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AFL Power Rankings 2019: Round 1

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Roar Guru
24th March, 2019
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Welcome to power rankings for 2019, back for another AFL season.

There was a lot of squabbling last year about how these worked, so let me clear these up.

If you want a ladder that shows the team based on how well their season has gone thus far, please click here.

A few things I don’t care about: last year’s performance, the AFL’s official ladder (the rankings may be very different to that ladder at times whilst being similar at others), and predictions, as this isn’t a tipping piece.

These are rankings on how a team had performed that very week, relative to the other 17 teams’ performances.

They are mostly a lot of fun. But also the most important ranking there is. Make of that what you will.

1.Fremantle
I promise from the bottom of my long-suffering heart, I’m not putting them No.1 because I give ‘em money every year.

It’s because they entirely deserve it.

Fast, accurate, slick, high scoring, full of pressure: everything that hasn’t been synonymous with the club in recent years is precisely what they were. Brilliant win.

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2.Brisbane Lions
Sensational win. Not the most surprising upset you’ll see, but the method in which they pulverised the reigning premiers would’ve shocked most.

Probably could have been first, but whilst it was a great win, it wasn’t as properly unexpected as Freo’s sudden resurgence.

3.GWS Giants
When your opposition is as hopeless as the Bombers were, this calibre of win is to be expected.

Doesn’t mean they won’t be very pleased with the win, though, and this should prove that the Giants are definitely, unequivocally and without a doubt gunning for the deep end of finals.

4.Hawthorn
Great win, and par for course: they’ve defeated the Crows 14 times out of their past 15 encounters.

Also, I’ll admit it: I’ve long had a dislike of the Hawks. But this new breed of Hawks has a likability about them that I’m on board with.

5.Western Bulldogs
They’ll be overshadowed by a lot of the other victors this weekend, but they took advantage of a surprisingly lacklustre Sydney and punished them… until Sydney woke up.

Their close victory mean they’ve proven they’re capable when they’re cruising, and can also work hard when it’s close. Gotta be chuffed with that, Doggies fans?

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6.Port Adelaide
Alrighty, that was an unexpected yet great win for the young Port outfit.

One of the teams I’d pencilled in for a loss this weekend, I’m pleasantly surprised to say they impressed me.

That takes something, because my natural feelings towards Port are usually apathy and skepticism.

7.Richmond
Dominated at times, struggled at others.

Richmond’s season opener wasn’t ideal – certainly not given Rance’s horrible injury – but given several of their premiership rivals were dismal, it’s an important win.

8.Geelong
They didn’t win that. Collingwood lost it.

Still, they’ll be ecstatic to get the four points from the scrappy win and be on their merry way.

Side note: hot damn, their debutants were good.

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9.St Kilda
Oooof. That was going to be bad for whichever team lost, but would’ve been dire for the Saints.

A helluva lot closer than they liked, but it’s a win. And they’ll need as many of those they can possibly get in 2019.

10.Carlton
The (dis)honourable honour of being the highest-placed losers on the ranking.

I mean, could’ve been a lot, lot worse.

Performed admirably enough through the middle of the game, but floundered in the first and last terms.

Encapsulates the club: a few periods of good play punctuated by despair.

11.Sydney Swans
Oh, man. That was a dismal first half, but the typical Sydney competitiveness came back in the second.

It’s funny to think they almost won. They didn’t, but they’ll learn plenty from this.

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12.Gold Coast
If I told a Suns member a week ago that their first round clash would see their team be admirable, lead at quarter time and lose by just a point, I’m sure they’d have taken it.

Not as good as a win, obviously, but proves they’re just not going to be listless through the season. Just don’t remind anyone it was ‘just’ the Saints.

13.Collingwood
Ugh. They made blogging on Friday night a pretty frustrating experience, and it’s a brutally disappointing loss, particularly when it feels like a lot of the loss amounted to self-sabotage.

Like the Eagles, really, but both grand finalists have a long while to regroup. Don’t write them off. Yet.

14.Adelaide
Just when their fans were thinking last year’s dreadful season was behind them, they sustain a bad loss and two severe injuries. Frustrating to witness as a neutral.

15.West Coast
With simplistic analysis, there’s no need to overreact: first-round losses can often be forgiven.

Looking a little deeper, though, it was worse than a Round 1 loss.

It was a genuinely problematic loss: scoring just two goals total after the first quarter is a bad indictment on the reigning premiers.

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They’re still a very good team, but in what’s likely going to become a tight finals race, this loss might lead to a few headaches later.

16.Melbourne
Oh, man. They’ll be desperately hoping that Saturday’s game was an aberration, not the beginning of a trend.

But this is Melbourne, so honestly who knows?

17.North Melbourne
Losing the game in that fashion is bad, but losing a player to a suspected ACL is worse.

And to think Ed Vickers-Willis would be the third of the weekend after Rance and Doedee – well, footy can be a tough experience. As can supporting the Kangas, at times.

18.Essendon
Insipid. That is all.