Some performances are bigger and better than others and it is these efforts that we looked to reward in this countdown. There is no doubt a number of arguments to be had with the list given a Top Ten or 15 list would have seen a number of outstanding performances left out.
5. Jack Steele
St Kilda v North Melbourne – Round 16.
The St Kilda onballer was a one man tackling machine against the Kangaroos in Hobart. While it was a day to forget for his team, it wasn’t for the lack of effort from Jack Steele who fell just one tackle short of the AFL record for the most made in a single game. It was far from a one off effort for the bullish number nine who finished the year with a league high 164 tackles.
4. Jeremy Cameron
GWS v Gold Coast – Round 23.
Jeremy Cameron’s 150th game was one to remember as he and his team mates tore apart a sorry Suns team on the Gold Coast. Starting the afternoon six goals behind Ben Brown in the Coleman Medal standings, Cameron went about pinching the award from the North Melbourne’s stars grasp. Five goals in the third quarter alone was the highlight of the day as the Giants spearhead kicked nine for the day to become the club’s first Coleman Medallist.
3. Ben Brown
North Melbourne v Port Adelaide – Round 22.
Ben Brown had a night out against Port Adelaide to became the first Kangaroo in 22 years to kick 10 goals in a match. With the Power only able to kick 8.10 for the night, it meant that Brown with 10.1 outscored them on his own on a red letter night for the curly headed forward.
2. Dustin Martin
Richmond v Brisbane – Qualifying Final.
The Brisbane Lions had no answer for a Dustin Martin masterclass in the first week of the finals at the Gabba. The 2017 Brownlow Medallist kicked six goals to equal his career best and to record the best tally for a Tiger since the 1980 Grand Final. It was an ominous warning for the rest of the competition as to what lay in store for them over the course of the rest of the finals series.
1. Patrick Cripps
Carlton v Brisbane – Round 12.
Despite replacing their coach prior to their Round 12 clash against Brisbane, it looked like the same old Carlton when the 1-10 Blues fell 37 points down in the first half. What was to follow in the second half was anything but with Patrick Cripps willing his team over the line in an unbelievable individual performance.
In the third quarter alone he would accumulate 13 possessions and kick two goals as he helped his team to the lead by the final term. He would finish the match with four goals and 38 touches and Carlton had the first win of a remarkable turn around in the back half of the season.