The top 3
By Foti Mantis

Port Adelaide

Having occupied the top of the ladder for the entire season, the Power have shown that the system of footy they lay is good enough to beat any team. For years, Port’s consistency was in question, but now they have finally shown their rhythm and form throughout the season. Port are most effective when they dictate the play and control the tempo against other teams. When the ball is trapped into their forward half, almost no team can break through that wall of defense. However, their entire game relies on their forwards. When players like Charlie Dixon or Robbie Gray are double or even triple teamed, the Power find it difficult to overcome these obstacles and fall into inefficiency inside 50. If Port can continue to get rewards for their efforts, then the team can feed off of that momentum and beat anyone. The real worry for Port is making sure their forwards remain active and efficient enough for their system of play to keep intact. 

Brisbane Lions

There’s not much to criticise about the Brisbane Lions considering their extremely strong form and consistency this season too. Their breakout year came last season, but this year the Lions have taken a giant leap in the league by securing a top 2 position on the ladder throughout most of the season. Their energy and pressure is unmatched, and their results against top 8 teams has been more than successful. The only reason to doubt whether this team can win the Premiership is by focusing on the age of their players. Compared to West Coast and Richmond, who won the last two Grand Finals, the Lions have a considerably younger team. But it seems that their passion and aggression stems through the fearlessness and discipline of their youth players, accompanied by the guidance of some veteran teammates. Maybe the only real concern is their adaptability. If a team can match or even overcome the pressure of Brisbane, do the Lions have other ways in which they can play their attacking style of footy?


Now that most of Richmond’s injury woes have been healed, they’re now one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Their defense is impossible to break through, and their midfield remains lethal. Although Dustin Martin and Tom Lynch haven’t had an exceptional season, like we’ve seen them have before, the entire Tigers team seems to be the most balanced in the league, with an even spread of disposals among players. Instead of having one or two players that rack up 30+ disposals, Richmond players share the ball with all their teammates and play as one single unit. The biggest downfall to having one of the best defenses in the league seems to be scoring goals for the Tigers. Most of Richmond’s wins this year have come from scoring 70 points or less, keeping teams goalless in multiple quarters. However, it seems that when teams score just 80 or more points against them, the Tigers really struggle to match their opponents scoring efforts. If Richmond can continue to keep teams below 6-7 goals in a match, chances are they’ll win the Premiership. But against teams like Brisbane and Port, conceding goals just seems to be a given.

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