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Powell-Pepper's star continues to rise

Football

Port Adelaide midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper is the season’s first AFL Rising Star nominee after producing one of the individual highlights in the opening round.

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Powell-Pepper was outstanding in their upset win over Sydney with 19 possessions, seven clearances and two goals.

He was Port’s second selection at No.18 in the national draft last year and the WA recruit already is justifying their faith that he can have an immediate impact.

The Power recruited Powell-Pepper from East Perth and he also played for WA in last year’s under-18 championships.

He was the only player to have a perfect score in the goalkicking test at last year’s national draft combine.

Two players face suspension after the opening round with Collingwood’s Travis Varcoe facing a one-match ban for an off-the-ball hit on Luke Dahlhaus unless he can successfully fight the charge.

Melbourne backman, and one-time Crows best-and-fairest, Bernie Vince can also accept a one-game suspension after he was charged with striking St Kilda forward Nathan Wright during Saturday’s win at Etihad Stadium.

But Port onballer Hamish Hartlett has been offered a $1500 fine for striking Sydney youngster Jordan Foote.

Meanwhile, Adelaide premiership hero Erin Phillips could win her third individual AFL women’s award in four days.

After winning the AFL Players Association most valuable player award, the Crows co-captain is the favourite for the league’s best and fairest honour – the women’s equivalent of the Brownlow.

The AFL awards for the inaugural women’s season will be announced tonight at a black tie function in Melbourne.

Phillips also was named best afield after Saturday’s grand final win over Brisbane.

The Olympic basketballer convincingly won that award and the players association MVP.

She polled 204 votes for the MVP, with Melbourne onballer Karen Paxman next on 149 and Carlton forward Darcy Vescio third with 132.

“To be recognised by your peers is something all athletes hold in high esteem and this is something I will hold very close to my heart for a long time,” Phillips said.

“I’m so proud of what we, as AFLW players, have been able to achieve over the past eight weeks and look forward to what the future holds for all of us as players and aspiring female footballers right across Australia.”

The women’s rising star award will also be announced tonight, as will the final All-Australian team.

Phillips, who won a silver medal with the Opals at the Beijing Olympics, will soon return to basketball with WNBA club the Dallas Wings.

-AAP

 

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