We're just about halfway through the 2023 AFL season and as the byes draw closer, the ladder is taking shape.

At the conclusion of Round 10, here are our winners and losers.


Port Adelaide (Yartapuulti) is the real deal

An impressive performance from Port Adelaide (Yartapuulti) on Friday night saw them move up to third on the ladder after defeating Melbourne (Naarm) by four points.

Despite Melbourne's midfield beasts in Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver putting in shifts, the Power's Zak Butters stole the show with his 41 disposals and pair of critical goals. Elite performances from Dan Houston and Connor Rozee helped drag the Power over the line as the Dees worked their way to a three-quarter time lead to set up an exciting final term.

On a cold, wet night in Adelaide, the standard of footy was at its highest in a relatively high-scoring affair once the conditions taken into account. After that performance in a thriller, it's hard not to back Port leading into September.

That may be seven on the surge for the Alberton Crowd, however, the board are still in no rush to offer head coach Ken Hinkley a new deal. 

Let's see how Port look by August, then.

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Magpies skipper Darcy Moore

In yet another Collingwood win, the Pies have captain Darcy Moore to thank for his commanding defensive role in a 29-point win over the Blues. Setting what was first believed to be an intercept marking record with 11, Moore was a dominant force down back against a very predictable and lacklustre Carlton side.

However, upon review, Moore's marking milestone was wound back to 10, meaning the Pies' skipper now shares the honour.

With a crowd of 80,354 present, Collingwood presented themselves as premiership favourites, while Moore will be looking to add another All-Australian blazer to his collection, this time maybe even a captaincy role along with it.

The Pies midfield was lively throughout the game with Jordan De Goey and Tom Mitchell leading the charge, however, it was Moore who stood defensively.

Despite heartbreak in 2022 after losing a preliminary final by a single point, the Pies seem to have found their groove with their new skipper leading the way.

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Fantastic Freo (Walyalup) 

Fremantle continued to turn their season around after a 29-point win against the reigning premiers Geelong. Midfielders Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw maintain their All-Australian aspirations after another set of dazzling displays through the centre, dominating the clearances all afternoon.

Their forward line continued to fire, with multiple goals from Michael Walters, Jye Amiss and Michael Frederick to claim victory. Despite the game remaining close through the first three quarters, the Dockers punished the Cats in the final term, kicking 3.4 to just three points.

The Dockers are in for a real test next week as they take on the Demons (Naarm) at the MCG. After back-to-back wins against a struggling Swans side and an undermanned Geelong team, Melbourne will be the real test.

Still, after getting the job done against Simon Goodwin's men at the 'G last year, Fremantle will respect the size of the task ahead, but they are unlikely to fear it.

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The entire Eagles' side

If the season couldn't get any worse for West Coast, their putrid performance on Sunday proved that they still have room to fall.

Losing by 116 points to now 16th-placed Hawthorn, the Eagles were out of the game after the first quarter. Only registering two points after halftime, this once proud side from the West is in freefall and they're not slowing down soon.

Allowing Hawthorn to kick 11 unanswered goals in the second half was woeful. Not all is lost as they seem to be in line for the expected number-one pick Harley Reid.

Still, there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge until we reach Round 22, and the Eagles can bank on the fact that others will have a keen eye on the Tongala native.

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Eagles players leave the field dejected after the loss during round 10 AFL match between Hawthorn Hawks and West Coast Eagles at University of Tasmania Stadium, on May 21, 2023, in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Boring Blues

After weeks of criticism, everything was lined up for a Carlton response. Their performance on Sunday was everything but that. With a very predictable game plan, the Pies comfortably defeated the Blues by 29 points.

Despite not working last week, it seemed as though Carlton made very few adjustments. For the majority of the game, the plan was to kick it down the line to their Coleman-winning spearheads, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow. Most of the time, there were at least two Collingwood defenders on either one of them. This led to easy turnovers and the Pies were out.

After making some slight changes at halftime to get back into the game, Carlton simply did not move the ball quick enough against the fastest ball-moving team in the competition.

Blues forward Charlie Curnow kicked three seemingly the only bright spot for another average team performance.

With static ball movement, a predictable game plan and players not performing at the level they should be, Blues fans have every right to be frustrated. Adam Cerra's comments two weeks ago didn't help the Blues faithful's mood as they fall even further from finals contention.

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Disappointing Crows

In arguably the most highly anticipated game of the round, the Bulldogs defeated the Crows comfortably by 45 points. At the Dogs' home-away-from-home in Ballarat, picking a winner was tough, however, the Crows never seemed to get out of first gear.

After an electric start to the season due to their rapid ball movement and exciting forward craft, the Crows were stunned in the first quarter after the Dogs kicked four to one. Although they had a couple of injuries, Adelaide never looked in with a chance at all against a ferocious Bulldogs side.

Despite usual ball-winner Rory Laird's 34 disposal effort, that's where the highlights stopped for the Crows with only one multiple goal-kicker and three other players above 20 disposals.

We've seen highs and lows from Matthew Nicks' murder, and with Brisbane awaiting them this weekend, the litmus tests don't get any easier.

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