Zero Hanger’s Rolling All-Australian side – Round 17
Coming into the side this week, Hawks defender James Sicily and six-time All-Australian Patrick Dangerfield. In defence, Sicily was selected ahead of Fremantle’s Luke Ryan who has struggled over the past fortnight with two losses against Carlton and West Coast. Ryan collected just 13 disposals in last week’s West Australian derby.
In turn, Sicily has enjoyed a recent run of good form since returning to the backline – highlighted by a best on ground performance against Collingwood. Last round, the versatile defender collected 28 disposals (23 kicks), 11 contested, 14 marks, seven spoils and rebound 50s. That in itself is astonishing, let alone the fact that his disposal efficiency for the night was 93% – ranked first of anyone who collected at least 15 disposals for the round.
Dangerfield’s selection comes after a loss to the Bulldogs, were the powerful midfielder was a one-man show. The Brownlow medalist hasn’t been at the peak of his powers, but he’s starting to make that major impact week by week, putting together a solid year with his side in first position.
Purely on the basis of him re-injuring himself, Giants mid Josh Kelly will find it difficult to break back into this side with all reports that he’ll miss the next three games. Say Kelly returns to the side when expected in round 20, he would have only played 15 games for the year, which might not be enough against some of the elite midfielders knocking on the door.
With Dangerfield in for Kelly, we’ve moved Stephen Coniglio to a wing to open up a half-forward flank roll for the Geelong superstar.
When talking about knocking on the door, it’s hard to ignore the work of Giants defender Zac Williams, who is enjoying a career-best season averaging 24 disposals, 1.9 clearances and 5 rebound 50s. Williams is applying pressure to Geelong’s Mark Blicavs, who despite having a solid year as a defender, isn’t guaranteed a spot.
Up forward, Brisbane’s Charlie Cameron looms as a potential forward pocket inclusion, making eight-time AA Gary Ablett nervous. Cameron has managed 29 goals (equal career-high) and offers the most excitement inside Brisbane’s forward 50.
His Lions teammate Hugh McCluggage would also be circulating the ’emergencies’ list, while Bulldogs pair Josh Dunkley and Jackson Macrae have been on a hot streak, helping their club to multiple wins.
Quietly averaging a career-high in disposals AND clearances, elite midfielders Luke Shuey and Clayton Oliver are two of the most in-form players in the competition – both are developing a strong case with seven weeks remaining.