After two losses in the first three rounds, Collingwood have readjusted and have not lost a game since. In round eight, Jaidyn Stephenson once again emerged as his side’s leading goalkicker, kicking two this round and four the week prior. Skipper Scott Pendlebury continues to be a leader on field, collecting 25+ disposals for the fourth week in a row. Collingwood continues to work towards September where they hope to make it as far as they did last season, only this time, walk away with the cup.
Geelong has won seven of their eight games so far, with their one loss being handed to them by GWS by four points. Their most recent match against North Melbourne nearly took a turn when the Roos fought back in the third quarter. Tim Kelly continues to star for Geelong after he once again led the disposal count with 36 possessions. Tom Hawkins continues to be dangerous up forward after adding another four goals last week, and takes his tally to 19 for the season.
Whilst Richmond’s injury list continues to grow so does their hard work and determination during games. Despite missing leaders such as Trent Cotchin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt, the side has only lost one of their past five matches. Convincing wins against Fremantle, Sydney and Melbourne have seen the likes of Bachar Houli and Dion Prestia take charge on field and be attacking at the contest.
Despite an undesirable loss to Hawthorn over the weekend, the Giants have been dominating the field with players such as Tim Taranto and Jeremy Cameron leading the way. The Giants continue to be a threat this season with the likes of Cameron, Taranto, Coniglio and Williams performing consistently every week.
- Western Bulldogs
Two great wins in two weeks sees the Dogs rise in the power rankings. With wins against Brisbane and Richmond, both top eight teams, the Dogs are starting to look like their old selves. Aaron Naughton has been the Dogs’ leading goal scorer two weeks in a row, whilst Josh Dunkley has been a ball magnet, collecting 35 and 36 disposals in consecutive weeks.
Adelaide has risen above the likes of Brisbane and West Coast after their performances the past four weeks. Whilst they are on a four-game winning streak, the teams they have come up against are in the bottom ten, and their wins have not come so easily. In the final term of their match against Port Adelaide, the Crows allowed the Power to kick six goals to their three, which made the game a little more tense than it needed to be.
Whilst Fremantle are 4-4 after round eight, their four wins have been against sides that have not been as strong this season. Whilst the last two rounds have seen them lose to Richmond and Adelaide, players such as Nat Fyfe and David Mundy have continued to impact the game and perform consistently.
Whilst they may sit fifth on the ladder, Brisbane have beaten bottom ten teams whilst being heavily defeated by top eight sides. Collingwood and Western Bulldogs have both had convincing wins over the Lions in the past four weeks. However, they have had success against Gold Coast and Sydney. Lachie Neale and Hugh McCluggage continue to stand out as top players for Brisbane.
Hawthorn has been back and forth the past few weeks, with a couple of wins and a few close games they continue to improve. After suffering a loss to Melbourne in round seven, Hawthorn redeemed themselves against GWS in a 33-point victory.
- West Coast
West Coast’s performance has been on a rollercoaster this season. After an opening round loss, they soon found their groove before coming to a halt with back to back losses to Port Adelaide and Geelong. For a side with the likes of Josh Kennedy and Luke Shuey scoring 53 and 46 points in a game is not acceptable. A glimmer of hope shines through Andrew Gaff who presents himself as the leading ball getter for West Coast, his form consistent thus far in the season.
- Port Adelaide
Two consecutive losses have hindered Port Adelaide’s start to the season. They were travelling well, with the likes of Travis Boak and Tom Rockliff leading the way but losses to Collingwood and Adelaide have seen them drop to 11th on the ladder.
- St Kilda
St Kilda has fallen back into old habits after a great start to the season. Having won four of their five games in the first five rounds, St Kilda has taken a turn for the worse and lost their three most recent games. Along with this, they have loss influential midfielder Jack Steven who is taking extended time off for personal reasons. This has caused players such as Seb Ross, Jack Billings and Shane Savage to step up and assume roles as leaders on field.
Two close games in the past two weeks have seen Melbourne prevail but less than a goal each time. Clayton Oliver continues to find the ball in the midfield, playing consistently each week. However, Melbourne has also lost two games in the past month, one to Richmond and another to St Kilda. The next few rounds will be tests for Melbourne as they face West Coast and GWS.
The happiness of winning in round five has worn off after three consecutive losses for Essendon. The Bombers’ most recent game against Sydney was there for the taking, but they were unable to get the job done, falling five points short. Dyson Heppell, Orazio Fantasia and Zach Merrett continue to be in-form and play consistently week in and week out.
- Gold Coast
Gold Coast were given the opportunity to break their losing streak against Melbourne last weekend but failed to defend in the last 20 seconds of the game, ultimately leading to their defeat. Whilst they have come up against some tough competition such as Adelaide and Brisbane, losses to Melbourne and West Coast have hurt their rankings.
Despite an undesirable start to the season, Carlton has been improving. Whilst they may have only won one game, they have definitely given their opposition a run for their money in most recent weeks. They led for some time against Collingwood on Saturday and also gave us a thrilling match against Hawthorn only two weeks ago.
- North Melbourne
North Melbourne recorded their second win of the season against Carlton in round seven and followed up with a close game this week against Geelong. Whilst they were defeated by 24 points, North Melbourne are continuing to improve and show signs of promise. The second half of their match against Geelong saw them kick seven goals to Geelong’s eight. A lack of accuracy in front of goal is what stands between North Melbourne and their next win.
The loss of Buddy Franklin has affected the Sydney Swans over the past few weeks however it’s given youngsters such as Will Hayward and Tom McCartin the opportunity to impress. Sydney has had a slow start to the season as they continue to be defeated week in and week out. Round eight saw Sydney break their dry spell with a win against Essendon with the likes of Jake Lloyd and Luke Parker finding their groove.