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Lower clubs embark on the AFL's egg and wooden spoon race

Wooden spoon battle.

Wooden spoon battle.

The AFL is set in the second half of the year to embrace its inner school athletics carnival by staging what looms as a fiercely contested egg and spoon race.

It just so happens that the spoon is wooden, and the egg is prized, and in the form of a number one draft choice.

All 18 teams have now played 11 games. The Giants have two wins, while five clubs have three victories each. Carlton and West Coast are a further rung ahead, having both claimed four scalps, although the Eagles have a sizeable percentage break on the 12th-placed Blues.

Potential number one pick Peter Wright (left) in action for Vic Metro in May.

Potential number one pick Peter Wright (left) in action for Vic Metro in May. Photo: Joe Armao

What that all means is there is no shortage of sides clambering for bottom spot.

Richmond has had a fall from relative grace (only relative given they surrendered what looked a match-winning lead against Carlton in last year’s finals series). The Tigers’ percentage of 94.1 suggests they should be the 3-8 side most likely to push toward respectability in the season’s back end, but it mustn’t be forgotten that that figure was inflated by Jack Riewoldt’s pulverisation of a thinly stocked GWS backline. Tigers football manager Dan Richardson was  loath to write off his club’s chances when he spoke with SEN on Monday, but he also acknowledged the pressing need for Richmond to separate the wheat from the chaff ahead of its 2015 campaign.

Joining them in that mass of mediocrity are the Bulldogs, Saints, Demons and Lions. It is a quartet of differing backgrounds and winding paths to their respective current predicaments. Three of the four sides - Melbourne is the odd one out - share a particularly pressing need: finding a commanding young key forward. In the cases of St Kilda and the Lions, the clear dependence on an ageing champion is an addiction that has to be curbed, but as the Dogs and the slightly better positioned Blues know, goalkicking talls are hard to come by. The spectre of potential first pick Peter Wright, a youth apparently capable of parlaying height into majors, adds another layer of intrigue.

Whereas in 2013 there was no way in which a team such as GWS, Melbourne or St Kilda could could be supplanted in the bottom three by a middling outfit, that reality is no longer as clear.

With finals out of the question, an extra loss here or there in a close season could catapult a team four or five places up in the draft pecking order.

That could in turn be the difference between obtaining a solid contributor or a gun capable of fast-tracking a team's rise up the ladder.

In this age of expansion, even a notionally equalised playing field is still a difficult environment in which to pluck a premiership. But while for 18 clubs there is only one premiership, so too is there just one wooden spoon.

It is that corollary which means breaking out of no man’s land is made all that harder. To gain an edge in such a crowded playing field, and with a Giant threat still poised to clog the early picks, what price then a loss in June, July and August?

Let the race for the egg begin.

14 comments

  • C'mon saints you can do it....2-3 years of wooden spoons 6-8 top 10 choices and we will be ready to try again when GWS,GC,are at the top....

    I think is great the club came out and said finals by 2018.......show what a disaster Watters and the club people who overlooked Ken Hinkley......now its back to the bottom for a few years ...replenish and try again for a premiership.......

    Commenter
    Maurice
    Location
    Torquay
    Date and time
    June 10, 2014, 3:01PM
    • Don't we have enough wooden spoons? I know we are going to finish down the bottom but I hope not at the very bottom!

      Commenter
      Catherine
      Date and time
      June 10, 2014, 5:52PM
  • Not to worry, the Dogs will ignore what they actually need and will pick up the most mediocre/over-rated/generic midfielder they can get. Preferably one that they think is top 5 in the draft, but really turns out to be a mid-20's pick up.
    We've needed a tall forward for more than 10 years now and have made little or no effort to draft one with actual talent or guts.
    Come back Scott Clayton, all is forgiven!

    Commenter
    Dogglah
    Date and time
    June 10, 2014, 3:01PM
    • Dogglah - you obviously don't understand. We are not "in the inner sanctum" so our opinion means nothing. Mere mortals (like you and me) that go every week and see the tripe that is dished up by the "team" can see that the Dogs have needed two power forwards for the last 10 years. But of course, the "gurus" in recruitment just refuse to admit they are wrong and continue to pick up mid-fielders who are slow or scared. No wonder Scott Clayton got out as quickly as possible. McCartney and the rest of the clones (puppets, sycophants) at the Dogs will continue to trot out the usual cliches and bland statements and those who love McCartney (i.e. - all of the media) will let him get away with it. Based on the "thinking" of the last 10 years the Dogs will never win another flag.

