So, Round 4 is done and dusted. Let’s get straight into the rankings.
Last week: 3
Sen-bloody-sational. Among the most impressive wins we’ve seen this year thus far, but it comes at a cost: Callan Ward’s ACL.
Still though, the Giants’ midfield effort – particularly after a flat first term – was nothing short of phenomenal, and this is a team gunning for a premiership. No doubt about it.
Last week 1
It would be exceptionally easy to overreact to this loss, but need I remind you that it was a four-point loss to one of the top teams in the competition.
Geelong firmly remains one of those top teams, even if they’d be fairly frustrated at letting this one slip.
Last week: 4
Their eighth straight Derby victory was not a pretty win whatsoever.
It’s difficult to criticise the Eagles for their closer-than-expected win – that was more down to Freo’s surprisingly determined effort than any poor Eagles performance.
West Coast will bank the four points and move on with haste.
Last week: 2
Back to reality? Kinda.
It’s rare we see the Lions play the Bombers at the ‘G, and even rarer to see them lose.
And for those that might wonder about fourth as their positioning, I’m loath to drop them further because the three teams immediately below them also lost games this week.
Last week: 9
Their scrappy win against the Bulldogs seems a good opportunity to bump them up the rankings.
Whilst I’d like the game to delete itself from my memory, it’s an important win in terms of evening the ledger, so they’ll take the four points and be happy enough.
Last week: 8
Well, everything’s going swimmingly up in Queensland.
Assisted by the Blues’ inability to put them away when they had momentum, the Suns never gave up.
And it’s important to remember to keep banking the wins, because next few weeks will see the level of their competitors raises significantly.
Last week: 6
Was that the most Port Adelaide loss we’ve ever seen? I think so.
In all seriousness, that’s now two close losses in a row.
Where to from here? Premiers up next, and that’s a scary though.
Last week: 5
They weren’t the only losers on Friday night: the football public was, too.
Evened out their season form with a loss, and suddenly much of the enthusiasm surrounding their early season form has evaporated a little.
I’m not as concerned – I still maintain they’re a good shout at sneaking into finals.
Last week: 10
The Saints are ignoring a helluva lot of conjecture about their fortunes, and are just progressing as well as they can.
Benefited from an injury-hit and fatigued Hawthorn, yes, but they’re 3-1. And that’s better than what they could’ve hoped for at this stage.
Also, re-sign Jack Billings. Immediately.
Last week: 7
Yes, they were injury ravaged, and yes, they lost.
But they were in it until the final few minutes, and that’s encouraging.
Huge game up next, though: Geelong won’t be an easy task. They’ll be praying Jaeger O’Meara returns to the side by then.
Last week: 13
Missing the ‘big four’ for the first time in years, facing a hostile South Australian crowd and coming off some bad form. Yup, this’ll be up there in upsets for the year.
Last week: 15
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was phenomenally good, but let’s not forget that Essendon’s midfield is finally plowing along as the hyperbolic predictions tipped before the season.
Well placed to work their way back into finals contention.
Last week: 11
Whilst much of the skill on display was awful, and one goal in the entire first half was unforgivable, at least the Dockers showed some heart.
That’s about all you can ask for as a Freo fan when you’re heading into a Derby, against the reigning premiers, minus Fyfe.
Last week: 12
Oh man. Serious problems everywhere.
The were trash on Saturday night, and seem to be in a bit of a rut.
Like Sydney below, Crows fans will be beginning to question their coach, because if they keep this up they’ll be getting close to replicating last year’s drastically sub-par season.
Last week: 14
Yikes. Is now the time to start wondering whether John Longmire is the man to continue leading the Swans, because they seem to be going nowhere fast.
They’re notoriously slow starters, but I just don’t think they’re very good this season.
Last week: 18
Been in a deeply bad place for the first few weeks, but like North, they garnered their first victory.
Now they need more of that. Much more.
Last week: 17
Damn glad I tipped them. Vital win to get their season out of the genuine danger zone, but they were inefficient.
Nine goals 17 behinds is a frustrating score at the best of times, especially when you win a close one.
But there’s the key word: win.
Last week: 16
The fact that they were oh-so-close to winning belies the fact that they were awful at the same time.
Patrick Cripps was massive, but it was a thoroughly disappointing loss all the same.