Sir Doug Nicholls Round celebrated the incredible achievements Indigenous Australians have made to the game of Australian Rules Football, and the abundance of Indigenous talent in the league was on display for all to see.
Every player is selected in the position they played on the weekend. Defenders are rewarded for their defensive play, midfielders receive accolades for their dominance, while forwards receive a shout-out for hitting the scoreboard and applying pressure.
The Inner Sanctum has made a team comprised of the best-performing Indigenous players of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
Read last round’s team of the week here.
Callum Ah Chee has been ultra-impressive in his move to the backline in 2021. The young Lion had five intercepts on the night and went at 91 per cent with ball in hand. Steven May has got one hand on a maiden All Australian blazer, and did his chances no harm with 93 per cent disposal efficiency, eight intercepts and three contested marks from full back. Zac Williams worked to generate drive from the Carlton defence all day, recording 600 metres gained, 10 rebound 50s and a goal.
In his return to the side, Marlion Pickett worked hard all night in the Dreamtime clash to finish with 17 disposals, two goal assists and a couple of hit-outs for good measure. Liam Jones provided a brick wall for most of the day in his performance, with 10 marks (six contested) and 12 intercepts against the Eagles. Brad Hill beat his disposal count from the week before in the first quarter alone, recording 25 disposals at 88 per cent and nine score involvements in a brilliant display.
Jack Martin worked tirelessly for his possessions, recording 14 for the day to go with five score involvements and four tackles. Returning for the Tigers, veteran Shane Edwards picked up where he left off in the middle of the ground with 19 disposals (at 84 per cent) and three goal assists. Jamaine Jones came on as the sub, and was one of West Coast’s best in his 65 minutes of game time. The talented 22-year-old kicked two goals and had six score involvements.
Paddy Ryder dominated for the Saints in vintage fashion, beating Tom Hickey with 34 hit-outs and 16 disposals (11 contested). Shai Bolton dazzled with his snapping goals late in the piece, but was close to best on ground for the whole match with 21 disposals (eight contested) at 90 per cent efficiency, as well as three goals straight. Michael Walters battled on for the undermanned Dockers, applying 20 pressure acts and having five score involvements.
Liam Henry came alive and showcased his incredible talent on Sunday afternoon with a goal and a couple of attempts at mark of the year. Buddy Franklin was at his brilliant best for the Swans with two goals from his 16 disposals. He set up the sealer with an unselfish kick into the middle of the 50. Liam Ryan was one of the best players of the round. The prodigious forward kicked four goals and had four contested marks before cramping up in the final quarter.
Kozzy Pickett had one of the best nine disposal games you are likely to see, ending the match with three goals as the Demons soared to 11-1. Shane McAdam provided one of the goals of the round with his banana from the pocket; it was one of his two goals for the game. Eddie Betts also kicked a goal of the round contender after a scintillating effort on the boundary line led to him receiving the ball and snapping truly for one of his two majors.
Keidean Coleman has cemented his spot in the Lions’ side – he had a goal and 14 pressure acts on Friday night. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti carried a cork for the majority of the game and was kept quiet on the goal front, but still provided breathtaking spark in the front half going at 91 per cent with the ball and having five score involvements. Charlie Cameron produced two goals for the Lions, but was kept fairly quiet for most of the game, while Daniel Rioli came on as the medical sub late in the game to convert a goal that extended Richmond’s lead on Saturday night.
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