Round 12

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Ah, the bye weeks. Notoriously the most difficult time to write these rankings – pushing teams up or down when they haven’t played always unnerves me, but alas, the rankings must continue. A short but dramatic week, this one was.

1.Geelong
Last week: 1
Would’ve been nervous at quarter time, but absolutely dominated the 2017 premiers in the ravenous remainder of the clash. They’ve got 11 wins, one loss and sit two games clear on the top of the ladder. But absolutely nobody should be pronouncing them premiers just yet. This competition is just too unpredictable.

2.Collingwood
Last week: 4
I mean, they were facing an opposition deficient in a lot of areas, but I was still impressed by the Magpies’ efforts. Some very good play in the midst of the game, and they’re deservedly second on the ladder.

3.West Coast
Last week: 2
Bad loss, but not a bad loss – if that makes sense? What I’m gathering from most Eagles fans is that only a very small percentage were concerned about their loss in Sydney; but is it emblematic of the Eagles’ losing trend: when they lose, they lose big.

4.GWS Giants
Last week: 3
Oh, GWS. Dropping a match like that – a match in which they were favourites – after a good few weeks would be frustrating. Still in the box seat to be in the top four come the end of the season, though.

5.Brisbane Lions
Last week: 5
Oh no. Perhaps they went in a little complacent, perhaps they were genuinely surprised by the strength of Carlton. Whatever the reason, it was an inopportune loss in a season where they will want as many wins as they can get.

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6.Adelaide
Last week: 9
Very fine win, and a good demonstration that the Crows are still an excellent side. The Crows’ explosive final ten minutes showed they dug deep to win, and I’d have them heading into next week’s clash against Richmond the favourites.

7.Richmond
Last week: 6
Injuries be damned, I’m incredibly worried about the Tigers right now. Of course, they could shake off a run of worrying form and continue a run for top four, or the Geelong loss could exemplify their worrying fortnight and be the beginning of a rotten patch.

8.Fremantle
Last week: 7
Had the bye this week. But they still lost: losing Alex Pearce for the year and then Rory Lobb for a long while are very, very bad injuries for the club.

9.Port Adelaide
Last week: 8
Had the bye after their trip to China last weekend. Now seems as good a time as ever to dust off this classic.

10.North Melbourne
Last week: 12
Good, but almost commonplace, win up on the Gold Coast. Many pundits had pegged this as a danger game, but North’s form meant it would have been a huge upset if they’d lost. Big test against GWS next weekend. Win it, and Rhys Shaw will move to 3-0 at the helm.

11.Essendon
Last week: 10
Had the bye this week.

12.Hawthorn
Last week: 11
Had the bye this week.

13.St Kilda
Last week: 13
Had the bye after their trip to China last weekend.

14.Sydney Swans
Last week: 15
Yeah, very good win. Never mind the fact that the Eagles perennially struggle at the SCG, a win like that deserves praise nevertheless.

15.Western Bulldogs
Last week: 14
Had the bye this week.

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16.Carlton
Last week: 18
David Teague, welcome to coaching Carlton. A fine win, made all the more special by the fact that Patrick Cripps clinched the three Brownlow votes during that clash. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it two on the trot against the Dogs next weekend.

17.Gold Coast
Last week: 16
I’ve been trying to avoid the “Gold Coast are reverting back to typical form” argument, but losses like this make this season seem like a one step forward, two step back kind of situation. A lot of things going right for this football club, but another couple of wins between now and the end of the season would be fantastic.

18.Melbourne
Last week: 17
It’s difficult winning games when displaying some of the deplorable skill that the Demons displayed against Collingwood. To their credit, they did provide some fight in the second half, but it was another thoroughly disappointing day for the Demons.


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