Port Adelaide is continuing to prove it is worthy of being League leader.
After overcoming the defending premiers Richmond at Adelaide Oval in Round 11 Power will now be confronted by three-time AFL premiers Geelong at the Gabba on Friday night.
This time Port needs to adjust to travelling to Brisbane and entering a hub while the Cats will be at “home” after thumping St Kilda at the Gabba on Monday night.
However, there is no denying that coach Ken Hinkley has Port Adelaide humming along.
Obviously a significant part of the rise in Port’s fortunes comes from the increasing influence and contribution from powerhouse forward Charlie Dixon.
At 200cm and 105kg Dixon has always been quite a presence on the field but he hasn’t always played to his full ability.
This season, though, he is playing with greater enthusiasm and vigour than ever when in attack or rushing down the field to use his weight to make an impact.
Added to that players such as Ollie Wines, Robbie Gray and Travis Boak are prolific kick winners, who are ensuring that rival defenders are being kept under pressure.
Geelong also has an imposing forward in Tom Hawkins, who like Dixon is playing better than ever.
Hawkins, using his bulk efficiently, kicked five goals against the Saints while Gary Rohan, an opportunist, speared through another four.
Having captain Joel Selwood back helped lift the Cats and Patrick Dangerfield shows, week-in, week-out, why he is one of the best players in AFL history.
Importantly he is able notch-up a gear or two when it is required.
While the Geelong players will appreciate not having had any difficulty beating St Kilda with only three days between their matches the Saints will be thankful for having a five-day break.
This will provide coach Brett Ratten with some extra time to bolster his outfit before the encounter with Essendon at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon.
The Saints – after winning their four previous matches – were humiliated by Geelong, especially after half-time when their display was lamentable.
This resulted in St Kilda failing to kick a goal in the third and fourth quarters and the side will need a quick turn around in attitude to have any chance of recovering against the Bombers.
The return of experienced ruckman Paddy Ryder will be beneficial but that may not be enough.
Greater Western Sydney’s clash with Sydney opens Round 12 at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Thursday night.
The Swans are really struggling, down in 17th place with just three wins but will have benefitted from having a bye in Round 11 which should enable the selectors to include some rejuvenated players.
The Giants, who are steadily climbing the ladder after having a sluggish start to the season, also enjoyed having a bye and is fielding an even more formidable side so the outlook for the Swans is not bright.
Last Week Tipped: 4
GWS Giants by 38pts
Geelong by 11pts
Brisbane by 27pts
Melbourne by 6pts
Fremantle by 15pts
Western Bulldogs by 18pts
St. Kilda by 2pts
West Coast by 44pts
Richmond by 30pts