Unexpected Votes in the 2021 Brownlow Medal Count

Unexpected Votes in the 2021 Brownlow Medal Count

The Brownlow Medal Count always generates a lot of interest towards the back end of the AFL Season and is an enjoyable night for football purists.

The 2021 Brownlow Medal was won by a deserving winner in Port Adelaide’s Ollie Wines, and he always had the potential to blow the field away with up to twenty chances to poll throughout the count.

Wines polled a total of 36 votes in the 2021 Brownlow Medal Count and had a fantastic season.

The Umpires give the votes to the players they think were the best players on the ground and have the best seat in the house.

They had a pretty good night with a lot of the more favoured players racking up the maximum votes throughout the count on a consistent basis.

It would be hard to both concentrate on officiating the game, and figuring out who were the better players on the field, but occasionally some unexpected votes do creep in.

There were not too many of them, but here are Five of the Unexpected 3 Votes Games throughout the 2021 Brownlow Medal Count.


Round 1 – Essendon vs Hawthorn

Essendon 13.13 91 – Hawthorn 14.8 92

Sam Draper 3 Votes

Original Projected Votes

1 Vote – Jaeger O’Meara – 30 Disposals (13 Contested) 9 Clearances, 5 Inside 50s and 4 Tackles

2 Votes – Andrew McGrath – 33 Disposals (13 Contested), 7 Intercept Possessions, 5 Clearances, 7 Inside 50s, 10 Ground Ball Gets, 11 Tackles, 25 Pressure Acts and 1 Goal

3 Votes – Tom Mitchell – 39 Disposals (30 Effective and 14 Contested) 9 Score Involvements, 11 Ground Ball Gets and 5 Tackles

Actual Votes

1 Vote – Zac Merrett – 31 Disposals (10 Contested), 8 Inside 50s and 1 Goal

2 Votes – Jaeger O’Meara – 30 Disposals (13 Contested) 9 Clearances, 5 Inside 50s and 4 Tackles

3 Votes – Sam Draper – 10 Disposals, 2 Marks (2 Contested), 4 Clearances, 5 Score Involvements, 7 Hit-outs to advantage and 1 Goal

The Bombers and the Hawks went at it in Round 1 and the Bombers looked the goods in the first half and had a sizeable 39-point lead.

The Hawks staged a massive comeback in the second half and Tom Mitchell really lifted with 26 disposals to help the Hawks pinch the win. Mitchell was massive in the match and was well supported by Jaeger O’Meara.

For the Bombers, Andrew McGrath and Zach Merrett were influential and racked up plenty of the football.

The three votes in this match went to Bomber’s ruckman Sam Draper, and the two better players on the ground were Tom Mitchell and Andrew McGrath, who did not receive any votes.

For the football purists out there, a start like this to the count may have been a sign of what is to come, but there were not many more wild votes like this one for the remainder of the count.

The umps may have had an idea at the half of who might be getting the votes, and were trying their best to officiate a close contest rather than worry about who were the better players.

We can only guess that Drapers 7 Hit-outs to advantage had a significant impact on the match.


Round 6 – Geelong vs West Coast

Geelong 21.10 136 – West Coast 5.9 39

Lachie Henderson 3 Votes

Original Projected Votes

1 Vote – Joel Selwood – 29 Disposals (23 Effective and 13 Contested), 6 Clearances, 8 Score Involvements and 6 Ground Ball Gets

2 Votes – Cam Guthrie – 35 Disposals (30 Effective and 16 Contested), 5 Marks, 10 Clearances and 14 Ground Ball Gets

3 Votes – Mitch Duncan – 26 Disposals (21 Effective), 13 Marks (3 Marks Inside 50), 4 Clearances, 12 Score Involvements, 6 Ground Ball Gets, 516 Metres Gained and 4 Goals

Actual Votes

1 Vote – Jack Henry – 19 Disposals (18 Effective), 8 Intercept Possessions, 10 Marks (6 Intercept Marks), 7 Score Involvements and 1 Goal

2 Votes – Mitch Duncan – 26 Disposals (21 Effective), 13 Marks (3 Marks Inside 50), 4 Clearances, 12 Score Involvements, 6 Ground Ball Gets, 516 Metres Gained and 4 Goals

3 Votes – Lachie Henderson – 19 Disposals (18 Effective), 6 Intercept Possessions, 11 Marks (2 Intercept Marks), 5 Score Involvements, 5 One Percenters and 2 Goals

The Cats made easy work of the Eagles in Round 6 and Mitch Duncan had a day out and booted 4 goals. He seemed everywhere at times and was a clear best on ground but did not get the maximum votes.

The maximum votes went to Lachie Henderson, who was solid on the defensive half, and his defensive teammate, Jack Henry managed to snag a vote.

Henderson receiving a vote would not have been questionable, but Duncan had the biggest impact in this match. He did still get the 2 votes, so not a complete disaster, but Henderson was an unexpected player to get the three.

Henderson did manage to boot a couple of goals and the umps may have given preference to a solid defensive effort from the Cats in a one-sided match.


