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Oliver, McDonald in Team of the Week

Kane Cornes  June 13, 2018 8:53 AM

I WAS premature in thinking Collingwood tall Mason Cox wouldn't make it, and I've rewarded him with selection in my round 12 Team of the Week, brought to you by AccorHotels.

At the start of the year, I thought Cox was ineffective when he didn't take a mark.

He's improved though. The American is picking up the nuances of the game and was even finishing from long range in the Magpies' Queen's Birthday win over Melbourne on his way to booting five goals. 

Cox's great game kept Lance Franklin out. The Sydney superstar's inaccuracy cost him a spot in the side after finishing with 4.4 against St Kilda. 

Port Adelaide's Chad Wingard was also unlucky to miss after returning to form with a move to the midfield, as was Pies backman Lynden Dunn, who kept Melbourne star Jesse Hogan quiet.

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Joel Hamling has helped fill the hole left by Fremantle full-back Luke McPharlin while Nathan Wilson was also very good in the Dockers' win over Adelaide. For Brisbane, Harris Andrews was huge as the Lions lost to Essendon, and has had a very good year. He goes underrated up at the Lions, while for the Power, Darcy Byrne-Jones doesn't receive the credit he deserves. Geelong backman Mark Blicavs nullified North Melbourne's Ben Brown while Lachie Whitfield was classy in the back half for Greater Western Sydney.

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The only thing that let Pies midfielder Steele Sidebottom down was his finishing, but it was otherwise a terrific game from him. Port Adelaide brute Ollie Wines was huge in the victory against Richmond. A couple of absolute jets old and young in Geelong superstar Gary Ablett and classy Giants onballer Josh Kelly were outstanding at the weekend. Another who excelled for GWS was Callan Ward, while in the ruck, I had to reward Callum Sinclair.

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A Brownlow Medal could be around the neck of Sydney gun Isaac Heeney one day. Cox was exceptional for the Magpies, as was Jordan De Goey. He is as close a player to Dustin Martin as there is in the game. There wasn't a lot of opposition for Jeremy Cameron to deal with on his way to booting six goals. Melbourne forward Tom McDonald finished with the same total and continued his exceptional season. There isn't a forward clunking the football better than him at the moment. Tom Hawkins was great playing higher up the ground for Geelong – it was one of the best performances I've seen from him.

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North Melbourne's best player against Geelong was Shaun Higgins, who was his usual classy self. Essendon put in an even performance in beating Brisbane, but Zach Merrett was the one to get the nod. Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver was strong in the contest and couldn’t have done much more while for Port Adelaide, Justin Westhoff was seriously influential.