A massive round four of the AFL gave us everything, huge marks, great goals and massive comebacks. And let's not forget the great win by the Gold Coast over Carlton.
We take a look at how each team fared in this week’s edition of Edge of the Crowd’s Power Rankings
(The club’s previous week’s position is in brackets.)
1. Melbourne (2)
The reigning premiers showed patience in their win. While they were forced to wait for their first goal, once they did find the goals, things started to click into place.
The defensive duo of Jake Lever and Steven May continues to flummox teams who bomb the ball in, while the star-studded midfield of Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver and co continue to thrive.
Working above them, and fuelling the midfield is the combination of Luke Jackson and Max Gaw, who feasted on the Power once Lycett went down injured, as they dominated the back half of the contest. The Demons are yet to be really tested this season, and the Power were not the side to do it.
2. Brisbane (1)
While the Lions lost the match, they lost little else. The way they battled against the Cats shows that they can match it with any team and will again be a contender this season.
One concerning aspect for the Lions will be how Lachie Neale played a lone hand in the midfield. Neale had 30 touches and 11 clearances, but the rest of the Lion's midfield struggled to get their hands on the ball.
Dan McStay and Joe Daniher combined for six goals, as the Lions can score, but just couldn’t keep up. They will lament the loss, but no real damage was done.
3. Geelong (3)
For the second straight year, the Cats won a nail biter at home against the Lions. Tom Hawkins was again key, with five goals.
Zach Tuohy and Isaac Smith stood up too, generating run through the middle of the ground and forcing the Lions’ defence to respond to quick ball movement.
The injuries piling up for the Cats will be a concern, with Tom Stewart a late out, and Quinton Narkle and Esava Ratugolea suffering injuries.
4. St Kilda (11)
Round four brought an almost perfect performance by the Saints who are now into the top four and looking towards the finals. From the first bounce, they were dominant outsourcing their young opposition in every quarter.
After a couple of years of up and down movement, if this match is anything to go by then the Saints are finally finding their grove. With Jade Gresham, Brad Hill, Max King and Tim Membrey all kicking four goals there are plenty of positives to take for the forward line.
The two midfielding Jacks, in Steele and Sinclair both, had more than 30 touches to show the improvement is finally coming in the middle. There will still be questions to ask about the defence going forward, especially against stronger teams. Paddy Ryder will be one to watch during the week after being reported for a front-on bump against Will Day.
5. Carlton (4)
A tough week for the Carlton fans this week with them being brought back to reality with a tough loss to the Gold Coast Suns. After a lot of talk about Carlton being premiership contenders during the week, the pundits will have to re-evaluate their position of this team which currently sits seventh on the ladder.
The loss though won’t be the biggest worry for Carlton fans with their skipper Patrick Cripps limping off the ground with a hamstring injury. Nic Newman will need to have a long look at himself essentially giving Gold Coast the win in the third quarter after giving away a 50-metre penalty in a key moment.
Carlton still has plenty to look forward to this year under new coach Michael Voss, however, a 30 point loss wouldn't have been in their initial plans. Going forward they will need to find a replacement for Cripps in the midfield even if it’s only for a couple of weeks.
6. Sydney (6)
The Swans escaped a tough matchup against North Melbourne, despite being below their best. The Swans were challenged in the first half and seemed to pull away slightly late in the third quarter, but the Kangaroos kept them close.
In the end, it was Justin McInerney who was the match-winner for them. McInerney had a huge last quarter in his return from injury, including the match-winner.
With Buddy, Franklin subbed out, and Tom Hickey already on the sidelines, the Swans will be forced to rely on depth like Joel Amartey and Logan McDonald to get them through the next few weeks until the stars return.
7. Bulldogs (5)
The Doggie's horrific start to the season continues with them now 14th on the ladder after registering only one win in four weeks. After a grand final appearance last year they need to massively improve, unfortunately for them, inaccurate goal kicking ruined their chances of four points against Richmond.
