Well, here it is, the final round review of 2024. Hope you’ve all enjoyed, barring anything major I’m sure I’ll be back next year!
With a bye next week though, I’ll be publishing a 2023 review with a little bit of “Crystal Ball” thoughts for 2024, just something I’ve been doing in the background as the season went on. No footy next weekend but it’ll still be going up next Monday morning all the same, feel free to come check it out!
With that being said, here’s round 24…
Essendon (3.13.31) defeated by Collingwood (16.5.101)
- Zach Merrett (133). The Bombers skipper finished off the season in fine fashion, recording his fifteenth ton to finish with a career best 116 average. 36 touches @ 83% DE plus 11 marks, 5 tackles and a game best 590 metres gained.
- Jack Ginnivan (121). Best game of the season for Ginnivan, maybe good enough to lock down a finals spot. 3 goals and 3 goal assists from 17 touches resulted in a career high score.
- Jayden Laverde (116). Third ton of the year for Laverde, finishing the season with a 31 touch, 15 mark game that ran at 87% DE.
- Tom Mitchell (115). Thirteen tons for 2023, but just three post bye. Showed his class with 33 touches, 6 tackles and 1 goal.
- Darcy Parish (107). 29 touches and 9 tackles for Parish, leaving him with a season average of 108, slightly under from 21-22. Led the game with 13 contested touches in what could be his last game at the Bombers.
Other 100+ scores: Scott Pendlebury/Braydan Maynard (105)
Disappointment: Not the ideal start to Grand Final weekend by Darcy Cameron (59), a late goal saving this from being under 50.
Rookies: Nothing to cover, no debuts etc. Tsatas (49, 19 touches) looks the goods for 2024, Macrae had an impressive 8 tackles in 37% game time for 39.
Injuries: Baldwin didn’t make it far into the game after having a head knock, while Elliott had a hip flexor which saw him subbed at halftime.
Phillips and McDonald-Tipungwuti both said goodbye to footy in this one, finishing with scores of 46 and 10.
Hawthorn (8.8.56) defeated by Fremantle (14.9.93)
- Caleb Serong (140). Completed his breakout season with a massive score courtesy of 32 touches (16 contested) plus 9 clearances, 6 marks, 5 tackles and neat 75% DE.
- Andrew Brayshaw (132). His partner in crime was equally as good, finishing with 33 touches, 513 metres gained plus 8 tackles and 1 goal. 8 tons in a row and a season average of 109.
- James Sicily (130). Threatened one of those massive scores with 90+ at half time, but a move forward slowed him slightly as Sicily finished with 24 touches and 12 marks, capping off a great year.
- Hayden Young (111). On my watch list to start in 2024 after a move to the middle made it another ton thanks to 22 touches (11 contested) plus 7 tackles and 5 clearances.
- Jordan Clark (103). Consistent year for Clark, who rounds out the top 5 with his fifth ton coming courtesy of 21 touches and 8 marks that ran @ 90% DE.
Other 100+ scores: Dylan Moore (102), Luke Jackson (101)
Disappointment: Will Day (80) had turnovers and poor DE galore. 30 touches but couldn’t capitalise.
Rookies: Last round but bloody good game from Tom Emmett (98), 17 touches and 2 goals plus a win to finish the year. Johnson (76), no complaints if you had to field a rookie to finish.
Injuries: Couldn’t find any conclusive evidence of injuries. Brandon Ryan and Michael Walters those subbed out.
North Melbourne (20.12.132) defeated Gold Coast (14.13.97)
- Nick Larkey (173). His day, lifting the Roos off the bottom with a career high 9 goals from 21 touches and 11 marks, all career high standards. Always some massive scores in the last round of the year.
- Matt Rowell (131). Massive game from Rowell as he found 33 touches (22 contested) plus 11 clearances with 9 tackles. Great season, averaging 102 with twelve tons.
- Sam Flanders (121). Close to, if not the form player of the competition after the bye. Another ton from 31 touches, 12 marks and 2 goals. Seeing him do this really stings after a failed start to the year.
- Harry Sheezel (114). A 99.5 average across 23 games is insane for a first year player, I don’t care what role he has. 29 touches this week @ 93% DE for his fifteenth ton.
- Noah Anderson (113). A poke to the eye couldn’t stop Anderson from finding 29 touches plus a game high 704 metres gained for his twelfth and final ton for 2023.
Other 100+ scores: Brandon Ellis/Tarryn Thomas (107)
Disappointment: Touk is going to be so highly picked next year, but he finished the year with another mid score of 86. Witts only got to 54.
