30/05/2024
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Callum Mills, Tom Clurey and Eddie Betts all feature in round eight's team of the week.

Eddie Betts wound back the clock to earn a spot in our team of the week. See who else made the cut.

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players in round 8 of the AFL season. 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 shoutout for hitting the scoreboard and applying pressure.

Defenders

Daniel Rich was masterful again as he gained 660 metres from his 31 touches to power the Lions forward as they dismissed the Dockers on Sunday. Tom Clurey delivered the lockdown performance of the weekend, holding the then-Coleman Medal leader Taylor Walker to a six disposal, zero goal Showdown. GWS don’t get over the line on Saturday without Sam Taylor’s inspiring final term. The underrated key defender had five intercept possessions, including three contested marks to deny Essendon attacking opportunities.

Darcy Moore was a brick wall as he returned to his customary defensive role; the 2020 All Australian had 28 disposals (11 intercept possessions) and 19 marks. Jacob Weitering and Aaron Naughton delivered an epic match-up with the Blues’ leader edging out the contest on his way to 12 intercept possessions and seven contested marks. Tom Stewart held Dustin Martin goalless when he moved forward and was instrumental in rebounding the ball for a dominant Cats side.

Midfielders

The Saints got over the line with help from Jack Billings; the wingman hit the scoreboard with two goals and worked hard for his seven rebound 50s. Jarryd Lyons was everywhere for the Lions. 29 disposals (11 contested), nine inside 50s, and a goal capped off a performance as he steps up in the absence of Lachie Neale. Josh Kelly was at his silky best against the Bombers, kicking two goals and recording nine score involvements from his 30 disposals.

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Scott Lycett‘s game was marred by a gruesome sling tackle on Ned McHenry. However, he was as important as ever for the Power as he got the best of Reilly O’Brien with 34 hitouts, 18 disposals, and six tackles. Jack Steele led from the front with 27 disposals, six clearances, and eight tackles as the Saints pipped the Suns once again. Marcus Bontempelli was the pick of the round as the star Bulldog had 32 disposals, 10 clearances, 10 inside 50s, eight tackles, and a goal.

Forwards

Brendon Ah Chee broke the game open after a goalless first term, providing four goals and 21 pressure acts in his best game as an Eagle. Tom Hawkins was sensational with his four goals and 20 touches (11 contested at 80 percent). Jordan De Goey finally arrived in season 2021 as he kicked six goals against the languishing Roos on Saturday.

Eddie Betts delivered a vintage performance in the face of media criticism over the last few weeks. He kicked five goals and went at 100 percent efficiency from his 13 disposals (eight contested). Jeremy Cameron showed his worth on his way to a bag of six against the reigning Premiers. Tom McDonald stood up again for the Demons in the forward half, kicking four goals as his side remains undefeated.

Bench and Medical Substitute

The seventh defender is Jack Henry. He held Jack Riewoldt to a four disposal, one goal game in a clinical defensive game. Callum Mills and Clayton Oliver went head-to-head on Saturday night in an awesome midfield battle. Mills recorded 33 disposals, 10 tackles and a vital last quarter goal. Oliver had 35 touches (19 contested) and 10 clearances for the Demons. The seventh forward is Charlie Cameron. He could have had one of the great small forward performances if not for his wayward goal kicking, but Charlie still got on his motorbike with three goals and five behinds for the Lions. The best medical substitute of round eight was Matt Guelfi. The bleached Bomber had a team-high six tackles and a goal in just 34 minutes of game time. As a result of his work rate, he provided an important spark up forward.

Round 8 AFL Team of the Week

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