The fans have spoken, and as voted by you, Paddy Ryder is this week’s Dare Iced Coffee Sainter of the Round.
After been awarded an AFL life membership earlier in the week, the 274-game veteran turned back the clock with an outstanding performance as the Saints knocked off the Cats for the first time in six years.
Ryder set the tone early to finish with three majors, seven score involvements, 22 hit-outs and a flawless 10 coaches' votes as St Kilda came away with the 10-point win to improve its tally to 6-3.
The No. 18’s tap work was especially impressive, with nine of his 22 hit outs going to advantage, highlighted best by his behind-the-head palm-down to the returning Jack Billings, who went on to snap true in his first game back this season.
While the third quarter looked to be the turning point for Brett Ratten’s men, it was the final one where Ryder ensured the Cats couldn’t regain the lead, booting two clutch goals while also grabbing six disposals and four marks.
Second in the votes is Brad Crouch, who produced arguably his best game of the season as he continues his fine form to start the 2022 season.
Sitting equal-first in the AFL tackle count with 59, Crouch laid seven of these on Saturday as he also collected 36 disposals, 18 contested possessions and five clearances in an electric display.
Crouch has more than held his own this year, averaging 28 disposals, seven tackles and six clearances per game to become a crucial cog to the Saints’ engine room.
Rounding out the votes for Round 9 is Jack Sinclair, who flew across Marvel Stadium with aplomb, gaining a game-high 650 metres to connect all three lines in a superb display of gut-running.
Finishing the game with 31 disposals, nine marks and six intercepts, Sinclair was often the outlet that opened the midfield up through pinpoint accuracy by foot, with five score involvements from the No. 35 alone.
Similar to Crouch, the 27-year-old is in strong form so far this season, averaging 528 metres gained (up from his career average of 273), 27 disposals (up from a career average of 19) and 18 kicks per game, all ranked as elite by the AFL.