All 18 teams were back in action for Round 16, and the nine games played produced some riveting contests, dour affairs, and statement blowouts across the country to begin the final stretch of the home & away season.

Nick Daicos once again bolstered his Brownlow credentials over the weekend, while Bontempelli, Petracca, Sinclair, Neale and others added to their lengthy voting polls.

Collingwood and Port Adelaide remain split atop the table with 52 points each. A mouthwatering Round 19 clash between the two may decide the minor premier for season 2023.

Just 10 points separate fourth and 15th on the ladder, leaving 12 teams in a vulnerable yet opportunistic position. Which teams will fall out of the eight and which will rise into a finals berth?

Reminder: Votes are given out in a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 system for each game, meaning the maximum number of votes any player can record in any game is 20.

Brisbane vs Richmond

Thursday night presented Andrew McQualter's first blemish on his fresh coaching resume when his Tigers travelled to the Gabba to face the Lions.

Brisbane dominated with four quarters of explosive power and arrogance against a side known for troubling them in recent history, as Hugh McCluggage, Lachie Neale, Joe Daniher and others put their foot to the throttle and piled on the scores.

These three were clearly best on ground with their collective ball-winning, disposal, clearance and goalkicking prowess, Daniher ended with five majors while Neale and McCluggage stuffed the stat sheet with 68 touches between them.

Will Ashcroft enjoyed 27 himself while displaying the cleanliness and quickness that has him touted as a rising star favourite.

Under all sorts of heat, Nick Vlastuin and Nathan Broad were two Tigers who courageously stood up and halted the margin from slipping completely out of control, earning them some votes on the MVP counter

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Hugh McCluggage Hugh McCluggage Hugh McCluggage Hugh McCluggage
4 Lachie Neale Lachie Neale Lachie Neale Lachie Neale
3 Joe Daniher Joe Daniher Joe Daniher Joe Daniher
2 Will Ashcroft Harris Andrews Will Ashcroft Nathan Broad
1 Nick Vlastuin Will Ashcroft Nick Vlastuin Will Ashcroft


Sydney vs Geelong

Friday night produced one of the most transfixing, yet dull, games of football in recent memory as the Swans shot themselves in the foot on countless occasions, kicking behinds at a comical rate in what ended as a tied grand final rematch.

Around the ground it appeared Sydney had Geelong covered; they moved the ball quickly and efficiently through the Cats' defence and into dangerous scoring territory... until perpetual inaccuracy ravaged the minds of Swans players who were missing shots at goal contagiously.

For Geelong, Tom Stewart and Gryan Miers were crucial in keeping the Cats close with the former's intercepting and offensive launch plus the latter's skill and craft forward of centre.

Luke Parker led the way for Sydney with his toughness and hard-ball knack, feeding the likes of Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell who were both lethal on the left peg, setting up goals and kicking some too.

Tom Atkins too was tough in the trenches and led the match with 11 tackles in a dour 54-54 affair at the SCG.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Gryan Miers Tom Stewart Tom Stewart Errol Gulden
4 Luke Parker Gryan Miers Luke Parker Tom Stewart
3 Tom Stewart Braeden Campbell Gryan Miers Gryan Miers
2 Errol Gulden Luke Parker Braeden Campbell Tom Atkins
1 Braeden Campbell Errol Gulden Errol Gulden Braeden Campbell


Adelaide vs North Melbourne

Adelaide again proved to be a side that could inflict damage in some big games at the end of the season, as they flexed their muscles in the second half to storm home by 66 points over the Kangaroos.

Big Reilly O'Brien was just about the best on ground with nine score involvements coming from his 15 disposals and 52 hitouts.

You could take your pick between he and Izak Rankine, who finished with five goals and two more assists in a performance which may turn the heads of All-Australian selectors.

Taylor Walker was relatively quiet compared to his lofty standards in recent weeks, but still managed 11 score involvements and a healthy lead extension in the Coleman Medal race.

