A gripping weekend of football was also one of many firsts, with each team having big statements made about themselves off the back of their performances.

With this, it's that time of the week again to have a peep at where your side sits as we near the midway point of the season.

1. Melbourne (-)

In what has become the new norm (albeit an unfamiliar one) for Demons fans, Simon Goodwin's side has once again chalked up another four points, this time against the beleaguered Blues.

It wasn't another mind-blowing performance, but the reality is the occasion just didn't require it. Tom McDonald once again had a solid week in front of goal, whilst Christian Salem displayed his pertinence to his squad, racking up 29 touches off half-back.

Next week should spell another four points, with a trip to the city of churches to face the underwhelming Crows on Saturday afternoon surely giving the Demons an unheralded ten and zip record. Exciting forward Luke Jackson could also potentially make his return following finger surgery which kept him out of last week's clash.

2. Western Bulldogs (-)

The Doggies seemed to get back into their stride following a rocky couple of weeks of football. They outlasted Port Adelaide on their home patch to run out 19 point winners and solidify their premiership credentials.

Aaron Naughton and promising forward partner Cody Weightman had a field day, booting seven goals between them to get their team over the line. Additionally, ball-magnet Jack Macrae continued his mind-boggling 2021 form with 32 disposals as he ran riot in the middle.

The Doggies go up against the Saints at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night, and will be looking to make it nine from ten against a St. Kilda outfit that just cannot seem to click into gear in season 2021.

3. Geelong (+1)

As opposed to last week against the Tigers, the Cats were in strife for a big part of Friday night's clash with St. Kilda. Chris Scott's side were considered lucky by many to be in the game at half-time, with the Saints' wasteful kicking ultimately costing them on the night.

However, it wasn't to say there weren't some great performances from some of the Cats' crew, with Cam Guthrie, Mitch Duncan and Zach Tuohy all having plenty of the footy.

Round 10 sees Geelong face the Suns down at GMHBA Stadium, with the odds firmly stacked against Stuart Dew's side. It could turn out to be a bloodbath, with the disparity between the two side's set to be on show on Saturday afternoon.

4. Brisbane (+1)

The Lions never looked in doubt during the QClash, absolutely demolishing Gold Coast by 71 points to show that their slow start to the season wasn't indicative of their side's progress.

Jarryd Lyons reminded the Suns of their colossal error in delisting him in 2018, racking up 37 disposals in a best-on-ground performance, whilst Daniel McStay had a big night in front of the sticks kicking four majors.

However, this week promises to be their biggest test of the season, going head-to-head with the Tigers in a qualifying-final rematch. With the Tigers very much undermanned, there is no doubt Chris Fagan's side will go into this one favourites, especially at the Gabba. Win this, and their chances at securing a top four spot will get a whole lot better.

5. Port Adelaide (-2)

Port Adelaide were shown up by the Bulldogs on Saturday night as they went down at Adelaide Oval by 19 points. Despite a late surge from the Power, they weren't able to claw back a margin which went out as far as 25 points in the third term.

Orazio Fantasia was once again very handy for the Power with two goals, whilst young star Mitch Georgiades impressed too, also slotting a couple of majors.

Ken Hinkley's side are difficult to get a read on in 2021, with the side sitting 6-3 in fifth place but suffering some disheartening losses to teams around them. Next week they head to Melbourne to take on the Pies, and will be confident that they can get the four points to hopefully start a nice run of form and salvage a top four finish.

6. Richmond (-)

After a truly testing week, the Tigers managed to respond and snag a nail-biting win over the Giants on Saturday night.

A nightclub fiasco, coach Damien Hardwick's negative comments towards Marvel Stadium and injuries to most of their stars wasn't enough to keep this Richmond side down, fighting back from 28 points down to somehow snag the four points and keep their lofty ambitions in reach still.

Dustin Martin was back to his best, kicking four goals and being the spark for the Tigers, whilst Liam Baker was incredible in midfield alongside youngster Riley Collier-Dawkins.

This week poses another stern test for the Tigers, as they travel to Brisbane to take on the high-flying Lions. Despite their loss at the Gabba in week one of finals last year, the record against Brisbane at their home ground is still fairly in their favour, and Damien Hardwick's side will be confident going into the clash.

