AFL Round 17 Wrap

Brisbane Lions fullback Harris Andrews won’t count 16 possessions in a 31-point loss to Richmond at Etihad Stadium as a career highlight. Not when his opponent Jack Riewoldt kicks four goals.

But that’s Andrews. He marks himself very harshly. That’s just part of a young man destined to be club captain. He’s never satisfied with anything less than top shelf.

But Lions fans should be really encouraged by a snapshot of what the young man in jumper #31 will be in a couple of years, when his 100kg 202cm frame fills out and his teams gets better.

He’ll be among the best key defenders in the competition. No doubt about it.

Hidden in the stats for the Lions-Tigers game on Sunday were two numbers which underlined the fact that Andrews wasn’t too bad at all.

The inside 50 count was a thumping 67-39 to the Tigers. The ball was coming down into the Andrews-Riewoldt area often and fast. Andrews was under massive pressure.

In 51 games prior to Sunday the most contested marks Andrews had ever taken in a match was three. He’d done that times.

On Sunday against Riewoldt Andrews had five contested marks. And an equal career-best 10 contested possessions. Riewoldt had two contested marks and seven contested possessions.

Take into account the opportunities Riewoldt was given and head to head the Brisbane youngster beat the dual Coleman Medallist, who is very much the focus of a Richmond forward line that includes more smaller players than any other in the competition.

The stats, though, don’t show it. Andrews had `16 disposals and seven one-percenters for 73 Champion Data ranking points, and Riewoldt had 14 possessions and four one-percenters to go with his four goals for 117 Champion Data points.

It’s something Andrews is going to have to get used to because It’s the life of a AFL key defender.

Two Queenslanders posted Champion Data centuries in Round 17 of the Toyota AFL premiership over the weekend.

Charlie Dixon, enjoying such a good season at Port Adelaide, had 18 possessions (10 contested), seven marks, six one-percenters and a goal in the Power’s 70-point win over North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval. He earned 103 Champion Data points – his six ‘century’ of the season.

And Lions captain Dayne Beams, clearly carrying a bad shoulder, had 21 possessions (nine contested), seven marks, five tackles and a goal assist for 100 CD points. It was his ‘ton’.

Zac Smith, in his 100th AFL: game, had 11 possessions, 22 hit-outs, three clearances, two tackles and four one-percenters in Geelong’s last-gasp win over Hawthorn at the MCG in front of a monster crowd of 70,345. He earned 83 ranking points.

Another of the best Queensland performances over the weekend slid under the radar.

Josh Thomas, in his third comeback game, had 15 possessions (seven contested), kicked two goals and had a goal assist for 96 ranking points in Collingwood’s win over Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Significantly, it was Thomas’ first AFL win since August 2014, when the Pies beat GWS Giants by eight points. And the first time since the same game that he’s been a multiple goal-kicker.

Only seven teammates on Saturday played in the same side against the Giants.

Also over the weekend, Lachie Weller had had 20 possessions and Lee Spurr 13 possessions in Fremantle’s loss to West Coast, and Josh Wagner 18 possessions (9 contested) and a goal assist in Melbourne’s loss to Adelaide.

Corey Wagner’s frustrating season continued when he was forced out of North Melbourne’s loss to Port with an ankle problem. He had 12 possessions and four tackles before being injured.

Nick Riewoldt had 16 possessions and kicked a goal for St.Kilda in their Friday night loss to Essendon, while Tom Hickey’s first AFL game since Round 4 returned  12 possessions, 19 hit-outs and five clearances, and Sam Gilbert had nine possessions and two clearances.

Jarrod Harbrow had 21 possessions in Gold Coast’s loss to Collingwood, while Jack Bowes had nine possessions, Rory Thompson seven possessions and 11 one-percenters, and Alex Sexton four possessions.

Dayne Zorko was held to 11 possessions and one goal in Brisbane’s loss to Richmond, while Ben Keays (12 possessions) was a multiple goal-kicker for just the second time in his career. Eric Hipwood also kicked two goals in a Lions forward line that lacked opportunity.




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