After six rounds, we’re starting to get a feel for which teams are starting to make their move, and which ones may struggle. AFLPlayers.com.au looks at at the players who played an underrated hand in their teams win.
Richmond: Sydney Stack
Four months ago Sydney Stack didn’t know where his future lay. Receiving an AFL lifeline through the SSP, Richmond has discovered a gem in the talented Tiger. The 19-year-old looked at home on Anzac Eve at the MCG collecting 12 disposals at 100 per cent efficiency. But it was his big bump on Melbourne co-captain Jack Viney that had everyone talking. It was the perfect start to the final quarter for Richmond with the midfielder instinctively collecting Viney and the Tigers taking possession.
Collingwood: Jeremy Howe
As Essendon mounted their comeback on Anzac Day, Collingwood’s defence was under pressure. In a manic final quarter, each time the Bombers looked to go forward and score, Jeremy Howe came to Collingwood’s aid. Taking a game-high 10 marks and eight intercept possessions, Howe’s work in the backline was crucial to the Magpies ability to get the four points.
Port Adelaide: Sam Gray
In his past three games against North Melbourne, Sam Gray has kicked four goals and Friday night was no different. Gray kicked three first half goals to help set up the Powers win, but it was his work around the ground that he should be applauded for. Gray collected 28 disposals, had 16 pressure acts and was involved in nine scores in one of his most well-rounded performances.
Brisbane: Cam Rayner
During the second term, when the Lions were unable to capitilise on their dominance, youngster Cam Rayner’s finishing skills proved vital to overcoming their cross-town rivals. While the 19-year-old only touched the footy 10 times, he twice kicked goals when his teammates were unable to convert, which wrestled the momentum back Brisbane’s way before a second-half blitz.
Adelaide: Tom Lynch
While the likes of skipper Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts were finishing off in front of goal, Tom Lynch played his role to perfection on Saturday night. Against his old club, Lynch was patrolling the forward half at his best, collecting 15 disposals, at 93 per cent efficiency, nine marks and kicking an important goal from a difficult set shot in the last quarter.
GWS Giants: Daniel Lloyd
Surrounded by the likes of Stephen Coniglio, Jeremy Cameron and Toby Greene, Daniel Lloyd played an equally integral role in the Giants’ impressive victory in the Sydney Derby. Lloyd has been in and out of the Leon Cameron’s side for a couple of years but has played every game in 2019 and Round 6 was one of his best, collecting 12 touches, four tackles, four inside 50s and kicking three goals.
Fremantle: Sam Switkowski
He only touched the footy 11 times, but Sam Switkowski’s influence on the contest, especially late, can’t be understated. Twice in the last quarter the former Box Hill Hawk laid important tackles around half forward – one on Marcus Bontempelli with 16 minutes remaining before applying enough pressure to affect Tom Liberatore’s kick with less than 10 minutes to play, ending in a Dockers goal.
Hawthorn: Jarman Impey
While the likes of Jaeger O’Meara, Tom Scully and Chad Wingard gain all the attention as masterful Hawthorn recruits in the last two years, Jarman Impey can lay claim to being just as important. The nippy defender plays well above his height and weight range, taking a number of intercept marks in defensive 50 late in the contest as the Hawks hung on to a vital victory. Impey was also the most efficient player on the ground in Tassie for his 16 disposals, while also claiming three contested marks and four tackles.
Geelong: Gary Rohan
Since arriving at Geelong from Sydney in the off-season, Gary Rohan looks to have reinvigorated his career. The crafty forward has found his niche in Geelong’s dynamic forward-line. Despite the big names in the Cats forward half, with the likes of Tom Hawkins and Gary Ablett also having strong starts to the season, Rohan’s influence cannot be understated. He’s kicked 15 majors this season and slotted a game-high four on the weekend.