Five rounds in and the season is starting to take shape we look at how the next few rounds will set up how the remainder of the season goes with our predicted ladder for the end of round 10.
Sitting clear in the top two will be Adelaide and Geelong with a predicted 8-10 wins each it would be a very very tasty prospect with these two going into round 11 both undefeated on 10 wins which is a high possibility. At this early stage of the season even with the Cats still not playing their best football they are on track and would be very happy with where they are, as will the Crows who despite a couple serious injuries have managed to continue to over run sides every week.
The next 4 spots from 3rd to 6th will be taken up by Richmond, Westcoast and GWS with 7-8 wins each with the Bulldogs hot on their heels and well within a top 4 spot. unless there is a major catastrophe with these 6 sides they are already home and in the finals, it would take a huge amount of injury and bad luck to derail their companions from this point. The only real surprise in this top 6 is Richmond most would of had them around the 8th-10th if not lower, the other major surprise here is no Sydney or Hawthorn. Hawthorn’s slip was at least expected a little just not as big of a slide as it has. There will be a huge amount of jostling between these 4 teams and a slight edge must be given to the Eagles and Giants with a home ground advantage it will possibly be enough to push them into the top 4 ahead of the Dogs and Tigers.
The also rans from 7th to 13th it is a tight bunch here with Port Adelaide, Melbourne and Saint Kilda will be in the spots to 9th with no more than 5 wins. Collingwood, Sydney, North Melbourne and Fremantle could all find them selves on 4 wins by this stage and will think they are a sneaky chance to make the 8, realistically though only Sydney has the calibre and class to change history and make the finals from here and that will need a lot of luck also.
Looking forward to an early summer and pre season are the bottom five and will be in no particular order with no more than 3 wins, Hawthorn, Gold Coast, Essendon, Carlton and Brisbane. Not all is lost for these sides they have all shown a fair bit of pluck and guts so far this season except the Hawks and if they can build from here can ruffle a few feathers of those aspiring to make the 8 this year and will need some good form to springboard them into next season.
3. West Coast
6. Western Bulldogs
7. Port Adelaide
9. Saint Kilda
12. North Melbourne
15. Gold Coast
The biggest question remains from here can the Swans who where premiership favourites make the finals from here, history is against them as will be their mindset it is going to take one hell of an effort. I can see them maybe squeezing into 8th spot but a lot of results will have to go their way for the rest of the season.
How the top 6 shapes up near the end of the season will be pivotal especially if a side like the Swans manage to make the 8 I would not want to be playing them in an elimination final that first week. I think if the Dogs are to go back to back they will have to do it from outside the top 4 again. Those top few sides will not be able to afford to make mistakes they will be costly just ask the Crows from last year who dropped from 3rd to 5th after the last round last year.