Round 19 was one for the young key forwards, with the likes of Max King and Nick Larkey starring.
As for the Player of the Season race, Marcus Bontempelli extended his lead, and it’s now bordering on unassailable.
See the full lists below.
Round 19 Player Rankings
10. Oscar McInerney (BRIS)
The ‘Big O’ was a clearance machine despite the likes of Touk Miller, Jarryd Lyons and Lachie Neale being at his feet, finishing with a round-high 12. Also had a field day against the undersized and inexperienced Caleb Graham, amassing 39 hit outs, 18 disposals and 16 contested possessions.
9. Willem Drew (PA)
Drew put in the best performance of his 23-game career, and you’d imagine there’ll be more to come. He finished with 32 disposals at an efficiency of 72%, 17 contested possessions, eight score involvements, six clearances, five inside 50s, five tackles and a goal assist.
8. Lachie Whitfield (GWS)
Whitfield played a pivotal role in lifting the Giants to a coveted top-eight position following their stunning win over Essendon; accumulated 35 disposals at an efficiency of 82%, not to mention 10 marks and one goal assist.
7. Patrick Dangerfield (GEEL)
Dangerfield hasn’t had the best run at it in 2021, with his season plagued by injuries, but that hasn’t stopped him from producing some mammoth performances. Sunday was no exception, with Dangerfield at the fore in Geelong‘s dismantling of the reigning premiers. The 31-year-old tallied 28 disposals, 18 contested possessions, seven tackles, six clearances, six inside 50s, six score involvements and even three contested marks.
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6. Clayton Oliver (MELB)
‘Clarry’ continues to impress this season, and while he couldn’t will the Dees over the line in the top-of-the-table clash, he was immense; racking up 38 disposals, a whopping 25 contested possessions, eight clearances, eight inside 50s, six score involvements, six intercept possessions, five tackles and 431 metres gained.
5. Rory Laird (ADEL)
Laird is having a red-hot 2021, and he picked up 36 disposals and two goals as well as 20 contested possessions, 10 clearances, 10 score involvements, six inside 50s, five tackles and 518 metres gained against the Hawks.
4. Marcus Bontempelli (WB)
Speaking of red-hot, the hottest player in the game’s dominance didn’t falter against the Demons. Bontempelli had two goals, 31 disposals, 13 contested possessions, 10 inside 50s, nine clearances, eight score involvements, six tackles, one goal assist and 755 metres gained. Nothing out of the ordinary for the superstar.
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3. Isaac Heeney (SYD)
Heeney took a serious mark-of-the-year contender and slotted five goals to go with it against the Dockers, not to mention 22 disposals, 11 marks, eight score involvements and 403 metres gained.
2. Nick Larkey (NM)
The man dubbed ‘souvlaki’ formally announced himself on the AFL scene as North trounced the Blues. Traditionally a key forward, Larkey wasn’t shy of working up the ground to get his hands on the footy, winning 20 disposals to couple his career-best bag of seven goals. Also took three contested marks and had 13 score involvements.
1. Max King (STK)
Another young key forward that prospered, King may have only kicked six goals to Larkey’s seven, but he clunked an astounding eight contested marks to go with it, and did so against the stronger Eagles backline. Regardless, both displays were phenomenal, and gave us an insight into what the next decade holds.
Player of the Season
An accumulative award based on each round’s Player Rankings, with players being awarded points correlating with their ranking. 10 points for 1st, 9 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd and so on.