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Team of the week: round one

Adam Curley  March 30, 2016 10:43 PM

Team of the week

IT'S ALL-OUT attack for round one's Team of the Week, brought to you by Accor Hotels, with the game's gun forwards firing in the season opener.

The Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans have both earned four selections after big wins over Fremantle and Collingwood, while three West Coast players made the cut after the Eagles' brilliant display in Perth.

Swans star Lance Franklin and teammate Luke Parker returned to the field in style, as did Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett, while Geelong recruit Patrick Dangerfield turned it on in a dream debut for the Cats.

There are plenty of big names in the line-up, but dashing Dogs Jason Johannisen and Shane Biggs, plus Richmond's Kane Lambert and Sun Aaron Hall also shone.

Backs

PHIL DAVIS (Greater Western Sydney) – The skipper's intercept marking was outstanding. He dominated his one-on-one duel with Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan, who was held goalless for the first three quarters.

HEATH GRUNDY (Sydney Swans) – As his side's lone key defender, Grundy didn't let Travis Cloke touch the footy in the first half, while grabbing 19 touches of his own for the night.

CAMERON GUTHRIE (Geelong) – Put the blanket on Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust before moving into the midfield in the final term, where he kicked a vital goal and provided plenty of run.

Half-backs

SHANE BIGGS (Western Bulldogs)Part of a dominant Bulldogs defensive unit that kept Fremantle to just five goals for the day and picked up 35 possessions of his own.

ALEX RANCE (Richmond)Last year's All Australian centre half-back started 2016 in similar fashion, using his smarts to read the play brilliantly against the Blues.

JASON JOHANNISEN (Western Bulldogs)Arguably the most attacking backman in the game, the speedster had 35 touches at 80 per cent efficiency and kicked a goal.

Centres

KIEREN JACK (Sydney Swans)Had the game's first centre clearance and hit Lance Franklin with a pass inside 30 seconds, the first of his 10 inside 50s for the night to go with 35 disposals.

MATT PRIDDIS (West Coast)The 2014 Brownlow medallist opened his season with 43 possessions, 24 of them contested, along with 12 clearances and five tackles.

JACK MACRAE (Western Bulldogs)Was everywhere early, just like most of the Dogs, with double-figure touches in the first quarter and played his role as an outside midfielder to perfection.

Half-forwards

AARON HALL (Gold Coast)Not many players can outshine G. Ablett but the unheralded midfielder was a star for the Suns with 36 possessions and two goals.

LANCE FRANKLIN (Sydney Swans)After a dream start to his comeback with a goal inside the opening minute, Franklin finished with four and looked like the Buddy of old.

ROBBIE GRAY (Port Adelaide)Another supreme performance, Gray kicked three second-quarter goals when the side was under fire, and finished with 26 possessions and four goals. 

Forwards

JAKE STRINGER (Western Bulldogs)Just about the most exciting player in the game, Stringer grabbed five goals in the big win over the Dockers, proving unstoppable on the lead and at ground level.

JOSH KENNEDY (West Coast)Having long shed the tag of the 'other' player in the Chris Judd trade, Kennedy booted eight goals from 16 marks and 25 touches and could have bagged a dozen in one of the best games by a key forward in recent memory.

JOSH JENKINS (Adelaide)The hulking forward used his size to great advantage against North Melbourne to kick five goals in a losing side.

Followers

NIC NAITANUI (West Coast)Gave his midfielders first use with 46 hit outs and added 22 possessions – 17 of them contested – and perhaps most pleasingly, six contested marks.

PATRICK DANGERFIELD (Geelong)Now the No.1 Cat after his 43-possession performance against the Hawks, it would have been a perfect debut if he'd finished his work in front of goal.

LUKE PARKER (Sydney Swans)Showing how badly he was missed late last season with a broken leg, half of the tough midfielder's 40 touches were contested.

Interchange

GARY ABLETT (Gold Coast)It wasn't quite vintage Gaz but he was brilliant and reminded everyone how much footy had missed one of the game's best.

KANE LAMBERT (Richmond)Sparked the Tigers on a tough night with plenty of run, finished with seven tackles and 27 possessions in the hard-fought win.

SAM MITCHELL (Hawthorn)Mitchell's hands were magnificent against the Cats as he continued to make teams pay for not putting a tag on him with 36 possessions.

JACK WATTS (Melbourne)Could finally be ready to live up to his potential as a forward. Watts clunked 10 marks and was pivotal to the Dees' final-quarter comeback, kicking the first goal of the term and setting up another. 

Check out how fans voted on previous teams of the week
• How your team's players fared in this weekend's state leagues