WE are on the verge of seeing Dustin Martin win his first Brownlow Medal. Don’t act surprised. However, there are plenty of other votes to be handed out regardless of the 30+ Martin will poll. In a complete review of season 2017, I’ve mapped out exactly* how the Brownlow Medal count will unfold on Monday night. So, after tediously counting through all 198 games that were played last season let’s get underway!
* Should you take my advice I offer no refunds on bets place based on my predictions.
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THE Tigers kicked off the 2017 season with a 43-point win over the Blues as Dustin Martin put on a clinic. Both Geelong and Adelaide emerged as premiership contenders with big wins and a seven-goal masterclass from Josh Kennedy set up his quest for three straight Coleman Medals.
DANGERFIELD likely chalked up his second consecutive BOG performance in Geelong’s thrilling one-point win against the Roos. Massive 15+ goal wins to the Giants and Power vaulted them up the ladder and the Demons, Dons and Tigers surprised some moving to 2-0.
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A 40 disposal, 15 clearance performance from Dusty proved the difference against the Eagles as Richmond moved to 3-0. He wasn’t the only one to have a big game with Joel Selwood (37 disposals & 9 clearances), Rory Sloane (31 disposals & 9 tackles), Taylor Adams (31 disposals & 11 tackles) and Gary Ablett (36 disposals & 10 clearances) all likely picking up three votes as well on the back of dominant games.
THE Demons and Roos were the victims of close losses with others rolling to massive wins. One of those massive wins saw Tom Lynch bag seven goals in a win over Hawthorn and the Giants were led by a six-goal haul from Jon ‘The General’ Patton. Richmond, Adelaide and Geelong all found an easy way to stay undefeated at 4-0.
1st – Rory Sloane (9)
2nd – Patrick Dangerfield (8)
3rd – Clayton Oliver (7)
3rd – Gary Ablett (7)
3rd – Ollie Wines (7)
3rd – Josh Kelly (7)
A fast start by Rory Sloane saw him poll three best on’s in four Adelaide wins to move to the top of the leaderboard. The other likely candidates remain in the running with favourite Dustin Martin sitting on six votes at this stage.
ADELAIDE continued to thrash opponents, this time dismantling the Suns by 67 points. The Sydney derby saw Greater Western Sydney take bragging rights over their crosstown rivals and Joel Selwood exploded for 43 touches claiming the three votes over Duncan and Danger as the midfield ran riot against St Kilda. North Melbourne continued their winless start with Shane Kersten jagging the game-winner with under a minute remaining.
SYDNEY hit rock bottom with their sixth straight loss coming at the hands of Carlton at the MCG. The Swans weren’t the only ones in trouble with Hawthorn losing for the fifth time in six games after the Saints flogged them to the tune of 75 points. A clash of the titans ended the round with Tigers coping their first L at the hands of a classy Crows outfit.
THREE of the top four lost at the hands of inferior competition in a topsy-turvy Round 7. An eight-goal performance from Buddy broke their winning drought as they became the last team to get a win on the board, in turn sending Brisbane on their own six-game losing streak.
DRAMA levels were high as six teams moved to 5-3 causing a logjam inside the top eight. The West Coast Eagles kicked things off with a close win against the reigning premiers on Friday night, while the Stevie J broke Collingwood fans’ hearts with GWS getting the win by just three points. There was no moment bigger though than David Mundy’s shot after the siren against Richmond, which gave Fremantle a famous win at the MCG.
1st – Rory Sloane (14)
2nd – Clayton Oliver (12)
3rd – Gary Ablett (12)
4th – Marcus Bontempelli (11)
5th – Tom Mitchell (11)
NO sign of Patrick Dangerfield or Dustin Martin as Rory Sloane continues to poll well throughout the first eight games. Clayton Oliver’s fast start might surprise some polling in five of his first eight games including three games of three votes. Don’t worry the champs are coming…
RICHMOND had their hearts broken in the final minutes for the second straight week, this time at the hands of GWS. Mitchell erupted for 50 touches on Saturday night in Hawthorn’s third win of the year while the Swans resurgence continued, led by Dan Hannebery and his midfield peers.
A Friday night thriller between Geelong and Port Adelaide saw the Cats claw their way (pun intended) to a two-point victory. Both Jake Stringer and Jeff Garlett had big days out in front of goal for the Bulldogs and Demons respectively and Adelaide flexed their muscles trouncing Fremantle to the tune of 100 points.
THE first of the bye rounds arrived with the big named players putting on a show. Three vote performances from Gary Ablett, Patrick Dangerfield, Dustin Martin and Josh Kelly in wins for their teams were among the major headlines with the Cats taking down the top of the table Crows at Skilled Stadium.
CARLTON pulled off a famous win against the Giants beating GWS by a single point on Sunday. A Queens birthday clash for the ages saw Jeremy Howe wow in the air, but Melbourne got the last laugh.
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1st – Gary Ablett (18)
1st – Dustin Martin (18)
2nd – Rory Sloane (17)
2nd – Patrick Dangerfield (17)
3rd – Zach Merrett (16)
BACK to back to back BOG performances from Dusty see him share the lead with Gary Ablett who only plays four more games from here on out. As expected all the other usual names feature in the top five with Josh Kelly and Tom Mitchell still in the mix.
