AFL Power Rankings 2017: Round 2

Adrian Polykandrites Columnist

By Adrian Polykandrites, Adrian Polykandrites is a Roar Expert

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    A second week is in the books, but we didn’t learn a great deal in Round 2, as seven teams who won in Round 1 knocked over seven teams who lost in Round 1.

    That’s not to say there was no movement in the power rankings. There are a couple of new teams in the top four and a new name at the bottom of the list.

    1.Adelaide
    Last week: 1
    Ladder: 2

    The Crows got jumped early by a switched-on Hawthorn, but slowly got the game back on their terms and eventually ran out pretty comfortable winners. Regardless of what the Hawks turn out to be this season, beating them at the MCG by better than four goals is solid work.

    After crushing the Giants in Round 1 without Taylor Walker, Adelaide had to do without fellow goalkicking big man Josh Jenkins for most of the day in Round 2 – and still they put up 113 points. The early pacesetter.

    2.Western Bulldogs
    Last week: 2
    Ladder: 8

    It was another less-than-convincing performance from the Dogs, but like a good side, they got the job done, regaining control after a scare in the final term when the Swans grabbed the lead. They overcame a poor start around the footy to get on top around the stoppages after quarter time.

    Dale Morris was sorely missed in defence, but by the end of the night, they were on top in most areas – including the free kick count.

    3.GWS Giants
    Last week: 5
    Ladder: 9

    No surprise to see the Giants bounce back and flex their muscles on their home deck against the woeful Suns. This is a powerful team, but a 102-point win didn’t tell us anything about them that we didn’t know.

    4.Port Adelaide
    Last week: 8
    Ladder: 1

    This week’s biggest movers in the rankings backed up their big win over the Swans with a thumping of the Dockers. It was complete dominance from the opening bounce. Robbie Gray put in one of the great individual performances, becoming just the fifth player since 2000 to have 30 or more disposals and boot six or more goals.

    Saturday night’s Showdown is enough to make a footy fan’s mouth water.

    5.West Coast
    Last week: 3
    Ladder: 5

    It took them most of the night to get their noses in front of the Saints, but eventually the Eagles wore down the visitors thanks in large part to the determination of their gun midfielders – Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey, Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell combined for 36 touches in the final term – and their accuracy. Elliot Yeo played one of those games that makes you wonder why he isn’t a star.

    6.Geelong
    Last week: 4
    Ladder: 7

    The Cats had the lead against North Melbourne for a touch more than two minutes, but it was the right two minutes for them to claim four points in the round’s most entertaining game. Joel Selwood was a colossus in the final term with 11 tough disposals and was bloodied when the final siren sounded. The Harry Taylor forward experiment could well be over.

    7.Melbourne
    Last week: 7
    Ladder: 4

    When Carlton took a narrow lead into the final quarter on Sunday, there were flashbacks to Round 2 last year when the Demons, fresh off a win over the Giants, lost to the Bombers. But in a sign of maturity, Melbourne fought back, outscoring the Blues six goals to two in the last term to run out 22-point winners.

    Teenager Clayton Oliver notched another 34 touches after 36 in Round 1. Their midfield oozes talent.

    8.Sydney Swans
    Last week: 6
    Ladder: 15

    The Swans were undermanned and outclassed on Friday night despite putting up a hell of a fight in the grand final rematch. It’s too early to write them off, but at 0-2, John Longmire’s men have work to do.

    If there was one thing for Sydney to be excited about on Friday night, it was the game of Sam Reid. If they can get it together, he adds a dangerous new dimension to their forward line. A tough three-week stretch awaits.

    9.Essendon
    Last week: 9
    Ladder: 6

    Followed up their nice Round 1 win over the Hawks with an equally important victory over the Lions at the Gabba. It didn’t turn out to be as easy as it looked like it could be at half-time, but road wins are incredibly valuable. Zach Merrett could find the footy in his sleep.

    10.Richmond
    Last week: 10
    Ladder: 3

    It wasn’t pretty against the Pies, but the Tigers got the four points. The additions of Toby Nankervis, Josh Caddy and Dion Prestia have rounded out Richmond’s midfield nicely.

    Trent Cotchin has been unfairly maligned in recent times, but on Friday night he looked much more like the dynamic player he was in 2012 than the grinder he’s become in recent seasons. Will jump in the rankings if they can knock over the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

    11.St Kilda
    Last week: 12
    Ladder: 13

    Some will say the Saints blew it on Saturday night in Perth, but despite their poor conversion, that result represents meaningful progress for a team who were roadkill almost every time they left Victoria in 2016. Not many visiting teams have made the Eagles sweat like that at Subiaco in the past couple of seasons.

