The polarizing Collingwood bigwig Mason Cox missed briefly from winning the inaugural Neil Daniehar Trophy after playing a role in Pais’s upset win against the ruling premiers.
Collingwood rebounded with a burnstorming second half from a goalless opening term that saw him score nine goals in three overs to win the MCG from 12. 10. (82) to 8. 8. (56).
Cox and Darcy Cameron’s rock tandem took full advantage as Melbourne captain Max Gown was interrupted in the second half due to a knee injury.
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Cox finished with a career-high 21 settlements and eight points and also scored a goal, with his aerial dominance being a throwback to his famous 2018 early final performance.
However, despite the impressive second half of Magpies, it was Clayton Oliver of Melbourne who was selected as the best player in the park by picking a game-high 43 disposal.
Two of the three voters on the three-member panel, AFL Great Matthew Lloyd and Cameron Ling, chose Cox as their best, giving him six votes. However, a third voter, AFL.com.au reporter Josh Gabelich, did not receive a single vote in favor of Cox, instead giving Oliver, Nick Dicos and Brady Mihosek a 3-2-1 award.
This snub was enough to convince Oliver, with Cox’s six out of a total of seven votes.
After his stunning performance, Cox explained how being able to play more minutes in the rack in the absence of star Big Man Brody Grandi helped him to put together several powerful games.
“Being able to play a little more rock, you get a little more chance to get your hands on it in the middle, so you get a little more confidence,” he said.
“Sometimes you can get stuck in the forward line yourself and not get the ball for a while and then you have to make the most of every opportunity. Now being in the middle, it opens up some more opportunities. For me.”
Melbourne’s third in a row and a one-week caps rate from Hell after a feud between Steven May and Jack Melaksham at a popular restaurant.
The ruling premiers will move up to second place in the ladder, behind Brisbane in percentage, and Collingwood in eighth place.
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