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Team of the Week: Round 21

It was a tough round to be an inside midfielder with many deserving engine-room players missing out on selection in this week's Team of the Week.

The ones that could not be ignored were Matt Crouch, Dayne Beams and Luke Parker, while Stephen Coniglio and Dan Hannebery snuck in but had to line up on the wings.

Unlucky to miss out were the likes of Marc Murphy, Nathan Jones, Luke Shuey and Tom Rockliff.

Jasper Pittard, Elliot Yeo and Zac Williams were edged out of a backline that featured a couple of young guns and a few experienced defenders, including Lachie Henderson and Jordan Lewis, who played his best game for the Demons.

Harry Taylor's goal-kicking heroics in the absence of Tom Hawkins gave him the nod, while Josh Kennedy locked himself into the full forward position – and possibly the Coleman Medal with six goals.

Robbie Gray and Ben Reid missed out, with Cam Pedersen and Lewis Taylor doing enough to pinch the opposite pockets.

The social media head-to-head went the way of Lance Franklin, who easily accounted for Josh Jenkins with 67 per cent of the Twitter vote going the way of the big Swan. 

ANDREW McGRATH (Essendon) – Not only kept Eddie Betts goalless and well below his usual influence, but had 25 disposals, took eight marks and had five rebounds in an impressive game.

JEREMY McGOVERN (West Coast) – Solid in defence for the Eagles with 20 disposals at 80 per cent efficiency. Also took 11 marks and had 11 intercept possessions against the Blues.

LUKE BROWN (Adelaide) – Held Essendon's danger man Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti goalless and to just eight touches while amassing 17 disposals and four marks himself.

JAMES SICILY (Hawthorn) – The feisty backman had 12 intercept possessions from his 27, took nine marks and had six rebounds, which saw him only just get the nod from teammates Luke Hodge and Jack Gunston.

LACHIE HENDERSON (Geelong) – Led the competition (equal with Michael Hibberd and Sicily) for intercept possessions with 12. Staged a stingy defence along with Zach Tuohy, Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan, and took eight marks with five rebounds.

JORDAN LEWIS (Melbourne) – Along with Nathan Jones, was a steadying influence for the Demons when the game was on the line. Had 25 touches and took seven marks, and was huge late in the game.


DAN HANNEBERY (Sydney Swans) – Part of a dominant midfield in a landslide win. Had 29 disposals, seven inside 50s, five tackles and six marks.

MATT CROUCH (Adelaide) – Was the Crows' prime ball mover with 35 possessions (20 contested), with an efficient disposal rate of nearly 83 per cent, and seven clearances plus two goal assists.

STEPHEN CONIGLIO (Greater Western Sydney) – Showed his importance with 25 disposals in the talent-heavy Giants midfield. Won eight clearances – five in the centre – and laid six tackles.


JACK BILLINGS (St Kilda) – Ended with a puffy eye but not before being a shining light for the Saints. Had 30 possessions and took nine marks, and was let down only by his inaccuracy in front of goal (1.3). 

HARRY TAYLOR (Geelong) – Had to be the man in attack with Tom Hawkins suspended and relished with the extra responsibility. Reduced Alex Rance's influence, but importantly kicked four goals, which went a long way to helping the undermanned Cats to their unexpected win.



CHAD WINGARD (Port Adelaide) – There were a few Power standouts in their win over Collingwood, but Wingard's 32 touches on return from a two-week ankle injury put him a notch above with his influential last quarter. Also drove his team with 601m gained (third overall for the round) and took eight marks.

CAM PEDERSEN (Melbourne) – Showed his worth as a support ruckman and in attack with 26 possessions, two goals, eight marks and six tackles in a different-looking Demons' forward line.

JOSH KENNEDY (West Coast) – Six more goals takes the star spearhead to 60 for the season – one clear of Joe Daniher in the race for the Coleman Medal. Was the difference in the Eagles' 17-point win over the Blues. 

LEWIS TAYLOR (Brisbane Lions) – Showed his creativity with 25 disposals at 96 per cent efficiency (he missed just one target), booted two goals and had three assists.

MATTHEW KREUZER (Carlton) – Took control of the battle with Nathan Vardy and helped midfield teammates Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs match it with the Eagles' engine room. Had 33 hit-outs, seven tackles, five clearances and 17 disposals. 

DAYNE BEAMS (Brisbane Lions) – Easily best on ground in the QClash. Had 32 touches, kicked four goals, contributed with four assists and had a whopping 13 scoring involvements. Got his team back in the game after a poor start and kicked goals at important times.


LUKE PARKER (Sydney) – Like Beams, got the job done in the midfield and up forward with 29 disposals, three goals and 14 score involvements. Also won seven clearances and took the ball inside 50 six times.

PATRICK DANGERFIELD (Geelong) – Returned from suspension and stepped up in the absence of fellow midfielders Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan. Had 30 disposals (21 contested), 11 clearances, 10 tackles and eight inside 50s.

DYLAN SHIEL (Greater Western Sydney) – All eyes have been on Josh Kelly recently, but it was Shiel and Coniglio this week. Was a midfield force with 30 touches, five tackles and five inside 50s, despite his shoulder issues.

CLAYTON OLIVER (Melbourne) – Took control of the stoppages with seven clearances, and also contributed with six tackles and 32 possessions, which went with an 81.3 per cent efficiency rating.

The fans' pick

LANCE FRANKLIN (Sydney Swans) – Easily won the fan vote from Adelaide's Josh Jenkins for his four goals and 24 possessions against Fremantle. Started well against draftee Griffin Logue before being somewhat tempered by Joel Hamling, but it was still a return to form for the big forward.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs