We did a double take when we looked at the ladder and saw the Gold Coast Suns on the third rung.
They have been struggling up until this season, at least for the recent past, but they may have been able to find a lot of value to add to their list with the departure of Gary Ablett.
This is just their ninth season and talk of playing finals after just two rounds of the Toyota 2018 Premiership competition would be premature in the extremis, but they have the Fremantle Dockers, West Coast Eagles and the Brisbane Lions ahead of them. The Eagles played finals last year, but if the Suns can get past them, or at least win two of their next three, they will be looking in good form when they face the first real test of the 2018 AFL fixture when they play the Adelaide Crows in Round 6.
The Dockers have righted the ship to an extent, so that game might not be the walkover it might have appeared to be before the start of the season, but there seems to be a renewed sense of optimism at Gold Coast, even if the wins in the first two rounds came against North Melbourne and Carlton.
Stuart Dew deserves some credit for doing exactly what needed to be done, which was to instill some belief in the players and to attack the culture of defeatism that seemed to swirl around like a miasma of swamp gas at the club.
A premiership, qualifying, perhaps even winning, a finals game might be the exact sort of panacea the club seeks if it is to retain Tom Lynch beyond this season.
Coach Dew is crediting at least some of the club’s success to midfielder Nick Holman, saying that the former Carlton player plays as though his life depends on it.
That sort of spirit can prove infectious and winning two out of the next three will only add fuel to the cultural shift that Dew has brought to the club in 2018.