Monthly Archives: April 2012

AFL Preview: Round 5

Adelaide vs Port Adelaide – Round 5: 2012

By Scott Barby

AAMI Stadium, Sunday 29 April, 4.40pm (AEST)

LAST TIME: Adelaide 16.16 (111) def Port Adelaide 11.13 (79), Round 11, 2011 at AAMI Stadium

PAST FIVE: Adelaide 2, Port Adelaide, 3

PREVIOUS MEETING POINT SPREAD: 7.5

PREVIOUS MEETING HEAD TO HEAD: Adelaide: $1.62. Port Adelaide: $2.48

CURRENT POINT SPREAD: 9.5

CURRENT HEAD TO HEAD: Adelaide $1.54. Port Adelaide $2.55

2011 Adelaide ATS: 10-12. Under 24.5: 6-8. Over 24.5: 4-4

2011 Port Adelaide ATS: 7-15. Under 24.5: 3-6, Over 24.5: 4-9

2012 Adelaide ATS: 1-3. Under 24.5: 0-0. Over 24.5: 1-4

2012 Port Adelaide ATS: 3-1. Under 24.5: 1-1, Over 24.5: 2-0

TV:  Fox Footy (Live)

RADIO: SEN, ABC774, Triple M

Teams:

Port Adelaide
B: Jacob Surjan, Alipate Carlile, Jackson Trengove
HB: Paul Stewart, Troy Chaplin, Danyle Pearce
C: Kane Cornes, Domenic Cassisi, John McCarthy
HF: Bradley Ebert, Justin Westhoff, Matthew Broadbent
F: Chad Wingard, Jay Schulz, John Butcher
Foll: Brent Renouf, Travis Boak, Hamish Hartlett
I/C: Daniel Stewart, Ben Jacobs, Aaron Young, Darren Pfeiffer
Emg: David Rodan, Cameron Hitchcock, Simon Phillips

In: Aaron Young
Out: Robbie Gray (Knee)
New: Aaron Young (Eastern Ranges)

Adelaide
B: Sam Shaw, Ben Rutten, Graham Johncock
HB: Michael Doughty, Daniel Talia, Brent Reilly
C: David Mackay, Scott Thompson, Brodie Smith
HF: Ian Callinan, Taylor Walker, Matthew Wright
F: Patrick Dangerfield, Kurt Tippett, Jason Porplyzia
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Nathan van Berlo
I/C: Jared Petrenko, Shaun McKernan, Matthew Jaensch, Jarryd Lyons
Emg: Andy Otten, Brodie Martin, Ricky Henderson

In: Graham Johncock, Jarryd Lyons, Ian Callinan
Out: Bernie Vince (Hand), Brodie Martin, Ricky Henderson
New: Jarryd Lyons (Sandringham Dragons)

Introduction

It was tough to figure out which game to analyse this week. Fremantle v Carlton, Hawthorn v Sydney, even Brisbane v Geelong to see if there’s a wrinkle explaining why the Cats have had such a lacklustre start to their premiership defense (seems they were just dehydrated judging by their performance last night). Then I happened to come across Tony Shaw trying to make sense of a whole lot of who even knows on the radio. Tony was adamant about how “close” the “Showdown” always is. Considering he’s a prominent AFL media figure and past Champion of the game, I decided to roll with the accuracy of his fact sheet. Turns out, just like 99% of Tony Shaw’s claims, he was wrong. Serves me right for thinking a bloke with a coaching win percentage of 34.1% would know something about Football. Thanks, Tony…

Seeing as we’re already here, let’s break down the battle for Adelaide bragging rights. Yes, you read that correctly, these two teams actually put in effort to claim such a title. I guess it would be rude of me to assume what Tony Shaw classifies as being a “close” margin. Maybe an average winning margin of 35 points over the previous five encounters is regarded as “close” in Tony’s eyes. If we’re going off of his coaching record, an average losing margin of 35 points would be quite flattering. That was a cheap shot.

Overall, Port Adelaide lead the showdown count 17-14, could this be the “close” that Tony was referring too? The Power also maintain the edge in recent battles, leading 5-2 since 2008. We haven’t experienced a single figure margin since Round 3 of 2008, but according to the numbers I’ve found, that streak is likely to be broken this Sunday.

The continuous theme of this blog when analysing the AFL is contested football and how effectively teams utilise that ball. What follows is a break down of the previous five Showdowns between the two clubs, with the primary focus being each teams contested rating. Without further ado…

The Numbers

2009 – Round 17

Adelaide

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

141

115

Disposal Efficiency

77%

69%

Clangers

45

50

Contested Marks

12

6

Clearances

35

41

Inside 50’s

59

35

Tackles

63

65

1%

44

42

Contested Rating

Adelaide 237.93
Port Adelaide 175.26

Result: Adelaide by 70 points.

Summary: Adelaide dominate the contested numbers, utilise the ball more efficiently, and to no surprise crush the Power in the overall contested rating.

2010 – Round 6

Adelaide

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

115

123

Disposal Efficiency

75%

73%

Clangers

49

40

Contested Marks

8

12

Clearances

37

37

Inside 50’s

46

51

Tackles

81

80

1%

45

45

Contested Rating

Adelaide 212.25
Port Adelaide 224.84

Result: Port Adelaide by 23 points

Summary: This is where Port start to produce some consistent numbers across the board and manage to start a three game winning streak. Dom Cassisi went berserk in this one, finishing the day with 13 contested possessions, 7 clearances, 9 tackles and 2 goals. He’s far and away the most consistent player in this series.

2010 – Round 17

Adelaide

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

114

128

Disposal Efficiency

71%

73%

Clangers

54

40

Contested Marks

5

5

Clearances

31

39

Inside 50’s

46

39

Tackles

70

72

1%

50

45

Contested Rating

Adelaide 186.02
Port Adelaide 210.24

Result: Port Adelaide by 19 points.

Summary: The Power should have won this game by a more significant margin. Having as many clearances as Inside 50’s is about as rare as Channel 7 crossing to Brett Kirk on the boundary and the audience understanding what the fuck he’s talking about. Once again, Dom Cassisi chose to shit all over his Adelaide rivals with 17 contested possessions, 5 clearances and 12 tackles.

2011 – Round 4

Adelaide

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

119

139

Disposal Efficiency

73%

72%

Clangers

63

58

Contested Marks

12

16

Clearances

28

34

Inside 50’s

42

53

Tackles

69

54

1%

53

45

Contested Rating

Adelaide 189.8
Port Adelaide 203.76

Result: Port Adelaide by 32 points

Summary: 2011 was the year of the “Who Cares” battle for the pride of Australia’s anus. Both teams finished the season 14th and 16th on the ladder with the two teams splitting the bragging rights with one blowout each. The key-note here is that Dom Cassisi didn’t play in this game, which isn’t really a key-note at all considering the margin. Whatever.

