CARLTON has taken a jump into the top tier of teams in womens.afl’s Power Rankings.
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.
THE RUN HOME Is the Crows' flag defence over?
1. Fremantle (first in Conference B, 6-0, 154.7%, ranking last week: 1st)
It was far from a convincing performance against the Western Bulldogs, conceding eight goals to a side who has struggled this season, but Fremantle managed to pull out a win in the last quarter. Will be happy to get the four points in the bag ahead of some huge tests against Melbourne and Carlton.
2. North Melbourne (first in Conference A, 5-1, 227.2%, ranking last week: 2nd)
Looked slightly stunned early, before charging home with 10 straight goals against a deflated side which had just lost its best young player to another torn ACL. The first team to guarantee themselves a finals spot and the highest percentage in the competition.
3. Carlton (second in Conference B, 5-1, 151.8%, ranking last week: 4th)
We can smell what the Blues are cooking, and early indications are it’s pretty tasty. Carlton had already notched up wins against Richmond, Western Bulldogs, Adelaide and St Kilda, but Melbourne is a class above those teams. It was an excellent win in Alice Springs, and West Coast to come this week.
4. Collingwood (fourth in Conference B, 4-2, 153.7%, ranking last week: 6th)
The dark horse (or Magpie). Some of the strength of Conference B is due to the unexpected bounce of Collingwood, who have impressed under new coach Steve Symonds. The Pies are hungry for the first finals series, and inaccuracy aside, it showed against Brisbane.
5. Melbourne (third in Conference B, 4-2, 164.5%, ranking last week: 3rd)
That was not the game to lose. Not only have the Dees lost a much more comfortable second spot, they're now four points behind Carlton and only 11 per cent ahead of Collingwood (percentages move rapidly in the AFLW). Missed opportunities in attack were once again costly.
6. Brisbane (third in Conference A, 3-1-2, 107.0%, ranking last week: 5th)
Brisbane looked uncharacteristically flat against a hungry Collingwood and has now dropped two games in a row. The Lions are unlikely to slip out of the top three with Richmond this week, but their form has taken a big dip since the start of the year.
7. GWS (second in Conference A, 4-2, 123.2%, ranking last week: 8th)
The resurgent GWS continues to climb. All but assured of a maiden finals berth, the Giants have won three of its past four. Having knocked off Gold Coast, West Coast, Richmond and Adelaide, but recording poor losses against North Melbourne and Brisbane, they're unlikely to do too much damage in finals.
8. Geelong (fifth in Conference A, 2-4, 80.8%, ranking last week: 7th)
Finals now looking like a distant hope for the Cats. Have shown that at their best, they're a much better side than the weaker teams in the competition but have struggled against the top tier clubs. Nina Morrison's re-torn ACL is a huge blow both to the playing stocks and morale.
9. Gold Coast (fourth in Conference A, 2-1-3, 101.3%, ranking last week: 10th)
The Suns' impressive first season continues to roll on. While they haven't played St Kilda, the Queensland side is comfortably ahead of fellow expansion teams West Coast and Richmond. They've pushed some stronger sides this season but had a very poor loss to Geelong. There's a lot of hope on the coast at the moment.
10. Adelaide (sixth in Conference A, 2-4, 80.4%, ranking last week: 9th)
That clang you hear is the sound of Adelaide's hopes of defending its premiership hitting the floor. While players are starting to return from injury, it's too little, too late, and the team is struggling to cope with the constant change in personnel.
11. Western Bulldogs (sixth in Conference B, 1-5, 72.8%, ranking last week: 12th)
What a way to take it up to one of the premiership fancies. It was a good old-fashioned shoot-out at VU Whitten Oval, with the Dogs playing with freedom and speed. Just ranks over St Kilda on the strength of its performance against a much stronger opponent.
12. St Kilda (fifth in Conference B, 2-4, 90.6%, ranking last week: 11th)
The Saints become the first team to hold a side goalless in a big tick for their strong all-ground defence. It was against a very poor Richmond, but they still needed to take their chances, and they did particularly well against a stiff wind.
13. West Coast (seventh in Conference B, 1-5, 32.1%, ranking last week: 13th)
West Coast was in serious danger of joining Richmond as teams to not kick a goal this weekend before Hayley Bullas thankfully came through in the last quarter. Were comfortably outplayed by a fellow expansion side in Gold Coast, which would sting.
14. Richmond (seventh in Conference A, 1-5, 35.7%, ranking last week: 14th)
Oh boy. A captain still suffering the effects of concussion, a midfielder and recruiter in self-isolation after her housemate returned from Japan, a footy operations manager kept away from the club with a cold, and then recording the lowest ever AFLW score. A weekend to forget for the Tiges.