The difference in points is so tight in the middle of the rankings that North Melbourne drops a couple of spots even though it did not play this week. The Kangaroos’ slight fall in points is mainly a result of one of their recent opponents, Sydney, not being rated as highly this week after its loss at home to Richmond. Meanwhile Collingwood moves up a few spots after a good performance in Perth against Fremantle, giving the Magpies the highest total gain of any team this season. The five teams ranked from sixth to tenth – Port Adelaide, Collingwood, North Melbourne, Geelong, and Adelaide – are separated by less than two ranking points, or less than a tenth of a point per game over the course of a season.
Richmond consolidates fifth position with the
highest gain of any team over the past five weeks, playing into my fear that
fifth will be the new ninth for the Tigers. That is, in the same way that
Richmond just missed out on the final eight several times over the past twenty
years I fear that it will start a run of just missing out on the top four, as
it already did in 2013. Honestly though, given that the Tigers started off the
season 2-4 - coupled with them not playing many finals in the past thirty years
- I would still be pretty pleased if they could just make the bottom four of
the top eight for a third straight year.