Sydney held top spot on Sunday with a 29-point AFL win over St Kilda but a knee injury to Shane Mumford could be a major concern for the Swans’ premiership campaign.
The Swans kicked six goals to St Kilda’s three in a tense final term at the SCG to score their seventh consecutive win, 15.15 (105) to 10.16 (76).
Coach John Longmire said club doctor Nathan Gibbs had cleared his No.1 ruckman of ligament damage.
“He (Mumford) has got a jarred knee — I’m not sure what that means. He’ll have to have a scan,” Longmire said.
It was a costly loss for the Saints who slipped two places to 10th spot.
Adelaide sit alongside Sydney on 13 wins after their 19.10 (124) to 11.9 (75) triumph at home against West Coast on Saturday, in a match marred by Crows forward Kurt Tippett’s third concussion in five games.
Third-placed Hawthorn (12-4) scored a 21.12 (138) to 13.13 (91) win over top-four rivals Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.
Hawks pair Luke Breust and best-afield Jordan Lewis kicked five goals each in the absence of Coleman Medal leader Lance Franklin.
North Melbourne’s Drew Petrie dominated an epic battle with Richmond at the MCG on Sunday, kicking seven goals for the second consecutive week.
Well-held for most of the game, Petrie booted five goals in the final term as the Kangaroos climbed into the top eight with a 15.13 (103) to 14.15 (99) win.
For the Tigers (7-9), who suffered a shock two-point loss to Gold Coast the previous week, it was another frustrating defeat in a game that featured an all-in melee at quarter-time.
Skipper Matthew Pavlich kicked seven goals in Fremantle’s 18.24 (132) to 5.7 (37) win over bottom side Greater Western Sydney in Perth. The win left the Dockers narrowly out of the eight on percentage.
Injury-hit Carlton, also missing suspended skipper Chris Judd, rebounded from a run of five losses in their past six games to beat Western Bulldogs 16.6 (102) to 12.12 (84) at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
Brisbane scored a scrappy 8.11 (59) to 5.18 (48) win over Gold Coast, who kicked 1.9 in the final quarter of Saturday night’s derby at Metricon Stadium.
And in a low-standard game in Darwin on Saturday night in slippery conditions, Port Adelaide scored their fifth win with a 12.12 (84) to 8.8 (56) victory over Melbourne.
Seventh-placed defending premiers Geelong made the competition stand up and take notice with a brilliant performance on Friday night, beating Essendon by 67 points at Etihad Stadium to score their biggest win of the year.
Geelong’s Steve Johnson was in excellent touch before leaving the field in the third term with a groin injury.
The Cats host Adelaide in Geelong on Saturday in round 18, while Friday’s Essendon-Hawthorn clash at the MCG could put further strain on sixth-placed Essendon’s top-four hopes.