AFL Power Rankings: Round 15 Melbourne back at the top

With the bye rounds finally coming to an end, we are back to getting a full weekend of footy, and this week did not disappoint with all teams in the top eight playing each other.

See how your team did this week in our Power Rankings.

1. Melbourne (2)

After losing their past three matches, the demons responded with a thumping win over Brisbane to reclaim their top position on the ladder. After trailing in the first quarter Melbourne kicked 14 goals to Brisbane's 4, which ultimately saw Melbourne win by 64 points.

Apart from Melbourne's losing streak, the pressure was on for Melbourne after having their captain and all-Australian ruckman Max Gawn out with an ankle injury. Luke Jackson filled the role and dominated against Oscar McInerney.

Melbourne's midfield was all over the football between Clayton Oliver (35 disposals), Jack Viney (34 disposals), and Christian Petracca (31 disposals) contributing to 100 possessions between the three.

Bayley Fritsch provided options for his teammates after having three goals. Small forwards Toby Bedford and Kysaiah Pickett were amazing with two goals each.

2. Fremantle (1)

Fremantle travelled down to Melbourne where they lost to the Blues at Marvel Stadium Saturday Afternoon. The win would have placed the Dockers equalled first on the ladder with Melbourne, as well as a comfortable position within the top four.

Even though the Dockers lost their defence was unbelievable, they had 40 inside 50 entries to Carlton 64 and until the last quarter was close within the game. The Docker's small forwards were amazing with their run and carry through the middle, they will be dangerous towards the end of the season.

Will Brodie has continued his brilliant form all year gathering 36 disposals and leading with a game-high six tackles. Andrew Brayshaw collected 27 touches with five clearances, Hayden Young was amazing with 25 disposals in the backline and held the Dockers defence early in the game.

The return of Matt Taberner saw him as the only multiple-goal scorer for the Dockers with two to his name. Bailey Banfield, Travis Colyer, Liam Henry, Rory Lobb, and Lachie Schultz all kicked one goal each.

The loss was not the only thing Docker's fans would be worried about, but too Nat Fyfe putting his hand against an umpire's chest. Fyfe who has only played his second AFL match of the year could be on the sidelines once again due to his actions. Fyfe's actions are likely to see him fined for his actions, however, there is the chance that he could be suspended for a week.

3. Geelong (4)

Geelong clawed on to hold a three-point win over the Tigers at the MCG on Saturday Twilight. Geelong's win is arguably the game of the round against the Tigers and went down to the final minutes.

Geelong were in front for more than 80 per cent of the game and even got up to a lead of 35 points. Jack Henry was the hero for Geelong, taking an absolute screamer of a mark before kicking a goal to give the Cats the lead with less than two minutes on the scoreboard.

Tom Stewart was a clear best on ground gathering 29 disposals and being brilliant in the backline holding the Cats' defence. Cam Guthrie was not too far behind with 28 disposals and six clearances.

Jeremy Cameron in game 200 kicked a bag of three goals seeing him in second place on the Coleman Medal. Tyson Stengle (three goals) and game-winner jack Henry (two goals) were the only other multiple-goal scorers for the Cats.

Although Stewart was the best player on the ground, his actions on Dion Prestia may cost his team in the next few weeks without him playing. In the opening quarter, Stewart chose to bump Prestia off the ball in the head, which lead to him suffering a concussion. Stewart is very likely to face a lengthy time off the field and could make an impact on where the Cats will finish on the ladder.

4. Brisbane (3)

Brisbane couldn't have asked for a better start against the Melbourne on Thursday night at the MCG. Eric Hipwood kicked the first goal of the game within the opening minutes, before the Demons belted the Lions by 64 points, seeing the Lions with their biggest loss this year. 

Brisbane had the chance to cement their position in first place and be a game clear over second place. Brisbane came out winning the opening quarter, the Lions only kicked four more goals for the remainder of the match. The Lions looked to have panicked with the footy kicking to contests, and poor disposal efficiency costing them.

Despite a rough night for the Lions, Daniel Rich was superb in the backline. Rich gathered 33 disposals and went at 97% disposal efficiency. Hugh McCluggage too was amazing with 27 possessions, and game-high 11 tackles. 

Eric Hipwood and Mitch Robinson were Brisbane's only multiple goal scorers with two each, while Joe Daniher, Lincoln McCarthy, and Cam Rayner each kicked one goal.

