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AFL Power Rankings: Round 9

Gary Ablett is a constant injury concern. (AAP Image/Jason O'Brien)
Expert
22nd May, 2016
91
3008 Reads

Taking a trip to the Gold Coast to put your feet up is hardly unusual. That a group of AFL footballers get to do it every fortnight doesn’t say great things about the Suns, though.

The expansion club suffered another huge belting on Saturday — this time it was against Adelaide, but substitute the Crows with any other team north of the bottom four in these rankings and the result is likely similar.

The last month’s losing margins: 120, 73, 91, 75.

The last month’s points against: 168, 160, 149, 149.

Injuries, it must be said, are a big factor impacting the Suns this season. Go to their website. Look at the injury list. The size of it will probably take up the length of your browser and some of the names on it will be quite familiar.

Still, it’s becoming really hard to understand why the club’s chairman is so strongly ruling out change at the top.

With continued heavy losses like we’ve been seeing, surely every possible change is kept on the table.


1.GWS Giants

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+1 // Ladder: 3rd (7W, 2L)

Look who’s on top. Heath Shaw gained the second-most metres ever recorded in a game, a whopping 1094. He also had 38 disposals against the Western Bulldogs – at 97 per cent efficiency. It’s shaping up as a real breakout year for the Giants, who have spent more time in front than any other team.

2.Geelong

-1 // Ladder: 2nd (7W, 2L)

Slow starts and poor kicking for goal have haunted the Cats at times this season. Now both have combined to cost them a game. Geelong have a set shot accuracy of 46 per cent, which is 16th in the comp.

3.North Melbourne

+1 // Ladder: 1st (9W, 0L)

Carlton just didn’t have the tall stocks to combat North’s in-form contingent, especially Todd Goldstein in the ruck. He had 45 hitouts and three goals. The Roos had their biggest winning margin of the season and now look ahead to another Friday night blockbuster. Sydney at the SCG await.

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4.Sydney Swans

+1 // Ladder: 4th (7W, 2L)

How’s the consistency of Dan Hannebery? He hasn’t dropped below 20 disposals this season (or below 28 since round 1) and more often than not finds other ways to hurt teams. Against Hawthorn, he had 11 clearances among his 33 touches.

5.West Coast

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

Port Adelaide threatened to snatch the game with a late rally, but the Eagles finally have an interstate win. Only 308 days after their last one. Josh Kennedy booted seven goals, his third haul of five or more for the season and second in as many weeks.

6.Adelaide

+2 // Ladder: 8th (5W, 4L)

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During a relatively quiet afternoon for Eddie Betts, sixth-gamer Wayne Milera impressed with his three goals against Gold Coast. Don’t overlook Taylor Walker’s five goals either. That could give his confidence a needed boost.

7.Western Bulldogs

-4 // Ladder: 5th (6W, 3L)

This week’s biggest sliders, which is a harsh assessment given they played GWS away but a natural consequence of the closeness between sides at the moment (one loss and you can expect to drop). As for the match itself: With the Dogs having to tap into their depth, beating the in-form side of the competition is going to be a tough ask.

8.Hawthorn

-2 // Ladder: 7th (6W, 3L)

So you’re telling me a side tagged Sam Mitchell, kept him quiet and won the game? Funny that. The Hawks did have 14 more inside 50s than the Swans on Friday night, but contested possessions (-29) and tackles (-26) were heavily in favour of the victors.

9.Melbourne

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+1 // Ladder: 9th (5W, 4L)

Another name to remember: Billy Stretch. Had a career-high 31 disposals in his fourth game of the season and went at 90 per cent efficiency. The young talent is coming through at the Demons. Now Jack Trengove has put his hand up to return to the mix.

10.Collingwood

+2 // Ladder: 11th (4W, 5L)

The Pies have been darting up and down these rankings all season, such has been their inconsistency. Time will tell whether the ‘real Pies’ have showed up the last two weeks, but a win over Geelong is a mighty endorsement given that team’s recent form. Good to see that Mason Cox can take a good mark, and he soaked up the pressure well with his running fourth quarter goal.

11.Port Adelaide

-2 // Ladder: 10th (4W, 5L)

It’s games like Saturday’s, with Nic Naitanui absolutely having his way in the ruck, that the Power really miss Paddy Ryder. Hitouts were 71-15 in favour of the Eagles. Hitouts to advantage were 21-1.

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12.St Kilda

+1 // Ladder: 13th (3W, 6L)

The forward trio of Josh Bruce, Tim Membrey and Paddy McCartin kicked 10 of the Saints’ 16 goals against Essendon. They were also largely responsible for the Saints taking 23 marks inside 50 to their opposition’s 10.

13.Richmond

+1 // Ladder: 14th (3W, 6L)

The Tigers have two in a row after their trip to face Fremantle. The start of another turnaround? Here’s their next five: Essendon, North Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Port Adelaide. Win four of those and suddenly they’re 7-7.

14.Carlton

-3 // Ladder: 12th (4W, 5L)

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Really interesting profile of Brendon Bolton in Saturday’s Herald Sun. There were some very spicy comments from a club insider about the change from Mick Malthouse (who “took the job for the wrong reasons,” according to the source). We were also introduced to a new footy club buzz term: time spent. I’m still figuring out exactly what it means, but apparently it’s up at Carlton this season.

15.Fremantle

No change // Ladder: 18th (0W, 9L)

Really honest interview from Ross Lyon during Seven’s coverage on Saturday. He more or less said that yes, the win-loss record is a factor at the selection table. If they’re 8-0 not 0-8, maybe Michael Barlow plays. Refreshing to hear.

16.Essendon

+2 // Ladder: 17th (1W, 8L)

Did Essendon do anything to deserve this +2? Yes and no. Their comeback effort against North a week back put them in the position to overtake someone. But for the most part, this is a case of the two Queensland clubs racing to the bottom.

17.Brisbane Lions

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No change // Ladder: 16th (1W, 8L)

That’s the third straight loss by more than 10 goals and fifth for the year. The Lions are yet to keep a team below 90 points this season, something Essendon have done four times.

18.Gold Coast

-2 // Ladder: 15th (3W, 6L)

See the intro. Not happy days if you’re a Suns fan.