Come the end of the round, all focus is usually placed on the stars that dominated for their clubs, while some lesser known or underappreciated performances fly under the radar.
These performances can still be crucial for their clubs and we want to highlight them!
Here are 10 underrated performances from Round 13…
Port Adelaide’s midfield bull continues to cement his case for a contract extension with another solid performance in the ladder leaders’ win over Hawthorn. Powell-Pepper finished with 21 disposals, with 11 contested and was a consistent tackling threat with seven.
The 23-year old was also a consistent rebounding threat for the Power with four intercepts and four inside 50’s. Powell-Pepper looks to have cemented his spot in time for the finals.
Fremantle have finally looked to have found their long-term key forward in Taberner and he showed why in the Dockers’ 31 point win over Sydney. His two goals brought his total to over 20 goals for the season for the first time this year as well as now being the only player to have kicked a goal in every match this season.
His marking skills continue to be among the best in the league this season, with nine against the Swans including four contested. With Jesse Hogan continuting to be on the outer, Taberner will be crucial to Fremantle’s future plans.
While All-Australian Harris Andrews gets the bulk of the attention, the Lions have another strong key defender in Darcy Gardiner and that was on full display in his sides’ gutsy two-point win over St Kilda.
Gardiner partnered with Andrews to lead a defense undersiege for much of the last quarter, allowing his side to hold on. Gardiner finished the game with 14 disposals, two contested marks and nine interceptions in a solid individual performance.
The Blues have surged into finals contention with a strong win over the young Suns as their forward line continues to impress, with Betts, McKay and Fisher all making an impact. Michael Gibbons though was the best of the bunch.
Gibbons was a ball magnet in the forward half, collecting 19 disposals and an equal-high two goals. He also provided a strong pressure threat with five tackles and 10 score involements in a great forward performance, one that Carlton will need more of if they are making finals.
The big-name Bulldogs recruit was critizised in recent weeks for not producing enough and even found himself out of the side last game against the Crows. With Tim English not fully effective in the ruck, Luke Beveridge threw Bruce in the middle and he proved crucial in the third term as the Bulldogs pulled away from Melbourne.
Bruce’s move paid immediate dividens, setting up Marcus Bontempelli’s goal in the opening stages of the quarter and helping expose the Demons’ lack of size in defence with English stationed at full-forward, freeing up Aaron Naughton. With the flexibility this move provides, expect to see the former Saint spend more time in the ruck going forward.
His 16 disposals were captialized by one of the moments of the Indigenous Round, kicking a momentum-switching goal in the second term in front of the Maurice Rioli stand, named after the Richmond great and Daniel’s uncle. Rioli also provided strong pressure, leading the Tigers with five tackles.
The Eagles continued their strong form with a 12-point win over the Giants and Brendon Ah Chee continues to make his case for being among the AFL’s biggest improvers this season.
The forward provided a great target with five marks and kicking two goals, one either side of the final break in a huge momentum boost for West Coast. Ah Chee provided another strong option in a forward line already potent with strong forwards like Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy.
The veteran Magpie had an incredibly efficient midfield performance in his sides 30-point win over North Melbourne, gathering 24 disposals at an astonishing 95.8% efficiency.
Mayne also contributed with six interceptions, providing a strong first line of defense for Collingwood as North Melbourne were strong entering inside 50 with 43 total entries. Mayne continues to contribute as he looks set to continue his career in 2021.
The Crows defender entered Sunday’s contest with perhaps the most difficult task in the game, containing red-hot Geelong key forward Tom Hawkins. Despite Adelaide eventually falling to the Cats by 28 points, Hartigan performed strongly against the star Cat.
With the game in the balance in the first half, Hartigan held Hawkins to just one goal, which was kicked from a difficult set shot and strongly impacted Hawkins’ impact on the lead. Despite Hawkins kicking another two goals in the second half as the Cats pulled away, Hartigan held him to just four marks, a much lower total than the 10 he gathered the previous week.
2020 has thrown up some suprises but is seeing ‘Mitch Wallis: Coleman Medal contender’ one of the biggest?
The Bulldogs hard-man has reinvented himself as a damaging forward this season and he delivered his best performance yet against Melbourne, kicking a career-high four goals to take his season total to 20. Most of Wallis’ goals came from one-on-one marking contests playing as the deepest forwards.
If Wallis continues to impress up forward, he will be crucial to the Bulldogs finals aspirations.