There were at least two recurring themes in the opening round of AFL Women’s this weekend. One was that the crowds kept being much bigger than expected. I went along to the opening match between Carlton and Collingwood at Princes (Ikon) Park, and unexpectedly found myself sitting near the top of the stand.
Another theme was probably one that was more for the ‘numbers people’: the similarities in the final scores. Carlton defeated Collingwood 46-11. Adelaide defeated GWS 48-12. And the Western Bulldogs defeated Fremantle 44-12. (Brisbane’s 25-10 defeat of Melbourne was the exception.) So which of these sides had the most impressive win then? Which is the top ranked team?
Carlton and the Western Bulldogs’ wins were fairly similar. The Dogs had the home ground interstate advantage over Freo, which in the rankings gives them a slight penalty, but the Dockers are considered a stronger team than the Blues’ opponent Collingwood. Adelaide’s win is considered not quite as good, given that it had both a home ground advantage, and its opponent GWS is thought to be one of the weaker teams in the competition.
The end result is that the Bulldogs, who had a good win and were believed to be a strong club already, are our top-ranked team after the first week. But as I said last week, with all new clubs and only a few matches to learn about them, expect the rankings to change a lot from week to week.