AFL Power Rankings: Round 18 - Scott Pendlebury's 350th

The final weeks are coming up in the AFL with so many teams still in contention to make the top eight

1. Geelong (1)

Geelong were too dominant for the Blues as they continued off from last week and held their top spot on the ladder. The Cats took on the Blues at the MCG on Saturday night to win by 30 points.

Mitch Duncan had game-high disposals for the Cats collecting 26 to his name, whilst Joel Selwood had (25 disposals, four tackles, and three clearances) for the Cats.

Jeremy Cameron (three goals) and Tom Hawkins (two goals) proved to be the strongest duo on the night, with five goals between the two. Max Holmes, too was impressive up forward with two goals for himself.

The Cats are in a great position with the finals only weeks away; they need to ensure they do not lose any matches to hold their top spot in the run to the finals.

2. Melbourne (2)

The Demons responded this week against the Power after their shaky loss to the Cats last week. The Demons hosted the Power at Traeger Park in Alice Springs on Sunday Afternoon to win by 14 points.

With Clayton Oliver being a big out for the Demons, Christian Petracca took his place and collected 30 disposals and ten clearances. Jack Viney, too looked comfortable with 28 disposals to his name.

Kysaiah Pickett was dominant for the Demons kicking an incredible six goals. Ben Brown and Bayley Fritsch kicked two a piece between them to get over the Power.

The Demons sit second on percentage to Geelong, but a loss to Melbourne could see them outside the top four. The Demons need to keep winning for their finals chances to look brighter.

3. Brisbane (4)

Brisbane won a must-needed game after their up and down performance the last few matches. The Lions took on the Giants at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday Afternoon to win by 40 points.

Hugh McCluggage had a day out and was as handy in the forward line as he is in the midfield, with 29 disposals and four goals to his name. Lachie Neale was brilliant as always, with 26 disposals and four clearances.

Apart from McCluggae, Charlie Cameron and Cam Rayner kicked three goals a piece, whilst Eric Hipwood and Daniel McStay kicked two goals a piece. Keidean Coleman, too kicked one goal to his name.

The Lions have the Suns next to play, which will arguably be the best Q clash that we have seen so far. Gold Coast can make a run for the Lions' money and should be worried about going up against them.

4. Fremantle (3)

The Dockers missed out on a huge opportunity to be first on equal points along Melbourne and Geelong as they lost to the Swans. Fremantle hosted Sydney at Optus Stadium Saturday night to go down by 17 points.

Will Brodie (24 disposals, five tackles, four clearances) fought hard for the Dockers, but Sydney's midfield was all over them. Luke Ryan (24 disposals, four tackles) and Hayden Young (23 disposals, nine marks) too stood strong in defence.

Bailey Banfield, Lachie Schultz, and Matt Taberner all kicked two goals to try to keep their side in the match. David Mundy and Michael Walters kicked one a piece, whilst Rory Lobb's four behinds could have made a difference to his one goal for the night.

The Dockers have been secured in the top four all year. Now with the trip to Melbourne to play the Tigers at Marvel Stadium, they could go down to as far as seventh on the ladder. The Tigers will be on the bounce back after their shocking loss to the Kangaroos. The Dockers need to win for an easier finals run.

5. Sydney (5)

The Swans have proved why they deserve to be recognised as a threat to the rest of the competition after their epic win over the Dockers. Sydney took the points over Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday night to win by 17 points.

Chad Warner continued his brilliant performance and seems to get better every week for the Swans. He was clear best on ground collecting 35 disposals, seven clearances and a goal.

Errol Gulden was as dominant in the forward line as he is in the midfield kicking two goals to his name. Joel Amartey and Tom Papley, too, kicked two goals to their name.

The Swans sit outside the top four by one win; however, beating the Dockers has helped their chances of not letting position increase. Sydney takes on Adelaide next week and is a chance for the Swans to boost their percent in the push for their finals run.

6. Collingwood (6)

Collingwood has won their past nine matches in a row and were able to hold on once again in a thriller of a game. The Magpies flew to Adelaide Oval to play Adelaide on Saturday Afternoon to win by five points.

Nick Daicos is only playing his first season and this week played a best-on-ground performance collecting a whopping 40 disposals and three goals for himself. Scott Pendlebury stood firm in his 350 milestone game with 29 disposals and 12 tackles.