Finally, Ben Keays, Jordan Dawson and Josh Rachele were typically damaging while Mitch Hinge held up his end well in defence.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Reilly O'Brien Izak Rankine Ben Keays Izak Rankine
4 Ben Keays Reilly O'Brien Reilly O'Brien Ben Keays
3 Izak Rankine Taylor Walker Jordan Dawson Reilly O'Brien
2 Mitchell Hinge Jordan Dawson Izak Rankine Jordan Dawson
1 Josh Rachele Mitchell Hinge Mitchell Hinge Mitchell Hinge


Western Bulldogs vs Fremantle

This was a crucial clash in deciding who to trust in the race to the final eight, and it was the Bulldogs who stormed home in the fourth to again establish their edge over Fremantle, this time at Marvel Stadium.

Marcus Bontempelli may have polled another three Brownlow votes with his 27 touches and one goal; taking the lead on the MVP tally. But it was his primary target in Jamarra Ugle-Hagan who prevented a perfect 20 for the Bont with his four goals and some crucial clunks forward.

Tom Liberatore and Adam Treloar were also critical among the midfield brigade with their tenacious tackling and clearance wins, only Caleb Serong could match their production on the Dockers' side with his 38 damaging touches.

Tim English and Bailey Dale round out the MVP votes as the Dogs climb to sixth on the ladder.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Marcus Bontempelli Jamarra Ugle-Hagan Marcus Bontempelli Marcus Bontempelli
4 Adam Treloar Caleb Serong Jamarra Ugle-Hagan Tom Liberatore
3 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan Marcus Bontempelli Adam Treloar Jamarra Ugle-Hagan
2 Caleb Serong Tom Liberatore Tom Liberatore Caleb Serong
1 Tim English Adam Treloar Caleb Serong Bailey Dale


Gold Coast vs Collingwood

Another dark day for Stuart Dew saw his Gold Coast Suns obliterated by Collingwood's scintillating ball movement, once again led by the dynamite power, skill and speed of Nick Daicos.

Again he was clearly best on ground, leading all-comers for disposals, tackles and score involvements and potentially separating himself at the top of the Brownlow tally. He now sits second on our MVP leaderboard and only looks to be climbing.

Brother Josh was also brilliant and is gradually locking himself onto an All-Australian wing spot, but Jamie Elliot's five goals and first-quarter contender probably gave him the silver medal in the best-on-ground honours.

Defenders Darcy Moore and John Noble were next-in-line according to each voter; both were damaging out of the backline with their intercepts and offensive launch out of back-50.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Nick Daicos Nick Daicos Nick Daicos Nick Daicos
4 Josh Daicos Jamie Elliott Jamie Elliott Josh Daicos
3 Jamie Elliott John Noble John Noble Jamie Elliott
2 Darcy Moore Josh Daicos Josh Daicos Darcy Moore
1 John Noble Darcy Moore Darcy Moore John Noble


Essendon vs Port Adelaide

Saturday night footy presented the match of the round and potentially match of the season as Port Adelaide scraped over the Bombers by less than a metre, thanks to a Dan Houston bomb on the siren from 55.

It was a fourth quarter for the ages which saw Port Adelaide take the lead early and break away until time on, where Jye Caldwell and Kyle Langford snatched the lead back with three clutch goals.

With no time left, Dan Houston planted himself in the perfect spot to intercept a Nic Martin hack out of defensive 50, and as the siren sounded, everyone knew the ball was in the right hands for the Power.

His set-shot launch sailed over the goal line, continued Port Adelaide's historic win streak, and further pressed Houston's case as an All-Australian back.

However, the performances of teammate Connor Rozee and opposition skipper Zach Merrett were each worthy of major plaudits. Both took the game by the scruff of the neck at stages to try and will their side to victory, but Rozee's three goals and 23 touches were just enough on the night.

