These are my Brownlow vote predictions from recent rounds of the AFL.
Richmond beat Western Bulldogs 3. Dustin Martin 2. Jack Macrae 1. Noah Balta A dominant display from Martin stole the show, while Macrae fought hard on the losing side. Balta has become a fantastic interceptor and will contend for votes with Jayden Short and Jason Castagna.
Port Adelaide beat Melbourne 3. Ollie Wines 2. Travis Boak 1. Karl Amon It was a toss-up between Wines and Boak, but Wines tends to poll well. Amon used the ball beautifully and should just beat the exciting Mitch Georgiades and the less exciting Tom Rockliff for one vote.
Hawthorn beat Carlton 3. Jack Gunston 2. Tom Mitchell 1. Patrick Cripps Cripps’ efforts weren’t enough to hold off Hawthorn’s momentum, with Gunston and Mitchell leading the way. Mitchell started to dominate around the clearances, getting back to his Brownlow-winning form.
Brisbane beat Essendon 3. Lachie Neale 2. Charlie Cameron 1. Jarryd Lyons Neale is a lock to win the medal. It will be a race for second. Surprisingly this could be the first votes of the year for Cameron, who’s been consistent but not match-winning.
North Melbourne beat Adelaide 3. Jed Anderson 2. Luke McDonald 1. Todd Goldstein Anderson was huge, tackling, bulldozing and scoring goals. McDonald whipped everything up off half back, while Goldstein played like a midfielder at the clearances.
St Kilda beat Sydney 3. Jade Gresham 2. Zak Jones 1. Nick Hind Gresham and Jones just keep getting in the votes with their run and dash through the midfield. Jack Steele also had a fair bit of the ball, but I’m backing him to catch less of the umpires’ attention. Hind kicked three goals in a breakout game.
West Coast beat Geelong 3. Nic Naitanui 2. Josh Kennedy 1. Dom Sheed Josh Kennedy was superman for the third week running, with the help of the magnificent Naitanui. Those two had just 17 disposals between them yet were clearly the most influential players on the ground. Sheed had more of the ball and kicked two goals, but Mitch Duncan could also sneak a vote.
GWS beat Gold Coast 3. Lachie Whitfield 2. Josh Kelly 1. Jacob Hopper It was a lottery between these three. Whitfield was sublime on the outside, while Kelly and Hopper both hit the scoreboard. The top coaches votes went to Whitfield and Hopper.
Fremantle beat Collingwood 3. David Mundy 2. Nat Fyfe 1. Steele Sidebottom As he so often does, Mundy kicked a goal after the siren, though this time the game was already up. Umpires’ pets Fyfe and Sidebottom will be both be around the votes along with Luke Ryan and Caleb Serong, who is a big chance for the Rising Star.
Port Adelaide beat Western Bulldogs 3. Zak Butters 2. Tom Rockliff 1. Jack Macrae Butters was sublime as he shimmied and sped his way through the Doggies’ defence. Rockliff had a remarkable ten tackles, while Charlie Dixon was also crucial for Port. Macrae had another dominant game, this time on the losing side.
Richmond beat Brisbane 3. Shai Bolton 2. Dustin Martin 1. Liam Baker Bolton has shot into best and fairest contention with his ability to turn clearances into deep inside 50s. Martin was solid and Baker provided X-factor off half back.
Geelong beat North Melbourne 3. Cam Guthrie 2. Sam Menegola 1. Gryan Miers Guthrie’s and Menegola’s work rates made the Roos’ midfield look sub-standard, while Miers and Hawkins did the damage on the scoreboard. Jy Simpkin returned to form and could sneak a vote.
Melbourne beat Adelaide 3. Clayton Oliver 2. Jack Viney 1. Steven May Christian Petracca was again impressive but butchered his chances in front of goal. Instead, Oliver and Viney should take home the top votes, both winning 14-plus contested possessions. May was an unstoppable force in defence.
Collingwood beat Sydney 3. Taylor Adams 2. Josh Daicos 1. Brodie Grundy Daicos! The Macedonian Marvel 2.0 kicked a beauty to win the game for Collingwood. Adams’ contested work was brilliant throughout, while Grundy was very solid.
St Kilda beat Gold Coast 3. Dan Butler 2. Jack Steele 1. Touk Miller Butler played a super game, nailing goals from everywhere. Steele added two goals to a workmanlike display. Miller may have got the three votes if the Suns had won.
GWS beat Essendon 3. Stephen Coniglio 2. Lachie Whitfield 1. Zach Merrett Adam Saad was fantastic and booted a goal just before the siren, unfortunately too late to make a difference. Coniglio, Whitfield, Merrett and Tim Taranto all won plenty of the ball. I’ve given the nod to Coniglio, who hit the scoreboard, and Whitfield, whose ball use was superb.
Port Adelaide beat Richmond 3. Ollie Wines 2. Peter Ladhams 1. Travis Boak Wines put in a bull of a performance and should take the chocolates here. Ladhams played the game of his life, even kicking a miraculous left-foot banana. Boak and three-goal Robbie Gray are also in contention for two votes.
Brisbane beat Western Bulldogs 3. Lachie Neale 2. Dayne Zorko 1. Jack Macrae It was another incredible performance from Neale, although Macrae managed to beat his disposal tally. Zorko’s midfield work was dynamic and damaging, while Hipwood is a chance with five goals.
