by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
1. Adelaide Crows (Last Week - 2)
The Crows take top spot on the Power poll after a stirring win in “The Showdown” against crosstown rivals Port Adelaide. Despite trailing early, the classy Crows posted their third win in as many games, the 17-point win keeping them on the top of the AFL ladder.
2. Greater Western Sydney Giants (3)
The Giants are starting to roll, and they might take some stopping. A 42-point drubbing of the Kangaroos – with a whopping 71 entries inside the 50 meter arc – will have teams scrambling for a plan on how to stop Leon Cameron’s young juggernaut.
3. Western Bulldogs (1)
The Bulldogs drop a couple of spots after the unthinkable happened in Perth – going down by 16 points to a revitalized Fremantle Dockers. No need to panic for the Dogs, but it shows that even the best can get taken down if they are not switched on.
4. Geelong Cats (6)
The Cats used a barnstorming final quarter to seal victory by 29 points against a wayward Melbourne on Saturday. As usual it was Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood leading the way for Geelong, which now sits comfortably in third place on the ladder with three wins from as many starts.
5. West Coast Eagles (4)
The Eagles went into their clash against Richmond as well-backed favorites, but once again looked a different team at the MCG where they continue to struggle. A slender lead was pegged back by a hungrier Tiger outfit that managed to quell the influence of star midfielder Sam Mitchell after quarter time.
6. Melbourne Demons (5)
Melbourne played some exciting football against Geelong at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but their poor kicking for goal (13 goals, 19 behinds) ruined their chance at an upset win. There was further bad news for the Demons with premier ruckman Max Gawn badly tearing his hamstring, an injury that will keep him out for at least a month.
7. Sydney Swans (7)
The Swans are probably a little lucky to maintain their 7th spot on our Power Poll after their third straight loss – this time by a solitary point to a plucky Collingwood who won despite trailing late in the last quarter. A heavy injury toll has held back the Swans, but I expect them to bounce back soon.
8. St Kilda Saints (11) The Saints didn’t have it all their own way at the Gabba against a solid Lions outfit, but the return of classy forward Nick Riewoldt helped the Saints to their first win of the season. With 22 marks inside the 50 meter arc, the Saints have plenty of avenues to goal – something that should stand them in good stead in the coming weeks.
9. Port Adelaide Power ( 8 )
The Power played a solid brand of running football against the Crows and for much of the first half looked the better team. The difference in the end was a lack or marking targets in the forward 50 as Adelaide out marked them in that area 17-9. A great contest, but a big test awaits against the Giants this week.
10. Richmond Tigers (12)
The difference between Richmond’s best and worst football is narrowing. Whilst they don’t look to have the class of some of the league’s top teams, at 3-0 there is no doubt the Tigers are a different team to the shambles that struggled in 2016. Toby Nankervis has been a revelation since joining from the Swans, while young Dan Rioli should excite the Tiger faithful for many years to come.
11. Collingwood Magpies (14)
Against the odds and with their coach Nathan Buckley under siege, the Magpies tackled their way to an impressive road win that could kick-start their season. A four-goal performance from Alex Fasolo was the highlight.
12. Hawthorn Hawks (9)
How the mighty have fallen. He Hawks didn’t just lose their third game in a row, they were demolished. The under siege Gold Coast Suns ran rings around the Hawks, completely dominating every facet of the game as they handed out an 86-point drubbing that left stalwart Hawk fans in a state of shock. At 0-3 and propping up the bottom of the ladder, Hawthorn needs to find some form – and fast.
13. Essendon Bombers (10)
After a strong first two rounds the Bombers were expected to start the season 3-0 against a young Carlton outfit, but let this one slip in wet and wintery conditions at the MCG. The Bombers were outworked by the Blues, and now face the trip to Adelaide to take on a red hot Crows outfit.
14. Fremantle Dockers (17)
Without doubt the performance of the round. Coach Ross Lyon injected some youth into the side that had been extremely poor in the first two rounds. The results were stunning. Beating the Bulldogs at their own fast running game, the Dockers gave their fans renewed hope as they defeated the reigning premiers by 16 points.
15. Gold Coast Suns (18)
You could have been forgiven for thinking this was a different team that was demolished by the Giants in round two. The Suns, led by David Swallow and a six-goal performance from Brandon Matera, made the Hawks look second rate in a performance that left coach Rodney Eade beaming.
16. Carlton Blues (16)
In torrential rain at the MCG, the Blues forged a blue collar victory over traditional rival Essendon on the back of outstanding performances from captain Marc Murphy, fellow midfielder Bryce Gibbs and ruckman Matthew Kreuzer. Definitely something to build on.
17. North Melbourne Kangaroos (13)
The Kangaroos were run ragged by a Giants team that can be scary good when they are firing on all cylinders. The effort by North Melbourne cannot be denied, they simply were not good enough to stay with the Giants in the second half. A long season looms.
18. Brisbane Lions (15)
The Lions have a load of young talent that is yet to fully gel, but there is no doubt a bright future ahead as Eric Hipwood, Josh Schache and Hugh McCluggage get more games under their belts. They will look for their first win against Richmond at home on Easter Sunday.
Article last changed on Thursday, September 01, 2022 - 8:06 AM EDT