What a weird weekend of football. I could be sad that Fremantle’s season is effectively over, I could be amused by the impressive efforts of Essendon, North or GWS put into losing, or I could be enthused at the prospect of continued uncertainty around finals positioning. A fortnight of 2019 footy remains for ten teams.
Last week: 1
I’m not seeing any genuine reason to bump them from number one. They perhaps had the hardest match up of the top four competitors – and were challenged by a super admirable Adelaide outfit.
They did enough though to secure the win – and head into the next two weeks in good form. Richmond next weekend a mammoth challenge, though – get through that, and Hawthorn at home should be another win.
Last week: 2
They were never going to lose Saturday’s clash, but what was in question was whether they’d garner the percentage they desired. A 91 point win means they did.
With perhaps the most difficult fixture of any team in the final fortnight – Geelong at home and Richmond away – Brisbane will be challenged like they haven’t in years. It’s bloody exciting.
Last week: 3
The fact that Richmond has to tackle two of their biggest competitors for a top two position – the Eagles and Brisbane – in the final fortnight is precisely the type of scheduling genius the league’s hierarchy would be pleased eventuated.
And they’re in good shape for those challenges, too, given they got through perhaps the weekend’s most regulation win with no qualms.
Last week: 4
Keeping an opposition to fourteen points is a remarkable achievement in the modern game, but the real challenge comes next week: travelling to Queensland to take on Brisbane.
I want to highlight a player whose name I’ve actually never typed in a Roar piece before; Quinton Narkle. The young man was sensational during Saturday’s win, and joined fellow young gun Gryan Miers, who also provided highlights in attack.
Last week: 5
If arch-rivals West Coast manage to defeat Richmond next weekend, and they hold strong against Adelaide too, then the Pies can still Steven Bradbury themselves back into the top four.
Neither is anywhere near certain, though – particularly the Pies’ game against Adelaide. In theory, I’d have them favourites, but Adelaide’s performance yesterday shows there is life in them next.
Last week: 6
Big yikes. Their lowest score ever, and that’s saying something given their two-win inaugural season in 2012.
Foreshadowed a strange weekend in terms of scoring, but the good news is – unlike Essendon and North – the Giants are certain for finals.
It’s how they go in finals, though, that is up in the air.
Last week: 8
Very strong win, and a very necessary win. They’ve picked a good fortnight to shake off their inconsistency and put together two strong, percentage-boosting victories in a row.
Cannot get complacent in the next two weeks – although they’ll start favourites against North and Freo, the tag ‘favourite’ can often mean nought for the Power.
Last week: 10
Sensational win – in the goddamn snow! The Hawks seem to be dominating the Giants of late, and Clarko coached a masterclass in the nation’s capital to return the Hawks to a – pretty dubious – finals contention.
It can happen, but it’ll take a remarkable effort (and rely on other clubs, which is always an uncomfortable position).
Last week: 11
It’s going to be remembered as a loss, but the effort that the Crows put into their hard fought clash over in WA is a demonstration of the pride that’s been sorely missing in the club’s last month.
The consensus of Adelaide’s fans appears to be that they’re impressed with the performance, but the club still is a long way from securing a finals position. Collingwood and the Bulldogs await.
Last week: 12
Twenty-one goals. In succession. Without their opposition doing much at all. Luke Beveridge’s men couldn’t have really had an easier night at the office.
The fact that they were reportedly still frustrated with letting the Bombers get three consolation goals shows how determined these blokes are. Finals likelier than they were last week, but far from confirmed.
Last week: 7
Complete, utter and indisputable garbage. Perhaps the season’s worst individual performance (too big a call?), Essendon did themselves no favours by conceding 21 consecutive goals.
Their horror fortnight hasn’t knocked them out of the eight – but the upcoming fortnight might. Neither Freo nor Collingwood have been stellar themselves of late, but both should be able to defeat the struggling Bombers.
Last week: 9
Scored fourteen points, and still only suffered the fourth heaviest loss of the weekend. There isn’t too much to say about the Kangas’ Saturday night effort. Not a good one.
Last week: 14
Bloody good to see Jack Steven back out there and kicking (literal) goals after his mental health absence, while Dan Hannebery’s game saw there was plenty to smile about for Saints fans.
The Saints had an excellent day, which for me only strengthens Brent Ratten’s bonafides as senior coach. Just sign him up, eh, Saints?
Last week: 13
[Redacted]. Okay, now that what I really wanted to say is out of the way, it really is a brutally disappointing loss for Freo, in a season that has seen plenty of brutally disappointing losses.
Their season is over, and the Dockers will be left to rue a peculiar string of losses to teams below them for blowing their finals chances four the fourth consecutive season.
They have the chance to be the spoiler for Essendon and Port now, though.
Last week: 15
News that Dusty had been removed from Richmond’s selected side brought back a minuscule amount of hope, but David Teague’s men were always heavy underdogs headed into this one. Nothing too surprising eventuated. Saints and Geelong in the next two weeks. Neither will be easy.
Last week: 16
I thought Sydney were not a half bad shout at recording an upset, given they were facing a notoriously inconsistent Port Adelaide, and their decent record in South Australia.
Alas, the Swans were unable to fire much of a shot, and were used as a step ladder for the Power to elevate themselves into the top eight.
They play Demons next Friday night. In hindsight, that isn’t too much of a premier time slot draw, eh?
Last week: 17
Not the world’s worst effort, but that’s precisely the problem with the Demons. They’ve shown up for a part of every game without winning. Like the team below them, I fully expect them to be eager for the off season – less than a fortnight away now.
Last week: 18
The gulf between the two Queenslander sides was epitomised by Saturday’s clash. The Suns kept up a strong-ish effort for the first term, but fell away badly after that. Just the two weeks until the clearly needed offseason for the young Suns.