Welcome back to my Power Rankings column ladies and gentlemen. I will try and get it out a little earlier this week so people have time to digest before the next round.
In this round we were treated to a rare Friday night double-header to make way for the preliminary finals before the round was capped off with an extremely compromised Western Derby.
Now without further ado read on for my thoughts on how your club went in the round just past.
18. North Melbourne Kangaroos (down two)
That was ugly. North now have three of the last four 100 point walloping across the league. The Kangaroos were the victims of the highest score and winning margin kicked at the Gabba since 2007. There were absolutely no positives in this match, even Nick Larkey taking the lead in the Coleman was a cold comfort.
The only reason the Eagles are up is because they were less bad relatively speaking when compared to the Roos who were positively putrid. The Eagles still have a good solid core of veterans that are as good as any across the competition. Now a 55-point demolition still isn’t great but its about as good as the Eagles can hope for at the moment with the wholesale changes that are occurring due to Covid/injury.
16. Port Adelaide Power (up one)
It was a loss without firing a shot last week, and while their performance was improved this week Ken Hinkley and his men would be bitterly disappointed to go down to their reviled foe the Adelaide Crows.
The Power would be exceptionally frustrated with having sustained periods of dominance over the Crows however Adelaide stayed in touch and eked out the win.
15. Gold Coast Suns (down four)
They only had two goal kickers for three quarters. While I have actually been pretty impressed with how Levi Casboult has been able to do with less than ideal supply, the Suns would be livid with their inability to push the Giants harder. The remaining goals were scored in junk time when the Suns had no hope of coming back.
14. Essendon Bombers (down one)
Watching the game on Friday it felt like the Demons never got out of third gear playing the Bombers. Despite a considerably better effort than in the first two weeks that was more defensively solid the Bombers struggled and had to fight for each of their goals. In fact when it comes down to it the Dees had nine more scoring shots and 27 more inside fifties so the Bombers should have lost by more.
Oh boy wowee. This was perhaps the match of the round until the Hawks vs Blues match on Sunday. Jordan Dawson was able to fulfill their boyhood dream of slotting the winner after the siren. The Crows are still a struggling side but taking the bragging rights in the Showdown is a good way to begin their journey to improvement.
12. Fremantle Dockers (down two)
The Dockers are a side in purgatory. They’re by no means a bad side, but a deeply flawed one. It’s good they were able to extend their derby streak to two, however, they clearly lack a good key forward that will enable them to take that next step. While they had a healthy spread of goal kickers with no player scoring more than three goals.
11.Collingwood Magpies (down three)
The Magpies very nearly ended up on the wrong end of the miracle on grass record (that is a 38-point comeback in the fourth quarter). However, they still took it right up to a presumptive top four team in the Geelong football club. Nick Daicos has been the most consistent first year player across the first three rounds with a further 26 disposals and five clearances.
While the hardened bodies of Patrick Lipinski and Taylor Adams are able to effectively shield the younger core of midfielders that Craig McRae and company are developing.
10. Greater Western Sydney (up two)
The Giants won I suppose. But given they have an average winning margin of 82 points over the Suns at Giants stadium in their previous four clashes their good performance on Saturday afternoon does not undo their putrid performance against the Tigers last week.
It was a cruising win for the Giants as they were able to exert their midfield dominance winning clearances by 19 and their midfielders combining for 5 of their 12 goals.
9. Richmond Tigers
All is right in the world when the Tigers are ninth. So that is where I am putting them. They were twenty five points up midway through the third quarter before utterly capitulating to what is fast becoming the Tigers bogey team in the Saints.
They looked completely unable to maintain the high pressure fast run and gun game style that has defined them in years gone by.
8. Western Bulldogs (up one)
The Bulldogs are in the winners column which is important if they seek to mimic their heroics of last year (only three sides have come from 0-3 to make finals in the last 12 years).
What they did was they took away the strengths of the Swans game denying them the efficiency that has characterised their game style in the first month of the season
7. St Kilda (up six)
The Saints went on a 64-point jaunt in the third and fourth quarters on Sunday afternoon with the bleeding only being staunched with 11 seconds on the clock with a clever set shot to Shai Bolton.
The Saints big men were able to dominate with Max King clunking five marks inside fifty in the last quarter alone while the players on the outside were able to surge the ball forward at all costs catching the Tigers flat footed. The Saints are now 2-1 and sitting pretty, relieving some of the pressure on Brett Ratten.
6.Hawthorn Hawks (up one)
That was about as impressive a loss as is possible for the Hawks. Things aren’t as dire as was predicted during the off season with an ageing Hawks midfield.
The half back line has defined the new and improved slingshot style of the Hawks with Changkuoth Jiath and James Sicily leading disposal getters for the Hawks and Will Day rounding out the top five,
5. Sydney Swans (down four)
This game was much much closer than it should be. Going off of the expected score the Swans should have won by several goals but thanks to an inaccurate Bulldogs outfit the final margin was considerably lesser than it could be.
The Swans clearly felt the absence of their bigman with Tim English dominating the game around the ground stretching the makeshift ruck department. It was also the fundamental breakdown of the Swans game style with their over reliance on efficiency going forward scoring goals in around 35 percent of their inside fifties to start the season.
4. Geelong Cats (up one)
Do I count the fact they were 31 points down at the last change or that they were able to smash the Pies in the last? I chose the latter as the experience of Geelong allowed them to dominate the last quarter.
Jeremy Cameron was vitally important for the Cats this week slotting six goals in a perfect role as a key forward to develop space on the key defenders. The importance of experience is that they knew to play hard to the final siren.
3. Carlton Blues (up one)
A side that goes 3-0 has a 90 percent chance of making finals.
The Carlton performance was typified by the brave Jacob Weitering going back with the flight in the last, selflessly to deny Hawthorn a forward foray to obtain victory despite the very slim margin. The Blues would be worried that they dropped a five-goal lead against lesser opposition but they would be happy that they were able to stem the flow in the final moments of the game.
2. Melbourne Demons (up one)
The Dees are an extremely difficult team to challenge. You take out one avenue to goal and another one opens up. They should have won by more however, their inability to convert in front of goal shown by the dominance that they had in the inside 50 count.
However, Simon Goodwin would be extremely pleased with the Demon dominance in the turn over game giving the Bombers grief with 76 turnovers.
1. Brisbane Lions (up one)
The Lions were brutally efficient at the Gabba on Saturday evening as they embarrassed the hapless Kangaroos. The big talking point in my mind is the diversity of the Lions forward line with Lincoln Mcarthy (5 goals), Zac Bailey (4 goals) and Joe Daniher (3 goals) stretching the Kangaroos in creative ways.
It may have only been North Melbourne but the first three rounds have indicated how difficult it is to beat an AFL standard side by 100 points.
Well there you have it roarers. Leave your comments below and I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion. What do you all think?