Apart from Nick Daicos' brilliant display, Brody Mihocek and debutant Ash Johnson kicked two goals each for the Magpies to hold on to their lead.

Collingwood now sit outside the top four on percentage and looks very dangerous for any team to play them. There is doubt, though, for their next match as Essendon have been dominating the past few weeks.

7. Carlton (7)

Carlton's form the past few matches has been up and down, with another loss heading towards finals hurts their positioning. The Blues hosted the Cats at the MCG on Saturday night only to get done by 30 points.

Sam Walsh was consistent as always, collecting 33 disposals, four tackles and eight clearances. Sam Docherty was good off the rebound with 29 disposals for the Blues.

Charlie Curnow (three goals) had a fiery start, but soon the ball could not find him as he was the Blues' only multiple-goal scorer. Patrick Cripps, Tom De Koning, George Hewett, Jesse Motlop and Jack Silvagni all kicked one each.

It does not get easier for the Blues, who still have Melbourne, Collingwood, and Brisbane to play. There is the chance that the Blues could once again miss out on the finals if they do not start to win.

8. St Kilda (8)

St Kilda have continued their very inconsistent up and down season as they went down this week. The Saints versed the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium to go down to them by 28 points.

Jack Sinclair continued his All-Australian season in defence, collecting 36 disposals and snatching a goal for himself. Jack Steele stood strong against the run of the Bulldogs with 26 disposals and nine tackles.

Max King was the Saints' only multiple-goal scorer with two to his name, along with Steele and Sinclair, included Jack Billings, Zak Jones, and Mason Wood for one each.

The Saints have gone from top four threats to possibly missing the finals. They have lost four of their past five matches as the run for home gets tight. If they are serious about playing in the finals, they must win next week against the Eagles.

9. Western Bulldogs (12)

The Western Bulldogs have remained in top eight contention with a much-needed win against the Saints. The Bulldogs hosted the Saints at Marvel Stadium Friday night to win by 28 points.

The Bulldogs' midfield was all over the Saints, led by Marcus Bontempelli's brilliant performance of 34 disposals and two goals. Tom Liberatore was also outstanding, with his 11 clearances coming in huge for the Bulldogs.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagen kicked three goals as he stepped up to replace Aaron Naughton, who, like many of his teammates, were out due to Health and Safety Regulations. Bontempelli was the only other multiple-goal scorer for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs are in the hunt for the top eight; however, they will be versing the Demons, who are very hard to beat. The Bulldogs must win with the last position of the eight open to still so many teams.

10. Richmond (9)

The Tigers missed an opportunity to position themselves a win inside the eight and now sit inside on percentage. The Tigers played the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium on Saturday Twilight to lose by four points.

Dion Prestia (26 disposals, four clearances) fought hard for the Tigers but could not get the job done against the Kangaroos. Tyler Sonsie, too was dominant on debut for the Tigers collecting 19 disposals and making an impact straight away.

Noah Cumberland (three goals) and Jack Riewoldt (two goals) were the Tigers' only goal kickers and could have had a day out if they converted on the scoreboard. The two had a total of 10 behinds between them and could have won them the match.

The Tigers have now lost three of their past four matches by under a goal. They could have been in the top four. They are fighting to stay in the top eight when they host the Dockers' next match.

11. Essendon (13)

Essendon continued their non-fluke performance with another brilliant win on the weekend. The Bombers hosted The Gold Coast Suns on Sunday Twilight to win by 48 points.

Zach Merret was consistent as always with 36 disposals and nine clearances for the Bombers. Mason Redman too, has been very reliable the past few weeks as he collected 34 disposals and ten marks.

The Bombers had multiple players kick more than one goal, including Jake Stringer's bag of four goals. Sam Draper, Harrison Jones, Nic Martin, and Peter Wright also kicked two apiece.

The Bombers have proved their performance the past few weeks have not been flukes but instead a total 180 of how they had been playing. The Bombers have won four of their past five matches and hope to increase it when they take on Collingwood's next match.

12. Gold Coast (10)

Gold Coast would be very disappointed with their result against Essendon after their fantastic win last week. The Suns flew to Melbourne to play the Bombers at Marvel Stadium on Sunday Twilight to go down by 48 points.

Touk Miller led the Suns collecting 28 disposals, seven tackles, and eight clearances to his name. Noah Anderson also performed his best with 24 disposals and seven clearances.

Levi Casboiult, Mabior Chol and Sam Day were the Suns' only multiple goal scorers, whilst Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine kicked one a piece.