Brisbane has not won at the MCG since Round 21, 2014. If the Lions want to go far in the finals series, they have to play well when they travel. The Lions have so far lost five games this year, all of which have been matches interstate.

5. Sydney (6)

After a disappointing loss last week, the Swans responded with a very convincing 51-point win over the Saints at the SCG Saturday night. The Swans were too strong and did not look to drop at any stage throughout the match.

Sydney kicked 12 goals to St Kilda's four for the match, even though the Swans only had 11 more inside 50 entries over the Saints. Unlike the Saints, Sydney's forwards provided opportunities to their midfielders.

Defenders Jake Lloyd and Nick Blakey stood up to hold the Swans' backline. Lloyd had game-high 39 disposals, along with nine marks, Blakey was shortly behind on 31 possessions.

Isaac Heeney kicked the most goals for the match booting three, Ryan Clarke and Tom Papley kicked two a piece to join Heeney on the board.

6. Carlton (8)

Carlton have proved themselves to why they are a threat in the league, beating the Dockers at Marvel Stadium on Saturday Afternoon by 31 points. The contest was close between both sides all match before the Blues ran away with the win in the last quarter.

The inclusions of Matt Taberner, Liam Henry, and Michael Frederick was terrifying for the Blues with their defence stacked the last few weeks with injuries. Carlton were all over the Dockers leading the tackles inside '50s of 17 to 6.

Sam Walsh was outstanding for the Blues being a ball magnet and recording a career-high 40 possessions. Sam Docherty was huge too down back collecting 30 possessions, and a game-high of 14 marks.

Charlie Curnow continued his amazing season booting four goals to continue leading the Coleman medal. Matthew Cottrell, Harry McKay, and Lachie O'Brien all kicked two goals a piece, before Jack Silvagni and 200-gamer Jack Newnes kicked one each.

The win puts Carlton well within the contention of the top four for finals, sitting fifth on the ladder for their percentage. The win helps the Blues who still face five current top eight sides before the end of the season.

7. Western Bulldogs (7)

The Western Bulldogs continued their winning form at Marvel Stadium on Friday night with their dominant 42-point win over Hawthorn. The Bulldogs conceded four goals to their one goal at the end of the first quarter. The Bulldogs responded to kick 13 goals straight after Hawthorn kicked the first of the second quarter.

The loss of Tim English raised questions about whether or not the Bulldogs would be able to win without their key ruckman, especially with how dominant English has been this season. Jordan Sweet who came in for English was superb and helped the players around him with his hitouts.

Six Bulldogs players topped the disposal tally before Hawthorn got their first. Jack Macrae led with a game-high of 31 disposals and having six clearances for the Bulldogs. Tom Liberatore too was huge with 30 possessions with game-high 11 clearances. Bailey Dale too collected 28 possessions, Marcus Bontempelli, Josh Dunkley, and Adam Treloar all gathered 27 possessions for a huge night. 

Aaron Naughton continues his dominant form for contention of the Coleman Medal after kicking a bag of three goals. Alongside Naughton, Rhylee West kicked a career-high three goals. Josh Dunkley and Jason Johannisen were the only other multiple-goal scorers with two goals each.

After a poor start to the season, the Bulldogs are back into the top eight and are in the contention to play the finals after winning their past four of five matches played.

8. St Kilda (5)

St Kilda continued its up and down recent weeks and went down to the Swans by 51 points at the SCG on Saturday night. The Saints have now gone from a top-four threat to being outside of the top eight.

The Saints were never really into the match kicking four goals for the entire match and going goalless in the third quarter. It was the Saints' lowest score since Round eight, 2016 and is a worrying sign if the Saints would like to play finals this year.

Midfielders Seb Ross (31 touches, eight tackles) and Jack Steele (29 touches, 10 tackles, and eight clearances) worked nonstop for the Saints. Brad Crouch was shortly behind too with a handy 27 possessions.

Jack Billings, Dan Butler, Tim Membrey and Marcus Windgaer kicked one goal each which was a very quiet night for the Saints' goalkickers. It is the first game all year Max King has been kept goalless.

9. Collingwood (12)

Collingwood's 11-point win over the Giants at the MCG on Sunday Afternoon has cemented the Magpies' position in the top eight. Collingwood has now won five of their past matches and has proven to be a threat to the rest of the competition.

