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GWS face one Giant task

Drumming up support: GWS coach Kevin Sheedy with breakfast television hosts Melissa Doyle and David Koch on Wednesday.

Drumming up support: GWS coach Kevin Sheedy with breakfast television hosts Melissa Doyle and David Koch on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

Greater Western Sydney Giants play Port Adelaide Power at Skoda Stadium on Sunday. A match between a team that has not won a game and a team that has not won in seven weeks.

David Koch and Melissa Doyle, hosts of a breakfast television program, were enlisted to promote the game. Koch is the chairman of Port Adelaide and Doyle was tempted to leave her ambassadorial role with the Sydney Swans to become the Giants' No.1 ticketholder. A recruiting coup the Giants have not yet matched on the field.

Yet, as adept as Kochie and Mel might be at turning the mundane reality of politics and business into something frothy, light and palatable for their army of breakfast-time devotees, the Giants-Power game is a hard sell. Indeed, if they can convince more than half a dozen people to abandon the harbour cruise, lunch with the family or even root canal surgery to attend this match, they will have earned their sauvignon blanc and canapes.

This is not another predictable attempt to cut the Giants down to size. The scoreboard has done a reasonable job of that. Eleven defeats by an average margin of 69 points. Raw figures that are a free kick to those hoping the AFL's expeditionary force will fail. Not all these doomsayers live north of the Murray.

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett said last week GWS would be the AFL's Gallipoli. He did not, presumably, mean a historic occurrence that symbolised the birth of nationhood. Others, including Swans president Richard Colless, have opted to warn western Sydney could be the ''AFL's Vietnam''. Which leaves ''the AFL's Tobruk'', ''the AFL's Iraq'', ''the AFL's Pearl Harbour'' and ''the AFL's Being Lara Bingle'' still available for those looking to compare the Giants perilous beginnings with other atrocities.

Anyone who has bothered to study the Giants' long-term strategy knows some of the gloom is ill-founded. Particularly the fears of those whose assessment is based solely on the club's initial on-field performance. Even if you believe the AFL is throwing good money after bad, there is no doubt they will keep doing it. The Giants will be given every chance to succeed over the next decade - even if they fail.

Similarly, the Giants' list of young stars remains coveted. From competent performances, like the first three quarters against Geelong last week when they trailed by two goals, more consistency will flow. Gold Coast Suns chose to complement their youth with an array of mid-aged stars including the brilliant Gary Ablett. Thus, they are proving more competitive in their third year than GWS will be in the early stages.

The Giants expect their team to grow with their supporter base. To use the awful expression favoured by those who mistake their life for a reality TV show, GWS want the fans to be part of their ''journey''. It remains, with the AFL's generous backing, a cogent plan. But one that requires unusual resilience.

Especially now, midway through the second year, when you can feel the first tremors. There is a growing feeling that the Giants must ''win now'' and ''can't continue to be embarrassed'', or their crowds - typically about 6000 - will not grow. Consequently, a call for short-term measures to provide long-term solutions. Hello Buddy Franklin, the powerful and charismatic Hawthorn forward cast as an instant solution to the Giants' problems on the field and, particularly, at the box office. But is he? Perhaps the most significant thing to consider about Franklin's potential signing is not what he would bring to the Giants, but how much he would debilitate the team he forsakes. Hawthorn have an able replacement in Jarryd Roughead and, in Cyril Rioli, perhaps the best small forward in the AFL. That Hawks fans are not climbing out on to window ledges at the thought Buddy might leave seems telling.

That Franklin has been mentioned as part of a supposed brat pack of high-profile cross-code, multi-club players - Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale et al - has made some believe he might be more inclined to leave Hawthorn for Sydney. Yet, at the same time, it has made others wonder if any club should approach him with caution.

Franklin is doubtless in the Giants' cross-hairs. But, with their younger - potentially even better - key forward Jeremy Cameron on song, they have a chance to do something to silence the critics without reaching for the cheque book. Win.

7 comments so far

  • GWS will mirror what the Suns have done this year and show huge improvement next season. The on field performances of their kids is better than the Suns at the same stage and they haven't had the advantage of an Ablett so far. Their superstar will come next year when Franklin comes up and he will join a crop of the most talented young players in the comp who after completing their 3rd pre season will be getting strong enough to compete with the competition. I reckon the on field performance will turn around real quick for the Giants and with that so will attendances and media coverage.

    Date and time
    June 16, 2013, 7:04AM
    • Once again Richard an insightful article. There does however look to be one glaring inaccuracy. Why does the AFL continue to claim that there are crowds of approximately 6000? Maybe 3000 at a stretch. Perhaps if the AFL were to record and publish statistics for the upcoming federal election we would find Julia Gillard in a neck and neck race with the incoming Tony Abbott. Here's an idea, how about Sheedy take up a position in the Labour party when his services are no longer required at Western Sydney? Julia-" How does it look Sheeds?" Sheedy-" Are we counting boat people?" Julia- " Kevin!" Sheeds- " Oh yeah forgot we can't say that. Bloody killing 'em. We'll win for sure!"

