AFL Power Rankings – Round Five

With not all wins created equal the AFL ladder doesn’t always get it right. To right this wrong the Pinch Hitters attempt to provide a more accurate picture of where each team stands. With teams fourth through twelve on the ladder separated by just percentage, the fortunes of teams in 2018 change quickly. Here is our take on just how well each team is going after Round Five.


Round Five

1. (1) RICHMOND

Some might question the strength of Richmond’s opponents so far this year but it is impossible to go past the defending premiers for the number one ranking after round five. No signs of a premiership hangover at this stage of the season, on top of the ladder, and with their players relishing the opportunity to improve again on a magic 2017. Next five rounds hold some challenges, not least an inform Collingwood in front of full house this weekend.

Last Five: Carlton (W), Adelaide (L), Hawthorn (W), Brisbane (W), Melbourne (W).

Next Five: Collingwood (A), Fremantle (H), North Melbourne (A), West Coast (A), St Kilda (H).


Round Five

2. (2) SYDNEY

Disappointing result for the Swans against an understrength Adelaide team at home. Their place at the pointy end is becoming tenuous with two home losses weighing down their big wins over GWS and West Coast. With road trips against Geelong and Hawthorn and a home encounter with Fremantle up ahead, we will know for certain where the Swans truly sit.

Last Five: West Coast (W), Port Adelaide (L), GWS (W), Bulldogs (W), Adelaide (L).

Next Five: Geelong (A), North Melbourne (H), Hawthorn (A), Fremantle (W), Brisbane (A).


Round Five

3. (5) ADELAIDE

What a result for the Crows in Sydney. Understrength and under fire, Tex Walker and his men overpowered the Swans on their own patch to record a stirring victory. If they are able to continue to produce these results with their injury list as long as it is, they will be well poised for an all-out assault on their return. With their next four games in Adelaide, they couldn’t have asked for a better helping hand from the fixture.

Last Five: Essendon (L), Richmond (W), St Kilda (W), Collingwood (L), Sydney (W).

Next Five: Gold Coast (H), Carlton (H), Port Adelaide (A), Bulldogs (H), Melbourne (A).


Round Five

4. (7) GEELONG

A tough opening five weeks to the season but with their win over Port in Adelaide the Cats have positioned themselves well at three & two. With matches against Sydney, GWS and Collingwood in the next three weeks, it doesn’t get any easier for them.

Last Five: Melbourne (W), Hawthorn (L), West Coast (L), St Kilda (W), Port Adelaide (W).

Next Five: Sydney (H), GWS (H), Collingwood (A), Essendon (A), Carlton (H).


Round Five

5. (8) COLLINGWOOD

Who’d have predicted a three-game winning streak for Collingwood after they lost their first two games? It sets up a mouth-watering clash this weekend for the Hot Pies and the defending Premiers. We’ll know a lot more about both sides come 6pm Sunday.

Last Five: Hawthorn (L), GWS (L), Carlton (W), Adelaide (W), Essendon (W).

Next Five: Richmond (H), Brisbane (A), Geelong (H), St Kilda (A), Bulldogs (H).


Round Five

6. (4) GWS

A disappointing result for the Giants against the Saints at Etihad Stadium undoing some of their good work of the first month of the season. In the end, they were perhaps a little lucky to sneak away with two points but it is an effort they can’t afford to replicate in the weeks to come.

Last Five: Bulldogs (W), Collingwood (W), Sydney (L), Fremantle (W), St Kilda (D).

Next Five: Brisbane (H), Geelong (A), West Coast (H), North Melbourne (A), Essendon (H).


Round Five

7. (6) WEST COAST

The value given to the strength of opponent has hurt the Eagles who have dropped down The Pinch Hitters Power Rankings despite winning on the weekend. With Freo, Port, GWS, Richmond and Hawthorn in the weeks ahead, they won’t be the victim of this quirk of the formula again anytime soon.

Last Five: Sydney (L), Bulldogs (W), Geelong (W), Gold Coast (W), Carlton (W).

Next Five: Fremantle (A), Port Adelaide (H), GWS (A), Richmond (H), Hawthorn (A).


Round Five

8. (3) HAWTHORN

Perhaps talk of Hawthorn being a premiership threat again may have been a little premature. Despite a strong second-half comeback, the Hawks were blown off the park by a North Melbourne team they were expected to account for easily. The Saints and Bombers provide a chance to get back on the winners’ list before they host the Swans in a match-up that could well tell us a lot about both sides.

Last Five: Collingwood (W), Geelong (W), Richmond (L), Melbourne (W), North Melbourne (L).

Next Five: St Kilda (H), Essendon (A), Sydney (H), Brisbane (H), West Coast (A).


Round Five

9. (9) PORT ADELAIDE

Port Adelaide was the most aggressive player in the off-season trade period as they tried to turn their list into a genuine contender. After a strong opening fortnight, their last three weeks suggests there is a bit of work to do before they put themselves into the mix for the flag. With four of their next five games away from home they face a stern test that could well make or break their season.

