Finally, a round in which my tips (bar one or two games) went largely to plan!
As is becoming custom in 2020, plenty of adjustments on the rankings. Enjoy them.
Last week: 2
On a personal note, Brisbane’s Saturday night domination allowed me to laugh plenty at the (many) Port fans I’m exposed to living in Adelaide. On a more league-related note, it also cements Brisbane (bar some residual inaccuracy) as perhaps the team to beat in this convoluted season.
Last week: 1
Well, they eventually had to lose one. A thoroughly disappointing effort from Ken Hinkley’s team. Perhaps it’s a warning to us all that they’re not as world-beating as they were being described.
Last week: 3
Beating Geelong in Geelong was always going to be a tough task for the Suns, but credit where credit is due: they battled manfully even after losing the sensational Matt Rowell. It’s a pity they couldn’t keep it close as they faded away late, but I still maintain they’re an impressive outfit.
Last week: 6
Another perplexing team, and one that I’m anticipating will be labelled too high. Nevertheless, their strong victory over Hawthorn served Leon Cameron’s outfit well ahead of a big clash against Port next Sunday.
Last week: 8
In an ordinary year, having the Suns put up one hell of a fight at Kardinia Park would ring some alarm bells for the Cats. Not so this year: in fact, Geelong probably relished the challenge. The ultimate win was a nice way to cap of Gary Ablett’s 350th and Joel Selwood’s 300th.
Last week: 9
Gee, they’re an exciting team to watch. As some disclosure, if I haven’t already, I’ll put it on record: the Saints are kinda my second team, if such a thing is permitted to exist in AFL fandom. They didn’t have it all their own way, but the Saints’ prime-time win allowed them to shoot into the AFL’s current top four.
Last week: 12
No doubt, they’re back. I mean, North isn’t exactly a major scalp, but the Bulldogs are playing with the level of confidence and talent many expected. Carlton next week. If Carlton are up and running, it won’t be a game to sleep on.
Last week: 14
By my own admission, I’ve been sorely underrating the Bombers. I apologise about that, Bomber fans. They shone on Friday night, both dominating and holding back a disappointing Pies outfit. Should be able to make it two in row against North next weekend.
Last week: 4
It’s a stupidly overused turn of phrase, but to say Collingwood had a week from hell would be selling it well short. Once again, I’m having to drop a team a fair bit. Collingwood’s strong performances in a couple of games were clouding my judgement. Friday’s shocker against Essendon capped off a controversial week for the biggest club in the land, and a suitably long fall on the rankings.
Last week: 5
I’ll confess to being zero per cent appraised of any details of the Alastair Clarkson umpiring controversy that made waves this week. Then again, I try to avoid commentary on umpiring on this column, so I’ll just say that the Hawks (from what I saw) were pretty poor last night. I’m a little confused by them this year, to be honest.
Last week: 13
The good news is they beat Melbourne. The bad news is I’m pretty sure a group of Auskickers would be able to win or come close to winning against Melbourne. Hub life now awaits. They’re one of the more interesting teams to watch in the hub over the next few weeks, especially with some senior players staying in Victoria.
Last week: 7
Might have bumped them up a little too high and too fast. I’ve given them credit for dragging themselves back into the game after a (customary) slow start, but they were ultimately outclassed by the Saints. They’ve got talent, just a smidgen inconsistent.
Last week: 10
Any and all optimism from the beginning of the season has fallen right away. They were listless on Saturday night, barely putting up a fight against a rampant Bulldogs outfit.
Last week: 17
So, so many questions here: are West Coast any good? Yeah, they remain a good side, just decisively out of form. Are Sydney just bad? Probably. How much do we read into this game? In this season, who knows…
Last week: 11
Kinda like Collingwood this week, but much worse. Shone early against the Eagles, rallied at times, fell away (badly) towards the end. Facing Richmond next week is almost a must-win if they want to keep up with the competition’s best.
Last week: 16
There are not going to be many people fondly remembering Sunday’s clash, but Justin Longmuir will be one. A win is a win. While it was a frustrating game in many respects, it’s Freo’s first win for the season, and that’s something.
Last week: 15
I’m taking a gamble writing Melbourne’s section midway through the third term of Sunday’s clash. They remain a thoroughly mediocre team. Rose last week because of WA’s lack of footballing prowess. Dropped this week because WA (at least momentarily) discovered how to win again.
Last week: 18
Eh, well, they fought back a bit when Freo almost Freo’d the game up. But the bottom line is: Adelaide stink. Not a lot of light at the end of the tunnels, for mine.