The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week, comprised of the best-performing players from Round 9 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 nine is…
Facing off against the dangerous Carlton forward line, Bulldog Bailey Dale was forced into a defensive-based role, and he flourished. The backman found plenty of the football, with 28 disposals, seven marks, and five score involvements to his name.
It has been a return to form for Harris Andrews in recent weeks, with one of his better performances of the season coming against Essendon on Saturday night. The key defender not only held Sam Weideman goalless, but finished with 19 disposals at 89 per cent, and 12 marks.
On a night when the Essendon backline was under intense pressure, Mason Redman stood strong and put together another strong performance. The running defender was composed all night with 30 disposals at 96 per cent, seven marks, and six rebound 50s.
It was somewhat of a return to form for Collingwood young gun Nick Daicos at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. The second-year player found plenty of the football once again, recording 41 disposals, nine score involvements, and eight rebound 50s.
Tasked with the difficulty of keeping Geelong forward Jeremy Cameron quiet, Nathan Broad stood tall to help Richmond to victory. Broad picked up 19 disposals and seven marks himself, and importantly held Cameron to just one goal.
Adelaide veteran Brodie Smith showed his class on Sunday afternoon against St. Kilda with a damaging performance across half-back. Smith enjoyed 32 disposals, eight rebound 50s, and a goal, as well as 731 metres gained.
Todd Goldstein showed his class against the inexperienced Brynn Teakle, winning 56 hitouts along with 24 disposals and 11 clearances.
Melbourne superstar Clayton Oliver enhanced his Brownlow medal chances with a dominant performance against an inexperienced Hawthorn midfield. Oliver collected 34 disposals, nine score involvements, eight marks, and booted a goal.
Gold Coast midfielder Matt Rowell put together one of his best performances of the 2023 season in the win over West Coast on Friday night. Rowell picked up 29 disposals, 10 score involvements, and a goal, and most impressively recorded 17 tackles.
Tim Taranto has been one of the best off-season recruits, and is highly likely to be leading Richmond’s Best and Fairest award. Taranto won plenty of the football once again in Friday night’s win over Geelong, picking up 28 disposals, 12 tackles, and six clearances.
In yet another disappointing outing for Sydney, young gun Errol Gulden was a shining light once again. Gulden starred once again against Fremantle, this time finishing with 39 disposals, eight clearances, and two goals.
Zak Butters continues to take his game to the next level, and Saturday afternoon’s big win over North Melbourne proved to be no exception. Butters collected 32 disposals, 12 score involvements, and nine marks.
Richmond star Dustin Martin wound back the clock to his Brownlow medal winning form with a game-breaking display against Geelong. Martin picked up 19 disposals, nine marks, and booted four majors.
With St. Kilda defender Callum Wilkie in All-Australian form, Sunday afternoon’s clash was expected to be difficult for Adelaide forward Taylor Walker. However, the former captain stood tall with five goals from eight marks.
In the big win over Greater Western Sydney, Collingwood dynamo Jordan De Goey proved to be the difference. De Goey found plenty of the football with 31 disposals, nine score involvements, seven clearances, and booted a goal.
Ben King put together his most damaging performance of the season, proving too much for the West Coast backline to handle. King booted four goals along with 15 disposals, 12 score involvements, and seven marks.
Up against his former side, Joe Daniher stood tall for Brisbane on Saturday night at the Gabba. The Essendon backline had no answers for the might of the key forward, who booted six goals from 16 disposals and nine marks.
On a disappointing day for St. Kilda, Jack Higgins made the most of his limited opportunities in attack, further enhancing his All-Australian chances. Higgins picked up 18 disposals, and eight marks, as well as kicking three goals.
Sunday afternoon’s win over GWS was arguably one of Mason Cox‘s most complete performances. The Collingwood ruckman recorded 25 hitouts, 19 disposals, and two goals.
Lachie Schultz proved crucial in Fremantle’s upset win over Sydney with an effective display. Schultz kicked four goals from 14 disposals and seven score involvements.
With an undermanned attack, Port Adelaide’s Jeremy Finlayson stood strong with a strong display up forward. Finlayson recorded 20 disposals, 11 score involvements, and booted three majors.
Miles Bergman put together a damaging display on the wing for Port Adelaide in the crushing victory over North Melbourne. Bergman was effective from the opening moments, finishing with 21 disposals at 85 per cent, 10 marks, and five rebound 50s.
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