1. Richmond (Last week: -)
The Tigers held off a fast finishing Geelong outfit to claim a three-point victory on Friday night. Kane Lambert continued his rise to stardom with a 31 disposal performance and Jack Riewoldt celebrated his new contract with four goals. Richmond travel to the Gold Coast, seeking their first interstate win of the season on Saturday.
2. West Coast (-)
A comfortable 58-point victory over rival Fremantle is unfortunately not the real story of the game as Brownlow chance Andrew Gaff appeared to cost himself many weeks on the sidelines after his hit on Andrew Brayshaw. Along with Gaff’s Brownlow chances, the Eagles’ premiership hopes could be in tatters, losing their star midfielder. The Eagles take on Port Adelaide in Adelaide on Saturday.
3. GWS (+1)
The Giants demolished a hapless Carlton side to the tune of 105 points to continue rising up the ladder. They were not without trouble however, with Brett Deledio, Toby Greene, Dawson Simpson and Sam Taylor all in doubt to take on the Crows Saturday night.
4. Collingwood (-1)
The Pies’ injury list continued to grow with young defender Darcy Moore suffering a hamstring injury, keeping him out of the second half in their two-point loss. Collingwood will rue missed opportunities late in the game to seal victory, with the loss leaving them out of the top four. The Magpies host Brisbane at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
5. Melbourne (+1)
The Dees had a big percentage boost, beating the Gold Coast by 96 points on Sunday afternoon to return to the top four on the ladder. Midfielder Clayton Oliver had 31 disposals and kicked two goals in the big win. Melbourne hosts Sydney in a crucial game for both sides’ finals chances on Sunday.
6. Port Adelaide (-1)
The Power lost their place in the top four after a controversial loss in the Showdown to the Crows. Robbie Gray and Chad Wingard both had strong games kicking four goals apiece. The Power host West Coast at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, looking to return to the top four.
7. Geelong (-)
One kick of the ball stopped the Cats from rising up the rankings and ending the stranglehold of the premiers at the MCG. Unfortunately, it may prove costly for them in the run towards September. The Cats feature in another big MCG game this weekend, taking on the Hawks on Saturday, trying to move back into the top eight.
8. Hawthorn (+1)
The Hawks appear to be bound for finals action once again after defeating bitter rival Essendon on Saturday in a tight encounter. Jack Gunston lead the way with five goals and 24 disposals while Brownlow favourite Tom Mitchell had 43 disposals. Hawthorn faces Geelong to keep pace with those in the top four on Saturday afternoon.
9. Essendon (-1)
The Bombers’ finals chances appear to be shot after their loss to Hawthorn on Saturday. Costly errors from Brendan Goddard and Michael Hurley allowed the Hawks to kick key goals in the final term, potentially ending their own finals chances. They will look to stay within touching distance when they take on St. Kilda Friday night.
10. Sydney (+1)
A vintage performance from Lance Franklin kept Sydney’s season alive with a thrilling win over Collingwood at the SCG. Franklin kicked six of the Swans’ 11 goals to help steal victory. Sydney face Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday afternoon in an all-important clash for both teams.
11. North Melbourne (-1)
The Kangaroos also kept their season alive with a tight win up in Brisbane. A Cam Rayner miss in the dying seconds gave the Kangaroos the victory after almost coughing up a 24-point last quarter lead. North Melbourne face the Bulldogs on Sunday, looking to remain alive in 2018.
12. Adelaide (-)
The Crows managed to steal a frenetic Showdown 45, thanks to a controversial late goal to Josh Jenkins, which may have flicked the post. The news wasn’t all good for Adelaide with star defender Daniel Talia failing to finish the game with a corked right leg. The Crows face GWS on Saturday night to keep its slim finals chances alive.
13. Brisbane (-)
The Lions almost stole victory from the Kangaroos and ended their season on Saturday, losing by three points. Young Lion Hugh McCluggage had his best game, collecting 26 disposals and kicking three goals. Brisbane travel down to Melbourne to face a depleted Collingwood on Saturday night.
14. Western Bulldogs (+1)
After a slow start, the Bulldogs had a rare big second half to defeat St. Kilda on Saturday night. Marcus Bontempelli was the hero, inspiring his side with a four-goal third quarter. The Bulldogs will look to carry this form into their clash with North Melbourne, looking for revenge after the Kangaroos stole victory from them in the dying seconds in Round 14.
15. Fremantle (-1)
The Dockers were beaten in every quarter by rivals West Coast, en route to a 59-point loss in the Derby. Their loss was compounded by the injury suffered by young midfielder Andrew Brayshaw, thanks to Andrew Gaff’s hit. Fremantle will look to equal their tally of eight wins from 2017 this week when it faces Carlton at Optus Stadium.
16. St. Kilda (-)
After a terrific first quarter, the Saints were comprehensively beaten in the second half by the Bulldogs, finishing 35-point losers. In better news, Nathan Freeman got through his AFL debut unscathed, collecting 19 disposals. The Saints face Essendon on Friday night, where they could end the Bombers’ finals hopes.
17. Carlton (-)
The Blues gave little resistance to the runaway Giants, finishing 105-point losers. Big forward Harry McKay gave Carlton fans some hope with three goals on a dirty day for their side. Carlton travels to Perth to face Fremantle on Sunday.
18. Gold Coast (-)
It was a terrible week for the Suns both off and on the field this week. Tom Lynch confirmed he wanted to leave the club and a 96-point loss to Melbourne at the MCG. The Suns’ chances in the game were done before the first quarter ended as Melbourne kicked nine goals to one in the opening stanza. It doesn’t get any easier for the Gold Coast, who host premiers Richmond on Saturday.