2012 countdown: Top 10 performances

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 21 Desember 2012 | 14.43

The best pictures of the 2012 AFL season

Hawthorn star Lance Franklin snaps around the body for goal number 13 against North Melbourne. Picture: Michael Dodge Source: Herald Sun

LANCE Franklin had a field day against North Melbourne but was Dane Swan's effort on Anzac Day better?

Over the next 10 days we'll name the highlights, lowlights and simply strange moments of the year in footy in a countdown of top 10 countdowns.

We kicked off the series on Monday with the best 10 AFL games of 2012, on Tuesday we went with the top 10 marks, and followed that with the top 10 goals yesterday.

Today the countdown continues with the top 10 individual performances of the year.

Did we get it right? Leave a comment below

10. Scott Thompson v Greater Western Sydney
The North Melbourne intercept king had a day out when the Kangaroos were made to work to counter a plucky GWS outfit. Thompson amassed 39 disposals (192 SuperCoach points), almost unheard-of numbers for a key backman, in the 28-point victory at Skoda Stadium. The Kangaroos' most prolific stopper also clunked 13 marks.

9. Trent Cotchin v Western Bulldogs
Brett Deledio tweeted post-match he had a front seat at the Cotchin Show after the No.9 put on a clinic with 35 touches, three goals and an amazing 17 score involvements. He also picked up 170 SuperCoach points. It would be the start of a withering four-game run of 30-plus possession games which propelled the silky-skilled midfielder to equal second in the Brownlow Medal with 26 votes.

8. Marc Murphy v Essendon
The Carlton star had a frustrating season and he took it out on arch-rival Essendon in Round 21. Murphy had the ball on a string, collecting 37 disposals while kicking two goals as the Blues romped home by 96 points. He also laid six tackles. Murphy capped off his superb performance with a goal after the siren to give the Blues a handy percentage boost.

7. Dean Cox/Nic Naitanui v Geelong
Orren Stephenson is still waking up in cold sweats after confronting the Eagles duo on a Friday night in Perth. When Cox and Nic Nat combine for 41 disposals and 13 marks it makes it difficult to trump West Coast. Add 77 hitouts and five goals and it's an almost impossible task. The vaunted ruck pair dominated the Cats when the two sides met in Round 20, the Eagles outlasting their rivals by five points. Cox was brilliant, kicking three goals while picking up 23 disposals and eight marks. The veteran added five clearances and four inside-50s to his stats sheet. The pair also combined for 343 SuperCoach points.

6. Jack Riewoldt v St Kilda
The Riewoldts combined for 11 of the 34 goals scored when Richmond held out St Kilda in a Round 10 shootout at Etihad Stadium. Jack claimed family bragging rights, helping the Tigers to a seven-point victory with eight goals in his 100th match. The flighty forward also clunked nine marks along the way. It would be Jack's biggest haul of the season en route to his second Coleman Medal with 65 majors – three clear of Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins.

Source: Gold Coast Bulletin

5. Gary Ablett v North Melbourne
Little Gazza single-handedly kept his young Gold Coast Suns within striking distance of North when the two sides met at Metricon Stadium in Round 12. Ablett put on a masterful display including 42 disposals and four goals – none more impressive than a 45m left-foot snap from the boundary line during the second quarter. Ablett's haul included 10 clearances, five rebound-50s and four inside-50s. It was the best of Ablett's 2012 highlights reel; two weeks earlier he equalled the VFL-AFL record for possessions in a game with 53 touches against Collingwood.  4. Dayne Beams v Sydney
It was party time on Smith St when Pictures mark II, Dayne Beams, slotted his third goal to ice Collingwood's eight-point win against Sydney at ANZ Stadium. The heavily tattooed star midfielder starred in the absence of namesake Dane Swan, who was serving the first of a two-week club-imposed suspension for breaking player rules. Beams helped himself to 34 disposals including 11 clearances and five tackles. He finished with 170 SuperCoach points.
3. Dean Cox v North Melbourne
Cox was the difference between West Coast winning or losing to the Roos at Blundstone Arena in Hobart. Cox booted three goals including the sealer to ice the Eagles come-from-behind two-point victory in Round 15. The 204cm ruckman also clunked marks at both ends of the ground to stymie the Kangaroos at every turn. Cox finished with 21 disposals, 15 marks and 24 hitouts - and a lazy 215 SuperCoach points.

Hawthorn v North Melbourne. Aurora Stadium, Launceston. Lance Franklin kicks his 11th goal. Picture: Michael Dodge Source: Herald Sun

2. Lance Franklin v North Melbourne
The Roos were on the receiving end again - also in Tassie - when Buddy ran riot in Hawthorn's 115-point demolition in Round 10. The raking left-footer outscored the Kangaroos 13.4 to 9.5 in the Round 10 rout at Aurora Stadium in Launceston. The Hawks piled on 27 majors to hammer the Shinboners into submission. The superstar feasted on Kangaroos defenders Scott Thompson, Nathan Grime and Luke Delaney, booting six first-half goals including three in three minutes during the second quarter. But Franklin saved his best for last, with goal No.12 coming from deep in the left forward pocket while, No.13 was a dropped mark, snap around the body with only seconds left on the clock. It was the highest SuperCoach score of the year (236), but in terms of the stage, stakes and influence on the result, we've got him just behind...
1. Dane Swan v Essendon
Talk of Swan carrying a few extra kilograms was quickly shelved when the Brownlow medallist ran amok in Collingwood's thrilling one-point win on Anzac Day. Swan collected a staggering 42 disposals – 20 contested – and kicked three goals in the MCG blockbuster. Swan capped off a brilliant day by rubbing his stomach – mocking those who called him overweight – after kicking his third goal late in the third quarter. The Anzac medallist finished with 13 clearances and six tackles. Swan obviously likes playing the Bombers - he picked up another 42 touches when the two sides met in Round 23.


Follow Gilbert Gardiner on Twitter @gilbert0408

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