Players young and old showcased their talent across round seven, with a Blue and an Eagle fighting it out for top spot in this week’s installment of The Sporting Landscape’s Player Rankings.
The top echelon of the Player of the Season leaderboard remained stagnant, with Taylor Walker still holding onto top spot.
10. Bachar Houli (RICH)
The Tigers rebounder picked up 31 disposals at 83% efficiency, 665 metres gained, six score involvements, two goal assists, and a goal. All while fasting during Ramadan, take a bow Bachar.
9. Cale Hooker (ESS)
Hooker couldn’t get the Dons over the line on Sunday afternoon, but he certainly gave it a good crack. In one of the highest scoring games we’ve seen in recent memory, the Bombers forward kicked 5.1, with 15 disposals and 11 score involvements.
8. Brandon Ellis (GCS)
Ellis was superb in his outside role against Collingwood. The Sun racked up 35 disposals and was more than elite with a 97% disposal efficiency, kicked a goal too.
LAST WEEK: Player Rankings: Top 10 Performers of Round 7
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7. Shai Bolton (RICH)
Bolton put in a strong showing against the Bulldogs recording 22 disposals, 10 score involvements, 10 inside 50’s, and 3.1.
6. Harris Andrews (BRIS)
Andrews was central in the Lions 49-point win over Port Adelaide. The key defender blanketed Charlie Dixon, keeping him goalless, while accumulating 15 disposals at 100% efficiency and 11 intercept possessions.
5. Bayley Fritsch (MELB)
Fritsch is having some season. He’s averaging three goals per game after his bag of six against North on Sunday. Also had 14 disposals at 85% efficiency and 10 score involvements in the 30-point win.
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4. Ben Cunnington (NM)
What a story it would’ve been if North was able to upset Melbourne. It looked a possibility at half-time, and this man was at the fore. Cunnington recorded 35 disposals, 20 contested possessions, nine score involvements, eight clearances, and slotted two goals. Not a bad day at the office.
3. Zak Jones (STK)
Jones, like the Saints, has suffered from an underwhelming start to 2021. After a 69-point win, in which he had 37 disposals, 16 contested possessions, 13 score involvements, seven clearances, and kicked 2.1; both he and St Kilda can enjoy some respite from the weekly scrutiny.
2. Tim Kelly (WCE)
Fresh off a belting by his old side, Kelly responded in an emphatic fashion, tallying 42 disposals, 599 metres gained, 22 contested possessions, 13 clearances, 13 score involvements, and nine tackles. That’s some stat-sheet. Very stiff to miss out on the top spot.
1. Sam Walsh (CARL)
With 33 disposals, 13 contested possessions, 492 metres gained, eight clearances, eight score involvements, two goal assists and 1.1; Walsh’s raw numbers may not be as impressive as those behind him on this list. But the young star wasn’t just influential in Carlton’s potentially season-defining win, he ran 17.1 kilometres – the most by any Blue in five seasons – whilst playing as an inside midfielder and winning plenty of contested ball.
He’s a hardnut with extraordinary aerobic capacity, impacts the scoreboard, and steps up when the game is on the line. The kid is special.
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.