Greater Western Sydney have lost their mojo, Port Adelaide can’t beat the best and West Coast are premiership pretenders.
With five rounds remaining, time is quickly running out for some of the AFL’s top contenders to prove their critics wrong after again failing to do so over the weekend.
The Giants took another step backwards on Sunday with a 19-point loss to Richmond at a sodden MCG.
Leon Cameron’s men held the Tigers goalless during the first quarter but again lacked a killer instinct, surrendering the lead on the verge of half-time on the way to a 9.10 (64) to 6.9 (45) defeat.
Premiership favourites earlier in the season, the Giants remain in third place but have found themselves with just one win, three losses and two draws from their past six games.
“You can’t deny that – we have to find our mojo,” Giants coach Cameron said.
“Clearly, it’s only spasmodically coming out, for patches of the game.
“We don’t deserve to be third on our last five or six weeks.
“If we don’t find our ability to go the distance and do the hard things for longer periods in the game, then we’ll quickly lose that spot on the ladder.”
Richmond’s victory lifted them to fourth on the ladder with second-placed Geelong the only top-eight side that awaits them.
Adelaide drew six points clear at the top of the ladder with an impressive 21-point victory over the Cats on Friday night.
Fifth-placed Port blew the opportunity to claim their first top-eight scalp for the season, losing to Melbourne by 23 points on Saturday.
The Dees climbed to seventh and looked a much more dangerous side with the return of midfield bulls Jack Viney and Dom Tyson.
But no team was more disappointing than West Coast, who conceded the last five goals of the game in a dismal 10-point loss to Collingwood at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Eagles’ fifth loss away from home this season came despite the Magpies being reduced to two men on the interchange bench.
Essendon and the Western Bulldogs kept their finals hopes alive with comfortable wins over North Melbourne and Gold Coast respectively on Saturday.
Sydney extended their winning streak to seven games with a clinical 42-point victory over St Kilda, Hawthorn thumped Fremantle and Brisbane defeated fellow minnows Carlton.