The Inner Sanctum's Team of the Week for Round 18. Design: Will Cuckson

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best performing players from Round 18 of the 2022 AFL season.

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best performing players from Round 18 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.

Mason Redman continues to be underrated in the Essendon backline, and his performance on the weekend was no exception. Redman picked up 34 disposals, 10 marks, and nine score involvements. Tom Barass lead the West Coast backline superbly, keeping Mitch Lewis goalless, all while picking up 30 disposals at 93 per cent, as well as a remarkable 18 marks. It was a tough night for St Kilda, however, Callum Wilkie stood tall with 27 disposals at 89 per cent and 16 marks.

Jack Sinclair generated plenty of run for St Kilda, picking up 36 disposals, 11 marks, and a goal. Sam De Koning held reigning Coleman medalist Harry McKay goalless and had seven intercept possessions of his own as he continues to be a vital component of the Geelong backline. Nick Daicos put together one of the best performances by a first-year player, gathering 40 disposals, eight rebound 50s, and three goals.

Chad Warner continued his breakout season in his home state of Western Australia against Fremantle. Warner gathered 35 disposals, 11 score involvements, and even kicked a goal. Jy Simpkin was everywhere for North Melbourne in its breakthrough win over Richmond, picking up 34 disposals, seven inside 50s, and a goal. Connor Rozee continued his push towards All-Australian selection on the back of 33 disposals and a goal against the reigning premiers Melbourne in a tight loss.

Ned Reeves had a career-best game in the ruck for Hawthorn in the win over West Coast, notching up 39 hit outs and a goal. Marcus Bontempelli reminded everyone why he is amongst the competition’s best players with 34 disposals, 11 marks, and two goals in the win over St Kilda. Hugh McCluggage was at his game-breaking best against GWS, picking up 29 disposals, eight marks, and four goals.

Luke Breust wound back the clock in Sunday afternoon’s win over West Coast, picking up 15 disposals and six majors. Fresh off inking a one-year deal with Adelaide, veteran forward Taylor Walker dominated, kicking five goals against Collingwood. Jake Stringer had his best game of the 2022 season, booting four goals from his 16 disposals against Gold Coast.

Cam Zurhaar proved the difference for North Melbourne in the thrilling win over Richmond with six majors, including the eventual match-winner. Jeremy Cameron gave the Carlton backline plenty of headaches, kicking three goals, and picking up 11 score involvements. Kysaiah Pickett became the first player to kick six goals in Alice Springs, on his way to dominating the Port Adelaide backline at every opportunity.

Rory Laird was everywhere yet again for Adelaide, coming away with 31 disposals, as well as breaking an AFL record with 20 tackles. Josh Ward claimed this week’s Rising Star nomination on the back of 34 disposals, seven marks, and six clearances. Toby Greene tried everything he could to keep GWS in the contest against Brisbane, booting four majors. Zach Merrett was electric right from the opening bounce against Gold Coast, and it was reflected on the stat sheet. The superstar midfielder picked up 36 disposals at 86 per cent, 14 score involvements, and eight marks.

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