BRYCE Gibbs’ herculean game against the Suns proved to be the difference between a win and loss as Carlton got back-to-back victories. Melbourne’s third win in a row raised even more questions about the Bulldogs premiership defense and Sydney won their fifth game in six tries over a gallant Richmond outfit.
ONE of the best rounds of the season saw nearly half the games decided by a single kick in Round 14. Gary Rohan and Tom McDonald’s clutch goals gave the Swans and the Demons single-digit victories, while Michael Walters wayward kick on the siren meant he couldn’t add his name to the list of heroes. The Dogs handed North Melbourne their ninth loss of the season by just a solitary point as the Giants moved a game clear atop the ladder.
FIRST versus third on the ladder was set to be an instant classic. After Tom Hawkins’ post-siren shot faded wide of the mark, we had our first draw of the season. Another stellar Bryce Gibbs performance couldn’t get the Blues another win as the Crows maintained top rung.
SOMEHOW after going over a year without a draw, the Giants played in two consecutive games where the points were split. Geelong ran rings around the Lions with Dangerfield on full display and the Dockers overcame North by less than a goal for the second time this year.
1st – Patrick Dangerfield (28)
2nd – Tom Mitchell (24)
3rd – Dustin Martin (22)
4th – Gary Ablett (20)
5th – Zach Merrett (18)
5th – Josh Kelly (18)
DON’T be surprised if the field looks like this at seasons end (with Dusty at the top). As expected the top six consist of the six favourites to take out the Brownlow. Danger moves to the top of the pile with 11 out of the last possible 12 votes with Tom Mitchell chalking up three consecutive BOG’s.
WITH their ninth win in 10 tries, the Sydney Swans were well and truly back on track as they defeated the GWS Giants. Tom Mitchell and Dustin Martin put on clinics in their Roun 18 matches and the Eagles made their move into the top eight at the expense of St Kilda.
ONCE again the big names featured in the votes with Dusty likes to receive another three votes after his stellar performance in the Tigers win over Greater Western Sydney. Fremantle and West Coast continued to slide down the ladder with Richmond jumping back into the top four.
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ONE innocuous tackle later and Patrick Dangerfield’s dreams of defending his Brownlow were gone. After knocking out Matt Kruezer in the Cats flogging of the Blues, a one-week week suspension was coming his way. The round was filled with more drama as a Mitch McGovern goal after the siren saw Adelaide and Collingwood play out the third draw of the year.
RICHMOND continued to prove they are the real deal as they moved to third with a W over Hawthorn, surprisingly without a BOG effort from Dusty. St Kilda clawed a narrow win over West Coast to seemingly end their finals ambitions with most of the other results going as expected.
1st – Dustin Martin (32)
2nd – Patrick Dangerfield (32)
3rd – Tom Mitchell (29)
4th – Zach Merrett (24)
5th – Gary Ablett (22)
5th – Rory Sloane (22)
IT’S close at the top with the likely top three all scoring enough votes through 20 games to likely win the count any other year. Merrett, Ablett and Sloane are packed into the rest of the top five with Josh Kelly and Marcus Bontempelli close behind.
WITH the end of the season in sight the shuffle of top eight sides continued. Losses for St Kilda, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs moved them down as the Eagles and Demons rose. Dangerfield V Dusty turned into a Geelong clinic with Danger taking the lead in the count after earning three votes.
SYDNEY stamped their premiership credentials as the ‘real deal’ after claiming a win over Adelaide at their own ground. All the big names could be found amongst the votes in the penultimate round of the year with Melbourne and Essendon holding the coveted 7th and 8th spots on the ladder.
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IT was farewell time for some of the game’s greats as Luke Hodge, Jobe Watson, Sam Mitchell, Nick Riewoldt, Matthew Boyd, Matt Priddis, Leigh Montagna, Steve Johnson, Andrew Mackie, Josh Gibson and Robert Murphy said farewell to the home and away season and for most of them, goodbye the AFL. In the final minutes of the year, the Eagles cemented a spot in September with Ben Brown (7 goals) and Lance Franklin (10 goals) giving their fans something to cheer about as well.
1st – Dustin Martin (37)
2nd – Patrick Dangerfield (36)
3rd – Tom Mitchell (32)
4th – Zach Merrett (27)
5th – Josh Kelly (26)
6th – Rory Sloane (24)
7th – Gary Ablett (22)
8th – Taylor Adams (20)
8th – Marcus Bontempelli (20)
8th – Clayton Oliver (20)
8th – Sebastian Ross (20)
8th – Matt Crouch (20)
HE had to fight for it, but Dustin Martin wins by a nose! A flurry of votes for Dangerfield in the middle of the year sets up one of the best counts in recent memory with the big three (Martin Dangerfield and Mitchell) all dominating the standings. The votes are quite top heavy and upon reflection, I may have overlooked a few 2’s and 1’s and given them to the bigger names. Regardless, after counting every single game I think that Dangerfield still stands a real chance to finish atop the count, but even if he does it’s Dusty’s medal.
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