After another set of clashes played out across the ANZAC weekend provided us with our sixth set of winners and losers for the year, the wheat can now be sorted from the chaff with a bit more confidence.

While Melbourne remains rooted to the ladder's top rung after a month and change, it is a surprising quintet of names that are within the Redlegs' rear-view mirror.

So, before we begin ramping up towards Round 7, take a gander at where your mob sits in our eyes ahead of your latest weekend date.

1. Melbourne

Like sand through an hourglass, Melbourne cannot be stopped.

Their latest victory coming against a Richmond outfit that currently appears down but is by no means out.

While much of the Demons' Round 6 victory over the Punt Roaders remained in the balance, yet another five-minute sprint that produced five goals in the third term was enough to secure the points.

Like the ladder itself, the Redlegs will remain at our summit until someone proves able to topple them.

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2. Brisbane

Although the Lions and Suns may be each other's closest geographic rivals, the scoreboard on Sunday proved that there is still a country mile between the contenders from the Gabba and their younger brothers down the road.

With a 5-1 record and a 52-point snuff out of the Suns under their belt, Chris Fagan's pride will enter their Round 7 date with the Swans with plenty of purpose in what looms as a genuine 'eight-pointer'.

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3. Sydney

Despite trailing Hawthorn by nine points at the start of the final term on ANZAC Day, nothing would deny Sydney as they marched onwards to victory number five, even a bitter westerly breeze in Launceston.

With a 9.2 fourth term, the Swans not only took the points on offer in the Apple Isle but the took the wind out of Hawthorn's sails.

While sitting amongst the elite after a month and a half, the Moore Park club has the ability to entrench themselves as a force to be reckoned with ahead of dates with the Lions, Suns, Bombers and Blues.

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4. St Kilda

Saints fans could get used to this - another week, another win - that's five in a row for the first time since their last grand final year in 2010.

The wins are nice but it's the way these wins have come about. Devastating bursts of offensive football against Hawthorn and Richmond, that comeback over the Dockers in Perth, a solid, workmanlike four quarters over the Suns and now a grinding, against-all-odds road victory over the Giants.

Outside of a frustrating opening-round loss to the 'Pies, the Saints have taken all before them, but it's the next three weeks that will show us where the Saints are really at, with Port Adelaide (Cazaly Stadium), Melbourne (MCG) and Geelong (Marvel Stadium) to come.

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5. Fremantle

Although their bandwagon is starting to take on passengers, it wasn't long ago that the Dockers had a dearth of admirers.

However, after six rounds of sound 'run and gun' footy, Justin Longmuir's side has announced itself as a threat so far this season.

While victories over Adelaide, West Coast, GWS, Essendon and Carlton are in the bag, the Cockburn club faces a stiffer set of opponents over the next month and change, with the Cats, Demons and Lions before the bye.

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6. Geelong

After having their colours lowered in an Easter Monday cracker against old rivals Hawthorn, the Cats clawed their way back onto the winner's list with a 10-goal thumping of the Roos in Hobart.

While their calibre of opponent allowed them to canter through with ease, the same pleasantries won't be on offer in Round 7, with Fremantle set to make the trip to Kardinia Park for the first time since Round 22, 2018.

Though the Hoops hold a historic 15-3 record over the westerners at the venue, Longmuir's men have a few more weapons in the arsenal than the Dockers of yore.

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7. Carlton

After toppling the Tigers, Bulldogs and Hawks to start the season, the Blues' blaring bandwagon broke down again in Round 6 after being run off their feet by Fremantle.

While still ahead of the ledger at 4-2 heading into a soft clash against North Melbourne this weekend, an array of '50/50' battles with Adelaide, GWS, Sydney, Collingwood, Essendon and Richmond before the bye should provide some clarity on whether Carlton have, in fact, turned a corner.

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8. Collingwood

Akin to Carlton, the Woods started 2022 with a bang before meeting speedbumps in the form of Geelong, West Coast and Brisbane.

However, after a workmanlike win on ANZAC Day, Collingwood has worked their way back into the eight.

Still, with a banana peel in the Suns next on their schedule, the Magpie Army will be hopeful a repeat of their Round 7 loss last season to the northerners is not on the cards.

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9. Hawthorn

While there isn't much room for 'Shoulda's, coulda's and woulda's' in footballing, Hawthorn, for much of ANZAC Day, looked as though they should have upset the Swans.

