The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best performing players from Round 12 of the 2022 AFL season.
Defenders are rewarded for defensive play, midfielders receive accolades for their dominance, while forwards receive a shout-out for hitting the scoreboard and applying pressure.
You can read last week’s team here.
Connor Budarick played very well for the Suns in the backline in their win over the Kangaroos. The youngster recorded 25 disposals, including six rebound 50s. Fresh off his Rising Star nomination, Sam De Koning led the Geelong defence brilliantly in the win over the Western Bulldogs on Friday night. De Koning had 12 disposals at 100 per cent efficiency, along with eight marks. De Koning held gun Bulldog forward Aaron Naughton to just one goal. Despite defeat to Collingwood on Sunday afternoon, Blake Hardwick showed his experience in the back half with 14 disposals, four marks, and five tackles.
In his new role across half-back, Cats veteran Mitch Duncan was everywhere in Friday night’s win over the Bulldogs. Duncan had 29 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency, along with eight marks, and kicked an important goal. Paddy McCartin continued his strong year in Swans colours with 15 disposals, six marks, and five rebound 50s. One of the most impressive features of McCartin’s performance was holding superstar Melbourne forward Ben Brown to just four disposals. Nick Daicos continued his rising star campaign in fine style with 36 disposals, including five score involvements and six rebound 50s.
Despite yet another loss for West Coast on Saturday afternoon, Andrew Gaff showed he was a class above with 30 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency, along with seven score involvements and a goal. Andrew Brayshaw was brilliant for the Dockers in their big win over the Lions on Sunday as he continues his Brownlow medal form. Brayshaw recorded 39 disposals, eight score involvements, nine clearances, and six tackles in the Dockers’ impressive performance. Patrick Lipinski showed Collingwood fans why the club actively pursued him in last year’s trade period. The dynamic player had 29 disposals, one goal, and six inside 50s as the Pies escaped a late Hawks comeback.
Despite the shock loss to Sydney on Saturday night, Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn returned to his best form. Gawn tried everything he could to drag his side over the line with 30 hit-outs, 28 disposals, and three goals. Matt Rowell showed the competition why he is a former number one pick, collecting 25 disposals, nine score involvements, and kicked a goal in the win over the Kangaroos. Rory Laird was everywhere in Adelaide’s win over West Coast on Saturday afternoon, picking up 33 disposals, nine tackles, and booting a goal.
Zac Bailey made the most of every opportunity against Fremantle, proving why he is one of the most valuable players in the competition. Bailey booted four goals along with 22 disposals and six score involvements. Geelong superstar forward Jeremy Cameron was the difference between the two sides on Friday night with six goals. Cameron also made his presence felt in the air, taking seven marks. Michael Frederick continued his fantastic form and continued to electrify the Dockers fans. Frederick kicked three goals, collected 18 disposals, took ten marks, and recorded seven inside 50s.
Bailey Banfield was a standout performer in Fremantle’s win on Sunday. Electrifying the crowd, Banfield finished with four goals and six score involvements. Adelaide returned to the winners list on Saturday afternoon and it was largely thanks to key forward Taylor Walker. The former captain finished with 22 disposals, eight marks, 10 score involvements and three goals. In the absence of superstar Lance Franklin, the Swans turned to experienced forward Sam Reid on Saturday night and he delivered. Reid was brilliant with three majors, nine score involvements, five marks and 10 tackles.
Darcy Cameron has been a revelation for Collingwood this year in the absence of ruckman Brodie Grundy, and he put together his best effort of the season on Sunday. Cameron collected 26 disposals, eight score involvements along with 19 hit outs. Hawthorn midfielder Jai Newcombe also advanced his Rising Star campaign with 23 disposals, five score involvements and 12 tackles. Logan McDonald provided a focal point up forward for Sydney in its win over top-of-the-ladder Melbourne on Saturday night with three goals, five marks and nine score involvements. Dockers young gun Caleb Serong put together another massive performance with 31 disposals at 84 per cent efficiency, seven tackles, eight score involvements and a goal.
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