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Unsung Heroes — Round 8

Each week, looks at the players who flew under the radar in their team’s victory.

Sydney: Heath Grundy

Forever stoic, Heath Grundy continues to defy the odds as he has done for most of his career. Nearly 32, Grundy was at his best against the Hawks on Friday night, collecting 24 disposals and eight marks, two contested, while also providing a few crucial intercepts late in the epic contest.

West Coast: Brendon Ah Chee

In his debut game for the Eagles, Brendon Ah Chee could prove to be a more than handy acquisition to the ever-improving Eagles outfit. The former Power midfielder had the footy 21 times along with eight marks and five tackles in Round 8.

Carlton: Sam Kerridge

With half the quarter still remaining, and the Blues pressing for a three-goal lead after dominating the territory battle in the fourth quarter, Jed Lamb delivered the ball inside 50 to a crucial one-on-one contest between Brendon Goddard and Sam Kerridge. Luckily for the Blues, it was Kerridge who won the battle and kicked truly to extend the margin to a game-high 17 points. The 25-year-old finished the contest with 17 disposals, a goal and seven tackles.

Melbourne: Jordan Lewis

While he’s a high-profile name, Jordan Lewis continues to play an underrated role for the Demons. The 32-year-old, former Hawk recorded 25 disposals and nine marks and provided Melbourne with much-needed experience, with 92 per cent disposal efficiency.

Port Adelaide: Tom Rockliff

While Robbie Gray and Steven Motlop stole the headlines, Port Adelaide’s boom recruit, Tom Rockliff, put in his most promising shift in a Power jumper. He collected a season-high 31 possessions to go along with nine tackles as the Power claimed Showdown 44 by five points.

Western Bulldogs: Josh Dunkley

Holding a 24-point lead at the last change, it appeared as if the Bulldogs were heading towards a comfortable victory on Saturday night. That was until Brisbane kicked the first two goals of the last quarter, courtesy of Oscar McInerney and Charlie Cameron. With the margin back to 14 points and the game very much alive, up stepped Josh Dunkley to gather and goal and stop the Lions’ momentum. He finished the game with 19 disposals and seven tackles.

Fremantle: Adam Cerra

Trailing by 43 points early in the third quarter, St Kilda launched both an unlikely and a remarkable comeback, but both times they made a push, it was Adam Cerra who answered with a response. After being behind by seven goals, the Saints kicked four in a row to whittle the margin back to 19 points, before Cerra snapped truly off his left boot to extend it to 25 points. While in the last quarter, St Kilda brought it back to 13 points, before Cerra nailed a set shot.

Richmond: Reece Conca

Few players would excite Richmond fans more than seeing Reece Conca running around and contributing. Finally injury-free, Conca’s becoming more consistent with each outing, with the 25-year-old collecting 21 touches, six tackles and six inside 50s in Round 8.

Geelong: Harry Taylor

The Cats have missed Harry Taylor in the first seven rounds, and he gave fans a glimpse of exactly what they’ve been without in their 21-point win over the Pies, finishing with 20 disposals and six marks.