Last Five: Fremantle (W), Sydney (W), Brisbane (W), Essendon (L), Geelong (L).

Next Five: North Melbourne (A), West Coast (A), Adelaide (H), Gold Coast (A), Hawthorn (A).


Round Five

10. (10) ESSENDON

In front of the eighth largest home and away crowd in AFL history, Essendon missed an opportunity to prove themselves on a big stage. Their good is very good, their bad is horrible. A big match lies ahead for them this weekend against the similarly disappointing Melbourne side who will be equally desperate to record a win.

Last Five: Adelaide (W), Fremantle (L), Bulldogs (L), Port Adelaide (W), Collingwood (L).

Next Five: Melbourne (H), Hawthorn (H), Carlton (A), Geelong (H), GWS (A).


Round Five

11. (15) FREMANTLE

Ross Lyon’s rebuild on the run appears to be paying dividends early with the Dockers playing some exciting football in 2018. Yet to claim a big scalp, they have the opportunity to do so with fixtures against West Coast, Richmond and Sydney in coming weeks.

Last Five: Port Adelaide (L), Essendon (W), Gold Coast (W), GWS (L), Bulldogs (W).

Next Five: West Coast (H), Richmond (A), St Kilda (H), Sydney (A), North Melbourne (H).


Round Five

12. (13) NORTH MELBOURNE

Speaking of rebuilds on the run, Brad Scott has worn some criticism for his attempt to turn over the North Melbourne list but the reward for his bravery might be coming early. North was electric against Hawthorn on the weekend after their demolition of Carlton the week before. Port Adelaide, Sydney, Richmond, GWS and Fremantle await to test just how far the Kangaroos have come.

Last Five: Gold Coast (L), St Kilda (W), Melbourne (L), Carlton (W), Hawthorn (W).

Next Five: Port Adelaide (H), Sydney (A), Richmond (H), GWS (H), Fremantle (A).


Round Five

13. (11) MELBOURNE

Expected to play finals in 2018, Melbourne has been one of the disappointments of the season so far. While they were far from disgraced in their loss to the Tigers on Tuesday, they also looked a long way off the pace too. Despite their slow start, they will be extremely confident that they can get their season back on track in the next four weeks.

Last Five: Geelong (L), Brisbane (W), North Melbourne (W), Hawthorn (L), Richmond (L).

Next Five: Essendon (A), St Kilda (A), Gold Coast (A), Carlton (A), Adelaide (H).


Round Five

14. (14) ST KILDA

What are we to make of the Saints? Down right deplorable for three weeks before nearly pulling off an heroic victory over the table topping Giants. A draw was scant reward for their territorial dominance which saw them record 20 more Inside 50’s. Will need to find a dependable avenue to goal or it will be a long season down at Moorabbin.

Last Five: Brisbane (W), North Melbourne (L), Adelaide (L), Geelong (L), GWS (D).

Next Five: Hawthorn (A), Melbourne (H), Fremantle (A), Collingwood (H), Richmond (A).


15. (12) WESTERN BULLDOGS

The Premiership hangover continues. The Bulldogs have been disappointing in all but two matches this year and rightly find themselves at the tail end of the table. Despite their spluttering start the next three weeks offers a chance to kick start their season.

Last Five: GWS (L), West Coast (L), Essendon (W), Sydney (L), Fremantle (L).

Next Five: Carlton (H), Gold Coast (H), Brisbane (H), Adelaide (A), Collingwood (A).


16. (18) GOLD COAST

Their nail-biting win over Brisbane ends their losing streak but does little to remove the question marks over the Suns. While their fellow expansion club sits comfortably at the other end of the table, the Suns look mired in the bottom four mix.

Last Five: North Melbourne (W), Carlton (W), Fremantle (L), West Coast (L), Brisbane (W).

Next Five: Adelaide (A), Bulldogs (A), Melbourne (H), Port Adelaide (H), Geelong (H).


17. (17) CARLTON

After their brave effort in Round One against the defending Premiers, Carlton had been nothing short of terrible leading into their clash with West Coast. While they didn’t get the points, it was a performance that showed again that bright days do lie ahead for the Blues even if there are a few dark days to be endured.

Last Five: Richmond (L), Gold Coast (L), Collingwood (L), North Melbourne (L), West Coast (L).

Next Five: Bulldogs (A), Adelaide (A), Essendon (H), Melbourne (H), Geelong (A).


18. (16) BRISBANE

Much like Carlton, Brisbane needed a strong performance in Round Five after their efforts the week before. Lost in the magnitude of their loss to Richmond is the fact that the Lions have been fairly competitive for much of this season to date. It is a long road back for them but they have the talent to claim a big scalp or two this year.

Last Five: St Kilda (L), Melbourne (L), Port Adelaide (L), Richmond (L), Gold Coast (L).

Next Five: GWS (A), Collingwood (H), Bulldogs (A), Hawthorn (H), Sydney (H).


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