Forget the rising part – Patrick Cripps and Jesse Hogan are AFL stars. Full stop.
They lit up the MCG this weekend with performances that continue their strong seasons.
The pair surely are the futures of their teams for the next decade.
The day after Carlton coach John Barker backed Cripps to win the Rising Star, Melbourne counterpart Paul Roos had the same feelings about Hogan.
Cripps put on a midfield clinic in Saturday’s loss to Collingwood, racking up 35 disposals and 11 clearances – six in the last quarter alone.
The following day, Hogan roamed his team’s forward line like Wayne Carey used to in his North Melbourne heyday.
Hogan took nine marks and kicked four goals in the 35-point loss.
He and teammate Chris Dawes, who kicked three, were key reasons why the Demons gave the Kangaroos a major fright through the middle of the game.
“You got another glimpse,” said North coach Brad Scott.
“We have to stop saying Jesse Hogan is going to be a really good player.
“He’s already a really good player … he was outstanding and Dawes wasn’t far behind.”
Roos, like Barker, said he could only comment on his own player in regards to the Rising Star award.
“He would be stiff to get pipped,” Roos added.
“I don’t want to dismiss Patrick’s effort and some of the other boys.
“We all acknowledge it’s harder to do (play centre half-forward).”
The scariest part about Hogan, who missed all year with a back injury, is there is plenty of room for improvement.
“The danger with all young players is their second year – we saw it with Lewy Taylor earlier in the year and probably with (Marcus) Bontempelli a bit,” Roos said.
“We know Hoges is going to keep improving, there’s no doubt.
“But you always have to be aware of expectation – it’s really his first season.”