Off the back of Robbie Tarrant’s excellent performance against Lance Franklin, Garry Lyon has placed the Kangaroo as ‘a left-field nomination for the best player in the competition.’
On Thursday’s Garry, Tim and Hamish on SEN 1116, Lyon stated the case for Tarrant to be in the conversation along the likes of Nat Fyfe, Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Pendlebury and co.
“Robbie Tarrant is a mighty player,” Lyon said.
“Every week he takes responsibility for the opposition’s most brilliant and destructive forward and almost without fail he prevails.
“He won’t be in many discussions and it probably won’t be a popular nomination, but then again, defenders in our game rarely are.”
Tarrant has only conceded seven goals to his direct matchup in the last six rounds, capped off by Franklin only kicking one in Sunday’s clash at Etihad Stadium.
“On Sunday, while all around him in blue and white jumpers were struggling to withstand the Sydney onslaught he stood toe to toe with the best athlete to have played the game and walked away with his scalp and his reputation enhanced,” Lyon said.
“Buddy was coming off an eight goal destruction of the Brisbane Lions, yet despite a 42-point drubbing handed out by the Swans, Tarrant managed to keep him to a single major.
“He matched him for strength, he matched him for pace and endurance and he willingly engaged in the physical nature of the game from start to finish.”
The difference in roles between a key-position defender and a running player was also a key part of Lyon’s argument.
“This is the important part here – (Tarrant) enjoys no freedom afforded the modern-day midfielder or half-back flanker,” he said.
“Not for him, the luxury of strolling around an AFL field without an opponent to worry about for long periods of the game.
“He is accountable and measured against the best of the best every single week and overwhelmingly he emerges victorious.
“I give you, my nomination for left-field, best player in the competition, Robbie Tarrant.”