04/03/2024

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best performing players from Round 4 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 four is…

Defenders

With 17 marks across the defensive 50, Nick Haynes showed why he is still one of the best defenders in the competition. Along with his high marks tally, Haynes also had 26 disposals and five rebound 50s.

While his game-saving spoil stole the headlines, Port Adelaide key defender Aliir Aliir was at his best from minute one. While Aliir only had 16 disposals and five marks, it was his efforts to hold Sydney champion Lance Franklin goalless which was most impressive.

Jacob Weitering ensured a potent North Melbourne forward line remained quiet, with 15 disposals at 86 per cent, and 12 marks of his own to help steer Carlton over the line.

Adelaide captain Jordan Dawson put together his best performance of the season, continuing his strong run of form. Dawson picked up 27 disposals at a remarkable 96 per cent, six tackles, five inside 50s, and a goal.

Stand-in St Kilda captain Callum Wilkie showed no signs of slowing down with a commanding display against Gold Coast. Wilkie had 24 disposals at 87 per cent, along with 11 marks, while keeping dangerous Suns forward Ben King to just six disposals.

Despite Collingwood’s first loss of the season, young defender Nick Daicos did everything he could to ensure the game remained close. Daicos recorded 38 disposals, 12 score involvements, and booted two goals of his own.

Midfielders

Despite having just 23 hitouts, it was the work that Tim English did around the ground which set him apart. English finished with 20 disposals, nine tackles, six marks, and booted two goals in a game-changing display.

In a disappointing defeat, Noah Anderson provided a shining light on Saturday night. Anderson gathered 38 disposals, 10 tackles, nine score involvements, and booted a goal in a welcome return to form.

Although Melbourne proved too strong for West Coast on Sunday evening, midfielder Tim Kelly never stopped trying. Up against a dominant Melbourne midfield, Kelly was at his best with 36 disposals, 10 inside 50s, and two goals.

Amongst the bullish Melbourne midfield was superstar Christian Petracca, who was at his best from the opening moments. Petracca was too strong for the depleted Eagles midfield, recording 29 disposals, eight marks, and three goals.

Oliver Florent made sure Sydney stayed in the contest on Saturday night in the narrow defeat against Port Adelaide. Florent finished with 33 disposals, eight inside 50s, six marks, and booted a goal.

In his first game of the 2023 season, Mitch Duncan showcased why Geelong has missed him throughout its opening three rounds. Duncan collected 31 disposals, 14 marks, and seven rebound 50s, as the Cats springboarded off the bottom of the ladder.

Forwards

Mitch Owens showed why he should be a contender for the Rising Star with a dominant display on Saturday night against the Suns. The St Kilda youngster finished with 27 disposals, and two goals as the Saints recorded a commanding 53-point win.

Jeremy Cameron rose to the top of the Coleman medal race with a seven-goal effort on Easter Monday. Cameron ensured Geelong stayed in the contest in the early stages, and helped it pull away late with 22 disposals and nine marks adding to his goal tally.

Jake Stringer proved too much for the GWS backline to handle, with four majors amongst 10 attempts, 15 disposals, and four clearances. It was a welcome return to form for the Essendon dynamo, who was held to just one goal the week prior.

After a relatively slow start to the 2023 season, Charlie Cameron found form with a game-changing performance against Collingwood on Thursday night. Cameron booted six majors, to go along with 14 disposals, and 11 score involvements.

Coming up against an undermanned North Melbourne backline, Charlie Curnow continued his strong form, taking full toll with six goals along with 11 score involvements and nine marks.

In just his second game of the 2023 season, Jeremy Finlayson proved to be the match-winner on Saturday night against Sydney. As well as the match-winning goal, Finlayson kicked three majors, along with 18 disposals, and eight marks.

Interchange

North Melbourne youngster Harry Sheezel continued his case for the Rising Star with another commanding display against Carlton on Friday afternoon. Sheezel recorded 37 disposals, eight score involvements, and five marks.

Cam Rayner showcased why he is a former number one pick, having arguably the best performance of his career. Rayner booted four goals to go along with 17 disposals, and 10 score involvements.

Jack Higgins rocketed to equal sixth in the Coleman medal race, with another brilliant outing against the Suns on Saturday night. Higgins booted five goals along with 22 disposals, and 12 score involvements.

Mason Redman returned to form on Sunday afternoon against GWS, with the dashing defender breaking the game open. Redman picked up 27 disposals at 88 per cent, seven marks, and booted a goal.

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