Gigs’ Stats: An in-depth look at the KKK (Knights, Kangaroos, Kennett)

STATS ENTERTAINMENT – ROUND 16

by Andrew Gigacz

ROUGH AND REGULAR

We begin this week’s report with an apology from me for the irregular appearance of Gigs’ Stats in recent times. Rest assured that I have altered my diet to include a far higher daily quantity of statistical roughage, which should result in a far more regular diatribe of useless facts and figures emanating from me “going forward”. (Sorry, got caught up in election spin there.)

THINGS ARE LOOKING UP FOR ESSENDON – AND DOWN FOR KNIGHTS

After their loss to the Mark Le Cras-inspired Eagles on Saturday night, many Bombers fans have got coach Matthew Knights squarely in the gun. There are those who would lynch him if they got the chance.

All this is despite one very interesting fact that comes from the weekend’s events: Essendon actually CLIMBED OUT of the bottom 4 in Round 16, moving from 13th to 12th. A similar move over each of the next six rounds will have the Dons sneaking in the 8 just in time for the finals.

Which leads me to wonder: geez, if this is they way Essendon fans treat their coach when the team’s on the way UP the ladder, what will they do to him when the team’s on the slide?!?

LE CRAS DOZEN REALISE WHAT HE’S DONE TO THE RECORD BOOKS

He’s not exactly a key forward, but Mark Le Cras did a pretty good impression of one on Saturday night, kicking 12 goals. Not since 2000 has a player kicked that many in a match. On that occasion it was another Eagle, Scott Cummings, who booted 14 against  Adelaide in Round 4 of that year.  Mark’s dozen follows Jack Riewoldt’s 10-goal haul of a few weeks back. Before that, there had been no 10 goal bags since 2007.

LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT

And while we’re discussing key forwards, there’s an expression I’ve heard creep into the footy vernacular in recent times that’s left me scratching my head, especially given the events of the last two weeks. More than one commentator has talked about the inclusion of a key forward, such Nick Riewoldt, in a team helping to “straighten the side up”. It’s an interesting thought and, on the surface, seems to make sense.

But the facts do not bear this out. In the eleven games Riewoldt missed through injury, the Saints scored a total of 132 goals 124 behinds. That’s an accuracy of 52%. Certainly not great. But in the two games since Saint Nick’s return, St Kilda’s total score is 17 goals 29 behinds. That is an accuracy rate of a paltry 37%.

So I don’t think this theory of a key forward straightening a team out really holds much water. Perhaps it’s the commentators who need to get things straight.

ONE BEHIND THE SAINTS WON’T MIND

Such was the comprehensiveness of Brisbane’s loss to Hawthorn on Saturday night, that they only troubled the scoreboard eight times for the night. Fortunately for them, they were accurate in making seven of those scores goals. In fact the Lions didn’t score a behind until the 11-minute mark of the last quarter and even that was a rushed one.

So how long is it since we’ve had a match in which a side has scored only a single behind in the entire match? Well it’s good news for Saints’ fans because to find the last such occurrence we have to wind the clock back to the year of their one and only flag, 1966. In round 17, of that year, Footscray managed a paltry 4.1 (25) in losing the Carlton by 61 points at the Western Oval. And eight week earlier, Fitzroy clocked up a total score of just 5.1 (31) as they were hammered by Geelong to the tune of 113 points down at Kardinia Park.

So lock that one away Saints supporters. If you win the flag, you might want to just say a little word of thank to Vossy and his men.

LIONS’ SILVER LINING

So it’s been 44 years since we’ve seen a team score only one behind in a match. But how long is it since Brisbane’s final score of 7.1 (43) has been registered. The answer is forever. The Lions might have been clobbered by the Hawks but they were able to claim a first in doing so. 7.1 (43) has never previously been recorded as a final score in VFL/AFL history.

SCORE WARS

Brisbane’s total of 43 was the first time we’ve seen that final score since Round 5, 2007 when a rather more inaccurate St Kilda managed 6.7 (43) against Port. 43 is therefore along way from the lead in Score Wars. Last week 100 jumped to a 7-6 lead over 63 when Richmond scored 15.10 against Freo. Not to be outdone, 63 hit back in Friday night’s game in Adelaide with Geelong’s losing score of 9.9. But 100 is not the weakling it was back in 2008, when it failed to register even once. On Saturday Collingwood scored 15.10 and then Essendon notched up 14.16 to take 100’s 2010 tally to a remarkable 9. That’s two clear of 63, with 93 and 86 in equal third place on 6.

