aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in round 5. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Brisbane – Hugh McLuggage
At the final siren on Thursday night, very little separated the Lions and the Magpies. The game may just have been won and lost in the contest, and Hugh McLuggage led the Lions with team-high contested possessions and tackles (12 and six). Alongside milestone man, Lachie Neale, McLuggage led from the front in the Lions’ second-term blitz which turned a 12-point deficit in to a 24-point buffer which was ultimately too much for the Pies to overcome.
Western Bulldogs – Cody Weightman
There were dominant displays all across the ground in the Dogs’ 68-point demolition of the Kangaroos, but it was Cody Weightman who caught fire in the opening term to boot four goals, on his way to a career-best tally of five majors. The dangerous forward evoked the form that saw him catch the eye of many in last year’s elimination final, in a game that may just kick-start his season.
Sydney – Peter Ladhams
In just his second game for the Swans, Peter Ladhams made the most of his opportunity to line up against a Nic Naitanui-less Eagles’ outfit. Ladhams put together a well-rounded game with 24 disposals and a goal to go along with his 24 hit-outs and five clearances in Sydney’s comfortable 63-point victory.
St Kilda – Jade Gresham
We’re finally getting to see what Jade Gresham can do when he has a clean bill of health. Reduced to 14 games across two years courtesy of a stress fracture in his back in 2020 and an achilles rupture in 2021, Gresham is now playing a vital role in the Saints’ resurgence. The 24-year-old added another two goals to his season haul, while playing an influential hand in St Kilda’s avenue to goal with seven score involvements.
Adelaide – Elliott Himmelberg
In the absence of Taylor Walker, the Crows needed a tall target and Elliott Himmelberg has provided just that. However, Himmelberg is showing no signs of slowing down now that Walker has returned, with the pair proving a menacing prospect for opposition defenders. Himmelberg added four goals in the Crows 19-point win over the Tigers, making it 10 majors in three weeks for the emerging forward.
Melbourne – Ed Langdon
Giant Lachie Ash being sent to Ed Langdon on Saturday night may have been the ultimate acknowledgement of the influence that the in-form wingman can have on a game of football. Despite Ash’s best efforts, Langdon finished with 25 disposals and 417 metres gained – providing the perfect accompaniment to the inside games of Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver.
Carlton – Marc Pittonet
The Blues are better off with Marc Pittonet. Without the first-choice ruckman last week, the Blues dropped their first game of the season as their midfielders struggled to get first use against Gold Coast. The tides were turned in their Round 5 clash, with the Power struggling to get their hands on the ball as the former Hawk recorded 27 hit-outs as the Blues’ engine room got humming again.
Fremantle – Will Brodie
Purple is really starting to suit Will Brodie. The former top-10 pick has elevated his 18-disposal average at the Suns to an impressive 25 with the Dockers, backing up last week’s career-best 37 touches with another 26 against the Bombers. Fremantle dominated in the middle and Brodie made each touch count at a damaging 88 per cent efficiency rate.
Hawthorn – James Sicily
After a dominant start to the season, the Hawks had a huge task on their hands to attempt to stifle Jeremy Cameron – and it turns out they had the perfect match-up. Sicily utilised his athleticism and ability to read the ball in the air to take it up to Cameron, who managed three goals but had a far lesser influence than recent weeks. While defensively impressive, Sicily also tallied up 26 disposals, 10 rebound 50s and 486 metres gained to turn defence into attack for the triumphant Hawks.