Collingwood's scrap the win over the Giants in the wet weather was much needed for them to stay in the contention for finals. The magpies could have belted the Giants, but poor accuracy cost them with 33 shots of their scores being behinds.

Steele Sidebottom (26 possessions) and Nick Daicos (25 possessions) were both dominant for the Magpies in the wet. Scott Pendlebury showed no signs of slowing down having a whopping 10 tackles for the match. 

Darcy Cameron, Jamie Elliott, Oliver Henry, and Brody Mihocek kicked two goals each expressing the mixture of talent between young and experienced players coming through. Sidebottom kicked a single alongside Jack Ginnivan and Beau McCreery.

10. Richmond (10)

Richmond lost what would have been an amazing win for the Tigers, the Cats just got over by three points at the MCG on Saturday Twilight. Richmond trailed for most of the match however were unable to hold on against the Cats.

Daniel Rioli lead the Tigers with 27 possessions and has continued to be a brilliant addition to the backline. Upcoming star Jack Ross was brilliant collecting 25 possessions and shows how much talent the Tigers still have in their VFL side. 

Shai Bolton and Tom Lynch both continued to find the middle sticks kicking three majors a piece. Maurice Rioli was the only other multiple-goal scorer with two to his name.

Tom Stewart's bump on Dion Prestia arguable changed the result of the match. The bump on Prestia which lead to him coming off due to a concussion meant he was not allowed to take part in the remainder of the match. The week prior against Carlton, Prestia was arguably best on ground with 33 possessions and 13 clearances and could have been the difference if had played.

11. Gold Coast (9)

Gold Coast went down by a brutal two-point loss against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval Sunday Twilight. The Suns surged home kicking three goals to one in the last quarter but just could not get the job done.

The finish was controversial as the umpires put the whistles away in the final moments. Co-captain Touk Miller and Chris Burgess both had contact below the legs but was not paid to them. Will Drew also handballed the footy over the line which could have been paid deliberate out of bounds but was not.

Miller was massive and stood up to keep his side in the match (30 possessions, equal game-high 10 tackles, and game-high nine clearances). David Swallow too was amazing gathering 25 touches, and five clearances.

Mabior Chol (three goals) and Levi Casboult (two goals) were dominant up forward contributing to five goals between the two. Izak Rankine too was amazing with three goals, Brandon Ellis too got a handy two goals.

Gold Coasts' loss was devastating with multiple free kicks that could have gone to the Suns and changed the outcome of the match, the win would have placed them outside the top eight on percentage. Gold Coast have Collingwood at home next week which will be a huge game for them to keep their season alive.

12. Port Adelaide (13)

Port Adelaide had the power to hang on to a last-minute thriller two-point win against the Suns at Adelaide Oval Sunday Twilight. This win has ultimately kept the Power's chances of making the finals.

The Power only booted one goal in the last quarter but it was enough for them to hang on. The Power finished with a lead of 82-45 in uncontested marks and used the last few minutes to wind down the clock.

Riley Bonner and Dan Houston were massive as rebounds off the backline both collecting 30 touches respectively. Whilst Karl Amon (26 touches, 10 marks) and Brownlow Medallist Ollie Wines (26 touches, seven clearances) were big for the Power as well.

Todd Marshall kicked a massive four goals, including the Power's last quarter goal which gave them momentum. Mitch Georgiades and Connor Rozee kicked two goals a piece.

13. GWS (11)

WS just came short to the Magpies at the MCG on Sunday Afternoon, losing by 11 points in a wet ball game.

Although the Giants trailed for the majority of the match, the Giants stormed home kicking seven of the last nine goals which reduce the margin by 10 points. It was left too late, unfortunately, however, the Giants' accurate goalkicking is what kept them in the match.

Despite the loss, the Giants were all over the footy with captain Stephen Coniglio leading with 31 possessions, and game-high four clearances. Harry Himmelberg has continued to impress transitioning into the backline collecting 30 possessions and having a game-high of 11 marks. 

Jesse Hogan was huge adding four goals to his name, including two in the last quarter to keep his team in the game. Jake Riccardi was the only other multiple goalkickers for the Giants collecting two goals.

14. Adelaide (14)

The Crows travelled down to Hobart where they thumped the Kangaroos by 57 points at Blundstone Arena Sunday Afternoon. The Crows only had a nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter before kicking 12 goals to the Kangaroos' four goals. 