West Coast beat Carlton 3. Dom Sheed 2. Nic Naitanui 1. Zac Fisher Sheed has taken his game to a new level, regularly hitting the scoreboard and winning more contested ball. Meanwhile, Naitanui’s tap work was pure artistry. Fisher returned to the line-up in fine style, booting four goals, just pipping Elliot Yeo for a vote.
Melbourne beat North Melbourne 3. Christian Petracca 2. Clayton Oliver 1. Angus Brayshaw The Petracca show was in full flight, bustling his way through tackles and bursting towards the forward 50. Oliver and umpires’ pet Brayshaw won plenty of the ball and could threaten for three votes.
Geelong beat St Kilda 3. Sam Menegola 2. Gary Rohan 1. Tom Hawkins Menegola had a cracker on the wing, out-running Brad Hill and Jack Billings. Rohan and Hawkins kicked four and five goals respectively, but Rohan was more influential when the game was won.
Fremantle beat Hawthorn 3. Andrew Brayshaw 2. Nat Fyfe 1. Adam Cerra Brayshaw’s 33 disposals should be enough to get him over the line here, although Fyfe had more contested possessions and a goal. Cerra was also fantastic and his silky skills got him nine coaches votes alongside Brayshaw.
Collingwood beat Adelaide 3. Taylor Adams 2. Rory Laird 1. Corey Maynard A 50-50 between Adams and Laird, but I’ve gone with Adams on the winning side. Maynard has been great all year and may collect one or two votes along the way, while Jack Crisp was also damaging off half back.
Essendon beat Gold Coast 3. Zach Merrett 2. Jordan Ridley 1. David Zaharakis Zaharakis was the match saver, but Merrett and Ridley were influential throughout. Lachie Weller was Gold Coast’s best with two goals and Dylan Shiel could sneak a vote.
Sydney beat GWS 3. Luke Parker 2. Nick Blakey 1. Jordan Dawson Sydney slaughtered the Giants and should get all six votes, although Josh Kelly is a chance for one. Parker was the dominant midfielder, while Blakey and Dawson both kicked two. Dane Rampe and Jake Lloyd were also very solid off half back.
Geelong beat Port Adelaide 3. Tom Hawkins 2. Patrick Dangerfield 1. Cam Guthrie It is unlikely to see any other result here. Hawkins was astonishingly good, Dangerfield was remarkably good and Guthrie was outstanding. Guthrie’s goal could get him two votes, but Dangerfield’s assists were sublime.
Brisbane beat North Melbourne 3. Jed Anderson 2. Jarryd Lyons 1. Jy Simpkin Despite the loss, North Melbourne had two of the best players on the ground in Anderson and Simpkin. Anderson’s attack on the footy was simply brutal. Simpkin was more subtle, dazzling his way around tacklers. Lyons and Dayne Zorko were the Lions’ best.
Melbourne beat Collingwood 3. Angus Brayshaw 2. Ed Langdon 1. Christian Petracca It was a total lottery between Brayshaw, Langdon, Petracca and Clayton Oliver. Brayshaw kicked a game-breaking goal and used the ball efficiently. Oliver was Melbourne’s biggest clearance winner but generally doesn’t poll well.
Carlton beat Fremantle 3. Luke Ryan 2. Ed Curnow 1. Nat Fyfe Ryan marked absolutely everything that came his way, and might just beat the industrious Curnow for three votes. Fyfe was less prolific than usual, but still fantastic with ball in hand. Patrick Cripps was tagged but remained dominant at stoppages.
Western Bulldogs beat Adelaide 3. Marcus Bontempelli 2. Aaron Naughton 1. Bailey Smith Bontempelli was magnificent, kicking two goals and using the ball beautifully, albeit against a woeful defensive side. Naughton kicked six goals from eight disposals, just beating the prolific Smith for two votes.
St Kilda beat Essendon 3. Zak Jones 2. Paddy Ryder 1. Jack Billings This one is a real lottery, with youngsters Josh Battle and Nick Coffield also among the best players. Jones might get the three votes in a strong contested performance, and Ryder might get the two votes after plenty of subtle hit outs.
West Coast beat Hawthorn 3. Liam Ryan 2. Nic Naitanui 1. Andrew Gaff Flying Ryan lit up Optus Stadium with two huge leaps. Naitanui was again brilliant, while Gaff was a seagull on the outside. Tom Barrass intercepted everything and could get a couple of votes.
Richmond beat Gold Coast 3. Trent Cotchin 2. Jack Lukosius 1. Kane Lambert In a dour affair, Cotchin was Richmond’s top ball winner, ahead of Lambert and Dustin Martin. Lukosius threatened to break the game open with his beautiful kicking launching attacks, but the Tigers held firm.
Leaderboard 1. Lachie Neale 21 votes 2. Travis Boak 13 2. Christian Petracca 13 4. Jack Macrae 12 5. Taylor Adams ten 5. Zach Merrett ten 5. Zak Jones ten 5. Cam Guthrie ten 9. Max Gawn nine 9. Matt Rowell nine 9. Nic Naitanui nine
Neale is running away from the pack. Boak, Macrae and Petracca look the most likely candidates for second, although Nat Fyfe, Dustin Martin and Paddy Cripps look set for a big end to the year.
This will be my last leader board before I leave you in suspense until Round 18.