There is clearly one event that has dramatically changed the AFL Women’s Power Rankings this week, which is the Western Bulldogs’ massive 73-point win against Carlton. It was three goals more than the previous highest margin in the competition’s short history (Melbourne by 54 points against Fremantle last season), and basically double the next highest margin after that.
The Bulldogs scored at an absurdly efficient rate once they got into attack, with 12 goals and 26 scoring shots from just 30 inside 50 entries – only one more than Carlton. They took eight marks inside 50, and Brooke Lochland – who had kicked only two goals prior to the match – scored an astonishing seven majors (the previous highest individual tally was four).
With a team’s most recent match accounting for 25 per cent of its rating under my system, the Dogs have pretty much broken the Power Rankings. They have a record number of ranking points, and a record gap in ranking points over the next highest ranked team (not to mention top spot on the AFL Women’s ladder). Meanwhile Carlton – considered a mid-range side last week – has been sent plummeting to the bottom of my rankings.
Elsewhere I rate the teams as fairly close. The second-ranked team, the Brisbane Lions, played out a close match at home with Fremantle on the weekend, while Adelaide, currently ranked third, had a draw with seventh-placed GWS. And Melbourne, who were considered a top contender just a couple of weeks back, were well beaten by previously-winless Collingwood, a win which also served to lift the Magpies well off the bottom of the rankings.
With only eleven matches of history to go on perceptions in the women’s league can change very, very quickly. But after such a dominating performance things are looking pretty good for the women in red, white, and blue ...