After seven rounds, a number of teams are beginning to make their move while others struggle to find consistency. AFLPlayers.com.au looks at the players who played an underrated hand in their sides victory.
Collingwood: Darcy Moore
Darcy Moore is quickly cementing himself as an All-Australian contender this season. The forward-turned-defender is relishing in his return to senior football this year becoming a key pillar of Collingwood’s back six. On Friday night Moore had 21 disposals, at 81 per cent efficiency, 12 intercept possessions and seven marks, proving how valuable he is to the Magpies structure.
Melbourne: Jay Lockhart
The Demons had surrendered their hard-fought three-quarter time lead midway through the last term when a youngster wrestled the momentum back Melbourne’s way. Jay Lockhart has added his name to the scorecard in each if his four AFL matches, kicking an important one in Round 7 during the fourth term to add to his 20 disposals, eight marks and four inside 50s.
GWS Giants: Shane Mumford
He may have given away an astonishing nine free kicks in the Giants Round 7 clash with the Saints but Shane Mumford made up for it with a dominant display in the ruck. He only touched the footy 10 times, at 90 per cent efficiency, but the 32-year-old also registered seven clearances and 49 hitouts to dominate the stoppages.
Brisbane: Charlie Cameron
The Lions had spent a lot of time and energy wrestling back control of their Saturday afternoon clash with the Swans but Sydney just wouldn’t go away. Enter Charlie Cameron, who kicked two for the day and collected 16 touches but it was his second goal that was the most vital. With less than a minute and a half to go before three-quarter time, Cameron took a difficult set-shot from the boundary and calmly slotted it on his non-preferred to give Brisbane a nine-point buffer heading into the last change.
Western Bulldogs: Hayden Crozier
He can get onto the highlight reel every now and then but it was the simple things that made Hayden Crozier’s night on Saturday. The former Docker collected 28 disposals, nine marks, five rebounds and five one-percenters against the Tigers in Round 7 and, after essentially being traded for pick 40 a couple of years ago, is proving to be a masterful recruit for the Bulldogs.
West Coast: Jack Redden
Returning to the side after missing last week with an injury, Jack Redden was back to his hardworking best in Eagles win against the Suns on Saturday night. The former Lion registered 21 disposals, slightly below his average during the last two seasons, but it was his work without the ball that shone through, with the 28-year-old laying 13 tackles as West Coast returned to the winners’ list.
North Melbourne: Taylor Garner
Returning to North Melbourne’s line-up on Sunday, Taylor Garner showed positive glimpses in a dominant team display. In just his 35th game for the Kangaroos, Garner had 16 disposals, took seven marks and was involved in seven scores. If the oft-injured forward can get a clear run at the game, he’ll become a crucial cog in North Melbourne’s forward-50.
Geelong: Mitch Ducan
With Joel Selwood sitting on the sidelines with injury, Mitch Duncan stepped up through the middle for the Cats. Duncan collected 22 disposals, at a staggering 96 per cent efficiency, and kicked three goals. But it was his ability to find space that was most impressive with the Cat taking 10 uncontested marks for the day.
Adelaide: Reilly O’Brien
Adelaide big man Reilly O’Brien is quickly cementing himself as the Crows No.1 ruck choice. On Sunday against the Dockers, O’Brien’s athleticism and ability to cover the ground was on display, collecting 22 disposals, five marks, and four clearances to go with his game-high 44 hit-outs. Drafted in 2014, it’s been a long-time coming but O’Brien is beginning to repay the Crows faith.