aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in round eight. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Geelong – Jack Henry
In a battle of the Jacks, it was Henry who came out on top over the more acclaimed Riewoldt. Headlines were rightly dominated by the devastating duo of Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins, who booted 10 goals between them, but Henry’s efforts deserve to be noted. Riewoldt had just four disposals for the match and took only one mark. Henry took five marks and had 14 disposals, 92 per cent of which were effective.
St Kilda – Callum Wilkie
Mature-age rookies often fly under the radar, but Wilkie has not received the recognition he deserves since being picked up by the Saints in 2019. The defender has taken his game to a new level this season, and put in a near flawless performance in St Kilda’s crucial win on Saturday. Wilkie took 14 marks, a pair of them contested, had 25 disposals at a remarkable 96 per cent efficiency, and intercepted the ball on nine occasions.
GWS Giants – Tom Green
Hype has rarely eluded the Giants’ young guns since the club’s inception back in 2012, but this second-year midfield bull is quietly — yet quickly — on the rise. In his team’s thrilling win over Essendon, Green had 28 disposals at 82 per cent efficiency, 13 contested possessions, seven marks and eight score involvements.
Collingwood – John Noble
Noble was in the headlines during the week as he geared up to play against the team coached by his father, but his performance off half-back was equally deserving of recognition. Noble had a career-high 31 disposals, smashing his next best effort of 25, and used his line-breaking speed to drive the Pies out of defence. It was a performance that would have made the opposition coach proud.
Melbourne – James Harmes
Having worked his way back into Melbourne’s best 22, Harmes played like a man on a mission to cement his spot in the side. In a midfield boasting the likes of Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca, Harmes won a game-high 21 contested possessions, laid seven tackles and put in huge 29 pressure acts.
Port Adelaide – Willem Drew
Drew touched the ball 16 times, but 11 of those possessions were contested. Adding to his inside midfield credentials, Drew also laid seven tackles, had nine one percenters, 29 pressure acts and topped off his performance with a goal.
West Coast – Brendon Ah Chee
Playing just his second game of the year and first since round two, Ah Chee pieced together a complete performance across half-forward. With four goals from 12 kicks, five marks, four tackles and six inside 50s, the 27-year-old showed he belongs at the elite level.
Western Bulldogs – Lachie Hunter
Hunter was not as prolific as usual, particularly in the first three quarters, but moved up to the wing in the last term to play a key role in the Bulldogs’ stunning comeback win. Hunter had five disposals, three tackles and a goal in the final quarter – all with a suspected broken hand.
Brisbane Lions – Jarryd Lyons
When analysing the Lions, the attention of the wider football audience is mostly drawn towards the likes of Lachie Neale and the rising Hugh McCluggage. Lyons, though, once again demonstrated his importance in Brisbane’s midfield unit in their win over Fremantle. With 29 disposals at 86 per cent efficiency, nine marks, nine inside 50s, six clearances and a goal, his numbers on the weekend again suggest that he is as capable as any.