7. Sydney (-)

Despite being behind at points during their match against the Pies on Saturday, John Longmire's boys found a way to outlast Collingwood as they got over the line by five goals.

Callum Mills was superb for the Swans, racking up 28 disposals and eight tackles, whilst Isaac Heeney marked his return to the side with a convincing three-goal display. Young gun Justin McInerney too had a stellar outing with 24 touches on the wing, displaying the crazy potential of this side should their youngsters stay together.

Sydney now travel across the Nullarbor to face the Dockers on Saturday night. The Swans will go in as clear favourites, with another win here allowing them to potentially break into the top four should other results go their way.

8. West Coast (-)

It was another week, another win for the Eagles, who are starting to perhaps find some rhythm in season 2021 after they swept aside the Crows to the tune of 30 points.

It was a tale of the talls for Adam Simpson's side, with Darling (five goals), Kennedy and Allen (three goals apiece) combining for 11 majors, whilst Nic Nat was lethal in the ruck contests - finishing with 31 hitouts.

Tim Kelly and Andrew Gaff once again had a day out, combining for 61 disposals between the pair.

It finally looks like West Coast are getting into the groove of things, as they now find themselves in seventh spot on the ladder. Round 10 sees them travel to Western Sydney to take on GWS, who are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the reigning premiers. A win here is needed to keep their top four hopes well and truly intact.

9. GWS (-)

The Giants looked to be storming to a famous victory on Saturday night, but spectacularly capitulated under intense pressure from the Tigers to go down by just four points.

It was looking like it was going to be the Giants night, with recruit Jesse Hogan piling on a staggering four goals in the second-term to put his side out to a 28-point lead. Leon Cameron would be disappointed to see his side go down in that matter, but would take positives from the aforementioned Hogan and his form.

A huge loss for GWS was star interim captain Toby Greene, who will miss a month of football with a fractured shoulder, compounding the misery for Leon Cameron. Round 10 sees the Giants welcome the in-form Eagles, and will go in as the underdogs, especially with no Toby involved.

10. Essendon (+3)

The Bombers made it difficult, but just got over the line against the stubborn Fremantle on Sunday afternoon. After the heartbreak of the previous week's loss to the Giants, Ben Rutten's boys were determined to get back on the winner's list, and they did so off the back of a Darcy Parish masterclass. The 23-year-old was pivotal to the Bombers win, with Nick Hind also having one of his best games yet in the red and black.

Essendon fans will be hoping to kick on and make something of their season, and have a prime opportunity to do so this week against the Kangaroos. Despite David Noble's side scratching up their first win of the season in Round 9, the quality of the Bombers should easily be too much for the Roos to handle.

11. Carlton (-1)

The Blues cannot seem to make anything stick in season 2021, and although they were going up against the best team so far this year in Melbourne, they came off second best by a fair margin once again.

Co-captain Patrick Cripps put out an influential display with 27 disposals and 10 tackles, whilst his partner in leadership Sam Docherty also finished with 27 touches from the wing. Perhaps most disheartening was the ACL injury to midfielder David Cunningham, who was only just beginning to become a real asset to his side.

Saturday should hopefully provide some respite for the Blues, going up against the woeful Hawks who are effectively at rock-bottom following their embarrassing loss to the Roos in Launceston. A win here would give the Carlton faithful something to sing about in a season which so far hasn't lived up to expectations.

12. St. Kilda (-)

Going up against the red-hot Cats, many expected this game to be a bloodbath for Brett Ratten's boys, but it ended up being far from that. In fact, the Saints ultimately denied themselves of a famous victory through their insipid accuracy in front of goal, as they finished with 5.17 to go down by 21 points.

Max King, despite his great attack at the ball, was the prime culprit for their inaccuracy, kicking 1.5, whilst injured midfielder Zak Jones' run was sorely missed too.

Things are looking like they might get worse for St. Kilda, as next week they go up against the second-placed Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium. With the way the Doggies midfield is operating at this point in time, things could get ugly for the Saints should they allow their usual suspects to run around unaccounted for.

If they somehow manage to chalk up four points - and it is a massive if - then perhaps something could be salvaged from season 2021.