      Commenter
      Shano
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      June 10, 2014, 4:51PM
  • I hear Melbourne FC are looking at drafting from the NY Yankees.

    Commenter
    Pants
    Date and time
    June 10, 2014, 3:51PM
    • It's fantastic that AFL has really become a national sport with clubs spread across the country and rivalry within most states with more than 1 option for supporters. Now we need some balance of income to support a more even competition so all these clubs can survive. Perhaps a system where all revenue from all clubs goes into the AFL and is then distributed evenly back to the clubs? Clearly a clubs success on the ground is directly linked to their budget.

      Commenter
      Aussie Bob
      Date and time
      June 10, 2014, 4:10PM
      • @BOB Perhaps a system where all revenue from all clubs goes into the AFL and is then distributed evenly back to the clubs?

        So Bob, what are you going to do about the SANFL milking the Crows and now the Power dry through unattractive stadium deals, firstly at Footy Park and now at Adelaide Oval? There is a good reason why the SANFL is easily the second best league in Australia and well ahead of the VFL and WAFL, because it is largely funded by sell out Crows crowds where the SANFL (and now SACA) take far too big a cut. Otherwise the Crows would be a financial powerhouse (if they had a stadium deal similar to Geelong, West Coast/Freo or the MCG tenants and Port would also be doing OK without the need for AFL support.

        Commenter
        Viv
        Location
        Mitcham
        Date and time
        June 11, 2014, 10:30AM
    • Final 8 looks close to being finalised, From here, the Suns appear to be the team under the hammer. North upwards almost look assured, with either Essendon or Adelaide to take 8th spot in the near term,

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      June 10, 2014, 4:11PM
      • Carlton has been woeful at the draft/trade table in recent years! Hopefully we can trade away a few of our players who perennially under perform but might still catch the eyes of other clubs and bring in low picks and/or Jeremy Cameron.
        Yarren is one who springs to mind, he can't be trusted in a one-on-one contest! Then there are those such as Kreuzer

        Commenter
        Jez
        Location
        Melb
        Date and time
        June 10, 2014, 4:22PM
        • I would love Yarran at the Crows to play as a free running, rebounding defender, much like Andy MacLeod's did after he turned 30. Also while he is no Chad Wingard, I would also be happy to have Troy Menzel in my team as a clever small forward.

          However, Carlton's selection of talls in recent years has been terrible.

          Commenter
          Viv
          Location
          Mitcham
          Date and time
          June 11, 2014, 10:10AM

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      Comments are now closed

