MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Joe Daniher of the Bombers celebrates a goal during the round eight AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 13, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Round 8 Team of the Week

Backs

Back Pocket – Ryan Burton (Hawthorn)

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One of the few bright spots for the Hawks so far in 2017, Burton showed why many people at Hawthorn are raving about him.

He was brilliant out of their defensive end on the weekend with 25 touches (88% efficiency), 11 intercepts and five marks as his debut season grows stronger by the week.

Full Back – Tom Jonas (Port Adelaide)

SHANGHAI, CHINA – MAY 14: Tom Lynch of the Suns and Tom Jonas of the Power compete for the ball during the 2017 AFL round 08 match between the Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide Power at Jiangwan Sports Stadium on May 14, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Scroll down the stats and Jonas’ numbers won’t jump out at you, however, Suns co-captain Tom Lynch may as well have stayed on the Gold Coast – such was Jonas’ ability to shut down any and every Suns attack directed at their forward-half leader.

Jonas did finish with 17 disposals, seven marks and 14 one-percenters for his efforts.

Back Pocket – Neville Jetta (Melbourne)

It’s never easy keeping Eddie Betts quiet, let alone at the Adelaide Oval. But Jetta managed to do exactly that, especially after quarter time.

He kept the Crows livewire to two goals and just nine touches, while gathering 17 of his own at 88% efficiency. Simon Goodwin gave him a job and he delivered in spades.

Half Back – Michael Hibberd (Melbourne)

Another Demon that curbed Adelaide’s league-best attack, Hibberd was outstanding across half back with his transition work a standout in the game. He finished with 34 touches, nine rebound 50s, eight marks and six one-percenters along with a game-high 673m gained.

Centre Half Back – Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne)

HOBART, AUSTRALIA – MAY 06: Robbie Tarrant of the Kangaroos kicks the ball during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Adelaide Crows at Blundstone Arena on May 06, 2017 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

North may’ve been convincingly beaten but Tarrant’s performance¬†on the game’s premier forward was not to go unnoticed.

He kept Franklin to just once goal, as Tarrant’s ability to hold his own in one-on-one contests was a stand out.

Half Back – Shannon Hurn (West Coast)

He’s been doing it for years, yet teams still can’t slow down Mr. Hurn.

Coasting across halfback, Hurn gained an impressive 571m from his 28 disposals and six marks to go along with seven score involvements in the Eagles’ tight win.

Midfield

Wing – Michael Walters (Fremantle)

His move into the midfield in 2017 has produced a career-best game for the speedy Docker, as he racked up 38 touches, seven marks and six clearances as he was highly influential in Freo’s third quarter burst.

Centre – Jack Viney (Melbourne)

As all good leaders do, Viney led from the front on Saturday night as the Demons took apart their highly-fancied opponents.

He finished with 30 touches (15 contested), 12 tackles, seven clearances and a six-pointer as the Demons romped to victory.

Wing – Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney)

Is this guy worth his reported nine-million dollar, nine-year contract yet?

Kelly’s season continues to flourish, putting in a massive performance to help the Giants to their first ever win over Collingwood.

743m gained from 36 disposals, 11 tackles, eight inside 50s, seven clearances, six marks and a goal was to show for Kelly’s night of work.

Forwards

Half Forward – Bradley Hill (Fremantle)

Among Freo’s midfield brigade, Hill used the wide expanses of the MCG to his advantage, collecting 28 touches, 11 marks, six inside 50s and a goal in a famous win.

Centre Half Forward – Joe Daniher (Essendon)

Bomber fans must be hoping they can get this kind of Joe Daniher every week.

The big man was everywhere for the Bombers on Saturday night, bagging a five-goal haul while putting his aerial and ground talents on full display.

Half Forward – Christian Petracca (Melbourne)

The Melbourne young gun has thrived up forward in 2017 however with more midfield time on the weekend, he was highly influential with 24 touches (15 contested) at 79% efficiency, seven clearances, seven score involvements and five tackles.

Forward Pocket – Jack Billings (St Kilda)

Much has been made of Billings’ short career to date, but on Saturday, he went some way to silencing those critics with a tremendous display against the Blues.

He almost single-handedly kept the Saints in the contest with his straight kicking in the first half, before finishing with 30 touches and five goals in a best-on-ground performance.

Full Forward – Jeremy Cameron (Greater Western Sydney)

Cameron’s making a habit of kicking a flurry of goals this year, and did so again on Saturday with three goals in the second quarter.

He finished with six in goal – the most for the round – as he looks to have found his range following a quieter start to the season.

Forward Pocket – Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (Essendon)

The Essendon fan favourite was at his exciting best on Saturday night with countless pressure acts, 17 disposals, four tackles and three goals and nine score involvements in the win over Geelong.

 

Followers

Ruck – Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)

Is this guy the best big man in the competition?

He certainly could be, after winning his match up with ‘Mummy’ on the weekend after amassing 41 hit-outs, gathering 21 touches, five clearances of his own and kicking a goal.

Ruck Rover – Josh Kennedy (Sydney)

When you think contested possessions, this man’s name has to come to mind.

A 26-disposal first half was the catalyst behind Sydney’s midfield domination. He finished with 37 touches (17 contested), nine clearances, six tackles, five inside 50s and a goal.

Rover – Andrew Gaff (West Coast)

during the round eight AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Western Bulldogs at Domain Stadium on May 12, 2017 in Perth, Australia.

Gaff had his way with the Bulldogs on Friday night, winning a game-high 35 disposals, taking 15 marks and kicking a crucial goal in their nail-biting win.

Interchange

Patrick Cripps (Carlton)

The Blues young gun won 36% of his sides clearances as he bullied his way in the contest with 20 contested possessions. He would finish with 30 touches, 11 marks, eight clearances, five tackles and a goal.

Zach Merrett (Essendon)

Essendon’s midfield work has been often criticized but Merrett season has been tremendous thus far.

He ended the game with 33 touches, 12 tackles and five marks against the intimidating Geelong duo as he was the most dominant midfielder on the ground that night.

Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)

This kid is showing no signs of slowing down after another brilliant display at Adelaide Oval.

Half of his 30 touches were contested to go along with his 10 tackles, five inside 50s, four clearances and a goal.

Seb Ross (St Kilda)

Another up and coming star of the game, Ross has continued his brilliant season with 31 touches, six clearances and two goals – including a crucial one in the final term.

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