After seven 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.
Geelong: Jackson Thurlow
After overcoming an ACL tear in 2016, Jackson Thurlow has struggled for consistency at senior level. On Friday night, however, the 24-year-old played arguably his best game since suffering the injury. Against the Giants, Thurlow finished with 22 disposals, seven marks and a goal.
Western Bulldogs: Patrick Lipinski
Following his three-goal effort against the Blues the week before, Patrick Lipinksi kicked two important goals to go along with 17 disposals at Mars Stadium on Saturday afternoon to help the Bulldogs to narrowly defeat the Suns. The 19-year-old has steadily become a permanent fixture in the Bulldogs’ best 22.
Hawthorn: Taylor Duryea
Occasionally draws the ire of Hawthorn fans, Taylor Duryea showed that he deserves to be in Hawks’ best 22 on Saturday. The 27-year-old premiership player linked up well in the back half against the Bombers, collecting 22 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency.
West Coast: Thomas Cole
With the Eagles continuing to surprise the rest of the competition, it’s the rise of their lesser names that seem to be contributing most and Tom Cole is one of those. Still in his third year, Cole collected 21 touches and four marks in game nine as the Eagles took care of the Power at home.
North Melbourne: Jed Anderson
The Kangaroos are finally seeing the upside to giving away a first-round draft pick for former Hawk Jed Anderson. The 24-year-old has had his fair share of injury troubles over the journey but has finally found continuity and form, collecting 24 disposals and four tackles in one of the upsets of the season.
Adelaide: Hugh Greenwood
A regular fixture in the Unsung Heroes, Hugh Greenwood continues to work in the coal-face for the Adelaide Crows. Once again he was at his physical best, gathering 19 touches (14 contested), to go along with two goals and eight tackles on Saturday night.
Richmond: Jack Graham
With the Tigers losing their skipper before the bounce on Sunday, their midfield needed to fill the void. Jack Graham was one who took his game a step further. The 20-year-old, 11-gamer recorded 24 touches and seven tackles as Richmond were a class above the Dockers.
Melbourne: Neville Jetta
Rarely beaten in the contest, Neville Jetta was at his stoic best against the Saints at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Not only did he repel many St Kilda attacks, he managed to be effective with 13 of his 14 disposals for the day. A moment that encapsulated his toughness came in the second quarter, when Jetta bravely intercepted a St Kilda entry, only to collide heavily with Paddy McCartin.
Collingwood: Mason Cox
He’s growing in confidence every week and Mason Cox saved his best when the game was on the line at the Gabba on Sunday evening. The big forward took a strong grab as the Magpies went long down the line from the back pocket with just more than a minute remaining, directly resulting in a Jaidyn Stephenson goal that iced the terrific contest.