The Crows were strong all day and applied strong pressure leading the tackle rate 86-57. The Crows only had 16 more inside 50s than the Kangaroos, however, Jordan Dawson stood tall in defence and was able to hold down the fort. 

Midfielders Rory Laird (34 touches, 11 tackles, and game-high 11 clearances) and Ben Keays (30 touches, five tackles, seven clearances) were dominant in the Crows' midfield linking up for 64 touches between the two. Dawson too was phenomenal down back collecting 29 touches, and taking seven marks. 

Taylor Walker (six goals, seven marks) and 50-gamer Darcy Fogarty (four goals, eight marks) were unstoppable in the forward line sharing 10 goals between the pair, both recorded an equal game-high of ten score involvements each.

15. Essendon (15)

After a brilliant win last week over the Saints, the Bombers would be kicking themselves over losing to the Eagles who were bottom of the ladder. The Bombers went down to Optus Stadium Friday night were they went down to the Eagles by 10 points.

The Bombers did not perform badly as they controlled the stoppages and dominated the contested ball, however, they were unable to convert to the scoreboard due to their inaccurate kicking. Peter Wright kicked four goals, however, his four behinds are what could have changed the result.

Zach Merrett was dominant in the midfield with a game-high 28 touches, whilst Dylan Shiel (26 touches, nine clearances) was just as impactful.

Wright (four goals, eight marks) and Jake Stringer (three goals, six clearances) had a night out between them including their four goals contributed in the first quarter.

16. Hawthorn (16)

What was an amazing start for the Hawks, they were unable to keep up with the Bulldogs on Friday night at Marvel Stadium going down by 42 points. Coming off the bye the Hawks came out with a statement to make kicking four-goal to three in the opening quarter, unfortunately, they ran out of steam too fast.

Young guns Jack Scrimshaw and James Worpel were huge for the Hawks and both stepped up to lead from the front. Scrimshaw collected 26 touches and had a game-high of 12 marks, Worpel was slightly behind gathering 25 touches and leading the Hawks' clearances with 11.

Mitch Lewis continued his brilliant from this year and provided multiple options for his teammates as he kicked four goals, taking four out of his nine marks inside 50. Luke Bruest too was great as he kicked three goals, Dylan Moore was the only other Hawk with multiple goals scored with two. Sam Butler, Jai Newcombe, and Ned Reeves all kicked a goal a piece.

Hawthorn's loss to the Bulldogs makes it four losses in a row to the Hawks, what started off as a great season to the Hawks has not put them bottom four on the ladder.

17. West Coast (17)

The Eagles got their second win of the season over the Bombers by 10 points at Optus Stadium on Friday night. Coming off what was an impressive battle against Geelong last week, the Eagles were able to get their first win since Round four.

The Eagles have been solid the last few matches with the premiership players that they have brought back into the side. The Eagles were able to end two different streaks, the first being finally scoring 100 points after 26 games, and ending a nine-game losing streak.

The footy was shared amongst most of the Eagles players, not seeing any high possession winners for the match. Jack Redden lead the Eagles with 22 touches and four tackles, and Shannon Hurn was amazing with nine marks.

The West Coast forwards had a night out starting with Josh Kennedy who was back to his dominant form, booting a season-high of five goals including two in the first quarter. Jamie Cripps and Willie Rioli too scored three goals each for a huge impact.

The win puts the Eagles off the bottom of the ladder and suddenly the Eagles are enjoyable to be watching play footy again. Could be an interesting match as they take on Richmond next week, with ruckman Nic Naitanui not far off returning.

18. North Melbourne (18)

The Kangaroos struggled and were unable to get the job done against the Crows in Hobart. The Kangaroos went down by 57 points against the Crows at Blundstone Arena on Sunday Afternoon.

The Kangaroos were competitive within the opening quarter, only nine points down at quarter-time but could not keep up with the run of Adelaide. The Kangaroos only centre clearances 9-13 but were unable to covert on the scoreboard.

Aaron Hall was massive for the Kangaroos with a game-high whopping 38 possessions off the backline. Father-son debutant Jackson Archer had a massive first game collecting 15 touches at 73 per cent disposal efficiency.

Cameron Zurhaar was the only multiple-goal scorer for the Kangaroos slotting two goals and taking five marks. Ben McKay was shifted into the forward line and was able to convert a goal.

The loss has now put the Kangaroos last on the ladder, and unless they win another match before the end of the year it is very likely that they will stay there.