AFL 2011 Power Rankings – Round 8 – Movement at the Top

So after a week off after work commitments, Luke is back with his Power Rankings. What are you thoughts on his thoughts?

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Geelong 1 UP 1

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The new AFL power? Well, probably not – but they deserve the #1 ranking for this week at least, following a nail-biting win over the Pies on Friday night. Selwood in his 100th was superb, as we’ve come to expect, but the Cats really missed their chance early in this game to blow it wide open. As it was, a dodgy umpiring decision against Collingwood all but assured them victory.

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Stat line: Of the points they give up to their opposition, the Cats allow more in the first term than any team.

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Collingwood 2 DOWN 1

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The Pies drop a peg this round for the first time in 2011, down to #2 following Friday night’s loss. This isn’t to say they can’t be back on top next week, as their facing the up-and-down Crows at Etihad Stadium. What is obvious, is that the Pies without Darren Jolly are a different unit, with Cam Wood not quite up to it as yet as a genuine #1 ruckman. Dasiy Thomas is growing in stature by the week.

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Stat line: In round 8, the Pies fielded the second most experienced side in the AFL (in terms of games played).

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Hawthorn 3 UP 1

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Whilst I’m still not of the belief the Hawks are premiership material (just look at their injury list), they sure handed it to the Saints on Sunday. With Buddy Franklin at the top of his game, Hodgey back in touch and a rejuvenated Roughead in the ruck, who knows how far this Hawthorn outfit can go?

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Stat line: The Hawks have won the second most quarters of any team in the AFL through 8 rounds.

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Carlton 4 UP 2 BYE

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Essendon 5 UP 2

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An ugly win, but it was a win away from Melbourne, which is the key. Sure, it was only against the Lions but the Dons were missing key personnel and still found a way to win. They lose Watson for probably a month with a hammy and also lose Heath Hocking for a few due to suspension after probably the stupidest act I’ve seen on a football field since Angry Anderson in 1991.

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Stat line: The Dons are the fastest starters in the AFL, averaging a league high 31 points in the opening term.

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Bulldogs 6 DOWN 1

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The Doggies get back in the winners column after a relatively easy day out against the Tigers. However, the Bulldogs are dead to me until they show they can compete against the AFL’s best. They have a tough run from here, so they’ll need to well and truly earn their top 8 position this year.

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Stat line: The Dogs have a tough schedule ahead, with a further 9 games to play in 2011 against the current top 8.

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Fremantle 7 DOWN 4

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After starting so promisingly, the Dockers have fallen into a hole in recent times. They’ve won less than half of the quarters they’ve played over their last 5 games, whilst they’ve made the second least number of team changes so far in 2011 – an indication that their best team is out on the park, give or take a couple. Big tumble in the rankings this week after their indifferent form.

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Stat line: The Dockers are not converting on the scoreboard, the 2nd worst in the AFL in goal to behind ratio.

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Sydney 8 <NO CHANGE>

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Are the Swans back to being the ugly ducklings of the AFL? Their match against the Power was anything but watchable, but I’ll attribute most of the blame to Port Adelaide on that one. I give the Swans every chance to see September action once again – and let’s not forget that their only losses in 2011 so far have come against Geelong and Carlton.

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Stat line: The Swans are last in the AFL for disposals per game, averaging 326 per contest.

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West Coast 9 UP 3

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Is it just me, or are the Eagles the biggest story of 2011 so far? Dean Cox is once again dominating in the ruck, whilst forget Dyson Heppell (sorry Bomber fans), Jack Darling is the best first year player in the AFL. And as for Josh Kennedy, can Carlton please trade Chris Judd back to West Coast for him? (Just kidding Juddy!) In a footy world where the term ‘star’ is thrown about much too often, Kennedy is, let’s say, a star in the making – if he isn’t there already.

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Stat line: With their tall timber, it should be no surprise that the Eagles fielded the 2nd tallest team in the AFL on the weekend.