2011 – Round 19

Adelaide

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

134

109

Disposal Efficiency

74%

75%

Clangers

50

45

Contested Marks

12

12

Clearances

39

21

Inside 50’s

61

41

Tackles

58

48

1%

47

46

Contested Rating

Adelaide 222.74
Port Adelaide 174

Result: Adelaide by 32 points

Summary: At this point of 2011 Port Adelaide had basically quit (Apart from Dom Cassisi who continually shows up like the “dead” villain in an 80’s slasher flick). Adelaide had five of the top six contested possession winners (The other one was Dom Cassisi) and smashed the Power all over the park (Except for whoever played on Dom Cassisi). What did we learn? That whoever has the better contested rating, wins the Showdown. And that Dom Cassisi gives a shit about these games.

He Cares...

The Teams In 2012

I’m extremely hungover right now and the effort being put into this article is the anti Dom Cassisi. Let’s quickly take a look at each teams 2012 numbers before that 4am Kebab shows up again.

2012 – Season Average

Adelaide

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

159

142

Disposal Efficiency

69%

72%

Clangers

48

46

Contested Marks

10

14

Clearances

41

39

Inside 50’s

57

47

Tackles

63

55

1%

46

50

Contested Rating

Adelaide 226.32
Port Adelaide 216.72

Summary: What we see here is a slight edge to Adelaide in terms of winning the contested ball, with the Power being the more efficient side. The current contested rating disparity between the two teams is the closest it’s been for five years, thus the result itself should be in a similar vein. Maybe Tony Shaw actually knows this and broke down these numbers prior to making his claims? Maybe I’m being too harsh? Maybe Tony Shaw is just throwing shit at a wall and hoping it sticks because people pay him a ton of money to do so? After forcing myself through 11 minutes of AFL League Teams on Fox Footy, I’m going with the latter.

Tip: I’ll still be hungover at the first bounce, and Adelaide by 6 points.

Showdown Medal: Dom Cassisi at $12, did you really expect it to be anybody else?

Obscure line bet: Chad Cornes to be mentioned (over/under) 500,000 times during the broadcast despite having nothing to do with today’s outcome. Take the over.

Now excuse me whilst I refund that Kebab.

You can follow Scott on Twitter: @Scottywashere

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2011/12 NBA Awards

By Scott Barby

MVP: LeBron James.

Runner Up: CP3.

Reasoning: This one is self-explanatory. Simply being “Bored of giving the award to LeBron” just isn’t quite concrete enough.

Coach of The Year: Greg Popovich.

Runner Up: Tom Thibodeau.

Reasoning: You can’t really go wrong with either pick, but Popovich beating out Thibodeau as the only Coach to win the award Twice looks prettier in the archives.

Rookie of The Year: Kyrie Irving.

Runner Up: Kenneth Farried.

Reasoning: Kyrie put together not only one of the all time greatest Rookie seasons ever, he’s one of the Top 3 clutch players in the league. Already… This is the basement in terms of awards for Irving, he’s special.

Defensive Player of the Year: Tyson Chandler

Runner Up: Serge Ibaka

Reasoning: Chandler singlehandedly changed the Knicks attitude towards defense. Sure, adding guys like Shumpert helped, but Chandler was the catalyst for the defensive movement. He took the Knicks from being ranked 28th on defense in 2011, to the number #12 spot in 2012.

Most Improved: Andrew Bynum

Runner Up: Ersan Ilyasova

Reasoning: Any other year this is Ersan’s award. Andrew Bynum has officially arrived from a skills standpoint, mentally though, he’s about a decade behind where he needs to be.

6th Man: James Harden

Runner Up: Lou Williams

Reasoning: 17-4-4 off the bench with elite percentages of 49-84-39, that’s all you need to know.

All NBA Teams

1st team

C: Dwight Howard

F: LeBron James

F: Kevin Durant

G: Tony Parker

G: CP3

2nd Team

C: Andrew Bynum

F: Josh Smith

F: Kevin Love

G: Kobe Bryant

G: Russell Westbrook

3rd Team

C: Marc Gasol

F: Kevin Garnett

F: Dirk

G: D-Wade

G: Rajon Rondo

Honorable Mentions

PG: Steve Nash, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams

SG: James Harden, Joe Johnson, Manu Ginobili

SG: Paul Pierce, Andre Igoudala, Rudy Gay

PF: Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap

C: Tyson Chandler, Al Jefferson, Marcin Gortat

All Defensive Team

C: Tyson Chandler

F: Kevin Garnett

F: LeBron James

G: Iman Shumpert

G: Rajon Rondo

All Rookie Team

C: Kenneth Faried

F: Chandler Parsons
F: Kawhi Leonard
G: Isaiah Thomas
G: Kyrie Irving

(This lineup needed 4 guard spots to include Klay Thompson and Iman Shumpert)

Extra Obscure Awards

Steal of the Draft: Isaiah Thomas (Pick #60).

Reasoning: Isaiah earned $473,604 for his efforts this year, the lowest in the NBA. Gilbert Arenas was worse in every statistical category by 500,000% and earned $19,569,308. I love the NBA.

Bust of the Draft: Jimmer Fredette (Pick #10).

Reasoning: His strength coming out of College was his ability to shoot the long ball, and he couldn’t even do that. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the court with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2014.

Best Trade of The Year: LA Lakers; Luke Walton’s corpse and a Top 14 protected pick for Ramon Sessions.

Reasoning: The worst part is that Bill Walton is now forced to watch Cavs games. No amount of weed can make watching that shitshow tolerable.

Shittest Trade of The Year: NJ Nets; Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a Top 3 protected 1st round pick for Gerald Wallace.

Reasoning: Nets GM Billy King still thinks they’re going in the right direction, even as recently as 3 weeks ago despite the Deron opt-out news. Unless that “right direction” is into Bobcat territory or better yet oncoming traffic, he’s wrong.

Biggest Vagina Award: Lamar Odom.

Reasoning: Did he quit on the Mavs because he’s mentally fragile? Just doesn’t care about Hoops anymore? Or because he wakes up next to a fat bitch with a face like a squashed hamburger every morning? Whatever it is, his basketball career is over.

Biggest Superstar not being a Superstar Award: Amare Stoudamire.

Reasoning: Sure the dude had a lot of off-court issues, but that doesn’t excuse not even trying on the defensive end. Maybe he doesn’t care, maybe he’s just dumb as fuck. Which is it? To be honest, I don’t even know, which is scary.

Most likely to be Overpaid this Offseason Award: Goran Dragic.

Reasoning: Toronto are still fast asleep in the Calderon contract coma, you just know they’re itching to throw the cheque book at Jose part deuce.

Biggest Flopper Award: The entire La Clippers roster.