LOOPY LADDER

The Kangaroos defeated the Tigers by 50 points on Sunday, the second time this year Richmond has succumbed by that margin. Adelaide beat them by 50 in round 7. The only other sides to record a 50-point win this year were Melbourne over Brisbane in round 5 and Hawthorn over Carlton in round 9.

All of this got me thinking. If I was to look back a few seasons, for argument’s sake back over the years since Richmond last won a flag, how many 50 point results would I find, and which team would have recorded the most wins by that margin?

The answer lies in the ladder below:

GEELONG 8
RICHMOND 5
ADELAIDE 5
WEST COAST 4
ST KILDA 4
HAWTHORN 4
PORT ADELAIDE 2
NORTH MELBOURNE 2
Melbourne 2
Brisbane 2
Footscray 1
Sydney 1
Essendon 1
Carlton 1
Collingwood 1
Fremantle 0

What does this ladder tell us? Well apart from the notion that perhaps Geelong and Richmond have more in common than we might have expected, probably nothing. But gee, it’s good to see a ladder where Carlton, Collingwood and Essendon are all equal 15th.

MARGINAL MEDAL

Meanwhile Footscray’s six-goal win over Port has given 36 the outright lead in the Marginal Medal. There are four margins below 30 that haven’t surfaced thus far this season. 6 points hasn’t been seen since round 14 last year, while 5 points, last year’s winner, has had a massive fall from grace this year. The other two sub-30 point margins still to be registered in 2010 are 17 and 21.

POSTCODE OF THE WEEK

Collingwood last week announced a record membership tally. Clearly the Pies have plenty of long-standing supporters, and obviously some new friends as well. How appropriate, then, that Collingwood’s behind tally in each of the four quarters against St Kilda was 4-3-0-3, because 4303 is the postcode of Chum Creek.

RIDICULOUS FOOTY ANAGRAMS OF THE WEEK

Jeff Kennett is worried about the turf at Etihad Stadium again. With the Hawks due to play there this Friday, he’s back on his high horse. While his heart might be in the right place, sometimes the former Victorian Premier gives you the impression that he’s had a few too many to drink when he lets fly with one of his tirades. Interesting, then, that KENNETT v ETIHAD is an anagram of “TANKED, HE VENTS IT”.

This time round Jeff says he wants “every blade of grass” inspected. I guess that would make it kind of an audit of the grass that he’s demanding. Appropriate, because ETIHAD STADIUM is an anagram of HE’S MAD: “AUDIT IT!” Still, if that’s what it takes to satisfy Jeff, who are we to argue? After all, ETIHAD STADIUM is also an anagram of AUDIT SATED HIM.

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?

Comments

  1. Andrew Fithall says:

    Gigs. I am looking forward (with very low expectation) to a week when you produce a fictional ladder that doesn’t have Collingwood at or very close to the bottom. I would be interested to hear your reasoning for having them below both Carlton and Essendon given they are on the same score. Not alphabetical, obviously. Not reverse alphabetial by last letter because Carlton would be ahead of Essendon (on a countback).What is it?

  2. John Butler says:

    Andrew, by order of cosmic justice and karmic logic I would have thought.

  3. Re comment #1: Andrew, I promise to do one the moment Collingwood are out of the premiership race.

    As for the placement of Collingwood below Carlton and Essendon, it actually IS alphabetical – it just happens to be based on the third letter of each team. Why? Well it’s the sort of thing that can happen to the brain of a person who was born on the 3rd of the 3rd at 3:33pm and who weighed 3.3kg at birth.

    (And also, I’ve gotta keep all the non-Collingwood fans out there happy!)

  4. Up to Round 16, Collingwood’s (1st on ladder) biggest defeat for the season is by 36pts. Geelong (2nd) worst defeat is by 36pts. Fremantle (4th) worst defeat is 36 pts. And Footscray (5th) worst defeat is also 36pts. St Kilda stuffs the party with their biggest defeat being 61pts for the season.
    But as Meatloaf sang “4 out of 5 ain’t bad” (or something like that…)

  5. Bod, that is a fantastic pick-up. I’m jealous!! (Given that 36 is leading in the Marginal Medal race I should’ve been on to it.)

    The fact that St Kilda’s the odd one out, maybe that means it’ll be their flag…?

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