Another 6, and another satisfactory performance.
Brisbane d Carlton by 19 - What a great game! Lions look good, Blues come back with a stellar quarter led by a brilliant Murphy, but then one J.Brown came to the show. And then it was all over. A magnificent performance by Brown who effectively willed his side over the line. But it does cast the question; where is Brisbane at? There is a massive reliance on Brown. He has had two crackers and Brisbane have won, I want to know what happens if he misses a game or has a shocker? Carlton were magnificent in the third and missed too many opportunities in the second, and eventually blown away. They shouldn't have been. They had the running and they had an extra two days rest. Mark my words, J. Brown won this game. Both teams still have a lot to prove.
Collingwood d Melb by 1 - I admit it. I didn't expect this. Melbourne had every opportunity to win this game, but just couldn't quite get there. 1 point, 1 lousy point. Melbourne did everything they needed to after last week. They were hard, brave, and at times skillful. Yet 1 point means little joy. They should be gutted. It will be very interesting to see how they bounce back next week against an Adelaide that is down and out and themselves clambering for respectability. Collingwood? No intensity, not on the job and probably a touch of arrogance led to a poor preparation. They are a very good side Collingwood, and I doubt they will have another lapse like this anytime soon, but perhaps, just perhaps, we (me) went a little overboard after last week.
Port Adelaide d West Coast by 3- I'm taking notice. Port Adelaide a perennially inconsistent team were at it again. A goalless third term after leading by 14 at the half showed all the classic power signs. I for one didn't pick an off the canvas like revival in the 4th. But credit where credit is due. They have found ways to win (or is that not to lose?). I can't say they are doing everything right, but they are winning and at the end of the day that is all that matters. West Coast, they would be disappointed. They were solid throughout (on the scoreboard at least) but obviously couldn't quite finish off the hard work. They are young and inexperience, yadda, yadda, yadda, but at 0-2 they need to start getting over the line.
St. Kilda d North Melbourne by 104 - Either St. Kilda are that good, or they are bullies, or North are that bad. Bit hard to tell really. This was a slaughter. Simple as that. Its the sort of result I would have expected last year when the Saints were cruising, but not this year. It probably does demonstrate how far the Roos are. A team chockers of talent kids does not mean squat. You need that blend of good veterans and mid career players, and I think that the Roos are lacking. I have no doubt they will improve this year, but not significantly. They need time to mature and Scott needs time to mold them.
Sydney d Adelaide by 33 - Sydney set this game up in the first and won it in the second. Adelaide couldn't bring it back and they have to be asking questions. It does highlight again how important a pres-season is. I said it last week, the Crows of 2010 may well be the Hawks of 2009. Sydney is finding different ways to score, which is exactly what they needed. McGlynn, and ex-hawk who demonstrates great gusto, but is not exactly renowned for skill, kicks 5. Incredible. However the most important thing is that they are spreading their goal kickers, and showing that they can still win in the middle sans Jolly. Things continue to look bright for Sydney, but in Adelaide a few more poor performances and the unrest will come.
Fremantle d Essendon by 44 - Why oh why didn't I tip them (well because I'm not insane). I wanted to but Freo needs more than 1 (or 2) win to convince me that they have actually improved. Watch this space, because we need time and evidence that there is a new Freo. Essendon were very disappointing, although it isn't that surprising. They just aren't that good a side. They will perform well for patches and they will win a decent share of games, but in reality they need a semblance of a forward line and a working midfield. They just don't have the overall talent/experience in my book. Lets no ignore Freo though, they played an excellent running game and were aided chiefly by dominance in the ruck. Sandilands is the premier ruckman in the comp, as a mate of mine highlighted to me last week, and with him firing consistently the Dockers go a long way to improving.
Western Bulldogs v Richmond by 72 - Why do I think I'll be saying this, or similar a lot this year? Richmond showed some fight but right now just aren't good enough. Simple. The Dogs are a good side, and will monster poor sides. Simple. Of course they were disappointing last week so were bound to come out and destroy Richmond (who showed good fight last week). There is nothing at all to take away from this game that we didn't already know.
Geelong d Hawthorn by 9 - Fantastic game! One thing I learned out of this one is that both of these teams are in that 'peer' group, along with the Pies, Saints and Dogs. Geelong showed excellent persistence to finally claw over a gallant Hawthorn. Both sides were hard at it all day and neither gave an inch, although the Hawks could have done with better disposal. In the end though it did feel like a matter of time before the Cats won, and that's exactly what happened. The Hawks got out early, but the cats really did have the better of the running after the first. The key was Geelong's ability to shut down the Hawks run from the backline causing the Hawks to be stagnant and unsure, which caused turnovers. Great game, great win.
Ok so my performers of the week ladder:
1. Fremantle - a fantastic win against a side and ground they struggle with. Are they actually proving that they are on the up?
2. Sydney - a comprehensive win against a down and out Crows. Sydney continue to show fight and class.
3. Melbourne - If they got away with the points they would by far be number 1 this week. They didn't, but what a great fight back after last week.
4. Geelong - Fantastic spirited performance, showing that they are still the benchmark.
5. Port Adelaide - Going to the West and winning is no mean feat, especially so for a middling club. But doing so when they were hapless in the 3rd, that's very impressive.
6. J. Brown - He's just too good. I'm calling it early but Brownlow anyone?
7. Hawthorn - Furthered their steps toward respectability with a strong game, but need to get a win on the board from the next couple against the Dogs and Pies respectively
8. St. Kilda - Workman like 100+ point win. That's frightening in its own right
9. Carlton - They were very very good in one quarter, and had it not been for one player would have won.
10. Western Bulldogs - It feels a bit odd having them this low after a great win on the scoreboard, but really they did what was expected.
11. West Coast - Will be very disappointed, but they showed that they just keep going. Couldn't exploit their own good work.
12. Collingwood - I'm loathe to put them this high. But I suppose they won.
13. Richmond - They were hard at it, but they just aren't good enough
14. Essendon - Very disappointing. They showed some reasonable signs against a much better opponent last week, and this week showed nothing against a much weaker one
15. North Melbourne - Dreadful. This was the performance Melbourne had last week. They should have and needed to show more. The only difference is that St. Kilda kept playing whereas last week the Hawks didn't.
16. Adelaide - I tipped the Swans, I expected Adelaide to lose, but not like this. There needed to be something shown, something delivered at home. Dark times for a recent top 8 lock in.