A RECORD-BREAKING win for Gold Coast has led to a strong Suns contingent in the round three Team of the Week, brought to you by Accor Hotels.
The Suns, stung by two dismal performances and a heap of criticism, stunned everyone with the 86-point win over Hawthorn at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.
David Swallow, Jarrod Harbrow, Jarrod Witts, Jack Martin and Brandon Matera all featured in this week’s team, with the Suns possessing winners all over the ground.
Witts edged out Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy for the ruck spot, while Swallow was a victim of yet another star-studded and competitive midfield and named on the bench.
Matera’s six goals saw him win the final interchange spot with 58 per cent of the fan vote against Richmond’s Daniel Rioli.
Such was the talent put forth by the competition’s mids, Dan Hannebery, Joel Selwood, Ollie Wines, Josh Kelly, Taylor Adams and Steele Sidebottom were unlucky to miss out.
Richmond defender Alex Rance got the nod at centre-half back for his lead-from-the-front performance, which only just saw him slip past David Astbury who was mainly responsible for keeping Josh Kennedy quiet.
Adelaide was strongly represented after its Showdown triumph, with Kyle Hartigan and Taylor Walker getting their jobs done at opposite ends of the ground and Rory Sloane excelling in the middle.
Carlton’s Caleb Marchbank was considered for a spot on the bench after a cool and composed games against Essendon, but the sheer number of dominating midfield performances saw him miss out.
KYLE HARTIGAN (Adelaide) – The Crows’ backman did a solid job on Robbie Gray, who was in scintillating touch in round two. Kept the Power midfielder to two goals and had 16 touches in the process.
HENRY SCHADE (Collingwood) – Nobody expected Lance Franklin to go goalless in his 250th game, but the Pies’ plan to avoid the superstar Swan becoming isolated paid off. More often than not, it was Schade who went with him. Buddy wasn’t on song, but the young former Sun gave him a solid contest.
SAM DOCHERTY (Carlton) – Had 20 disposals and took nine marks in defence for the Blues in their win over Essendon. Along with Marc Murphy, got the ball moving with 499 metres gained and four rebounds.
JAYDEN HUNT (Melbourne) – Was the Demons’ best player with 30 disposals and nine marks, which included some impressive contested grabs. Used his renowned speed off half-back and moved the ball 706m in total, which was the fourth highest individual effort in the competition.
ALEX RANCE (Richmond) – Helped David Astbury get the job done on Josh Kennedy, who kicked just two goals for the Eagles. Held the Tigers’ defence together in a leadership sense while he collected 20 disposals and drove six rebounds.
JARROD HARBROW (Gold Coast) – Returned from an ankle injury in style with 26 disposals off half-back. Gave the Suns plenty of drive in their biggest win in the club’s history and provided much-needed maturity and experience.
STEPHEN HILL (Fremantle) – Shared top billing for the Dockers alongside Nat Fyfe with 33 disposals. Did a bit of everything with four clearances, three rebounds and three inside 50s, as the Dockers upset the premiers against the odds.
RORY SLOANE (Adelaide) – Won the Showdown Medal for his 31 disposals, eight clearances and nine tackles, as the Crows held off the Power in front of a record crowd at Adelaide Oval.
SCOTT PENDLEBURY (Collingwood) – Led the Pies admirably against the Swans in another upset result, with Nathan Buckley praising the pressure applied by the captain and his midfield comrades.
JACK MARTIN (Gold Coast) – Set the scene for the Suns with three first-half goals, including one in the game’s opening minute. Also gave his team forward drive with four inside-50s and laid five tackles.
NICK RIEWOLDT (St Kilda) – It was just two weeks ago Riewoldt suffered what looked to be a serious knee injury. Returned in fine form to produce a three-goal, 28-possession, 12-mark game through the midfield and in attack.
DUSTIN MARTIN (Richmond) – Not many players with a fractured cheekbone could produce the type of game Martin did against the Eagles. Set the Tigers up with 11 of his 15 clearances in the first half, and ended with two goals and 40 touches.
DANIEL MENZEL (Geelong) – Another strong performance from Geelong’s comeback kid. A stunning banana goal on the three-quarter time siren (one of four majors) summed up his day, which also featured important spoiling when the game was on the line.
TAYLOR WALKER (Adelaide) – Stood up when the game was up for grabs with two last-quarter goals, including a 65m drop punt thumper that sealed the victory for his side. Finished with four majors and 10 marks.
ALEX FASOLO (Collingwood) – Leads the Magpies’ goalkicking with seven after he booted four in their win over the Swans; three in the opening term. Lowered his colours to Nick Smith in the second half, but the damage was done.
JARROD WITTS (Gold Coast) – Dominated the Hawthorn big men with 40 hit-outs to give first use to his midfielders, who almost doubled the Hawks’ clearances. Was instrumental in the upset result.
PATRICK DANGERFIELD (Geelong) – Could not be left out with another incredible performance. Collected 36 disposals, won nine clearances and booted three goals as the Cats surged to victory over the Demons.
MARC MURPHY (Carlton) – Summed up his day with a brilliant third-quarter checkside goal from the boundary as the rain poured down. Ended with 32 disposals and two goals in an impressive midfield display.
NAT FYFE (Fremantle) – Had a huge final term as the Dockers finished off the premiers after the club endured a week of scrutiny. Finished with 33 touches to lead his side to their first win of the season.
TRENT COTCHIN (Richmond) – Continued his good form with a third term that helped propel his team to victory. Had 34 for the game in a formidable midfield partnership with Dustin Martin.
DAVID SWALLOW (Gold Coast) – One of the Suns’ many winners in just his second game after 20 months out with a knee and hamstring injury. Had 33 touches – 22 in the first half – and nine clearances.
The fans’ pick
BRANDON MATERA (Gold Coast) – Recalled for his first game for the season, the small forward kicked six goals and won the fan vote on Twitter with 58 per cent to edge out Richmond’s Daniel Rioli.