04/03/2024

The Inner Sanctum has selected a Team of the Week for Round 3 of the 2023 AFL season. Photos: Adelaide Crows/Twitter, Fremantle Dockers/Twitter, Western Bulldogs/Twitter

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best-performing players from Round 3 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 see last week’s team here.

The selected side for round three is…

Defenders

In a wayward contest at GIANTS Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Carlton needed its leaders to stand tall, and veteran Sam Docherty did just that. Docherty recorded 39 disposals, 10 marks, and booted a goal in a positive display.

Despite a disappointing loss to the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night at Marvel Stadium, Brisbane co-captain Harris Andrews stood tall. Andrews claimed 16 marks to go alongside 21 disposals at 90 per cent.

Often unheralded in a star-studded Carlton side, running defender Nic Newman put together a strong performance. Newman recorded 24 disposals at 88 per cent, 11 marks, and five rebound 50s.

Newly appointed Adelaide captain Jordan Dawson continued his strong Showdown form, claiming a second Showdown Medal in just his third battle. Dawson was a deserving winner with 18 disposals, seven inside 50s, and a goal.

With its superstar captain on the sidelines, St Kilda needed vice captain Callum Wilkie to stand strong. Wilkie rose to the occasion with an excellent outing, with 19 disposals at 89 per cent and 13 marks.

Collingwood youngster Nick Daicos once again showed why he is one of the most exciting young talents in the competition. Daicos was influential from the opening moments and finished with 33 disposals, five marks, and four rebound 50s.

Midfielders

Up against an inexperienced ruckman, Sean Darcy took full toll with a damaging performance all around the ground. Darcy won 52 hit outs, 20 disposals, 10 score involvements, and a goal of his own.

Exciting Fremantle midfielder Caleb Serong took full advantage of the service he received from Darcy, with a game-breaking display. Serong was awarded the Glendinning-Allan Medal on the back of 35 disposals, 12 inside 50s, and nine score involvements.

After somewhat of a slow start to season 2023, reigning Brownlow medalist Patrick Cripps was back to his best on Saturday against the Giants. Cripps dominated with 42 disposals, 13 clearances, and 11 score involvements.

Staring down the barrel of a 0-3 start, Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli was exceptional in the victory on Thursday night. Bontempelli showed why he is one of the most valuable players in the competition with 28 disposals, seven clearances, and six tackles.

Mason Wood continued his resurgence as St Kilda continued its winning ways against Essendon on Saturday night. Wood was instrumental, gathering 27 disposals, 11 marks, and booted a goal. Wood is the only player in the competition to have over 20 disposals and a goal in each game in 2023.

Josh Daicos continued his excellent start to the season with another big performance in Collingwood’s win on Friday night. Daicos continued his career-best form with 28 disposals, seven clearances and a goal.

Forwards

Jordan De Goey has been influential in Collingwood’s start to season 2023, and Friday night was no exception. De Goey was arguably the most influential player on the ground with 35 disposals, nine clearances, and eight score involvements.

It was a breakout game for Riley Thilthorpe in Adelaide’s upset victory over Port Adelaide in Saturday night’s Showdown. Thilthorpe booted five goals, something he has not achieved since his debut game.

Dylan Moore was terrific in Hawthorn’s first win of the season on Saturday afternoon against North Melbourne. Moore collected 26 disposals, 12 marks, and booted two goals.

Coming to Adelaide with a lot of expectations on his shoulders, Izak Rankine showed why he was recruited in the trade period. Rankine gave the Port Adelaide backline plenty of headaches with 17 disposals, eight score involvements, and four goals.

Jack Lukosius was massive for Gold Coast in its opening win of the season against the reigning premiers. Lukosius showed why he is a former pick three, kicking five majors, to go along with 12 score involvements and nine marks.

In an emotion-charged week, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan put it all behind him with a terrific outing on Thursday night against Brisbane. Ugle-Hagan kicked five goals as the Bulldogs got its first win of the season.

Interchange

Clayton Oliver showed once again why he is one of the favourites for the Brownlow medal with an outstanding performance on Sunday afternoon. Oliver claimed 25 disposals, nine score involvements, and two goals as Melbourne stormed to victory.

Will Day put together his most complete performance of the 2023 season so far with a brilliant game against North Melbourne. Day picked up 29 disposals at 86 per cent, 11 marks, and nine score involvements.

On what was a big night for St Kilda, small forward Jack Higgins electrified the MCG with 18 disposals and four majors. Higgins was far too good for the Essendon defence to handle, arguably proving to be the difference in the match.

Michael Walters was enormous in Fremantle’s Western Derby win over West Coast, kicking four majors as the Dockers claimed its first win of the 2023 season.

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