O’Driscoll & Mead hold spots, Voss cautious on quick Cripps return, Hayes to debut, Whitfield boost

Carlton provided an update on Patrick Cripps playing in Round 6 which will have coaches holding him concerned, while Nathan O’Driscoll is closer to a game and Sam Hayes was named to debut for Port Adelaide.

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DEBUTANT ALERTS

Essendon have confirmed Ben Hobbs (AF $266k SC $153k MID), who went pick 13 in the 2021 AFL Draft, will debut this round, after averaging 23 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles across the opening two VFL games.

Dons coach Ben Rutten said: “He’s displayed some really strong form in the VFL and has been able to spend a little bit more time forward in training as well, which has helped his chances of playing. We know he’s going to be a good inside ball-winner for the future for us, but he might spend a bit of time as a forward as well.”

Sam Hayes (AF $190k SC $123k RUCK) will make his debut for Port Adelaide after the club confirmed Scott Lycett (AF $660k SC $497k RUCK) will miss three months due to his shoulder injury.

Hayes was Port’s 2021 SANFL B&F. He went pick 47 in the 2017 AFL Draft and is averaging 29 hit-outs & 14 disposals in 2022 SANFL.

TEAM NEWS

Key ins: Durdin, Pittonet, S.Hayes (deb), Hobbs (deb), Serong

Key outs: Boyd, Cripps (inj), McEntee, Lycett (inj), T.Wanganeen, Erasmus

Key holds: Mead, O’Driscoll

Emergencies/Possible subs: McEntee, Skinner, Baldwin, T.Wanganeen, Erasmus

A lot of coaches were riding Nathan O’Driscoll (AF $275k SC $167k D/M) being selected in Fremantle’s final 22 along with Neil Erasmus (AF $333k SC $166k MID) with both named on the extended bench. O’Driscoll has made the final 22 with Erasmus among the emergencies. Erasmus flew east with the squad on Friday, so could be medical sub.

UPDATES

Carlton coach Michael Voss admitted Patrick Cripps (AF $803k SC $525k MID) is no lock to play in Round 6, despite Carlton stating he’s likely to only miss one game, adding complexity to the trade or hold discussion.

Voss said: “The assessment that we’ve had is he should be right to go next week. Certainly no major damage was there. That gives him a chance for next week at least.

“He has to come out and train. He’ll have a steady build-up. He’s already been out here doing some running so his recovery is on track. We didn’t want to push it any quicker than that. I think over the weekend we’ll have a bit more of an idea of where he’s at, when we come in on Monday.”

Mitch Hinge (AF $440k SC $266k DEF) can be used as a loophole after he came out of Adelaide’s 26-man squad on Friday, listed as ‘injured’, having been named among the emergencies on Thursday after being ‘omitted’.

GWS confirmed Isaac Cumming (AF $719k SC $522k DEF) has entered health and safety protocols and will miss their Round 5 game. He’s also in doubt for Round 6 as the Giants play on Friday.

Cumming’s absence may positively impact kick-ins for Lachie Whitfield (AF $744k SC $466k D/M). Cumming has the most for GWS this season with 18, with Whitfield next on 13.

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