On an individual level, it was great for the Dog's midfielders to get plenty of the ball with five of them getting at least 30 touches. The big issue though was inaccuracy in front of goal with eleven players kicking behind, six of those not getting a goal either.
The good news for the Dogs is that while it was a bad loss in a game they should've won. It’s true that they had plenty of opportunities and on a better day without all wayward kicking they should be able to win plenty more games through the season.
8. Richmond (12)
Richmond looks back on the up after a great all-around performance with them defeating the Dogs by 38 points. After an early challenge, Richmond fought their way back into the match eventually breaking away towards the end of the third quarter.
Just by looking at the team statistics, you would think the Bulldogs dominated the match and in some ways they did. But Richmond put on some extra pressure in their defensive 50 to make sure the Dogs wouldn't kick straight, they finished with seven goals and 19 behinds.
The most positive note for the Dogs is the fact that it was a massive team effort, only Jayden Short was in the top five possession getters. The Tiger's forward line is also looking more connected than ever after four goals to Tom Lynch and two goals to Jack Riewoldt who has come back well after a hand injury.
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9. Fremantle (10)
Although Fremantle was wasteful in front of goal, kicking 10 behinds in the match. A massive last quarter saw the Dockers come home with a 33 point win over the Giants at Optus Stadium.
Although Fremantle was missing captain Nat Fyfe, the Dockers midfield remained strong with off-season recruit Will Brodie having a career-high 36 disposals and David Mundy had 30 disposals in his return game from AFL Health and safety protocols.
The Dockers kicked six goals in the final term while keeping the Giants goalless which saw them storm home and claim their third win for the season. Nathan O’Driscoll was strong on the scoreboard kicking two goals along with Travis Collyer and Michael Frederick.
10. GWS Giants (7)
It was a disappointing night for the Giants, after remaining in the contest for most of the match, they were only able to score four points in the last quarter which saw them come away with a 33 point loss against Fremantle.
It was undisciplined acts that really lost the Giants the match with some of Fremantle’s last six goals coming from free-kicks inside fifty. Brayden Preuss gave away five free-kicks and will miss the side's clash against Melbourne after receiving a one-match suspension for his hit on David Mundy.
On a positive note, Tom Green has stepped up to fill the void left by Toby Greene after once again proving to be a key cog in the Giant's side, Green had 17 disposals and kicked two goals. While Tim Taranto had 32 disposals
11. Hawthorn (9)
A tough loss for Hawthorn in round four after a lot of talk about them having a great start to the season. They managed to stay in the game for most of the first quarter before three late goals to St Kilda was the beginning of the end for Hawthorn who never got back into the match.
Hawthorn's midfield struggled to work well together as a team, while their leaders in Jaeger O'Meara and Tom Mitchell both passed 30 disposals. With Hawthorn being a young team on the rebuild these kinds of uneven performances will be something fans need to put up with going forward.
Hawthorn wasn’t bad in their attacking half but they clearly have an issue in defence. That defensive strength will come with the rebound but when you let four different players kick four goals you aren’t going to win a lot of matches. Overall a setback for the Hawks after a good start to the season.
12. Collingwood (8)
It was the same old problems for Collingwood, in the side 13 point loss over the West Coast Eagles with conversion inside 50 being the one thing that really killed them.
Going forward they were able to allow the likes of Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barass to take those clean intercept marks to allow the Eagles to reload. Collingwood had all the momentum in the third quarter having 12 successive inside fifties but was only able to convert two goals.
When the Magpies got those opportunities they weren’t accurate, kicking 14 behinds for the match. Nick Dacios was able to back up his performance from last week having 32 disposals, while on the scoreboard it was Jack Ginnivan and Brody Mihocek with two goals respectively.
13. Gold Coast (13)
Finally, after plenty of speculation and intrigue, it looks like the Gold Coast is improving and nothing shows that better than beating the inform Carlton. The win is the Suns' first at Metricon since round six of last year and will hopefully take some pressure off their coach Stuart Dew.