Worst Moment of The Season Award: Ricky Rubio injury.

Reasoning: I still haven’t recovered.

Biggest Chucker Award: Kobe Bryant.

Reasoning: Kobe is having his worst shooting season since his 2nd year in the league. He did manage to set a career high in hitting pussy, though.

Best Dunk Award: Gerald Green Windmill Ally-Oop.

Best Assist Award: Manu’s Bullet.

Buzzer Beater of The year: Kevin Durant against Dallas.

Ugliest Player Award: Shelden Williams/Gustavo Ayon (tie)

Yikes...

Shut the Fuck Up Award: Dwight Howard.

Reasoning: The league has been more fun without you. Go away.

Quote of the Year Award: “If I have a stat, I use it. Sometimes, if I need a stat and I don’t have it, I just make it up” – Classic Jeff Van Gundy.

WTF Award: Kwame Brown, for somehow landing a $7,000,000 contract.

 

You can follow Scott on Twitter: @Scottywashere

Preview Round 4: Sydney vs North Melbourne, by Scott Barby

Sydney vs North Melbourne – Round 4: 2012

SCG, Sunday 22 April, 3.15pm (AEST)

LAST TIME: Sydney 10.12 (72) def North Melbourne 9.17 (71), Round 10, 2011 at Etihad Stadium

PAST FIVE: Sydney 5, North Melbourne 0

PREVIOUS MEETING POINT SPREAD: 3.5

PREVIOUS MEETING HEAD TO HEAD: Sydney: $1.90. North Melbourne: $2.03

CURRENT POINT SPREAD: PK

CURRENT HEAD TO HEAD: Sydney $1.92. North Melbourne $1.92

2011 Sydney ATS: 11-10. Under 24.5: 6-10. Over 24.5: 5-0

2011 North Melbourne ATS: 14-5. Under 24.5: 11-2, Over 24.5: 3-3

2012 Sydney ATS: 2-1. Under 24.5: 2-0. Over 24.5: 0-1

2012 North Melbourne ATS: 3-0. Under 24.5: 1-0, Over 24.5: 2-0

TV:  Fox Sports1 and Channel 7 (Live)

RADIO: SEN, ABC774

Teams:

Sydney

B: Martin Mattner, Heath Grundy, Alex Johnson
HB: Andrejs Everitt, Ted Richards, Rhyce Shaw
C: Jude Bolton, Kieren Jack, Lewis Jetta
HF: Jarrad McVeigh, Sam Reid, Gary Rohan
F: Craig Bird, Ryan O’Keefe, Ben McGlynn
Foll: Mark Seaby, Daniel Hannebery, Josh P. Kennedy
I/C: Nick Malceski, Jesse White, Tony Armstrong, Luke Parker
In:
 Mark Seaby, Tony Armstrong
Out: ,Adam Goodes, Shane Mumford

North Melbourne

B: Liam Anthony, Scott Thompson, Scott McMahon
HB: Jamie Macmillan, Michael Firrito, Daniel Wells
C: Shaun Atley, Andrew Swallow, Samuel Wright
HF: Kieran Harper, Aaron Edwards, Ryan Bastinac
F: Lindsay Thomas, Drew Petrie, Matt Campbell
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Jack Ziebell, Leigh Adams
I/C: Brent Harvey, Hamish McIntosh, Luke Delaney, Ben Cunnington
In:
 No Change
Out: No Change

Introduction

When I saw that Fremantle opened with a +17.5 line against St. Kilda, I instantly bookmarked this spot to break it down. Those who follow me on Twitter would be aware of my love for the “Wharfies” this week. Not only did I love the line, I loved them straight up. I loved the Ross Lyon angle, the question marks around the Fyfe injury and his loss being overrated, I even loved Adam McPhee. Ok, that’s going a little far… I ended up about three words into the analysis and then the news came through that Adam Goodes would be suspended against North Melbourne. Fremantle analysis, turfed.

The next thing I knew it was 2am Thursday morning and I’d broken down the impact of Adam Goodes’s recent history against North Melbourne. I hate myself. I then spent the following day at work with my coffee cup being refilled on auto pilot and my eyes looking as though they’d been subjected to nude photographs of Josh Thurgood all morning. Once again, I hate myself. Further to hating myself, the Fremantle pick turned out be spot on and the Adam Goodes angle didn’t really turn over any indisputable concrete wrinkles at all, which is why it’s taken so long to post this weeks preview. I’ve since reached the point where I’d prefer to utilise this time to whine some more, or at least turn this analysis into a drunken assassination of Dwight Howard’s character. I’ll save that one for a future date though, and instead flood your head with numerous reasons as to why Sydney will defeat North Melbourne this weekend. Just a minor warning, this analysis goes rather deep this week. I’m talking firing a Premiership Coach in order to keep your inexperienced lovechild happy deep.

Remember this "thing"? Sorry for reminding you...

The Concrete Wrinkle

What I’m finding week to week is that one team will generally hold an advantage over another in one key area, that area being contested football. I’ve been spitting out the same line of thinking since Round 1 and the reason I continue to do so is because it’s working. This week is no different. Sydney have managed to win nine of the last ten matches against North Melbourne, with the Kangaroos last win coming in Round 6 of 2007. The wins and losses of each team were generally dependent upon the same old story, who won the contested ball that day, and who used that ball to their advantage.

What follows is a breakdown of the previous seven games. Included is each teams contested rating based on the recipe for success Algorithm I created after Round 1. Alongside the team ratings will be the average Sydney players contribution based on the same criteria, and how that compares to Adam Goodes’s average output. Finally, Sydney’s contested rating with Adam Goodes excluded will also be noted. It all sounds more ridiculous than buying a Melbourne membership at the moment, and to a degree it is. If you don’t give a shit about the numbers, scroll to the bottom of the page, otherwise;

Sydney vs North Melbourne: Recent History

Abbreviations: CP: Contested Possessions, CM: Contested Marks, 1%: One Percenters, CL: Clearances, I50: Inside 50’s, T: Tackles, CLG: Clangers, DE%: Disposal Efficiency Percentage.

Round 6: 2007

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

128

13

51

34

57

54

35

76%

229.52

Sydney

119

15

52

37

52

52

46

72%

202.32

Average Sydney player output

5.4

.68

2.36

1.68

2.36

2.36

2.09

72%

7.48

Adam Goodes output

8

1

4

2

3

1

1

56%

10.08

Result: North Melbourne by 16 points

Minus Adam Goodes: -2.6

Summary: As you can see, North Melbourne dominate the contested numbers, and thus won the match. Although Goodes performed above average compared to his teammates, his influence wasn’t overwhelming enough to suggest that the result would be drastically worse if he wasn’t on the field that day.

