AFLW Power Rankings, R4: Blues bolt, horror weekend for Pies

IT WAS A weekend of contrasting fortunes for traditional rivals Carlton and Collingwood, and that's been reflected in womens.afl's power rankings for round four.

The Blues have shot up three places into the top four, while the Pies have slid four spots after a nightmare weekend was compounded by injuries.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT A snapshot of round four

With the competition split into two conferences, it's interesting to bring the two pools together to get a gauge on how the teams stack up against each other.

However, this isn't a simple combining of the ladders. It's an attempt to place a subjective value on the wins and losses to ascertain just who is the strongest team at this point in time.

1. Fremantle (first in Conference B, 4-0, 167.7%, ranking last week: 1st)
The only team to have four wins on the board, the Dockers used a get-out-of-jail-free card against St Kilda on Sunday. They lost 20 per cent in the space of a week, but are still sitting very nicely halfway through the season.

2. Brisbane (first in Conference A, 3-0-1, 165.2%, ranking last week: 4th)
The Lions have still only dropped two points for the season, and made light work of a disappointing GWS. Promisingly, a lot of improvement this year has come on the back of recruits like Cathy Svarc, Dakota Davidson and Maria Moloney.

Sneaky Svarc soccers a beauty

00:34 Mar 1. 2020. 5:38 PM

Catherine Svarc sneaks forward and soccers through a brilliant goal

3. North Melbourne (second in Conference A, 3-1, 189.5%, ranking last week: 3rd)
Consistency is key for the Roos, who had a few heart-in-the-mouth moments against Gold Coast but got over the line against a very competitive side. Currently one of the premier sides in the competition, this weekend's match against Adelaide looms large.

4. Carlton (third in Conference B, 3-1, 143.2%, ranking last week: 7th)
Bounded up the rankings on the back of a very impressive win against reigning premiers Adelaide. The Blues are capable of clean, well-structured footy; if we see it consistently, they should be a lock for finals.

5. Melbourne (second in Conference B, 3-1, 148.1%, ranking last week: 6th)
Melbourne finally shook off its goalkicking woes to record a valuable win over fellow Conference B side Collingwood. A big win against West Coast would be very handy in boosting the team's percentage.

Melbourne players sing the song after beating Collingwood. Picture: AFL Photos

6. Collingwood (fourth in Conference B, 2-2, 116.7%, ranking last week: 2nd)
Slid four places due to a disastrous weekend. A loss to fellow Conference B side Melbourne, season-ending injuries to key defenders Ash Brazill and Ruby Schleicher, and a Carlton win over Adelaide pushed the Magpies out of the top three.

Brazill stretchered off the field with knee injury

01:42 Feb 28. 2020. 7:08 PM

Collingwood's Ash Brazill is taken from the field after suffering a knee injury

7. Adelaide (third in Conference A, 2-2, 102.2%, ranking last week: 5th)
Positives: Erin Phillips and Rhiannon Metcalfe got through unscathed in their return from torn ACLs. Negatives: A poor loss to Carlton in a very winnable game, and were beaten in contested ball, usually a strength.

8. Gold Coast (fifth in Conference A, 1-2-1, 97.2%, ranking last week: 9th)
The scoreboard said Gold Coast lost to North Melbourne, but the Suns gave the Roos one hell of a scare. Will cause some headaches in the second half of the season, and a strong chance of seeing off Geelong this week.

9. GWS (fourth in Conference A, 2-2, 84.5%, ranking last week: 8th)
Just have the edge over Geelong and St Kilda by dint of an extra four points, but it was a worrying loss against Brisbane. The Giants' two wins have come against expansion sides Gold Coast and West Coast.

AFLW Match Highlights: Brisbane v GWS

04:49 Mar 1. 2020. 7:21 PM

The Lions and Giants clash in round four of the AFLW

10. St Kilda (sixth in Conference B, 1-3, 70.9%, ranking last week: 10th)
Came oh-so-close against competition leader Fremantle, losing in heartbreaking circumstances. It's not a pretty style of footy by any stretch, but it gets the job done. Carlton next week may be a challenge, but Richmond is very achievable.

11. Geelong (sixth in Conference A, 1-3, 86.4%, ranking last week: 12th)
The Cats finally got their first win on the board against the lowly Tigers, smashing their previous highest score of 38 by finishing on 67. Still ringing the changes in trying to find their best forward mix, but Kate Darby made a difference on Saturday.

Cranston coolly caresses one, completing Cats' crushing Q2 clinic

00:38 Feb 29. 2020. 4:02 PM

The Cats put their foot down with six second-quarter goals, capped off with a Rocky Cranston major from against the fence

12. Western Bulldogs (fifth in Conference B, 1-3, 84.3%, ranking last week: 11th)
The Dogs had a young side in against West Coast as injuries begin to mount, but it was still a very costly loss. Finals look a tough ask now, with games against Collingwood, Fremantle and North Melbourne to come.

13. West Coast (seventh in Conference B, 1-3, 42.2%, ranking last week: 13th)
The relief was palpable as West Coast recorded its first AFLW win. Still a fair way off the pace, but confidence and momentum are very important in a short competition.

AFLW Match Highlights: West Coast v Western Bulldogs

03:43 Mar 1. 2020. 10:58 AM

The Eagles and Bulldogs clash in Round 4 of the AFLW

14. Richmond (seventh in Conference A, 0-4, 45.1%, ranking last week: 14th)
Now clearly last overall, the Tigers did manage to improve their percentage by 9.4 this week, and comfortably recorded their highest score of 45. Improvement is obvious, but there's a big gap between Richmond, West Coast and the rest.