I was so busy last week that I ran out of time to compile the Road Warrior Ladder. Calls, messages, texts… withdrawal symptoms… I hope you guys are okay. Haha.
However, it’s back this week, and with teams now starting to sort themselves out, I expect we’re going to see some significant movement over the coming weeks.
We’ve heard it for years – the teams based outside Victoria have it tougher.
I get it, though. I really do. Forced to travel interstate almost every second week, some teams 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. The Road Warrior Ladder Nazi isn’t concerned with your feelings – just facts.
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.
16-18 – ST KILDA, HAWTHORN, WEST COAST – NO POINTS AS YET
The Blues ride their 108-point molestation of the Eagles all the way to top spot, leaping from equal seventh just two weeks back.
Collingwood picked up their second interstate win of the season, doing it tough against the Crows. That the Pies have two road wins by a total of just three points is so… well, so Collingwood, I guess. GWS have done the same, with their wins against Sydney (crosstown at the SCG, and in SA for Gather Round) have totalled just three points the difference, as well
St Kilda have not yet ventured outside the safe haven of Melbourne, and don’t have to this week, either, taking on North at Marvel Stadium. They head to Adelaide the week after in what will be a true test for them.
UPCOMING FOUR-POINT GAMES
Eight potential four-point games this week – could be a big week for road wins.
BRISBANE square off against the Blues at Marvel on Friday night.
WESTCOAST attempt to add to Richmond’s woes as they hit the ‘G.
ADELAIDE may well be ruing their capitulation to Collingwood, as they head to Sleepy Hollow to take on the Cats.
MELBOURNE head north to face the Suns
The WESTERNBULLDOGS take the trip to Canberra to face their old pals, GWS.
HAWTHORN attempt to kill off Freo’s hopes as they travel to Optus Stadium
ESSENDON head to Adelaide Oval to take on Port. Mark this one down as a season-shaper for both clubs.
SYDNEY fly into the MCG to take on the Pies, as they desperately seek a win of any sort.
NO TWO-POINT CROSSTOWN GAMES THIS WEEK
No two-pointers this week.
ODD FOOTNOTE OF THE WEEK
How would you describe the career of Allen Jakovich?
A flame that burned brightly, and too short?
He came into the league in 1991 and after four goals in his first three games, exploded onto the scene, with 67 goals over the next 11 games. In that period, he averaged an unbelievable 6.09 goals per game, including one memorable bag of 11 against North Melbourne.
It is a pity that the Grandstand at the MCG was under construction at the time, as the highlights of some of his exploits don’t have the rapturous fans going nuts in the background. By the end of the 1994 season, despite kicking 51 goals, he was gone.
He resurfaced at the Western Bulldogs for one season, played seven games and then called it quits.
With 208 goals in 54 games, he was a star at the time, rivalled perhaps only by the meteoric rise and spiralling downfall of Adrian McAdam. If you have any memories of Jakovich, be sure to share them.
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