Rookies: Goater (95), Ford (95) and Phillips (88) deserve some shout outs. Second game for Lloyd Johnston matters not in the grand scheme of things but he has shown some nice scoring ability. 16 touches and 56 points to finish the year.
Injuries: Taylor (leg) was subbed out for the Roos, Lemmens was tactical for the Suns.
Brisbane (9.18.72) defeated St Kilda (9.6.60)
- Rowan Marshall (154). Took the VC off him late and he punished me, popping off for 24 touches, 7 marks, 5 tackles and 27 hitouts plus 16 contested touches and 9 clearances. Great year, great finish, with three in a row of 140+.
- Lachie Neale (137). First ton since round 19 for Neale was a welcome sight as he found 30 touches (17 contested) with 10 clearances with no clangers and 86% DE.
- Callum Wilkie (124). Averaged 94 across 2023, with 9 tons. The final one courtesy of 21 touches, 9 marks and 95% DE.
- Oscar McInerney (121). The big O often gives up ruck points but still scores them himself, this week reaching triple figures thanks to 15 touches (12 contested), 8 clearances, 30 hitouts and 1 goal.
- Jack Sinclair (116). Wasn’t super popular to start the year as the most expensive defender, but ended up in everyone’s team with an average of 106. Fifteen tons, the final one thanks to 30 touches, 7 marks and a game high 608 metres gained.
Other 100+ scores: Joe Daniher/Jarrod Berry (114), Josh Dunkley (106), Dayne Zorko (101)
Disappointment: Pretty common theme, Steele (80) again couldn’t get out of the mid-score range.
Rookies: Windhager (81) has been a nice late season acquisition. Wilmot (80) solid again.
Injuries: Lyons was subbed off tactically for the Lions, but the Saints lost Battle near half time due to a head clash.
Geelong (11.13.79) defeated by Western Bulldogs (16.8.104)
- Marcus Bontempelli (146). Willed his side to a win, finding 31 touches (16 contested) plus 8 clearances, 10 tackles and around 450 metres gained. Nice VC/C score as he has done all year.
- Tom Stewart/Tom Liberatore (124). You can probably guess what the did as they do it every week. 29 touches and 14 marks for Stewart, 32 touches and 9 tackles with 8 clearances for Libba.
- Isaac Smith (122). Went out in style, finding 36 touches with 11 marks, 5 tackles, 1 goal and a huge 947 metres gained in the final game of his glorious career.
- Brandan Parfitt (121). Provides these sort of games when he gets midfield time. Best return of the year here with 26 touches (11 contested) plus 8 clearances and 9 tackles.
- Rory Lobb/Cody Weightman (116). Both important in the Dogs win. Lobb had 16 touches (12 contested) with 3 goals, 15 hitouts and 6 clearances. Weightman provided elite pressure with 11 tackles, 13 disposals and 2 goals.
Other 100+ scores: Adam Treloar (107), Tim English (103), Ed Richards (102)
Disappointment: Such an up and down year for Bailey Dale. This score of 51 his fifth in the 50’s.
Rookies: Half of Geelong to be honest. Dempsey (83) has shown a bit in his opportunities this year. Conway (46) and Clohesy (22) both got a debut so congrats to them.
Injuries: Scott and Kolodjashnij both suffered headknocks, but Vandermeer was the initial sub for the Bulldogs.
Sam Menegola also retired here, he finished with 27 touches for 60 points.
West Coast (12.6.78) defeated by Adelaide (17.21.123)
- Taylor Walker (167). Well to no one’s surprise, the Crows looked for Tex all night and he got a solitary 1 goal lead in the Coleman before Curnow played. 21 touches, 11 marks, 9 goals.
- Tim Kelly (146). Elite from Kelly, capping a great individual year. 35 touches (15 contested), game best 831 metres gained.
- Rory Laird (138). Also to no one’s surprise, Laird found the pill at will with 37 touches (14 contested) with really nice DE of 83%. Seventeen tons, and that first round 50 long forgotten.
- Liam Duggan (117). Average of 90 to finish the year. Reckon he’ll be the next skipper at the Eagles. 29 touches with 9 marks with just the 1 clanger.
- Jack Darling/Jordan Dawson (111). 17 touches (9 contested) with 6 marks and 3 goals for Darling, a nice finish to 2023, while Dawson equaled Laird with seventeen tons thanks to 24 touches and 9 tackles in the middle.
