Sydney and Hawthorn, there has been no hotter team than the Adelaide Crows over
the past eight weeks. After this blog highlighted the Lions in the ‘RISING UP’
section and the Crows in the ‘FALLING DOWN’ section last week, the latter responded by
flagellating the former by over 100 points this weekend. Only a couple of
serious injuries marred the match for Adelaide. I am hoping the Crows lose
their mojo by the time they take on my Tigers next week.
Maxwell’s recent retirement was a reminder that it is not 2010-2011
anymore, but Collingwood’s 10-goal loss in Perth was an even bigger reminder.
That loss dropped the Magpies to twelfth, easily their worst position since
these rankings started being compiled in 2011. Amazingly, given where the two
teams were five weeks ago, Collingwood is now even ranked below arch-rivals
Carlton, but the Blues’ recent improvement, combined with the Pies’ deterioration,
has led to a four goal turnaround in their relative positions.
ALSO OF NOTE
Geelong has won 15 of their 19 games in 2014 –
as many as Hawthorn and Sydney – and it sits third on the ladder, but only
seventh in the rankings. One point to note here is Geelong is not that far off
being fifth in the rankings. But another point is that Geelong has had less
‘very good’ or ‘good’ results – defined here as a net margin, adjusted for home
ground advantage and strength and opposition, of better than +15 – in 2014 than
other top teams. Hawthorn, Sydney, and Fremantle each have 13 of these results,
Port Adelaide 11, North Melbourne 9, while Geelong and Adelaide only have 7
(but the Crows have great recent form). That is Geelong is getting over the
line as much or more than the other top teams – and it is even on a six game
winning streak – but nevertheless more of its performances have just been
‘fair’. Still apart from possibly Sydney, who beat them by over 100 points
earlier this year, the Cats would probably not fear any team in the finals, and
their end-of-season ladder position looks like it will be very strong indeed.