copped some heat last week for keeping the Hawks in the No.1 spot
despite another narrow victory and we are expecting more of the same
this week. We reckon the reigning premiers in any given year are never
more vulnerable than they are in the first six weeks of the season. They
haven't had the same preparation as any other team except the losing
grand finalist (who they comfortably accounted for). By our reckoning
that means the Hawks are only going to get better, especially when
Jarryd Roughead rejoins them halfway through the season.
2. Western Bulldogs (2)
are plenty of questions about who will step up in the absence of Bob
Murphy and Jason Johannisen and it looks like the answer is everybody.
Granted it wasn't much of a test against Brisbane, but the Dogs looked
as good as ever, with Koby Stevens playing a superb game, while Tom
Campbell looks to have locked away his spot in his first game for the
3. North Melbourne (4)
We know we
haven't rated the Suns highly so far this season, but we did consider
this a danger game for the Kangaroos, who have fallen prey to Gold Coast
at Metricon on past occasions. Instead they clinically disposed of yet
another rival to continue their fantastic start to the season.
4. Adelaide (5)
you haven't watched an Adelaide game this season, what the hell are you
waiting for? The Crows are playing some of the most exciting football
in the competition and you should pencil in a session in front of the
box to watch them although you are unlikely to see much of a contest
against Fremantle this weekend.
5. Sydney (6)
by some typical Sydney weather on their home deck the Swans were far
too good for the Eagles. Answering almost every question that has been
asked of them this season and should set themselves up in the next three
weeks with easy games against Brisbane, Essendon and Richmond.
6. West Coast (3)
their second test so far this season, which isn't a great sign. Will do
nothing to shed their flat-track bully tag, which looks like it is back
this year, when they flog Collingwood at home next weekend.
7. Geelong (7)
a horrendous first quarter, Geelong finally displayed some of the
football that offered so much promise in round one. They moved the ball
quickly, hit their targets and were able to win the hard ball. If they
can produce that sort of football consistently they will be a lock for a
top four finish.
8. GWS (8)
attacking football seems well suited to Etihad Stadium, which should
hold them in good stead for their visits to Melbourne this season.
Jeremy Cameron's return yielded five goals from just seven kicks, a
potent reminder of what the Giants have been missing through the opening
9. Port Adelaide (9)
looked like they might have turned the corner after their first quarter
effort against Geelong, but it proved to be another false dawn as they
fell away badly after that point. The good news for Port is that they
meet the Tigers this week and should be able to get a win on the board.
10. St Kilda (10)
Saints are still a very young side, which is why we were hesitant to
move them up too far after their excellent showing against the Hawks.
Their performance against the Giants on the weekend showed that they are
still going to be a little bit inconsistent this season.
11. Melbourne (12)
Dees are actually a very good side this year. They posted back-to-back
wins for the first time since 2011 on the back of another Jack Viney
master-class. If they are indeed the real deal they must break another
hoodoo this week, toppling the Saints, a side they haven't beaten in a
12. Richmond (11)
Tiger fans have to
wait at least another week before Brett Deledio returns after he was a
late withdrawal against the Dees. Whether he can cure all their ills is
still open to question as the rest of the team's lack of pace seems to
be hurting them this season.
13. Brisbane (13)
Rockliff returned to the side against the Bulldogs and Dayne Beams
could be back next week to face the Swans. That should make the Brisbane
midfield a lot more powerful.
14. Gold Coast (14)
A road trip to Geelong should see the Suns drop out of the eight next week and we are not too sure we will see them return.
15. Collingwood (16)
Cloke is in real trouble. He struggled in the reserves as Collingwood's
VFL side was flogged by Essendon and his replacement, American Mason
Cox, showed plenty on debut on Anzac Day. Cloke's absence also made
Collingwood's forward line a little more unpredictable helping them to
their second win of the season.
16. Essendon (15)
in their worst performance of the season in their biggest game of the
season. Battled manfully to win the second half, but the game was well
and truly over by that point.
17. Carlton (18)
in Perth isn't easy for the best of sides, which makes Carlton's effort
on Sunday huge. Have a real chance to post back-to-back wins with a
game against the Bombers next Sunday.
18. Fremantle (17)
Nat Fyfe's season is over, and it appears as though Fremantle's is as well.