New article! Here’s a quick look back at the weekend’s best performances. Please note that this isn’t merely a list of the highest individual scores of the weekend (you can easily find those out for yourself), nor is it a “suggested” squad that you should be aiming for. Instead, I’ve tried to take into account a player’s price tag, as well as their final points tally, to highlight players who performed at or above expectations.
Jake LLOYD (SYD, $608 200, 131 pts) – Prolific as always, the Swans delivery man compiled 35 possessions at 85% efficiency to live up to his hefty price tag.
Harris ANDREWS (BRL, $480 100, 117 pts) – The pre-season chat about a move forward for Andrews proved to be all smoke, as Harris racked up 20 disposals and a massive 17 one percenters in the Lions’ big win over the reigning premiers.
Christian SALEM (MEL, $445 400, 134 pts) – Long regarded as the best kick of the footy at the Dees, Salem fought a lone hand in Melbourne’s disappointing showing against Port with 30 kicks out of 32 possessions.
Bachar HOULI (RIC, $399 600, 112 pts) – Bachar has had his best pre-season in years, and looks to be reaping the benefits. Provided plenty of rebound from the Tigers backline with 24 disposals at 91%.
Nic NEWMAN (CAR, $394 100, 134 pts) – His JLT2 stinker may have turned a few coaches away, but Newman! was back to his best in the season opener at his new club. 26 touches (21 kicks) and a memorable maiden goal for the Blues.
Charlie BALLARD (GCS, $241 800, 105 pts) – The Suns’ second-year defender continued on his promising form from the JLT series with 24 possessions.
Honourable mentions: Adam Saad (114), Harry Taylor (100), Lachlan Keeffe (84)
Stephen CONIGLIO (GWS, $588 600, 154 pts) – Huge day out for Cogs in the absence of Ward and Kelly, as he led the Giants to an absolute demolition of the Bombers. 31 possessions and three goals.
Marcus BONTEMPELLI (WBD, $564 400, 158 pts) – Another highly impressive performance from the Bont, kicking the match-winning goal and amassing 29 typically constructive disposals.
Matt CROUCH (ADE, $551 300, 138 pts) – The Crows’ ball magnet racked up 40 touches, and tried very hard all night to lift his underperforming team.
Rory SLOANE (ADE, $524 300, 155 pts) – The Hawks don’t tag, but it might not have made much difference anyway, because Rory was at his inspirational best in a losing effort. 36 disposals and nine tackles.
Tom ROCKLIFF (PTA, $405 900, 138 pts) – As bad as he was last year, Rocky has been incredible so far in 2019. Tom looks in good health and so does his stat line: a round-high 44 disposals, accumulated at all points of the MCG.
Dom SHEED (WCE, $394 000, 144 pts) – Well done to all those who caught the Sheed train! Dom translated his amazing pre-season form across to the real stuff, and has now compiled 117 possessions in his three games this year.
Charlie CONSTABLE (GEE, $123 900, 85 pts) – The Chook looked the goods in his long awaited debut in the hoops, with 21 disposals and a nice snap for goal in the final quarter in the Cats nail-biting win over the Pies.
Bailey SCOTT (NTH, $117 300, 103 pts) – One of only two rookies to ton up on debut this week, Scott was one of the few positives for North in a very tough day in the west, kicking two goals among his 21 composed possessions.
Honourable mentions (there were lots!): Nat Fyfe (147), Jarrod Berry (115), Hugh McCluggage (114), Jacob Hopper (129), Brayden Fiorini (118), and yes, Jack Steele (115)
RUCKS (aka the Supercoach Wasteland)
Toby NANKERVIS (RIC, $533 000, 127 pts) – The Nank took full advantage of a Kreuzer-less Blues and made the most of his new forward rotation, dobbing three goals and providing solid work in the ruck as always.
Rhys STANLEY (GEE, $483 500, 108 pts) – You may have heard at some stage that Grundy struggled on Friday night against the Cats; the other side of the coin was a terrific performance from Stanley, who was an unlikely top-scorer for the Cats.
Honourable mention: Ben McEvoy (102)
Justin WESTHOFF (PTA, $549 500, 149 pts) – I have a sneaking suspicion that The Hoff was suddenly pencilled in as a trade target for a lot of teams on Saturday evening. Westhoff shapes as the ideal F/R swingman after spearheading Port to victory with five majors.
Luke DAHLHAUS (GEE, $418 300, 102 pts) – The former Supercoach favourite looks refreshed in his new colours, playing the old midfield rotation role of his scoring glory days. 24 disposals for Luke against the Pies.
James WORPEL (HAW, $395 700, 110 pts) – Second-year breakouts are rare, but unique circumstances at the Titchless Hawks may open the door for the Worpedo, who will form an integral part of Hawthorn’s new look engine room this season.
Zac FISHER (CAR, $392 800, 109 pts) – He’s always been fast, but it was Fisher’s defensive aggression that really impressed against the Tigers. Anyone who can barrel Dusty Martin twice in one game deserves utmost respect! 12 contested possessions amongst his total of 22.
Willem DREW (PTA, $123 900, 103 pts) – Not so worried about his job security now, after an eye-catching debut from Drew. The best ginger rookie since….Ed Richards?, Drew looked right at home in the Power midfield, recording 21 possessions (10 contested) at 81% efficiency.
Matthew PARKER (STK, $117 300, 87 pts) – Blink and you’ll miss him, Parker used his primary attribute to full effect on debut, nabbing two goals and generally making everyone regret benching him.
Honourable mentions: Travis Boak (119), Charlie Cameron (110), Caleb Daniel (104), Lincoln McCarthy (86)
Whose performance most impressed you in Round 1?
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