The Demons were the big movers this week. With Port playing The Showdown at the shared home ground, the door was open for both Melbourne and the Swans to storm into contention.
Sydney fell over against the Saints, but the Dees took up the challenge in knocking over the Eagles, and are now knocking on the door of the top spot.
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 1
1 – PORT ADELAIDE 32 PTS (233 POINT DIFFERENTIAL IN WINS)
2 – MELBOURNE 28 PTS (270)
3 – SYDNEY 28 PTS (260)
4 – WESTERN BULLDOGS 24 PTS (198)
5 – GWS 24 PTS (121)
6 – GEELONG 20 PTS (230)
7 – BRISBANE 22 PTS (231)
8 – GOLD COAST 20 PTS (89)
9 – ST KILDA 16 PTS (98)
10 – RICHMOND 14 PTS (173)
11 – WEST COAST 12 PTS (102)
12 – FREMANTLE 12 PTS (86)
13 – ADELAIDE 12 PTS (66)
14 – ESSENDON 12 PTS (47)
15 – COLLINGWOOD 10 PTS (40)
16 – NORTH MELBOURNE 8 PTS (17)
17 – HAWTHORN 6 PTS (39)
18 – CARLTON 4 PTS (11)
With two games remaining, the door remains ajar to take out the Road Warrior Award. At the moment, the Dees have only one more away game – at Kardinia Park against the Cats in the final round of the year. It is worth just two points, as it is an away game in their own state.
Sydney have North Melbourne this week and could still take top spot. Who know what happens with their R23 fixture against Gold Coast at this stage?
The Dogs are currently scheduled for a Tassie date with the Hawks, so could pick up four points this week, before playing home in the last round.
GWS are in a similar boat to Sydney and have two potential four point games against the Tigers and Blues to finish the season. They could come from the clouds to pinch this with a run of good form.
POTENTIAL FOUR POINT GAMES THIS WEEKEND (at the moment)
SYDNEY @ Marvel
ESSENDON @ Metricon
RICHMOND @ Giants Stadium (very likely to be played at Marvel, in which case it will be a two point game for Richmond and a four point game for GWS)
COLLINGWOOD @ The Gabba
DOGS @ Tassie
ADELAIDE @ The MCG
CARLTON @ Adelaide Oval
POTENTIAL TWO POINT GAMES THIS WEEK
ST KILDA @ Kardinia Park
Can the Blues get off the bottom of the ladder? Hell, that’s a question that Carlton fans will have been used to over the last however-many years, right? Sorry Blues fans… you haven’t really played a lot of interstate games this season – you’re aware of that, right?
Charmed run with travel and still can’t produce a finals appearance.
So, it looks as though we’re more likely to see one of GWS or Sydney make a strong challenge to the Power down the stretch. With Covid numbers through the roof in NSW, no games will be played there, meaning both clubs will have four-point games upcoming in the next two rounds. Port are going to need a big win over the Dogs on the road to get it done.
Not a bad little concept, this one – Covid has really spiced things up. Two weeks to flatten the curve… yeah.
PS – who were the best “imitator” tag teams? The Rockers? They were basically ripping off the Rock n Roll Express. The Powers of Pain? They were Road Warrior clones. As were Demolition.
Amazingly, Demolition, despite looking as far removed from The Road Warriors as you can get when you dress in leather and spikes with your face painted, were the most successful of the imitator tag teams. Hell, they had people calling the Road Warriors “Demolition imitators”. I reckon that may have pissed Animal and Hawk off… just a bit.