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Unsung heroes — Round 19

Who played an underrated hand at your club in Round 19? We look at the performances that went under the radar.

Hawthorn: Kaiden Brand

Faced with footy’s biggest tasks, Kaiden Brand fully delivered against the Swans on Friday night. Brand held Lance Franklin to only 13 disposals at 38 per cent efficiency and one goal while collecting 18 touches and six marks himself. The 23-year-old has gown enormously with the added exposure in 2017.

North Melbourne: Aaron Mullett

Aaron Mullett has revived his AFL career and Round 19 was another example of his maturity as a player. Collecting 20 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency and six rebounds in blustery Hobart conditions, the 25-year-old is becoming more important as the club looks to its youth.

GWS: Rory Lobb

Criticised, like a lot of his teammates, in the last month, Rory Lobb’s game on Saturday was another step in the right direction. Two goals and four contested marks was another solid return in what was a must-win game for the Giants.

Port Adelaide: Darcy Byrne-Jones

Darcy Byrne-Jones is quickly establishing himself as one of the more reliable players in the back half for Port Adelaide and Saturday’s last-gasp victory over St Kilda was no different. The 21-year-old has played all 18 games for Ken Hinkley’s side this season and continued his solid form over the weekend with 15 disposals, seven intercept possessions and five tackles in difficult conditions. Alongside Jasper Pittard, Byrne-Jones provided plenty of run out of the back half for the home side.

Richmond: Anthony Miles

Returning to the senior side once more for the clash against Gold Coast, Anthony Miles went a long way to keeping his spot in Richmond’s best 22 at the pointy end of the season. The former Giant collected 23 touches and a game-high eight clearances and eight tackles as the Tigers continued their surge to September.

Geelong: Jordan Murdoch

Despite the pre-game drama of slicing his hand open as he cut an avocado on Saturday, Jordan Murdoch managed to produce his best performance of the season. As Tom Hawkins found his best form, the 25-year-old offered the Cats a secondary route to goal with three of his own as his side moved closer to securing their place in the top-four. The night only got better for Murdoch on an individual basis as he finished with a career-high 12 marks and season-high 22 disposals.

Western Bulldogs: Lukas Webb

A shoot out was on cards from the word go at Etihad Stadium on Sunday and Lukas Webb took his chances in the first term. In only his third AFL match in 2017, Webb capitilised on the free-flowing play to kick two of the Bulldogs’ first five majors and also finished the game with 12 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency.

Adelaide: Andy Otten

As the Crows stormed home to almost complete one of the comebacks of the season, Andy Otten found himself in a couple of handy positions. The tall swing-man kicked two fourth-term goals to go alongside his 16 touches  all of which were effective.

West Coast: Jack Redden

After a week of heavy criticism in media circles, the West Coast Eagles needed a response – and they produced exactly that. Jack Redden was one player to stand tall finishing the game with 27 disposals, at 77.8 per cent disposal efficiency to continue his solid form of recent weeks. The 26-year-old made his presence felt in the middle of the ground with six clearances and tackles.