The Winners and Losers of Round 11


A nice easy one, post-round.

Five winners and five losers from Round 11 – let’s go.





If there is one thing I love seeing in footy, it is when a bloke steps up, takes centre stage, and announced himself to the competition.

Leek Aleer is no newbie. He was drafted in 2021, played four games in 2022, and was then hampered by injury through 2023. However, with his heroics in the late stages of the Giants’ gutsy win on the road, he gave every indication that the Giants have done it again, and unearthed another star.

Two huge contested intercept marks in the dying stages of the tight contest at the Cattery ensured that GWS snapped their losing streak and extended Geelong’s. They also kept the Giants’ recent history at Kardinia Park looking excellent.

A star is born.



Coming into his clash against Rowan Marshall, the Saints’ big man had just recorded a 31-disposal and 39 hit out game.

The last time these two tangled, Marshall lit Gawn up around the ground, picking up 30 touches, and with the Melbourne captain under an injury cloud and facing a fitness test to play this week, all signs pointed toward Marshall having another good one.

The signs were wrong.

Gawn dominated Marshall, recording 27 touches to go along with his 34 hit outs, as he left no doubt in anyone;s mind that he is the best big man in the competition.

Some still think it may be premature, but where does Max now fit into the conversation around the best big men to play the game?



In the third quarter of the Swans’ win over the Dogs, Chad Warner turned it on and made everything look easy.

Not only did he collect ten disposals for the quarter, but he also added two direct goal assists to open the quarter… and then he snagged two goals of his own, as he tore the game away from the Dogs and sent his Swans on the way to yet another win – their fifth on the road this season.

Isaac Heeney has got a heap of attention this season, and rightfully so. He was solid again in this one, with 23 touches and a goal, but this night belonged to The Chad, as he took his fortnightly goal tally to seven, and made it 19 for the year.

For reference, he kicked a career-high 20 goals over the entirety of the 2023 season.



Playing against his old mob, the former number-one pick cracked in and won the hard footy all game.

And he let the Kangaroos know all about it. The player that could have been a generational player for North Melbourne smashed them at the clearances, collecting ten to lead the game.

Irrespective of how you feel about JHF, or “The Horny One” as BT calls him, he is a combative beast when the ball is there to be won, and he is now at the point where his strength is fast catching up with his ambition. There are few players that crash and bash their way through tackles like him, and even with a bit of mustard on the tackles from the Kangaroos, Horne-Francis relished the contest as he finished with 24 disposals and a goal in the Port Adelaide win.



Hmmm, no Marc Pittonet, huh?

Playing against man-mountain, Jarrod Witts, it seemed as though Tom De Koning was going to be up against it. The fact is that no one ever truly beats Witts at ruck contests – they might break even, but they don’t beat him.

But Tom De Koning didn’t have to beat Witts in the ruck – he had to beat him around the ground, and that’s exactly what he did.

Establishing a new career-high for disposals (25), TDK was everywhere for the Blues, as he made some question where Carlton goes from here. De Koning is 24 and coming into his peak. Pittonet is 27 but is contracted for three more years after this.

Given the ruck stocks elsewhere in the league… it’s not a bad problem to have, is it?





Oh, Mykelti… of all the players to take out of the game, Shai Bolton was probably the last one you wanted to knock into next week.

Bolton was subbed out with concussion after copping Lefau’s knee to the back of the head in the last quarter. It’s a shame, because Bolton was looming as one of the weapons the Tigers could have used to remain in the contest, but when he went off the ground, the game just felt over.

Of course, I am being a little tongue-in-cheek here by including one part of Lefau’s body, but none of you take this too seriously, I hope.



Harden up, Matthew.

Everyone could see you were annoyed because the ball spilled out and wasn’t returned to you at a stoppage just a little bit before Lachie Sullivan handed the footy to Nick Daicos as he got off the ground. For that, you penalised Collingwood and opened the door for Fremantle with one of the softest and most unnecessary free kicks of the year.

Petty… petty man.

Yeah, people will go on with it being “technically correct” but it is another example of a “sometimes” rule being enforced.

And to demonstrate just how seldom it is enforced, here is one from the Hawks-Lions game – no call, because that umpire was displaying common sense. You should try it.



Well, Rory Lobb looks as though he is going to be on the move again.

The question is – does anyone want him?

Was unhappy at GWS. Was unhappy at Freo. Is now unhappy at the Kennel.

Which place is he going to be unhappy at next?

Please, don’t be Hawthorn.



I’ve held off on this for a few weeks, largely because I desperately wanted to see the Saints turn it around.

But it’s not happening, and it kind of makes me sad. I saw so much in this team last season – so much. They played at a level that indicated they believed in what they were doing, but now… they look listless and directionless.

The Saints are playing insipid footy. They attack the footy like it has landed in a pile of dog shit, and almost flat out refuse to work for each other, shepherd, block, or do anything remotely close to team footy. I feel for some of them – Liam Stocker, Marcus Windhager, Cal Wilkie, Jack Higgins, Mitch Owens, Mason Wood… but the rest just seem to be along for the ride in 2024, and it is a damn shame.



Might be a controversial one, but I am not sure Freo are a better team with him in the side.

Right now, Andrew Brayshaw is playing limited midfield minutes to accommodate Fyfe, but the dual Brownlow Medallist was so messy with his disposals on Friday night that I actually didn’t want him to get the footy. Hack kicks, missed handball targets, zero defensive pressure apart from last second lunges at a running opponent… I don’t know how Freo can both be respectful to arguably their greatest ever player, and do what’s right for the team.

Where do you play him if not in the midfield?


Apologies to Jordan Ridley – really wanted to add him to the list of winners, but given it’s his first game back, he’ll likely be even better in his second game, right?

Please feel free to add your own in the comments below, or on our socials. They’re probably better than mine…


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