But after coughing up 54 points in the final term alone, not only was a win snatched off the table but the Hawks' spot inside the eight also evaporated.

At 3-3, the writing is far from on the wall at Waverley Park but with dates against Melbourne, Essendon, Richmond and Brisbane across the next month, Hawthorn may soon be riding bumps with a grimace rather than a grin.

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10. Adelaide

If you had offered an Adelaide fan a 3-3 start to their 2022 season, it is unlikely that many would have turned the proposal down.

And with their latest victory coming by the barest of margins against the Bulldogs in Ballarat, these same members of the murder are sure to be beaming.

With wins over the Pups, Port and the Tigers, as well as losses against the Dockers, Pies and Dons, to say Adelaide's results have been inconsistent would be fair.

Given this, you'd need to be a tipping extraordinaire to remain perfect when picking the winners in their next four outings against GWS, Carlton, Brisbane and St Kilda respectively.

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11. Richmond

Though it's probably too early to write Richmond off completely, at 2-4, time is ticking for the Tigers to right their ship.

While dropping points to a devastatingly dangerous Demons outfit is no crime, prior defeats at the hands of Blues, Saints and Crows, Damien Hardwick's ambush are under far more early-season pressure than they have been for some time.

The next month could, feasibly, make or break Richmond's season, with a block of clashes against West Coast, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Essendon set to act as a boost or dagger for the future.

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12. Western Bulldogs

As emphatically impressive as the Demons have been in 2022, their dance card partners in last season's grand final have proven the opposite.

Irrespective of their ability to best the Swans and Roos so far this year, defeats at the hands of Melbourne, Carlton, Richmond and Adelaide have lowered grey clouds over the Whitten Oval.

Sure, Luke Beveridge may be operating without a myriad of his mainstays, but if a solid month against Essendon, Port, Collingwood and Gold Coast is not produced, a place inside the eight may soon be out of paw's reach.

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13. Gold Coast

History suggests that the Suns have routinely shown their best form prior to the bye before slipping out of contention as each season wears on.

And while still only April, Gold Coast's fast start, which included stirring victories over West Coast and Carlton, has been halted after back-to-back defeats to the Saints and Lions.

Despite the fact that few would have had the Ben King-less side competing for a spot in September if their season cannot be righted before the break, these same punters will likely be on the money.

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14. Port Adelaide

After an 0-5 start to the season, Port Adelaide blew the cobwebs off in style, cruising past the Eagles in the City of Churches by 84 points.

Still, with an inability to jump out of the blocks at pace, there's close to no time for the Power to be patting themselves on the back, especially with the Saints and Bulldogs on the horizon.

History suggests that Port are up against it to return to the finals action, with only seven of 104 teams who have started their seasons at 0-5 making it through to September.

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15. GWS Giants

At 1-5, Leon Cameron will be sweating on results in the near future, especially with a contract extension not yet arising.

Though the Giants can claim to have dropped their bundle against in-form clubs such as Sydney, Fremantle, Melbourne and St Kilda, if a favourable month against the Crows, Cats, Blues and Eagles is unable to be constructed, it could be curtains for the big, big sound in 2022.

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16. Essendon

From the chocolates of last season to the boiled lollies of the present, few sides have, comparatively, been as disappointing as the Bombers.

With just a singular win against the Crows to their name and a black eye earned against the Pies in their latest ANZAC Day clash, there is little to laugh about at Hangar these days.

And given the Bulldogs, Hawks, Swans and Tigers all loom across the next calendar month, Ben Rutten's boys, well and truly, have their work cut out for them.

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17. West Coast

After being afforded excuses due to injury and the COVID chaos that has engulfed their clubrooms of late, the patience granted to the Eagles was just about shredded entirely after being blown of the park by a previously winless Port outfit.

At 1-5 and with Richmond, Brisbane and Melbourne as their next set of respective rivals, you can probably stick a fork in the lads from Laithlan, as they can't get anymore cooked than they are at the present.

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18. North Melbourne

With yet another loss of 10 goals or more run up against their name, there wasn't much to write home about for the North after their first jaunt to the Hobart this season.

Still, with a young group and a focus on rebuilding, the manner in which the Kangaroos bounce back is how they can win admirers.

Unfortunately, their next clash comes against a Blues side with a sting in their tail, so you can probably expect to find the Arden Streeters in this same position come next Monday.

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