After another top notch round of footy, Richmond holds onto top spot on the AFANA Power Poll as a result of its 47 point win over the Adelaide Crows, damaging the Crows chances of returning to finals football in 2018. Collingwood had to fight hard to defeat a determined Essendon, while the Swans stumbled at home against a very impressive Geelong.
Port Adelaide kept in touch with the top two after a comfortable win over Saint Kilda, the Eagles returned to the winners list in the “battle of the decimated forward lines” as they held off the Giants in Perth, and the Hawks solidified their run at the finals with a second half blitz to defeat the Bulldogs.
Melbourne was wayward in front of goal but had plenty in the tank to defeat Fremantle in Darwin; the Kangaroos held sway to take down the struggling Gold Coast Suns, and the battle for last spot – the traditional “wooden spoon” – was nothing of the sort as the Brisbane Lions destroyed a pathetic Carlton in Brisbane.
1. Richmond Tigers (Last Week: 1)
After a slow start against fellow 2017 Grand Finalist Adelaide, the Tigers stormed home to another big win, marking its 17th win in a row at the MCG. The win was somewhat soured by injuries to Jack Graham, Nathan Broad and Dan Butler.
2. Collingwood Magpies (2)
A tight tussle with the Bombers was highlighted by some Steele Sidebottom brilliance in his 200th game, with the Magpies hanging on to win their seventh game in a row. Fast forward to round nineteen when Collingwood take on Richmond – will this be the Grand Final preview?
3. Port Adelaide Power (4)
Port won its seventh game in the last eight, continuing to fly under the radar yet piling up the wins. Charlie Dixon was a force up forward while Stephen Motlop played his best game in Port colors. The Power is building towards a potential top two finish if either Richmond or Collingwood slip up.
4. West Coast Eagles ( 5)
The Eagles needed a win to keep in touch with the top two after three losses on the trot, and that is exactly what they did, riding the home crowd to a narrow 11 point win over the Giants. Andrew Gaff was magnificent with 41 possessions and two goals, while Shannon Hurn once again continued his excellent form for the West Coast.
5. Geelong Cats (6)
Most expected the Swans to take care of Geelong at the SCG on Thursday night, but the Cats were having none of that. Geelong won the inside 50’s 59 to 46 and were comfortably the better team on the night, the win kept to the narrow margin of just 12 points due to inaccuracy in front of goal. Mitch Duncan and Joel Selwood were brilliant for Geelong.
6. Sydney Swans (3)
Sydney blew a golden opportunity to consolidate a top four position on the AFL ladder when it went down to the Cats at home on Thursday night. The form of midfielders Dan Hannebery and Kieren Jack is a massive concern for Coach John Longmire, with both players struggling for weeks to produce their usually high output.
7. Hawthorn Hawks (9)
The Hawks used a second half blitz to thrash the Western Bulldogs and force their way back into the top eight. The Hawthorn forward line was firing on all cylinders, with Luke Breust (6 goals), Jack Gunston (4 goals) and Jarryd Roughead (4 goals) sending a warning to the competition that if the Hawks make the finals – an increasingly likely scenario – they will not just be making up the numbers.
8. Melbourne Demons (10)
The Demons made light work of an undermanned Fremantle in Darwin on Saturday night, and in doing so consolidated their place in 6th position on the AFL ladder. Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw and Max Gawn were brilliant for Melbourne. This team has the personnel to go a long way in September, if it can just find some consistency.
9. Greater Western Sydney Giants (7)
The Giants played well against the West Coast Eagles in Perth, but the makeshift forward line missing Jeremy Cameron, Jonathon Patton and Toby Greene just couldn’t hit the scoreboard often enough to take down the Eagles. Another tough game awaits as the Giants take on Richmond at Spotless Stadium next week.
10. North Melbourne Kangaroos (12)
North Melbourne was too good for a struggling Gold Coast at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, running out 37 point winners to keep their finals hope well and truly alive. Ben Brown was once again the main focal point for the Kangaroos kicking four goals, while defender Scott Thompson had a big game with 31 possessions and nine marks.
11. Essendon Bombers (8)
In a great game on Sunday at the MCG, Essendon led by a solitary point at three quarter time but couldn’t hold off a fast finishing Collingwood, eventually going down by 16 points. The pre-game loss of goal sneak Orazio Fantasia was a big blow, but Zach Merrett and Dyson Heppell kept the Bombers in the game until the final minutes with some outstanding football. The loss more than likely means Essendon will not feature in finals footy in 2018.
12. Adelaide Crows (11)
Speaking of teams that look to have come up short in the quest for finals football, last season’s losing Grand Finalist will need a minor miracle to make the top eight after going down to the Tigers on Friday night at the MCG. Matt Crouch, Rory Sloane and Rory Laird all battled hard, but the Crows left too much to too few against the reigning premiers.
13. Brisbane Lions (15)
Brisbane gets a boost in the Power Poll on the back of obliterating Carlton at home on Saturday. Ex-Captain Dayne Beams was sensational in racking up 41 possessions while young forward Eric Hipwood booted six goals in a display that will more than likely be repeated throughout his career.
14. Western Bulldogs (13)
The Bulldogs were no match for a slick Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium, with Jason Johannisen providing most of the spark for the doggies as he racked up a game-high 32 touches. Luke Beveridge’s young squad will look to rapid improvement next season as their focus for the remainder of the season.
15. St Kilda Saints (14)
The Saints went down to a well drilled Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, ending their mini winning streak of two games and condemning them to 15th position on the AFL ladder and the AFANA Power Poll. David Armitage was the Saints best with 30 possessions and three goals.
16. Fremantle Dockers (16)
Fremantle went down to Melbourne by 54 points in Darwin, but make no mistake, this was one of the most lopsided games in the competition this season. Melbourne’s inaccuracy in front of goal kept the margin from being a complete blowout as the Dockers managed just 28 entries inside the 50 meter arc to a whopping 78 for the Demons.
17. Gold Coast Suns (18)
The Suns were competitive in the first half against the Kangaroos but once again could not sustain their form as the game wore on. The Suns have now lost 10 games in a row, and it seems like a very long time ago that they started the season 2-0 and with a heap of promise.
18. Carlton Blues (17)
Carlton rightly takes the bottom rung on the AFANA Power Poll after a soulless performance against the Brisbane Lions. After quarter time the Blues were uncompetitive – not a great look when you are playing a team who prior to the game had just two wins to their name. This once proud club has a ton of work to do.
Article last changed on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 12:02 PM EDT