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Hawks in Team of the Week

Jennifer Phelan, Romy Stephens  June 27, 2017 10:04 AM

R14: Burton wriggles clear and goes whack Ryan Burton steps around Taylor Walker and drills a wonderful goal to keep the Hawks in touch

IT WAS hard to get all the heroes from a dramatic weekend of nail-biters into the round 14 Team of the Week, brought to you by Accor Hotels.

With four games decided by less than one kick and two of them featuring one-point margins, there were important and brave acts everywhere across the thoroughly entertaining round.

This week's team was built around Melbourne midfielder Jack Viney, whose courageous 38-disposal game despite a sore shoulder guided the Demons over West Coast in Perth.  

Marcus Bontempelli's work through the middle meant he was the pick of the Western Bulldogs' midfielders ahead of Jack Macrae, while Josh Kennedy was sublime in the Sydney Swans' latest chapter in their 2017 revival story.

Extremely unlucky to miss out was Richmond superstar Dustin Martin, Greater Western Sydney Mr Fix-It midfielder Sam Reid for his role against Dayne Zorko and St Kilda's Nathan Brown was also narrowly overlooked despite keeping Gold Coast's Tom Lynch goalless.

Instead, the young Hawthorn defenders –Blake Hardwick and Ryan Burton – were celebrated for their games against Adelaide, and Heath Grundy and Michael Hurley's respective form in the Sydney-Essendon clash meant there was no room for Alex Rance.

Essendon's Zach Merrett slotted into the last bench spot with 63 per cent of the social media fan vote against Fremantle's Lachie Neale.

Nine things we learned from round 14

BLAKE HARDWICK (Hawthorn): The Hawks have done well to unearth multiple young defenders, and this one showed on Thursday night why he'll be a big part of the future. Did a great job on Eddie Betts (one goal) and also had 19 disposals at 89 per cent efficiency.

Read: Hardwick act to follow

HEATH GRUNDY (Sydney Swans): Had 26 disposals and moved the ball well while mainly opposed to Shaun McKernan. Got the job done for the Swans with eight marks and an equal round-high 13 intercept possessions.

CONNOR BLAKELY (Fremantle): Composed under pressure in the Dockers' heart-stopping loss to Geelong. Had 27 disposals, which he moved with 85.2 per cent efficiency, took seven marks, had four rebounds and eight intercept possessions.

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RYAN BURTON (Hawthorn): Just as effective as Hardwick was against Betts, Burton blanketed the Crows' other big weapon in Taylor Walker. The Crows' captain kicked two, but Burton kept his involvement to just 12 touches and also snuck forward for two goals himself.

ZACH TUOHY (Geelong): Remains one of the recruits of the year with another steadying performance off half-back. Had 28 touches and took eight marks, and also ventured forward to boot two goals in the third quarter.

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DYLAN SHIEL (Greater Western Sydney): Was a class above with a superb game through the midfield against the Lions. Picked up a game-high 38 possessions (15 contested), as well as eight clearances and a goal in dominant performance.

JACK VINEY (Melbourne): An incredibly brave performance from the midfield bull. Hurt his shoulder in the third term in a bruising bump from Shannon Hurn and left the field for treatment, but returned to drag his side over the line. Even get one back on Hurn when he flattened the big Eagle in the dying minutes.  

SHAUN BURGOYNE (Hawthorn): Kicked a crucial goal in the last quarter in an excellent display for the Hawks as they upset the Crows. Also had 26 disposals, took five marks, laid six tackles and won four clearances in a performance that again showed the game isn't past him.

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TOBY GREENE (Greater Western Sydney): Had 11 scoring involvements on his way to four goals against two opponents – Nick Robertson and Darcy Gardiner. Also had 20 disposals, took eight marks and drove the ball inside 50 four times.

TOM McDONALD (Melbourne): Saved the best of his five goals for last when he booted the sealer for the Demons in the final minute against West Coast. The match-winner came in spectacular fashion as he was being dragged to the ground in the goalsquare by Jeremy McGovern.

JACK BILLINGS (St Kilda): Had a standout game with 30 possessions that was built on his 18-touch, one goal first half. Took eight marks for the game and had seven inside 50s in his third 30 disposal-plus game this season.

WATCH: Billings' dynamic display

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ROBBIE GRAY (Port Adelaide): An absolute standout in Port's win over Collingwood. Gathered 20 possessions, kicked five goals – four in the first half – and had 13 score involvements at 80 per cent efficiency.

WATCH: Five-star Gray on display

JONATHON PATTON (Greater Western Sydney): Finished with four goals, 23 disposals, 13 score involvements and 13 marks (six contested), while his solid contribution as a back-up ruck complimented an all-round good performance.  

MICHAEL WALTERS (Fremantle): Was best afield for Fremantle despite missing a match-winning goal. Had numerous score involvements and also gathered 28 disposals, seven marks and two goals.

WATCH: Walters' awesome day ends in heartbreak

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MATTHEW KREUZER (Carlton): Continued his stellar form this season with another impressive performance that saw him dominate the ruck with 37 hit-outs and also gather 14 disposals and two goals. 

JOSH KENNEDY (Sydney Swans): Was best on ground and arguably the reason Sydney got over the line on Friday night. Not only did he gather 36 disposals but also his ability to break tackles at clearances (he won seven clearances in total) was heavily influential over the final result.

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PATRICK DANGERFIELD (Geelong): Stood tall in the absence of Joel Selwood, particularly in the final term. Finished with 31 disposals (23 contested), 12 clearances and nine tackles – one of which a vital tackle on Lachie Weller that set up a goal and the momentum swing for Geelong. 

BEN CUNNINGTON (North Melbourne): Gathered 28 possessions and six clearances but importantly got North Melbourne back into the game with 12 touches and two goals in the final term. 

BACHAR HOULI (Richmond): Despite being reported for striking Jed Lamb, he had a very good game with 28 disposals, nine marks and 10 score involvements at 92 per cent efficiency. 

The fans' pick

ZACH MERRETT (Essendon): Won the final interchange spot with 63 per cent of the social media vote from Fremantle's Lachie Neale. Had 33 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles in an impressive game.