AFL Rd 3 - Geelong v Carlton
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Eddie Betts of the Blues (L) in action during the round 3 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Carlton Blues at GMHBA Stadium on June 20, 2020 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images )

We continue on with out Zero Hanger MVP Awards, with voting a little different to your generic 3, 2, 1 structure.

We will judge the best players in the game across the entire round relative to their position. Every ruckman in the game will compete against each other for the 3,2 1, as will the forwards, midfielders and defenders.

This way, everyone gets their chance to poll votes and we avoid the dreaded curse of another midfielder’s award. And at the end of the season (if we ever get there), we will have a Ruckman of the Year, Midfielder of the Year, Forward of the Year, Defender of the Year and an overall MVP.

Ruckman

3. Brodie Grundy (Collingwood) – Grundy was back to his best last weekend up against the fast rising Rowan Marshall and experienced Paddy Ryder. The Pies star was dominant, bullying Marshall all game and gave his mids silver service. He was too slick for Ryder and had more hitouts than the Saints pair combined.

2. Marc Pittonet (Carlton) – The new Blue was taught a lesson in the first quarter last week by Max Gawn – a lesson well learnt. Pittonet competed terrifically at ground level against Rhys Stanley, one of the games best follow up rucks. More than doubled Stanley’s hitouts and a key for the Blues win.

1. Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne) -The experienced Roo is showing some of his vintage best in 2020. Despite North falling short Goldstein was still outstanding, tallying 35 hitouts and 18 disposals – his opponent was rendered obsolete.

Forwards

3. Eddie Betts (Carlton) – What else can we say? After a tough week, Betts toyed with the Cats and played a leading role in the Blues’ huge win on Saturday night. Two goals, three goal assists and seven score involvements showed us the Eddie of old. Let’s not forget Eddies game winning tackle with just over 30 seconds to go. You know the saying – form is temporary, class is permanent.

2. Chad Wingard (Hawthorn) – Wingard was brilliant against the Tigers. He is starting to find his best and showed all his class on Thursday night. Three goals and three tackles provided a brilliant balance to Wingard’s performance.

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1. Ben King (Gold Coast) – All the talk last week surrounded brother Max, but this week the talk will be about Ben. Ben King was superb in the Suns’ big win over the Crows, totalling six marks and three goals.

Defenders

3. Alex Keath (Western Bulldogs) – In a week where Mark Ricciouto claimed the Crows were happy to let Keath go, there was a serious response from the defender. Keath helped shut down the Giants usual potent forward line and even bagged himself a goal.

2. Brayden Maynard (Collingwood) – Maynard is becoming one of the game’s best small defenders. He was massive against the Saints on Saturday, accumulating 21 disposals off half back and helped launch plenty of attack back the other way. The Saints small forwards were obsolete making their forward line ineffective.

1. Jacob Weitering (Carlton) – Last week we claimed Weitering had arrived, this week he settled in. Weitering may be in line for an All-Australian jumper this year, again shutting down his opponent, keeping Tom Hawkins to two goals (both of which were no fault of his own). His marking has become crucial in keeping Carlton on the front foot.

Midfielders

3. Patrick Cripps (Carlton) – The Carlton skipper was huge against the Cats, racking up 24 disposals, 17 contested possessions, 12 clearances, five tackles and two goals. The complete performance, Cripps was everywhere and dominated the Cats midfield. He ripped Dangerfield apart before taking Gary Ablett down forward and scoring on the Geelong great. A true captain’s game.

2. Matt Rowell (Gold Coast) – Rowell is becoming must watch. The number one draft pick was again best on ground on Sunday and is now arguably the Suns’ best player. Rowell got the old triple double on the weekend with 10 kicks, 10 handballs and an impressive 10 tackles. He also bagged two goals to boot.

1. Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood) – 31 disposals in a shortened game is an incredible feat. Steele Sidebottom boasted six tackles and a goal in his best performance for the year. All class with ball in hand made those 31 touches all the more impressive.

LEADERBOARDS

Ruckman

1st – Brodie Grundy (6 votes)

2nd – Todd Goldstein (5 votes)

3rd – Max Gawn* (3 votes)

Forwards

1st – Issac Heeney, Charlie Cameron, Eddie Betts (3 votes)

2nd – Gryan Miers, Jack Martin, Chad Wingard (2 votes)

3rd – Tom Lynch, Harry Perryman, Ben King (1 vote)

Defenders

1st – Jacob Weitering (4 votes)

2nd – Brayden Maynard, Alex Keath, Shannon Hurn (3 votes)

3rd – Sam Collins, Darcy Byrne-Jones (2 votes)

Midfielders

1st – Matt Rowell (6 votes)

2nd – Patrick Cripps (4 votes)

3rd – Ben Cunnington (3 votes)

MVP

1st – Matt Rowell, Brodie Grundy (6 votes)

2nd – Todd Goldstein (5 votes)

3rd – Patrick Cripps, Jacob Weitering (4 votes)

* – has played one game less