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The Chase: Star Tiger's quest to make the little things count

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WITH the match in the balance, the ball is bombed long into the forward 50.

From three players deep, Alex Rance wills himself to the front of the pack, safely seeing the ball over the boundary line. 

It's a scenario that has played itself out over and over again over the past few years, so much so the three-time All Australian full-back is on track to become only the sixth AFL player to record 1300 one-percenters. 

A one-percenter is defined as either a knock on, spoil, smother or shepherd. 

With 1289, Rance needs 11 one-percenters against Fremantle at Domain Stadium on Sunday afternoon to reach the 1300 mark.


The stats within the streak

With just two one-percenters, Rance can also pass 200 in a single season for the second time in his career.

His best season came in 2015, where he had 203 one-percenters. Tellingly, it was also the last year Richmond made finals. 

The most one-percenters recorded in a single season was 259, set by Hawthorn's 'third man up' specialist Josh Gibson in 2011.

Gibson, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, also leads the all-time one-percenters record with 1690 over his 12-year career – an average of 140.8 a season. 

One-percenters Player Club(s)
1690 Josh Gibson Hawthorn/North Melbourne
1568 Dustin Fletcher Essendon
1466 Dale Morris Western Bulldogs
1379 Ted Richards Sydney/Essendon
1359 Brian Lake Hawthorn/Western Bulldogs
1299 Daniel Merrett Brisbane Lions

Who's next best?

Ironically, it's Rance's recent forward line nemesis, Geelong's Harry Taylor, who leads the chasing pack of one-percenter kings. 

Surprisingly, the much-maligned Zac Dawson also rates highly across his 11-year career.

One-percenters Player Club(s)
1243 Harry Taylor Geelong
1128 Zac Dawson Fremantle/St Kilda/Hawthorn
1064 Heath Grundy Sydney
1044 Drew Petrie West Coast/North Melbourne
1025 Eric Mackenzie West Coast

Harry Taylor and Alex Rance were locked in a fierce battle last Saturday afternoon. Picture: AFL Photos

The Chaser: Oliver and Mitchell's handball race

A young Melbourne star and a more-than-handy Hawthorn recruit are on track to achieve 450 handballs in a season

Clayton Oliver and Tom Mitchell would achieve a target only two other players – Josh Kennedy (Sydney, 2016) and Matt Priddis (West Coast, 2015) – have reached.

Oliver is currently sitting on 438 handballs for the season at an average of 21.9 a game, while Mitchell is not far behind, recording 432 handballs at an average of 21.6. 

Mitchell is also on track to overtake his 2016 season total of 443 (recorded in his final season at Sydney), which was the fifth highest in history. 

Oliver has already more than doubled his 2016 season total, a comparatively miserly 174 handballs in his debut season.


Text: Sarah Black | Designs: Kahla Emonson | Stats: Cameron Sinclair

Want more?

The Chase: more mini milestones

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