Sunday, July 27, 2014

AFL Power Rankings: Round 18 2014


Adelaide continues its late-season surge up the rankings (and the premiership ladder), even edging out its hated co-tenants the Power by .005 ranking points to take fourth spot. That’s right – the Crows may have only just edged into the eight on the ladder, but they are considered one of the top four teams here (just). This is their highest spot on the rankings since the end of 2012, when they made the preliminary final. In 2013 they had less ‘very good’ results, and more ‘fair’ results and so became average again. This year? On current ratings, they have had three ‘very good’ results, including two in the past four weeks. This is not yet back to 2012 standards, and in fact they would not even be in the top eight of that year on their current ranking points. However in a year where there is now a steep drop in quality after the top two it is enough to get them back above the average mark.


Remember a couple of years ago when the Gold Coast Suns, amidst all their thrashings, had a couple of close losses when Gary Ablett was missing, and some media commentators asked whether they played better without him? Of course those people should have been laughed off the screen, but Ablett’s absence really looks to be hurting now, with the Suns slumping to 0-7 without the G.O.A.T. on the weekend. Worse, the team they got thumped by were their lowly cross-state rivals the Brisbane Lions, meaning the Suns have now fallen from ninth to thirteenth in the rankings in the space of a couple of weeks. Mention should also be made here of the Fremantle Dockers, who were Belo Horizonted by the worst team in the competition, namely St. Kilda, and who were only saved from an ignominious drop in the rankings because the teams directly below them struggled as well.


In the face-off between the two best teams Hawthorn beat Sydney at the MCG, but just missed out on taking back top spot on the AFL ladder, and they miss out on taking back the top spot on the rankings as well. A ten-point win in Melbourne to the Hawks, once home ground advantage is adjusted for, means that both teams get about the same number of ranking points from the match. Also not helping the Hawks make up ground were the downward adjustments in ratings of some of their recent opponents, in particular the aforementioned Suns.

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