Isaac Heeney put in a career-best performance against the Crows.
Photo Source: AAP
Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
The man is just a boy, but boy can he play football. Marcus Bontempelli was one of many stars on show for the Dogs as they ended Hawthorn's run on Friday night. We're loath to label anyone the AFL's next truly great and best midfielder, yet it's hard not to get caught up in the hype after watching the Bontempelli blitz in the third quarter. He was just so important in the Dogs' 6.1 to 1.4 domination of that term. The Dogs mid had stints in the ruck and as a third man he created space before he received the ball, and when he had it he found teammates deftly. Earlier in the game he bodied (if not mauled) Luke Hodge to mark and goal, and although the Hawks kicked the next three it was a sign that Bontempelli was prepared to take anyone and everyone on in front of 87,823 at the MCG.
Liam Picken (Western Bulldogs)
Some players are just made for the big stage. Not dissimilar to Brian Lake in recent years, Liam Picken has saved his best form for when things matter most, again putting in a brilliant performance to back up his great qualifying final against the Eagles last week. When things were looking a bit grim for his team in the second quarter on Friday night, Picken stood up with nine touches for the term, including a couple of selfless, courageous efforts, before kicking the opening goal of the third and finishing with three for the match.
Isaac Heeney (Sydney)
The Sydney Swans Academy player put in a career-best display during his side's great win on Saturday night, as he ran tirelessly both ways and provided a presence around the ball and even in the air. Heeney showed how 'on' his side was early with a bump and intercept leading up to a Luke Parker goal, as he racked up 32 disposals, including 21 to half-time and 15 in the second term alone. He also took a fine contested mark to goal in the last quarter. In only his second season, the sky is the limit for the 20-year-old.
Josh Kennedy (Sydney)
What head knock? Josh Kennedy showed no effects of the shoulder to the head he copped last week from Steve Johnson as he absolutely dominated on Saturday night with 42 touches, 21 of them contested, and 10 clearances. Like most of his midfield mates, there was no way Kennedy was going to have a second poor game in a row.
Jordan Lewis (Hawthorn)
Jordan Lewis has been a great player for the Hawks for years, and especially so in big games, which is why his stinker against the Bulldogs was such a disappointment. With only three kicks and seven handballs, it was his worst game of the year, in fact for several years, and came at exactly the wrong time, just when his team needed their midfield to stand up against the ferocious young Bulldogs. He finished the game on the bench with an injured hamstring, but he had very little impact even up until that point.
Josh Jenkins (Adelaide)
Got towelled up by Heath Grundy but looked like he shouldn't have been out there in the first place, as he was blatantly struggling with an injury in a shocker of a performance during which he managed just one mark and seven disposals. Half of this entry belongs to the Adelaide coaching staff, who forgot the old adage about never playing unfit players in finals.
Who were your heroes and goats? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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