There weren't many positives to take from the Eagles’ 48-point loss to Port Adelaide, but the performance of their underdone skipper Shuey is definitely one.
Entering the game with minimal training and overcoming a rib injury, Shuey gathered 22 possessions, including a game-high 12 contested possessions and had 20 pressure acts. He added some much needed grunt to a soft midfield who were well-outperformed by the Power’s onball brigade.
Smith has been in blistering form since the season restart, relishing with increased midfield time. And this continued in the Bulldogs’ 28-point win over Sydney on Thursday night. The 19-year old gathered 20 possessions and helped lead the way.
With Josh Dunkley still out for multiple weeks, Smith’s performances will continue to be crucial to the Bulldogs.
While Gold Coast’s young stars such as Matt Rowell continue to grab the headlines after the Suns’ 13-point win over Fremantle, skipper Jarrod Witts is quietly increasing his case to be included in the AFL ruck elite.
Witts dominated Freo’s Rory Lobb and gathered 38 hitouts compared to Fremantle’s team total of 13, helping Gold Coast win the clearance battle 37 to 22. Witts also contributed an equal game-high six score involvements in the tight win.
‘Tex’ has been one of many Crows put under the microscope after their tough start to the season. But the former skipper showed glimpses of his old form in a dominant third term in the Crows’ 37-point loss against Brisbane. After a quiet first half with only four possessions, Walker kicked two quick goals and set up two more as the Crows kicked the only four goals of the third term.
Adelaide will need more from ‘Tex’ if they want to avoid the bottom of the ladder this season.
Brisbane could possibly lay claim to having the most potent midfield in the league at the moment, with Hugh McCluggage, Jarryd Lyons and Lachie Neale all starring in their win over Adelaide. But youngster Jarrod Berry continues to cement his spot with another consistent performance.
Berry gathered 23 possessions, had nine score involvements and laid a game-high 10 tackles to be among the Lions’ best.
If performances like these continue for Berry, expect to see his name added to Brisbane’s elite by season end.
The Giants have unearthed another gem in Round 4 Rising Star Tom Green, who notched 18 possessions in the Giants’ tense one-point win over Collingwood on Friday night.
Green was among the best players inside with a game-high seven clearances and six score involvements as he stood out amongst star midfielders from both sides.
With fellow top-10 draft pick Lachlan Ash also starring on Friday, the future continues to look bright for the Giants.
Casboult has been a player who has shown glimpses of his talent over the years but 2020 seems to be the year he has become a consistent threat for Carlton. Casboult kicked a game-high three goals and three contested marks to build on his strong performance last week against Geelong.
With Carlton sitting at 2-2 and looking to make a finals push, Casbout will be looked at to increase his strong form up forward.
Wingard continues to perform to an elite level in his second season in the brown and gold, producing three goals and gathering 18 possessions in Hawthorn’s tight four-point win against North Melbourne on Sunday.
Wingard has added another goal-kicking option to an already potent forward line, taking pressure off Jack Gunston and Luke Breust who both struggled at times last year due to a lack of goal-kicking support.
If Wingard continues his current form, expect Hawthorn to contend come finals time.
There were many strong performers for St Kilda in their 26-point win over Richmond on Saturday, but the performance by ex-Tiger Dan Butler truly stood out.
Butler led the way with three goals and 13 disposals as he continued his strong start to his career at the Saints. Butler was huge in the first quarter, kicking St Kilda’s opener, setting up Tim Membrey for their second and totalling 191m gained for the quarter.
Expect more Saints wins if Butler continues to produce strong performances.
English continues to show why he has been pegged as a star of the future with a dominant display for the Bulldogs against the Swans. English only had 17 hitouts, but it was his work around the ground and in the clearances, with 22 disposals that led the way for the Bulldogs in their 28-point victory.
English looks to be a perfect compliment to the Bulldogs’ star-studded midfield.