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Not a patch on 2012 for consistency

Playing in patches: Round 1-9.

Playing in patches: Round 1-9.

Each AFL season throws up its new bits of jargon. ''Patchy football'' is rapidly becoming the phrase of the moment. But unlike some popular terminology you hear, this one actually has plenty of substance to it.

Look at the AFL ladder and you would expect the top teams to be those which had spent the vast bulk of game time in front. And vice versa.

That was certainly the case in 2012 when, at this stage of the season, five of the top six teams were those which had led their games the longest.

But this season is throwing the measurement askew, underlining the coaches' view that it's getting a lot harder to stay on top for four quarters, let alone from week to week.

The two most obvious examples are North Melbourne and Geelong. The Kangaroos have so far spent 68 per cent of game time in front, second only to Hawthorn, which stands well clear on top with 82 per cent.

But the difference couldn't be more stark, the Hawks riding high on top of the ladder at 8-1, while North is 13th (3-6). As we saw so dramatically last Sunday against Adelaide, when North loses control of the play, it also loses complete control of the scoreboard. Not surprisingly, the Roos rank a lowly 13th for points conceded thus far.

Geelong, meanwhile, would be the source of some envy at Arden Street. The Cats are ranked just ninth for minutes in front, at 57 per cent. They also rank only ninth for quarters won, 18 from a possible 36.

Yet Geelong's bottom line is a win-loss record of 8-1 and second on the ladder, behind Hawthorn on percentage only.

Like North Melbourne, Richmond is also paying a high price for its lapses in games. The Tigers have won one more quarter of football than Geelong this season, and having led for 64 per cent of game time, are behind only the Hawks and Roos for percentage of time spent in front.

Yet they remain 10th on the ladder. Against Collingwood, Richmond won two quarters and narrowly lost another. But in the other, game-killing, 30 minutes, it conceded eight goals while scoring just two.

Against Geelong, it trailed by five points at half-time before being outscored by 11 goals to five in the second half.

Even the model of consistency that is Sydney has been prone to patchiness this season, managing to blow a 27-point lead against Fremantle a fortnight ago to barely escape with a draw, a point not lost on Sydney assistant coach John Blakey, speaking on SEN before the Swans played Collingwood last Friday night.

''We've been playing good football, but just haven't put four quarters together,'' Blakey said.

''It's been similar for Collingwood, and you've even heard Chris Scott talking about it with Geelong. Although they've won their games, even they haven't been consistent within quarters.

''I think the game has changed a little bit again in the way the ball is moved. I guess the new rules, the ‘in the backs’ and the ‘[too] highs’ in a way keep the ball flowing. It seems that teams have opportunities and windows to score now, and you can see when they do that, they can score really quickly, so we’re adapting all the time, and hopefully we’ll get back to our best soon.”

Sydney is actually better placed now (6-2 plus a draw) than at this stage last season (6-3), yet had won more quarters last season despite leading for less time in games.

The top team after nine rounds last year, West Coast, had won 27 quarters to 2013 leader Hawthorn's 24, despite only having led for 72 per cent of game time, compared with the Hawks' 82.

And at this stage in 2012, three sides had led games for more than 70 per cent of game time. Now, there's just one.

Nothing says patchy footy more effectively than these sorts of numbers. And that in this AFL season, if you don't take your more limited opportunities, you're likely to end up regretting it a lot more too.

 

3 comments so far

  • "Patchy" will have its season, and then be replaced by another catchword. It's human nature.

    Of far greater importance is how so many journalists, professionals who see themselves as wordsmiths (well, I hope they do), brainlessly accept these examples of ugly language:

    ~ "impact", when "influence" and "effect" is far better;

    ~ the almost moronic overuse of "issue" (particularly in that ultra-moronic "addressing the issue") - leave that braindead stuff to politicians and their parasitic spinmeisters;

    ~ inability to distinguish "reticent" and "reluctant", or "flout" and "flaunt", "alternate" and "alternative" (see below), and complicity in the destruction of any distinction between "uninterested" and "disinterested";

    ~ unthinking acceptance of how politicians deceitfully & dishonestly use "reform", when at best it's just "change".

    (Don't mind the occasional use of "regular season" to save too much repetition of "home and away / H&A season". But "table" for "ladder" should be anathema. As for the odious "alternate^ strip" - yuk!!)

    Journos, ever heard of quotation marks? Ever had even the briefest of thoughts about enclosing reform in them, or using [sic], as ways of letting readers know that you are not sucked in by their BS?

    Commenter
    Leonard Colquhoun
    Date and time
    May 30, 2013, 1:55PM
    • Wow! An English lesson with my footy (sic) football

      Commenter
      the elder
      Location
      melb.
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 8:59PM
      • The conclusions reached in this article might be considered valid if the used they are based on were useful. The data set is not useful because each team has not played all of the other teams. Thus, with an incomplete data set, the article takes a wild leap and assumes that each team's performance ability is equal. The number of quarters won or the time spent in the lead during a game by any team is dependent not only on that team's ability but also on the strength of the opposition. Unless each team's inherent 'strength' is calculated into the equation or each team has played all the other teams, no data set can get close to providing enough information to reach the conclusions arrived at in this article.
        Measuring that a Hawthorn, say, spent four quarters ahead of a GWS, say, but won only two of those quarters and then comparing that result to a game between North and Port, say, in which North wins three quarters and is ahead until the final second when Port kicks a winning goal on siren after a sizzling comeback quarter does not make a losing North a better side than a winning Hawthorn because it has won more quarters or a losing GWS a better side than a winning Port for the same reason.
        That kind of interpretation of data only leads to more confusion but ends up highlighting why the preseason, and week-to-week, predictions of so many media 'experts' turn out to be so very wrong.

