The 18 alongside the name of the Fremantle Dockers is looming quite large, since that is the rung they occupy after five rounds of the 2016 AFL season.
Winless after five rounds, the Dockers have produced a slide unlike any other in recent memory. They have already earned the dubious distinction of having lost as many games as they did for the entirety of the 2015 home and away season.
Did someone sneak into Perth one foggy night and substitute St. Kilda’s list for that of the Dockers?
Coach Ross Lyon has never had a side start a season so poorly, so it is going to require every last gram of his coaching ability to get the team back to the finals, meaning that if last year’s form holds true, they must win 13 of their remaining 17 games in order to finish with the identical 13 – 9 record that earned North Melbourne a chance to play in the finals. This seems like a tall order for a side that has truly come close in the most recent round, where they generously allowed the Blues to break their duck and win their first game of the season.
This, assuming that Lyon is still at the helm to see the outcome of the disastrous beginning.