Round 9 -Hawthorn vs North Melbourne

Hawthorn 12.8 80 – North Melbourne 13.9 87

Tarryn Thomas 3 Votes

Original Projected Votes

1 Vote – Luke Davies-Uniacke – 24 Disposals (20 Effective and 14 Contested), 11 Clearances, 9 Ground Ball Gets and 1 Goal

2 Votes – Ben Cunnington – 37 Disposals (29 Effective and 27 Contested), 9 Intercept Possessions, 13 Clearances, 5 Inside 50s and 17 Ground Ball Gets

3 Votes – Jy Simpkin – 38 Disposals (26 Effective and 23 Contested), 14 Clearances, 5 Inside 50s, 4 Rebound 50s, 12 Ground Ball Gets, 9 Tackles and 550 Metres Gained

Actual Votes

1 Vote – Cam Zurhaar – 9 Disposals, 7 Score Involvements and 4 Goals

2 Votes – Ben Cunnington – 37 Disposals (29 Effective and 27 Contested), 9 Intercept Possessions, 13 Clearances, 5 Inside 50s and 17 Ground Ball Gets

3 Votes – Taryn Thomas – 18 Disposals, 8 Score Involvements, 6 Inside 50s, 5 Ground Ball Gets, 18 Pressure Acts, 2 Goal Assists and 1 Goal

This one was up there with the Sam Draper game in terms of how unexpected it was as Thomas played ok, but probably was not a contender for the maximum votes, if any.

One thing that can be considered is that the match was not overly high scoring and both Thomas and Zurhaar were lively up forward throughout the Kangaroos comeback win.

The votes in this match do stand out however, because Jy Simpkin had a brilliant match and failed to receive a vote.


West Coast vs Richmond

West Coast 13.7 85 – Richmond 12.9 81

Kane Lambert – 3 Votes

Original Projected Votes

1 Vote – Shannon Hurn – 25 Disposals (22 Effective), 10 Marks (5 Intercept Marks), 5 Score Involvements, 4 One Percenters, 578 Metres Gained and 1 Goal Assist

2 Votes – Dustin Martin – 23 Disposals (12 Contested), 6 Clearances, 7 Inside 50s, 6 Score Involvements, 10 Ground Ball Gets, 571 Metres Gained and 2 Goals

3 Votes – Josh Kennedy – 15 Disposals (11 Effective), 7 Marks (5 Marks Inside 50), 6 Inside 50S, 8 Score Involvements, 448 Metres Gained, 3 Goal Assists and 4 Goals

Actual Votes

1 Vote – Nic Naitanui – 20 Disposals (15 Contested), 5 Clearances, 7 Score Involvements, 8 Ground Ball Gets, 12 Hit-outs to advantage and 1 Goal

2 Votes – Josh Kennedy – 15 Disposals (11 Effective), 7 Marks (5 Marks Inside 50), 6 Inside 50S, 8 Score Involvements, 448 Metres Gained, 3 Goal Assists and 4 Goals

3 Votes – Kane Lambert – 27 Disposals (11 Contested), 6 Score Involvements, 11 Ground Ball Gets and 2 Goals

The Eagles got the narrow win at home and their full forward Josh Kennedy was a real X-Factor with two big goals in the final term and a total of four for the match.

Kane Lambert did have an impact in the match and was an outside vote contender, but the maximum votes was a bit of a surprise in a close loss.


West Coast vs Melbourne

West Coast 9.9 63 – Melbourne 10.12 72

Luke Jackson – 3 Votes

Original Projected Votes

1 Vote – Alex Neal Bullen – 19 Disposals (13 Effective), 7 Inside 50s, 8 Score Involvements, 6 Ground Ball Gets, 8 Tackles (5 Tackles Inside 50), 21 Pressure Acts, 407 Metres Gained, 1 Goal Assist and 2 Goals

2 Votes – Christian Petracca – 28 Disposals (17 Effective and 10 Contested), 7 Clearances, 4 Inside 50s, 9 Score Involvements, 7 Ground Ball Gets, 6 Tackles, 20 Pressure Acts, 449 Metres Gained and 1 Goal

3 Votes – Elliot Yeo – 31 Disposals (20 Contested and 19 Effective), 14 Clearances, 8 Inside 50s, 5 Score Involvements, 10 Ground Ball Gets, 7 Tackles (2 Tackles Inside 50), 24 Pressure Acts and 725 Metres Gained

Actual Votes

1 Vote – Christian Petracca – 28 Disposals (17 Effective and 10 Contested), 7 Clearances, 4 Inside 50s, 9 Score Involvements, 7 Ground Ball Gets, 6 Tackles, 20 Pressure Acts, 449 Metres Gained and 1 Goal

2 Votes – Elliot Yeo – 31 Disposals (20 Contested and 19 Effective), 14 Clearances, 8 Inside 50s, 5 Score Involvements, 10 Ground Ball Gets, 7 Tackles (2 Tackles Inside 50), 24 Pressure Acts and 725 Metres Gained

3 Votes – Luke Jackson – 21 Disposals (15 Effective and 11 Contested), 6 Marks (3 Contested and 2 Marks Inside 50) 5 Score Involvements and 4 Ground Ball Gets

It was a wet night out West and watching this match, West Coast midfielder Elliot Yeo was the best player on the ground.

Luke Jackson did have an impact at times and took a few contested marks in the wet conditions, but even the Demons players were surprised he got the three on the night of the count.

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