Round 6: 2008

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

108

13

42

33

50

44

31

68%

176.12

Sydney

113

8

37

31

43

62

42

76%

191.52

Average Sydney player output

5.1

.36

1.6

1.4

1.9

2.8

1.9

76%

11.02

Adam Goodes

9

1

3

3

5

4

4

71%

20.59

Result: Draw

Minus Adam Goodes: -9.57

Summary: In this contest Goodes provided almost twice the value of his teammate. Without his contribution there is no doubt that Sydney would have been more likely to lose this game. Despite dominating the contested numbers, a draw was the result. This was primarily due to Sydney’s poor kicking for goal.

Elimination Final: 2008

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

113

8

50

31

49

76

44

68%

192.44

Sydney

139

11

40

49

48

62

42

66%

202.62

Average Sydney player output

6.3

.5

1.8

2.2

2.1

2.8

1.9

66%

9.1

Adam Goodes

5

1

2

0

2

2

0

62%

7.44

Result: Sydney by 35 points

Minus Adam Goodes: +1.66

Summary: Sydney dominate contested possessions, but let themselves down with inaccurate kicking. Despite this, they marched on towards a comfortable victory despite a down day from Goodes.

Round 14: 2009

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

112

17

45

36

43

51

42

75%

196.5

Sydney

137

14

33

42

61

56

37

77%

235.62

Average Sydney player output

6.2

.63

1.5

1.9

2.7

2.5

1.6

77%

10.64

Adam Goodes

8

0

2

6

4

1

4

69%

11.73

Result: Sydney by 15 points

Minus Adam Goodes: -1.09

Summary: Sydney win the contested rating, Sydney win the game. We’re starting to see a significant pattern emerge now. Although slightly above average, this was the second game in a row against North Melbourne where the former Brownlow Medalist registered a below average output.

Round 4: 2010

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

105

11

36

28

44

69

31

69%

180.78

Sydney

131

14

47

38

49

71

45

76%

239.4

Average Sydney player output

5.9

.63

2.1

1.7

2.2

3.2

2

76%

10.43

Adam Goodes

4

0

1

3

5

3

4

62%

5.58

Result: Sydney by 40 points

Minus Adam Goodes: +4.85

Summary: North Melbourne were smashed in the contested rating, smashed on the scoreboard, and with little to no influence from Goodes. You can now see where this is going.

Round 15: 2010

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

122

11

45

39

50

68

49

70%

200.2

Sydney

136

16

37

31

52

74

45

75%

225.75

Average Sydney player output

6.18

.72

1.68

1.4

2.3

3.3

2.04

75%

10.15

Adam Goodes

18

2

2

5

8

5

3

52%

19.24

Result: Sydney by 30 points

Minus Adam Goodes: -9.09

Summary: Just when we think we’ve found a wrinkle, like all good superstars Goodes shows up with this effort. It wouldn’t be completely out-of-order to suggest that Goodes won this game off of his own boot.

Round 10: 2011

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

155

11

54

41

53

69

45

69%

233.22

Sydney

131

13

45

29

48

81

48

75%

224.25

Average Sydney player output

5.95

.59

2.04

1.3

2.1

3.7

2.18

75%

10.12

Adam Goodes

7

1

1

0

6

1

8

63%

5.04

Minus Adam Goodes

130.05

12.59

46.04

30.3

44.1

83.7

42.72

76%

231.08

Result: Sydney by 1 point (North kicked 9-17)

Minus Adam Goodes: +5.08

Summary: This is the one game that I find incredibly intriguing. North Melbourne won the contested rating, yet lost purely because of inaccurate kicking (or Lindsay Thomas, take your pick). Again, the evidence suggesting that Goodes is inconsistent against North Melbourne is paramount. He dropped a stink bomb in this one and was a liability.

Conclusion: Over the course of the previous seven encounters against North Melbourne, Sydney players had an average contested rating output of 8.78. In comparison, Adam Goodes has an average contested rating output of 11.38. So how significant is the Goodes suspension? To put it into perspective, an entire team made up of Adam Goodes under the same criteria would have a contested rating of 259.16 against North Melbourne, far superior to the 217.35 which Sydney registered.

In their last seven contests, both teams have averaged significantly less than their current 2012 numbers:

Sydney: 217.35

North Melbourne: 201.25

What’s interesting here is that Sydney’s overall dominance has been significant enough to withstand the loss of Goodes as a collective whole, although on a game by game basis it would differ, as his output has been sporadic to say the least.

*Purely for the “wow” factor, a team of 2012 Gary Ablett’s would be producing a contested rating output of 466.18. He’s pretty fucking good.

We’ve established that Adam Goodes is a significant loss, but not damaging enough to offset Sydney being able to cope with his absence when playing North Melbourne.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the Adam Goodes influence by breaking down his numbers against the entire league in 2011 and thus far in 2012. For those of you who are still with us, you should probably have a headache by now.

Adam Goodes in 2011:

2011: Average

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

Sydney

155

14

59

43

54

79

47

69%

246.33

Average Sydney player output

7.04

.63

2.68

1.95

2.45

3.59

2.13

69%

11.19

Adam Goodes

11

1.8

2.3

3.3

5.8

3.6

3

65%

16.12

Adam Goodes average output in 2011: 16.12

Sydney Swans average output per player in 2011: 11.19

Adam Goodes average in 2012:

2012: Average

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

Sydney

157

13

51

40

59

73

47

72%

249.12

Average Sydney player output

7.13

.59

2.31

1.81

2.68

3.31

2.13

72%

11.32

Adam Goodes

9.3

0.7

3

2.3

5.3

4.3

3.3

75%

16.2

Adam Goodes average output in 2012: 16.2

Sydney Swans average output per player in 2012 : 11.32

What we see here is that the numbers from year to year are virtually identical, and the Goodes influence is much more telling as a whole than it is purely against North Melbourne (16.12 compared to 11.38). Why Brad Scott was so adamant in the media this week about Adam Goodes dominating North Melbourne is beyond me. His influence from a contested perspective is minimal in comparison to the rest of the league. Thus I believe the loss of Adam Goodes this week against North Melbourne isn’t as significant as it would be if the Swans were facing a different opponent.

Contested Ratings in 2012.

Turning out attention to both teams current contested output should give us a more balanced indication of how each team is travelling in 2012.

2012: Average

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

North Melbourne

138

13

47

39

65

57

45

76%

238.64

Sydney

157

13

51

40

59

73

47

72%

249.12

The numbers state that Sydney are a slightly better side when it comes to winning the contested ball, as they were in five of the previous seven encounters. If we remove the Goodes influence and replace it with the average player output by the Swans side over the year, Sydney still lead these figures 238.64 to 244.24.

What would have been a welcomed addition to this analysis is a larger sample size of recent Sydney games without Adam Goodes. unfortunately for us, the son of a bitch eats his vitamins and hasn’t missed a game since 2008. The AFL was significantly different back then from a game style point of view, so the data is essentially obsolete, but I have it with me so you can factor it in if you like.