The young guns from the Suns in Touk Miller (32 disposals) and Noah Anderson (35 disposals) proved once again that they will be leading this side for a long time to come. They both played a key role in getting the ball to former Richmond big man Mabior Chol who has flourished with the extra responsibility, kicking three goals.
With the Suns now sitting just outside of the eight there is a real chance we see some final action from the AFL’s forgotten team. On the negative side, Matt Rowell had an average game, but at such a young age he can’t be expected to tear the house down every week.
14. Essendon (16)
Essendon was able to get its first win of the 2022 season after beating Adelaide by four points at Marvel Stadium. With the game being close for most of the match, it was the Bombers that were able to keep their noses in front for the majority of the game.
Essendon was strong in the centre, being able to beat the Crows in the middle of the ground, allowing first use to the forwards. With Darcy Parish (38 disposals), Andrew McGrath (25 disposals) and Jye Caldwell (23 disposals) playing key roles in the absence of Zach Merret and Jake Stringer.
Peter Wright once again proved how important he is to the Essendon forward line, kicking three goals with two of them coming in the first quarter and having nine marks with three of those contested.
Mason Redman was important down back having 10 intercept possessions and Jake Kelly was important coming up against his old side having 7 intercept possessions.
15. West Coast (17)
West Coast was still without some key players like Luke Shuey, Andrew Gaff and Tim Kelly but the Eagles were able to dig deep and come away with a 13 point win over Collingwood.
Tom Barrass and Jeremy McGovern didn’t let much past them having seven and eleven intercept possessions respectively.
Once the Eagles were on a run they couldn’t be stopped kicking seven of the last nine goals of the match. Willie Rioli was able to bring that ferocity around the football and really add to that forward pressure inside fifty while kicking three of his own.
Josh Kennedy also kicked three while Jack Darling and Liam Ryan had two respectively. Alex Witherden was also a key cog in the defence having nine intercept possessions and 27 disposals. While supplementary pick Patrick Naish had one of his best games in the blue and gold with 23 disposals and a goal.
16. North Melbourne (18)
North Melbourne fought hard, but couldn’t get over the line against the Swans. Jack Ziebell showed that despite forging a career as a defender, he has the capability to go forward and kick a bag of goals.
Jason Horne-Francis, Aaron Hall and Jy Simpkin showed the future is bright for North, and the Kangaroos will be a formidable opposition in the future.
For the moment though, they lack the class to finish off tough wins, and the Swans came over the top in the dying moments of the match, killing off late hope. They will take confidence and learnings from the experience but aren’t quite there yet.
17. Adelaide (14)
It was a disappointing loss for the Adelaide Crows after going down to the Bombers by four points at Marvel Stadium.
The Crows struggled to be able to hit targets inside 50 with the Crows only having seven marks inside fifty for the match, with only three players receiving those marks. The Crows also struggled in the ruck, losing the hit-outs 25-44 allowing the Essendon midfielders first use of the football.
In his return after suspension, Taylor Walker was strong for Adelaide kicking four goals for the match while Josh Rachele continued his great start to 2022 kicking three goals along with 19 disposals.
Ben Keays brought the heat having 39 pressure acts for the match, the most of any player this season along with 27 disposals. Jordan Dawson was a key player for the crows defensively having 10 intercept possessions for the match.
18. Port Adelaide (15)
The Power’s slow start to the season continued. They were held goalless to halftime and didn’t kick well when they did have opportunities, finishing 4.12. It was its seventh-lowest score of all time and relegates the Power to 0-4 for the first time in 14 years.
The Power struggled with injuries, as Ollie Wines was subbed out with nausea, and Scott Lycett struck down with a shoulder injury, but the Power would not have won this game with those two alone.
Port Adelaide was listless for much of the match, unable to penetrate past the Demons’ defensive structures, Any chance of a finals appearance is fading rapidly, after the slow start.