Gigs’ Stats Round 19: Statistic Fantastic

Stats Entertainment – Round 19

by Andrew Gigacz


I don’t claim it as my own stat; indeed, it seems that everyone is talking about it. But it’s one worthy of mention, particularly if you barrack against Collingwood. Which statistic is it? This one: for the past eight years, the team that has won the flag, has LOST the previous encounter with their Grand Final opponents. Here’s how the last eight seasons have unfolded for the Grand Finalists:

2009: Geelong defeated St Kilda after losing to them in Round14

2008: Hawthorn defeated Geelong after losing in Round 17

2007: Geelong defeated Port Adelaide after losing in Round 21

2006: West Coast defeated Sydney after losing the Qualifying Final

2005: Sydney defeated West Coast after losing the Qualifying Final

2004: Port Adelaide defeated Brisbane after losing in Round 11

2003: Brisbane defeated Collingwood after losing the Qualifying Final

2002: Brisbane defeated Collingwood after losing in Round 8

Why is this so good for those who don’t like Collingwood? Well if the trend continues (and I don’t care what Andrew Fithall says; I know he’s worried), then Collingwood, should they make the Grand Final (and I’m not sure if Pies fans are aware of this, but they haven’t made it just yet) would lose to Geelong, St Kilda, Footscray, Fremantle, Carlton, Sydney, Hawthorn or North Melbourne, no matter which of those teams is their opponent.

And if they happen to play Melbourne in the Grand Final? Expect a draw and a Melbourne win in the replay.


Well, what a shellacking the Bombers copped at the hands of Carlton on Friday night. But even clouds that gather at the end of a 76 point defeat have a silver lining. Only once before has there been a margin of 76 points between these two sides. That was late in the 1999 home and away season, and that time it was Essendon who were the runaway winners. And for those who may not remember, it was just a few weeks later that Carlton turned the table, tipping the Bombers out of the finals by a point.

So Bomber fans, if you can somehow scrape your way into the eight (and yes, it’s still possible) and you wind up meeting Carlton, sweet revenge for the ’99 Preliminary Final might just be your reward.


And before we flush away our discussion about the history of Carlton v Essendon matches, it remains for me to tell you that, in the 233 times these sides have met, the only two margins below 60 that have never been registered are 30 and 50.


There are those who might feel that West Coast’s Saturday-night game was in the balance until Jonathan Brown’s last minute mark and goal at Subiaco. In truth,  the Eagles’ fate was sealed at quarter-time. Having failed to heed my warning in last week’s column they turned at quarter-time with a score of 2.2 (14) and, despite actually leading at that point,  became the 15th and latest victim of the 2.2 hoodoo.

Below is a list of the results of all games since St Kilda defeated Collingwood in Round 3, in which a side has been 2.2 (14):

Round 5: West Coast 2.2 v Sydney 3.3 at quarter-time. Final score Sydney 17.13 (115) d West Coast 9.9 (63)

Round 6: Footscray 2.2 v St Kilda 1.2 at quarter-time. Final score St Kilda 7.7 (49) d Footscray 6.10 (46)

Round 6: Brisbane 2.2 v Sydney 5.1 at quarter-time. Final score Sydney 16.11 (107) d Brisbane 13.9 (87)

Round 9: Brisbane 2.2 v Adelaide 5.3 at quarter-time. Final score Adelaide 13.15 (93) d Brisbane 11.15 (81)

Round 9: Carlton 2.2 v Hawthorn 5.3 at quarter-time. Final score Hawthorn 16.14 (110) d Carlton 8.12 (60)

Round 9: West Coast 2.2 v St Kilda 1.3 at quarter-time. Final score St Kilda 13.13 (91) d West Coast 8.8 (56)

Round 11: Melbourne 2.2 v Carlton 7.4 at quarter-time. Final score Carlton 15.11 (101) d Melbourne 9.6 (60)

Round 11: Essendon 2.2 v Sydney 3.3 at quarter-time. Final score Sydney  12.17 (89) d Essendon 12.8 (80)

Round 11: Footscray 2.2 v Collingwood 3.3 at quarter-time. Final score Collingwood 17.11 (113) d Footscray 16.7 (103)

Round 13: Geelong 2.2 v St Kilda 2.1 at quarter-time. Final score St Kilda 10.10 (70) d Geelong 6.10 (46)

Round 14: North Melbourne 2.2 v Geelong 5.3 at quarter-time. Final score Geelong 14.14 (98) d North Melbourne 9.9 (63)

Round 15: West Coast 2.2 v Adelaide 4.3 at quarter-time. Final score Adelaide 17.15 (117) d West Coast 14.11 (95)

Round 17: Richmond 2.2 v Collingwood 6.1 at quarter-time. Final score Collingwood 19.13 (127) d Richmond 6.9 (45)

Round 18: Brisbane 2.2 v Melbourne 4.3 at quarter-time. Final score Melbourne 11.8 (74) d Brisbane 9.10 (64)

Round 19: West Coast 2.2 v Brisbane 1.3 at quarter-time. Final score Brisbane 10.10(70) d West Coast 9.11 (65)

In fact West Coast have fallen in to the 2.2 trap four times this year, with Brisbane having done it thrice. Meanwhile both Sydney and St Kilda have each been the beneficiary of the hoodoo three times.


