AS WE reach the halfway point of the season, we take a look at some of Carlton's player performances so far.
Here is how Liam Jones is tracking at the mid-season bye.
KEY AFL STATISTICS (averages in brackets):
Disposals 138: (11.5), Rebound 50s: 36 (3), Contested possessions: 70 (5.8), One percenters: 98 (8.2), Intercept possessions: 103 (8.6), Intercept marks: 54 (4.5).
After analysing the first half of the season of Jacob Weitering, it’s only fitting that Liam Jones is next up from a mid-year review perspective.
Jones ticked off a significant career milestone earlier in the campaign, playing his 150th AFL game back in Round 8 which just so happened to be against his former side, the Western Bulldogs.
After 12 rounds, Jones ranks elite amongst his fellow key defenders in the competitions for intercept marks and intercept possessions, averaging 4.5 and 8.6 per game respectively.
Jones has once again been strong in the contest, losing just eight of his 66 one-on-ones since the season began.
Jones’ most-recent performance was one of his finest, doing everything in his power to keep the Blues in the contest with an accomplished defensive display against West Coast.
However, perhaps unsurprisingly, Jones’ best performances came in the fortnight where the Blues’ defensive system was at its best.
Jones collected 20 disposals and seven intercept marks as well as recording four score launches against Fremantle, receiving eight coaches’ votes to finish just one behind seven-goal hero Harry McKay.
He backed it up the next week against Gold Coast, collecting another 21 disposals, 11 marks and four coaches’ votes as the Blues emerged from Metricon Stadium with the four points.
With Carlton’s defensive transition a focus for the Blues in the second half of the season, they’ll need more of the same from their ever-present defensive duo in Jones and Weitering.
While Jones has put together some strong individual performances, the Blues have some big tests ahead of them where they’ll need the collective to fire.
A personal milestone which Jones would have in his sights is the full 22 home-and-away games in a season: the truncated 2020 campaign was the first where Jones played 100 per cent of matches.
Jones also continues to inch his way closer to 100 Carlton games, now sitting just 12 matches shy of getting his name on the locker.
"It makes me a proud Indigenous man. I’ll have my boots painted up, I’ll have the guernsey on and I’ll play my heart out."— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) June 5, 2021