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Best before bye: #4

Jackson Paine  June 17, 2017 8:00 AM

Round 2: Playing in only his fifth match, Burton played a tough contested game against the Crows picking up 26 disposals.
AFL 2017 Round 07 - Melbourne v Hawthorn

Burton has cemented himself as a vital cog in the Hawks' defence since earning his Rising Star nomination in Round 2.

To make sure you get your Hawthorn fix during bye week, we're counting down our top individual Hawk performances so far in 2017. 

Despite Hawthorn posting just four wins at the half way point of the season, there have still been several individual highlights that have sparked hope and excitement amongst Hawks fans.

 

In at number four....

 

Ryan Burton

Round 2

26 possessions, 4 tackles, 6 one-percenters

 

Ryan Burton earned the Round 2 NAB Rising Star nomination for his performance against the Crows at the MCG.

Having been left out of the Round 1 side that lost to Essendon, Burton was recalled for the clash with the Crows and stamped his claim for a spot in the Hawks defence for the rest of the year with an outstanding game.

This game proved the precursor to what has been an outstanding year for the South Australian, who has averaged 20.9 possessions this season to now be considered a strong fancy to take out the award, which was last won by a Hawk in 2003 when Sam Mitchell was recognised.

The 20-year-old shared the duties of looking after Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker with experienced teammate James Frawley and picked up a career-high 26 disposals, nine marks and four tackles in the process. 

Despite missing the opening game of the season, only five of Burton’s teammates have had more disposals than him this season.

In review of Burton’s first half of the season, backline coach Cameron Bruce said the youngster provides great offensive run and enthusiasm to the playing group.

“He’s adjusting to playing defence, and he offers great flexibility in terms of being able to play tall and small,” Bruce said.

“We’re really happy with the way ‘Burto’ is progressing.”

Read: Best before the bye #5