It was a wet weekend of football, as more than 250mm of rain hit the Gold Coast in the 24 hours leading up to the Suns’ clash with Sydney. But can we also invent a measurement for how much cold water was poured on team’s hopes this weekend?
Richmond, pumped by 70 points against North Melbourne on a chilly Hobart evening, clearly had a weekend to forget. Dreams of another fairytale turnaround in the second half of the season are now just that.
Collingwood had the chance to put forward their finals intent when Port Adelaide came to the MCG. One club left the field having done so, and it wasn’t the home team.
St Kilda, the side wedged between the Tigers and Pies on the ladder, aren’t in possession of a hype machine even half the size of either of those clubs. But any hope of reversing their interstate fortunes, and maybe launching a run at the eight, was dented once again during their trip to Adelaide.
The consequence of these results is that we can probably declare all teams 12th and below are now out of the finals race. It would take a mammoth effort from here, particularly as the top eight appear locked in.
Port Adelaide, Carlton and Melbourne are between the two packs. If there’s a Steven Bradbury candidate to glide into the eight, it will be from this group – and the Power look the most likely.
But beyond that, the hype machines can surely be turned off for another year.
+1 // Ladder: eighth (7W, 4L)
Before Crows fans get too excited, the team at the top of these rankings has lost their next game the last three weeks. That said, Adelaide look alright at the moment.
Put it away early against St Kilda with a six-goals-to-one first term, backing up the win over Greater Western Sydney the week before. Josh Jenkins was the star with seven goals.
Trip this week to face West Coast, a side that performs much better at home, will be very interesting indeed.
-1 // Ladder: sixth (7W, 4L)
Kept it close but Geelong were the better side. Scoring shots were 28 to 18, inside 50s were 76 to 48. After the last fortnight, questions about travel can be reinserted into the GWS narrative. Another very interesting match-up this week: GWS versus the Swans at Spotless Stadium.
+2 // Ladder: fourth (8W, 3L)
Any side that can keep Nic Naitanui and Josh Kennedy as quiet as they were yesterday is a high chance of getting the win. Throw in 30-plus touches from four players (Lachie Hunter, Matthew Boyd, Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli) and there were plenty of good signs for the Dogs against the Eagles.
-2 // Ladder: second (9W, 2L)
In the conditions, beating Gold Coast by 38 may have been the equivalent of a 90-point win on dry land, so the -2 here can be interpreted as harsh. A trip to face GWS this week is a chance to regain those spots though.
+2 // Ladder: third (8W, 3L)
Credit to Zac Smith for almost drawing equal with Shane Mumford in the ruck (31 hitouts to 34, six hitouts to advantage to eight) but also managing 19 touches around the ground and a goal. A needed win against the Giants after a down couple of weeks.
-3 // Ladder: seventh (7W, 4L)
Another loss on the road. The usual suspects were quiet against the Dogs and while they were in with a sniff late, it’s hard to get too carried away about the Eagles right now, at least after they jump on a plane.
-1 // Ladder: first (10W, 1L)
Braved the chill and registered a convincing win over Richmond in Hobart. Rest assured, the -1 doesn’t mean they went backwards. Geelong skipped ahead by beating the top-ranked team. What a perfect time for the two to go head-to-head at Etihad Stadium.
No change // Ladder: fifth (8W, 3L)
Scores were tied at three-quarter time against Melbourne, but the reigning premiers didn’t let their opponents add another goal from that point. The Hawks have shown themselves capable of surviving a scare this season.
No change // Ladder: ninth (6W, 5L)
You can possibly even make the argument the top nine is locked in, too. After Port saw off challengers Melbourne and Collingwood in consecutive weeks, it’s possible.
Pretty bleak that the Power (ranked 18th for hitouts) were smashed 39-11 in the stat by Collingwood (ranked 17th for hitouts). That shows you what they’re dealing with in the absence of Paddy Ryder and Matthew Lobbe.
+3 // Ladder: tenth (6W, 5L)
Like last week, I’d like to once again ask for even a glance at the Blues’ post-bye draw before pumping up the idea of finals too much. Still, a lot to like from the win over Brisbane. When Bryce Gibbs had a quiet afternoon, youngsters like Jacob Weitering stepped forward.
+3 // Ladder: 11th (5W, 6L)
Made the clash with Hawthorn a contest, which was a positive. Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince both had 30-plus touches and it was great to see Jack Trengove playing again. As for the +3 after a loss? You can credit that to massive losses to teams previously above them.
-1 // Ladder: 13th (4W, 7L)
Lucky to only be -1. Another belting on the road, this time to Adelaide. Injuries were a factor this time around, but recent history speaks for itself. Sad news for youngster Hugh Goddard, with his season over due to an achilles injury.
-3 // Ladder: 12th (4W, 7L)
If the Pies were going to show they were serious about finals, a home game against fellow mid-tablers Port Adelaide was a must-win. Instead, as Nathan Buckley put it: “We had three blokes at the contest and Port Adelaide had five, then 50m away four or five seconds later, where you think our extras should be, it was three versus five or six Port Adelaide players.”
+1 // Ladder: 16th (1W, 10L)
Most weeks I’m inevitably asked why Fremantle aren’t last. Well, for this week at least, there’s a 79-point gap between the Dockers and the last-ranked side. If you look beyond wins and losses, they’re better than a couple of teams.
Big props to Lachie Neale, the AFL disposals leader (yes, I had to fact check that too), who finished with 42 touches at 90 per cent efficiency.
-3 // Ladder: 14th (4W, 7L)
After three wins in a row, the crash back down to Earth. Which makes it a good time to run into Gold Coast, enjoy a week off and then play Brisbane. Or is it? Losing either of those games – both at the MCG – would dial the pressure up.
+2 // Ladder: 15th (3W, 8L)
Tough to gauge too much given the conditions against the Sydney Swans, but with the Lions and Bombers losing to lesser quality opposition and the Suns being somewhat competitive, they rise this week.
-1 // Ladder: 17th (1W, 10L)
The Lions have the lowest disposal efficiency in the comp at 70.6 per cent. Carlton, the side that beat them this week, rank third at 75.1 per cent. It’s a tough gap to bridge.
-1 // Ladder: 18th (1W, 10L)
Losing to Fremantle was to be expected. It was always going to be a struggle for the Bombers to stay away from 18th spot. Zach Merrett had 37 disposals against the Dockers, albeit at 65 per cent.