Published on September 27, 2017 3:42 pm

Lloyd lights up big stage

Norm Goss Medal winner Sam Lloyd couldn’t have done much more to press his claims for an AFL Grand Final berth in Richmond’s Peter Jackson VFL ‘Love the Game’ Grand Final loss on Sunday.

The 27-year-old’s efforts across the ground almost drove the Tigers to the VFL premiership, with teammate Ben Lennon’s missed post-siren shot for goal to snatch the flag ultimately handing Port Melbourne a four-point victory at Etihad Stadium.

In a match where both teams struggled for long periods to convert their forward forays into scoreboard impact, Lloyd’s clean ball-handling at stoppages and sharp skills to set up teammates in scoring positions stood out.

He recorded game-highs of 35 disposals, 19 contested possessions and 10 clearances as well as seven marks, nine tackles, five inside-50s, five rebound-50s, one goal and three score assists in a close-to-complete performance for a 180cm midfielder/forward.

Lloyd’s work helped Richmond win the battle in the contests, the Tigers recording seven more contested possessions, 17 more clearances and 23 more tackles than the Borough, while it was Port Melbourne’s ability to control the ball and move it more effectively in space that helped it narrowly prevail.

With Richmond boasting talented and pressure-focused small forwards Daniel Rioli, Dan Butler and Jason Castagna at AFL level and exciting AFL-listed goalkickers Shai Bolton and Tyson Stengle spending much of their first years in the system at VFL level, Lloyd has been forced to adapt his game.

After developing his craft in the VFL at Frankston in 2013 and Bendigo in 2012, Lloyd has traditionally been stationed inside 50 since being selected by the Tigers with pick no.66 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft. However, Richmond VFL senior coach Craig McRae has instead played Lloyd further up the ground in 2017 with spectacular results.

The Deniliquin product has averaged 25 disposals, six marks, five tackles and four inside-50s per game while still kicking 28 goals in 12 VFL matches this year. He has also played eight AFL games, the last of which was in Round 16.

While Tigers AFL coach Damien Hardwick will be loath to change a winning line-up for his team’s clash with Adelaide on Saturday, Lloyd’s best-on-ground performance in the VFL decider should at least have him in consideration for one more elite-level berth this season.

 

NORM GOSS MEDAL VOTING:

CHANNEL 7 – Campbell Brown / Nigel Carmody

3 Sam Lloyd (Richmond)

2 Toby Pinwill (Port Melbourne)

1 Shannen Lange (Port Melbourne)

 

ABC RADIO – Josh Fraser / Lindsay Gilbee

3 Mitch Wooffindin (Port Melbourne)

2 Chris Cain (Port Melbourne)

1 Sam Lloyd (Richmond)

 

SEN 1116 / VFL Live – Leigh Brown

3 Sam Lloyd (Richmond

2 Toby Pinwill (Port Melbourne)

1 Damian Mascitti (Port Melbourne)

 

HERALD SUN – Toby Prime

3 Damian Mascitti (Port Melbourne)

2 Toby Pinwill (Port Melbourne)

1 Sam Lloyd (Richmond)

 

TOTAL:

8             Sam Lloyd (Richmond)

6              Toby Pinwill (Port Melbourne)

4              Damian Mascitti (Port Melbourne)

3              Mitch Wooffindin (Port Melbourne)

2              Chris Cain (Port Melbourne)

1              Shannen Lange (Port Melbourne)

 

VFL 2017 Grand Final - Port Melbourne v Richmond

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