    12.North Melbourne
    Last week: 14
    Ladder: 12

    In consecutive weeks North have taken it up to two teams with top-four ambitions. The Roos were terrific against the Cats and will give plenty of good teams headaches if they can replicate that effort. Shaun Higgins showed what a class act he is when his body allows him to be.

    13.Hawthorn
    Last week: 13
    Ladder: 14

    The Hawks were much better in Round 2 than Round 1, but unfortunately for them, so were their opponents.

    14.Collingwood
    Last week: 11
    Ladder: 11

    Another case of close but no cigar for the Pies. In what was a slopfest for most of the night, Scott Pendlebury’s class stood out like a beacon. There are too many holes in this team.

    15.Brisbane Lions
    Last week: 15
    Ladder: 10

    It looked like Leppitsch’s Lions had returned in the second quarter against the Bombers, but in the third term Brisbane showed they have a bit more pluck under Chris Fagan. They might still be a bad side, but they’re improving.

    16.Carlton
    Last week: 18
    Ladder: 16

    Sunday was the kind of performance that will give Carlton supporters plenty of hope. Young defenders Caleb Marchbank and Lachie Plowman once again showed they might just have what takes to hold down the key defensive posts and allow the uber-talented Jacob Weitering to play in the attacking half.

    17.Fremantle
    Last week: 17
    Ladder: 18

    Could easily have them a spot lower after a dismal performance against Port Adelaide. They were never in the contest and provided almost no resistance as the Power steamrolled them. The forward half is a mess and the defence stinks. Ross Lyon has a heap of work to do.

    18.Gold Coast
    Last week: 16
    Ladder: 17

    Pathetic.

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • April 3rd 2017 @ 8:50am
      Birdman said | April 3rd 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      The Dons and Tiges might consider themselves a little underrated sitting below Sydney with 2 more wins than the Swans.

      • April 3rd 2017 @ 9:18am
        Rissole said | April 3rd 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

        I’ve always viewed this as if two teams were to play this week on a neutral ground then the higher ranked team would win. Despite being a one-eyed Bomber’s fan I would expect the Swans to beat Essendon and possibly Richmond.

        • April 3rd 2017 @ 9:33am
          hal said | April 3rd 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

          Richmond have a good record against Sydney. Richmond play Sydney twice this year, and have a big chance of beating them at least once this year. At the moment I would have both the Dons and Richmond above Sydney on the power rankings.

          • April 3rd 2017 @ 12:37pm
            Jim said | April 3rd 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

            These rankings aren’t really a pure ‘head to head’ ranking though – more a reflection of a longer term average of performance.

            I agree with the original point however – the swans have had a sluggish start to the season.

            • April 3rd 2017 @ 5:03pm
              me too said | April 3rd 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

              Always seem to play in a grand final when they start 0-2 however.

    • April 3rd 2017 @ 8:54am
      hal said | April 3rd 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      Keep Taylor in the back line. He has a great defensive mind set, and is able to read the play much better as a defender following his man, than a forward on the lead. He is an all Australian defender. As soon as he was moved back we started to get on top. It was an exciting game but we were lucky. I never bought the concept that North would finish in the bottom four, and yesterday showed that. They have attitude and their young players like Dumont will be good. Hawkins kicked four but didn’t have a great game.

    • April 3rd 2017 @ 9:01am
      Macca said | April 3rd 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

      “Young defenders Caleb Marchbank and Lachie Plowman once again showed they might just have what takes to hold down the key defensive posts ” It was another impressive performance from those two they look more and more like 10 year key defenders with each game – Plowman particularly has taken a big step forward from 2016 getting significantly more of the ball and taking more marks.

      Harrison MacReadie also deserves a mention in this area – he won’t be getting a rising star nomination this week but he took another big step forward and should easily hold his spot for round 3.

    • April 3rd 2017 @ 9:08am
      true blue said | April 3rd 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      For a team that probably won’t win a game this year, Carlton are beginning to get it right. Marchbank and Plowman are solid in defence and Weitering is multi talented. MacCreadie is impressive and SPS is exciting. Silvagni should have a good future. Carlton fans should feel like there are better days ahead, probably not this year though, but we must be patient. MacKay will be knocking on the door of senior selection. I spoke to some fans who want to give Jaksch another go, but I think he has had his chance and he doesn’t make the cut. At least we gave it go on Sunday and that is all we can ask from this year’s wooden spooners.

