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by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

The Giants just hold off a rampaging Adelaide Crows this week in top spot due to a gutsy road win over in Perth against the West Coast Eagles. The Crows crushed Fremantle to stay firmly on the Giants heels in the race for number one in the AFANA AFL power poll.

1.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (Last Week - 1)
The Giants continue to perform despite a mounting injury tally. Facing one of the toughest tasks in footy, taking on the West Coast Eagles in Perth, the Orange and Charcoal clad Giants came from behind to steal another super impressive victory. This time Toby Greene provided the heroics.

2.    Adelaide Crows (2)
The Crows welcomed a Fremantle Dockers team that was beginning to be hyped as a sleeping giant after three wins in a row. The way in which Adelaide methodically dismantled Fremantle by 100 points in the wet sent a loud message to the rest of the league. The Crows are for real.

3.    Geelong Cats (3)
With a minute to go at Simonds Stadium it looked like Port Adelaide had the Cats measure as they led by four points and seemed ready to spoil Geelong’s impeccable home record. Enter the usual suspects in Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield who conjured up some magic to score the game winning goal with time running out. Next week sees the Adelaide Crows travel to Simonds Stadium in what should be one of the games of the year.

4.    Port Adelaide Power (5)
The Power pulled off the rare feat of losing a game but rising in the AFANA AFL power poll. The Power did everything but win against the Cats on their home ground, and in doing so established themselves as a genuine finals contender. If only key Forward Charlie Dixon could count, the Power could have taken out a thrilling match.

5.    Western Bulldogs (7)
The Bulldogs are on the march. Still not at the level that they displayed in last season’s grand final victory, the signs are starting to emerge. On the back of an authoritative 40 point win over a well-respected opponent in St Kilda, the Bulldogs rise to 5th spot on the power poll.

6.    West Coast Eagles (4)
The Eagles missed a golden opportunity to consolidate a top four spot when they suffered a narrow loss at the hands of the impressive Greater Western Sydney Giants. The Eagles pain was compounded with what looks to be a nasty calf injury to key forward (and reigning back to back Coleman medalist – awarded to the league leading goal kicker) in Josh Kennedy.

7.    Fremantle Dockers (6)
The significant momentum built up by the Dockers over the last three weeks was unceremoniously stripped as they put in an absolute shocker against the Crows in Adelaide. From the first bounce, the Dockers were thrashed in every facet of the game, leaving Coach Ross Lyon with the task of rebuilding the team’s confidence after such a poor performance.

8.    Melbourne Demons (11)
The Demons took on the Gold Coast Suns in Darwin and rode a red-hot second half to defeat the Suns by 35 points. Led from the front by Captain Nathan Jones, the Demons turned a 24 point half time deficit into a big win on the back of a five goal performance from forward Jeff Garlett.

9.    Richmond Tigers (12)
After three losses in a row by under a goal, the Tigers finally gave their huge fan base something to smile about with a 15 point win over the Bombers in the annual “dreamtime” showcase of Australia’s Indigenous contribution to our great game. Once again under pressure late with the scores tied, the Tigers refused to lose as Captain Trent Cotchin and a rampaging Dustin Martin led Richmond to a much needed victory.

10.    Sydney Swans ( 8 )
Another team that had gained momentum over the past weeks with some impressive victories, the Swans could not close the deal against a hungry Hawthorn outfit at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Early injuries to Zac Jones and Ben Reid left the door open for Hawthorn veterans Shaun Burgoyne and Jarrod Roughead to nail late goals and steal the points against a disappointed Sydney outfit.

11.    St Kilda Saints (9)
The Saints again failed to live up to expectations against a quality outfit in the Western Bulldogs, going down by 40 points at Etihad Stadium. In a season where every win can mean a big jump in the standings, the Saints missed an opportunity to once again threaten the top eight. The form of young forward Paddy McCartin with nine marks was the bright spot in an otherwise dreary day for the Saints.

12.    North Melbourne Kangaroos (13)
Challenged by a disciplined Carlton outfit, the Kangaroos won a topsy turvy affair at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. After breaking out to a 45 point lead in the second quarter, the Kangaroos looked likely to have a big win over the young Blues. Amazingly, Carlton fought back and actually took the lead before the Kangaroos steadied with two late goals to Mason Wood to take the game by 15 points. North now have four wins in their last five games.

13.    Essendon Bombers (10)
One of the highlights of the AFL calendar, “Dreamtime at the MCG”, saw the Bombers take on Richmond in front of a massive crowd of over 85,000 spectators. The Bombers jumped out to an early 18-0 lead, but were unable to maintain the ascendancy as the Tigers forward pressure forced Essendon into repeated mistakes. With the scores tied in the final quarter, the Bombers were unable to match the Tigers contested work, going down by 15 points.

14.    Hawthorn Hawks (15)
The Hawks are on the move back up the power poll after a Shaun Burgoyne inspired win against the odds against the Sydney Swans at the SCG. Few would have thought the struggling Hawks could win against a resurgent Sydney Swans at home, but the old guard of Burgoyne and Roughead nailed late goals to steal a win and keep their season alive.

15.    Collingwood Magpies (14)
The return of small forward Jamie Elliot inspired Collingwood to a 45 point victory over the Brisbane Lions at the MCG. The margin could have been quite a bit greater if not for the Magpies inaccuracy in front of goal, but Elliot’s four goals would give the Magpie faithful hope that their team has turned the corner with two wins in a row after an indifferent start to the season.

16.    Gold Coast Suns (16)
The Suns played a solid brand of football in the first half against the Demons in Darwin, but simply could not contain a Nathan Jones inspired Melbourne who overran the Suns in the second half. The Suns are now left with a 3-6 record, leaving coach Rodney Eade under immense pressure to help his side find some consistency.

17.    Carlton Blues (17)
Another week, another honorable loss for the Blues. Brilliant in patches but undisciplined in others, Carlton has the building blocks of the future in place for Coach Brendan Bolton.

18.    Brisbane Lions (18)
Much like Carlton there is a lot of talent at Coach Chris Fagan’s disposal; however most of it is very raw and will take time to develop. With just one win from 10 games this season, there will be plenty of scope for the Lions to experiment over the remainder of the season.

Article last changed on Monday, June 05, 2017 - 5:13 PM EDT

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