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Expanded
Max Gawn
Legendary effort to reach GF
RMelbourne Demons
September 10, 2021
Gawn scored five goals, logged 19 disposals (13 kicks, six handballs) and made 33 hitouts during Friday's 125-42 win over Geelong in the Preliminary Final.
ANALYSIS
These are the kinds of games that win trophies, and Gawn nearly did it by himself with five marks and six tackles to his name as well. Going into a first Grand Final in 21 years, Gawn should be one of the first names to consider on a big day for the 'Dees.
Nathan Vardy
Announces retirement
RFree Agent
September 7, 2021
ANALYSIS
Vardy retires after a nine-year career spent with Geelong and West Coast. He won a title as a member of the Mariners in 2018.
Sam Draper
44 hitouts, 18 disposals v. Western
REssendon Bombers
August 29, 2021
Draper machined 18 disposals, five clearances and marks each, four tackles and two behinds to go along with 44 total hitouts Sunday as Essendon fell to Western 85-36 in an elimination final at UTAS Stadium.
ANALYSIS
Draper fashioned his best performance of the year on Sunday, notching personal-bests in each of the following categories: kicks (12), handballs (6), disposals, hitouts, inside 50s (5) and rebound 50s (5). That saw the 22 year-old ruck top 100 fantasy points for the first time in his career and finds him closing out 2021 currently ranked the AFL's No. 13 for hitouts per game (24.23).
Max Gawn
Second game w/ 130+ fantasy points
RMelbourne Demons
August 28, 2021
Gawn acquired 19 disposals, seven tackles, six marks, five clearances and a single behind and goal assist each Saturday as Melbourne defeated Brisbane 93-60 in a qualifying final match at Adelaide Oval.
ANALYSIS
Gawn notched a season-high for tackles and his ninth goal assist of 2021 as a part of his second 130+ point fantasy performance in as many appearances. The AFL leader in total hitouts (740) and No. 2 for contested marks (54) now finds himself chasing only Christian Petracca as Melbourne's leader in fantasy score per game (110.57 v. 109.70).
Stefan Martin
Off injury list
RWestern Bulldogs
August 24, 2021
Martin (groin) no longer appears on his club's injury list, according to AFL.com.
ANALYSIS
Martin was able to get in a scratch match over the weekend and will hope he's selected for the final against Essendon. With only eight games played this season, Martin has chosen a good time to get healthy.
Shane Mumford
Pushing to play
RGreater Western Sydney Giants
August 24, 2021
Mumford will push through a chronic back injury to play in Saturday's elimination final against Sydney.
ANALYSIS
Mumford was managed in Round 23 to prepare for this game as the Giants snuck into the finals. With injuries and age catching up to Mumford, it will be interesting to see how much more he has to give.
Sean Darcy
Sustains hip flexor strain in loss
RFremantle Dockers
Hip
August 22, 2021
Darcy sustained a hip flexor injury in Sunday's 107-49 loss to Fremantle at Blundstone Arena, FremantleFC.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Head coach Justin Longmuir noted after the game that the injury was serious enough to have forced Darcy to miss the next couple of weeks "if we were still playing." The forward finished out the game with 10 disposals, 16 hitouts and one mark, tackle and clearance to his name.
Rowan Marshall
21 disposals, 13 hitouts v. Dockers
RSt Kilda Saints
August 22, 2021
Marshall accrued 21 disposals, seven tackles, five marks, three clearances, a pair of majors and a single behind and goal assist each Sunday as St. Kilda defeated Fremantle 107-49 at Blundstone Arena.
ANALYSIS
Marshall recorded a season-high seven tackles, topped double-digit hitouts for an eighth-straight showing and equaled a personal-best for majors in Sunday's win over the Dockers. The 25 year-old wraps his 2021 campaign ranked the AFL's No. 8 in contest marks per game (2.08), No. 20 in total hitouts (240) and No. 4 in average fantasy score (89.7) among league rucks.
Peter Wright
Scores four in win
REssendon Bombers
August 22, 2021
Wright scored four goals and made eight marks during Sunday's 102-64 win over Collingwood in Round 23.
ANALYSIS
Wright has put up some massive games over the last few weeks of the season with at least three goals and as many as seven scored in three of his last five matches. While Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti isn't in the lineup, keep an eye out for what else Wright can do in the finals.
Tom De Koning
Taken from field on stretcher
RCarlton Blues
Concussion
August 21, 2021
De Koning left Saturday's 89-75 loss to GWS at Marvel Stadium due to concussion concerns, ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
De Koning was taken from the field on a stretcher after knocking his head on the ground during a late marking contest. Carlton head coach David Teague noted after the game that his ruck was concussed, but feeling okay. DeKoning closed out the match with 10 disposals, five tackles, four marks, three clearances and a game-high 32 hitouts to his name.
Max Gawn
Scores winner for Minor Premier
RMelbourne Demons
August 21, 2021
Gawn scored one goal to go with 25 disposals (17 kicks, eight handballs) in addition to completing 39 hitouts and making six marks during Saturday's 81-77 win over Geelong.
ANALYSIS
Gawn kicked the winner in the final moments for Melbourne to secure their first Minor Premier in almost 60 years as the top team in the home-and-away season. His efforts are certainly not to be trifled with, as only a few ruckmen can match his efforts across the ladder and there aren't many left in his way in the finals.
Nic Naitanui
Strong finish to 2021 campaign
RWest Coast Eagles
August 21, 2021
Naitanui pulled in 24 disposals, 11 clearances, two tackles and a single mark and goal assist each Saturday as West Coast fell to Brisbane 125-87 at Gabba.
