Harris Andrews has set a new AFL benchmark for defensive prowess in his first game as the Brisbane Lions’ official vice-captain.
And, in another piece of statistical artistry in Saturday’s game against the Sydney Swans at the Gabba, Mitch Robinson has bettered a Club icon for a place in the Lions' record book.
Andrews had an astonishing 26 one-percenters against the Swans to not just better but smash the all-time AFL record since the League started keeping this statistic in 1999.
The previous best was 22 by Port Adelaide’s Dougal Howard in the finals last year.
The previous best by a Lions player was Daniel Merrett’s 20, which the former vice-captain had twice in 2011.
By definition, one-percenters relate to “a variety of actions which benefit the team but are infrequent or defensive”. They are knock-ons, spoils, smothers, and shepherds.
Andrews, having assumed the official understudy role last week after Dayne Zorko took over from Dayne Beams as captain, was supreme with his ability to spoil his Sydney opponents in a marking contest in the wet.
More definitively, with the Swans having had 51 inside 50s it is right to say that about half of them were met by a spoil from the Lions player wearing jumper #31.
Andrews now sits at the top of an AFL list of just eight recorded occurrences in which a player has had 20 one-percenters or more in a game. They are:
26 – Harris Andrews (Brisbane) – 2018
22 – Dougal Howard (Port Adel) - 2017
21 – Josh Gibson (Hawthorn) – 2011
21 – Dougal Howard (Port Adel) – 2018
20 – Daniel Merrett (Brisbane) – 2011
20 – Daniel Merrett (Brisbane) – 2011
20 – Michael Hartley (Essendon) - 2016
20 – Jack Hombsch (Port Adel) – 2016
Andrews’ best in 67 previous games was 16, which he had had twice – against Hawthorn a week earlier and against Gold Coast in Round 1 last year.
Robinson’s record-breaking effort was in contested possessions. And although not quite on the same competition-wide level, it was equally significant given the mark it bettered.
Robinson had 26 contested possessions against the Swans.
The previous best by a Lions player since this statistic was introduced in 1999 was Simon Black’s 25 in an effort that won him the Norm Smith Medal in the 2003 Grand Final.
In one of the great all-time big-time performances in the game’s history, Black that day had a career-high 39 possessions, plus a team-high nine clearances and nine tackles. And he kicked a goal in the Lions’ 50-point win over Collingwood that completed the premiership hat-trick.
Only six Lions players have had 20-plus contested possessions in a game.
Black hit this mark seven times to lead Tom Rockliff’s five. Robinson now has done so twice to equal the effort of Beams, while Zorko and Luke Power have one game of 20+ contested possessions to their credit. The top five are:
26 – Mitch Robinson (2018)
25 – Simon Black (2003)
23 – Tom Rockliff (2016)
22 – Dayne Zorko (2014)
22 – Tom Rockliff (2014)
There have only been 11 single-game performances above Robinson’s 26 contested possessions in a game in AFL history.
The all-time record was set only two weeks ago, when North Melbourne’s Ben Cunnington had 32 against Richmond in Round 8.
This bettered the previous best of 29, set by Patrick Dangerfield when playing with Adelaide in 2015, and Sydney’s Josh Kennedy in 2014.
Robinson also had a career-best 13 clearances against the Swans, topping his previous best of 10 to go with 35 possessions and seven tackles. His highest possession count in what is now 158 games is 39.
Beams, coming off a tough week in which he relinquished the captaincy for personal reasons, had 38 possessions against the Swans – equal third best in his outstanding 156-game career.
Last year he had 40 possessions against Adelaide at the Gabba in Round 9 and 41 against West Coast at Subiaco in Round 19.
Zorko, confirming he will handle the captaincy without any problems, had an equal career-best 12 tackles on Saturday.
It was the sixth time he’s had 12 tackles and is the equal most tackles in a game by a Lions player this year, matching his own effort against Hawthorn in Round 9 and Robinson’s 12 tackles against the Bulldogs in Round 8.
To top off a game of big numbers, Stefan Martin had a massive 58 hit-outs.
It was the seventh time in his career Martin has topped 50 hit-outs – all with Brisbane – and his second-best effort all-time behind his Club record 63 against Hawthorn in Launceston last year. He’s also had a 52, three 51’s and three 50’s.
The only other player to have been credited with 50+ hit-outs in a game for Brisbane is Matthew Leuenberger. He had a 52-hit out game in 2011 and a 51-hit out game in 2015.
There have only been 18 instances in AFL history of players having more than 58 hit-outs in a game since hit-out records began in 1966. They’ve been split between nine players.
Todd Goldstein holds the AFL record for most hit-outs at 80 in 2015 and has had five games of 59 or more. Max Gawn had three games of 59 or more, Sam Jacobs, Aaron Sandilands and Shane Mumford two, and Martin, Gary Dempsey, Matthew Lobbe and Mike Pyke one.
Bell fires in NEAFL loss
Tom Bell continued his push for a Senior recall by gathering a huge 42 disposals (19 contested) in the Lions NEAFL side's 16-point loss to the Swans on Saturday.
Bell also produced nine clearances, kicked a goal and took the ball inside 50 six times.
Jacob Allison and Ryan Lester both kicked two goals while Jack Frost and Josh Walker took three contested marks each.
The Swans outpointed the Lions in most of the team statistics, including contested possessions (+13), tackles (+14) marks inside 50 (+3) and inside 50s (+8).