13. Gold Coast (-2)

Things went from bad to worse for the Suns, as they had their pants comprehensively pulled down by Queensland rivals Brisbane on Saturday to the tune of 73 points.

Despite not many predicting a Gold Coast victory, it was morale-shattering to be whacked by their arch-enemies. David Swallow and Maverick Weller were arguably the only shining lights for Stuart Dew's side on a dark day for the club.

Suns fans would not want to look ahead to next week either, as they make the dreaded trip down to the Cattery to face Geelong on Saturday afternoon. It will almost certainly be about damage limitation for Stuart Dew, who will be aiming to come out of the game with some respect for his side against one of the most red-hot sides in the competition at the moment.

14. Adelaide (-)

Adelaide continued their poor record with a loss at the hands of the Eagles in Perth on Sunday afternoon. Despite actually leading during the second term, the Crows couldn't keep the Eagles' forward-line at bay as they fell to a five goal defeat.

Rory Laird had a solid outing in midfield, whilst Shane McAdam had a good day as well as he finished with three majors. Youngsters Sam Berry and Riley Thilthorpe contributed well for their side also, with four goals combined.

Another big test awaits the Crows, as they welcome the undefeated Melbourne to Adelaide Oval on Saturday. With the form the Demons are in at this point in time, not many would be expecting for the Crows to pull out anything surprising. However, if our minds are casted back to Round 1 and the incredible upset they pulled off against the Cats, then we shouldn't completely give up hope on an abnormal result in this encounter.

15. Fremantle (-)

Justin Longmuir's side made it three defeats on the bounce, this time against a Bombers side which many would say are somewhat evenly matched with the Dockers when it comes to ability.

In a see-sawing encounter, the Dockers were stubborn but could not get the job done when it mattered, going down by seven points despite being up early in the last term. Young gun Andrew Brayshaw once again impressed, whilst midfield partner Adam Cerra and ruckman Sean Darcy also saw plenty of the ball.

Sydney are next up on the fixture list for Fremantle, and will provide a very tough task even though the match will be in Perth. An unexpected victory here from the Dockers could be just what they need to kick off a mini-resurgence and perhaps get their season up-and-running again.

16. Collingwood (-)

After a win that was a long time coming for Pies fans, Nathan Buckley's side once again tasted defeat in Sydney on Saturday. It wasn't a catastrophic loss by any standards, with Collingwood finding themselves in front at half-time, however they eventually succumbed to the Swans' quality, going down by 30 points.

Will Hoskin-Elliott had a fantastic day out for the Pies, with Jack Crisp and Brayden Maynard also seeing quite a lot of the ball throughout the afternoon.

Next Sunday will not be an easy outing by any stretch of the imagination for Collingwood, with a clash at the 'G against Port Adelaide on the cards. The war of words between the two clubs surrounding the Power's prison-bar strip controversy might add a bit of spice to the contest, but not many will be expecting for Collingwood to come out trumps in this one.

17. Hawthorn (-)

It was the battle of the bottom sides this week and, despite being quite a ways in front at one stage, the Hawks somehow found it within themselves to choke the lead and give North Melbourne their first win of 2021.

Chad Wingard was electric early, but could not help his side when they were on the ropes, with Alastair Clarkson's side slumping to 2-7 after nine rounds played.

The reality is now for the Hawks is that they're in for a rebuild, and will now undoubtedly be one of the whipping boys of the competition for a while. Their next opponent in Carlton haven't exactly set the world alight this year, but will most likely get the job done against them as Clarko and his coaching staff figure out the best way to progress.

18. North Melbourne (-)

No one thought it possible this year, but against all odds the Roos finally tasted their first victory of season 2021. Behind by five goals in the second term and looking like they were going to roll over and let the Hawks run all over them, North found it deep within themselves to rise in the face of adversity and snatch the win in Launceston.

Cam Zurhaar was superb with four majors for the afternoon, as Jy Simpkin and Ben Cunnington ran the show in the middle of the park.

Whilst it was a famous victory for the blue and white, it most likely will be short-lived, this week going up against Ben Rutten's Bombers who are also coming off a victory. Despite being underdogs, David Noble and his side will take confidence in that they do have what it takes to win and hopefully will stick it to Essendon.

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