Rounding out the votes, Kane Farrell was crucial with his intercepts and brutal left leg, Caldwell again stepped up in the clutch with some big time goals and midfield impact, while Andrew Phillips and Zak Butters were both damaging.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Connor Rozee Zach Merrett Zach Merrett Dan Houston
4 Zach Merrett Dan Houston Connor Rozee Zach Merrett
3 Dan Houston Connor Rozee Dan Houston Connor Rozee
2 Jye Caldwell Kane Farrell Jye Caldwell Jye Caldwell
1 Kane Farrell Jye Caldwell Andrew Phillips Zak Butters


Hawthorn vs Carlton

Carlton joined Port Adelaide as the trend-breakers of the bye-round rebound as they smashed Hawthorn with a first-half onslaught that eventuated in a 60-point defeat.

Midfielders Adam Cerra, Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh all tore up the MCG as they did in their previous match against Gold Coast, finishing with more than 80 combined disposals in a clearance masterclass by the Blues.

Jacob Weitering was back to his defensive best with nine marks and intercepts; he is starting to build an astonishing one-on-one win rate in 2023, and was close to best on ground over the weekend.

Fans got every bit of Harry McKay on the day as he nailed three goals and set up more, yet wasted some typically gettable ones.

Jack Silvagni, Charlie Curnow and Blake Acres shared the remaining votes in a Carlton clean sheet.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Jacob Weitering Adam Cerra Adam Cerra Adam Cerra
4 Patrick Cripps Jacob Weitering Sam Walsh Patrick Cripps
3 Harry McKay Sam Walsh Jacob Weitering Jacob Weitering
2 Adam Cerra Patrick Cripps Patrick Cripps Charlie Curnow
1 Jack Silvagni Harry McKay Charlie Curnow Blake Acres

Melbourne vs GWS

Prime-time Sunday afternoon football presented a far more watchable version of Friday night's draw, as the Giants and Demons played off in another low-scoring, scrubby affair littered with big collisions, crucial ground balls and brilliance from some of the competition's best.

As expected, Jack Viney and Tom Green relished the conditions with countless hard balls and contested possessions leaving them with 41 and 38 disposals respectively.

Josh Kelly's cleanliness was second to none in such horrid conditions, and his match-winning goal was enough to secure the most votes on the day.

Usual stars Christian Petracca, Toby Greene and Max Gawn were critical for their sides' chances but it was Nick Haynes who the voters agreed on as the next best.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Josh Kelly Jack Viney Josh Kelly Jack Viney
4 Jack Viney Josh Kelly Tom Green Josh Kelly
3 Tom Green Tom Green Jack Viney Tom Green
2 Nick Haynes Christian Petracca Nick Haynes Max Gawn
1 Christian Petracca Toby Greene Christian Petracca Nick Haynes


West Coast vs St Kilda

St Kilda fans watched on in horror as their side nearly lost the unlosable against the depleted West Coast Eagles.

The Saints trailed by 31 at one stage during the 2nd quarter, allowing Luke Shuey, Tom Barrass and Oscar Allen to dictate terms all over the field and put the Saints in a shockingly vulnerable position.

Fortunately for Ross' men, St Kilda clawed back to win a dour one, led by the impact of Mitch Owens who kicked four, the class of Jack Sinclair who finished with 30, and the tenacity of Brad Crouch and his 17 tackles.

The Saints remain well entrenched in the top eight at 5th on the ladder and will face Melbourne this weekend for a potential shock top-four play-in victory.

Mitch Keating Frank Seal Jack Jovanovski Nick Splitter
5 Mitchito Owens Mitchito Owens Brad Crouch Mitchito Owens
4 Luke Shuey Brad Crouch Mitchito Owens Brad Crouch
3 Jack Sinclair Luke Shuey Luke Shuey Thomas Barrass
2 Rowan Marshall Jack Sinclair Rowan Marshall Luke Shuey
1 Brad Crouch Thomas Barrass Thomas Barrass Rowan Marshall




View the full 2023 leaderboard HERE.