Six weeks of footy are now complete and we are starting to get a feel of where each team belongs. After the ANZAC Round, the Edge of the Crowd AFL team has ranked where each team is positioned. Previous rankings are in brackets.
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1. Collingwood (1)
Throughout the first six weeks of the season, the Pies have been tested in a few different ways. Firstly there was the low-scoring match against the Tigers, the loss against Brisbane and this week it was having to come back late in the match against Essendon. Through all of that Collingwood has proved to be the most consistent and best team in the competition and barely seems to have a weakness across any area of the field. This week the Pies travel back to Adelaide to take on the Crows.
2. St Kilda (2)
While Collingwood might look better across the field it's hard to deny the first six weeks of football the Saints have put together. They currently sit first on the ladder due to a better percentage and have only lost one match, that being against Collingwood. A good win against Carlton on the weekend showed how good the Ross Lyon defensive game plan that kept Carlton away from their forward 50. This weekend is another test for the Saints as they come up against Port Adelaide on Friday night at Marvel.
3. Melbourne (5)
Richmond looked well off the pace against the Demons over the weekend and for that reason along with some losses by other sides, the Demons move back into the top four much as they have on the ladder. Great performances across the midfield have been the key for the Demons this season and once again it was the trio of Petracca, Oliver and Viney who got the Demons across the line. There should be another big win for the Demons this weekend as they come up against North Melbourne.
4. Geelong (8)
The slow start for Geelong is now well and truly over with all the cobwebs dusted off and the old men warming up to the 2023 season. The Cats are still not quite in the top eight but the form with three quality wins has shown they are once again premiership contenders, assuming they can stay on the park. The combination of Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins in the forward line is enough to win matches on its own. The Cats have Essendon this weekend in the Premier Sunday fixture from the MCG.
5. Brisbane (6)
The Lions are now sliding back up the ladder after a tough start to the season with a couple of losses they probably shouldn't have had. An away win against the Giants in Canberra over the weekend showed that they can get it done on the road as well as at home. Charlie Cameron booted seven goals on his home to get the Lions home by 21 points. There will be even more chances to kick bags this week as the Dockers travel up to Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.
6. Essendon (3)
The Dons move down the rankings this week after bottling the match against Collingwood on ANZAC Day. Whether it was the occasion, the strength of Collingwood or fitness issues, dropping an almost 30-point lead in the final quarter simply wasn't good enough and not good enough for them to sit within the ranking's top four. It's another tough test for Essendon this weekend as they come up against the Cats on Sunday afternoon.
7. Sydney (4)
The Swans drop down in the rankings due to a horrific performance over the weekend against the Cats. For a side that has been as consistent for as long as the Swans have, something just seemed to click against the Cats and players were unable to find the ball, unable to hit targets and importantly unable to defend. Perhaps it's baggage from the Grand Final loss last year or perhaps it was just an off week but either way the Swans need to find a way to bounce back this week against the Giants this weekend.
8. Port Adelaide (8)
The win for the Power over the weekend pushed them into the top eight for the first time this weekend and took some of the pressure off Ken Hinkley after plenty of media talk over the last few weeks. It might have only been West Coast but a 40-point win to follow up from Gather Round keeps Port in the mix come September. This weekend is the biggest test of the year to date for the Power as they play the Saints on Friday night.
9. Adelaide (7)
Could we have a situation where both Adelaide teams are there come September? It looks that way with Adelaide currently sitting fifth on the ladder and equal third on points with teams 3-7 all on 16 after six rounds. The Crows have been impressive, improving a vast amount since last season. Hawthorn almost got over the line on the weekend but in the end, it was Taylor Walker with four goals that got the Crows the win. It's a battle of the birds this weekend as the Crows take on Collingwood.
10. Carlton (9)
The Blues had a great start to the season but that is falling off at this point. The Blues fans are starting to come back down to Earth and the win against St Kilda to follow up the loss to Adelaide is a taste of reality. The Blues are a good side but have moved down in the rankings due to probably being another year or two off from being a premiership contender. There should be a win this weekend with Cartlon going over to Perth to play West Coast.
11. Western Bulldogs (14)
The pressure was starting to mount on the Dog's coach in the first month of the week but a win against Richmond, a close run thing against Port and then a huge win over Fremantle have taken some of the pressure off Luke Beveridge. There are plenty of quality names on the Dogs side but they are missing probably one or two key players from becoming a premiership contender once again. The Dogs should be able to move up the ladder again this week with them coming up against the Hawks.
12. Fremantle (12)
From finishing fifth on the ladder last season to now being equal with Gold Coast and GWS through the first six weeks. Similarly to the Dogs, Freo have plenty of good players but they just can't seem to do enough up forward to put winning scores on the board. Their loss to the dogs at home showed just how far off the pace the Dockers rate. It could be another difficult week for Fremantle as they come up against the Lions in Brisbane.
13. Richmond (11)
Is the Tiger's dominance over the last decade finally over? It looks that way with another loss coming their way over the weekend and 16th place on the ladder all theirs. They may come back through the next month and sneak into the top eight but with just one win through six matches it's going to be very difficult. With losses to Sydney and Melbourne in recent weeks the Tigers will be confident of a win this week as they come up against Gold Coast.
14. Greater Western Sydney (13)
GWS are a side that won't be playing finals this year but the rebuild under Adam Kinglsey does seem to be working. There is still plenty of talent on the side, whether it's Toby Greene or any one of the young guns coming through. The loss against the Lions wasn't ideal but wasn't a bad performance with them competing through a lot of the game. This weekend will be a huge battle for both sides as GWS come up against Sydney.
15. Gold Coast (15)
It's been a disappointing season for the Gold Coast who were hoping to make the top eight under Stuart Dew this season. It's not going to happen with the side they have which admittedly is stronger than a lot of their previous seasons but still needs to attract more talent. A win over the Kangaroos by 43 points on the weekend was a great effort but at the end of the day, it was the Kangaroos. The Suns come up against Richmond this weekend, can they get the win?
16. North Melbourne (16)
The season started well for the Kangaroos under Clarkson but the slide down the ladder is now clearly on with the Roos now sitting 15th on the table with two wins in the first six rounds. Harry Sheezel has been a revelation for the side along with plenty of other players stepping up in the Clarkson era. The match against Gold Coast was their worst of the year but that's okay, this is a side that has admitted to being in a rebuild. A couple of tough weeks are coming up for the Kangaroos with matches against the Demons and the Saints coming up.
17. Hawthorn (18)
The Hawks move up the rankings slightly this week but it won't be making too much difference with them being one of the worst teams in the competition. The rebuild is going to be long and tough but Hawks fans have plenty of premierships to look back fondly at. The Hawks almost got the job done against the Crows in Tassie this weekend dropping at lead in the last 10 minutes of the match to lose out on four points. The Crows are set to go to Melbourne this weekend to play the Dogs.
18. West Coast (17)
The loss against Port Adelaide has pushed West Coast to the bottom of the rankings simply due to the number of injuries that the side has picked up. You could almost pick an AFL-quality 22 just from the injury list, the next month is going to be really tough. It will certainly be a special occasion if West Coast can get it done this weekend against Carlton.
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