In a round of upsets, some big results saw some movement at the top of the Road Warrior Ladder.
Port got up against the Tigers at the MCG, the Giants gave the Cats another Kardinia Park beating, Freo repeated their 2022 triumph on the MCG against the Dees, and the Bombers headed wets to add to the woes of the Eagles.
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.
THE ROAD WARRIOR LADDER AFTER ROUND 11
1 – PORT ADELAIDE 16 PTS (89-POINT DIFFERENTIAL IN ROAD WINS)
2 – BRISBANE – 12 PTS (132)
3 – SYDNEY – 12 PTS (96)
4 – FREMANTLE – 12 PTS (34)
5 – WESTERN BULLDOGS – 10 PTS (69… DUDE)
6 – GWS – 10 PTS (10)
7 – CARLTON – 8 PTS (118)
8 – GOLD COAST – 8 PTS (94)
9 – ESSENDON – 8 PTS (77)
10 – MELBOURNE – 8 PTS (68)
11 – COLLINGWOOD – 8 PTS (7)
12 – GEELONG – 4 PTS (47)
13 – RICHMOND – 4 PTS (32)
14 – ST KILDA – 4 PTS (12)
15 – ADELAIDE – 4 PTS (3)
16 – NORTH MELBOURNE – 4PTS (1)
17 – HAWTHORN – 2 PTS (10)
18 – WEST COAST – NO POINTS AS YET
It’s hard to gauge which road win was better this week, such was the quality of those on offer.
GWS made it three in a row against the Cats at Kardinia Park, behind a wonderful Toby Greene effort once again. In his 200th game, Greene led from the front, with four goals by halftime, including three in a withering second quarter barrage. If you’re not paying attention to what Greene is doing this season, you are missing out on something.
Not to be outdone, Freo fought and scrapped to another victory over the Dees at the MCG. This win both cements the 2023 renaissance of the Dockers and raises some pretty significant questions about Melbourne, who are seeming more like flat-track bullies at the moment.
And then the following day, Port Adelaide headed to the same venue to take on a Richmond team determined to start their life without Damien Hardwick on the right foot. They almost did, as well, with Tim Taranto playing a “Dusty” game, with four goals and 33 disposals, but Port were able to hang on due to another outing to remember from Zak Butters. I spoke of Greene’s influence above, but Butters is doing similar stuff for the Power.
Oh, and not to gloss over Essendon’s win against the Eagles, but really… it was expected, wasn’t it? After seeing Hawthorn demolish the Eagles a couple of weeks back, they likely won’t win another game all season, so this was a run-of-the-mill victory for the Bombers.
UPCOMING FOUR-POINT GAMES
HAWTHORN look for three in a row when they meet Port at the Adelaide Oval
League-leading COLLINGWOOD look to give the Eagles more pain when they head to Optus Stadium
ADELAIDE head to Darwin to take on the Suns
RICHMOND are heading into “season on the line” territory as they head to western Sydney to face GWS
TWO-POINT CROSSTOWN GAMES THIS WEEK
GEELONG head up the highway to meet the Dogs
ODD FOOTNOTE OF THE WEEK
Who has had the performance of the season, thus far?
Zak Butters put his hand up last week, with his 41 touches and two goals as Port got over Melbourne, but where does James Sicily’s game from the weekend rate?
43 disposals and a ridiculous 22 intercepts are video game numbers, and considering how instrumental he was in the last quarter (16 disposals, nine intercepts), I am not discounting that he may have surpassed the efforts of Butters.
Both guys carried their teams to wins, so there is a case for both.
And if there is a case for them, how about Darcy Moore’s effort against Carlton, where he marked everything that came his way and destroyed everyting else?
Yep, a few all-time great games from individuals thus far in 2023. Who would be the best you’ve seen so far?
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