aflplayers.com.au has discovered the players that played an underrated hand for their side in Round 8. Whether it be a big moment in a close game, or an important role, these are the Unsung Heroes.
Port Adelaide – Trent Dumont
The former Kangaroo missed out on selection in the first month of the season, but has made an impact ever since coming into the Power’s lineup in round four. Dumont had his greatest impact so far against the Western Bulldogs, collecting 15 disposals and a goal in Port’s third-straight win. He was strong around the contest and with his pressure.
Fremantle – Bailey Banfield
After being the medi-sub for numerous weeks this season, Banfield has worked his way into the starting team and he was again influential against North Melbourne. It was Banfield’s best game for the season, with the pressure forward gathering 18 touches, kicking two goals (including a ripper from the boundary) to go with five tackles.
Richmond – Maurice Rioli Jnr
The son of the late great hall of famer Maurice Snr, the emerging Tiger was full of energy against Collingwood. Rioli Jnr set up two of Tom Lynch’s goals, one through a run down tackle on Nick Daicos and the other coming after a one-on-one groundball win on the boundary line. Rioli Jnr is starting to cement a place for himself inside forward 50 with his pressure a key component of the Tigers’ forward line.
Gold Coast – Rory Thompson
After 1379 days between games, Rory Thompson returned to the field against Sydney and played his role in Gold Coast’s upset victory over the Swans. Following two knee reconstructions, Thompson finished the game with seven touches and two marks. However, the fact that he was out there after such a horrid injury run was
Geelong – Tyson Stengle
Geelong identified that it needed a crafty small forward who could put pressure on the opposition and the former Tiger and Crow would have even exceeded the Cats’ list management team’s expectations based on his early season performances. Stengle booted three goals from 22 disposals, getting involved in attack. Importantly, he also laid five tackles.
Essendon – Andrew McGrath
McGrath and Essendon needed a bit of a circuit breaker and his move to the wing was just what he and his team needed. McGrath collected 16 touches, but it was his ability to get up and down the ground and help in defence that stood out. The win was a vital one for Essendon after a series of down weeks.
Brisbane – Noah Answerth
Answerth continues to blossom in his role in defence, laying eight tackles in a steely performance against West Coast. The young Lion also had 17 disposals as he has become an important mainstay in the Lions’ defence.
Melbourne – Kysaiah Pickett
Returning from a week off due to being in the AFL’s Health and Safety protocols, Pickett lit up the MCG in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against St Kilda. You could have forgiven Pickett for being a little sluggish after a week off, but his first term was anything but gathering eight disposals (seven contested) and kicking two goals.
Carlton – Zac Fisher
Fisher is starting to find his niche as a half-forward and the consistency in his football is shining through. The agile forward was dangerous throughout the contest, amassing 23 touches and hitting the scoreboard twice. After showing so much promise early in his career, Fisher is now injury free and is now in the biggest purple patch of his career to date.