The Road Warrior Ladder – Post Round Six

It’s been two weeks since the 2024 Road Warrior Ladder made it’s debut, and we’ve had some movement at the top.

Great teams win on the road, and the Cats are making some big early statements in 2024.

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.





2 – GWS – 8 PTS  (93)

3 – BRISBANE – 8 PTS (92)

4 – SYDNEY – 8 PTS – (59)

5 – MELBOURNE – 8 PTS (22)

6 – COLLINGWOOD – 8 PTS (15)

7 – CARLTON – 8 PTS (11)

8 – PORT ADELAIDE – 4 PTS (30)

9 – FREMANTLE – 4 PTS (26)

10 – ST KILDA – 4 PTS (7)

11 – ESSENDON – 4 PTS (3)

12 – ADELAIDE – 4 PTS (2)

13 – HAWTHORN – 2 PTS (45)





It’s not good enough that Geelong sit atop the AFL Ladder, but they also have to go and sit atop the Road Watrrior Ladder, as well… the greedy little felines!

Their win at the Gabba, which is becoming a happy hunting ground for away teams this season after being close to an automatic loss in 2023, has given Geelong their third win interstate in the first six games.

Any way you slice it, that’s a great result.

As well as dropping the Lions, Geelong have also handled the Crows at Adelaide Oval, and the Dogs as part of Gather Round. I had a few people mention they should have received two points for knocking over the Hawks at the MCG… and as soon as the AFL stops the Cats playing home games there, they will. But they’ll be playing a home game there this week, as they take on the Blues, so no points can be earned by the Cats at the ‘G at the moment.

Essendon grabbed their first four points of the year this past weekend, in controversial fashion against the Crows. The result has been done to death, but the reality is that Essendon was a far superior team for most of the game. Had they lost that, they would have been kicking themselves.

And Hawthorn grabbed a cheap two points by beating North at Marvel. The difference here is that Hawthorn play no home games there – their home stadiums are the MCG and Launceston, so this is a two-pointer for them.



BRISBANE have a chance to redeem themselves, and will need to be road warriors in their own right against the Giants in Canberra. They can’t be worse than they’ve been at home, can they?

ST KILDA head to the Adelaide Oval to face Port, in what should be a cracker.

ADELAIDE fly into Tassie to take on North Melbourne

WESTERN BULLDOGS head to Optus Stadium to tackle Freo

WEST COAST hit the road to face Gold Coast in Queensland

And the SYDNEY SWANS head back to the MCG to square off against the Hawks



None this week



How are the people feeling who were advocating for players opting to protect themselves at every opportunity around a week or two ago?

Like what you’re seeing?

When Josh Rachele made two anaemic efforts on Friday night against the Bombers, he broke a players’ rule. He had the chance to go, to commit his body, and put himself in the position to win the game for Adelaide. He blew it – twice!

And I was sitting there thinking about the times when coaches drilled into me how you had to go when it was your turn. It was a non-negotiable.

And so, I have to ask those people who are safety-first campaigners – is that the game you want to see? With the pressure on, do you want players pulling out of contests or going into self-preservation mode (I don;t know what he was preserving himself from, by the way)? Is that the footy you want to see?

Because it is sure as hell not what I want to see.

Courage is an underrated commodity in the AFL at the moment, with some people who live with their parents belittling players who run back into contests, calling their efforts “dumb”, and failing to grasp what being part of a team actually entails.

Josh Rachele lost the trust of his teammates on Friday night, whether they admit it or not. They’ll talk to him about it and I hope he has the opportunity to redeem himself sooner rather than later.

As for the game, if that’s what you want to see on the park, I am not sure we can be friends. That’s not footy. Not the way it’s supposed to be, anyway.


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