There would be quite a few people that marked down the Dockers as winners this week, but travelling and winning on the road are not as easy as one would have you believe, and the Gold Coast Suns were a far better team in trying conditions.
Although Melbourne kind of made travelling look relatively easy against the Eagles, huh?
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. Stop your whining.
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 NINE
1 – BRISBANE – 14 POINTS (134 point differential in wins)
2 – MELBOURNE – 12 POINTS (119)
3 – FREMANTLE – 12 POINTS (52)
4 – SYDNEY – 10 POINTS (124)
5 – ST KILDA – 10 POINTS (96)
6 -GEELONG – 8 POINTS (113)
7 – PORT ADELAIDE – 8 POINTS (70)
8 – GOLD COAST – 8 POINTS (41)
9 – CARLTON – 6 POINTS (42)
10 – RICHMOND 4 POINTS (109)
11 – HAWTHORN – 4 POINTS (64)
12 – GWS – 4 POINTS (59)
13 – WEST COAST – 4 POINTS (13)
14 – ADELAIDE – 4 POINTS (1)
15 – COLLINGWOOD – 2 POINTS (17)
16-18 – ESSENDON, WESTERN BULLDOGS, NORTH MELBOURNE
Leaping up the ladder with their third interstate win of the season are the Lions, grabbing top spot and, with Melbourne notching their third win on the road, knocking the Dockers down into third place.
Port continue their season renaissance in more ways than one, notching their second interstate win over the season, and with the Cats at Kardinia Park looming large, we could be looking at a watershed moment for those blokes this coming week.
UPCOMING FOUR-POINT GAMES
SYDNEY head to Marvel stadium in a top-four shaping clash with the Blues
GOLD COAST travel to the god-forsaken heck-hole of Ballarat in winter to play the Dogs
PORT ADELAIDE travel to the other god-forsaken heck-hole known as Kardinia Park to play the Cats
ST KILDA jets over to South Australia to take on the Crows at Adelaide Oval
WEST COAST head to NSW to play GWS at Giants Stadium
BRISBANE head to Tassie to take on the Hawks
And finally, COLLINGWOOD cross the country to face the Dockers at Optus
UPCOMING TWO-POINT GAMES
MELBOURNE make the arduous trek from the ‘G to Marvel Stadium to play the Kangaroos
So, the only game that has no point earning potential is the Richmond v Essendon game. These teams can pick up any Road Warrior points.
Wrestling note of the week – Mr Wonderful, Paul Orndorff was one of my childhood favourites. During his stellar 1986/87 run against Hulk Hogan, he damaged a nerve in his neck, which affected his arm. Despite requiring surgery quickly to rectify things, the money working on top with Hogan was too good to stop, and there was no guarantee he would slot back in as a main eventer if he took the time off. So Orndorff continued to work with the injury.
He would have limited use of his arm for the remainder of his life as a result of that decision, and during a brief special return in a 2000 match in WCW, he further injured himself when he collapsed in the ring on live TV when attempting his famous piledriver.
Mr Wonderful passed away last year. If you’d like to read a little more (or a lot) about his run in the WWF/E, I wrote a piece following his passing. Link below.