      Date and time
      June 16, 2013, 7:45AM
      • I assume you talking about GWS average including the crowds from WA,SA,Vic because they would be lucky to total 6000 in the games they have played in Sydney at their so called home ground.
        But then Richard this is just a continuation of the reason I don't watch Offsiders any more since they appear to think you are a rugby league anything,you are just another AFL puff piece writer with all the lack of research that it entails.
        Just give you an AFL handout and hey presto out comes a column extolling the virtues of a non team with a coach who should quit while he was ahead,from what I can gather in Sydney he is regarded as a not very funny joke.
        Maybe you can apply to be chief propaganda man for them, at least that would be honest and all would know where you are coming from in your sports?read AFL centric coverage

        Date and time
        June 16, 2013, 9:32AM
        • sincere apologies SMH. Many thanks for posting my comments.

          Date and time
          June 16, 2013, 10:52AM
          • One thing that is certain about the GWS team.After they have been playing for 100 years, they won't be pulling sub 10,000 crowds, like some NRL teams are.

            Aussie Jack
            Date and time
            June 16, 2013, 11:02AM
            • The 9000 men of the AIF 9th Division were not defeated during their 9 month-long siege of Tobruk. There the Easter Battle of 1941 took place in which the NSW 2/17th Battalion and in particular the 17ths B Company( dad and his mates including at least one aboriginal warrior elder from Wollongong ) jumping out of their foxholes to engage with fixed bayonets and wipeout a large number of the enemy infantry as they entered the outskirts of Tobruk behind the Panzer tanks. No wonder they didn't speak about it and we're just starting to realise what they had to do. The short silhouetted scene was shown on the ABC at the start of the 2012 production "Desert War" film about Tobruk on Anzac night last April 25. The Easter 1941 Battle was the first victory for the Allies in WW2. The Aussies, Kiwis,Polish and Indians were not defeated at Tobruk. They left Tobruk to go onto the AIF's bloody major engagement of WW2 which was the Battle of El Alamein and which heralded the second defeat of General Rommel's Afrika Korp. Tobruk was left in the hands of other Allied forces to defend the fortification. By the way about 4 of the 9 battalions(x1000) were young men from NSW and Qld and no doubt followed their own cultural sporting roots of Rugby League and some Union.

              Date and time
              June 16, 2013, 12:09PM
              • Homebush isn't the Western Suburbs, not to most western suburbs residents. Hopefully GWS are like 'Being Lara Bingle'. Short-lived.

                Date and time
                June 16, 2013, 5:18PM

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                AFL 2015

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                CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
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                MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
                SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
                BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
                WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
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                STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
                ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
                FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
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                HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
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                Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
                WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
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                RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
                GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
                COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
                GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
                PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
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                GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
                ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
                NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
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                Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
                COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
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                CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
                ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
                SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
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                BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
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                HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
                GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
                WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
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                Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
                RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
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                STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
                ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
                GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
                PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
                FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
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                BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
                GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
                WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
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                Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
                CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
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                RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
                SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
                GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
                NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
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                MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
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                Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
                COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
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                NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
                WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
                GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
                GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
                MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
                FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
                Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
                CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
                PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
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                Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
                ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
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                ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
                HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
                CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
                SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
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                WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
                RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
                BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
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                Round 8
                Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
                GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
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                STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
                GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
                GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
                HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
                FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
                Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
                ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
                MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
                PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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                Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
                SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
                Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
                HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
                MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
                WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
                RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
                ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
                Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
                BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
                COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
                WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
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                Round 10
                Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
                FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
                Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
                CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
                GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
                ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
                PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
                Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
                GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
                NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
                STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
                Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
                MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
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                Round 11
                Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
                PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
                Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
                GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
                WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
                NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
                Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
                COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
                STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
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                Round 12
                Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
                ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
                Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
                RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
                Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
                CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
                GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
                WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
                Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
                GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
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                Round 13
                Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
                FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
                Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
                SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
                Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
                HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
                BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
                STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
                Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
                CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
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                Round 14
                Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
                SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
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                COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
                Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
                RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
                GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
                WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
                MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
                Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
                ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
                ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
                FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
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                Round 15
                Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
                PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
                Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
                RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
                Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
                ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
                WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
                NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
                WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
                Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
                GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
                HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
                BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
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                Round 16
                Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
                NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
                Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
                GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
                GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
                COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
                SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
                FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
                Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
                MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
                PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
                STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
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                Round 17
                Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
                CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
                Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
                GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
                ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
                RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
                ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
                BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
                Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
                WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
                MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
                WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
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                Round 18
                Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
                HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
                Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
                GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
                COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
                SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
                CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
                GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
                Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
                PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
                ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
                FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
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                Round 19
                Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
                ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
                Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
                COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
                WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
                BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
                GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
                WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
                Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
                MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
                GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
                STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
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                Round 20
                Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
                SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
                Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
                ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
                NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
                PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
                GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
                BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
                Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
                RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
                WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
                FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
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                Round 21
                Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
                HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
                Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
                COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
                GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
                GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
                STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
                ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
                Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
                NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
                CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
                WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
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                Round 22
                Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
                GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
                Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
                GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
                HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
                NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
                ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
                GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
                Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
                ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
                STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
                FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
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                Round 23
                Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
                RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
                Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
                GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
                BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
                PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
                HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
                SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
                WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
                Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
                MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
                COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 24
                Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
                WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
                Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
                FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
                WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
                Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
                RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
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                Round 25
                Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
                HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
                Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
                SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
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                Round 26
                Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
                FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
                Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
                WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
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                Round 27
                Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
                HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
                View All Fixtures
                AFL 2015
                Overall standings
                Team P W L D % Pts
                Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
                West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
                Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
                Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
                Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
                Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
                Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
                North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
                View all

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