Sydney without Adam Goodes

Round 14: 2008

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

Sydney Season Average

120

10

38

35

49

60

45

73%

194.91

Sydney Without Goodes

120

11

34

23

44

50

44

73%

173.74

Opponent

133

16

36

32

51

51

38

72%

202.32

Result: Sydney lost by 29 points

Round 18: 2008

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

Sydney Season Average

120

10

38

35

49

60

45

73%

194.91

Sydney without Goodes

120

12

40

40

52

62

35

72%

180.72

Opponent

132

11

49

36

49

56

49

69%

229.77

Result: Lost by 16 points

Round 22: 2008

CP

CM

1%

CL

I50

T

CLG

DE%

Contested Rating

Sydney Season Average

120

10

38

35

49

60

45

73%

194.91

Sydney without Goodes

119

8

41

45

52

62

53

76%

208.24

Opponent

113

9

34

26

44

63

41

74%

183.52

Result: Won by 61 points

The above numbers show that Sydney were belted in the key indicators on two occasions, and dominated in another. Make of this what you will, all it did was make me angry at Adam Goodes for being so healthy and leaving such a small sample size.

Final Findings

As you and I both know, Adam Goodes is a future Hall of Famer. He’s a duel Brownlow medalist, a two-time premiership player, best and fairest winner, two-time All Australian, and everything the fucking Titanic should have been. He is as unbreakable as he is a superstar. Adam Goodes is critical to the Swans structure and is a matchup nightmare for any opposition club. Despite knowing all this, I have to side with the numbers. I am of the belief that against any other side, his omission would be significantly more damaging. Sure, he’s been above average against North Melbourne in comparison to his teammates, but nowhere near as dominant as he has been against other teams in the competition. The Swans are ranked 2nd league wide for contested possessions (Goodes is 6th for the Swans) compared to North Melbourne who are 15th, and Sydney will go in as the more experienced side. Further to this, Sydney haven’t lost to the Kangaroos at the SCG since 2005. The numbers state that Sydney have been the better team in recent seasons, that they are the better team this year with or without Adam Goodes, and that they will be the better team on Sunday.

Tip: Sydney by 11 points.

Season Previews in 2012: 3-0 (100%)

AFL YTD ATS Overall: 14-5, 73.68%

 You can follow Scott on twitter @Scottywashere

Some Guys Have All The Luck

Some Guys Have All The Luck

By DocSherrin

You don’t know this kid. You’re not meant to. He’s one of hundreds of teenage kids across North America who loves hockey and hopes his name gets read out at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh on June 22-23. Chances are it will. Most pundits and armchair hockey experts have this kid going somewhere between the 5th and 7th round. If he does – forget about the top 10 players chosen…his selection will be the biggest story of the draft.

His name is Liam Stewart. He plays for the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL),a major-junior league with 22 teams in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada that for many has been a stepping-stone to a career as a professional hockey player. Liam shares a room with a teammate and is billeted by a host family in Spokane – an area of Washington State more known for its grunge music of the early 90’s than its hockey team. That in itself is a surprise given his Mum offered to rent out a luxurious apartment for her son while he stayed in Spokane. He refused and receives a stipend of less than $300 per month. As you’ve probably surmised , Liam’s not your normal future hockey star.

You see, these are Liam’s parents.

His Dad is legendary crooner Rod Stewart – his Mum, New Zealand supermodel, Rachel Hunter. While the couple is long divorced, they regularly keep tabs on 17 year-old Liam, who on April 16, further stated his case for an NHL career with the winning OT goal for the Chiefs in Game 6 of the WHL playoffs, forcing a Game 7 decider against the Tri-City Americans. For a kid that grew up in Southern California, he has – not unlike his father in previous decades – some seriously good moves. It’s not hard to tell when he’s on the ice either. In an attempt to put him off his game, opposing teams revel in playing his Dads classics over the stadium PA. It doesn’t phase him. The kid keeps putting his teammates in scoring positions, blocking shots and scoring as often as his famous father did throughout the 70’s. Ok…maybe not as much (14 goals in 66 games), but notwithstanding the kid is garnering more attention than his mothers cleavage on her wedding day…ok…again perhaps a little far
fetched. But seriously, Liam Stewart isn’t phased.

What might phase him in the larger fish bowl that is the National Hockey League are the Mum jokes. That’s right…Mum jokes. Because as it turns out, Liam wasn’t the only one in the family to embrace hockey. When Liam was 10, his Mum started dating hockey bad-boy, Sean Avery – who at the time was contracted to the Los Angeles Kings. As good a hockey player as Avery was – he won’t be remembered for his hockey. In 2008, he was suspended by the NHL for “conduct detrimental to the league & the game of hockey”. His then team, the Dallas Stars, placed him on waivers. HIs teammates didn’t want to play with him. His remarks that led to his exodus:
“I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about, but enjoy the game tonight”, were in reference to his former girlfriends, actress Alisha Cuthbert, who was dating Calgary Flames Captain, Dion Phaneuf and Liam’s Mum, Rachel Hunter – who by 2008 was dating another Los Angeles King – Centreman Jarret Stoll (seen with Hunter below)

Stoll broke off the couple’s engagement in 2009, 7 weeks before they were due to get married – but not before Liam was describing his hockey style to that of his ‘soon-to-be-but-wasn’t-step-father’….Oops.
Thing is, Stoll is still just 29…and very much a part of the Los Angeles Kings organization. Should young Liam be selected by the Kings – we’re headed for an interesting dressing room scenario…”So – how’s your Mom”…sure to be the tamest amongst other banter that will no doubt be forwarded in his direction or avoided with uncomfortable silence no matter who Liam ends up with. His nickname is likely to end up as ‘Stacy’…given his Mom’s appearance in video for ‘Fountains of Wayne’ song ‘Stacey’s Mom’…that’s more fodder for the people in charge of stadium music …’Stacy’s Mom has got it goin’ on…Stacy’s Mom has got it goin’ on…(face-off)

One wonders if Liam will be present on Draft Weekend. Many prospects are. Corny television producers however are as good a reason as any to stay away. I can almost see it now as round 2 of the draft ends, the zoomed camera on Liam as his father’s ‘Reason to Believe’ plays to the commercial break. Cue round 4 and ‘Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) gets airtime…not drafted, the corny producer fades to black with “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” showing a sullen Stewart…before finally….on Day 2 of the Draft…Liam is chosen by an NHL franchise, is paraded on stage in team cap and jersey and played to the ad break with ‘You Wear It Well’…perhaps even “Da You Think I’m Sexy”….live cross to proud father ‘Rod the Mod’ in concert wearing hockey jersey with ‘Stewart’ emblazoned on his back…Ahhh – the possibilities are endless!

