As the bye rounds come to an end and the season comes to a middle, the rolling All-Australian team takes a deep breath. The side is starting to take shape with the cream rising to the top and that leads to only one change this week. Here’s how the team looks going into the back-half of the year.
Zach Tuohy had a quiet game out west for Geelong, finishing with 25 disposals, but not a great deal of impact on the game. Robbie Tarrant also finds himself on the fringe after North’s backline was comprehensively picked apart by the Saints. The rest of the backline is safe for the time being. Dylan Roberton put forth a good case to get back into the team, putting North to the sword across half back and Kade Simpson comes into the frame after a strong month of footy. Simpson’s 33 disposals and 15 marks were a big factor in Carlton bringing down Gold Coast.
The majority of the midfield had the bye this week, which contributed to the lack of action in this week’s team. Of those that played, Gary Ablett was well tagged by Ed Curnow, but has more than done enough to hold his spot. Joel Selwood had a poor game and has to contend with the MRP, but he’ll hold his spot for the time being. If he misses next week though, he could find Tom Mitchell, Rory Sloane or Josh Kennedy in his spot. Bryce Gibbs’ form this year has also flown under the radar. Gibbs became the first player to ever collect 40 disposals, 10 tackles and multiple goals on the weekend and has shown patches of dominance across the season. Sam Jacobs had the bye this weekend, but Matthew Kreuzer and Brodie Grundy will be fighting very closely for that ruck spot next weekend.
Christian Petracca earned his spot in the side last weekend, but was always only a short term addition to the side. The young Demon has had an outstanding year, but Robbie Gray is probably ahead of him in terms of a spot in this side. Gray has kicked 29 goals this year, including two on the weekend against the Lions. Gray has dealt with a few injuries and has kicked the majority of his goals against lesser teams, meaning his spot is certainly still up for grabs.
The rest of the team is in good shape. Josh Kennedy will demand a spot back in the team when he returns from injury, but for now the three tall forwards are all earning their keep. The full forward line all had the bye this week and Toby Greene and Eddie Betts will be looking for big games to keep Jeff Garlett out of their spots.
FB: Jeremy Howe, Robbie Tarrant, Elliot Yeo
HB: Sam Docherty, Alex Rance, Rory Laird
C: Zach Merrett, Patrick Dangerfield, Josh Kelly
HF: Dayne Zorko, Lance Franklin, Robbie Gray
FF: Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Eddie Betts
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Gary Ablett, Dustin Martin
Int: Zach Tuohy, Joe Daniher, Scott Pendlebury, Joel Selwood
Out: Christian Petracca
On the cusp: Michael Hurley, Matthew Kreuzer, Tom Mitchell, Dylan Roberton, Josh Kennedy’s, Jeff Garlett, Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson
On the fringe: Zach Tuohy, Sam Jacobs, Robbie Tarrant, Robbie Gray