Now that the Eagles have virtually secured bottom spot, a win or two, or even three honourable losses, could see them grab a record of sorts: the highest percentage for a wooden spoon winner since 1999. Their current percentage is 76.9, just short of Richmond’s 2007 wooden-spoon winning percentage of 77.2. So, with three honourable losses, West Coast can claim that title, and still get a priority draft pick. The 1999 wooden-spoon winning percentage, incidentally, was an amazing 84.8. It belonged to Collingwood.


Had the Carlton of Round 19 played the Round 9 version of themselves on the weekend, they would have beaten their Round 9 selves by 261 points.

The Blues beat Essendon on Saturday night by 76 points.

A week earlier the Bombers had a 33 point win over the Saints, who this week thrashed Port Adelaide by 94 points.

Port pipped Hawthorn by 8 points in Round 18, while the Hawks put Carlton to the sword in Round 9, to the tune of 50 points.

76 + 33 + 94 + 8 + 50 = 261

Now don’t try and tell me that doesn’t add up.


Brisbane’s last gasp win was just the tonic they needed in a pretty forgettable season. It was also a big relief to the margin “5-points”, finally registering for the first time this year and leaving 6, 17 and 21 as the only margins under 30 not have occurred this season.


Talk about consistency – North Melbourne have been in 9th spot every week since Round 12!


Here’s an interesting potential turn of events.

With Melbourne running into some good form, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they could turn the tables on their Round 1 result and defeat the Hawks. Let’s just suppose for a moment that they do. And let’s also suppose that they do so emphatically winning by 56 points, 110-54.

And then let’s also suppose that Rounds 21 and 22 pan out as follows:

Hawthorn defeats Fremantle 92-80 before going down to Collingwood 75-83

Melbourne defeats Port 129-128 and then get pipped by North in the last Round 75-79

If we assume that Carlton and Sydney each won one of their remaining games, and North Melbourne loses at least one of their other games, this will leave Hawthorn and Melbourne to fight it out for 8th spot.  With 10 and a half wins each, they will be level on points, so it will go down to which team has the better percentage,.

But HANG ON! The results postulated above will have both Hawthorn and Melbourne with a Points For total of 1913 and a Points Against total of 1908, meaning they will both have an identical percentage (of approximately 100.26205451).

That’s still OK, though. AFL rules have been framed so they can cope with such an event: the head-to-head record of the two teams in the home-and-away season is used to determine who will get the final spot in the eight.

So that’s pretty easy as we can see that Hawthorn defeated Melbourne by 56 points in Round 1 and in Round 20 Melbourne defeats Hawthorn by… uh-oh… 56 points!

What exactly does the AFL do in this scenario? It’s simple really, the place in the eight will be determined by… a toss of the coin!

And you thought winning the toss in a cricket match could be important…


Well, Footscray’s trip to Adelaide turned out to be a little more hard work than many anticipated. In fact this game turned out to be one of epic proportions, not least because of the torrential downpour in the second half. So much rain fell that Footy Park was on the verge of becoming a series of puddles. Which is very appropriate, because Adelaide’s quarter-by-quarter behind totals were 5-2-3-1 and 5231 just happens to be the postcode of a place caled “Chain of Ponds“.


We all know that Collingwood is looking pretty good at the moment, but they got a bit of help on Saturday night, courtesy of a shocking goal umpiring decision that robbed the Cats of a clear goal.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that


About Andrew Gigacz

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


  1. i know you can’t see me, but im giving you a reallllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy bad look right now………….

  2. Good one Gigs.

  3. Is that like the sideways look Moons gives the umpires every now and again and again Danni.

  4. 3- add that with a bit of a Jonathan Brown stare/scrowl thats used in the ch-10 footy promos.

  5. Gigs,

    In the situation you described with Hawthorn and Melbourne tied on points, percentage, for, against, and head-to-head record, I’m glad it’s not Richmond in that situation.

  6. #5 Adam, the Tigers might be a chance against Hawthorn in that situation. Apart from Richmond (6 times), they are the only side that has finished 9th more than once (3 times) since the final 8 was introduced.

  7. John Butler says


    If it were Richmond, you know they’d lose the toss so they could finish 9th.


