AS you read this chances are Round 7 of AFL action will be underway. Through the first six weeks, we have a learnt a lot about the contenders and pretenders and uncovered a few truths from the offseason. Regardless of ladder position, one thing that all 18 AFL clubs have in common is someone wearing their colours isn’t pulling their weight. These candidates need to find another gear or they could be in for a long year.
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Adelaide Crows: Rory Sloane
I’M not happy about giving this out to Sloane considering he has been dealing with injuries. That being said, he was only averaging 19.8 touches before a nagging calf sidelined him. If he maintained that average then the Crows midfielder would be looking at his lowest disposal output since 2010. When he’s back he’s gotta lift.
Brisbane Lions: Dayne Zorko
THE wonderful magician Zorko has looked anything but in 2018. His disappearing act is frustrating to Lions fans and fantasy coaches alike, with the 3x Best & Fairest winner having arguably his worst AFL season ever. He is too good to continue playing like crap, right?
Carlton Blues: Jack Silvagni
IT might be a bit harsh to call the third-year Blue a failure through six weeks, but the numbers don’t lie. With Carlton anchored at the bottom of the table, Silvagni isn’t the only one to blame, but he is failing to convert on the scoreboard, while also struggling to get his hands on the footy. Yes, he is only 20 years old, but a stint in the two’s might give him the confidence he needs to take a game by the scruff of his neck.
Collingwood Magpies: Chris Mayne
NO huge surprise to find Mayne here as he struggles to find a spot on this team. That’s not a testament to Collingwood, it’s an accurate summary of how crap Mayne has been since the Pies signed him. After chalking up his first game of the year on the weekend, he needs to go big against the Lions or he will likely be dumped once again.
Essendon Bombers: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
THE highlight reel Tipungwuti hasn’t been on the same level in 2018. Yet. We all saw what he was capable of last season as he kicked 34 goals for the Dons. With Essendon struggling mightily, ‘Tippa/Walla’ might put forth some more trashy performances.
Fremantle Dockers: Hayden Ballantyne
AT 30-years old, the writing was on the wall for Ballantyne. After managing just 10 games last year, the Dockers went out and signed Brandon Matera in the offseason and clearly know Michael Walters has talents in front of the big sticks. He is hitting the scoreboard a bit, but you can tell the end is near for Ballas.
Geelong Cats: Tom Hawkins
FAILING to hit the scoreboard has not only hurt Hawkins form, but the Geelong Cats record too. Five goals in six games aren’t good enough for a guy that averaged 55 goals a season in the past four years. If he can’t lift then the Cats forward line and scoring prowess is in trouble.
Gold Coast Suns: Michael Barlow
ONE of the most perplexing cases of the entire season to date has been the scenario with Michael Barlow. Brought back into the team for his first game of the season last week, Barlow was instantly dropped this week. He didn’t set the world on fire against Adelaide, although he still racked up 23 touches and was more than OK as he eased his way back into action. Wierd.
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Greater Western Sydney Giants: Jonathon Patton
PATTON has done a fine job for the Giants in the ruck with Rory Lobb out. Before GWS’ tall timber stocks were axed, Patton has struggled to kick goals and offer Jeremy Cameron a partner up front. Even though they are rolling right now, they won’t go far in September unless ‘The General’ is up and about.
Hawthorn Hawks: Shaun Burgoyne
FATHER Time catches everyone and this year it might claim an all-time great. The last time that Shaun ‘Silk’ Burgoyne averaged 11.3 disposals a game he hadn’t even played in Port’s premiership yet. He will go down as one of the most consistent and durable stars in our generation, but his time has probably come.
Melbourne Demons: Michael Hibberd
DON’T let his per game numbers fool you, Hibberd is having an off year. His averages were boosted a little after his game against the Bombers, but Hibberd isn’t at his marking and penetrating kicking best. Not a great sign for Dees supporters that were adamant this was finally the year.
North Melbourne Kangaroos: Kayne Turner
SIMILAR to a few teams early on, there aren’t many things going wrong. I’m sure the Roos would like more from Kayne Turner though. The out of contract utility hasn’t been great this season and if he plans on staying at Arden Street he better get his act together.
Port Adelaide Power: Tom Rockliff
FORGET the injury, just look at his putrid AFL fantasy scores! The former king of the pigsty has crashed down to Earth recently. For Power fans, Rocky’s slide in form comes at a worrisome time with a tough handful of games on the horizon. Gulp.
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Richmond Tigers: Jacob Townsend
LAST year a surge in form from Townsend helped the Tigers break their premiership drought. His play was a huge factor in the run home as he peaked at the perfect time. Will he do the same thing this season? Maybe, but there’s no denying that right no his end to 2017 looks like a flash in the pan.
St Kilda Saints: Jack Billings
THERE are a lot of guilty suspects that can have the finger pointed to them for St Kilda’s troubles. Everyone expected Jack Billings to be dynamite though and instead he has continued his goalkicking woes and seems to be getting worse. Not the start to the year you want.
Sydney Swans: Kieran Jack
THE fall from grace continues for Kieran Jack with the Swans forward/mid seemingly taking another step backwards. His per game numbers are down and honestly if Sydney had a full list he might struggle to find a place in the 22. His reputation and name seem to be the only thing keeping him in the team at the moment.
West Coast Eagles: Jamie Cripps
DUE to the Eagles being 2nd on the ladder there aren’t many players who have disappointed so far. However, Cripps has failed to fire up forward this season. With the exception of his 4-goal haul against Gold Coast, he has just one goal to his name. Not exactly what you want from (maybe) your best small forward.
Western Bulldogs: Easton Wood
THE effects of 10 years in the AFL might be starting to take its toll on Wood. Much like Beau Waters in the late 00’s, Wood’s reckless high intensity, high impact style of play sees him regularly left hurt, battered and bruised. This might be a big reason as to why he is struggling to find his feet.
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