Well, my tipping went awfully, but what a weekend of footy that was. Some cracking games in there, along with a dollop of controversy and upset. Here’s the rankings.
Last week: 1
I’m not sure you’d clarify their quarter-time deficit as a scare, but the Eagles nevertheless had to endure a dogged effort from the rising Blues to eventually pull away and secure the win in Victoria. They’re still my favourites for the premiership, but anything can happen.
Last week: 2
Fans in attendance at the Gabba would’ve been getting a smidgen nervous during the late stages of the third term, when the Bulldogs rallied and closed the gap, but this Brisbane outfit was never headed and came out with the four points. Brisbane’s won seven in a row. The Suns next week should be a percentage booster, but Geelong and Richmond to close out the season will be huge games. I can’t wait.
Last week: 4
Perhaps the only Saturday game that went to script, the Tigers comfortably won against the Demons. Alas, they had to endure with a strong performance from the Demons which made it not quite as easy as the scoreline suggested, but they’re now a game ahead of GWS and the Pies in the race for the top four. Not a bad position, eh?
Last week: 3
I will absolutely admit that I got rather nervous when they took a 15-point lead into the first break, but Geelong fell apart from there. Not sure if what it is, but Geelong just appeared a little… complacent? They’ve got time to regain form, of course, but this isn’t looking a team that can win the lot.
Last week: 5
Like several other sides this weekend, the Pies’ big win over the Suns was a victory they simply needed to secure. Adam Treloar had a sensational game – seriously, 35 touches, a goal and 91 per cent kicking efficiency is nothing to sneer at. Big clash against Melbourne next week. Win that and then it’s off to Adelaide, before Essendon. They’d arguably start warm favourites in all, but none will be easy.
Last week: 6
Controversy aside, a close win is a win first and foremost. They took a step closer to the top four – albeit one that gets harder due to Richmond’s win the same day – but the Giants will be confident headed into their final three games of the season against the Hawks, Dogs, and Suns. Barring any surprising upsets like the one Sydney almost delivered, of course.
Last week: 7
So, they ended up playing the ‘good’ Port Adelaide. A poor day all round for the Dons not at all helped by a seemingly revolving door on the interchange – Aaron Francis, Darcy Parish, and Adam Saad all coming off at stages with injuries. Like most teams at this stage of the year, the Dons will now look expectantly to their three finals games against the Dogs, Freo, and Collingwood. Not the easiest for the battling red and black.
Last week: 10
That’s precisely the style of play Port will be desperate to display for the rest of the season. They cannot afford to fall into the poor style of play that’s blighted their past few weeks, particularly with clashes against Sydney, North and a similarly desperate Fremantle coming up. I’m loving Xavier Duursma’s celebratory bow and arrows, too. The more of that liveliness in footy, the better!
Last week: 8
So, apparently teams win when they sack their coaches, and going by this evidence they also win when they appoint a coach, too. Great win for the Kangaroos. Whilst their finals hopes have already dissipated, the way they managed to take control of the clash after quarter time was deeply impressive. I’d give them half a chance to knock off Geelong next weekend, too.
Last week: 9
Well, that just about killed their finals hopes for good. Major props to Shaun Burgoyne for playing the most games for an Indigenous player, and it’s a shame his 374th game was a loss. Hawthorn will need to win out from here to even have a sniff at making finals – a tough ask when their competitors are GWS, the Suns and West Coast.
Last week: 13
A win they needed to have, but the Crows aren’t out of danger yet. They’ve got both 2018 grand finalists in the next fortnight, and with both Port and Fremantle having strong wins on the weekend, their position in the eight is far from assured.
Last week: 12
Not the best day at the office, but the Bulldogs showed enough to demonstrate why they’re still tenuously in contention for finals. Themselves, Port and Fremantle in a three-way race. Going to be a superbly competitive finish to the season.
Last week: 15
Saturday night’s victory was Fremantle’s best 2019 victory, and precisely the tonic they needed to put a controversial week behind them. It was a demonstration of the talent Freo possess but are unable to consistently demonstrate. And it came without a helluva lot of Freo’s top choice players. Saints, Essendon and Port for their final three weeks. It’s precisely the fixture that’s both winnable and losable, in classic Fremantle fashion.
Last week: 11
The Saints gave it some good fight, but were unable to conquer the Crows. The Saints’ loss was their tenth in succession at the Adelaide Oval – the mere fact that they’d never won there contributed heavily to their status as underdogs, despite the Crows’ issues – and closes the door on their faint finals hopes. You’d expect them to still garner at least one or two more wins if things go their way before the season is out, though.
Last week: 14
Beating the reigning premiers was always going to be a bridge too far. I thoroughly enjoyed their first quarter and a bit, but the Eagles managed to grind their way to the lead and then win. Given the Blues were without Sam Docherty, Caleb Marchbank, Charlie Curnow, Matthew Kreuzer, Liam Jones, Daisy Thomas and Mitch McGovern, a four-goal defeat against the reigning premiers is better than you’d have expected a few weeks back.
Last week: 16
Sam Reid’s non-mark was a mistake that could have cost them the ball game. Besides that blunder, the Swans showed plenty of fight during the clash, and they might take a bit of confidence heading to South Australia to take on the wildly inconsistent Port Adelaide next weekend.
Last week: 17
Only 37,000 people turned up to watch the Demons’ Saturday night clash with Richmond. I know that isn’t entirely on the Demons – Richmond fans, where you at? – but it’s perhaps emblematic of the disaster of a season this has turned out to be. They showed some fight – closing the gap to under a goal at one stage – but the difference in class really showed how far the Demons have fallen.
Last week: 18
There was a lot of talk about how the Suns’ clash with Collingwood was a danger game for the latter side. It didn’t end up being that, with the Suns blown away after quarter time. Some good games in there – Alex Sexton and Ben King both booted three majors – but a largely forgettable outing to the MCG.