        Commenter
        echojuliet
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        May 31, 2013, 12:03PM

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        AFL 2015

        Round 1
        Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
        CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
        Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
        MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
        SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
        BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
        WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
        Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
        ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
        FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
        Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
        HAW 123 vs GEE 61 15:20MCG
        View All Fixtures
        Round 2
        Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
        WCE 131 vs CAR 62 20:10Domain Stadium
        Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
        RIC 66 vs WBU 85 13:45MCG
        GWS 101 vs MEL 56 14:10SO
        COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
        GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
        PTA 44 vs SYD 92 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
        GEE 60 vs FRE 104 13:10SS
        ESS 78 vs HAW 76 15:20MCG
        NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 3
        Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
        COL 140 vs STK 66 19:50MCG
        Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
        CAR 84 vs ESS 105 13:45MCG
        ADE 80 vs MEL 55 14:10Adelaide Oval
        SYD 111 vs GWS 90 16:35SCG
        NTH 105 vs PTA 113 19:20ES
        BRI 58 vs RIC 137 19:20G
        Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
        HAW 127 vs WBU 57 13:10AS
        GEE 105 vs GCF 96 15:20SS
        WCE 81 vs FRE 111 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 4
        Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs MEL 19:50MCG
        Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK vs CAR 11:10NZ
        ESS vs COL 14:40MCG
        GWS vs GCF 17:40SO
        PTA vs HAW 19:40Adelaide Oval
        FRE vs SYD 20:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs WCE 13:10G
        GEE vs NTH 15:20SS
        WBU vs ADE 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 5
        Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs COL 19:50MCG
        Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs GEE 13:45MCG
        SYD vs WBU 14:10SCG
        GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
        NTH vs HAW 19:20ES
        WCE vs GWS 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs FRE 13:10MCG
        STK vs ESS 15:20ES
        ADE vs PTA 16:40Adelaide Oval
        View All Fixtures
        Round 6
        Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
        COL vs GEE 19:50MCG
        Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs RIC 13:45BA
        WBU vs STK 14:10ES
        GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
        GCF vs ADE 17:10MS
        MEL vs SYD 19:20MCG
        FRE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
        Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs BRI 15:20ES
        PTA vs WCE 16:40Adelaide Oval
        View All Fixtures
        Round 7
        Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs NTH 19:50ES
        Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
        ADE vs STK 13:45Adelaide Oval
        HAW vs MEL 14:10MCG
        CAR vs GWS 16:35ES
        SYD vs GEE 19:20ANZ
        WCE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
        WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
        RIC vs COL 15:20MCG
        BRI vs PTA 16:40G
        View All Fixtures
        Round 8
        Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
        GEE vs CAR 19:50ES
        Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
        STK vs WCE 13:45ES
        GWS vs ADE 14:10Spotless Stadium
        GCF vs COL 16:35MS
        HAW vs SYD 19:20MCG
        FRE vs NTH 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
        MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
        PTA vs RIC 16:40Adelaide Oval
        View All Fixtures
        Round 9
        Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
        Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
        MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
        WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
        RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
        ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs STK 13:10G
        COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
        WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 10
        Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
        FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
        Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
        GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
        ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
        PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
        NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
        STK vs HAW 16:40ES
        Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
        View All Fixtures
        Round 11
        Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
        PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
        GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
        WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
        NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
        Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
        COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
        STK vs MEL 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 12
        Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
        ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
        Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
        GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
        WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
        Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
        GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 13
        Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
        FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
        Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
        Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
        BRI vs ADE 16:35G
        STK vs WBU 19:20ES
        Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 14
        Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
        Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
        COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
        Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
        GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
        WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
        MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
        Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs STK 13:10ES
        ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
        FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 15
        Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
        PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
        Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
        WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
        NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
        WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
        HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
        BRI vs SYD 16:40G
        View All Fixtures
        Round 16
        Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
        Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
        GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
        GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
        COL vs WCE 16:35ES
        SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
        FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
        PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
        STK vs RIC 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 17
        Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
        Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
        ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
        RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
        ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
        BRI vs NTH 19:20G
        Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
        WBU vs COL 13:10ES
        MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
        WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 18
        Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
        Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
        GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
        COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
        SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
        CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
        GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
        Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
        PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
        ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
        FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 19
        Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
        ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
        COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
        WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
        BRI vs GCF 16:35G
        GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
        WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
        GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
        STK vs FRE 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 20
        Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
        Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
        NTH vs STK 14:10BA
        PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
        GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
        BRI vs CAR 19:20G
        Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
        WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
        FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 21
        Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
        Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
        COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
        GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
        GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
        STK vs GEE 19:20ES
        ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
        CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
        WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 22
        Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
        GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
        Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
        HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
        NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
        ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
        GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
        Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
        ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
        STK vs SYD 15:20ES
        FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 23
        Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
        COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
        RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
        HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
        GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
        SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
        MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
        BRI vs WBU 00:00G
        PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
        WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        AFL 2015
        Overall standings
        Team P W L D % Pts
        Adelaide Crows 3 3 0 0 171.27 12
        Sydney Swans 3 3 0 0 141.75 12
        Fremantle 3 3 0 0 138.76 12
        Hawthorn 3 2 1 0 166.33 8
        Richmond 3 2 1 0 139.37 8
        Collingwood 3 2 1 0 125.65 8
        GWS Giants 3 2 1 0 113.47 8
        Essendon 3 2 1 0 104.74 8
        View all
         
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