Well, well, well, 2020 aren't you cooking up something special for us. If round eight taught us anything, it was that the 2020 premiership could end up won by just about anyone. Weekly, your understanding of what is unfolding changes. Now, the mayhem begins. The festival of footy is upon us.
Western Bulldogs defeated Gold Coast by 5 points
Letting one slip, some of the Gold Coast faithful will be stoked just to be heartbroken at such a loss. The players, they'll be devastated. Well on top throughout the second quarter, the Sun's dealt in behinds and blown chances, not goals, allowing the Bulldogs to hang around. The Doggies - like all good teams - settled and found a way to win in tricky conditions. Potentially ending the round in the top four, they are firming towards becoming premiership contenders.
GWS defeated Richmond by 12 points
We didn't tip it, yet we mentioned it, so we will claim it. GWS can beat anyone anytime. They say Vegas is Vegas for a reason, and this was the perfect example. Richmond - whose odds were as high as $2.60 - appeared to be one of the rounds best bets. GWS - in desperate need of a win - delivered found a way to salute for the bookies.
Once again smashed in the inside 50 count, the Giants' Toby Greene booted five goals from their 32 entries to deliver a much needed four points. How important was this for the Giants? Well, in a season where the ladder is so close you can go from 10th to fourth in a week, the Giants remain outside the eight.
Carlton defeated North by 7 points
Highlighted as a potential upset, North Melbourne gave Carlton a four-goal jump, yet still gave them everything they could handle. Is this Carlton team maturing? With North surging, the rub of the green going against them, and down a man on the bench, Carlton found a way to hold on.
One must wonder what is possible right now for this inspired Carlton outfit. At 4-4, they have lost one after the siren and another by a point after spotting the opposition 40 points. Undoubtedly they can play finals, what is possible if they continue to grow at their current rate of improvement?
Sydney defeated Hawthorn by 7 points
Sydney snapped a four-game losing skid and extended the Hawks losing streak to four with an entertaining win at the SCG. Quickly becoming the league's prime antagonist, Tom Papley provided plenty of fire on the scoreboard and in the contest. Lifting his teammates, his combative nature rubbed off on the entire team as the Swans looked like a team that wanted this one more.
Alistair Clarkson - who shot off at Papley after the game - appears to be cracking, is his time at the Hawks nearing an end?
St Kilda defeated Port Adelaide by 29 points
A lot of professionals owe the Saints an apology. When the Saints announced they would return to Noosa in between their Monday/Saturday dates in Adelaide it was labelled as puzzling. Two wins later; puzzle solved.
Undoubtedly affected by the umpiring, take nothing away from the Saints, this was a deserved road win against the league leaders. With their five-goal final term, St Kilda has begun to show they are for real.
Essendon defeated Adelaide by 3 points
Sometimes you just have to win. Essendon - with no forward line to speak of and six top 22 players unavailable - tackled and pressured their way to a win. Whilst their supporters may complain of their lack of big wins, wins on the roads are vital. Much like the Saints last week, this might be the springboard the Bombers need.
Firing up their local team, the Crows crowd created a brilliant atmosphere. It put an extra 10 per cent into their legs. Hanging on for dear life throughout, the Crows dominated the final term but blew their chance to win their first in 2020, kicking 1.6 from 16 inside 50's in the last term.
West Coast defeated Collingwood by 66 points
Boy oh boy, wowee! The Eagles are officially back. Surging into the top four, they produced an 86 point turn around to wipe out an early 20 point deficit. Josh Kennedy - a modern-day bag of seven goals - has found form in recent weeks, as the Eagles start to score at a much higher rate. Kicking 18.3 does not hurt though!
It was a familiar story for the Pies, an electric first quarter was followed by not much else. Collingwood - who lost Scott Pendlebury minutes before the start - are a fascinating team, having produced some great football in some horrid results. Their losses against Essendon and now West Coast, as well as the draw with Richmond all spring to mind. Expect them to bounce back next week against Fremantle.
Brisbane defeated Melbourne by 4 points
Entering the game on the back of two impressive wins, Melbourne would have fancied their chances here. Giving the Lions everything they could handle, Melbourne will feel like this is one they very much could have won. How handy it would have been to have taken the four points here given their early-season struggles.
Brisbane - now sitting second on percentage - took some serious body shots yet found a way to win. Whilst Melbourne enhanced their reputation here, Brisbane will be encouraged at their ability to find a way to win. This one felt a little like Port's win last week against Carlton, so maybe the Bombers are worth a cheeky flutter to topple the Lions in round nine.
Geelong defeated Fremantle by 32 points
Missing six first-teamers, this felt like a dangerous road game for Geelong. Fremantle -tactically set up as if this was Geelong's best available team - never looked a chance. Throwing numbers behind the ball in the constant rain, Fremantle tried to keep things close before springing a surprise late. With Geelong missing the likes of Ablett and Selwood, Fremantle missed the mark here. Playing at home, this was the perfect learning opportunity.