Brownlow medallist Neale surprised by voting quirks

Anna Harrington and Murray Wenzel |

Even Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale was surprised by some of the votes that swung his way.

On Monday night, Neale polled 31 votes to win his second Brownlow Medal, ahead of Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli (29) and Collingwood’s Nick Daicos (28).

However, the Lion’s victory didn’t come without controversy.

Neale admitted he was “surprised” when he claimed three votes against GWS in round six for 20 disposals and six clearances.

Teammate Charlie Cameron kicked seven goals, while Giants Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio had 41 and 38 disposals respectively.

“There were probably games I thought I would poll a bit later through the middle part of the season where I didn’t pick up votes, or polled one where I thought I might get two or three that game,” Neale said on Tuesday.

“So I think it comes around, swings and roundabouts.

“And yeah, I was lucky that game to poll, but maybe unlucky in some others, so I don’t really know. That’s the beauty of the Brownlow, isn’t it? 

“You never know how the umpires are going to vote and, yeah, fortunate that it fell my way in the end.”

It was one of seven three-vote games that helped the Lion to victory in what he described as a “wild” and “crazy” count.

And it was one of several curious voting quirks.

In round two against Carlton, Geelong’s Jeremy Cameron booted six goals, took eight marks and racked up 25 disposals, but only earned one vote.

Melbourne key forward Jacob van Rooyen earned two votes against Richmond in round six after kicking three goals from eight disposals.

All his goals and half his touches came after three-quarter time, with coach Simon Goodwin admitting he had been thinking about substituting him.

Port Adelaide young gun Jason Horne-Francis bizarrely took home all three votes for a 14-disposal performance against Geelong in round 14.

Daicos was arguably unlucky not to poll for 41 touches against GWS in round nine, or 38 and two goals against Brisbane in round four, while his 30 touches and three goals against West Coast only netted him two votes behind Dom Sheed.

He didn’t poll at all between rounds 19 and 21, and missed the final three rounds through injury.

“I want to give a shout-out to Nick Daicos,” Neale said. 

“He’s had such an amazing season so far and it hasn’t finished for him yet either, but if it wasn’t for his injury I think the medal would have been his and he would have been a thoroughly deserving winner.

“His injury probably cost him a Brownlow Medal, but I’m sure he will be in amongst it for the next 15 years.”