Here at The Mongrel, we do things our way. We love the Gary Ayres Medal, but we’re after a more rounded way of assessing players in the finals.

As such, we have been compiling figures in our Mongrel Punt Player of the Finals.

As part of this process, Trent Adam Shields has been compiling player ratings for every final this post-season and here are his returns for the Cats’ triumph over the Lions.




[38] Jack Henry – 7

The young defender ruled the aerial contests with a team-high three contested marks, like most of the defence went at a secure 80% efficiency for his ten disposals, the only blemish being caught holding the ball at the end of the first right in front of goal by Charlie Cameron. Kicked an important goal at the beginning of the third after a terrific mark from a Dangerfield shank.


[7] Harry Taylor – 6

The veteran staved off retirement again as he marshalled his troops in the backline with a minimum of fuss, only six touches but wasn’t required to do much. Would be more than happy to be as inconspicuous next week as well.


[8] Jake Kolodjashnij – 5

Started on livewire Charlie Cameron and was badly burned as the speedster kept his side alive with two first term goals. Fought back well to acquire five intercepts amongst his nine disposals but a last quarter free kick to Neale for a clumsy tackle gave the Lions one last glimmer of hope.


[25] Lachie Henderson – 8

The renaissance man is in career best form after being delisted after last season. Based on player ratings if the premier Geelong player across this final series and was again superb. A team-high seven intercepts, six marks, three tackles and 15 touches at 87%, and was highlighted by a beautifully judged contested mark over a flailing Cam Rayner.


[46] Mark Blicavs – 7

Extremely important early setting the tone for the match with four clearances and five tackles including two inside the forward 50, also contributed six score involvements from just ten possessions. Created the spill and forward momentum that resulted in the first of Hawkins goals.


[44] Tom Stewart – 8

Had the big-bodied Cam Ellis-Yolmen assigned to him in a bid to reduce his impact but that failed dismally as the former Crow was a complete non-factor. Returned nineteen disposals with a team-high 463m gained displaying all of his nous as he expertly positioned himself on the goal line to prevent a quick snap from Lions skipper Zorko in the second term.


[22] Mitch Duncan – 7

The Geelong star was one of only two players to rack up more than twenty disposals for the night and led the Cats with 22. Opposition teams must dread the sight of Duncan with ball in hand carefully plotting his next precise pass inside F50. Multiple times he set up teammates and had nine score involvements, the best of which was a long ball to Miers after intercepting a Rich kick, while also handing off to Ablett for the latter’s long goal from 55m in the third.


[14] Joel Selwood – 8

The inspirational Geelong skipper stands on the precipice of leading his team to long-awaited glory as he recovered from a first term where he didn’t trouble the stat men to finish with sixteen disposals, a game-high nine tackles, four clearances and six score involvements. His only misstep in the last three quarters an ill-fated lob kick to Hawkins which was easily dealt with by Andrews when he should’ve taken the shot on goal, didn’t matter in the end as his side completely outclassed the opposition.


[27] Sam Menegola – 8

A nervy second term where a dropped chest mark which led to a Hipwood goal, and simple missed chance at the other end when he had Hawkins free in the goal square could have derailed his night, but instead drove him to higher heights in the second half as the running machine finished with game-highs for marks and score involvements with seven and ten respectively. Showed his power to work in the third as he brushed aside Berry in a foot race and set up Ablett for his first.


[40] Luke Dahlhaus – 5

The former Dog was easily the quietest of those in the blue and white hoops with only nine disposals (one kick) and a disappointing tally of zero tackles. Starting on Rich he wasn’t able to quell his influence and gave away a silly 50m penalty in the last that should have resulted in a goal to Lester.


[23] Gary Rohan – 7

Got off the leash in the last term with six of his eleven disposals and two of his game-high three goals to pad out numbers that were only fair before that point. Has the capacity to make a strong impact in a short period of time as shown by his quick snap after a Starcevich error in the second term, now has the chance to exorcise some considerable GF day demons next week.


