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.
The footy felt like somewhat of an afterthought this week, with finals now fast approaching. Instead of focusing on the results from a pretty ordinary round of matches, I’ll be revisiting my mid-season All-Australian team to find out who has forced their way in and who has unfortunately missed out. New inclusions to the team are named in blue.
B Harry O’Brien Brian Lake Sam Gilbert
I’ve decided to omit Jarrod Harbrow and bring in Harry O’Brien. I don’t think there’ll be any arguments here. I like Harbrow but O’Brien has demonstrated an ability to play on smalls and talls alike, yet still provides a lot of run out of the backline for Collingwood. Lake and Gilbert keep their spot without too much fuss.
HB Brendan Goddard Harry Taylor Luke Hodge
I’m comfortable with no changes to this line. Goddard and Hodge on the half back flanks are about as good as it gets, whilst Taylor is as dependable on anyone at centre half back.
C Dane Swan Lenny Hayes Leigh Montagna
Michael Barlow is a forced omission after his horrific mid-season knee injury, replaced by the irrepressible Dane Swan of Collingwood. Swan, who is widely expected to take out the Brownlow Medal this year, has been stellar once again but continues to be under-rated in some circles.
HF Paul Chapman Matthew Pavlich Brent Harvey
Similarly to the half back line – Chapman, Pavlich and Harvey have, for the most part, continued to have outstanding seasons.
F Alan Didak Jack Riewoldt Lance Franklin
James Podsiadly and Eddie Betts make way for Alan Didak and Lance Franklin in the forward pockets. Both deserve recognition for their excellent form. Franklin has averaged 5 goals a game in his last five matches and has quietly racked up 56 goals for the season, good enough for fourth in the AFL.
R Aaron Sandilands Gary Ablett Chris Judd
Whilst consideration was given to Darren Jolly or Mark Jamar in the ruck position, Sandilands keeps his spot after dominating the position for 18 games so far this season. Ablett and Judd are without peer in the competition.
INT Darren Jolly, Scott Pendlebury, Corey Enright, Joel Selwood
I’m much more comfortable with the team at this end of the season, compared to the mid-season team. I’ve included Jolly, Pendlebury, Enright and Selwood on the bench – to round off the team with a touch of class, toughness and experience.
Round 21 – Round Results
Geelong 121 defeated Carlton 79
St Kilda 115 defeated Richmond 94
Hawthorn 155 defeated Fremantle 39
Collingwood 54 defeated Adelaide 51
Sydney 114 defeated Western Bulldogs 70
Port Adelaide 112 defeated Melbourne 83
Essendon 68 lost to Brisbane 95
West Coast 94 lost to North Melbourne 110