30/05/2024
Club MVP: Round Six

Brodie Grundy was one of many to be Best on Ground in Round Six. Picture: Joshua Davis/The Inner Sanctum

It was a milestone to remember for Brodie Grundy as his presence and pressure were on display from the outset, with six of his team high 11 tackles coming in the first quarter. 

An unexpected contender sits alone at the top of the tree, while one sits alone winless after a weekend full of upsets.

The Inner Sanctum makes their picks for the Best On Ground in Club MVP each week, to highlight the best-performing players each round of the 2024 AFL Season.

St Kilda Vs Western Bulldogs

St Kilda 

3. Brad Hill: In what was a disappointing game for St Kilda, Brad Hill was one of the positives to come out of the match with him able to kick start strong passages of play, finishing the game with 31 disposals, three clearances and six marks. 

2. Tim Membrey: Membrey was solid up forward for the Saints, especially in the second half, kicking three goals along with having four marks, giving them a bit of spark up forward that was lacking for most of the night.

1. Marcus Windhager: Windhager is continuing to have a strong 2024 with another solid performance against the Bulldogs, finishing the match with 29 disposals, five clearances and six tackles. 

Western Bulldogs

3. Bailey Dale: After being the Bulldogs sub in round five against the Bombers, Dale put his best foot forward and was dominant across half-back for the Bulldogs. A lot of the Bulldogs transition out of defence Dale was involved in, helping him finish the match with 39 disposals and a whopping 15 marks.

2. Aaron Naughton: With no Jamarra Ugle-Hagan up forward, Aaron Naughton was able to step up and dominate inside forward 50, finishing the game with six goals from six marks. 

1. Adam Treloar: Treloar was impressive in the Bulldogs midfield on Thursday night, and with no Tom Liberatore the Bulldogs midfielders stepped up well, with Treloar, often able to escape out the back of a centre stoppage, finishing the match with 31 disposals and nine clearances. 

Adelaide Vs Essendon

Adelaide 

3. Jordan Dawson: In a match notable for inspiring captain’s knocks from both leaders, Dawson did all that he could to will his troops over the line. 31 possessions, nine tackles and two goals typified his presence and attitude to lead the way that would have likely given his side four points on another night.

2. Reilly O’Brien: O’Brien rucked tirelessly all night against Essendon’s twin rucks Goldstein and Draper, and more than held his own, by contributing well around the ground as well with eleven disposals and a solid defensive effort of five tackles in a solid, all-round display.

1. Jake Soligo: Soligo was everywhere all night for the Crows, with 31 disposals and three tackles, and did not drop his level of effort at any stage. and was also rewarded with a goal midway through the third term that gave Adelaide the lead for the first time in the match.

Essendon

3. Zach Merrett: Whenever the Bombers needed someone to stand up, Merrett stood up with a mix of inspiration and experience which was instrumental in delivering the four points to the Hangar.

2. Nic Martin: Martin has been getting a heap of the ball in recent weeks but the question mark has been the effect of his disposals, and that question was answered tonight as his 28 disposals gained 722 metres for his side, including the late goal that won the match for Essendon.

1. Harrison Jones: Jones got the scoring underway in the second minute for Essendon, and added another goal in the third term, but always looked dangerous whenever he went near the ball.  Injury has cruelled Jones’s early career, but his fourth season has started strongly and his good form has continued here.

Collingwood Vs Port Adelaide

Collingwood

3. Will Hoskin-Elliott: Hoskin-Elliott’s influence may have wavered after half-time, but his presence up forward in the first half kept the Pies in the game, with nine marks and two goals to half-time, and a platform to launch into the second half comeback. 

2. Patrick Lipinski: Sometimes you just need a spark, and Lipinski, with back-to-back goals late in the second, was the firestarter for Collingwood and put the cherry on top with the final goal of the game. 

1. Brayden Maynard: When Port were trying to get back into the contest, it was Maynard killing off all efforts, with an equal game-high 10 intercept possessions to snuff out any forays by the Power.

Port Adelaide

3. Dan Houston: With the ball living in the Port defence for most of the middle part of the game, Houston was kept busy, and performed well not only leading the Power in metres gained (722) but also tackles, with seven. 

2. Jason Horne-Francis: The Power were smashed in contested possessions for most of the day, and Horne-Francis was one of the few to win at the contest for the Power, with 13 contested possessions out of his 24 disposals.

1. Jase Burgoyne: While Port may have had few winners at the MCG, the rise of Jase Burgoyne deserves special mention, with the son of a gun having 10 final-quarter disposals and five marks, trying valiantly to keep the margin from blowing out. 

Carlton Vs GWS 

Carlton 

3. Charlie Curnow: Curnow may have missed some early shots at goal, but played a crucial role for the Blues in their comeback in the third quarter against the Giants, kicking three goals, to go along with seven marks.

2. Harry McKay:  McKay was also vital for Carlton’s comeback in the third quarter, and finished the game with three goals as well, two of which came in the third-quarter surge.

1. Patrick Cripps: Cripps was sensational in the midfield, always helping the team move forward, and wrapped up the game with an impressive 39 disposals and seven tackles.

GWS

3. Leek Aleer: With key defender Sam Taylor ruled out for the match against Carlton, Leek Aleer stepped in to help the Giants’ defence by constantly repelling attacking Carlton players and going after the footy. He finished the match with five disposals, four tackles, and two marks in a disappointing game for GWS.

