While the Cats, Crows and Tigers are flying and the Hawks languish in an unfamiliar place, Aflplayers.com.au are looking to highlight those who may have slipped under the radar for your club over the weekend.
Unsung heroes for Round 4:
West Coast vs. Sydney: Jeremy McGovern
Forced to move forward due to a structural strange, McGovern went back to the end of the ground that he played when his AFL career began. Despite not featuring there for some time, he didn’t miss a beat, collecting 17 disposals, eight marks and kicking two crucial goals in the Eagles’ 26-point win over Sydney.
North Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs: Matthew Suckling
The first ever Good Friday match could have gone either way, and for long periods, it appeared as if North Melbourne were going to register their first win for the season. At the seven-minute mark of the third quarter, the Kangaroos held a dominant 29-point lead, until Matthew Suckling stepped up with an improbable 40-metre check-side kick that split the big sticks. It led to a run that got the Dogs within two points at the final stage. The former Hawk would step up again in the fourth quarter to give the Bulldogs some breathing space with a major late. He finished the game with 26 disposals, 11 score involvements and two goals.
Melbourne vs. Fremantle: Brady Grey
While the likes of Lachie Neale, Cam McCarthy and David Mundy stole the show in the Dockers’ spirited victory, a young Fremantle midfielder proved to be a more than valuable asset. Playing his fifth AFL game, Brady Grey only collected six disposals but also registered seven important tackles and finished off the club’s hard work in front of goal with five minutes to go.
GWS vs. Port Adelaide: Nick Haynes
Hiding among a team of stars, Nick Haynes was one of the best against Port Adelaide. The 24-year-old collected 27 disposals, nine marks and nine rebounds on Saturday and is proving to be one of the best one-on-one defenders in the game, often battling out of his height and weight range as a key defender.
Carlton vs. Gold Coast: Brandon Matera
Tom Lynch kicked seven goals and Gary Ablett was great again but after not being able to get a game in the first two rounds of the season, Brandon Matera has registered 48 disposals and kicked nine goals in the last two weeks. Collecting 29 disposals and kicking three goals against the Blues, Matera’s form is going a long way to revitalising the Suns.
Adelaide vs Essendon: Rory Laird/Brodie Smith
With a forward line consisting of Taylor Walker, Tom Lynch, Eddie Betts and Charlie Cameron, there’s little surprise the Crows feature the most potent goal-kickers in the competition. But there are two players at the other end who are equally as important. Rory laird and Brodie Smith are two of the best running defenders in the game and collected 36 and 33 disposals respectively while their attacking comrades stole the show.
Collingwood vs. St Kilda: Jarryn Geary
It may come as a surprise to select a club captain, but Jarryn Geary’s career to date has been epitomised by going under the radar. The Saints’ first-year skipper was at his dour defensive best on Easter Sunday, keeping Alex Fasolo to just one goal, while gathering 17 disposals and seven marks himself, including nine one percenters. The moment that exemplified his performance came in the second quarter across half-back when he was outnumbered but managed to spoil and then make a diving smother.
Brisbane vs. Richmond: Tom Rockliff
In a game that seemed over by half-time, the Lions’ former skipper never stopped trying. Tom Rockliff registered 33 disposals, 15 clearances and 11 tackles — the most on the ground in those statistics — and worked overtime as Brisbane never recovered from a 42-point deficit at the main break.
Hawthorn vs. Geelong: Cam Guthrie
After a couple of minor leg injuries restricting his start to the season, Round 4 resulted in Cam Guthrie’s return to form. Collecting 27 disposals and five tackles against the Hawks, the fleet-footed Guthrie wasn’t named in the Cats’ best on Easter Monday but was more than a valuable contributor off half-back and through the middle with 89 percent disposal efficiency.