HFNL AFL Wrap: Round 24

HFNL AFL Wrap: Round 24

1st September 2023

The final round of the AFL season came to a close last week, with our local exports enduring mixed fortunes amongst their clubs.

Bombers skipper Zach Merrett’s year ended on a disappointing note with Essendon easily beaten by Collingwood.

The midfielder produced a big performance, racking up 36 touches, six inside 50s and five tackles, and almost capped off his night with two goals.

Hugh McCluggage and Rowan Marshall went head-to-head at the GABBA, with McCluggage’s Lions proving too strong for St Kilda as both sides had one last match before the start of finals next week.

McCluggage collected 21 disposals, three clearances, five inside 50s and kicked a goal in the victory, while Marshall produced another dominant display in the ruck for the Saints, finishing with 27 hit-outs, 24 possessions, seven marks and five tackles.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan kicked a goal in the Western Bulldogs win over Geelong but his season ended after GWS Giants defeated Carlton the following day.

The Dogs forward also had 11 touches and four marks in the triumph.

Jamaine Jones capped off one of his best seasons at the elite level yet, kicking a goal in West Coast’s season-ending defeat to Adelaide.

The defender also had 13 touches and six rebound 50s for the Eagles.

Koroit product Willem Drew was influential in Port Adelaide’s win over Richmond.

The midfielder recorded 20 possessions, six clearances, eight tackles and four inside 50s in a solid outing ahead of a qualifying contest on September 9.

The final game between Carlton and GWS Giants saw Sam Walsh make his return from injury for the Blues against Giant Toby McMullin.

Walsh had 28 disposals, six clearances and six inside 50s for the Blues, while McMullin collected three touches and one inside 50 before he was tactically subbed in the third quarter.

Sean Darcy (Fremantle), Gary Rohan (Geelong) and Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne) did not feature due to injury or retirement, while Josh Corbett (Fremantle) had a monster game in the WAFL, kicking 5.3 from 14 touches for Peel Thunder.

Meanwhile, Zach Merrett added to his growing resume with another All-Australian blazer.

The Cobden export was named on the bench of this year’s team which was announced on Wednesday evening.

Portland product Rowan Marshall was unlucky to be named in the final team after originally being included in the 44 man squad.

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