aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in round 4. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Melbourne – James Jordon
The starting substitute in last year’s Grand Final, Jordon has become a regular starter for the Demons this season and he’s proving he deserves it. Jordon led the team with 27 disposals against the Power, as he consistently put himself in good spots to receive the footy. The midfielder is averaging 21.3 touches per game this season to become an important cog in the Melbourne machine.
Geelong – Isaac Smith
The Cats had an absence of leadership in the lead-in to their clash with the Lions, with record-breaking skipper Joel Selwood rested and Tom Stewart a late withdrawal after being named next in line. While the young Cats stepped up to the plate, the class and leadership of veteran Isaac Smith rose to the top, as the former-Hawk recorded 29 touches (at 90 per cent efficiency) and provided a calm head and classy disposal across the wing – vital in a tight finish where every moment mattered.
Sydney – Justin McInerney
With the result on the line, Justin McInerney provided a spark for the Swans when they desperately needed someone to turn the game on its head. McInerney finished the game with an impressive 30 disposals and seven clearances, but perhaps even more notable were his final quarter heroics – notching 14 touches, four marks and a goal to inspire his side to an 11-point win.
West Coast – Patrick Naish
The COVID chaos in the west has caused wholesale changes across the Eagles line-up in recent weeks, with big name outs leaving significant holes in a number of lines. After claiming the final spot on West Coast’s playing list, Patrick Naish has played every game for the under-siege Eagles, standing up in the midfield in the absence of those big names. He backed up last week’s 22-disposal performance with another 23 touches and a goal to help his side upset an in-form Pies’ outfit on their way to their first win of the season.
Richmond – Shai Bolton
If there’s one Tiger who has the ability to change the course of a game, it’s Shai Bolton. Bolton kicked two majors against the Dogs, but there’s one that we may be seeing on replay for a while to come. With Richmond holding a slender three-point lead midway through the third quarter, Bolton intercepted an opposition handball inside forward fifty and dodged traffic to the boundary line before slotting the impossible goal on his non-preferred left foot. After claiming Mark of the Year last season, there may still be another accolade, in the form of Goal of the Year, on the way for Bolton for his efforts.
Fremantle – Griffin Logue
He almost didn’t take to the field in Round 4, but Griffin Logue grabbed the opportunity granted to him, by Alex Pearce’s late withdrawal, with both hands. Logue took several key marks in the final term as the Dockers defenders held the Giants goalless in the final term, while the Fremantle forwards ran rampant with six goals on the trot. Logue finished with eight intercepts among his 17 disposals and eight marks for the game
Essendon – Devon Smith
It’s been a tough start to the 2022 season for Devon Smith, returning to the Essendon side as the sub for their must-win clash with the Crows. While the Dons would’ve preferred not to have lost the unlucky Will Snelling with a recurring calf problem, Smith was a lively addition just shy of half-time. Smith tallied 12 possessions, a team-high eight contested possessions, a team-high five score involvements and kicked a goal to help Essendon hold off a persistent Adelaide.
St Kilda – Brad Hill
With three premierships to his name, Brad Hill is known as a wingman-turned-defender. It was a different role up forward for the St Kilda star on the weekend, playing it to perfection and finishing with four goals as the Saints cruised to a 12-goal win over the Hawks.
Gold Coast – Malcolm Rosas Jnr
When Gold Coast spearhead Ben King went down with an ACL injury on the eve of the AFL season, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Suns may struggle to find avenues to goal. However, the Suns continue to find a way and the addition of Malcolm Rosas Jnr for his first game of 2022 (and just the fifth of his career) provided yet another. Rosas was able to shift momentum just as it seemed that the Blues may challenge, with the lively forward booting three goals as the Suns dealt Carlton their first loss of the season.