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2 Hawks in AFL Team of the Week

Kane Cornes  March 27, 2018 10:42 AM

The Moments: Round 1 v Collingwood Relive the moments of our Round 1 win over the Pies.
In A week when forwards around the competition fired, Lance Franklin was the cream of the crop and the first picked in my Round 1 Team of the Week.

'Buddy' booted eight goals against West Coast and what impressed me is he looked in peak condition, despite coming off surgery to both knees and an ankle in the off-season, making him an obvious choice for a spot.

Perhaps the unluckiest to miss out was Gary Ablett. He was excellent in his return to Geelong colours with 39 disposals but as the champion admitted himself, he was a bit rusty.

Read: Round 1 coaches' votes - did Tom Mitchell score the perfect 10?

I picked the team as if it was going to play an actual game so instead of stacking it with onballers and putting them in positions they wouldn't ordinarily line up in, I went for two genuine wingmen and selected forwards and backs in position.

Jack Steven at half-forward might be considered the exception but most teams have midfielders who spend time there and push up into the contest, so the Saint could play that role in my side, especially considering he kicked a couple of goals.

Matthew Wright and Jacob Townsend were stiff to miss out but after Franklin and Toby Greene did what they did, I had to bring them in. Looking at that line-up on paper, it's a pretty frightening 22 so I'm feeling good about it.

Defenders

Rory Laird was the only Crow to offer drive off half-back. Keeping his temper under control has been an issue for James Sicily but he was good against Collingwood, despite a brief moment with Adam Trelaor, and the Hawk had a game-high 11 intercept possessions. Underrated Swan Jake Lloyd didn't waste the football, while courageous Blue Kade Simpson was superb against the Tigers. None of Adelaide's potent forwards got hold of Essendon, with Michael Hurley a key reason for that. In just his fifth game, Riley Bonner showed how good he could be and picked up this week's NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.

Midfielders

There aren't many genuine wingmen but Blake Acres played there and lifted when it mattered, while Justin Westhoff displayed his expertise roaming across the ground. Tom Mitchell in the middle speaks for itself with a record 54 disposals. There weren't many standout rucks and even though Max Gawn missed what would have been the match-winning goal, his 20 disposals and 47 hit-outs made him an easy pick. I've wanted to see Patrick Cripps kick more and he's obviously worked on that. Joel Selwood is just a freak.

Forwards

Toby Greene is probably the best small/mid-sized forward in the game. Lance Franklin ran out the game better than anyone else and was deadly in front of goal. Triple best and fairest winner Jack Steven is probably underrated but his two goals late in the third quarter broke the game against Brisbane open. I loved how Charlie Curnow backed up the pre-season hype with a career-best five goals – it showed his maturity. Jeremy Cameron has been a little down by his high standards over the past couple of years but he looks to be enjoying his footy again while his namesake Charlie Cameron would have had Adelaide ruing its loss, considering how dangerous he was in front of goal and his elite defensive pressure for the Lions.

BENCH

The next Crows captain is Matt Crouch. He's improved so much and doesn't really waste the footy. It was good to see Dyson Heppell in that sort of form and he excelled in the big moments. The best of the Giants midfielders was Stephen Coniglio, who works hard both ways. And how could I not pick Dustin Martin? His running goal late against the Blues broke the match open.