      2014 Home and Away

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      CAR 87 vs PTA 120 Report Stats
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      GEE 119 vs ADE 81 Report Stats
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      NTH 60 vs ESS 99 Report Stats
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      HAW 139 vs BRI 91 Report Stats
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      WCE 134 vs WBU 69 Report Stats
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      Round 2
      Thu, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      RIC 98 vs CAR 86 Report Stats
      Fri, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
      ESS 86 vs HAW 90 Report Stats
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      STK 95 vs GWS 88 Stats
      PTA 127 vs ADE 73 Report Stats
      FRE 87 vs GCF 39 Report Stats
      SYD 69 vs COL 89 Report Stats
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      BRI 68 vs GEE 93 Stats
      MEL 30 vs WCE 123 Report Stats
      WBU 54 vs NTH 83 Report Stats
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      Round 3
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      HAW 137 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
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      WBU 100 vs RIC 98 Report Stats
      ADE 71 vs SYD 134 Report Stats
      GCF 114 vs BRI 61 Stats
      WCE 83 vs STK 58 Report Stats
      COL 76 vs GEE 87 Report Stats
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      GWS 79 vs MEL 47 Report Stats
      NTH 97 vs PTA 90 Report Stats
      ESS 138 vs CAR 57 Report Stats
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      Round 4
      Fri, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 72 vs COL 110 Report Stats
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      CAR 58 vs MEL 81 Report Stats
      PTA 159 vs BRI 46 Report Stats
      GWS 83 vs WBU 110 Report Stats
      GEE 107 vs WCE 32 Report Stats
      GCF 49 vs HAW 148 Report Stats
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      Round 5
      Thu, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 63 vs RIC 106 Report Stats
      Sat, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 93 vs NTH 58 Report Stats
      SYD 92 vs FRE 75 Report Stats
      WCE 56 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
      ESS 65 vs STK 81 Report Stats
      Sun, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
      ADE 137 vs GWS 72 Report Stats
      MEL 78 vs GCF 86 Report Stats
      WBU 91 vs CAR 119 Report Stats
      Mon, 21 AprTimes shown AEST
      GEE 106 vs HAW 87 Report Stats
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      Round 6
      Fri, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 83 vs ESS 60 Report Stats
      STK 79 vs BRI 82 Report Stats
      FRE 61 vs NTH 74 Report Stats
      Sat, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      GCF 134 vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      CAR 92 vs WCE 89 Report Stats
      MEL 38 vs SYD 69 Report Stats
      Sun, 27 AprTimes shown AEST
      WBU 83 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
      RIC 52 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
      PTA 107 vs GEE 67 Report Stats
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      Round 7
      Fri, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 70 vs COL 104 Report Stats
      Sat, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 175 vs STK 30 Report Stats
      GWS 97 vs PTA 132 Report Stats
      ADE 67 vs MEL 70 Report Stats
      BRI 44 vs SYD 123 Stats
      ESS 73 vs WBU 65 Report Stats
      Sun, 04 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 77 vs GCF 120 Report Stats
      GEE 81 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
      WCE 54 vs FRE 73 Report Stats
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      Round 8
      Fri, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 107 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sat, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      PTA 94 vs FRE 76 Report Stats
      BRI 57 vs ESS 65 Report Stats
      MEL 83 vs WBU 99 Report Stats
      Sun, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
      WCE 188 vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      Mon, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 69 vs CAR 101 Report Stats
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      Round 9
      Thu, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 76 vs COL 55 Report Stats
      Fri, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 64 vs SYD 114 Report Stats
      Sat, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 74 vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      NTH 125 vs BRI 38 Report Stats
      FRE 96 vs GEE 64 Report Stats
      Sun, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 87 vs GCF 125 Report Stats
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      Round 10
      Fri, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 111 vs NTH 91 Report Stats
      Sat, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      GWS 41 vs RIC 154 Report Stats
      COL 109 vs WCE 101 Report Stats
      PTA 100 vs HAW 86 Report Stats
      Sun, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
      GCF 119 vs WBU 74 Report Stats
      CAR 81 vs ADE 76 Report Stats
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      Round 11
      Thu, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 148 vs GEE 38 Report Stats
      Fri, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 54 vs COL 140 Report Stats
      Sat, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 75 vs PTA 95 Report Stats
      BRI 98 vs CAR 91 Report Stats
      ESS 104 vs RIC 54 Report Stats
      Sun, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 109 vs GCF 77 Report Stats
      WBU 51 vs FRE 89 Report Stats
      HAW 94 vs GWS 87 Report Stats
      WCE 44 vs NTH 82 Report Stats
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      Round 12
      Fri, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 107 vs CAR 102 Report Stats
      Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123 vs WCE 79 Report Stats
      PTA 129 vs STK 59 Report Stats
      WBU 87 vs BRI 95 Report Stats
      GWS 66 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
      Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 74 vs SYD 109 Report Stats
      FRE 90 vs ADE 50 Report Stats
      NTH 116 vs RIC 88 Report Stats
      Mon, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 28 vs COL 61 Report Stats
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      Round 13
      Fri, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
      Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 85 vs FRE 105 Report Stats
      SYD 98 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
      WCE 103 vs GCF 100 Report Stats
      BRI 80 vs GWS 125 Report Stats
      ADE 109 vs NTH 73 Report Stats
      Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 133 vs STK 37 Report Stats
      COL 98 vs WBU 106 Report Stats
