The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best-performing players from Round 11 of the 2023 AFL season.
Defenders are rewarded for defensive play, midfielders receive accolades for their dominance, while forwards are praised for hitting the scoreboard and applying pressure.
You can read last week’s team here.
The selected side for round 11 is…
Friday night’s win over Carlton was a significant return to form for running defender Jake Lloyd, who found plenty of the football. Lloyd worked his way to 35 disposals, seven rebound 50s, and six marks.
Handed the task of keeping Joe Daniher quiet, Nick Murray rose to the occasion and helped the Crows over the line. Although Murray finished with just 11 disposals and three marks, importantly, Daniher was held to eight disposals and two goals.
As Hawthorn delivered one of the upsets of the round, James Sicily put together one of the most individually dominant performances of the year. Sicily did as he pleased across the backline, finishing with 43 disposals at 90 per cent, 16 marks, and 11 score involvements.
Nick Blakey proved crucial for Sydney as it got season 2023 back on track with a big win over Carlton at the SCG on Friday night. Blakey provided the Swans with plenty of run across half-back with 26 disposals, 12 marks, and nine rebound 50s.
With Richmond veteran Jack Riewoldt appearing to be his direct opponent, Aliir Aliir stood tall for the Power in its tight victory at the MCG. Aliir had 15 disposals and five marks of his own, yet more importantly, held Riewoldt to just five disposals.
Despite the shock loss to Greater Western Sydney, Geelong defender Tom Stewart ensured his side remained in the contest until the final moments. Stewart recorded 31 disposals, nine marks, and seven rebound 50s.
Up against his former side, and with preferred ruckman Sean Darcy succumbing to injury early on, Luke Jackson showed the competition why he was one of the biggest off-season recruits. Although Jackson lost the hitout battle to the combination of Grundy & Gawn, it was his performance around the ground that stole the show. Jackson won 15 hitouts along with eight clearances, six tackles, and a goal.
Gold Coast young gun Matt Rowell continued his strong form in the tight victory over the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night. Rowell generated a lot of drive out of the midfield with 29 disposals, 16 clearances, seven inside 50s, and a goal.
Richmond boom recruit Tim Taranto had arguably his most dominant game of the 2023 season on Sunday afternoon at the MCG. Taranto was all class out of the midfield, almost dragging his side over the line with 33 disposals, seven clearances, and four majors.
Adelaide captain Jordan Dawson continued his stellar form, as he continues to put his name forward as one of the favourites for the Brownlow medal. Dawson was excellent out of the midfield with 32 disposals, 10 tackles, and five marks.
It was a game-breaking performance for Sydney winger Chad Warner as an undermanned Sydney got back on the winners’ list on Friday night. Warner was everywhere for the Swans with 29 disposals, seven inside 50s, and two goals.
Although Josh Daicos did not accumulate as much of the ball as he has done in previous outings, he was able to hit the scoreboard on a number of occasions. Daicos collected 18 disposals and booted three goals in the win over the Kangaroos.
Jordan De Goey proved far too dynamic for North Melbourne to handle, with his ability to find the ball, and hit the scoreboard. De Goey picked up 35 disposals, 10 inside 50s, and booted a goal in the win.
In what was yet another disappointing evening for West Coast, key forward Oscar Allen continues to be a shining light. Allen booted four goals in the loss to Essendon, as well as taking seven marks to be a continual presence up forward.
Greater Western Sydney skipper Toby Greene helped steer his side to one of the upset victories of 2023 with a shock win over Geelong away from home. Greene provided headaches all evening for the Geelong backline with 19 disposals, nine marks, and four majors as GWS picked up its fourth win of the season.
Izak Rankine continues to show why he has been one of the best recruits of 2023, with one of his best performances coming in Adelaide’s upset win over Brisbane. Rankine made an impact whenever he went near the ball, finishing with 23 disposals, 13 score involvements, and two majors.
In another disappointing afternoon for North Melbourne, Nick Larkey gave Kangaroos fans a glimpse into the future with a dominant performance up forward. Larkey made the most of his opportunities, kicking five goals from 13 disposals and eight marks.
Gold Coast young star Jack Lukosius has reignited his career since moving to the key forward role, and Saturday night’s performance was no exception. Lukosius kicked five goals from his opportunities, giving the backline of the Western Bulldogs plenty of headaches all evening.
Mason Redman once again generated a lot of drive for Essendon out of the defensive half of the ground, with an effective display in the win over the Eagles. Redman finished with 31 disposals at 93 per cent, 11 marks, and a goal.
Zak Butters continued his strong 2023 form with a strong performance in the tight win over Richmond on Sunday afternoon. Butters collected 32 disposals, six inside 50s, and booted a goal.
Lachie Whitfield was vital for Greater Western Sydney in the upset win over Geelong on Saturday evening. Whitfield found plenty of the ball, collecting 31 disposals, eight rebound 50s, and six inside 50s.
Bulldogs superstar Jack Macrae had the ball on a string in the tight loss to Gold Coast in Darwin, gathering 33 disposals at 84 per cent, eight tackles, and seven inside 50s.
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