Star Blue claims Brownlow

Lui Zacher
September 18, 2022 / 10:15 pm

CARLTON captain Patrick Cripps has won his first Brownlow Medal in the wake of the AFL tribunal’s dramatic overturning of a suspension that would have ruled him ineligible.

Cripps claimed the AFL’s highest honour for the first time with three votes in Carlton’s heartbreaking round 23 loss to Collingwood to sneak home on 29 votes ahead of Brisbane gun Neale (28 votes) and Gold Coast’s Touk Miller (27).

But the 27-year-old had a stroke of luck at the tribunal to thank.

Cripps received a two-match ban after Round 21 for a bump that concussed Brisbane’s Callum Ah Chee – which would have ruled him ineligible for the Brownlow – but had it surprisingly overturned in a marathon tribunal hearing on August 11.

It allowed him to play in Round 22, where he didn’t poll, and Round 23, where Cripps sealed victory.

Cripps, in the final announcement of the count, drew the maximum votes for 35 disposals and 12 clearances in the one-point loss to Collingwood that ultimately cost the Blues a finals berth.

“To be honest, by the end of the game I was that numb,” he said.

“I’d rather get zero touches and win than play the way I did.

“I’d love to be sober this time next year. That’s my goal.”

Miller and Neale entered Round 23 on 27 apiece but Miller failed to poll and Neale earned just one vote.

Cripps is the first Blue to win the Brownlow since former skipper Chris Judd in 2010.

“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Cripps said as he accepted the prestigious medal.

Overall, Cripps polled in 13 games and earned the maximum three votes seven times.

He arguably could have added a couple more votes to his tally but received just one for his three-goal, 30-disposal effort against Richmond in Round 1.

Cripps, 27, first took the lead in Round 7 but was pegged back by Neale, who led for much of the count from round eight.

Fremantle star Andrew Brayshaw finished fourth with Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver on 25 votes but failed to poll in the final three rounds.

Essendon ruckman Sam Draper won goal of the year while Port Adelaide forward Mitch Georgiades claimed mark of the year.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood was awarded the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.

Sunday night’s count was moved from the traditional Monday night timeslot due to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

(C) AAP 2022


1. Patrick Cripps (Carlton) – 29

2. Lachie Neale (Brisbane) – 28

3. Touk Miller (Gold Coast) – 27

Eq.4. Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle) & Clayton Oliver (Melbourne) – 25

6. Christian Petracca (Melbourne) – 24

7. Callum Mills (Sydney) – 21

8. Dion Prestia (Richmond) – 19


Image: Carlton captain Patrick Cripps (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)