AFL Rd 6 - Fremantle v St Kilda
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Zak Jones of the Saints celebrates a goal during the round 6 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the St Kilda Saints at Metricon Stadium on July 11, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Come the end of the round, all focus is usually placed on the stars that dominated for their clubs, while some 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 7…

Nick Haynes

Haynes continues to make his case for an All-Australian key defender spot with another crucial performance in the Giants’ 12-point win over Richmond.

He controlled the defensive 50 with a team-high six interceptions as the Giants held Richmond’s star forward line duo Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt to just one goal between them and minimal impact on the contest.

Dougal Howard

Ex-Port defender Dougal Howard not only had to face a hostile reception in his return to Adelaide Oval, but he also had the task of containing the league’s in-form key forward in Charlie Dixon. Howard held Dixon to just one goal and eight possessions. And while some shaky play lead to turnovers in the third quarter, he was crucial as the Saints shocked the ladder leaders at home.

Taylor Walker

Tex Walker provided a crucial target for the Crows up forward in dire circumstances, almost helping to propel them over Essendon. With crucial Crows Brad Crouch and stand-in skipper Tom Doedee both suffering hamstring injuries, Walker led from the front and looked like the Crows captain of old.

He pulled down four contested marks, kicked two goals and had six score involvements. If Tex continues his good form against North Melbourne on Saturday, Adelaide may just claim their first win of the season.

James Rowbottom

Better ball movement and play in space were the main reasons for Sydney’s tight seven-point win over Hawthorn. But despite their midfield being well beaten in the contested and centre clearance count by Hawthorn’s more experienced unit, youngster James Rowbottom held strong.

Rowbottom gathered 18 possessions, including a Swans midfield-high 11 contested, and was second on the team with 452 meters gained. He provided grit and physicality to a midfield missing experienced leader Josh Kennedy.

Embed from Getty Images

Bailey Scott

Scott has been plagued by injury and lacklustre performances in recent months after impressing during his debut season last year. But the forward sprung back to life and injected the Kangaroos forward line with much needed energy in their narrow loss against Carlton.

In wet conditions, Scott was clean in front of goal and made the most of his chances, finishing with three goals. Scott’s return to form was a much needed boost for North Melbourne, with a lack of potency in the forward half a major problem in recent weeks.

Tom Hawkins

Three goals may not be seen as a great return for a key forward, but in the conditions of Monday night’s contest between Geelong and Fremantle, it could be seen as nothing more than terrific.

In a low-scoring game played in torrential rain, Hawkins was a crucial target for Geelong up forward, with two contested marks, five score involvements and three goals. Hawkins was accurate in front of goal with a ball that in other players hands looked more like a bar of soap.

Grant Birchall

Birchall had one of his best games so far for the Lions in their tight victory over Melbourne. The ex-Hawk was brought in to replicate the impact and leadership of former teammate Luke Hodge and that is exactly what he did from the half back line for Brisbane.

The 32-year old gathered 15 disposals at an excellent 86.7 per cent efficiency and provided a cool head for a Brisbane defence that were pressured by strong performances from Demons forwards Jake Melksham and Bailey Fritsch all night.

Caleb Daniel

Is there a better ball user out of the back half in the competition than Bulldogs hard nut Caleb Daniel? In wet conditions, Daniel looked like he was playing with a different football than everyone else, gathering 25 disposals at an outstanding 84 percent efficiency as well as contributing with 484 metres gained.

Daniel proved crucial as the Bulldogs defence held on for a gritty win over the fast-finishing Suns.

Oscar Allen

While Allen joined in the Eagles’ goal-fest against Collingwood with three goals , it was his rotating ruck work that earns him a spot here.

Pairing with Nic Naitanui, Allen played a more defensive role when entering the ruck and only contributed with four individual hitouts. However, it was his work on Brodie Grundy that was impressive during his stint. Grundy was held to just 10 possessions by the pair as the Eagles won the crucial clearances contest 32-24, pushing West Coast to a huge home win.

Zak Jones

Jones may be one of the more lesser-known members of the Saints’ overwhelmingly successful recruiting class of 2019, but he continues to impress with strong midfield performances.

Jones led the Saints with nine clearances and gathered 20 possessions, proving crucial in the fourth quarter when the Saints overran the ladder-leading Port Adelaide and put the league on notice.