Ladder leaders after round one in 2000 – Essendon.
2000 premiers – Essendon.
Ladder leaders after round one in 2004 – Port Adelaide.
2004 premiers – Port Adelaide.
Ladder leaders after round one in 2008 – Hawthorn.
2008 premiers – Hawthorn.
Ladder leaders after round one in 2012 – Sydney.
2012 premiers – Sydney.
Ladder leaders after round one in 2016 – Western Bulldogs.
2016 premiers – Western Bulldogs.
See a pattern yet?
Ladder leaders after round one in 2020 – Port Adelaide.
2020 premiers - ???
In the year of unknowns could the greatest certainty be right in front of our eyes? Is it a simply a massive coincidence or is fate at play? Only time will tell.
Coming into the season, Port Adelaide was on no one’s radar as a premiership contender. Come round 5, they sit on top of the ladder with a percentage of 170.1 and have forced their way into the conversation. Could it be a catalyst for what’s to come?
Although they failed their first real test on the weekend, falling 37 points short of Brisbane. They have piled on the pain against the lesser-knowns and under-achievers to give themselves a comfortable percentage buffer at the top of the table for the time being.
If they can claim their first big scalp in the form of Greater Western Sydney next week, and knock off the Blues, a 6-1 start should cement their place in the eight come finals time.
Early in the season, Port’s hallmark has been even contributions – what all champion teams are built around. With an underrated backline, Coleman Medal leading key forward, experienced and hardened engine room, not to mention their enviable trio of future stars, the potential is there.
As the Western Bulldogs demonstrated in the last leap year, you only need to scrape into the finals to be a contender. With fate on their side, who knows what could happen?