IT WAS a strange round – a one-off round –and some of the game's most talented medium forwards stole the spotlight to dominate the Team of the Week, brought to you by AccorHotels.
Isaac Heeney was magnificent in steering Sydney to a narrow win over Adelaide, kicking 4.1 from his 16 disposals that included five marks and four tackles.
Carlton recruit Jack Martin (pictured below) made an outstanding first impression for his new club, kicking all four of his goals in a thrilling third quarter against Richmond in the season's opening game.
Chad Wingard started the season in fine fashion and was instrumental in Hawthorn's upset win over Brisbane, kicking three goals and gaining 538m, while Greater Western Sydney star Toby Greene joined the fun with four goals in a win over Geelong.
Green wasn't the only Giant to excel in the convincing victory, with defender Nick Haynes picking up where he left off from in 2019 with 20 disposals (including 10 intercepts and nine marks) and winger Harry Perryman (20 disposals, four goals) arguably best on ground.
FB: Nick Haynes, Steven May, Adam Saad
HB: Wayne Milera, Harris Andrews, Darcy Byrne-Jones
Despite Melbourne's comfortable loss to West Coast, Steven May was a star, keeping Josh Kennedy to a goalless four disposals and showing he was ready to bounce back from an indifferent first season with the Dees. Likewise, All-Australian Harris Andrews was sublime in his team's defeat, racking up 13 intercept disposals and keeping new Hawk Jon Patton quiet. Darcy Byrne-Jones (25 disposals and a game-high 504m) was heavily involved in Port Adelaide's trouncing of Gold Coast, while Essendon's Adam Saad (28 touches) was also crucial in his team's win. Wayne Milera was excellent in a half-back role for the Crows.
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C: Andrew Gaff, Luke Parker, Harry Perryman
Foll: Brodie Grundy, Jack Viney, Dion Prestia
There was the usual plethora of midfielders with good numbers to pick from, but it was hard to go past Brodie Grundy (19 disposals, one goal and a game-high nine score involvements) in the ruck. Dion Prestia was arguably the best player on the ground in Richmond's win over Carlton, while Jack Viney (34 disposals, 20 contested) was an absolute bull for Melbourne. Swan Luke Parker had a huge influence in his team's win in Adelaide with 30 disposals and six tackles, while Eagle Andrew Gaff joins Perryman on the wings, matching Parker's 30 touches and adding a goal.
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HF: Toby Greene, Brody Mihocek, Jack Martin
FF: Isaac Heeney, Jack Riewoldt, Chad Wingard
It wasn't a great weekend for the big marking forwards, but Greene, Martin, Heeney and Wingard were all exceptional, just as effective at marking overhead as they were at tidying up off the ground. Brody Mihocek was outstanding in the Magpies' victory, kicking three goals from his 11 touches. He also had eight marks and was dangerous in the air. Jack Riewoldt did not get a ton of ball for the Tigers, but launched Richmond to its sizeable early advantage with two of his three goals in the first quarter.
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Int: Mitch Duncan, Dylan Shiel, Travis Boak, Ben Cunnington
Plenty of experience on the bench with Ben Cunnington helping to get North Melbourne over the line with a sublime second half, while Travis Boak was the central figure in Port's first-half domination of Gold Coast. Dylan Shiel (35 disposals) could not stop finding the ball, while Mitch Duncan (21 touches and three goals) could hold his head high in Geelong's loss.