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Cats top as AFL season of upsets continues

As the AFL’s season of upsets continues, coaches reckon there’s only one certainty: the uncertainty.

Geelong have returned to the top of the ladder with a 23-point win against Hawthorn on Easter Monday, putting a full stop to another topsy-turvy round.

St Kilda held top billing for 48 hours until the Cats’ victory.

The Saints hadn’t been at the head of the table since 2010 but stunned Melbourne to bank a fourth victory from five games – equalling the amount of wins they managed all last season.

Fremantle, unfancied by most pundits pre-season, sit in third spot after producing yet another upset when beating GWS in Canberra on Saturday.

And Carlton’s breakthrough win against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday lifts them above Sydney, Melbourne and North Melbourne on the ladder.

Melbourne’s woes have worsened with Neville Jetta to miss up to 10 weeks after being sent for knee surgery.

After round five, all teams have won – and lost – at least once.

And Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge echoed the thoughts of many coaches when asked if he’s ever seen a season like this.

“Maybe not,” Beveridge said.

“It’s probably exciting for the competition. Early in the season we’re all in the hunt.”

His counterpart at the Adelaide Crows, Don Pyke, concurs.

“There’s no one sitting down with their footy tipping, picking them off one at a time, are they?” Pyke said.

“They’re sitting going ‘anything can really happen’.

“So it’s an exciting season (but) it’s a challenging season for us as coaches and clubs.”

Pyke’s Crows celebrated the 300th AFL game of feted forward Eddie Betts by bursting Gold Coast’s bubble.

Betts booted six goals, including a checkside left-footer from the boundary line, in Adelaide’s 73-point win.

The Crows’ triumph came after Carlton broke their duck by beating Beveridge’s Dogs.

And Blues coach Brendon Bolton called for cool heads when appraising the spate of shock results this season.

“We’re extreme in our reporting of the games,” Bolton said.

“The game is on a knife edge all the time.

“When the competition is so even it’s great for the AFL, isn’t it?

“But its never as bad as it seems, you would have heard this a lot, and it’s never as good as it seems.”

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