In keeping with a major theme of this season that teams that look like they are moving ahead will soon put in a bad performance, Adelaide marked its clear break at the top of the rankings by losing at home this week to lowly-ranked Hawthorn. The Crows still keep top spot in these rankings for now, but Port Adelaide and GWS now look about just as good.
Also showing the even nature of this season is that it doesn’t take much for the teams in the middle to move around a few spots in the rankings. Essendon moves up from tenth to eighth after the narrowest of losses in Sydney, Richmond moves up from twelfth to tenth, Collingwood drops from ninth to twelfth, and Geelong drops from third to fifth after squeaking home against Fremantle.
After three narrow wins this season Fremantle’s luck in close games ran out against the Cats. (As a Richmond supporter I wish Freo’s missed shot at goal near the siren had come against us.) Those narrow wins have been keeping the Dockers much further up on the ladder than they are rated here.
Melbourne’s rating moves a little higher still after its exciting win in Perth against the West Coast Eagles. The Demons are rated as basically as strong as fourth-ranked Sydney and fifth-ranked Geelong. Can they become an actual top-four ranked team – and actual top four ladder team – with a win against the Sydney Swans next week?