Last week: 1
The Melbourne of 2019 and 2020, even 2018 when they advanced to the preliminary final, might have coughed up yesterday’s match to North Melbourne. Boast impressive depth and can score heavily and quickly. Deserve to retain the No.1 ranking.
Next up: Sydney (MCG)
Last week: 4
Message sent. The doubters, myself included, were everywhere in the lead-up to last Friday night’s assignment against the Western Bulldogs. The display in the second half was oh so Richmond and the cavalry is returning.
Next up: Geelong (MCG)
3. WESTERN BULLDOGS
Last week: 2
Failed to put away Richmond before half-time and failed to handle the heat after half-time. Still in an excellent position at 6-1. Will be better for the experience.
Next up: Carlton (Marvel Stadium)
4. PORT ADELAIDE
Last week: 3
Were atrocious against Brisbane, their second significant failure interstate this year. Will be 6-2 though after they demolish Adelaide. Remain genuine top-four hope.
Last week: Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Last week: 7
Have quietly improved to 4-3 and have shown they are again going to be a formidable opponent at the Gabba. The Queensland sunshine clearly agrees with Joe Daniher, while Charlie Cameron is starting to rev up.
Next up: Fremantle (Optus Stadium)
6. WEST COAST
Last week: 6
Virtually unbeatable here in Perth, crowds or no crowds. Have an extensive injury list, but the talent available is still high. Need to start winning on the road consistently to be considered a threat.
Next up: Hawthorn (MCG)
Last week: 5
Started well and tallied a list of numbers against Sydney that should have delivered them a victory. Have the experience to overcome an up-and-down start as the year progresses.
Next up: Richmond (MCG)
Last week: 9
Found a way against the Cats. Felt their kids were on the wane, but there’s no denying a 5-2 start given the sides they have played is an excellent platform. Big task this week against Melbourne.
Next up: Melbourne (MCG)
Last week: 8
Disappointed after half-time in the western derby. Need to find a healthy defender or three quickly to claim a scalp.
Next up: Brisbane (Optus Stadium)
Last week: 10
Have won three of their past four and looked better ahead of the ball with Jesse Hogan in the line-up. A couple of fresh injury concerns don’t help.
Next up: Essendon (GIANTS Stadium)
11. GOLD COAST
Last week: 15
Were under the pump after the loss to the Western Bulldogs. Have responded brilliantly since. Entitled to believe a third straight win is achievable.
Next up: St Kilda (Metricon Stadium)
Last week: 12
Simply overran Essendon yesterday. Their best is good. Their worst is a worry. Have to tighten up defensively if they’re to play finals.
Next up: Western Bulldogs (Marvel Stadium)
13. ST KILDA
Last week: 14
Were in a menacing mood against Hawthorn. The challenge is to ensure that performance is built upon, not wasted. Rowan Marshall and Paddy Ryder playing alongside each other is huge for Brett Ratten.
Next up: Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium)
Last week: 11
Still have a way to go. No denying there is plenty of talent at Ben Rutten’s disposal. Getting the balance between attack and defence right is the next step.
Next up: GWS (GIANTS Stadium)
Last week: 16
Took a big step backwards against St Kilda. We can’t lose sight that their two wins over Essendon and Adelaide were by less than a kick. Jury well and truly out.
Next up: West Coast (MCG)
Last week: 13
For the first time this season, the players looked mentally fatigued by all the scrutiny on the club and Nathan Buckley. Under enormous pressure to respond.
Next up: North Melbourne (Marvel Stadium)
Last week: 17
Have hit the wall and over the next month will not be winning a game. Port Adelaide, West Coast, Melbourne and Richmond on the horizon. Yuck.
Next up: Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
18. NORTH MELBOURNE
Last week: 18
Are better for longer, but not good enough for long enough.
Next up: Collingwood (MCG)Market Market