[32] Gryan Miers – 7

His last quarter goal put the result beyond doubt in another lively display illustrated by 14 touches and three tackles. Responding quickly to a poor miss in the third term he worked back hard the other way to pressure Lincoln McCarthy into a turnover in an act that would have been favourably viewed by the coaching panel.


[42] Mark O’Connor – 6

The Irishman was neat with thirteen disposals and five marks but like fellow defender Harry Taylor not called on to do another out of the ordinary. Has a chance to emulate trailblazer Tadgh Kennelly as a premiership player if the Cats are able to salute next week.


[26] Tom Hawkins – 8

For shrewd tactical minds AFL coaches have been remarkably slow at countering Hawkins’ ability to control ball ups inside the F50, with the big Cat recording a career-high three hit outs to advantage amongst his 11 taps for the night. Nine score involvements from 12 touches, a game-high three tackles I50 and despite a couple of late behinds, his two early goals from sharp angles will give him extreme confidence on the same ground next week.


[37] Sam Simpson – 8

Most finals series throw up a surprising player who latches on to his opportunity and ride a wave of confidence to produce performances far exceeding what most pundits expected, undoubtedly that player in 2020 is Sam Simpson who has followed his stunningly assured performance last week with a starring role against the Lions. A game-high five clearances and equal game-high three tackles I50 were the highlights in a match where he made the Lions defence namely Grant Birchall pay by not affording enough respect with regards to close checking.


[1] Rhys Stanley – 6

16 hit outs and 15 disposals, but surprisingly no clearances as Stanley must have been the guy creating space and time for the clearances a dozen times. Made Stef Martin look second rate but will have his hands full against Tiger Toby Nankervis next week who excels once the ball hits the ground.


[35] Patrick Dangerfield – 7

The Geelong champion was again prominent with seventeen power-packed disposals and game-highs for I50 with nine and centre clearances with three. He also added eight score involvements, albeit some fortuitous as his disposal is still questionable under pressure running at only 58% as his team recorded 72%. One example, in typical fashion he burst from the centre with no one around and missed a F50 target by 25m simply cannot be repeated next week against a far superior opponent.


[29] Cameron Guthrie – 8

Huge influence defensively on the Lions midfield with only Lachie Neale able to exert any influence on the match, Guthrie’s positioning and discipline allowing his teammates clear access to the ball on numerous occasions. Finished with 17 touches at just under 80% along with five score involvements, will need to bring the same intensity and then some for the challenge of his life next week.


[2] Zach Tuohy – 7

Without dominating any games Tuohy is proving a valuable utility, dangerous at both ends of the field and a constant source of production for coach Chris Scott. Capitalising on a poor kick out of defence by Andrews in the first Tuohy gathered cleanly and his raking kick found Parfitt unmarked at the top of the square, then in the last he easily outpointed a disappointing Mitch Robinson and kicked truly to secure Geelong’s first GF berth in ten years. 16 touches, three clearances and five score involvements in another very good, steady game.


[3] Brandan Parfitt – 8

A revelation this finals series as a bona fide star, the young midfielder compliments the attacking nature of his teammates with elite defence as his seven tackles attest, the best of which brought down Jarrod Berry in the middle of a Lion surge in the second term. Kicked one goal in the first as his hard running got on the end of a Tuohy return and should have had a second as he cruised through a flat-footed defence by sprayed the kick in the third.


[4] Gary Ablett – 8

Does Gary Ablett have one final great performance in his tremendous career? If that question was asked before the Preliminary Final, the answer is an emphatic yes as the little champ turned back the clock as he was one of the best players o the ground. For some reason Brisbane decided to give him time and space, and that’s where he’ll still cut a side to ribbons setting up Hawkins for his second with a perfectly weighted trademark pass, and then kicking two of his own in the third, the first opportunistic as he got on the end of a Danger handball after some Menegola magic and the second an immediate reply to Rayner’s team lifter as he burst out of the middle to kick truly from 55m. Seven score involvements from his fourteen possessions and four tackles show there is still a little left in the tank for one final ride.