My tip? I think Liam will end up going in the latter part of Round 6 to the Florida Panthers. Their weather, fans and fast-paced attacking game-style is one that would suit young Stewart…it will suit his Mom as well. After all – the Florida Panther is also known as the North American cougar.

You can follow DocSherrin on Twitter: @DocSherrin

Round 3 Preview: Sydney vs Port Adelaide

Sydney vs Port Adelaide – Round 3: 2012

AAMI Stadium, Saturday April 14th, 1.40pm

LAST TIME: Sydney 18.13 (121) d Port Adelaide 9.5 (59), SCG, Rnd 8, 2011

PAST FIVE: Sydney 5, Port Adelaide 0

PREVIOUS MEETING POINT SPREAD: 37.5

PREVIOUS MEETING HEAD TO HEAD: Sydney: $1.12. Port Adelaide: $7.64

CURRENT POINT SPREAD: 13.5

CURRENT HEAD TO HEAD: Sydney $1.51. Port Adelaide $2.65

2011 Sydney ATS: 11-10. Under 24.5: 6-10. Over 24.5: 5-0

2011 Port Adelaide ATS: 7-15. Under 24.5: 3-6, Over 24.5: 4-9

2012 Sydney ATS: 1-1. Under 24.5: 1-0. Over 24.5: 0-1

2012 Port Adelaide ATS: 2-0. Under 24.5: 1-0, Over 24.5: 1-0

TV:  Fox Sports1 (Live)

RADIO: SEN

Teams:

Sydney

B: Martin Mattner, Heath Grundy, Alex Johnson
HB: Andrejs Everitt, Ted Richards, Rhyce Shaw
C: Craig Bird, Kieren Jack, Nick Malceski
HF: Jarrad McVeigh, Sam Reid, Lewis Jetta
F: Jude Bolton, Jesse White, Ben McGlynn
Foll: Shane Mumford, Adam Goodes, Josh P. Kennedy
I/C: Ryan O’Keefe, Daniel Hannebery, Gary Rohan, Luke Parker
Emg: Mark Seaby, Nathan Gordon, Harry Cunningham
In: Jesse White, Shane Mumford, Andrejs Everitt
Out: Lewis Roberts-Thomson (Cheekbone), Nicholas Smith (Virus), Mark Seaby

Port Adelaide

B: Ben Jacobs, Alipate Carlile, Jackson Trengove
HB: Danyle Pearce, Troy Chaplin, Jacob Surjan
C: Hamish Hartlett, Domenic Cassisi, Kane Cornes
HF: John McCarthy, Daniel Stewart, Robert Gray
F: Chad Wingard, Jay Schulz, Justin Westhoff
Foll: Jarrad Redden, Bradley Ebert, Travis Boak
I/C: Matt Thomas, Paul Stewart, Matthew Broadbent, Cameron O’Shea
Emg: Simon Phillips, Brent Renouf, Darren Pfeiffer
In: Robert Gray
Out: David Rodan

Introduction

Port Adelaide have some problems. Crowd numbers are a problem, cash flow is a problem, lack of success is a problem and Sydney are definitely a problem. I was all up and about this week ready to give the Power their due. I was impressed with how they looked against St. Kilda, and again even more so against Essendon. I thought I’d arrive at the conclusion of this preview with a buffet of stats highlighting why Port would win this game, or at least go close to doing so.

The first stat I looked at was the recent history between the two clubs, apparently it’s been six years straight of Sydney dominance. Ok, that’s not the greatest of starts, but that was then and this was, the times they are a changing. Next up I found out that Sydney have won seven straight games against the Power by an average margin of 42 points. Again, not exactly confidence building when it comes to forecasting a Port Adelaide win. Still, I wasn’t off the Power wagon just yet, I needed a few more one-sided numbers to be convinced. How about Port Adelaide’s record at home against Sydney? Surely that’s a bit of an advantage? It turns out that Sydney haven’t lost to Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium (Football Park) since 2004, and Sydney have won three straight matches at the ground since. Ok, now you’re making this too hard. What the actual fuck, Port? You haven’t defeated the Swans at home in nearly a decade? Why not? Let’s ask the numbers…

Unfortunately I don’t have recorded data dating back as far as Jason Akermanis still being relevant. As a result I’ve broken down the last five contests between both clubs, which I think you’ll find gives us more than enough of a sample size to form an accurate opinion. What follows is a brief summary of each result from a contested football and overall efficiency standpoint. Each matchup has been broken down into six key categories that I’ve found to be the catalyst for each result. So how does it work? Basically whoever dominated the majority of categories won the day. It’s pretty straight forward and as you’ll find highly accurate in terms of out emulating results.

Highlighting the Key Indicators.

2008 – Round 2

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

122

94

Disposal Efficiency

74%

71%

Clangers

52

55

Clearances

38

37

Inside 50’s

60

40

Tackles

56

58

Categories won: Sydney 5-1

Result: Sydney by 68 points

2008 – Round 9

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

129

124

Disposal Efficiency

72%

70%

Clangers

44

40

Clearances

42

40

Inside 50’s

42

50

Tackles

65

58

Categories won: Sydney 4-2

Result: Sydney by 11 points

2009 – Round 9

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

133

112

Disposal Efficiency

78%

68%

Clangers

31

33

Clearances

32

37

Inside 50’s

56

45

Tackles

69

59

Categories won: Sydney 5-1

Result: Sydney by 55 points

2010 – Round 12

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

138

140

Disposal Efficiency

75%

68%

Clangers

43

46

Clearances

36

32

Inside 50’s

51

31

Tackles

68

85

Categories won: Sydney 4-2

Result: Sydney by 38 points

2011 – Round 8

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

149

147

Disposal Efficiency

73%

67%

Clangers

42

42

Clearances

43

32

Inside 50’s

61

31

Tackles

67

64

Categories won: Sydney 5-0-1

Result: Sydney by 62 points

Average Output over the last 5 Contests

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

134.2

123.4

Disposal Efficiency

74%

69%

Clangers

42.4

43.2

Clearances

38.2

35.6

Inside 50’s

54

39.4

Tackles

65

64

Categories won: Sydney 6-0

What the above results unveil is a clear dominance from Sydney not only on the scoreboard, but in terms of winning the contested ball and using it more effectively. The next natural step is to compare that output over the previous five encounters to the current data that both teams are registering today.

2012 Current Numbers (Average Per Game)

2012

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Contested Possessions

163

143

Disposal Efficiency

70%

69%

Clangers

52

53

Clearances

40

43

Inside 50’s

62

48

Tackles

77

59

Categories Won: Sydney 5-1

As you can see Sydney are still winning the majority of the key indicators, just not as significantly. What needs to be taken into account here is that Sydney played the Bye in Round 1 (GWS), and although their output was shocking in that encounter, anything GWS related will generally have slightly skewed numbers. The beauty here is that Sydney showed a similar level of output against Fremantle the following week, so I’d argue that the influence isn’t as great as it would be for the majority of teams who face the Giants.