      • April 3rd 2017 @ 9:53am
        Macca said | April 3rd 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        true blue – “For a team that probably won’t win a game this year, Carlton are beginning to get it right” Further evidence of this is that the blues won 3 of 4 practice matches in the VFL, this show they are improving their depth on previous years which is a very important step.

        On Jaksch – he has been pretty good so far in the VFL and I haven’t put a line through him yet, I would prefer to see McKay get a game in front of him but if Jaksch plays well enough to force his way in good luck to him – he is only 22 which is still young for a key forward.

        ” SPS is exciting” I loved him getting around a few opponents and getting himself inside 50 before missing his shot on goal – I don’t think he believed he could do it at this level to be honest but now he has once we will hopefully see more of it – I firmly believe he will get a rising star nomination before round 11.

        • April 3rd 2017 @ 11:24am
          mattyb said | April 3rd 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

          You blokes still going with this ‘ten year’ born to rule arrogance? The penny might drop one day I suppose. Plowman has been ok but Marchbank might need to still to do a bit of work on both his disposal and decision making.
          This Northern Blues practice game talk. Is this a first hand account of what’s going on or is this commentary just having us read something you guys have read somewhere else?

          • April 3rd 2017 @ 1:19pm
            Macca said | April 3rd 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

            Mattyb – This post isn’t even up to your usual low standards.

            “Marchbank might need to still to do a bit of work on both his disposal and decision making.” What a shock a player with less than 10 games experience might need to work on these things – who remembers the “butcher of bomberland” or the brain fades Alex Rance was famous for early in his career – Marchbank isn’t the finished product but his talent is obvious.

            “Plowman has been ok” He must be an early brownlow favourite for you to concede that much.

            “This Northern Blues practice game talk. Is this a first hand account of what’s going on or is this commentary just having us read something you guys have read somewhere else?” Not sure you need to actually watch the game to recognise that the blues have won 3 from 4 and that is a big improvement for a side that hasn’t played finals.

            “You blokes still going with this ‘ten year’ born to rule arrogance?” How exactly is saying a player “looks like” a 10 year defender “born to rule arrogance”?

            • April 3rd 2017 @ 2:46pm
              mattyb said | April 3rd 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

              Hey bloke,if you want to answer the question do so just give the personal stuff a spell hey! No ones forcing you to reply.
              I do think it’s significant if the commentary is first,second or third hand also,very significant actually. Third hand information especially should be referenced as such.

              • April 3rd 2017 @ 2:54pm
                Macca said | April 3rd 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Personal stuff? Like saying “You blokes still going with this ‘ten year’ born to rule arrogance?” – you know what they say about people in glass houses.

                And how exactly would you react differently to a first hand account saying the blues won 3 of 4 pre-season games or a third hand account saying the blues won 3 of 4 pre-season games? – it is a statement of verifiable fact.

    • April 3rd 2017 @ 9:17am
      Ellen said | April 3rd 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      No reason to use this article to make a snide remark at the Dogs; less than professional. Heard an umpire speak about free kick discrepancies. He said, “it’s usually the team whose players get to the ball first who win the free kicks as our aim is to reward and protect the ball player”. The Dogs win contested possession most weeks.

      • Columnist

        April 3rd 2017 @ 10:12am
        Adrian Polykandrites said | April 3rd 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        • April 4th 2017 @ 11:50am
          Ellen said | April 4th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          A childish response.

          • Columnist

            April 4th 2017 @ 2:14pm
            Adrian Polykandrites said | April 4th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

            Ellen, it wasn’t intended to be. My response to Franko below accidentally posted here. I tried to have it removed but for some reason it’s just left blank. Nothing more to it than that.

      • April 3rd 2017 @ 5:06pm
        me too said | April 3rd 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

        Gee st kilda must be wondering why that didn’t apply to them last week. First to the ball throughout the first half, 2 free kicks reward, both against Mitchell. 13 against?

      • April 6th 2017 @ 1:50pm
        col in paradise said | April 6th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

        How about for holding the ball and incorrect disposal…you may be first to the ball but its how you dispose of it – or are tackled…..the Umps have a man love crush on the Doggies now..used to be Hawks…the Umps are like Bruce McAvaney commentating – have their favourites and man crushes….it used to be the Hawks….

    • April 3rd 2017 @ 9:19am
      Jake said | April 3rd 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      1. Adelaide
      2. Port Adelaide
      3. GWS
      4. West Coast
      5. Essendon
      6. Western Bulldogs
      7. Richmond
      8. Melbourne
      9. Geelong
      10. Sydney
      11. St Kilda
      12. North Melbourne
      13. Hawthorn
      14. Brisbane
      15. Collingwood
      16. Carlton
      17. Gold Coast
      18. Fremantle

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