The Suns' season is not over; however, a loss to Essendon hurts what could have boosted their chances. The Suns have the formidable challenge of taking on Brisbane in their next game and must win to stay in contention for the top eight.

13. Port Adelaide (11)

The Power fought hard but could not get the job done over the Demons. Port Adelaide took on Melbourne at Traeger Park in Alice Springs on Sunday Afternoon to go down by 14 points.

Connor Rozee (33 disposals, one goal)is only getting better and better each week with his transition into the midfield. Travis Boak, too was strong, collecting 29 touches and two goals.

Apart from Boak, Miles Bergman and Todd Marshall kicked two goals a piece. Whilst Rozee, along with Charlie Dixon, William Drew, and Jeremy Finlayson, all kicked one each.

The Power are still in contention for the top eight, and their next match against first-place Geelong looks challenging. Although, Port Adelaide stated that they are ready to make their run home strong.

14. Hawthorn (15)

The Hawks backed up last week's performance with another win. Hawthorn hosted West Coast at the MCG on Sunday Afternoon to get up by 25 points.

Josh Ward (34 disposals, five tackles, six clearances) earned himself a rising star nomination for his dominant performance in only his ninth game. Tom Mitchell, too was impressive with 33 disposals.

Luke Bruest kicked six goals and showed how he can still make an impact on the scoreboard. Besides Ward, Connor Macdonald kicked two goals as the Hawks' only multiple-goal scorers.

The Hawks now face North Melbourne, which will be an exciting game for both clubs, and it will be interesting to see which way it turns out.

15. GWS (14)

The Giants stood tall against the Lions but could not get the job done. GWS hosted Brisbane at Manuka Oval in Canberra to lose by 40 points.

Harry Himmelberg has been incredible with his transition down back, collecting 29 disposals, eight marks, and a goal. Tim Taranto, too was strong in the midfield collecting 29 disposals to his name.

Toby Greene once again was brilliant, kicking four goals to his name as the Giants' only multiple-goal scorer for the match. Apart from Himmelberg, Jesse Hogan, Josh Kelly, Daniel Lloyd, and Tim Taranto kicked one a piece.

The Giants have now lost four of their past five matches, and a match against the Blues away is challenging for them to win.

16. Adelaide (16)

Although the Crows were in the game all day, they fell short to the Magpies and could not get the job done. Adelaide hosted the Collingwood at Adelaide Oval to fall short by five points.

Rory Laird was a tackling beast for the Crows and broke a new AFL/VFL record for most tackles in a game with 20. He, too, was dominant with 31 disposals and nine clearances.

Taylor Walker kicked five goals and showed why the Crows should have contracted him for an extra year. Lachie Murphy (three goals) and Darcy Fogarty (two goals) too were potent for the Crows.

The Crows responded after their terrible loss against the Hawks the previous week and looked strong, almost collecting the win. The Crows now verse Sydney and will be an exciting game to watch.

17. North Melbourne (18)

The Kangaroos have arguably pulled the season's upset against the Tigers after their head coach David Noble stepped away from the club the same week. North Melbourne hosted Richmond at Marvel Stadium on Saturday Twilight to win by four points.

Midfielders Jy Simpkin (34 disposals, six tackles, eight clearances and a goal) and Luke Davies-Uniacke (28 disposals, five tackles, four clearances) were dominant for the Kangaroos.

Cameron Zurhaar was unstoppable for the Kangaroos after finishing off with six goals. Paul Curtis, too was dominant and the only other Roo with multiple goals kicking three to his name.

The Kangaroos' win is their first since round two against the Eagles. Although there are only a few rounds left of the season, it looks exciting to watch the Kangaroos play.

18. West Coast (17)

West Coast fought hard against the Hawks but could not get the job done. The Eagles travelled to the MCG to play the Hawks on Sunday Afternoon, where they went down by 25 points.

Unlikely disposal getter Tom Barrass collected 30 disposals for the match and took a crazy 18 marks. Andrew Gaff collected 30 disposals and had five clearances for himself.

Jake Waterman kicked three goals for the Eagles, whilst Jack Darling, Josh Kennedy, and Luke Shuey kicked two goals each for the Eagles as their only multiple goal scorers.

The Eagles now host the Saints next week in Perth, where honestly, it could go either way for both teams. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles will be more dominant with the home-ground advantage.

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