2. Jake Riccardi: Riccardi was impressive in the forward line for the Giants, and kept chasing and going after the ball, ending up with three goals from three marks. 

1. Josh Kelly: Despite the disappointing loss to Carlton, Kelly was impressive in the midfield, helping other GWS players move forward with speed and pace, finishing the game off with an impressive 23 disposals and three goals. 

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Geelong Vs Brisbane

Geelong

3. Tyson Stengle: When others were fumbly in the horrendous conditions, Stengle was clean. He applied manic pressure as part of the Cats’ small forward brigade and outsmarted his opponent, often getting out the back and into space to capitalise on the field position gained.  Two goals in tough conditions was a valuable return.

2. Tanner Bruhn: You feel like he has taken the next step this year to become the Cats’ best midfielder.  He loved the wet conditions, using his smarts to not only break tackles but also lay them himself, finishing with nine for the match.

1. Zach Guthrie: When Tom Stewart went down, Guthrie stepped up, taking intercept marks when few could mark the ball, beating his opponent often and being cool under pressure.  He has had a tremendous start to the season and should be discussed in AA conversations.

Brisbane 

3. Dayne Zorko: When others were sloppy in the conditions, he was sure of foot, breaking lines to give his forwards a chance, and even sneaking forward to kick two goals (of the Lions’ four).

2. Jarrod Berry: A game-high 29 disposals, frequently connecting across half-forward to provide forward 50 entries and kicking a goal himself, Berry was everywhere.  Only some inaccurate kicking early on cost him not having more of an impact.

1. Josh Dunkley: Dunkley toiled hard in the midfield, even having to pinch hit in the ruck after McInerney went down with concussion.  26 disposals and six tackles: it wasn’t through his lack of effort that the Lions lost.

West Coast Vs Fremantle 

West Coast

3. Elliot Yeo: The Yeo revival reached a new peak in the Derby, with him being awarded the Glenndinning-Allan medal after 11 contested possessions out of his 26 disposals. 

2. Harley Reid: You just have to believe the hype at this point. Reid was in everything early and finished with three goals for the match, two of which came from strong contested grabs in the forward line. 

1. Jake Waterman: Waterman showed that last week was no fluke, with another five goals, but was just as effective sharing it around, adding nine score involvements as well. 

Fremantle

3. Sean Darcy: Darcy showed how important he is to Fremantle with a strong showing on his return, amassing 30 hitouts and eight contested possessions in the ruck. 

2. Caleb Serong: Serong just shows up every week for Fremantle, and ended up being a rare shining light in the disappointing Derby result, with a team-high six tackles and an equal game-high 27 disposals. 

1. Jordan Clark: Tough to find a minor vote for Fremantle, but Clark’s relentless push to try and spark the Dockers deserves mention, with a team-high 465 metres gained. 

Sydney Vs Gold Coast

Sydney 

3. Brodie Grundy: It was a milestone to remember for Brodie Grundy as his presence and pressure were on display from the outset, with six of his team-high 11 tackles coming in the first quarter. 

2. Isaac Heeney: With a tag rumoured to be coming his way, Heeney spent more time than usual around the half-forward mark, but was just as effective as ever, amassing 28 disposals and a goal. 

1. Justin McInerney: McInerney had his best game of the season, with 26 disposals off half-back to help drive forays forward and pulled down seven marks as well, second to Blakey. 

Gold Coast

3. Matt Rowell: The midfield bull continues to win it at the coalface, with 15 of his 20 disposals contested, and a game-high 12 tackles. 

2. Jarrod Witts: Witts’ battle with Brodie Grundy was entertaining throughout the match, with the Suns co-captain slightly edging Grundy in hitouts and laying seven tackles of his own.

1. Brayden Fiorini: With Noah Anderson being worn like a glove, a lesser light in Fiorini picked up the slack, with 27 disposals in a solid performance. 

North Melbourne Vs Hawthorn

North Melbourne 

3. Tristan Xerri: The Roos have been well beaten to start 2024, but the effort of Xerri refuses to fade, with the North ruck trying valiantly to spark his side, with 45 hitouts and 10 tackles, the most on the field. 

2. Paul Curtis: Curtis continued a fine start to 2024 with another three goals for North Melbourne and was working hard throughout, with nine of his 15 disposals contested. 

1. Harry Sheezel: Sheezel is already the reigning Best and Fairest for North Melbourne, and is on track to do it again, with his typical accumulative efforts off half-back netting him 26 disposals, the most for North. 

Hawthorn 

3. Conor Nash: The Hawks midfield was soundly beaten last week, and Nash helped in a big way with the response, with an equal game-high 32 disposals, and plenty of pressure, laying eight tackles. 

2. Jai Newcombe: Newcombe hasn’t had the start to the season he would have liked, but he was huge for Hawthorn and will be hoping this 32 disposal (14 contested) performance will be the firestarter his season needs. 

1. Dylan Moore: Hawthorn has had plenty of different players standing up in the forward line to support Mabior Chol, and today it was Moore’s turn. Moore kicked two of Hawthorn’s nine second-quarter goals to break the game open and finished with four for the match.

Leaderboard after Round Six:

Eq 1st: Isaac Heeney (Syd), Shai Bolton (Rich) Harry Sheezel (NM) 13 votes

Eq 4th: Matt Rowell (GCS), Zach Merrett (Ess) 11 votes

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