Round 6 saw a record-breaking 95,179 people attend the traditional Collingwood vs Essendon Anzac Day clash and the game lived up to the occasion, with the never say die attitude we have seen so often from Collingwood in the last 12 months getting them over the line.
We've named five players to focus on across round seven of the AFL season, some who are looking to continue their strong run of form, and others who need to stand up.
The Hawks will be bolstered by the inclusion of key forward Mitch Lewis this weekend as he returns from an ACL strain for his first game of the season.
Lewis kicked 37 goals from 15 games last season- including 22 from his first seven games. Whilst Lewis hasn't played since Round 20 last year, he will provide a much needed target up forward for a Hawks team who has lost by only 2 and 3 points in the last fortnight.
With the Bulldogs finding form, having won three of their last four, and Liam Jones impressing down back, it will be no easy feat for his first game of footy after an extended break. However, the Hawks will certainly be happy to have him back to combine with Fergus Greene up forward.
Bontempelli will run out for game 200 on Saturday evening against the Hawks and will no doubt put together an impressive performance to live up to the milestone occasion.
After finishing runner up in the Brownlow in 2021, Bontempelli has rocketed back into Brownlow contention this year, currently ranking as the second favourite behind Nick Daicos.
With the departure of Josh Dunkley over the off-season, the gap he left was made apparent in Round 1 against the Demons. However, Bontempelli has sought to rectify the issue, averaging career best numbers for clearances.
Bontempelli has been averaging 26 disposals, 7.5 tackles and 8.5 clearances so far this season and was a clear best on ground against the Dockers last weekend, racking up 31 disposals at 80.6 percent, ten tackles and two goals in a true captain's performance.
Steele returned from injury last weekend in the Saints win over Carlton, albeit he admitted that he wasn't really in the game for the first half. Steele will be looking to put together a strong four-quarter performance tomorrow night against Port Adelaide in what is looming as a tough battle between the two sides.
Steele was highly influential in his previous two games this season prior to injury, having amassed 28 disposals, five marks and three tackles against Freo in Round 1.
However, his second game against the Bulldogs was the most impressive, with 29 disposals, six tackles, five marks and a goal.
Steele will be hoping to hit that level again this weekend and take his team to victory for the sixth time this season.
We focused on Frampton a few weeks ago, however, that was when he was forming a makeshift ruck duo alongside Dan McStay- until McStay went down the following week.
Now, Frampton stands as the sole ruckman for the Pies and will come up against ex-teammate Reilly O'Brien in what will be a challenging task, particularly off a five-day break and playing away at Adelaide Oval.
Frampton finished with 27 whiteouts, 15 disposals and a crucial goal after breaking the pack for an impressive mark. The key position player is looking like one of the bargain recruits of the season, as the Pies have used him all over the ground and he hasn't let them down.
— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) April 25, 2023
Mark O'Connor tagged Chad Warner last Saturday night in the Grand Final rematch and it certainly worked. Warner only had 19 disposals and one inside 50, well down on his impressive 26 disposal, four mark, three tackle, one goal effort against Richmond the week before.
Warner is a critical player for the Swans, particularly amidst their current injury crisis, who attacks the ball and drives it inside 50, and would be hoping to bounce back against GWS on the weekend.
However, the Giants will have noted that sending a player to Warner and curtailing his influence goes a long way to beating the Swans.