The Impact of Experience

The second area which stood out more than a Jeff Garlett boot collection was the level of experience between the two clubs. In each of the previous five Sydney wins they’ve had a somewhat significant advantage when it comes to the number of mature bodies on the field. (Looks at the huge drop in games played between 2009 and 2010, this shows the rebuilding/culling phase of both clubs moving into full swing.)

Average Games Played

Sydney

Port Adelaide

2008 – Round 2

111.6

88

Average Games Played

Sydney

Port Adelaide

2008 – Round 9

112.1

91.2

Average Games Played

Sydney

Port Adelaide

2009 – Round 9

126.1

98.5

Average Games Played

Sydney

Port Adelaide

2010 – Round 12

86.1

76.9

Average Games Played

Sydney

Port Adelaide

2011 – Round 8

91.9

72.4

Once you compare the previous level of experience to the current level of experience you’ll notice that there is essentially no change in the disparity between games played. In fact, the current difference of 33.1 games is the largest it’s been in recent meetings between the two squads.

Average Games Played

Sydney

Port Adelaide

2012 – Round 3

106.6

73.5

Contested Ratings.

If you read the blog last week, you would have come across the introduction of the Contested Rating Algorithm. Here is both Sydney and Port Adelaide’s current numbers, and their associated ranking league wide;

Rank

Average Contested Rating For

Average Contested Rating Against

Overall Rating

Sydney (6th)

249.575

221.855

27.72

Port Adelaide (12th)

208.2

219.28

-11.08

As you can see there is a substantial difference between the two clubs in terms of their ability to win contested football.

Summary.

Now that the numbers have been crunched and conclusions met, only one number remains to be broken down. The spread. How this line is just -13.5 with the bookies stood out like the proverbial Dogs balls to me. Like the majority of Media pundits and general population, I was guilty of initially thinking that Port Adelaide would be value at this number. What the above shows is the complete opposite though. Nothing has changed in nearly a decade. We haven’t since Port Adelaide defeat Sydney since the glory days of Stuart Cochrane, Damien Hardwick, Brett Montgomery, Byron Pickett and Gavin Wanganeen. That’s a long fucking time… The Power have shown mild improvement, even their shitty numbers above indicate a move from being completely horrific to slightly below average. For me to be convinced that the above mold can be broken, I’d need to see significant improvement. Until then…

Tip: Sydney by 28 points.

AFL Power Rankings: Round 2

Round 2 Preview: Hawthorn v Geelong

As you’re all no doubt aware, I have a tendency to focus on all things stats related and all things contested related when it comes to breaking down the AFL. With just a one week sample size the current stats are resembling a stripper who won’t remove the final item of clothing. We think we have a fair idea of what’s coming, but It’s still just guess-work until all is revealed. As a result, teams are doing nothing more than passing or failing the eye test, with a high dependence on who played who clouding true judgement. However, for the Melbourne supporters seeking early clarification, we can say with 100% accuracy that you aren’t clouding anything, and are definitely failing.

So with so many question marks leading into Round 2, I thought it best to take the traditional route and look at Geelong v Hawthorn. What’s not to like?  Two contenders who are fun to watch who consistently deliver a “shit your pants” finish, with one team on a seven game winning streak over the other. That last point is out-of-place, especially for teams of this calibre. And I need to know why.

In order to find an answer I spent the past week creating a contested football rating algorithm which I have creatively titled “Contested Rating Algorithm”. If you don’t care for it’s meaning, skip to the Tip section at the bottom, otherwise;

What the hell is a “Contested Rating Algorithm”?

The Contested Rating Algorithm brings together numerous contest related statistics, whilst taking into account a teams overall number of average clangers and disposal efficiency. The final number it spits out gives a fair indication of a teams ability to not only win contested football, but how efficiently their overall usage rate is. What follows is a breakdown of each of the past seven encounters between Geelong and Hawthorn under the guise of the “Contested Rating Algorithm”. There will be a specific focus on who won three main categories: Contested Possessions, Disposal Efficiency and clearances, which I deem to be one of the benchmark measurements of a team’s success. Especially between these two teams. You will see each of these stats highlighted throughout this analysis.

Each contest has been specifically broken down by year. The encounter will be listed, the associated stats presented and each teams overall contested rating is recorded along with their actual ladder position for easy comparison. Each year will conclude with a brief summary. Let’s dive in…

Possession Football

2009 gave us two hotly fought contests with a combined margin under double figures. What’s strange here is the contested rating numbers from Geelong. They’re down compared to 2012, significantly. Remember, this is from three years ago, and I’ve already broken my first rule of not including any information from pre-2011. Whatever.

As you’ll see, the contested rating of each team will take a drastic leap year after year, which further highlights the move away from possession football to a style focused upon winning contested ball. In 2009 Hawthorn finished outside the top eight, their contested rating was awful. Geelong on the other hand, whilst low by today’s standards, still maintained an elite number for that era (yearly comparisons are coming soon).

2009 – Round 1

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

100

127

Disposal Efficiency

80%

76%

Clangers

58

53

Contested Marks

10

4

Clearances

30

36

Inside 50’s

47

50

Tackles

62

56

1%

34

40

Contested Rating

Hawthorn 180
Geelong 197.6

Result: Geelong by 8 points

2009 – Round 17

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

136

120

Disposal Efficiency

73%

75%

Clangers

52

45

Contested Marks

6

12

Clearances

37

41

Inside 50’s

54

37

Tackles

73

86

1%

35

37

Contested Rating

Hawthorn 210.97
Geelong 216

Result: Geelong by 1 point

2009 – Season Average

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

118

133

Disposal Efficiency

75%

76%

Clangers

50

43

Contested Marks

7

12

Clearances

35

35

Inside 50’s

50

53

Tackles

63

64

1%

38

46

Contested Rating

Hawthorn

Geelong

2009 Rating

198.36

224.25

AFL Ladder

Hawthorn

Geelong

2009 Ladder Finish

9th

2nd

The contested numbers from 2009 don’t really tell us anything overly significant, I mean look at them, they’re terrible from both teams… So why did Geelong win both of these encounters? They won the uncontested possession battle both days. Round 1: 275-228, Round 17: 263-262 (How fitting for a 1 point win).

The Evolution of Contested Football

Both teams improved their contested rating significantly in 2010, especially Hawthorn. They were completely smashed in contested ball Round 2, yet in the corresponding fixture that year they actually won the day and probably should have won the game, if not let down by their unusually low disposal efficiency of 67% (considering they only dipped below 70% on two other occasions that year). As you can see below though, Geelong won the majority of the critical categories, again.

