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Three Lions named in AFL Media's Team of the Week

Jennifer Phelan, AFL.com.au  June 14, 2017 10:15 AM

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FOUR Bombers, a trio of Lions and the little maestro in the middle feature in the Round 12 Team of the Week.

Essendon's win over Port Adelaide came on the back of Cale Hooker's spectacular five first-half goals and a four-major haul from Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti. 

They also benefited from the half-back drive of Conor McKenna and the midfield prowess of Zach Merrett, although the standout midfielder from the round was undoubtedly Gary Ablett.

It was a sublime performance from Ablett, who, along with Gold Coast co-captain Steven May, drove their team to just their third win at the MCG.

Unlucky to miss out this week were Dyson Heppell, Tom Mitchell, Seb Ross, Harris Andrews, Michael Hurley, Rory Laird and Sam Reid. 

But, with Jack Gunston kicking five goals in a losing side, Christian Petracca dominating the Demons' win over Collingwood and Matthew Kreuzer winning the ruck spot from a bevy of contenders including Brodie Grundy and Sam Jacobs, competition was hot. 

Melbourne captain Nathan Jones filled the last spot on the bench after winning the social media fan vote from the Sydney Swans' Josh Kennedy with 52 per cent.

SAM DOCHERTY (Carlton): Gave the Blues plenty of drive from defence and his ability to hit a target stood out in a scrappy game. Had 35 possessions, eight rebounds and took 12 marks.

STEVEN MAY (Gold Coast): Played at times on Jarryd Roughead (0.1) but did his best work loose where he marshalled the Suns' defence and gave them excellent rebound with 24 disposals, eight intercept possessions and 13 marks. 

JAKE LEVER (Adelaide): Played loose in defence, where he collected 20 disposals at a 90 per cent efficiency rating. Also took six marks and had seven intercept possessions in the Crows' big win over the Saints.

CONOR McKENNA (Essendon): Played a strong game off half-back, where he collected 22 disposals with an efficiency rating of 77 per cent. Also had the most intercept possessions of any Bomber (nine) and the most metres gained (655m), and contributed with seven score involvements.

HEATH GRUNDY (Sydney): Annihilated Travis Cloke (eight touches, no score) in one-on-ones while still collecting plenty of the ball himself. Ended with 22 touches at nearly 82 per cent efficiency and took seven marks. 

JEREMY HOWE (Collingwood): Took yet another spectacular mark that may go down as his best. Has now been nominated for the weekly mark of the year award 28 times since 2011, has won the nomination 12 times, and took out the whole prize in 2012. Against the Demons, took 10 marks in total and was second at the Pies for intercept possessions (nine).   

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DAYNE ZORKO (Brisbane Lions): Started with a bang with 14 touches and a goal in the opening term. Finished with 30 and two majors, plus a team-high 10 clearances. An impressive display in the Lions' win. 

GARY ABLETT (Gold Coast): Couldn't do much more than 37 disposals, 578m gained, two goals, 11 scoring involvements, eight clearances and 10 tackles against the Hawks. Did it all despite being marooned on the bench for eight minutes in the tense last quarter when the Suns couldn't orchestrate a rotation. 

STEELE SIDEBOTTOM (Collingwood): Was significant in the first half when the Pies assembled their 28-point advantage. Showed his excellent decision-making skills and hit targets inside 50. Contributed with 32 disposals and 528m gained.

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CHRISTIAN PETRACCA (Melbourne): Won the Neale Daniher Trophy for best on ground and was a key source of inspiration when the Demons were in need. Gathered 18 disposals, took seven marks and kicked three goals. 

CALE HOOKER (Essendon): Has received criticism for his role up forward over the last few weeks, but responded with a dominant performance in the Bombers' win. The former star defender finished with five goals, all in the first half, and nine marks.  

TOM LYNCH (Adelaide): Kicked three goals alongside Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins. Also gathered 22 disposals, eight marks and five inside 50s, proving to be a vital connection into the Crows' forward line.  

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LEWIS TAYLOR (Brisbane Lions): Booted four goals with his last coming from an impressive run along the wing late in the third term. The small forward also racked up 20 disposals and four goal assists. 

JACK GUNSTON (Hawthorn): Almost got the Hawks over the line with three of his five goals booted during the final quarter. Also gathered 19 disposals and 12 marks in a season-best performance. 

ANTHONY McDONALD-TIPUNGWUTI (Essendon): Was electric with four goals and 19 disposals in Essendon's demolition over Port. Provided his usual excitement with a goal of the year contender late in the final quarter. 

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MATTHEW KREUZER (Carlton): Starred in his 150th game with 33 hit-outs and six marks against Shane Mumford. The former No.1 draft pick proved vital in Carlton's upset win over the Giants.

ZACH MERRETT (Essendon): Was among a host of stars for the Bombers and dominated throughout the midfield with 38 disposals, seven tackles and a goal.

ISAAC HEENEY (Sydney): Was very impressive in the Swans' win over the Bulldogs. The youngster finished with 31 disposals and nine score involvements. 

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DAYNE BEAMS (Brisbane Lions): A consistent four-quarter effort from the former Magpie. Stood out in a midfield full of Freo stars and ended with 36 disposals, was third at the Lions in metres gained (463m), won nine clearances and kicked a goal. 

JACK VINEY (Melbourne): Petracca was the Demons' star but Viney got the grunt work done when it was needed. Had 25 touches (10 contested) and laid seven tackles, but it was his last-quarter contribution he'll be remembered for.

TOM PAPLEY (Sydney): Had nine scoring involvements and kicked two goals, and applied notable pressure (eight tackles) on his way to 21 touches and seven inside 50s.

The fans' pick

NATHAN JONES (MELBOURNE): Snuck home in the social media vote after his workmanlike game against Collingwood. Had 23 touches (11 contested) and laid 12 tackles.