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Aussie Rules: What we learned from round 16

It was another exciting round of footy as the flag contenders continued to shine while a couple of upsets were thrown into the mix just to keep things even more interesting.

The top four of Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane and Fremantle all picked up wins and it will take some effort from one of the chasing pack to break in there.

Collingwood look the most likely at this stage as they continue to go from strength to strength, while the battle to make the eight is also tighter than ever.

A couple of teams saw their finals hopes suffer with defeats, while West Coast and North Melbourne continue the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

So what did we learn from the weekend?

Carlton need to be more consistent

Carlton have made huge progress this season but their chances of challenging for the 2022 premiership are being hampered by a severe lack of consistency. Carlton are priced at 14/1 to win the flag.

One week they are great, the next week not so. Media and pundits alike were singing their praises after they dismantled Fremantle in round 15.

However they came unstuck on home soil against a St Kilda side who have not been in great form.
The Blues sit just one place and one win away from the top four but they would be even higher if they could string a run of results together.

They have lost three of the last five games when succumbing to Richmond, Collingwood and St Kilda. Michael Voss’ men can beat anyone on their day but need more than that if they are to go all the way.

Collingwood’s Darcy Moore has avoided serious injury

Collingwood continue to fly after picking up their sixth win on the bounce over the Gold Coast at the weekend.

Not only that, they can take a huge sigh of relief after it was revealed on Monday that All-Australian defender Moore has avoided a serious knee injury.

It was feared he may have ruptured his ACL against the Suns but scans have since ruled that out. He could still be looking at a month on the sidelines but that is way better than the worst case scenario.

The Magpies are now just four point aways from the top four and will have a real chance of breaking into it if they carry on in the same form.

They have an awesome run of fixtures to come as well with North Melbourne, Adelaide and Essendon the next three games and are priced at 13/5 to finish in the top four.

Port Adelaide and Gold Coast are in the last-chance saloon

Both teams have fought back well to put them in a position to challenge for the eight, but with the games fast running out they need to find their form again.

After losing the first five games of the season, Port have done remarkably well to get to where they are. 12th on the ladder and eight points away from finals. They are priced at 4/1 to make the eight.

They can take heart from the way they fought back against Fremantle and had they taken their chances late in the game they would have left Optus Stadium with all four points.

It will be tough though as after the GWS game next week, they must face Melbourne, Geelong, Collingwood and Richmond.

The Gold Coast are one spot above Port and were just edged out against Collingwood at the weekend when losing by five points. Their run of fixtures looks a bit better.

The run-in includes games against Essendon, West Coast, Hawthorn and North Melbourne and they are 7/2 to make the eight.

Anyone can beat anyone on their day

Surprises are never far away and there were two more boilovers in round 16 with Essendon and St Kilda both defying the odds to win.

Essendon upset St Kilda in round 14 when picking up just their third win of the season and they got number four when beating the Sydney Swans by nine points on Saturday.

It has been a hugely disappointing season for the Bombers, who played finals last season, but they are at least showing some fight. The pressure is on coach Ben Rutten but results like the one at the weekend could keep him in a job.

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten has also been feeling the heat after watching his side slide down the ladder.

They had lost three on the bounce heading into Friday night’s game against Carlton but somehow managed to pick up a five-point win.

St Kilda are right back in the mix for the eight but face another huge test when they entertain Fremantle on Saturday.

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