The Roar
The Roar

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AFL Power Rankings: Round 8

Have the Magpies turned a corner? (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)
Expert
15th May, 2016
47
2060 Reads

The swagger levels around the streets and suburbs of Melbourne will be elevated this morning. Collingwood and Richmond are back on the winners list.

Will it take the pressure off their coaches? In the short term, absolutely.

The Pies were expected to face a tough challenge at the Gabba, but they put the Brisbane Lions away by quarter time. Nathan Buckley can breathe a little easier.

As always, drama wasn’t far away from the Tigers at the MCG against the Sydney Swans.

Sam Lloyd’s after the siren bomb has doubled the win tally and given Damien Hardwick some space, too.

Throw in Carlton’s four game win streak and you’ll find there’s a noticeable buzz in the Victorian capital.

It didn’t start out as a year with too much to brag about for Melbourne’s traditional power clubs.

Their legions of supporters will no doubt take the opportunity this week.


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1.Geelong

No change // Ladder: 2nd (7W, 1L)

The Cats haven’t settled on a back six yet, but the resting strategy seems to be working. They allowed the Crows and their impressive collection of forward targets just eight marks inside 50 on Friday. A good interstate win that could have been more comprehensive (see the 5.13 to 5.1 half time score line).

2.GWS Giants

No change // Ladder: 3rd (6W, 2L)

Bring. On. The. Next. Month. We’re about to find out just how serious the Giants are this season. Western Bulldogs (home), Adelaide (away), Geelong (away) and Sydney (home) await. Good timing for Jeremy Cameron (seven goals against Gold Coast) to start hitting form.

3.Western Bulldogs

+2 // Ladder: 5th (6W, 2L)

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Tom Liberatore equalled the tackle record with his 19 against Melbourne. Not too bad for someone who also had 25 disposals and seven clearances. Big game coming up this week against GWS.

4.North Melbourne

No change // Ladder: 1st (8W, 0L)

The Roos led 8.6 to 0.4 at half time against Essendon. After that, foot and pedal became well and truly separated. Brad Scott described it as a win that felt like a loss, but you have to ask the question — do North even remember what a loss feels like?

5.Sydney Swans

-2 // Ladder: 4th (6W, 2L)

That’s the second below-par game against below-par opposition in three weeks. Luke Parker has had his quietest two games of the season in the last fortnight after his hot start to the year. Buddy Franklin keeps on keeping on, though.

6.Hawthorn

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No change // Ladder: 6th (6W, 2L)

Last week we highlighted Liam Shiels laying 16 tackles and how it was rare for someone to have as many tackles as disposals in a game. Well, against Fremantle, he was at it again — 15 and 15 — and complimented it with a record-equalling 10 tackles in the third quarter.

7.West Coast

+2 // Ladder: 7th (5W, 3L)

Nothing like a 103-point victory to restore spirits. West Coast made a statement in the first quarter against St Kilda, kicking nine of the game’s 23 goals. Josh Kennedy led the way with five.

8.Adelaide

-1 // Ladder: 8th (4W, 4L)

The Crows were in the contest late against the Cats, perhaps helped on by the Cats’ inaccuracy in the first half. But across the four quarters, the Crows had 56 fewer disposals, a lower disposal efficiency, 17 fewer inside 50s, two fewer clearances and 18 fewer intercept possessions. Oh, and 12 more free kicks. Are we still keeping count of those?

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9.Port Adelaide

-1 // Ladder: 10th (4W, 4L)

The Power haven’t been at their best, but could they be letting a golden opportunity slip? They are a third of the way through a nine game stretch that features only two opponents from the current top eight. You can build a season off such runs — if you take care of the sides like Carlton, the ones you’re expected to beat. (And it’s particularly the case when sides like Carlton are battling in-game injuries.)

10.Melbourne

+1 // Ladder: 9th (4W, 4L)

Were outplayed by a better team against the Western Bulldogs. A positive was youngster Christian Petracca, who had 20 disposals, seven inside 50s and a goal.

11.Carlton

+2 // Ladder: 11th (4W, 4L)

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Four wins in a row and suddenly we’re tempted to ask, is this really a side at the beginning of a rebuild? The Blues may have only won by two but they went at 76 disposal efficiency compared to Port Adelaide’s 68 per cent. And they had 79 (yes, 79!) more disposals in the first place. They won almost any stat you care to mention, actually.

12.Collingwood

+5 // Ladder: 12th (3W, 5L)

As good a performance as you can ask after a week in the spotlight. Comprehensively destroyed the Lions and even showed a few answers to the questions that had been asked of them. The Pies had 19 marks inside 50, only the second time this season they had more than 10 in a game.

13.St Kilda

-3 // Ladder: 14th (2W, 6L)

There have been weeks where St Kilda have looked like their three-figure defeats were behind them. But inconsistency remains.

14.Richmond

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+1 // Ladder: 15th (2W, 6L)

To see every Tiger player sprinting from all directions to get around Sam Lloyd, their second victory in two months secured, was a great footy moment. Big tick for Ben Griffiths, who had a career-high night for disposals (20) and goals (five).

15.Fremantle

-1 // Ladder: 18th (0W, 8L)

The winless Dockers had the reigning premiers on the back foot in Launceston. The Hawks, as expected, found a way. Perhaps hosting Richmond at Domain Stadium is an opportunity to get on the board.

16.Gold Coast

No change // Ladder: 13th (3W, 5L)

The monster losses continue. This time it was the competition’s other expansion club — the one starting 12 months behind the Suns — handing out a 91-point hiding. Ouch.

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17.Brisbane Lions

-5 // Ladder: 16th (1W, 7L)

A car wreck of a performance. Collingwood had 21 scoring shots before the Lions finally got on the board half-way through the second quarter. In that time the Pies had seven players with double-digit possessions to Brisbane’s one. Contested possessions were -23. Inside 50s were -29. They simply hadn’t come to play. For a side with every right to feel within reaching distance of their second win, that’s unacceptable.

18.Essendon

No change // Ladder: 17th (1W, 7L)

If you’re in Essendon’s position, you look for positives. They were there in the second half against North Melbourne. Never mind the club’s lowest first half score in 101 years.