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by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

The Power Poll returns after a few weeks hiatus as Boris was on assignment for another media outlet.

1.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (Last Time - 2)
Some might point to a narrow victory at home over Collingwood and say the Giants were lucky. Deeper examination shows a team that played two players short for most of the game and three players short for the final quarter who found a way to win. A long injury list hasn’t stopped the Giants from winning. Expect a lot more.

2.    West Coast Eagles (5)
The Eagles gained some revenge over the Western Bulldogs from last year’s shock finals loss by defeating them in a dour struggle in Perth on Friday night. With three wins in a row and Essendon to come, West Coast is in excellent form despite long term injuries to first choice ruck selections in Nick Natanui and Tom Lycett.

3.    Adelaide Crows (1)
Touted as premiership favorites just two weeks ago, the Crows have crashed to big losses against North Melbourne and a shock home loss to an undermanned Melbourne on Saturday night. For the first time in 2017, questions are being asked.

4.    Western Bulldogs (3)
The Bulldogs were solid in going down to West Coast by just eight points after a narrow win against the Tigers in round seven. Still not at their best, they have such an explosive midfield and forward line that it is safe to say their best is yet to come.

5.    Port Adelaide Power (9)
The Power return from an historic win over the Suns in Shanghai China with a league leading percentage of 150.8 having banked three wins in their last four outings. The only team in the AFL with a playing list free of injury, the Power is well placed to challenge for a top four spot in 2017.

6.    St Kilda Saints ( 8 ) The Saints continue to rise on the AFANA Power Poll after their third win in succession against a plucky Carlton at their home ground - Etihad Stadium - on Saturday. With two more home matches coming up against Sydney and the Bulldogs, the Saints have a genuine chance to set themselves up for a deep finals run.

7.    Geelong Cats (5)
After five wins in as many games to start the season; the Cats have seemingly hit the wall. A shock loss to an impressive Essendon on Saturday has seen Geelong tumble to its third successive loss, hard to fathom after such a bright start. With their next three games at the home fortress that is Simonds Stadium, the Cats will be desperate to win all three against quality opposition and re-establish their credentials.

8.    Melbourne Demons (6)
Just when the Demons looked to be struggling, they take a side minus premier ruckman Max Gawn and their best forward in Jesse Hogan to Adelaide to take on the league leading Crows – and win. A magnificent second half saw the Demons home by 41 points in the upset of the round. At 4-4 with the Kangaroos to come, Demon fans have something to be excited about once again.

9.    Fremantle Dockers (14)
The purple haze is on a roll. Despite conceding a 30 point final quarter lead to Richmond at the MCG, the Dockers snatched a last gasp victory – their fourth in five games – that sees them once again challenging for the top eight. Coach Ross Lyon’s infusion of youth seems to have Fremantle back on track.

10.    Sydney Swans (7)
The Swans have a two game win streak going after incredulously starting the season 0-6. As injured players return to the squad, the Swans are starting to resemble the team that made it all the way to the Grand Final in 2016. They have plenty of work to do before repeating that feat, however the even competition may work in their favor if they continue to improve.

11.    Richmond Tigers (10)
What a difference 21 seconds makes. The Tigers missed a golden opportunity to move into the top four as they led Fremantle with just 21 seconds left on the clock, but a David Mundy goal on the siren instead condemned Richmond to its third consecutive loss. With Premiership favorites Greater Western Sydney to come this week, the Tigers 5-0 dream start is quickly becoming a nightmare.

12.    Essendon Bombers (13)
The schizophrenic Bombers are quickly becoming a footy tipster's nightmare. Expected to be outclassed by a strong Geelong outfit, Essendon instead outplayed the Cats with a fast-paced brand of exciting football. With a record of 4-4, fans must be excited for a run at the top eight if the team can find some consistency.

13.    Hawthorn Hawks (12)
Another team who endured a horror start to the season, the Hawks have now won three of four to move up to 14th on the ladder. Despite injuries to some top line players, the return to form of spearhead Jarrod Roughead has the Hawks once again looking like the feared opponent they have been for many years.

14.    North Melbourne Kangaroos (17)
The Kangaroos failed to build on the momentum of a great win against the Adelaide Crows as they went down to a spirited Sydney at Etihad Stadium. There is no doubt the Kangaroos have some young talent, but they simply need their best – such as the suspended Jarrad Waite – to be on the park every week.

15.    Carlton Blues (16)
There is plenty to like about the new-look young Carlton Blues in 2017, they simply do not have the experience to play consistent football for four quarters every week. A third quarter surge against the Saints had the Blues in contention, but they could not sustain the effort and finally went down by 19 points.

16.    Gold Coast Suns (15)
The Suns took on Port Adelaide in the first AFL game played for premiership points in Shanghai, China on Sunday. Unfortunately for coach Rodney Eade, the Suns were abysmal and ended up on the receiving end of a 72 point walloping from the polished Power. It seems a case of one step forward, two steps back for the Gold Coast.

17.    Collingwood Magpies (11)
Whilst some in the media have lauded the Magpies close loss to the Giants as a positive, in reality the Giants lost two players in the first and one in the third quarter to be severely undermanned. Collingwood managed to lead the game late until some last minute- brilliance from ex-Geelong forward Steve Johnson condemned the Magpies to their fourth loss in five games, increasing the pressure on coach Nathan Buckley.

18.    Brisbane Lions (18)
The Lions went down to the Hawks by 38 points at the University of Tasmania Stadium, keeping them on the bottom of the AFL ladder with just one win. A young team who will improve in the long term, the Lions have more pain to come as captain Tom Rockliff will miss 2-3 weeks with injury.

Article last changed on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 12:06 PM EDT

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