      ESS 77 vs MEL 78 Report Stats
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      Round 14
      Fri, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51 vs SYD 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 128 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
      HAW 115 vs COL 86 Report Stats
      GCF 118 vs GEE 78 Report Stats
      FRE 105 vs BRI 22 Report Stats
      ESS 101 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 100 vs CAR 92 Report Stats
      STK 70 vs WCE 103 Report Stats
      MEL 66 vs NTH 107 Report Stats
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      Round 15
      Fri, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89 vs ESS 80 Report Stats
      Sat, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 116 vs GCF 63 Report Stats
      STK 73 vs RIC 117 Report Stats
      FRE 88 vs WCE 81 Report Stats
      SYD 106 vs GWS 60 Stats
      BRI 70 vs NTH 66 Report Stats
      Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
      WBU 91 vs MEL 85 Report Stats
      ADE 99 vs PTA 76 Report Stats
      COL 91 vs CAR 76 Report Stats
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      Round 16
      Fri, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 108 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sat, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 79 vs BRI 54 Stats
      GWS 72 vs ADE 140 Report Stats
      GCF 80 vs COL 75 Report Stats
      MEL 34 vs FRE 97 Report Stats
      PTA 60 vs ESS 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 151 vs STK 66 Report Stats
      WCE 51 vs SYD 79 Report Stats
      GEE 69 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
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      Round 17
      Fri, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ADE 92 vs HAW 104 Report Stats
      Sat, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 36 vs GEE 102 Report Stats
      NTH 92 vs STK 33 Report Stats
      WBU 94 vs GCF 66 Report Stats
      BRI 64 vs WCE 76 Report Stats
      SYD 122 vs CAR 51 Report Stats
      Sun, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 126 vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      ESS 103 vs COL 39 Report Stats
      FRE 136 vs GWS 60 Report Stats
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      Round 18
      Fri, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 109 vs NTH 86 Report Stats
      Sat, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      STK 118 vs FRE 60 Report Stats
      GWS 87 vs GEE 94 Report Stats
      Sun, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 72 vs MEL 69 Report Stats
      WBU 94 vs ESS 101 Report Stats
      Fri, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      WCE 42 vs RIC 59 Report Stats
      Sat, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      BRI 110 vs GCF 56 Report Stats
      HAW 104 vs SYD 94 Report Stats
      Sun, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 82 vs ADE 98 Report Stats
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      Round 19
      Thu, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      FRE 83 vs CAR 78 Report Stats
      Fri, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 79 vs ESS 57 Report Stats
      Sat, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 105 vs WCE 136 Report Stats
      RIC 89 vs GWS 62 Report Stats
      GCF 117 vs STK 64 Report Stats
      NTH 79 vs GEE 111 Report Stats
      Sun, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL 51 vs BRI 74 Stats
      HAW 107 vs WBU 45 Report Stats
      COL 76 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
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      Round 20
      Fri, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC 95 vs ESS 77 Report Stats
      Sat, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS 51 vs NTH 126 Report Stats
      CAR 97 vs GCF 58 Report Stats
      HAW 115 vs MEL 65 Report Stats
      PTA 58 vs SYD 84 Report Stats
      GEE 81 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
      Sun, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
      BRI 63 vs ADE 168 Report Stats
      STK 99 vs WBU 122 Report Stats
      WCE 126 vs COL 66 Report Stats
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      Round 21
      Fri, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      CAR 76 vs GEE 82 Report Stats
      Sat, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 127 vs STK 56 Stats
      GCF 47 vs PTA 56 Report Stats
      ESS 77 vs WCE 74 Report Stats
      COL 56 vs BRI 123 Report Stats
      ADE 69 vs RIC 79 Report Stats
      Sun, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 111 vs WBU 61 Report Stats
      MEL 34 vs GWS 98 Report Stats
      FRE 110 vs HAW 91 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 140 vs CAR 37 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 101 vs ADE 94 Report Stats
      ESS 108 vs GCF 89 Report Stats
      GWS 67 vs COL 75 Report Stats
      WCE 119 vs MEL 53 Report Stats
      HAW 94 vs GEE 71 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
      BRI 48 vs FRE 106 Report Stats
      WBU 67 vs SYD 130 Report Stats
      RIC 98 vs STK 72 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 56 vs HAW 121 Stats
      Sat, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90 vs ESS 90 Stats
      FRE 105 vs PTA 97 Stats
      SYD 65 vs RIC 68 Stats
      NTH 123 vs MEL 93 Stats
      GEE 143 vs BRI 81 Stats
      Sun, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
      GCF 99 vs WCE 151 Stats
      ADE 141 vs STK 62 Stats
      WBU 109 vs GWS 115 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      AFL Finals Round 1
      Fri, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
      HAW 104 vs GEE 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
      SYD 93 vs FRE 69 Stats
      NTH 93 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 SepTimes shown AEST
      PTA 132 vs RIC 75 Report Stats
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      AFL Finals Round 2
      Fri, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
      GEE 92 vs NTH 98 Stats
      Sat, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
      FRE 83 vs PTA 105 Stats
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      AFL Finals Round 3
      Fri, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
      SYD 136 vs NTH 65 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
      HAW 97 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
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      AFL Finals Round 4
      Sat, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
      SYD 74 vs HAW 137 Report Stats
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      AFL Home and Away
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Sydney Swans 22 17 5 0 142.88 68
      Hawthorn 22 17 5 0 140.78 68
      Geelong Cats 22 17 5 0 113.77 68
      Fremantle 22 16 6 0 130.40 64
      Port Adelaide 22 14 8 0 129.92 56
      North Melbourne 22 14 8 0 117.04 56
      Essendon 22 12 9 1 106.34 50
      Richmond 22 12 10 0 105.77 48
      View all
       
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