AFL 2011 Power Rankings – Round 3 – Saints losing their Halos?

Week 3 of Luke’s Power rankings are in and still no change at the top but there has been a big faller this week. Give you one guess who it is (that or you can read it yourself). I guess a question that needs to be asked. Is Luke giving the Bombers enough respect, or is his caution warranted? Lets know your thoughts!

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Collingwood 1 <NO CHANGE> Summary: A comfortable win, but not as easy one, over the old enemy Carlton.

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The Pies have failed to outscore their opponents in just 3 quarters so far in 2011 – once in the opening round against the Power and twice against the Blues in round 3. Despite not dominating in their usual fashion, they managed to win by almost 5 goals against a top 4 "contender", whilst still not playing their best footy. If that's the worst it gets for Collingwood, it's going to be a smooth ride to September.

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Stat line: Put simply, the Pies have belted their first 2 opponents, averaging a league-high 149 points per contest.

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Bulldogs 2 <NO CHANGE> Summary: It was only the Gold Coast Suns.

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Yes, it was only the Gold Coast Suns but yet winning form is good form for the Dogs. I was at this game on the weekend and was troubled by the lack of intensity at the contest by several Bulldogs players. Adam Cooney springs to mind – when is he going to treat each contest as if its his last? He can be a genius at times, but equally seems non-plussed at other times.

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Stat line: After losing 3 out of 4 quarters to the Dons in round 1, the Dogs have won every quarter since.

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Geelong 3 <NO CHANGE> Summary: An interstate team playing at the Cattery? Yawn! Wake me when it's over.

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Hard to get enthused about another drubbing dished out by the Cats at Skilled Stadium. It's a luxury no other Victorian team enjoys, and they use it to their advantage almost every time. On the weekend, they clinically destroyed Port Adelaide by 79 points.

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Stat line: If you're going to score against the Cats, do it early. They give up most of their points to the opposition in the first term.

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Hawthorn 4 UP 1 Summary: The Hawks have hit their stride, albeit against the Demons and Tigers.

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There is no question the Hawks are finding some form but remember they've played three (current) bottom 8 teams. Hawthorn supporters must have been delighted to see Buddy Franklin in vintage form on the weekend, plus they didn’t have Cyril Rioli or Sam Mitchell in the 22. They face last years wooden spooner (the Eagles) in round 4, before a true test against the Cats.

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Stat line: So far in 2011, the Hawks are keeping the ball out of opposition hands, giving up an average 324 disposals (2nd best in AFL).

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Carlton 5 UP 1 Summary: It wasn't a win, but at least they were competitive.

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I wrote here last round that the Blues had to be competitive against the Magpies to earn some respect around the AFL. Well, take away the second term (a 28-point advantage to the Pies) and the remaining three terms were level on points for & against. You could argue that the Blues didn't really threaten the Pies, but I do believe a lot can be gained from the loss. Eddie Betts needs to fire up.

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Stat line: Carlton need to find consistency with their goal kicking totals quarter-to-quarter. They are ranked last in this area in the AFL.

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Fremantle 6 UP 1 Summary: No, seriously – what have you done with the real Fremantle?

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This would have been hard to fathom even as little as a couple of years ago – the Dockers have won twice away from Perth already in 2011. A move up the rankings this week was well deserved. Fremantle has a nice stretch of their schedule coming up – and may just consolidate their position in the 8 before the half-way mark of the season. And this was a team expected to start slowly in 2011.

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Stat line: The Dockers are kicking a league worst 0.72 goals for every behind so far this season.

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St Kilda 7 DOWN 3 Summary: Did someone mention that nasty word, "re-build"?

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The footy world is abuzz with news of the demise of the St Kilda team so far this season. Yes, the Lenny Hayes injury was a bitter blow – as I don't believe they can win a Premiership without him. And if they're not winning it all this year, it sure isn't going to happen in 2012. But before we dismiss the Saints completely, it's interesting to note that the Cats, Dogs, Hawks and Pies fielded an older squad of 22 players on the weekend than the Saints. I've still dropped the Saints right down the rankings this week, as a premiership challenge from this point would be remarkable.

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Stat line: The Saints managed just 14 2nd quarter points on the weekend, backing up my stat here last week about their Q2 struggles.

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Sydney 8 <NO CHANGE> Summary: Can't complain with being undefeated after 3 rounds.

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The Swans looked anything but winners during stages of that tense final term against the Eagles on Saturday. Down by several goals, they found the type of determination that I thought may have been left behind in the Brett Kirk/Paul Roos era How I was wrong. Jude Bolton led the way with a staggering 19 tackles in the typically hard fought contest with their Grand Final opponent of 2005 & 2006. The next three rounds will tell us plenty about the Swans.

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Stat line: The Swans next 3 opponents are the Cats, Blues and Dogs.

