With four rounds of the Toyota 2018 AAFL Premiership competition complete, there are no teams that remain undefeated, something that bodes well for anyone who wants to see the intricate final scenarios unfold at the end of the home-and-away season.
The top eight are comprised of the Giants, Eagles, Tigers, Hawks, Power, Swans, Kangaroos, and Cats.
The Richmond Tigers are showing signs that they do not intend to surrender their 2017 flag willingly, if at all, but the surprise of the competition to this point would have to be the performances of the West Coast Eagles and the Hawthorn Hawks.
The Eagles played finals last year, but they never appeared to be a threat to take the flag. This season, they are showing the makings of a top four finish and perhaps an opportunity to host a finals game at the gleaming new Optus Stadium.
The Hawthorn Hawks are out to send the message that this is the side that not all that long ago was winning premierships left and right before entering a period of less-than-stellar play over the past couple of years.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants are expected to do well, but their percentage at the moment is just under 140, yet the Eagles are breathing down their necks at 136.1.
The North Melbourne Kangaroos occupy the seventh rung and have won two from four to start the season, but they carry a 133.9 percentage that is third best in the competition and is better than the 130.1 posted by the 2017 premier Richmond Tigers.
The Adelaide Crows would have to be considered as the biggest plungers of the 2018 competition. They have split their wins and losses evenly, but the losses came to the Essendon Bombers and the Collingwood Magpies, two teams you would expect to routinely fall to the Crows.
The next four weeks of the Crows’ fixture, based on the results this far, are not the bargain that would have been predicted at the outset of the season. Given the loss to the Pies, even the Round 7 game with the Carlton Blues must be approached with conviction.