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Rance reigns

The best of Rance in 2015 Watch highlights from the 2015 Jack Dyer medalist, Alex Rance.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: Alex Rance of the Tigers in action during the 2015 AFL round 15 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on July 10, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Alex Rance has won the 2015 Jack Dyer Medal

Richmond star key defender Alex Rance has won the 2015 Jack Dyer Medal.

Rance took out the Tigers’ Best and Fairest award for the first time, polling 76 votes under the Club’s new voting system, with dynamic midfielder Dustin Martin finishing runner-up on 60 votes, and prime playmaker Brett Deledio third on 54 votes, in tonight’s count held at a packed Crown Palladium.

Tenacious ‘ball-magnet’ Anthony Miles finished in fourth place with 50 votes, while star forward Jack Riewoldt was fifth on 48 votes.

The Jack Dyer Medal triumph was just reward for Rance, who had an outstanding season across Richmond’s backline.

Top work nets Rance the Bourke

He was hailed as the best key defender in the competition due to his elite ability to repeatedly win the ball back for the Tigers and launch counter attacks while, at the same time, still managing to lock down tightly on opponents.

For the second successive year, Rance gained All-Australian selection, named at full-back in the 2015 team.

Rance, who turns 26 this Friday (October 9), played all 23 of Richmond’s games this season, averaging 17.4 disposals, 5.9 marks and 3.0 tackles per match.

He was ranked 11th in the competition for rebound-50s and No. 1 in one-percenters.

Among the playing group at Tigerland, Rance was ranked a clear leader in one-percenters, intercept marks and intercept possessions, second for rebound-50s, second in contested marks and fourth in total marks.

Rance is the first key defender to win the coveted Jack Dyer Medal since Darren Gaspar in 2001.

Martin, runner-up for the second time in the Club’s Best and Fairest (previously in 2013), maintained an impressively high level of consistency throughout the 2015 season.

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He played all 23 games, averaged 26.0 disposals and 4.5 marks per match, and kicked 24 goals.

The 24-year-old was ranked second in the competition for total kicks, seventh in uncontested possessions, ninth in inside-50s and equal 11th in total disposals.

Within the Tigers’ playing group, Martin was ranked first for kicks, first for total disposals, first for inside-50s, second in uncontested possessions, third in contested possessions, third in rebound-50s, third for tackles, equal fourth in centre clearances, fourth in goals, fifth for handballs, fifth in clearances, and fifth in stoppages.

Deledio, who had a rare injury-interrupted start to the year, bounced back in emphatic fashion.

He averaged 21.6 disposals and 5.9 marks per game, and finished third on Richmond’s goalkicking list with 27 goals.

From Round 7, when he made his return from a calf injury that had sidelined him for a total of four games, until the end of the home-and-away rounds, Deledio was ranked No. 2 in the competition for score involvements and No. 4 for average player ranking points.

And, he was one of just 10 players in the competition to average more than 20 disposals and a goal per game.

Fittingly, the All-Australian selectors found room for him on the interchange bench in 2015’s star-studded side.

Miles made further significant in-roads during his second season at Tigerland.

The hard-working, inside midfielder averaged 23.6 disposals and 11.5 contested possessions per game.

He was ranked equal 12th in the competition for clearances and 13th in contested possessions.

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Among his playing peers at Richmond, Miles was ranked No. 1 in handballs, clearances, centre clearances, stoppages, second for contested possessions, inside-50s and tackles, third in total disposals and fifth for kicks.

Riewoldt created Tigerland history in 2015, becoming the first Richmond player to kick 50 goals or more six seasons in-a-row (he finished with 54).

The 26-year-old veteran of 180 league games, averaged 13.0 disposals and 6.3 marks per game for the season.

He was ranked third in the competition for marks inside-50, sixth in contested marks, sixth in goals and eighth in goal assists.

His creative work further up the ground was especially eye-catching this season, and he also was rewarded with All-Australian selection, for the second time in his AFL career (previously in 2010), chosen at centre half-forward.

Under the new Jack Dyer Medal voting system, all of the team’s players on match day receive a rating from 0-5 based on their overall performance.

The match committee assesses each player’s offensive, defensive, and contest impacts on the game.

After those game phases have been analysed, the 0-5 rating is given, as a joint match committee decision.

Votes are not allocated for what the match committee deems as a below-average performance.

2015 Jack Dyer Medal top 20

1st           Alex Rance          76 votes (Jack Dyer Medal winner)
2nd          Dustin Martin    60 (Jack Titus Medal winner)
3rd           Brett Deledio     54 (Maurie Fleming Medal winner)
4th           Anthony Miles   50 (Fred Swift Medal winner)
5th           Jack Riewoldt     48 (Kevin Bartlett Medal winner)
Eq 6th     Trent Cotchin     47
Eq 6th     Nick Vlastuin      47
8th           Bachar Houli       46
Eq 9th     Shaun Grigg        44
Eq 9th     Dylan Grimes     44
11th         Brandon Ellis      43
12th         Jake Batchelor   40
13th         Ivan Maric           39
14th         Taylor Hunt         38
15th         Shane Edwards 37
16th         Troy Chaplin       32
17th         Kam McIntosh   31
18th         Ty Vickery           21
Eq 19th    Kane Lambert    19
Eq 19th   Chris Newman    19