2010 – Round 2

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

118

150

Disposal Efficiency

73%

77%

Clangers

52

46

Contested Marks

6

19

Clearances

24

44

Inside 50’s

59

47

Tackles

62

64

1%

46

40

Contested Rating

Hawthorn 191.99
Geelong 244.86

Result: Geelong by 9 points

2010 – Round 15

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

155

153

Disposal Efficiency

67%

70%

Clangers

53

52

Contested Marks

17

14

Clearances

38

41

Inside 50’s

56

55

Tackles

88

77

1%

58

45

Contested Rating

Hawthorn 239.86
Geelong 233.1

Result: Geelong by 2 points

2010 – Season Average

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

131

138

Disposal Efficiency

73%

76%

Clangers

47

45

Contested Marks

11

14

Clearances

35

36

Inside 50’s

51

54

Tackles

71

65

1%

48

49

Contested Rating

Hawthorn

Geelong

2010 Rating

219

236.36

AFL Ladder

Hawthorn

Geelong

2010 Ladder Finish

7th

2nd

Win the Hard Ball, win the Game

The beauty of 2011 is that we had the pleasure of witnessing these two teams play on three separate occasions. Geelong of course won all three encounters, and won all three contested rating encounters as well, significantly. This leads me to believe that it’s simply a matchup of corresponding game styles. Hawthorn play possession football, Geelong have a stronger focus on contested football.

2011 – Round 5

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

144

156

Disposal Efficiency

75%

75%

Clangers

48

44

Contested Marks

10

19

Clearances

34

39

Inside 50’s

58

57

Tackles

59

65

1%

71

52

Contested Rating

Hawthorn 246
Geelong 258

Result: Geelong by 19 points

2011 – Round 12

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

148

151

Disposal Efficiency

71%

74%

Clangers

63

41

Contested Marks

14

16

Clearances

39

33

Inside 50’s

38

52

Tackles

83

80

1%

53

44

Contested Rating

Hawthorn 221.52
Geelong 247.9

Result: Geelong by 5 points

In round 12 last year Hawthorn were slaughtered from a contested standpoint, yet only lost by 5 points. Why? 54 more uncontested possessions. It’s great in theory, that if you have the majority of the football, you’re going to win the game. Sustaining such a precision game for four quarters is no easy feat though, especially when you start relying on Ryan Schoenclangers to hit a target kicking out of the back pocket with fourth quarter pressure mounting. Players get fatigued, concentration fades, and the system starts breaking down.

In the last seven encounters, Geelong have won the last quarter six times in a row. That’s pressure football and that’s winning contested football. Unfortunately I don’t have access to fourth quarter clanger statistics, but I can guarantee (with no authority) that they would be polar opposites when these two squads go head to head.

Yep...

Finals Output

In the 2nd qualifying final, Geelong produced their third highest number of contested possessions for the year, resulting in a comfortable five goal victory. Come September they basically lock their opponents in an oven and turn up the temperature. Their highest contested possession total for 2011 occurred in the Grand Final, where they registered a whopping 185 contested possessions. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE. Which also resulted in a comfortable victory.

2011 – Qualifying Final

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

132

162

Disposal Efficiency

74%

70%

Clangers

52

60

Contested Marks

11

25

Clearances

35

41

Inside 50’s

51

69

Tackles

73

66

1%

61

51

Contested Rating

Hawthorn 230.14
Geelong 247.80

Result: Geelong by 31 points.

2011 – Season Average

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

143

151

Disposal Efficiency

75%

74%

Clangers

50

51

Contested Marks

11

16

Clearances

37

36

Inside 50’s

55

60

Tackles

68

69

1%

57

52

Contested Rating

Hawthorn

Geelong

2011 Rating

240.75

246.42

AFL Ladder

Hawthorn

Geelong

2011 Ladder Finish

3rd

2nd

Each year that Hawthorn have increased their contested rating, they’ve increased their ladder position. Likewise Geelong, who have consistently remained within the upper echelon of contested rating output, thus mirroring their consistently high ladder position.

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE


Brief Rating/Ladder Summary

Contested Rating

Hawthorn

Geelong

2009 Rating

198.36

224.25

2010 Rating

219

236.36

2011 Rating

240.75

246.42

AFL Ladder

Hawthorn

Geelong

2009 Ladder Finish

9th

2nd

2010 Ladder Finish

7th

2nd

2011 Ladder Finish

3rd

2nd

Current Numbers

The 2012 numbers below probably say more about Geelong than Hawthorn – as Geelong lost two of the three games in 2011 where their disposal efficiency dipped below 70% (Losing to both Essendon and West Coast). Given this occurred in Round 1 this year against Fremantle (67%), I’d expect a more switched on and more precise Geelong to show up Easter Monday.

2012 – Round 1 Comparison

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

143

149

Disposal Efficiency

77%

67%

Clangers

40

50

Contested Marks

10

10

Clearances

37

38

Inside 50’s

57

54

Tackles

75

82

1%

57

62

2012 Contested Ratings

Hawthorn

Geelong

Round 1

261.03

231.15

Comparing Losses

Lets take a look at Geelong’s three losses last year, what stands out? The same three categories that stood out against the Cats recent domination of Hawthorn. They lost the majority of each highlighted categories. If Geelong don’t win the majority of the contested ball out of the middle, the contested ball around the ground, and fail to hit targets at an efficient rate, they don’t win.

Round 15 2011

Geelong

Essendon

Disposal Efficiency

65%

71%

Clearances

34

38

Contested Possessions

148

156

Round 16 2011

Geelong

West Coast

Disposal Efficiency

69%

74%

Clearances

39

42

Contested Possessions

159

140

Round 23 2011

Geelong

Sydney

Disposal Efficiency

71%

66%

Clearances

34

56

Contested Possessions

159

164

This rarely happens

Although somewhat irrelevant, here’s a quick snapshot of Geelong and Hawthorn’s Round 1 key category breakdown from this year;

Round 1 2012

Hawthorn

Geelong

Contested Possessions

143

149

Disposal Efficiency

77%

67%

Clearances

37

38

As good as Hawthorn were last Friday night, was it good enough to beat this Geelong outfit? Can their increased contested rating remain consistent enough to exploit Geelong’s weaknesses? Give me a bigger sample size than one week, and I’ll give you a better answer. As it stands though? I’m playing the current numbers and siding with history, as there’s little evidence to suggest that Hawthorn are prepared to win the contested football to the same degree that Geelong is. If Geelong improve on their Round 1 disposal efficiency, which I fully expect they will given it has only been that low in three of their previous twenty-six outings, they should win.

Tip: Geelong, by something.

Filter Free AFL Power Rankings: Round 1

You've come a long way, Simon Black...

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