressure around the contest setting the standard for a Geelong win.

Richmond: Callum Moore

If Callum Moore is to remain in the slick Tigers outfit in 2018, it will be on the back of performances like Friday night. To have an impact, he must hit the scoreboard and provide manic pressure and the 21-year-old kicked two goals from his 13 disposals as Richmond comfortably accounted for Adelaide by 47 points.

Brisbane: Josh Walker

The injury to Harris Andrews forced Josh Walker to try his hand in defence and he hasn’t looked out of place since. The former Cat collected 17 disposals, nine marks and six one-percenters as the Lions made it two in a row for the first time since 2015.

Port Adelaide: Justin Westhoff

It’s impossible to keep Justin Westhoff down for too long. His ability to impact contests around the ground is crucial to Port Adelaide’s success and he put in another good shift on Saturday afternoon against the St Kilda, finishing with two goals, 19 disposals, seven marks and five tackles as the Power took another step towards a top four finish.

Hawthorn: Jarryd Roughead

The Hawks needed a lift after half-time if they were to claim victory and they didn’t have to look further than their skipper. Jarryd Roughead kicked four second half goals as the Hawks piled on 12 goals to the Bulldogs two after the main break, with his athleticism around the contest back to its best.

Melbourne: Bayley Fritsch

The Demons have found one in Bayley Fritsch. The matured-aged draftee, still in his first season on an AFL list, has a wiry frame but that didn’t impact his game against the Dockers on Saturday. The 21-year-old collected 25 disposals, 14 of which were contested, as Melbourne got back onto the winners list.

North Melbourne: Majak Daw

There haven’t been many success stories better than Majak Daw’s in 2018. The athletic key position player has been swung into defence and his effectiveness was evident against the Suns, with the 27-year-old recording 13 touches, two contested marks and grew in confidence so much that he charged forward to kick two goals.

Collingwood: Taylor Adams

In what was a crucial clash for Collingwood’s top two aspirations and Essendon’s finals chances, a stirring fourth-quarter display from the Pies helped them to run over the top of the Bombers. And while Scott Pendlebury, Jordan De Goey and Brodie Grundy received all the plaudits, Taylor Adams’ grunt work and desperation did not go unnoticed. With Conor McKenna streaming through the middle of the ground during the last term, Adams desperately lunged to halt his process and skew the kick in what was a big moment. Later, he nailed Jake Long in a tackle and delivered an important goal to extend the margin to 17 points.

West Coast: Brayden Ainsowrth

In a close game, third-gamer Brayden Ainsworth didn’t look out of place. The 19-year-old collected 14 disposals, five inside 50s and kicked a goal to start the second term – his first at the elite level.