Anzac Round was another success as the Cats, Crows and Tigers are still dominating at the top of the table. With a host of stars tearing up the competition, 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 5:
Port Adelaide: Jared Polec
There are few more vital to Port Adelaide’s performance than Jared Polec. The hard-running wingman was back to blistering best on Friday night, collecting 25 disposals and consistently breaking the lines. After an indifferent couple of years with injuries, an in-form 24-year-old will go a long way to helping the Power rise up the ladder in 2017.
Western Bulldogs: Toby McLean
In what was a tough, gritty come-from-behind win in Bob Murphy’s 300th game, Toby McLean was a constant force during an afternoon that could have gone either way. At one stage, the Dogs trailed by six goals and looked like a shadow of the team that conquered all last season. They required a full team effort to get back into the contest, and one of their unsung heroes in McLean stepped up with 24 disposals, two crucial goals and six tackles.
Gold Coast: Callum Ah Chee
A former high draft pick, Callum Ah Chee had his breakout match against a formidable opponent. In a side that lost by 67 points, Ah Chee was a shining light, kicking five goals from 11 touches. Still only 19 and with 19 games to his name, Ah Chee’s Round 5 performance was one the struggling Suns have been waiting for.
GWS: Tom Scully
Described as the best two-way runner the game has seen, Tom Scully continues to impress each week and Round 5 was no exception. The hard-running midfielder collected 23 disposals, four clearances, six tackles and six inside 50s against while at times being opposed to Sydney’s own running machine in Jake Lloyd.
Fremantle: Lachie Weller
Now in his third season, Lachie Weller is growing each week in season 2017 as a running half-back. Collecting 26 disposals, seven inside 50s and three rebounds, the younger brother of St Kilda’s Maverick made a few errors against North Melbourne but his willingness to take the game on went a long way to creating scoring opportunities in a tight match.
Geelong: Mitch Duncan
Another week, another fantastic final quarter effort from Geelong. Of course, Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield put in extraordinary efforts, but they were aided by Mitch Duncan who continued to run hard when the Cats ran away with the contest. His performance included 32 disposals, a goal, nine marks and seven tackles as the Cats improved to 5-0.
Hawthorn: Ben McEvoy
While Ben McEvoy has in no way been the Hawks worst in 2017, Round 5 was easily his best match. Collecting 17 disposals, seven marks (four contested) and 43 hitouts, McEvoy was clunking everything as the Hawks registered their first win of the season. Without Jonathan Ceglar for the year, McEvoy’s importance to the Hawthorn line-up is as important as ever.
Richmond: Toby Nankervis
Jack Riewoldt collected the majority of plaudits – and rightly so – for his six-goal haul in tough conditions, but it was the physical effort of a newly-acquired big man who caught the eye of this panel. Toby Nankervis put in a power of work, finishing with 16 disposals, seven tackles and 56 hit outs against a Melbourne outfit lacking the presence of a big man in the middle for the most part. Nankervis’ connection with Trent Cotchin in the last quarter was pivotal to their success.
Essendon: Darcy Parish
Essendon’s forward line delivered in tough conditions on ANZAC Day, with Joe Daniher, Cale Hooker, Orazio Fantasia and Josh Green sharing 13 goals between them and Jobe Watson and Zach Merrett stood up against Collingwood’s mighty midfield. Another name that may have gone under the radar, however, was Darcy Parish. The Bombers’ second-year mid finished with 25 disposals and was clean and composed in the final quarter when others struggled.