Is St Kilda the true deal? Is Richmond gone? Are the Cats actually again on the town? A month into the 2023 AFL season, there’s so many questions, and maybe much less surprisingly, so many “sizzling takes” trying to reply them.
We stay in an impatient world, and golf equipment and their supporters, not to mention a voracious soccer media, need solutions yesterday. However already it seems to be prefer it would possibly take even longer than common to get them.
Geelong’s spectacular flicking of the shape swap towards Hawthorn on Easter Monday was notable for a number of issues, however amongst them the truth that each staff within the competitors now has no less than one win underneath its belt from 4 video games.
That does not occur usually. In truth, it hadn’t occurred since 2006, some 17 seasons in the past.
The road between success and failure simply retains getting finer.
Nevertheless, that does not appear to have produced any extra temperance within the race to pronounce this staff an enormous improver, that staff on the slide and in additional excessive circumstances, complete eras at an finish.
And notion usually appears at odds with actuality, decided too usually by what occurred the final 5 weeks versus months.
St Kilda is an fascinating case research.
The Saints had been the final staff to beat Geelong in 2022, all the way in which again in spherical 9, and after 11 video games sat fourth on the ladder at 8-3.
Nevertheless, that scoreline can be flipped on the run dwelling, St Kilda ending tenth and coach Brett Ratten tipped out consequently for the second coming of Ross Lyon.
Many people (placing my hand up right here, additionally) have been stunned by how properly the Saints have began 2023. Maybe, although, we should not have been, and we centered too intently on the again finish of final season fairly than how properly St Kilda performed within the first half of it.
It is also true, nevertheless, that the Saints have not as but precisely confronted the cream of the competitors, solely considered one of their opponents up to now, the Western Bulldogs, a finalist in 2022.
Will they arrive again to the sector a little bit? Or are they now merely a extra succesful outfit simply doing what’s required to win whatever the calibre of opposition?
With only one win from 4 video games, and now having misplaced key ahead Tom Lynch and ruckman Toby Nankervis for prolonged durations injured, Richmond, in distinction to the Saints, is clearly underneath the pump.
And but the Tigers have been removed from horrible, drawing with Carlton (pretty much as good as anybody has been towards the Blues up to now), narrowly overwhelmed by glamour staff Collingwood, and producing a withering second-quarter burst towards the Bulldogs final Saturday that turned a five-goal deficit right into a 14-point lead in a sport misplaced by solely a kick.
Richmond’s damage listing is lengthy certainly (15 is the official depend this week) nevertheless it was as properly when the Tigers gained flags in 2019-20. Certainly, Richmond was solely 7-6 and outdoors the highest eight as late as spherical 14 of the 2019 season.
Nicely, there was loads of harking again final week to 1976, which was the final time a reigning premier (North Melbourne) on this case, misplaced its first three video games of the brand new season. There was no scarcity of sizzling takes concerning the Cats of 2023, both, the braver (maybe sillier), or, let’s be trustworthy, extra determined for consideration varieties proclaiming their greatness at an finish.
Yep, actually. Actually three video games after profitable a premiership, and that after a decade or so of getting written them off on an nearly annual foundation.
Funnily sufficient, what few of these citing the North Melbourne of 1976 instance additionally talked about was that the Roos that yr recovered properly sufficient to achieve one other grand last towards Hawthorn, the third of 5 consecutive years they’d play off for a flag.
And after even a half of scintillating soccer on Monday, who’d say with any certainty the 2023 Cats aren’t no less than able to that.
In any case, simply that one win was sufficient to take them from final on the ladder to thirteenth, only one sport behind three groups within the prime eight and with a greater share than two of these.