The Inner Sanctum's Team of the Week for Round 22. Design: Will Cuckson

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best performing players from Round 22 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.

In a tight loss to the Western Bulldogs, experienced GWS defender Nick Haynes showed his class throughout the entirety of the afternoon. Haynes finished with 25 disposals, 15 marks, and snuck forward for a goal. Despite a tough year for West Coast, key defender Tom Barrass is a genuine chance for the All-Australian side, and Saturday night’s Western Derby performance did his chances no harm. Barrass finished with 20 disposals at 95 per cent and 12 marks, all while holding in-form Fremantle forward Rory Lobb goalless. Bailey Dale generated plenty of run and carry for the Bulldogs in the important win over the Giants, picking up 26 disposals, seven marks, and a goal.

In Melbourne’s thrilling win over Carlton on Saturday night, Angus Brayshaw was a class above, finishing with 38 disposals, 12 clearances, and six inside 50s. Sam De Koning‘s rise has been one of the best stories of season 2022, and his stellar form continued in the win over Gold Coast. De Koning picked up 11 disposals and three marks but importantly held Levi Casboult to just one disposal. Jordan Dawson has been one of the standout recruits across the competition in season 2022, and his performance on Saturday afternoon showed why. Dawson gathered 33 disposals at 82 per cent, 12 rebound 50s, and nine marks.

Josh Kelly did everything in his power to steer GWS home in the tight loss to the Western Bulldogs, finishing with 35 disposals at 83 per cent disposal efficiency, 12 marks, and six inside 50s. Superstar Sydney midfielder Callum Mills rose to the occasion once again and was crucial in the big win over Collingwood. Mills finished with 29 disposals, nine marks, seven tackles, and seven score involvements. Geelong utility Mark Blicavs continued his sensational season in fine style against Gold Coast, picking up 27 disposals, four tackles, and booting two majors.

Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy won his first ever Glendinning-Allan Medal on the back of a standout performance in Saturday night’s win over West Coast. Darcy won 56 hit outs and booted a goal to cap off an unbelievable performance. North Melbourne midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke showed why he is one of the future stars of the competition, picking up 37 disposals, 11 clearances, 10 inside 50s, and a goal as he attempted to drag his side over the line against Adelaide. Touk Miller did his Brownlow Medal chances no harm in the loss to Geelong, gathering 36 disposals, eight marks, and seven inside 50s.

Cam Rayner proved to the footy world why he is a former number one draft pick in the win over St Kilda on Friday night as he was at his match-winning best. Rayner picked up 18 disposals and booted four goals. Todd Marshall continued his breakout season in fine style in Port Adelaide’s bruising win over Essendon, booting two goals from 13 possessions, including 11 score involvements. The two goals also saw Marshall’s tally move to 41 goals for the season, which is the first time in his career he has done so. Zak Butters dominated the Essendon backline, picking up 25 disposals, 10 score involvements, and three majors.

Jake Melksham wound back the clock in fine style in Saturday night’s thrilling win over Carlton. Melksham was ultimately the difference with 15 disposals, seven marks, and four majors. Tom Lynch put together one of the best individual performances of season 2022, taking 12 marks and kicking eight goals as he dominated Hawthorn’s inexperienced backline. Darcy Fogarty proved to be the difference for Adelaide for the second week in a row, booting four goals against the lowly North Melbourne.

Marcus Windhager collected the Rising Star nomination on the back of a brilliant tagging effort against Brisbane superstar Lachie Neale. Windhager picked up 21 disposals and seven marks of his own while keeping Neale to just 16 possessions. Dion Prestia proved how important he is to Richmond’s midfield, gathering 30 disposals, 11 clearances, and two goals in the crushing win over Hawthorn. Sam Powell-Pepper continued his brilliant season with perhaps his best effort yet. Powell-Pepper picked up 22 disposals and four goals in the bruising win over Essendon. Despite losing the hitout battle to the duo of Sam Draper and Nick Bryan in convincing fashion, Jeremy Finlayson stunningly dominated around the ground. Finlayson picked up 25 possessions, 10 score involvements, and two majors.

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