As the 2019 AFL season continued over the weekend, AFLPlayers.com.au discovered the players that played an underrated hand from the second weekend of footy. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the unsung heroes.
Collingwood: Chris Mayne
In a match filled with dominant individual displays, it was hard to narrow down one unsung hero but Chris Mayne’s work through the middle and on the wing exemplified Collingwood’s uncontested game plan. The much-maligned midfielder played his best game for Collingwood and finished with 33 disposals, 11 marks, eight score involvements and a goal.
Adelaide: Josh Jenkins
When Sam Jacobs left the field in the third quarter to have his knee assessed, Adelaide required someone to step in and match Sydney’s Callum Sinclair in the ruck. Enter Josh Jenkins. The key forward took two crucial contested marks before Jacobs returned late in the quarter. Jenkins finished the game with six marks, five score involvements and two goals in a well-rounded performance.
St Kilda: Jack Sinclair
Jack Sinclair’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but his impact in St Kilda’s upset win over Essendon was notable. He finished with 13 disposals (10 contested), laid nine tackles and kicked the all-important first goal of the last quarter after out-marking David Zaharakis deep in the Saints’ forward line. His clean hands and decision making also shone brightly in what was a scrappy affair.
Port Adelaide: Scott Lycett
When West Coast Eagles premiership ruck Scott Lycett joined the Power at the end of last season questions were asked about how he would perform alongside Paddy Ryder. In his first two games with the Power, Lycett has stepped up and none more so than against Carlton. Lycett was best-on-ground in Port Adelaide’s 16-point win over the Blues collecting 25 disposals, including 17 contested, 34 hitouts and 10 clearances.
Geelong: Tom Hawkins
It has to be Tom Hawkins, doesn’t it? Not just for his two goals, but for his incredibly unselfish act that led to Jordan Clark’s first goal in his career. The key forward also finished with 16 disposals, had 11 score involvements and three goal assists.
West Coast: Tom Cole
Tom Cole’s rise last season was rapid, fast becoming one of the Eagles’ most reliable contributors in defence, and he came up with another stellar performance on Saturday night. The 21-year-old gathered 18 possessions and went at 94 percent efficiency to go along with nine marks and five score involvements.
Brisbane: Charlie Cameron
Oh, how the Brisbane Lions missed Charlie Cameron in 2018. After his first season in Queensland was cut short due to injury, Cameron is back and firing in 2019. After a Tom Campbell goal cut the margin back to two points late in the last quarter, a cool and calm Cameron slotted his third goal to give the Lions some breathing room. Cameron finished the day with four goals as Brisbane start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2010.
Western Bulldogs: Hayden Crozier
Midway through the final term, it was hard to see the Dogs getting the four points, but their stirring comeback over Hawthorn was one to savour. Hayden Crozier played an important role across half-back, intercepting and using the ball efficiently, finishing with 22 disposals as the Bulldogs improved to 2-0.
Gold Coast: Sam Collins
A come-from-behind victory for the Gold Coast Suns was full of clutch moments but the unsung hero was none other than Sam Collins. As Fremantle bombed the ball inside 50 for one final attempt at victory with less than two minutes remaining on the clock, former Docker Sam Collins leapt through the air to clunk a crucial intercept mark. Collins’ heroics sealed the win and gave the Suns their first win of the season.