x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Form book fails to provide a clue with six to go

Here's what we can gather from the form of those outside the top two after round 16. Absolutely nothing.

Here's what we can gather from the form of those outside the top two after round 16. Absolutely nothing. A couple of rounds ago, the Western Bulldogs had scrubbed the reigning premier Hawthorn to an 88-point polish. Last week, the Dogs went down to Collingwood by a point after charging back in the last quarter to try for what would have been an outright theft of the four points if they had carried it off.

This week, the Hawks took the Pies by 45 points, leaving the boys from Glenferrie outside the eight on percentage only. Those same Pies were hammered by an imposing Bombers side in round 14. This weekend, the Bombers went down to the Bulldogs by 33 points. Change partners. As a result, St Kilda are still on top, unbeaten after taking Adelaide by 57 points; Geelong broke its two-game losing streak by beating Melbourne by 46 points; and the Dogs are third, one game clear of the rest of the pack.

With six games left, the top four are far from settled, especially as the Saints and Dogs meet on Saturday in what should be a ripper. In news at the other end of the ladder, North Melbourne fought back against Richmond on Sunday to notch up the league's first draw of the season, with both teams kicking 12.13 (85). And Fremantle, sitting squarely on the bottom of the table, have admitted that two of their players, Des Headland and Michael Walters, are part of police investigations into a brawl at a Perth pub early on Sunday.

pstafford@thenational.ae