ANALYSIS
Naitanui closed out his 2021 campaign on a high note Saturday, setting new season-highs for handballs (15) and disposals and registering personal-bests for both hitouts (53) and clearances (11) versus Brisbane. The league's current No. 2 for total hitouts (684) and No. 3 in total clearances (159) finishes the year having averaged 15.2 touches, 1.6 marks and 7.2 clearances in each of his 22 combined showings.
Shane Mumford
Managed for Round 23
RGreater Western Sydney Giants
Coach's Decision
August 19, 2021
Mumford has been managed for Round 23 against Carlton.
ANALYSIS
Mumford is getting a week off to preserve him for the finals and in his place, Kieren Briggs will line up at ruck for the final game of the home-and-away season.
Scott Lycett
Good to go
RPort Adelaide Power
August 18, 2021
Lycett (knee) will return for Round 23 versus the Bulldogs.
ANALYSIS
Lycett has gotten the all-clear to play in the home-and-away season finale after a precautionary exit from last weekend's match versus Carlton. The ruck hasn't topped 80 fantasy points in any of his last four matches after reaching that level in the previous six games.
Toby Nankervis
Out with fractured finger
RRichmond Tigers
Finger
August 17, 2021
Nankervis will miss Round 23 due to a fractured finger.
ANALYSIS
Nankervis will also look to finish out his recovery from a knee injury so his 2021 season will be cut short. His year ends with an average of 22.6 hitouts per game across 16 rounds.
Scott Lycett
Expected to be available
RPort Adelaide Power
Knee
August 17, 2021
Lycett (knee) is expected to be ready for Round 23 against Port Adelaide.
ANALYSIS
Lycett injured his knee in Round 22 against Carlton but is on track to feature in the final round before the finals. Should he not be at full strength, Peter Ladhams would take on a bigger role for the Power.
Tristan Xerri
Listed as test
RNorth Melbourne Kangaroos
Shin
August 17, 2021
Xerri is listed as a test for Round 23 against Adelaide due to a shin injury.
ANALYSIS
Xerri has played in just seven games this season and doesn't have as much to offer at ruck as Todd Goldstein.
Braydon Preuss
Listed as test
RGreater Western Sydney Giants
Pectoral
August 17, 2021
Preuss (pectoral) is listed as a test to feature in Round 23 against Carlton.
ANALYSIS
Preuss could get his first chance to play this season after a torn pectoral muscle ruled him out for much of 2021. H would be another welcome addition just in time for the finals.
Zac Smith
To retire after season
RGold Coast Suns
August 17, 2021
Smith announced that he will retire after Round 23 against Sydney.
ANALYSIS
Smith split time between Gold Coast and Geelong, playing in 123 games and helping bring the Suns into the AFL back in 2011. In 2021, the injury to Jarrod Witts (torn ACL) let Smith appear in a few more games before finishing his career.
Reilly O'Brien
Out for season
RAdelaide Crows
Knee
August 17, 2021
O'Brien (knee) has been ruled out for the 2021 season.
ANALYSIS
O'Brien picked up a knee injury before Round 22 and will miss the final two rounds of Adelaide's season. While the first half of the season wasn't the best showing from O'Brien, he picked up his pace by the end of the year and still proved he's one of the top ruckmen in the league, finishing with 29.4 hitouts per game.
Stefan Martin
Returns to full practice
RWestern Bulldogs
Groin
August 15, 2021
Martin (groin) will return to full training this week and is questionable for Round 23.
ANALYSIS
Martin's ready to return from a multi-month absence. If he's able to perform without limitations in practice this week, it wouldn't be surprising to see Martin play in Round 23.
Scott Lycett
Questionable for Round 23
RPort Adelaide Power
Knee
August 15, 2021
Lycett (knee) is still being assessed by Port Adelaide's medical staff, leaving him questionable for Round 23.
ANALYSIS
Lycett picked up the injury Saturday against Carlton, but his exit from the game may have been precautionary. Another update on his health should surface once the medical staff completes its assessment.
Scott Lycett
Exits match with injured knee
RPort Adelaide Power
Knee
August 14, 2021
Lycett was subbed out of Saturday's 140-45 drumming of Carlton due to an injured knee, The Australian reports.
ANALYSIS
Lycett first left Saturday's match in the second quarter to have his left knee examined by team doctors, then was subbed out at three-quarter time in favor of 27 year-old defender, Sam Mayes. Fox Footy's Mark Ricciuto noted Lycett's exit appeared to be "a precautionary measure," leading to hope that the 28 year-old ruck will be available for selection in Port Adelaide's Round 23 match-up with Western. He finished the Power's win over the Blues having collected 10 disposals, three marks, two behinds and a single goal, tackle and clearance each.
Shane Mumford
Back in lineup
RGreater Western Sydney Giants
August 12, 2021
Mumford is listed in the initial lineup for Round 22 against Richmond.
ANALYSIS
Mumford was managed for Round 21 but now returns to the team against the Tigers. He's scored at least 85 points in two of his last three appearances.
Paddy Ryder
Test to return
RSt Kilda Saints
Undisclosed
August 10, 2021
Ryder (Achilles) is listed as a test to return in Round 22 against Geelong.
ANALYSIS
Ryder still has a shot at playing in 2021 if he's able to recover in the next couple of weeks. In his absence, Rowan Marshall remains the featured ruck.
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