Our AFL experts Niall Seewang, Jake Michaels and Matt Walsh dissect all of the main talking points ahead of Round 7.
Sam Walsh or Connor Rozee. Who will be better?
NS: I'm going the bankable, 15-year midfielder over the miraculous match-winner, so Walsh for me ... just. And that's not to disrespect the impact Rozee has had so far for Port. Walsh is just about Carlton's second-best midfielder already and his consistency is remarkable for a first-year player. Rozee will have the better highlights package, but I can't see Walsh having too many 'down' games - ever.
JM: I love Walsh, I really do. He's an elite runner and in two or three years will be one of the best midfielders in the competition. No doubt about it. However, I really love Rozee. I honestly can't recall a first year player being so clean and so skilled in the forward 50 and he's filled the Chad Wingard void for the Power in emphatic fashion. In the new age where goals are at a real premium, I want the guy that can kick them.
MW: 'Better' really isn't the right word as I think they'll both be excellent players capable of winning matches for their sides, but they play different roles. Walsh is a good ball user who runs all day and gets to good spots, while Rozee is a silky mover and finisher who won't get as much ball. Ideally you'd love both, but Walsh will have the better, more consistent career.
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Does booing have a place in the AFL?
NS: Yes. Fans are allowed to vent their frustration! Aside from the Adam Goodes situation -- which was a disgrace and played a part in driving a champion from the game -- booing is a part of the fan experience of all sports. Yes the treatment Scott Pendlebury copped on Anzac Day was slightly distasteful but I'm staggered it dominated the footy landscape for so long afterwards.
JM: Yes, of course it does. If you pay money to attend the football you should be able to do anything, so long as it's legal. Having said that, I really thought the booing of Pendlebury, who has just dominated on Anzac Day and hasn't influenced any of the controversial umpiring decisions, is a bit poor. At least let the man speak and hear what he has to say.
MW: Absolutely. Who doesn't love the passion and atmosphere that booing brings to the table? From a player who requested a trade, to booing a forward lining up for goal, to booing the umpires for missing a howler, it has been part of our great game forever and I hope it stays that way.
After Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy, who is the third best ruck?
NS: I've been so impressed by the improvement of Jarrod Witts, Rowan Marshall and Sean Darcy, but I really love the late-career development of Ben McEvoy. 'Big Boy', who turns 30 in a couple of months, is averaging the second most contested marks in the league and seventh in hit outs per game. His is a bit of an old-school ruckman who isn't overly athletic but offers the Hawks a really strong marking target around the ground, wins taps and follows up strongly.
JM: Ah, ruckman. The most overrated position on a football ground. I'd rather have four midfielders at a centre bounce than a lanky, awkward ruckman. Still, I'll say either Rhys Stanley or McEvoy simply because nobody ever talks about them.
MW: He's off-broadway up in Queensland but Witts has quietly stepped up his game since being named co-captain of the Gold Coast Suns. He was excellent last year in a bad team, but this year is averaging more hit outs (44 compared to 39 in 2018) and disposals than any other time in his career. He's a great leader and an underrated ruckman.
Who is the coach of the year so far?
NS: There are a few contenders here, but Stuart Dew's effort to get the Suns playing (mostly) competitive football has been remarkable. This is a squad that lost their best key forward and best key defender in the off-season and some experts believed might be struggling to win a game this year! Dew has the Suns competing hard and he appears to be laying the foundations for a much stronger future, which is just about all you can ask.
JM: If you'd asked me this last week I probably would have said Alan Richardson, but I feel the Saints might start to slide down the ladder. Instead, I'm going to say Damien Hardwick. He's got the Tigers back to playing 2017-standard, high pressure football and that's with all the distractions around Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin. Bravo, Dimma.
MW: Chris Scott has worked wonders with that Geelong forward line and it's no surprise the Cats are 5-1 despite having overcome a tough first six weeks in the fixture. Moving Ablett inside 50, unleashing Gryan Miers after a year in the twos, recruiting Tom Atkins from the VFL, and bringing in Gary Rohan have all worked and Scott quite rightly deserves kudos.