[24] Jed Bews – 7

Another of the Cats backmen not overly required to report for duty as Geelong’s fearsome midfield squeeze kept the ball out of the Lions forward line for much of the game. Only eight disposals with four intercepts but made an impact with a big tackle stopping a streaming Jarrod Berry in his boots when trying to ignite a Lion push in the second.




[10] Daniel Rich – 6

The Lions backline general was prominent with eighteen touches and a game-high 525m gained, but in taking risks to try to win the game made uncharacteristic mistakes that led to turnovers in dangerous locations. Was exposed several times defensively, again at least partially due to a lack of impact further afield by teammates but allowed Ablett and Parfitt to stroll past for shots on goal.


[40] Jack Payne – 7

The last-minute inclusion due to Darcy Gardiner succumbing to a knee injury acquitted himself brilliantly and should build on this performance to claim a permanent spot in the 22 from next season. Five marks including a game-high four contested and a brilliant take down tackle on Gary Rohan in the last confirmed his defensive credentials, can hold his head high in a sad team performance.


[31] Harris Andrews – 6

The Brisbane key defensive AA lowered his colours to Tom Hawkins in a heavyweight bout, and equal team high seven intercepts but only around 50% of his season average spoils showed the pressure he was under guarding Hawkins. Took some telling marks but was unable to generate attacking moves as is his norm, one example in the first term where he beat Hawkins and Dangerfield then blazed away where the ball was quickly returned for a Geelong goal.


[33] Zac Bailey – 5

The Lions speedster found no room to move and was caught numerous times by a ravenous Cats midfield pack, he kept presenting but without any support from his tall forwards was starved of opportunity and just eight touches and one behind was a disappointing return from a player who took great leaps forward this season.


[35] Ryan Lester – 6

The maligned Brisbane backman has done an exceptional job this season, often playing on much larger opponents and becoming an important part of the defensive structure. In this game he was matched up against Dangerfield and despite the cat superstar playing a good game, Lester stuck to his task well and was far from disgraced. Team highs for marks (6) and intercepts (7) were a good return, especially when he had such a critical defensive role, however a horribly missed chance at goal after a strong contested mark and 50m penalty essentially snuffed out any remaining hope of the Lions winning.


[14] Grant Birchall – 2

The former Hawk put in an all-time shocker, from allowing Simpson far too much leeway, being smothered twice kicking over the mark (surely the first time that’s happened to one of history’s best kicks) to tearing a hamstring in the dying moments kicking the ball in after a behind. This is a game a storied champion would want to forget quick smart.


[6] Hugh McCluggage – 4

Starting brightly the young Lions star hit up Charlie Cameron for a goal assist after hard running to be involved several times in the one chain, despite continued effort his execution let him down thereafter. An un-pressured kick inside forward 50 in the last missing an easy target amongst other gaffes with ball in hand. Seventeen disposals but at a disappointing 47% efficiency will be the number one area to rectify in his exit interview.


[5] Mitch Robinson – 1

The lovable rogue with the big heart never got going in this one after a nasty poke in the eye in the opening minutes, twelve disposals at a paltry 50% efficiency indicative of the Lions inability to execute basic skills. Unable to restrict Menegola’s influence and also hopelessly outmarked in the last BY Touhy as he drifted into defence.


[4] Callum Ah Chee – 6

The under-siege Brisbane back pocket player stood up manfully in this contest, collecting nine disposals and creating three score involvements. Four tackles indicate a willingness to harass and harangue, one of the better performed Lions on the night.


[15] Dayne Zorko – 6

The Brisbane skipper was roundly beaten by his counterparts in the Geelong midfield and fell into the same trap that befell many of his teammates of just blasting the ball forward, usually into a clutter of Cats. Started well, holding the ball on the half back line before opening up the attacking wing which lead to Cameron’s first, but then missed badly a relatively simple shot in the second when paid a dubious free kick.


[25] Daniel McStay – 1

If all you saw of this match was a powerful contested mark in front of extreme pressure from Mark Blicavs you’d think this guy was a star of the competition with all the talent to burn. In reality though, this was his only meaningful contribution, much like in the first final with a similar impressive moment. Only three possessions for the night speak directly to work rate and desire, with Joe Daniher seemingly on his way North, McStay’s place in the team moving forward is extremely doubtful.


