When going through where the AFL Power Rankings indicated each team was likely to finish in 2015, I said ‘don’t overrate a team’s final performance or two in 2014’. While I indeed meant this comment in a general sense, the case of Sydney and Port Adelaide was prominent in my mind.
through predictions for this AFL season, I saw a lot of people were rating Port
Adelaide as one of the top two teams, above Sydney. In part, this may be because
Port has a relatively young team that would be considered likely to
improve, which is fair enough. But I suspect it was also in part because Port
ran Hawthorn close in their Preliminary Final, while Sydney unexpectedly got
blown away by the Hawks in the Grand Final.
definitely played better in their last game for 2014 than Sydney did, and at a
significant time of the season. However, at least according to the Power
Rankings, Sydney has still generally been better over recent matches. This point
was highlighted when the Swans easily accounted for the Power on the weekend.
point here is that just considering final ladder positions can be misleading in
gauging the gaps between teams. The Hawks and Swans were separated by one spot
after the finals, as were the Swans and the Power. But according to the
rankings the gap between the former teams is much smaller than the gap between
the latter, and the rankings say there is as much difference between Sydney and
Port as there is between, say, Port and Essendon.
since I have just cautioned on putting too much weight on one performance, I
should also say not to put too much weight on Port being done by Sydney by as
much as they were, since there are still many weeks in the season left to close
the gap. And by the way, because the match was in South Australia, I did tip
Anyway the Swans
are on top of the rankings again. The Swans held the number one spot for the
final seven rounds of the season in 2014 before they surrendered it with their
big Grand Final loss. But their impressive win in Adelaide, coupled with
Hawthorn’s narrow loss, puts the Swans just on top.