Fans Players

Unsung heroes — Round 9

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

Adelaide: David McKay

On a soaking wet night, David McKay stood out for his cleanliness with ball in hand. He only gathered 15 disposals but went at a game-high 73 per cent efficiency to go with seven rebounds and eight tackles.

North Melbourne: Jack Ziebell

It wasn’t Jack Ziebell’s greatest game but the North Melbourne skipper played his role to perfection on Saturday. Playing more up forward, Ziebell collected 15 disposals and seven marks – two of which were contested – and kicked two goals as the Kangaroos continued their surprising march to September.

Port Adelaide: Tom Jonas

Tom Jonas continues to fly under the radar but he’s still one of the Power’s more important players. Jonas recorded 16 touches, 10 marks and seven rebounds in the club’s comfortable victory in China.

Essendon: Devon Smith

While the rest of Essendon’s big recruits draw the ire of the footy public, Devon Smith can hold his head high. The former Giant is one of the club’s hardest workers and it showed in the Bombers’ strong win against the Cats. Smith collected 18 disposals and 10 tackles to go with a couple of shots at goal.

Sydney: Nick Smith

In game 200, Nick Smith was at his usual unassuming best. The 29-year-old recorded 21 touches at 85 per cent efficiency and took six marks as the Swans never looked in doubt against the Dockers on Saturday night.

Collingwood: Lynden Dunn

It’s hard to believe Lynden Dunn was once an out of favour Demon. The 31-year-old was at his stoic best against the Saints with six marks and six one-percenters as he continues to build on an impressive 2018.

Melbourne: James Harmes

In career-best condition, James Harmes is being duly rewarded with career-best form in 2018. The Devon Meadows product is relishing a new role in the Melbourne midfield and responded with 25 touches, six marks and a goal in Round 9.

Brisbane: Luke Hodge

Facing his old side, Luke Hodge showed how valuable experience is in the Lions’ first win for the season. Hodge, in game 313, was at his composed best and mopped up easily across half-back, registering a game-high six rebounds to go with 19 disposals.

West Coast: Willie Rioli

He only collected the 12 disposals but Willie Rioli has a knack of bobbing up at opportune times. Playing in his eighth game, the 22-year-old is clearly benefiting with each outing and the ball seemed to simply bounce his way at times in Round 9. Rioli also managed six inside 50s.