The fifth part of this six-part series features the five players that the Port Adelaide Power, Richmond Tigers and St Kilda Saints can least afford to lose in season 2021 plus an honourable mention.
The pecking order is effectively a ladder of the manner in which the teams that played in the Round of football performed, therefore it’s not purely based on results.
Round 13 proved to be a tough Round to rank the teams as there were four close games, those games had a margin of 12 points or less!
Footy is generally more exciting when the game is closer on the scoreboard, which was the case in Round 13. The highest margin was 33 points in the first game of the Round between Gold Coast and Carlton.
In Round 13 no team had the bye, but there were a couple of teams that weren’t at the races and hypothetically were rested for the Round as they didn’t turn up. Take a look at the pecking order for Round 13!
1- Western Bulldogs started the game reasonably slowly, but remarkably they led by one point near the midway point of the first quarter.
They appeared to be outworked, yet they were ahead on the scoreboard! Thankfully for them their effort appeared to improve after halftime and so did their ball movement. The move of Josh Bruce into the ruck and Tim English to go forward worked!
They took their chances to create scoreboard pressure. They kicked six goals to none in the third quarter; no wonder it’s called the premiership quarter!
2- Brisbane Lions played some descent footy after conceding the first goal of the game. The endeavour was clear for everyone to see in the first quarter.
At their best they can be considered a contender, but their inaccuracy hurt them; they only led by one goal near the midway point of the second quarter, despite having eight scoring shots to St Kilda’s two, which were both goals!
The Brisbane Lions control of the game was transferred onto the scoreboard in the third quarter, but narrowly won the game by two points.
3- West Coast gained what appeared to be an unassailable lead as they transferred their dominance onto the scoreboard. They played a good first quarter, which set the scene for the rest of the game. It was a quality display by them.
They treated the game seriously despite having built what could be considered an unassailable lead, kicking the first five goals of the game. They managed to get the momentum back towards the end of the third quarter, into the fourth quarter, kicking four consecutive goals, but only won the game by two goals.
4- Port Adelaide made four changes at selection, so the players weren’t in sync. The second quarter was a different story for them as they controlled the game.
They played some decent footy in the second half, but they failed to take their chances to put the game beyond reach in the fourth quarter and nearly lost the game due to that.
5- St Kilda tried to put in a good effort as well as a solid structure and system. They didn’t start the game well from the perspective of the balance of play, yet they took the lead in the second quarter, despite that; they only trailed by four points at halftime, despite Brisbane Lions controlling the balance of play.
It was 18 shots on goal to seven, which was in the third quarter, yet St Kilda stayed in the game on the scoreboard, even though they lost by two points.
6- Carlton brought a high level of intensity to the game, but they failed to take advantage of their chances. It was clear that their lack of accuracy would come back to hurt them. It was 14 shots on goal to two, but the lead was only 26 points in the third quarter.
They continued on with the same intensity and attack on the footy and in the end their dominance got transferred on the scoreboard.
7- Richmond started the game like they were playing a final with their endeavour and pressure. They kept Essendon in the game from a scoreboard perspective and it hurt them. Their control of the balance of play changed in the second quarter with Essendon the team that gained the ascendancy.
Richmond managed to kick five goals in a row, until, James Stewart kicked a goal to stop their momentum. They were just too good for Essendon in the end.
8- Fremantle brought a good brand of footy into the game. They played well, but they didn’t create enough opportunities in the forward line. They scored six times from 12 inside 50s in the second quarter.
Fremantle struggled to build momentum in the fourth quarter, but were far too good for a Sydney Swans team without possibly their most important player: Dane Rampe. Fremantle could have won by more than 31 points.
9- Geelong may have led on the scoreboard in the first quarter, but they were outworked and to some extent outplayed. It appeared as if Adelaide Crows were more prepared from a hunger perspective. In the end Geelong outclassed Adelaide Crows, which was reflected on the scoreboard.
In order to play to their optimum level, they will be looking to repeat the manner in which they played in the fourth quarter.
10- Adelaide Crows brought a high intensity and endeavour to the contest early in the game. That should be the template for them as it should boost their morale.
The second quarter was more of the same. It was great to watch their pressure and effort in the first two quarters, which they replicated in the last two quarters. Their attack on the footy was courageous throughout, despite losing by 28 points.
11- Hawthorn took their opportunities early in the game, through efficient use of the footy. They created scoreboard opportunities and took them in the first quarter. The effort was there throughout the game from them. They were efficient with their chances to hit the scoreboard.
12- Collingwood weren’t at the races early; they didn’t seem well prepared. There was no endeavour to create space and it was difficult to decipher what the game plan was in the first two quarters.
They turned the ball over, but it didn’t show on the scoreboard as the scores were level near the middle part of the second quarter. In the third quarter they improved; they led by 16 points at three quarter time and continued improving as the game went along.
13- Melbourne Demons started the game reasonably well with their pressure, but unfortunately, they turned the ball over, which resulted in the Western Bulldogs first goal. In the second quarter they also kicked the first goal of the quarter.
They played with lots of endeavour and got rewarded with a seven point lead at halftime. Their pressure when the Western Bulldogs had the ball in the third quarter was too low. Then in the last quarter they didn’t play badly, the Western Bulldogs were just more efficient.
14- Greater Western Sydney carried on from where they left off in Round 12. They failed to have a viable system and structure. They seemed ill prepared. It was pretty simple; they didn’t appear to put in enough endeavour for an AFL game, kicking one goal in the first half!
That’s all they needed to build their belief as they kicked three goals in a row. They improved the standard at which they played following kicking their first goal of the game.
15- Essendon started slowly in a game that they should’ve been ready for. They managed to whether the storm through a combination of luck and character. In the second quarter that claimed the lead through Dylan Clarke’s first goal of his AFL career.
They were lucky to only lose by two goals as Richmond had 23 scoring shots to Essendon’s 11, which is more than double!
16- North Melbourne were the better team in the first half, which should have showed on the scoreboard. It was unjust that Collingwood were still in the contest in the second quarter as North Melbourne controlled the balance of play.
After halftime it was a different story as they were outclassed by Collingwood. It was simple; Collingwood simply had more polish in the key moments.
17- Gold Coast failed to trouble the scorers in the first quarter, but they only trailed by ten points at quarter time. They appeared as if they lacked belief. Finally, they scored their third goal of the game near the end of the third quarter to make the deficit 21 points.
They were completely outplayed in every aspect of the game. Any other Round and Gold Coast would have been last on the pecking order for the Round.
18- Sydney Swans fell away as Fremantle controlled the balance of play, despite the Sydney Swans kicking the first goal of the game.
They kicked just one goal and four behinds in the first half. There were no positives for the Sydney Swans, as they kicked just one goal in the first quarter and one in the last quarter.