AFL's Rising Star award heats up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL's Rising Star award heats up

Justin Chadwick 21/08/2011 11:00:31 AM Comments (0)

The race for the AFL's Rising Star award is set to go down to the wire after both Dyson Heppell and Luke Shuey starred in West Coast's 57-point win over Essendon on Saturday.

Eagles midfielder Shuey tallied 23 disposals, 11 clearances, and seven inside 50s to play a crucial role in his team's victory, while 19-year-old Heppell (26 possessions) provided excellent rebound from defence for the Bombers and also put his dazzling sidestep on full display.

Shuey, whose first two years at West Coast were ruined by injury, has enjoyed a standout season, averaging 20 possessions and booting 20 goals across 20 games.

But Heppell, snared with pick No.8 in last year's national draft, has been just as impressive, averaging 21.3 possessions across 21 games.

The pair are considered the only legitimate contenders to win the Rising Star award, and Essendon coach James Hird said it would be hard to pick a winner.

"They're both very talented players and are doing a great job for their clubs this year," Hird said.

"Obviously I see a lot more of Dyson, but Shuey's year has been outstanding as well.

"We hope our boy wins it, but I don't think we'd be too upset if it went the other way."

Many players at West Coast rate 21-year-old Shuey as a natural successor to onballer Daniel Kerr due to the youngster's tough work in the clinches.

Eagles coach John Worsfold said Shuey's ability to break the lines made him a special talent.

"He's got the attributes of being a good strong inside hard-ball winning player but he's also got the pace to be able to break away from that as well," Worsfold said.

"We were rapt with the way Luke performed again (against the Bombers) for us; 11 clearances is a pretty good effort."

"It's not for me to make that call (on who out of Heppell and Shuey should win the award). They play different positions, different roles and they're in different stages of their careers.

"Heppell's had an outstanding year.

"He's a good decision maker, reads the game well, gets the ball in his hands, and generally makes good decisions and uses it well."

Meanwhile, Hird was hopeful forward Stewart Crameri (shoulder), captain Jobe Watson (concussion) and Andrew Welsh (concussion) would be fit to tackle Port Adelaide in Sunday's clash at Etihad Stadium.

The Bombers, who will secure their spot in the finals with a win over Port, also face a nervous wait to see if the match review panel suspends Heath Hocking for his spear tackle on Kerr.

West Coast can lock up fourth spot with a win over Brisbane at the Gabba next Saturday, but could be without vice-captain Beau Waters, who was reported for an accidental head-high bump on Watson.

Eagles forward Jack Darling, who was a late withdrawal against the Bombers, will have scans on his hip after feeling discomfort in the area during a kicking drill at training on Friday.

Worsfold said the scans were just precautionary and expects the 19-year-old to take his place against the Lions.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news