With our breakaway leader forced to sit out with the bye, it offered an opportunity for others to reduce the gap and lay the groundwork to mount a challenge.
Who stepped up and who stepped aside in the face of this challenge?
Let’s jump into our Round 14 results to find out.
The Mongrel’s DPOY Award fills yet another gaping hole in the AFL’s means of recognising the contributions of players who are not midfielders or forwards. It is designed to assess defenders across a range of skills, stats, and votes to encompass all aspects of a defence-oriented player.
The number one focus is on the players who spoil – one-percenters are the highest scoring category in the formula, and they combine with intercepts, rebound fifty disposals, disposals with an efficiency trigger, metres gained, tackles, and votes awarded on a weekly basis from the Mongrel writers covering the game.
In addition, to be fair to defensive midfielders, I have developed a mechanism to assess their success when allocated a task to limit the influence of the league’s best players.
So, all in all, we should, in theory, have a nice collection of all types of defenders in the top ten by the end of Round 23. Will it play out that way? Well, we can use history as our guide to a point.
In 2021, Weitering took home the chocolates, but not far behind him were the following players – Daniel Rich, Aaron Hall, Jake Lever, Harris Andrews, Jayden Short, Liam Jones, Sam Taylor, Jordan Ridley, and Bailey Dale.
From where I sit, that comprises four lockdown key position defenders, two designated intercept players, and four rebounding runners. I was pretty content with that mix, as there were no defensive mids playing tagging roles often enough to get near the top ten. Maybe that could change this year, but judging by results to this point, that looks unlikely.
Anyway, enough with the preamble. Let’s get into the Round 14 results for our Inner Circle Members.
Now, I know some of you will ask – I am a member; why can’t I see this? This is for the Inner Circle Member tier – always has been. This is what these people generously pay a bit extra for, so I am more than happy to dive deep for them when it comes to this content. If you’re a Mongrel Member and you’d like to upgrade, so right ahead. If not, that’s cool, as well. But this is not a new thing – has been that way for over two years now. Wanna join them?