[16] Cam Rayner – 3

Two brilliant moments, with nothing, absolutely nothing in between as the four key Lions forwards collected only 19 disposals amongst them. In the first term Rayner used strength and guile to work Blicavs under the ball winning a vital one on one on the wing and driving the ball forward for what became a Cameron goal, and in the third term marking strongly on the lead from a precise pass from Neale and goaling from 55m. Disappointing end to a promising season.


[46] Oscar McInerney – 7

The big Lions ruckman was good across the night with 22 hit outs and two strong defensive marks, one of which was rushed forward and ended in a Neale long bomb. However often was required to collect ground balls in defence and this usually resulted in the ball coming back straight away.


[30] Eric Hipwood – 4

A clever snap for goal from a loose ball in the second term followed shortly after a strong contested mark on the wing as Hipwood looked ready to lead the Lions back into this game. A superb pack mark in the third could’ve been the lifter his team needed, but a diabolical miss from 25m straight in front sapped the remaining confidence from his team.


[23] Charlie Cameron – 6

The star Lions forward threatened to drag his team into the game with the only two goals in the first term, the first from a long set shot and the second courtesy of a great tackle on Henry drawing the free kick. Supply dried up almost completely thereafter and he finished with just 5 possessions as the Cats took control.


[12] Stefan Martin – 1

The veteran Lions ruckman has endured many losing seasons in a distinguished AFL career, now in the twilight he should be enjoying Brisbane’s return to the top of the ladder but alas he looks unable to recapture his former standing and at time in the match against the Cats resembled a witches hat as both Blicavs and Stanley walked around him winning taps and freeing their mids to drive the ball deep forward under no pressure.


[17] Jarryd Lyons – 4

One of the great success stories of the new Lions, Lyons have enjoyed a stellar season which unfortunately for him finished on a sour note as he was soundly beaten by his opponents in the Cats midfield. Sixteen touches, seven tackles and five clearances had him a long way from their worst but was unable to exert his usual influence.


[9] Lachie Neale – 9

Almost certainly will be crowned the 2020 Brownlow Medal tonight and while last night’s performance has no bearing on that award it is fitting that he produced another masterclass. Quiet in the first term Neale exploded in the second with ten disposals and a monster goal on the run from 60m. In the third term he lasered a pass to Rayner for goal, and in the final term kept his team alive with another set shot bomb from outside 50m. A game-high 24 disposals and eight clearances had him arguably best afield and probably the main reason the margin was so flattering in the end.


[7] Jarrod Berry – 3

The rising star played easily his worst game of the season, his disposal total of eight a long way short of his previous lowest output of 13. Was repeatedly caught with the ball and engaged in a heated altercation with teammate Jarryd Lyons for not holding his position at a clearance situation.


[11] Lincoln McCarthy – 7

The former Cat played his finest game for the season and was probably best afield at quarter time. Season highs for tackles (8), I50 (6), clearances (4) and a team high four score involvements were a tremendous return for a small forward desperately trying to help his team generate some opportunities to hit the scoreboard.


[28] Cam Ellis-Yolmen – 3

The powerfully built midfielder was brought into the side to help counter the mature bodies of the Cats midfield but spent considerable time following around Tom Stewart without any hint of slowing him down. Gained twelve possessions, with ten handballs but instructively only went at 58% efficiency a horrendously low score for a disposal count with so many handballs.


[37] Brandon Starcevich – 4

Another player who was a shadow of his Qualifying Final self as Starcevich was unable or unwilling to take the game on in the manner in which Lions watchers have grown accustomed. Eight disposals and two intercepts were all Starcevich could muster and a bad mistake in the second term resulted in Gary Rohan poaching on the ball and snapping a goal.


So, how’d we do? Who is too high and who is too low. Or did Trent get it juuuust right? You can hit us up in the comments below or on our socials and let us know.