It is very much a transitional week for our rolling All-Australian side. Three players drop out of the team, but the axe could have come down much harder than it did. Thankfully for the survivors, I’m in a generous mood. Who comes in, who goes out and who was luck to survive? Here’s where the rolling All-Australian side is at.
The one change down back this week is one many were surprised to not see in the initial team. Elliot Yeo has finally found his way in, but he hasn’t dislodged any of the other defenders in the side considering none of them warrant dropping. Taylor Adams has held a position on the half-back line for a while now, but considering he’s a pure midfielder at this point, it’s only fair he gets judged with the rest of the midfielders. Unfortunately for Taylor that means he loses his spot in the back six.
The All-Australian defenders continue to impress. Dylan Roberton and Zach Tuohy are both playing more aggressive roles in 2017, pushing them from more dour defenders into two of the most improved players in the competition. Rory Laird had a lazy 37 disposals and showed even though the Crows are capable of having an absolute mare, he is not. Nathan Brown continues to get the job done, keeping Jon Patton to one goal and standing up in the fourth term when the game was on the line.
Phil Davis returned from injury and did a great job on Josh Bruce, keeping him to one goal for the night. Jeremy McGovern didn’t have the best game against the Power and will have Davis breathing down his neck if he doesn’t perform next week. Fellow Giant Zac Williams has also had an excellent year, but sits behind the current team.
The Brisbane Lions have had a dirty fortnight and Dayne Zorko dropping out of the team caps it off. Zorko had 21 disposals and kicked a goal against the Swans, but there are other midfielders who have gone passed him, probably partially because Brisbane have been so poor. Luke Shuey has had a year rivalling that of any other midfielder in this team and he slots in on the wing after his 26 disposal game against the Power.
Zach Merrett, Gary Ablett and Dustin Martin continue to dominate for their respective sides and aren’t going anywhere. Rory Sloane had a poor game against North Melbourne who targeted him all day, but he’s got enough credits built up to keep his spot for now. Clayton Oliver also did enough to keep his spot with 28 disposals.
Patrick Dangerfield won’t make excuses, but he hasn’t been the same player over the last few weeks. He’s clearly playing sore and it’s not allowing him to be the same damaging player. He had 29 disposals and finished the game strongly, but he’s not having the same impact. Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Scully are knocking on the door and will jump into the side at the first opportunity. Lachie Neale and Scott Pendlebury are also in the mix.
Brodie Grundy is also on the edge. He’s playing well, but not quite at All-Australian levels. Sam Jacobs and Stefan Martin had strong performances, while statistically Shane Mumford also deserves a spot. Fair to say Grundy’s going to need a good one next week.
Robbie Gray only just forced his way into the team, but his inconsistent season came back to bite him again because he was unsighted against the Eagles. He’s dominated average opposition in recent weeks, but until he can do it consistently and against the best teams, he’s not finding his way back into the team. Luke Dahlhaus has deserved a spot for a while now and replaces Gray on the half-forward flank. Dahlhaus was arguably the most important player on the ground for the Dogs in their fourth quarter comeback against the Tigers.
Eddie Betts kicked three of Adelaide’s nine goals and isn’t going anywhere. Josh Kennedy was inaccurate, but still kicked a couple and isn’t going anywhere either. Everyone else is living dangerously.
Daniel Menzel kicked two goals, but was quiet for most of the day, Taylor Walker had one he’d like to forget and Toby Greene is on the sidelines for two weeks. Greene has done enough to hold his spot for the duration of his suspension, but Menzel and Walker are on notice. A bloke named Lance Franklin is putting his hand up for a spot in the team and the Riewoldt cousins are thereabouts as well.
FB: Dylan Roberton, Nathan Brown, Zach Tuohy
HB: Elliot Yeo, Jeremy McGovern, Rory Laird
C: Zach Merrett, Gary Ablett, Luke Shuey
HF: Luke Dahlhaus, Jeremy Cameron, Daniel Menzel
FF: Taylor Walker, Josh Kennedy, Eddie Betts
Foll: Brodie Grundy, Rory Sloane, Dustin Martin
Int: Toby Greene, Patrick Dangerfield, Clayton Oliver, Sam Docherty
Out: Robbie Gray, Dayne Zorko, Taylor Adams
On the cusp: Lance Franklin, Sam Jacobs, Stefan Martin, Marcus Bontempelli, Phil Davis
One the fringe: Brodie Grundy, Sam Docherty, Patrick Dangerfield, Daniel Menzel, Taylor Walker, Jeremy McGovern