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Essendon 9 UP 1 Summary: My wall of resistance to the Bomber charge is crumbling.

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As much as I'd like to – I cannot discount Essendon's win this week, against the Saints in Nick Riewoldt's 200th match and with everything to play for given St Kilda's horror opening to 2011. Alas, the Bombers ran all over the Saints with minimal fuss or even effort. Whilst there is a part of me still wondering how on earth the Bombers are doing this, a win over the Blues this weekend will surely make me a believer.

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Stat line: The Dons are ranked second in the AFL for both disposals per goal (21) and disposals per scoring shot (12).

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Adelaide 10 DOWN 1 Summary: A disappointing loss after an outstanding win in round 1.

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The Crows didn't have any excuses against the Dockers on Saturday. Coming off the weeks rest, and playing at home, the match was seemingly theirs for the taking. They clearly didn't count on such a steely and determined Fremantle side, who were without Aaron Sandilands in crunch time. Port Adelaide next week represents the perfect opportunity to re-start their season.

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Stat line: The Crows are poor starters and great finishers – ranked last for first half scoring % and ranked #1 for second half scoring %.

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Melbourne 11 <NO CHANGE> Summary: Wins don't come any uglier, do they?

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Oh Melbourne, your young and developing list excites us so – but you so often refuse to deliver on the promise. Such was the case on Sunday against an undermanned Lions side at the MCG, with the Demons trailing by large margins in the first half. To their credit, they got the win in a scrappy second half – but remember it was Brisbane they were playing (in Melbourne). It will be interesting to see what the Demons can do against the Gold Coast in round 4.

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Stat line: The Dees allow their opposition 35.4% of their total score in the 3rd term – worst in the AFL.

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North Melbourne 12 <NO CHANGE> Summary: Had the week off in round 3 – no change.

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Richmond 13 <NO CHANGE> Summary: At least Jack Riewoldt is keeping us entertained.

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It was an ugly loss by the Tigers on Saturday night, in horrid conditions that should have tightened the game up, if anything. After an encouraging first couple of rounds, perhaps Richmond have just hit a wall. But what better way to break through – than to come up against one of the best sides in recent AFL history – the Magpies – on Friday night footy. A competitive outing will breathe new life into the club.

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Stat line: The Tigers are ranked last in the AFL for average disposals (309 per game).

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West Coast 14 <NO CHANGE> Summary: Another classic game between the '05 & '06 Grand Finalists.

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Though they've won two out of three games, the Eagles are a difficult team to read. Their wins came against North Melbourne and Port Adelaide (two of 2011's worst performers to date) whilst on Saturday they lost (at home) despite leading late in the match. A much more realistic indication of their form will come this weekend against the Hawks in Tasmania.

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Stat line: The Eagles fielded the tallest, and second heaviest, squad of 22 over the weekend.

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Brisbane 15 UP 1 Summary: A gallant performance, but a win would have been sweeter.

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They may remain undefeated, but the Lions at least showed some guts and determination on the weekend in enemy territory at the MCG. Perhaps this Brisbane side is better than what has been made out? If Jonathon Brown can return within 4-6 weeks and stay healthy, I foresee the Lions being even more competitive in the second half of the season. Just for now though, they need a win.

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Stat line: The Lions are second last in the AFL in points per game, averaging only 69 points per contest.

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Port Adelaide 16 DOWN 1 Summary: They've had a difficult draw, but they're an ordinary outfit.

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Was anyone else shocked at Lara's elimination from The Biggest Loser last weekend? I didn't quite understand why the contestants would vote out Lara ahead of Meg, but these things happen. What's that? Why am I writing about The Biggest Loser? Honestly, I'm just a bit over the Power – they've lost three games by an average of just over 57 points and until they show something, I'll continue to fill this space with random TV editorials. Will they even get more than 10,000 people to AAMI Stadium when the Suns come to town in round 5?

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Stat line: Perhaps through sheer boredom, the Power force their opposition to use the ball the most times before kicking a goal.

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Gold Coast 17 <NO CHANGE> Summary: How can Josh Fraser possibly get back in this team?

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I was able to see the Suns in person last weekend – and I have to say, I liked what I saw. Let's keep in mind that the AFL's newest franchise was not built to win a premiership in 2011 – and as long as we all remember that, we can sit back and watch a fantastic group of talented kids ply their trade against the very best. For what it's worth, Zac Smith will be a dominant ruckman in years to come, whilst Daniel Gorringe was equally impressive. As for Campbell Brown, was anyone else hoping for Barry Hall to whack him on the weekend?

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Stat line: The Suns are the only side yet to win a quarter in 2011.
Comments or complaints? You can contact me on Twitter – @luke2177 – or find me in the AFLspace.com community.
Thanks for reading!



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