CLUBS have coveted big-bodied midfielders for a while and the round 17 Team of the Week, brought to you by AccorHotels, provides sound evidence for that approach.
Take a look at the midfielders in this side. Josh Dunkley (190cm) put in a mammoth performance, Patrick Dangerfield (189cm) was outstanding, Patrick Cripps (195cm) and Scott Pendlebury (191cm) both led their sides to brilliant road wins and Nat Fyfe (192cm) did everything he could to do the same.
Trying to separate those performances is incredibly difficult. Dunkley and Dangerfield had 24 and 23 contested possessions respectively, and Cripps' 19 wasn't too shabby either.
Pendlebury was clutch in the final term, despite sporting a middle finger on his left hand that required surgery, and Fyfe singlehandedly dragged the Dockers back into their contest with Hawthorn.
As a loose down back, Nic Newman helped the Blues engineer an upset over Sydney. Keeping West Coast spearhead Josh Kennedy scoreless is no mean feat, but Magpies bargain buy Jordan Roughead accomplished that feat. As he often is, Conor McKenna was scintillating from defence. Wayne Milera didn't really play half-back against Gold Coast but he has spent time there before and he carved Gold Coast up. Robbie Tarrant has been immense for North Melbourne and similarly, Bachar Houli continued what has been a fantastic season.
In wet conditions, Shai Bolton proved an important link player while Mitch Duncan was significant for Geelong. As expected, Max Gawn had his way against the Western Bulldogs, but that didn't stop Dunkley from dominating. Dangerfield and Cripps were also excellent.
The work ethic of Kane Lambert was huge for the Tigers. It's amazing that Brody Mihocek has evolved from a VFL defender recruited at the end of 2017 to become a gun forward. Yet another skipper impressed on the road in Dayne Zorko. That match-winning goal from Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was just about enough to see him make the 22, but he did plenty more as well. Ben Brown bagged six goals, as did Eddie Betts.
With Lachie Neale copping plenty of attention from Port Adelaide, Jarryd Lyons went under the radar and he took full advantage. Hawthorn has a serious player on its hands in James Worpel. Fyfe and Pendlebury were great, again.