    No Carlton fan ever has any trouble remembering the ’99 Prelim.

    And don’t you just love the open wound that is the Magpie fan when talk turns to Grand Finals. :)

  8. Fantastic work as per usual, Gigs.

    Question about the grand final pattern, though – is it just from any meeting that year that these results are drawn? Or just the most recent encounter? Because I had thought it was the latter.

    Otherwise, 2007 was nothing special, as Geelong both won and lost to Port during the home and away series. However, the stat has a whole lot more credibility if it is limited to just the previous encounter, if that makes sense.

    Which would take Saint Kilda out of the list of possible premiers if Pies make the Granny.

    And it would make me a whole lot happier :-D

  9. Susie, it’s the previous encounter between the two sides, whether that be in a final or in the home-and-away games.

    St Kilda LOST to Collingwood the other week, which means if they meet in the GF, St Kilda will win.

    If you meant your Cats, then it will be good news for you against St Kilda. Unless you play them in finals week 1 and beat them…

  10. See, this is why North Melbourne don’t perform against top 8 teams, so they can topple them in the Grand Final.

  11. Oh, yikers. I took a fall today, Gigs, and my brain ain’t working. Never fear.

    I don’t like the idea of a Saints/Pies granny. Can you please do something to prevent this? e.g. somehow construe it that both those teams have a quarter time score of 2.2 in the prelims? Thanks :D

  12. JB – That was KIND of my point.

  13. #7 JB – No North fan ever forgets that 99 prelim either !

  14. John Butler says

    Adam, I know, but I couldn’t resist.

    Smokie, fair enough too!

  15. Andrew Fithall says


    You already know my view about the past not having any impact on the future, but I will indulge you briefly. You ignore the possibility of Collingwood losing in week one of the finals and then coming back to still make the grand final – possibly against the week one opponent. And they are scheduled to play Hawthorn again before the finals so their status is still to be determined.

    By the way, I think I completed my beauty therapy training at a Chain of Ponds Institute.

  16. Dave Latham says

    Ice-cream sales spike in summer.

    Shark attacks spike in summer.

    Therefore I put it to you good people that there high ice cream sales lead to more shark attacks.

  17. David Downer says

    Well done Gigs …I notice this topic, with due kudos to yourself, popped up in the Sporting Life column of The Age today.


  18. good synoptic piece that could probably be more poetic — in deference to HB

  19. “High ice cream”? Keep a grip on it Dave.

    After all it’s only a game and as you have inferred this week premierships don’t count for anything. It’s only losses that count.

    Stay with it, don’t let the pressure get to you.

    We need you in September.

  20. #15. Andrew, you are entirely correct of course. And therein lies the deliciousness of this whole situation. Collingwood supporters will now be faced with the prospect of hoping that they lose to Hawthorn in Round 22, or lose to Geelong, Footscray or St Kilda in week 1 of the finals.

    This is a scenario that non-Collingwood supporters will also be happy with, because it’s one that could see the Pies finish on top and then go out in straight sets.

    Did yo complete that course at the Institute?

  21. Gigs #20,

    Stop teasing me. Thats cruel.

  22. Andrew Fithall says

    Phantom. Haven’t you got a book to be contributing to?

    Gigs. At the Chain of Ponds Institute I completed the foundation studies. Then I was accused of mascarading as a student. I blushed.

  23. Dave Latham says

    Still stalking me phantom I see. In one way it’s flattering, in another, it’s illegal.

    Did I mention I’m scared of clowns as well, particularly sad ones.

  24. 23- the only thing i remember from Legal studies last year.
    Stalking is Section 21A of the Crimes Act.

  25. Get on Carlton at any price!!!

    It’s quarter-time and Richmond are 2.2…

  26. Damn, I picked Richmond.

  27. Blame Jake King, Josh. He kicked a goal with about a minute remaining.

  28. Half-time Carlton 10.12 to 2.3. Obviously the Richmond players realised what they’d done at the quarter-time break and promptly gave it away.

  29. On the other hand, Freo were 2.2 when the quarter-time siren sounded but managed to get to 3.2 thanks to a post-siren goal by Michael Walters. He might just have saved the Dockers from certain defeat.

  30. Gigs,
    Congratulations! Some might call 2.41pm on a Saturday an early call BUT they dont comprehend the power of the 2.2 qtr time score.
    Sitting nervously on the couch tonight with everything crossed that those smuggsters from down the Geelong Rd are 2.2 at qtr time.
    AND ftr Sydney got over the top of Freo which adds to the power of the “2.2 hoodoo”

  31. Chalk, I’m betting the couch nerves dissipated soon after the quarter-time siren. Having endured entire night at Idiot Stadium, right until the final siren, I can tell you the smugsters were in full voice.

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