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Five goals or 63 hit-outs: Who would you vote for?

Goldy v Gawn: Premier ruck duel Todd Goldstein and Max Gawn engage in a fascinating battle within the war

IT WAS touted as the battle of the competition’s two premier ruckmen and Sunday’s North Melbourne-Melbourne clash at Blundstone Arena certainly proved why.

Kangaroo Todd Goldstein and Demon Max Gawn asserted their dominance around the ground and their individual performances were recognised in the AFL Coaches Association votes. 

Goldstein walked away with the maximum 10 votes from the coaches, while his opponent Gawn was the next best with seven votes.

The sole ruckman in last year's All Australian squad, Goldstein accumulated 38 hit-outs, 19 disposals (15 contested), 11 score involvements, nine clearances, five tackles, three marks and bagged five goals.

Gawn, on the other hand, amassed 63 hit-outs – that's 25 more hit-outs – 18 touches (17 contested), 10 score involvements, seven clearances, five marks and kicked two goals.

The Demon's hit-out tally was the equal-fourth highest recorded in a single game in VFL/AFL history, behind Goldstein's record of 80 in 2015. 

NM v Melb: Full match coverage and statistics

Some would suggest Goldstein, 27, did the damage early, particularly on the scoreboard, when he snared three of the Roos' eight first-quarter goals that handed them a 36-point advantage at the first change.

But Gawn, 24, kick-started the Dees in their second-quarter revival, ending the half with a whopping 39 hit-outs, 15 of which were to advantage, and even kicked a goal of his own.

Who do you think won the battle? Do you agree with the coaches?