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Richmond 10 DOWN 1

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The Tigers would be disappointed with their effort against the Dogs on Sunday, going down by 35 points but never really looking likely after another sluggish start. No-one doubts they have a handful of future guns, they just haven’t got their consistency to where they need it to be just yet. I’m sure the supporters are willing to give Martin, Cotchin, Reiwoldt & co a bit more time, however.

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Stat line: The time to hurt the Tigers is in the first half, they consistently give up most of their points prior to half time.

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North Melbourne 11 UP 3

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The Kangas have made a big leap this week, after destroying the Demons at Etihad Stadium on Saturday (even after giving up a 5 goal start). Daniel Wells is finally showing the form many thought he has capable of, so hopefully he can maintain this consistency throughout the season. I believe the top 8 is beyond the Roos given their injury woes, but they can certainly worry a team or two in the process.

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Stat line: Good news for the Kangas – they have the most favourable schedule ahead of them based on opponent win %.

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Adelaide 12 DOWN 3

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What is it about these South Australian teams in 2011? The Crows are hot and cold, whilst the Power areā€¦ well, I’ll mention them a bit further down the rankings. Adelaide gave up a head start to the Suns at home on Saturday, but prevailed in the end by a “comfortable” 57 points. Not sure you can read a lot into this match, but next round against the Pies will tell us plenty.

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Stat line: The Crows are yet to lose when scoring over 100 points in a contest.

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Melbourne 13 <NO CHANGE>

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The “mighty” Dees were simply woeful on the weekend. They were missing a number of key ingredients, but whatever they were trying to cook still smelled awful. Okay, enough with the MasterChef references. Is Dean Bailey safe? I doubt it. With performances like this one, the players might be trying to tell us a fresh face and a new voice is needed.

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Stat line: Think it’s already bad for Melbourne? They’re yet to face a (current) top 4 side!

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St Kilda 14 DOWN 4

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It is almost unfathomable how far the Saints have fallen in 2011. In terms of premiership matches, it was only 9 games ago they were playing off in a Grand Final. Now? They are a rabble and a mere shadow of their former selves. Whilst I can’t see Ross Lyon parting ways with the Saints just yet, there will need to be a massive turnover of players to rejuvenate this club once the season is out. Until then, play the kids Ross!

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Stat line: The Saints are struggling to kick a score in 2011, averaging just 77 points per match (only the Suns are behind them).

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Gold Coast 15 UP 1

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Gary Ablett was back to his awesome best on the weekend, playing one of the best games of his career in quite a competitive outing for the Suns in Adelaide. This may be stating the obvious – but once the kids mature, this team will be scary. Two wins from their first seven matches must surely be well beyond the pre-season expectations of Suns officials.

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Stat line: Say what you like about the Suns, but at least they’re undefeated against the (current) bottom 4 sides.

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Brisbane 16 DOWN 1

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Jonathon Brown could return this week, and don’t the Lions need him at the minute. With Brown playing, they must be half a chance to upset the Kangaroos at the Gabba. Though, it’s not quite the home ground advantage it once was – with the ground referred to by some these days as the Gabba-spa, as opposed to the Gabba-toir, as in days gone by.

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Stat line: Based on opponent win %, the winless Lions have actually had the second easiest schedule so far in 2011.

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Port Adelaide 17 <NO CHANGE>

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If the AFL was The Wizard of Oz (bear with me), then surely Port Adelaide would play the part of the Tin Man. No heart. Harsh? Possibly, but this Port Adelaide team has given us (and their supporters specifically) nothing in 2011. Their one victory was in the “Showdown” versus Adelaide – seemingly, the only game they care about these days, but it’s not like they’re going to play 22 Showdowns a year anytime soon, is it?

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Stat line: The Power are giving up almost 390 disposals per contest to their opposition.

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Comments or complaints? Let me know!

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Thanks for reading!

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