IT WAS the first of its kind this century, but Bomber Nic Martin's amazing debut couldn't crack the top-10 first games of the past decade according to the AFL Player Ratings system.
However, two of the other amazing debutant performances from round one were ranked higher based on the system, which rates impact of disposals on the game.
>>SEE THE BEST 11 DEBUTS SINCE 2010 BELOW
Martin became the first player since Champion Data started recording statistics in 2000 to achieve the feat of kicking five goals and having 25 or more disposals in their first appearance at AFL level. He finished with 27 disposals for the game in Essendon's big defeat to Geelong on Saturday.
Martin, 20, was awarded the NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for the opening round based on his performance, which came less than a month after he was officially signed by Essendon as a pre-season supplemental selection period pick-up.
Under the AFL Player Ratings numbers, Martin's debut comes in at No.11 in the list of best first games since the system was first in place in 2010 with 19.67 points, well behind the clear No.1 Jason Tutt, who burst onto the scene with a scintillating debut for the Bulldogs in round 22, 2011 when he kicked four goals from 26 disposals and received one Brownlow Medal vote.
Second to Tutt is Adelaide livewire Josh Rachele, who was brilliant on Sunday in his debut in the tricolours with a five-goal haul as the best afield for the Crows. Rachele's debut won him 23.78 AFL Ratings points, behind Tutt's 31.24.
Rachele also claimed nine coaches' votes under the AFL Coaches Association's voting structure, the equal most for a debutant alongside Michael Barlow, whose memorable debut in round one, 2010 for Fremantle is ranked at No.3 overall in the AFL Player Ratings numbers.
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St Kilda's Jack Hayes, who kicked three goals on Friday night, also ranks highly, coming in at No.5 in the best debuts of the past decade according to Player Ratings. The 26-year-old's performance also included 10 marks in his 18 disposals to lift him ahead of the likes of Dan Butler, Sam Gray, Ollie Wines and Tom Papley in the best lot of debuts of the past decade.
Perhaps an under-the-radar debut came from Greater Western Sydney's Matt Flynn, whose effort in round one last year for the Giants has him ranked at No.9 under the Player Ratings. Flynn collected 17 disposals (14 contested), 34 hit-outs, five inside-50s and five clearances for the Giants against St Kilda in the opening game last year.
AFL PLAYER RATINGS BEST DEBUTS SINCE 2010
1. Jason Tutt, Western Bulldogs (round 22, 2011) – 31.24 AFL Ratings points
2. Josh Rachele, Adelaide (round 1, 2022) – 23.78
3. Michael Barlow, Fremantle (round 1, 2010) – 22.77
4. Clay Smith, Western Bulldogs (round 1, 2012) – 22.71
5. Jack Hayes, St Kilda (round 1, 2022) – 21.99
6. Dan Butler, Richmond (round 1, 2017) – 21.41
7. Sam Gray, Port Adelaide (round 1, 2014) – 21.35
8. Ollie Wines, Port Adelaide (round 1, 2013) – 20.29
9. Matt Flynn, Greater Western Sydney (round 1, 2021) – 20.15
10. Tom Papley, Sydney (round 1, 2016) – 19.90
11. Nic Martin, Essendon (round 1, 2022) – 19.67