‘Back to earth with a thud’: What have we learnt after four rounds?

This week on the Real Footy podcast, Michael Gleeson, Caroline Wilson and Jake Niall discuss the clearer picture we have of the competition after four rounds – and the questions that remain.

There’s one certainty: the Demons are well ahead of the rest of the competition. St Kilda are up and running with three wins in a row; Max King has been starring and their ball movement has been good. The Saints are playing really good footy and are the most surprising performers to this point of the season, after a lacklustre pre-season. The Blues suffered their first loss of the season, and lost skipper Patrick Cripps to injury too, which is a worry. The majority of their scoring comes from stoppages; history shows flag contenders score from turnovers. Should Carlton be worried?

The Tigers are a different proposition with Dion Prestia back in the side. Their best side is really good, but the margin for error is small because of a lack of depth in the midfield. Are they a top-four team? Geelong’s forward line looks potent, but they are going to have to pace themselves; their older players will have to be rested. Can they endure the season? And after a bright start to 2022, questions are being asked of the Pies, whose game style under Craig McRae is incredibly taxing, while the Hawks’ lack of pressure against the Saints was worrying.

Also this week, All-Australian captain Emma Kearney joined the podcast to dissect the AFLW grand final, in which the Crows’ stellar defence was on display and they stamped themselves on the competition with their third premiership. And with expansion coming up, some big-name players could be on the move. What does the future hold for Erin Phillips and Daisy Pearce?

Plus, how the Crows handled Taylor Walker’s return from suspension, the panel pick their ideal commentary teams, how good Willie Rioli has been since coming back for West Coast, the pressure on North Melbourne to perform on Good Friday and much more.

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