Other 100+ scores: Oscar Allen (109), Brady Hough (107), Jake Soligo (101)
Disappointment: Witherden (55) pretty average after a really good month beforehand.
Rookies: Heaps of them, but nothing to mention.
Injuries: Schoenberg had an Achilles issue on the injury report, but the initial subs were O’Brien and Edwards.
Shuey (94) had 25 touches to finish his career, while Hurn (88) ran @ 95% DE as he usually does. Nic Nat also hung ‘em up. Great careers from all three.
Port Adelaide (13.16.94) defeated Richmond (8.15.63)
- Zak Butters (158). Brownlow night is going to be interesting with Butters having a strong finish. Best on IMO here with 30 touches (14 contested), 9 clearances and nice use of 86% DE.
- Dustin Martin (139). Another great score in the second half of the season for Dusty. 33 touches (14 contested) plus 5 tackles and 1 goal.
- Kane Farrell (117). Clean game from Farrell, scoring his fourth ton thanks to 23 touches and 6 marks that gained 606 metres. Just 1 clanger.
- Jayden Short (116). Led the game with 735 metres gained from his 26 touches and 8 marks, with just 1 clanger next to his name. 98 average for the third year running.
- Connor Rozee (114). 33 touches, 6 marks, 6 tackles and 1 goal plus 612 metres gained. Pretty standard from Rozee to finish 2023.
Other 100+ scores: Dan Houston (109), Williem Drew (108), Nathan Broad (105), Ryan Burton (100)
Disappointment: Taranto again, just 19 touches and 67 points. At least everyone had him.
Rookies: Outstanding debuts from a couple of Tigers in Trezise with 17 touches and 5 tackles for 93 points, while Tom Brown, 16 touches and 6 marks, was just as good for 69 points.
Injuries: Seemingly a clean bill for Port before the finals, Hayes the tactical sub. Richmond though, will have to nurse Maurice Rioli and Shai Bolton after the final game of the season.
Sydney (7.14.56) defeated by Melbourne (11.11.77)
- Callum Mills (143). That’s the Mills we know. Best score of the year with a full stat line of 30 touches, 8 marks and 12 tackles plus 1 goal.
- Errol Gulden (138). Super SuperCoach season comes to an end with a massive 42 disposals (14 contested) plus 2 goals and a game best 572 metres gained.
- Jack Viney (136). Finishes with flat 100 average, career best. Eleven tons, the final one thanks to 29 touches and 12 tackles.
- Christina Petracca (122). Flicked a switch after halftime, finishing with 29 touches (17 contested) with 1 major for a twentieth ton of 2023.
- Clayton Oliver (109). Rounds out the top 5 with a 24 touch, 7 tackle game.
Other 100+ scores: Bayley Fritsch (108), Chad Warner (107), Tom McCartin (104), Alex Neal-Bullen (102)
Disappointment: Despite solo rucking, Gawn didn’t stamp himself with just 24 hitouts and 15 touches for 66 points.
Rookies: Nothing to really add, two experienced teams going head to head.
Injuries: Horrid news for Jake Melksham with a knee injury finishing his day and potentially season. Other players had some extended time on the bench but a bye before finals probably means they make it. Sydney didn’t even use their sub.
Carlton (11.7.73) defeated by GWS (16.9.105)
- Tom Green (145). Elite in the middle as per, finding 35 touches (20 contested) with 8 clearances and 5 tackles to lead this games scoring.
- Harry Himmelberg (129). Looked to be in real pain due to a rib issue, but just threw himself everywhere to finish with 24 touches and a team best 549 metres gained.
- Stephen Coniglio (115). 200th game was classic Cogs, as he slotted 2 goals from 28 touches while also having 6 tackles.
- Brent Daniels (112). Close to best on with the impact he had, his speed being a real factor. 23 touches, 1 goal but heaps of important moments as the Giants surged in the second half to claim a spot in the final 8.
- Jacob Weitering (108). Classic Weitering ton with plenty of spoils and intercepts, finishing with 18 touches and 7 marks.
Other 100+ scores: Josh Kelly (104), Nic Newman (101)
Disappointment: Ideally, you didn’t hold Walsh (90) who had 5 clangers on Sunday night. Hewett (84) same ball park.
Rookies: If you fielded Cunningham to finish, his 24 touch 86 was impressive. Buckley (75) gets a mention considering he only had 8 touches.
Injuries: Late in McCullin was subbed out, while the Blues dealt with a collarbone injury to Acres and an iced up leg to Kemp.
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