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How The 2022 AFL Finals Sides Rank Against Quality Opposition

(Apologies, will not be using images anymore as I did not realise the laws around copyright)

As the Finals are fast approaching, it is time we separate the contenders from the pretenders. Over the course of the next two weeks, I will be comparing various aspects of the top teams in the comp, first starting with how the best sides go against other good sides, then by comparing how they perform in various stat categories and will be using that to rank the sides (along with personal opinion) heading into finals.

So who are the teams that qualify for the cut this year of being a good team? To determine this, I will be looking at teams that were finals contenders for most of the season, have a reasonable percentage (95+) and finished on a good amount of wins. This season, it is easy to split the top 12 from the bottom 6 so Gold Coast will be included. The reason that I have chosen to do the competitive sides as opposed to the top 8 is that Carlton missed the 8 by I believe 4 points. That is under a goal and shows they are finals quality, and there are similar teams in the 8 to their standard plus, it creates a larger sample size against good teams. Also, to calculate the draw into the win percentage,

Win Percentage Against Top 8 Sides

1. Geelong: Played:14 / Win:11 / Loss:3 / Win%:78.6

2. Brisbane: Played:14 / Win:9 / Loss:5 / Win%:64.3

2. Collingwood: Played:14 / Win:9 / Loss:5 / Win%:64.3

4. Melbourne: Played:16 / Win:10 / Loss:6 / Win%:62.5

5. Sydney: Played:13 / Win:8 / Loss:5 / Win%:61.5

6. Fremantle: Played:14 / Win:7 / Loss:6 / Win%:53.6

7. Richmond: Played:13 / Win:6 / Loss:6 / Win%:50.6

8. Western Bulldogs: Played:14 / Win:5 / Loss:9 / Win%:35.7

9. Carlton: Played:14 / Win:5 / Loss:9 / Win%:35.7

10. St Kilda: Played:15 / Win:5 / Loss:10 / Win%:33.3

11. Gold Coast: Played:13 / Win:4 / Loss:9 / Win%:30.8

12. Port Adelaide: Played:14 / Win:4 / Loss:10 / Win%:28.6

As we can see here, Geelong are a clear number 1. They have won games away from home and at home against top sides and have been the dominant force all year. Brisbane, Collingwood, Melbourne and Sydney all come in at a similar win loss rate with Melbourne having had the hardest draw this season. Fremantle and Richmond have a similar win percentage but it is worth noting with Richmond, they have worked their way into this season and lost a few games to sides they otherwise should not have lost with critical errors at the end of games and could have very well had a higher winning percentage. Western Bulldogs are a clear 8th and are far more comparable to sides that have missed the 8.

Percentage Against Top 8 Sides

1. Geelong: 122.7%

2. Melbourne: 117.5%

3. Sydney: 112.7%

4. Richmond: 104.3%

5. Brisbane: 101.6%

6. Collingwood: 100.3%

7. Fremantle: 98%

10. Western Bulldogs: 89.5%

8. Carlton: 93.1%

9. Gold Coast: 91.3%

11. Port Adelaide: 88.8%

12. St Kilda: 85.7%

Geelong once again come out clear on top but Melbourne distance themselves in second. Sydney also provide some daylight into third. Richmond come in at 4th demonstrating why performance is good in adding context. Brisbane and Collingwood are 5th and 6th respectively, being evenly matched in both categories. Fremantle come in 7th. Western Bulldogs rank 10th and again, are closer to the sides that came 9th to 12 as opposed to other finals sides. It is worth noting that my points for and against were off by 10 but I decided it was not a big enough gap to worry about fixing as it does not change the placement of any of the sides that finished in the 8.

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