Following a scintillating Round 3, all eyes now focus on Round Four with a plethora of teams under fire and others looking bound for success deep into 2022.
Here are the major things to look out for this weekend of footy.
Port Adelaide ‘Power’less
Port Adelaide’s horror start to 2022 continues following an after the siren goal from Adelaide’s Jordan Dawson placing it at 0-3 for the first time since 2011.
The Power will gloom over their performance spending 114 minutes of the game in front and led at every change. They led by 19 points at the 15-minute mark of the final term, before the Crows surged home late to steal the four points.
Port Adelaide’s run doesn’t get any easier in Round 4, as it faces the unbeaten and reigning premiers, Melbourne. A game in which they start heavy underdogs.
The prospect of going 0-4, statistically, does not read well for Port. Since 2010, just one out of 33 teams that went winless in the first month, go on to play finals that season. The only team to do so was the Swans who started 0-6 in 2017.
Port Adelaide currently sits in 16th position without a win sitting above West Coast and Essendon.
Dynamic Cats Duo causing problems
It is not very hard to argue that Geelong’s key forward pairing of Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron is one of, if not the best forward duo in the competition.
Between them, they’ve scored 16 goals in the first three games of the season, splitting the total with eight majors each.
Cameron was prolific in the Cats’ 13-point come from behind win against the Pies on Saturday night, booting six goals for the game, three of which were in the last quarter alone.
The Cats’ forward pair erupted for 10 marks inside 50 to convert for nine goals on the night.
This weekend looms as an exciting contest for Geelong who faces the undefeated Brisbane Lions at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.
Lions defender Harris Andrews will most likely lock horns with Cameron, leaving Tom Hawkins with a more than likely under-sized defender in Daniel Rich, Brandon Starcevich or Marcus Adams.
The rest of the competition should watch out as this duo is a scary force when both are up and running.
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Is the Tigers dynasty done?
Richmond’s triple premiership dynasty appears to be over, following a disappointing loss to the St Kilda.
The Tigers lead by 25 points halfway through the third quarter, before the Saints kicked 10 unanswered goals, guiding them to a 33 point victory.
Richmond has had very minimal success when going inside 50, proving that its forward group isn’t what it was a few years ago.
The Tigers scored just 13 goals from 55 Inside 50s which is well below the competition’s average, comparatively the Saints scored five more goals from six fewer inside 50 entries.
The next month will prove a good challenge for the Tigers if they continue their push for September action. They face the Bulldogs, Crows, Demons and Eagles.
Playing like a King
St Kilda’s young key forward Max King is proving why he had so much hype around him as a teenager.
King was the key difference in the Saints’ remarkable turnaround against the Tigers, booting four goals for the game, all kicked in the final quarter.
The 21-year-old sits equal second in the Coleman Medal with nine goals from the opening three rounds of the season, eight of which he has kicked in the last fortnight.
Ahead of this weekend, it will be at the front of their opposition, Hawthorn’s mind to keep the young gun as quiet as possible.
The Hawks will likely send Sam Frost onto King despite the height difference but there are few players in the league who can match King in this facet.
It looms as an interesting contest on Sunday afternoon with both teams entering the contest at 2-1, with the winner asserting themselves as a top 8 candidate.
Captain Cripps captivating
Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps has returned to his Brownlow contending best to start 2022 and appears he has no plans of slowing down.
Cripps could easily have maximum Brownlow Medal votes after three games and might be set for more as the Blues face an under-performing Suns outfit on Sunday evening.
The 27-year-old is currently averaging 32 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 480 metres gained and two goals per game, all considered ‘elite’ for a midfielder.
Carlton has made a statement to begin its 2022 campaign by going undefeated from its opening three matches.
This weekend they head to the Gold Coast looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 1995, which was the last time Carlton won a premiership.
Could this be an indicator for the Blues this year?
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