For the 2023 season, the Edge of the Crowd writers are keeping tabs on the best performances in every AFL match to predict who will win the Brownlow medal, round seven was no different.
St Kilda 76 def by Port Adelaide 83
3. Travis Boak
2. Jason Horne-Francis
1. Jack Sinclair
The Saints had their first major setback of the year on Friday night when a Port Adelaide side that could push into September turned up to play. The veteran Travis Boak from Port Adelaide was way too good for the Saints with 30 touches, a goal and a couple of clearances while setting up another goal and gaining the Power more than 400 metres.
With two votes it's the man who has been the target of fans all around the country, as Ross Lyon said on the weekend though it's not affecting his game. Horne-Frnachis had 24 touches but it's his 8 clearances that gave Port Adelaide the early advantage on each occasion. The final vote goes to Jack Sinclair who had 33 touches in a losing cause while gaining 559 metres.
Brisbane 115 d Fremantle 67
3. Lachie Neale
2. Will Ashcroft
1. Hayden Young
The Lions continue to show they are the real deal, even if slightly behind the Pies and Demons in terms of excitability. Lachie Neale leads that side incredibly well and did so again on Saturday with 35 touches and seven tackles. 13 clearances from the main man were the standout and the difference between the two sides, giving him three votes.
2023 has seen some incredible youngsters come through the game, Mitch Owens at St Kilda, Harry Sheezel at the Roos and of course Will Ashcroft at the Lions. He kicked a couple of goals while getting 28 touches with additional clearances. Hayden Young gets the final vote in a losing side with 33 touches and 685 metres gained.
Sydney 106 def by GWS 107
3. Toby Greene
2. Tom Green
1. Luke Parker
In a round with two one-point matches, the Giants were excellent, dealing the Swans another blow after a disastrous week last weekend. It's a rare occasion where the Swans are out of the top eight, but here we are. Greene booted four goals this weekend to continue his great form along with having 22 touches to provide a great on-stage moment with Brett Kirk.
It's still easy being green in Sydney with the two votes going to another greenie. It's Tom this time thanks to his 31 touches with 13 tackles and three clearances in another solid performance. Luke Parker gets the final vote in this match for his 33 disposals, 11 clearances and a goal on the losing side.
Western Bulldogs 94 d Hawthorn 65
3. Aaron Naughton
2. Caleb Daniel
1. Jai Newcombe
The Bulldogs are certainly off the pace compared to the top eight but if this match can give some momentum then anything is possible for the under-pressure Luke Beveridge. It's not the biggest bag of the week but Aaron Naughton was excellent with four goals and 15 touches up forward. It could easily have been five goals if he managed to convert one of his three behinds.
From the tall man to the small man, Caleb Daniel picks up two votes for a great performance off the half-back line. He kicked a goal, laid seven tackles had 27 touches and managed six clearances in a great all-around match. The final vote goes to the Hawks gun Newcombe with two goals and 24 touches to go along with nine clearances.
Melbourne 139 d North Melbourne 49
3. Christian Petracca
2. Bailey Fritsch
1. Brody Grundy
It's hard to think anyone was surprised when they saw this scoreline on Saturday evening. The Roos have dropped off after a few good weeks and the Demons have just got better and better. Petracca has been dominating Tiktok and now he's dominating on the field with three goals to go along with 35 touches with four clearances. A completely unselfish player, Petracca also set up two other teammates.
The two votes also go to the Demons and unsurprisingly it's Bailey Fritsch who was excellent up forward with four goals and five marks. It's hard to think of a more underrated key forward in the competition. The final vote goes to the big man who has managed to continue his form that came without Gawn into games with Gawn. Grundy had 27 hit outs and kicked a couple of goals when up forward.
West Coast 44 def by Carlton 152
3. Charlie Curnow
2. Nic Newman
1. Blake Acres
In a week of close matches and demolitions, this was the biggest margin of all. Carlton fans are back up and about, perhaps a dose of reality will come next week against Brisbane. It was a huge forward performance by Charlie Curnow that gets him three votes, he booted nine goals from 18 touches while also taking 14 marks.
Two more votes go to the Blues for a great midfield performance by Nic Newman. He kicked a goal up forward while having 34 disposals that included a massive 26 kicks. The final vote goes to Acres for a goal along with 34 touches to go with a clearance and almost 500 metres gained.
Essendon 104 def by Geelong 132
3. Tom Hawkins
2. Jake Stringer
1. Patrick Dangerfield
Sunday afternoon saw one of the highest-scoring matches of the year with two incredible forward lines coming up against each other. Tom Hawkins gets the three votes thanks to another bag of goals. This time it was eight goals to back up his five from last week.
It's a bomber in the votes next with Jake Stringer showing again why he's in the elite category in the AFL. He kicked four goals while having 26 touches and 11 clearances in one of the best all-around performances all year. Dangerfield gets the final vote with 10 clearances and 28 touches while also setting up three Geelong goals.
Richmond 48 def by Gold Coast 72
3. Noah Anderson
2. Ben King
1. Tim Taranto
If there were any doubts about the Richmond dynasty being over this weekend proved them with a loss to the Gold Coast at home. Noah Anderson led the Suns well through the middle with 32 touches along with a goal while importantly giving his team the first opportunity with nine clearances.
Gold Coast will be doing everything it can over the next six months to ensure Ben King stays north. He kicked another lot of four goals this weekend proving his marking and kicking game is elite. The final vote goes to the Tigers' Tim Taranto who had 32 touches and kicked a goal while getting eight clearances for Richmond.
Adelaide 58 def by Collingwood 59
3. Josh Daicos
2. Jordan Dawson
1. Darcy Moore
The best match of the weekend was saved to last as Collingwood came back miraculously in the final quarter to win by one point in Adelaide. The Pies are the best side in the competition and have the best pair of brothers. This time it was Josh who stood out with 31 touches and a goal amongst seven clearances.
It's off to the Crows for the two votes with Jordan Dawson once again standing up in the big moments to have 30 touches and five clearances to almost gain 700 metres for the Crows. It's the Pies skipper who gets the final vote after 23 touches and almost 600 metres gained. Importantly he also provided one of them with marking options in the final moments that saw Collingwood win.
1. Nick Daicos (15)
2. Clayton Oliver (14)
3. Jeremy Cameron (10)
4. Jordan Dawson (9)
5. Toby Greene (8)
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