aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in Round 16. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Brisbane – Keidean Coleman
With Daniel Rich sidelined early in the match, the Lions were down a distributor across half-back. Keidean Coleman was equal to the task. The young defender finished with 24 disposals and a team-high 552m gained at 83 per cent efficiency, causing issues for the Bulldogs with his precision execution and level-headed decision making.
St Kilda – Tim Membrey
In a game which featured Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Max King, you’d be forgiven for overlooking Tim Membrey as a candidate for the night’s leading goal-kicker. However, it was St Kilda’s vice-captain who stood tallest, booting four goals from his 10 disposals to snap the Saints’ three game losing streak. While the Blues were wasteful in front of the big sticks, Membrey made each of his opportunities count, proving lethal in front of goal to steer the Saints to a 15-point victory.
Essendon – Nick Hind
The Bombers turned the tables on the Swans, recovering from a 26-point deficit to claim their fourth win of the season. Nick Hind was at his electric best, notching 25 disposals (including 20 kicks), eight score involvements and his season-best 682 metres gained. A running goal put an exclamation point on his own individual performance and the result, with the ball sailing through with 45 seconds on the clock to put the margin beyond Sydney’s grasp.
Melbourne – Jake Lever
Glancing at the inside 50 stat line in the Dees’ clash with the Crows, you may have expected a tighter affair on the scoreboard. However, the Demon defence were able to run rampant, with Jake Lever leading the way with 14 intercept possessions. Melbourne controlled the airways and turned defence into attack, with Lever’s 17 disposals going at one hundred per cent efficiency.
Geelong – Quinton Narkle
There was no shortage of contributors in the Cats’ clinical performance against the Kangaroos, with the result never really in doubt. Quinton Narkle produced his best scoreboard return for the season, with two goals coming from his 11 disposals. It was a matter of reward for effort for the young forward, whose creativity, run and spread continues to be important for the Cats.
Collingwood – Nick Daicos
Nick Daicos may just find himself earning the plaudits he deserves when this year’s Rising Star is announced, but the impact the Collingwood father-son recruit is having can’t be understated. The 19-year-old tallied an enormous 37 disposals, rarely going awry, at 87 per cent efficiency. He loaded the stat sheet with seven contested possessions, six intercept possessions, seven score involvements and a game-high 674 metres gained. In a game decided by less than a kick, Daicos was cool, calm and collected in the big moments with composure and confidence which belies his 15 games of experience.
Richmond – Daniel Rioli
As each week goes by, Daniel Rioli looks more and more comfortable at the elite level. In the Tigers’ 35-point win over the Eagles, Rioli again took his game to new heights with a career-best 28 disposals, alongside nine score involvements, 565 metres gained and a goal. Never afraid to put his body on the line and with silky disposal with ball in hand, Rioli provided a steady head when the game was on the line for the Tigers.
GWS Giants – Callum Brown
In just his fourth game (two of which were as an unused medical substitute), late inclusion Callum Brown proved the difference for the Giants in their hard-fought 22-point win over the Hawks in the wet. The 21-year-old Irishman booted four goals from 13 disposals, along with seven contested possessions, seven score involvements and six tackles, in what could be a glimpse to the future for the Giants.
Fremantle – Andrew Brayshaw
Andrew Brayshaw boasted an impressive stat sheet in Fremantle’s close-call win over Port Adelaide but perhaps most notable was his game-high 11 tackles. The most important a crucial run-down tackle on Jeremy Finlayson which set up a goal to Lachie Schultz that gave the Dockers some breathing room in the dying stages of the eight-point win.