After just one round we struggled to gauge whether those games were just one off performances, but after the opening fortnight of the season, certain patterns are beginning to emerge.
The Dockers slumped down into last place after their abysmal effort against Port Adelaide, although the Cats dropped three places to fifth, the biggest drop of any side over the weekend (and they’re 2-0, figure that out).
A few teams climbed the ladder by two positions, but it’s the Crows who remain on top after another impressive performance.
- Adelaide (-)
Ladder position: 2nd
The Crows have well and truly thrown their hat into the ring this season, after an impressive display to come from behind and beat Hawthorn at the MCG. Josh Jenkins went down early and didn’t return, but 11 different goal kickers for 16 majors shows just how deep the Crows can get.
2. Western Bulldogs (+2)
Ladder position: 8th
The reigning premiers won their grand final rematch against the Swans on Friday night, and looked strong throughout most of the second half, even after giving up a five-goal lead to trail in the fourth quarter.
3. GWS (+2)
Ladder position: 9th
A much better performance after round one. A 102-point win – their first win by over 100 points in the club’s history – has the Giants back among people’s favourites for the flag.
4. West Coast (-1)
Ladder position: 5th
The Eagles overcame a slow start and trailed for most of the match before storming home to topple the Saints in Perth. Three goals to Josh Kennedy in the final quarter saw the leader stand up when it mattered, as West Coast remain undefeated.
5. Geelong (-3)
Ladder position: 7th
Despite beating North Melbourne, Geelong fall the furthest of any team this week. The Cats were second best for most of the day, and needed a massive final term from their stars to get them over the line.
6. Sydney (-)
Ladder position: 15th
Sydney are 0-2 for the first time since 2014 (they actually made the grand final that season) but their record looks worse than their side. A loss against the Bulldogs was possibly expected, although they must bounce back and beat Collingwood at home on Friday night.
7. Port Adelaide (+2)
Ladder position: 1st
The Power were brilliant against a poor Fremantle outfit on Sunday, as back-to-back wins have seemingly helped coach Ken Hinkley out of the fire. Robbie Gray was spectacular with 30 disposals and six goals, as Port Adelaide dominated the match from the first minute.
8. Melbourne (-1)
Ladder position: 4
The Demons overcame a tough match to beat Carlton on Sunday, and the result was one they simply had to get if they want to play finals this season. It was a win Melbourne had to grind out, and a 2-0 start for the Dees is just what they needed to begin the year.
9. Essendon (-1)
Ladder position: 6th
Essendon stormed out to a 42-point lead late in the second quarter but allowed the Lions to hit the front in the last term, before running out the game as 27-point winners. The Bombers looked strong for most of the match, and they’ve deserved their 2-0 start to the season.
10. Hawthorn (-)
Ladder position: 14th
0-2 for the first time since 2009, Hawthorn were outplayed by Adelaide for most of the game on Saturday, but did lose Grant Birchall and Isaac Smith to injuries throughout the day. They’ll need a big win over Gold Coast to get their confidence back, as the Hawks still have enough quality to make the eight.
11. Richmond (-)
Ladder position: 3rd
Back-to-back wins over Carlton and Collingwood will put a smile on the face of any Richmond fan, although watching Thursday night’s game almost certainly didn’t. The match lacked quality throughout the first half, and it shows just how far away both sides are from making any noise in the competition.
12. St Kilda (+1)
After their round one defeat to Melbourne, St Kilda came out firing in Perth and led West Coast for almost the entire game. They were overrun by the Eagles in the final stages, although Alan Richardson could surely take some positives away from that result.
13. Collingwood (-1)
Ladder position: 11th
Inaccurate kicking cost the Pies against Richmond last weekend, as Nathan Buckley’s chair continues to heat up. They face the Swans in Sydney this weekend, and will potentially start the season 0-3, which would all but rule them out of finals contention.
14. Brisbane (-)
Ladder position: 10th
The Lions fought hard in the second half to make it a game against Essendon on Saturday night, but just didn’t have the quality to keep with the Bombers in the final stages. It’s certainly been a much better start to the season than most would have anticipated.
15. North Melbourne (+2)
Ladder position: 12th
A pretty strong performance against Geelong will have Roos fans satisfied about the overall game, although the final quarter would have angered many of them. Braydon Preuss stood up after being a late inclusion for Todd Goldstein, as the Roos are already getting something back from their youngsters.
16. Carlton (+2)
Ladder position: 16th
A better performance after a poor showing in round one, but they just couldn’t keep up with Melbourne in the final term to start the season 0-2.
17. Gold Coast (-2)
Ladder position: 17th
A 102-point loss shows just how different GWS and Gold Coast have been since each club’s inception. Theoretically, the Suns should be 12 months ahead of the Giants, although in reality they’re years and years behind.
18. Fremantle (-2)
Ladder position: 18th
This isn’t good. The Dockers were absolutely smashed by Port Adelaide on the weekend, and will every passing week it looks like 2016 wasn’t an outlier. Ross Lyon needs to turn things around. Fast.