He often flies under the radar externally but nobody works harder and Cripps was productive again in 2021 as one of only five Eagles who played every game.
The speedy 29-year-old once again ranked among the AFL’s best tacklers inside 50, but he also got his lick of the icecream in front of goals – most notably in a brilliant round 18 effort against the Crows when he snared five majors.
His 26.26 return wasn’t as accurate as some of his previous seasons, although it was his seventh campaign in eight years where Cripps has kicked at least 26 goals.
The 199-gamer (183 at West Coast) continues to be a crucial part of the forward line, and his seventh placing in the club champion award was the fifth time in the past eight seasons he has featured inside the top 10.
Standout performance: Igniting the charge
Going into the round 18 clash with the Crows at Adelaide Oval the Eagles were coming off three consecutive losses and desperately needed a spark to keep their season alive.
Following a goalless opening term, the energetic small forward burst into life, snagging back-to-back majors early in the second quarter and inspiring West Coast after a flat start.
He added two more in the third stanza, but it was his fifth – a superb finish under poressure from the pocket in the last term – that put the icing on an equal career-best bag in a 42-point win at the Eagles’ home away from home.
Disposals – 14.3
Metres Gained – 274.4
Score Involvements – 6.1
Tackles – 3.9
Inside 50s – 3.2
2021 AFL statistical rankings:
6th: Tackles Inside 50 (1.7)