Mongrel of the Year 2019 – Round 2
We here at The Mongrel Punt have devised our own player of the year standings. decided on by those of us writing match reports for the website. After each game, one of the Mongrel writers will give votes in the same manner as the Brownlow. This is not meant to be predictive of the AFL’s fairest and best, however – we actually think a non-midfielder might win. We’re trying to shine a light on the unheralded players, just as much as we are on the stars of the competition, and see who will be crowned the year’s biggest Mongrel… um, King Mongrel? We might need a new name…
Richmond v Collingwood
3 Brody Mihocek (Collingwood)
2 Darcy Moore (Collingwood)
1 Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
You could almost have thrown a dart at Collingwood’s team list on Thursday and picked out a player worthy of votes. While their midfielders ran amok, it was the game of Mihocek that had them come out on top, with two goals, five contested marks and ten inside 50’s. Equally, Darcy Moore played his role to perfection, being rarely beaten one-on-one. And though other Magpies had more of the ball than Pendlebury, he had the biggest impact on the game.
Sydney v Adelaide
3 Josh Kennedy (Sydney)
2 Brad Crouch (Adelaide)
1 Dane Rampe (Sydney)
Josh Kennedy was the one player who kept Sydney in the game on Friday night, with 13 score involvements, 10 clearances and 11 inside 50’s. He might be ageing, but he’s still a bull around the contest. Brad Crouch was the standout Crow in a well-rounded team performance, and looks to be getting back to his best after missing last year, while Dane Rampe wore Eddie Betts like a glove, keeping him to just nine touches and a goal.
Essendon v St Kilda
3 Jade Gresham (St Kilda)
2 Jack Billings (St Kilda)
1 Jack Newnes (St Kilda)
Jade Gresham might really be blossoming into the star St Kilda need, and he wouldn’t have played many games better than he did on Saturday, with his 25 touches and two goals getting his team home. Equally, the oft-maligned Jack Billings was critical to getting his side home, and he looks to have improved his work rate this season. Jack Newnes could have torn this game apart with a few more clinical finishes, but will have to settle for just one vote after his more than handy performance.
Port Adelaide v Carlton
3 Scott Lycett (Port Adelaide)
2 Connor Rozee (Port Adelaide)
1 Jacob Weitering (Carlton)
Two weeks in a row in the votes for premiership ruckman Scott Lycett, and this week it was for an outstanding performance that really proved his worth to his new side. 25 touches (17 contested), 10 clearances and a goal is a monumental day out for a big man. Rozee’s influence came predominantly in the second quarter, and while others may have had more of the ball, he won his side the game with his efforts in just his second appearance at this level. Weitering, meanwhile, was very good in the wet, shutting down Todd Marshall.
Geelong v Melbourne
3 Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
2 Tim Kelly (Geelong)
1 Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)
If Patrick Dangerfield is back to his best then it’s warning bells for the rest of the competition. We may have forgotten how good he can be but on Saturday night, in conditions not conducive to football of any sort, he was a standout, attacking contests with brutal disregard for his own body. Meanwhile, Tim Kelly’s asking price continues to rise, and whichever Perth club wants him the most will be paying big money if he keeps this form up. Clayton Oliver was outstanding in a side that got absolutely belted, a fact for which he can’t personally be faulted, with a mammoth 15 clearances and 25 contested possessions.
West Coast v GWS
3 Luke Shuey (West Coast)
2 Dom Sheed (West Coast)
1 Lachie Whitfield (GWS)
Sheed and Shuey showed that last week was just a blip for their side, with 56 touches and 3 goals between them. Has any player had a better last 6-7 months than Sheed? He’s started this season like a house on fire, continuing his red hot pre-season form while Shuey continues to do as he has always done, backing up his Norm Smith Medal win. Lachie Whitfield backed up his 2018 All Australian selection, with 33 touches at 84% efficiency, to be the leading disposal winner on the ground.
North Melbourne v Brisbane
3 Lachie Neale (Brisbane)
2 Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
1 Daniel Rich (Brisbane)
Lachie Neale continues to do what he did for years at Fremantle, and rack up touches. Though he was more than handy last week, on Sunday he was one of the key factors in getting his side over the line, especially in the last quarter. Ben Cunnington continues to be criminally underrated in AFL circles, and he almost willed his side over the line with 22 contested touches out of 36 total, 10 clearances and a goal. Daniel Rich must have chicken pox or something, because no one looks like they want to go near him when he has the ball, but he had 27 touches on Sunday for 574 metres gained. Could maybe have had another vote if he banged through that goal from 50.
Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs
3 Tory Dickson (Western Bulldogs)
2 Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn)
1 Tom Liberatore (Western Bulldogs)
If the Dogs really are getting back to their 2016 form, and the jury is still out on that, then a key factor in that is Dickson. Kicked 40 goals in the flag year but has only managed 17 games in the two seasons since. Won crucial contests against Ben Stratton on Sunday, something rarer than hen’s teeth, and kicked 3 goals to be best afield. Ricky Henderson played his best game for Hawthorn, and maybe his best game ever, and looked like he was going to will his side home with his third quarter but others fell down around him. It’s good to see Libba back too, and he adds some much needed toughness to the Dogs midfield to complement Bont, Macrae and Hunter.
Gold Coast v Fremantle
3 David Swallow (Gold Coast)
2 Alex Sexton (Gold Coast)
1 Jack Martin (Gold Coast)
It’s good to see players like David Swallow get reward for effort after staying onboard what many saw preseason as the footballing equivalent of the Titanic, and his match winning goal on Sunday justified the decision to imbue him with the co-captaincy. Alex Sexton leads the Coleman Medal. I never thought I’d write that sentence but it’s, again, reward for effort. Jack Martin is one of the most supremely talented players in the league in terms of skill, but was wasteful in front of goal. Kicked 1.3, and could have torn this game apart if he had have kicked straight.
1. Tim Kelly (4)
1. Scott Lycett (4)
1. Alex Sexton (4)
There’s a bunch of players on 3 votes, but these three players are out in front as the only ones to poll across both rounds so far. Who have we missed though? Let us know what you reckon.
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