The Following is a guest post by Luke who offered his views on each game from the round. If you are interested in having your thoughts published on the AFLSpace site, contact me. Many thanks to Luke for providing this great review.
We’ve reached the “split round” which feels as good a time as any to check-in on how an 2010 All-Australian team may be looking. I’ve also included a quick recap of the results from this round.
B Jarrod Harbrow Brian Lake Sam Gilbert
Harbrow and Lake have been terrific for the Dogs this season, with Harbrow impressing with his run and zip from defense, whilst Lake is an easy selection at full back. In the other back pocket is Sam Gilbert, one of the main reasons the Saints have maintained their good form in the absence of Nick Reiwoldt.
HB Brendan Goddard Harry Taylor Luke Hodge
I consider Goddard and Hodge to be automatic selections on the back flanks, whilst it was a bit harder to lock in a centre half back at this stage of the season, with Harry Taylor getting the nod ahead of some others given his consistency in the position for the Cats.
C Michael Barlow Lenny Hayes Leigh Montagna
Each year it is difficult to narrow down a centre line and 2010 is proving to be no different. I can’t look past Dockers rising star Michael Barlow who is ranked 6th in average disposals and making a massive impact in the West. A pair of Saints – in Hayes and Montagna – fill the other two spots in the centre for their ball-getting ability and disposal efficiency.
HF Paul Chapman Matthew Pavlich Brent Harvey
Paul Chapman is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career and would be a lock in anyone’s All-Australian side. Pavlich is 4th in the goal kicking but impressively he averages the most disposals of the top 10 goal kickers so far this season. Brent Harvey has been amongst the best players of the season over the past couple of months.
F James Podsiadly Jack Riewoldt Eddie Betts
Podsiadly has been a revelation for Geelong and is a deserved All-Australian selection. Jack Riewoldt wins the full forward spot with a league best 48 goals so far. The other forward pocket was a tough call, with a number of players putting their hand up. I’ve awarded the position to Eddie Betts for being dangerous around goal in addition to his outstanding defensive skills.
R Aaron Sandilands Gary Ablett Chris Judd
Aaron Sandilands has dominated in the ruck for the Dockers and leads just about every statistical category compared to other eligible ruck contenders. There is no need for discussion regarding the selections of Ablett and Judd in the on-ball division – they are both superstars in every sense of the word.
INT Mark Jamar, Lance Franklin, Dane Swan, Steve Johnson
Jamar has been superb for the Dees in the ruck, and is the obvious second ruck selection for this team. Franklin has missed 3 games but has been sensational recently in the Hawks resurgence and a handy player off the bench. Dane Swan is second only to Ablett in total disposals and must be acknowledged for his work rate. I don’t rate Steve Johnson as highly as most, but I don’t mind him on the bench in this team – he is in the top 5 in goals in 2010 after all.
EMG Jimmy Bartel, Corey Enright, Bryce Gibbs
Three guys I found it tough to leave out of the squad of 22, each for different reasons. Bartel is often overlooked in the star-studded midfield of Geelong but has been solid again this season. Speaking of Geelong, Corey Enright continues to do his job superbly week in, week out in defense with very little fanfare. Bryce Gibbs is the other to just miss the cut in this team, but he has continued his improvement and may yet be an All-Australian at years end.
Round 13 – Round Recap
Hawthorn 102 defeated Essendon 86 – Buddy Franklin’s final quarter goal kicking heroics was enough to extend the Hawks winning streak to 6 wins in one of the most entertaining matches of 2010.
Carlton 87 lost to Fremantle 96 – The Dockers powered into the mid-season break with a 9-point win against Carlton in Melbourne, with the margin flattering the Blues after being down big most of the game.
Brisbane 86 lost to Richmond 105 – The Lions struggles continued with a shock home loss to the Tigers at the Gabba in Brisbane.
North Melbourne 129 defeated Port Adelaide 93 – The Power have well and truly checked out for 2010, as the Roos continued their rise up the ladder.
West Coast 59 lost to Western bulldogs 119 – With the Dogs looking to turn the corner entering the second half of the season, they made short work of the Eagles at Subiaco.
St Kilda 70 defeated Geelong 46 – After dominating early, the Cats couldn’t hit the side of a barn in the second half as the Saints exacted some Grand Final revenge with a comfortable 24-point win.
Sydney 71 lost to Collingwood 96 – Collingwood has dominated the Swans in recent years, winning the past 8 encounters since 2006 – with the trend continuing on Saturday night with another victory.
Adelaide 117 defeated Melbourne 73 – The Demons needed a win away from Melbourne on Sunday against the Crows, but their shocking record away from home continued with a deflating loss to Adelaide.