THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) season rolled on into its third round over the weekend, with 11 fixtures spread from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. There were a number of outstanding individual performances among the Round 3 action, as AFL-listed talent and state league guns alike topped a range of key categories. We take a look at this week’s stat leaders, as well as the season tallies to this point.
Usual forward Jake Riccardi swung into defence for GWS on Sunday and had a blinder, seeing him top the league for kicks and marks in Round 3. The 21-year-old racked up 40 disposals, with 31 of them delivered by foot and 19 earned via marks. His dynamic performance helped the Giants to a 30-point win over Southport, their first for the season.
It was no surprise to see Coburg ball magnet Marcus Lentini again tick over the 40-disposal mark, this time managing 42 against Brisbane in what was a battle of the Lions. The mid-season draft hopeful was just pipped atop the handball charts on the weekend by Gold Coast’s Will Brodie, who dished out 22 in the Suns’ narrow loss to Collingwood. In the same game, first year Magpie Reef McInnes got his hands dirty with a round-high 11 tackles.
Elsewhere, competition leading goalkicker Matt Hammelmann upped his season average (5.3) with a bag of six majors as Aspley went down to Frankston. The effort accounted for over half of the Hornets’ score, brining Hammelmann’s season tally to 16 after three games. Western Bulldogs ruck Jordon Sweet also excelled in his field, feasting to win 38 hitouts against inexperienced Northern Bullants’ talls.
Looking at the season leaders, Frankston jet Nathan Freeman has served a reminder of his class in 2021 with a clean run, topping the league for disposals and kicks. Jacob Dawson is another former AFL player finding plenty of ball, distributing more than any other player thus far by hand. Hammelmann and Casey’s James Munro are the other state leaguers topping charts, while AFL-listed bigmen Connor Ballenden and Ned Reeves have the most marks and hitouts respectively.
Find the full list of Round 3, and 2021 season stat leaders below.
ROUND 3 STAT LEADERS:
Marcus Lentini (Coburg) – 42
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 31
Will Brodie* (Gold Coast) – 22
Matt Hammelmann** (Aspley) – 6
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 19
Reef McInnes* (Collingwood) – 11
Jordon Sweet* (Footscray) – 38
2021 SEASON STAT LEADERS:
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 117 total / 39.0 average
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 78 / 26.0
Jacob Dawson (Southport) – 56 / 18.7
Matt Hammelmann (Aspley) – 16 / 5.3
Connor Ballenden* (Brisbane) – 34 / 11.3
James Munro (Casey) – 28 / 9.3
Ned Reeves* (Box Hill) – 118 / 39.3
* – denotes AFL-listed.
** – denotes season leader.
Image Credit: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos