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Unsung heroes — Round 21

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

Essendon: Kyle Langford

Essendon’s resurgence in the second half of the season has coincided with Kyle Langford’s return to form. The 22-year-old appeared to be severely hurt in the first half on Friday night, but bounced back to help the Bombers to victory, finishing with two goals, 22 disposals, 12 score involvements, seven marks and six tackles.

Hawthorn: Jonathon Ceglar

He only touched the footy nine times but Jonathon Ceglar’s impact in the Hawks’ big victory against the Cats shouldn’t be understated. With no Ben McEvoy and Jarryd Roughead a late withdrawal, Ceglar played a hand up forward and in the ruck, collecting 23 hit-outs, five contested marks and kicking a goal. He also had a big say in the contest that sealed it for the Hawks.

Richmond: Shane Edwards

He’s often proclaimed as the most underrated Tiger in a star-studded Richmond line-up and Shane Edwards showed why against the Suns. Edwards recorded 21 touches, 17 of which were contested, four clearances, seven one-percenters and kicking a goal as Damien Hardwick’s men ran all over Gold Coast at Metricon.

West Coast: Scott Lycett

Much has been made of Scott Lycett’s contract status, but that did little to deter him in his home state on Saturday. Shouldering the load in Naitanui’s absence, Lycett gathered 19 possessions, won 40 hit-outs and finished with five clearances as the Eagles came from the clouds to beat the Power.

Collingwood: Brayden Sier

It’s hard to believe Brayden Sier has played just six games of senior football for Collingwood. The 20-year-old Northern Knights product had the ball on a string on Saturday night, collecting 27 disposals (13 contested), nine inside 50s, eight score involvements and five clearances.

GWS: Nick Haynes

In a side that boasts so many top draft picks and talented players, Nick Haynes is often forgotten about. Reading the play is his strength and the 26-year-old Victorian collected 22 disposals, at 95 per cent efficiency, eight marks, five rebounds and four inside 50s as the Giants continued their remarkable run towards September.

Western Bulldogs: Ed Richards

The stats may not depict his influence, but Ed Richards’ bravery with ball in hand was pivotal to the Bulldogs’ second-half comeback. The first-year product only kicked the ball three times out of his 17 disposals, but his dash off half-back broke the game open when the Dogs started their unlikely comeback.

Sydney: Tom Papley

When the Swans needed someone to step up when the going got tough in the third term, Tom Papley delivered. In the five minutes before three-quarter time, the small forward capitilised on his two chances chance booting two goals, the last of which put the Swans up by 28 points just because three-quarter time.

Fremantle: Sean Darcy

It was an intriguing battle between Sean Darcy and Matthew Lobbe and while his opponent had more of the ball, Darcy won the ruck duel. The big Docker collected nine touches but it was 42 hit-outs, eight tackles and four inside 50s that helped Fremantle run away with the contest.