The Road Warrior Ladder – Round 16

Just when it appeared this was going to be a runaway year for the Sydney Swans, a challenger in purple reared their heads. Not only did the Dockers pick up their fifth interstate win of the season, they did it by beating the team sitting first on the Road Warrior Ladder.

Are the Swans now gettable???

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.




1 – SYDNEY – 26 PTS (266 point differential in road wins)

2 – FREMANTLE – 20 PTS (190)

3 – PORT ADELAIDE – 16 PTS (97)

4 – BRISBANE – 14 PTS (144)

5 – GWS – 12 PTS (97)

6 – GEELONG – 12 PTS (49)

7 – CARLTON – 12 (47)

8 – COLLINGWOOD – 12 PTS (16)

9 – HAWTHORN – 8 PTS (113)

10 – ADELAIDE – 8 PTS (59)

11 – MELBOURNE – 8 PTS (22)

12 – ST KILDA – 8 PTS (21)

13 – ESSENDON – 8 PTS (9)



16 – RICHMOND – 4 PTS (8)




I’ve heard a few people talk down the Freo performance against the Swans… I can;t believe what I am hearing.

They say the Swans were poor. Maybe they were, but they didn’t make themselves look poor, did they? The Dockers were superb, and got magnificent efforts from the top players, right down to the players just making the best 22. Sure, getting that type of effort, and that type of result, is not going to be common, but when it does happen, you don’t talk down the losing team, you talk up the winners.

I’m talking up Freo – they deserve it.

I posted an article yesterday about Gold Coast’s road worries, and they are indicated here, for all to see. Zero points, with only West Coast at their level. They need a win soon before this becomes part of who they are. That monkey on their back won’t get any smaller.

Did I read correctly that Essendon aren’t leaving Melbourne for the rest of the season? Far out… whose ass do you have to kiss to get a run like that!?!?

They will hardly move on the RWL, but there are no excuses for them not playing finals this season. None. It’d be an almighty choke if they somehow missed.



Speaking of GOLD COAST, they head to Marvel to face the Kangaroos

The WESTERN BULLDOGS head to Adelaide Oval to face Port

CARLTON travel to ENGIE Stadium to face GWS

RICHMOND head to Perth to play Freo

WEST COAST fly across the country to face the Dees

SYDNEY travel down to Marvel to face the Saints

And ADELAIDE head north to play Brisbane



HAWTHORN drive down the highway to face the Cats


This week has a tonne of potential for movement on the ladder.

If the Swans get up, it is almost time to shut the gate on this year’s Road Warrior Ladder, as they’ll be two and a half games up. Another loss against the dour Saints… and Freo might get ready to pounce.




For one week… just one week, the AFL finally got holding the ball right.

It was about a month ago – the first week they “cracked down” on the time players had to dispose of the ball. What resulted was players instinctively giving the first option, the ball in constant movement, and a constant state of chaos. The good players excelled. The ones who weren’t quite up to it made mistakes. It was good bloody footy.

And now… it has slowly changed direction to resemble what it was prior, with a few more wildly inconsistent holding the ball free kicks thrown in. Nobody knows what’s going on. Players look frustrated or confused… like Joe Ganino in a unisex toilet. And fans… well, it seems they’re getting pissed off.

Which is still be better than being pissed on, if we’re looking for a silver (or golden?) lining.

Anyway, I like physical footy. I like seeing tacklers rewarded, and those who taken them on get punished. I like seeing the best players evade or shrug those tackles, and I love seeing the game flow. The AFL almost had it. It was almost there.

But they got cold feet, and now… we are almost back to where it started. I just wish they’d have the guts to stay the course once in a while.

It’d make a nice change.


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