The last week of the byes, and hopefully, the last week of Victorian teams being shunted all over the country to keep the AFL season afloat, has passed us by and with just five games on the cards in Round 14, there was the scope for a few road teams to make one last leap toward the top before things settle and everyone is back on deck.
Who made the leap up the ladder and who failed to capitalise? Scroll down to see
Onto the regular spiel…
We’ve heard it for years – the teams based outside Victoria have it tougher.
Forced to travel interstate almost every second week, they clock up enormous miles as they traverse the country to be part of this sport we love.
Meanwhile, we get some Victorian-based clubs cracking the sads when they have to play at Marvel Stadium instead of the MCG, and vice versa. Or those who get a little nasty when a move away from Kardinia Park is floated.
So, how do the teams fare away from home, and who is travelling best at the moment?
The Mongrel has devised a little ladder to assess who is the best road team in the league. Oh, the Vic teams will still get a look in if they’re good enough, and whilst I fully expect a number of fans to say this system is rigged to favour non-Victorian teams… I really don’t care. And if so, how are the Dees and Dogs in the top four? Stop your whining, fella!
So, how does it work?
The Road Warrior Ladder is named after one of the best Tag Teams of all-time. Don’t come at me with your Demolition garbage, or your Powers of Pain crap… they were Road Warrior rip-offs… who were, in turn, rip-offs of the 1980s movie, Mad Max.
It was called The Road Warrior in the United States because… geez, I’m not a film buff. Do your own homework.
Anyway, you get four points for an interstate win and two points for a win at an away venue that IS NOT played at the venue you consider your home ground. I don’t care if it’s not your home game – you’re still at the ground you play your home games at. The Road Warrior Ladder Nazi isn’t concerned with your feelings.
Tasmania is considered a home game for Hawthorn. You choose to play your home games there – you cop it. Same with GWS and Canberra – if it’s your choice, you wear it.
Now that my belligerence is out of the way, let’s get to business.
THE ROAD WARRIOR LADDER AFTER ROUND 14
1 – MELBOURNE 16 PTS (132 POINT DIFFERENTIAL IN WINS)
2 – PORT ADELAIDE 16 PTS (131)
3 – BRISBANE 14 PTS (115)
4 – WESTERN BULLDOGS 14 PTS (112)
5 – GWS 12 PTS (99)
6 – RICHMOND 10 PTS (153)
7 – GEELONG 10 PTS (115)
8 – COLLINGWOOD 10 PTS (40)
9 – SYDNEY 8 PTS (76)
10 – WEST COAST 8 PTS (60)
11 – GOLD COAST 8 PTS (59)
12 – ADELAIDE 8 PTS (47)
13 – ESSENDON 8 PTS (29)
14 – ST KILDA 8 PTS (17)
15 – HAWTHORN 6 PTS (39)
16 – FREMANTLE 4 PTS (12)
17 – CARLTON 4 PTS (11)
18 – NORTH MELBOURNE 4 PTS (7)
Just one solitary point separates the Dees and Port at the top of the ladder, whilst back in third and fourth, just three points divides the Lions and Dogs as they battle for road supremacy.
POTENTIAL FOUR-POINT GAMES THIS WEEKEND
GEELONG @ Brisbane
GOLD COAST @ Tassie
FREMANTLE @ Marvel Stadium
SYDNEY @ Adelaide Oval
HAWTHORN @ Giants Stadium
WESTERN BULLDOGS @ Optus Stadium
ADELAIDE @ Marvel Stadium
POTENTIAL TWO-POINT GAMES THIS WEEK
ST KILDA @ The MCG
Last week I tipped Port to make a run for top spot and they almost got there. They won by 50 points, but just one more straight kick and they’d be on top of the Road Warrior Ladder. Soooo, I guess I was wrong… damn it!
The Dogs have the chance to pinch top spot with a 20+ point win over the Eagles in WA, as all the other contenders find themselves playing at home this week.
Essendon were stone, motherless last a few weeks ago, and now… here they come!
And as they say in the classics… Arrrrrggggghhhh, what a rush!
I’ll update this every week if I get time, or every couple of weeks if that suits a bit better. Though it means nothing in the grand scheme of things, it is just interesting to keep an eye on who is the best-performed road team in the game. It just might come in handy in about four months.
PS – Where would you rate the Steiner Brothers all-time in terms of tag teams? They kind of lost their way in the mid-90s, and that led to Scott Steiner becoming Big Poppa Pump (great character), but from about 89-93/94, they were just about the best team in the world.