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 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 14 proved to be a tough round to rank the teams as there were two close games, those games had a margin of 11 points or less! The highest margin was 36 points in the game between Fremantle and Greater Western Sydney, until the final game of the round that was a one-sided win for Gold Coast against North Melbourne.
In Round 14 two teams had the bye: Adelaide Crows and Brisbane Lions. Take a look at the pecking order for Round 14!
1- Gold Coast played some good footy. From early in the game it was like a training drill for them; it was seven scoring shots to three in their favour at quarter time, but the lead was only nine points.
They played with no fear to take risks with their ball movement and eventually built an unassailable lead. It was a morale boosting win for Gold Coast as it was a four quarter effort that translated onto the scoreboard with a win by 63 points!
2- Greater Western Sydney began the game reasonably well in the first quarter. That was to be expected as it was a must win game for them and perhaps a season defining one if they want to feature in the finals.
They started to transfer their control of the game in the third quarter where they built a 40 point lead at three quarter time. It wasn’t through luck, as they played a quality brand of footy.
3- Richmond controlled the game in the first half comfortably, but that didn’t translate onto the scoreboard. That all changed in the third quarter as they began to put scoreboard pressure on West Coast as Richmond built a substantial lead and in the end their performance was one of the best of the of the AFL season 2020!
It was all about the team and playing your role for the team. They should be premiership favourites based on their Round 14 display!
4- Geelong were struggling to get into the game early on. They were completely outplayed in every aspect of the game in the first quarter.
It was tough for them to stay in the game on the scoreboard, as it was completely one sided. They kicked the first three goals in the second quarter, which gave them a bit of momentum.
They played three fantastic quarters, as they trailed by six goals at quarter time and won a game that appeared to be unwinnable at quarter time!
5- Port Adelaide had more talent and that they had match winners who were able to hit the scoreboard, with the likes of Robbie Gray and Charlie Dixon hitting the scoreboard in the first half. That was the difference between the two teams.
At three quarter time they led by just three goals, due to a lack of endeavour in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter they were just too good despite being challenged by the Sydney Swans.
6- Essendon weren’t at the races early in the contest. If this is the manner in which they are going to play they have a bleak future if their first half is anything to go by, the antithesis can be said about the second half, as it was a game of two halves.
They fought their way back into the game in the third quarter, thankfully. Their forward structure looked much better with Joe Daniher back! They showed tremendous character and played team first football for the last two quarters. It was 11 goals to three in Essendon’s favour after halftime!
7- Melbourne Demons controlled the game on the scoreboard at quarter time as they accumulated a 15-point lead. They allowed St Kilda back in the game in the second quarter. The third quarter ebbed and flowed with a few lead changes.
They played a decent brand of footy throughout. Steven May was probably the difference between two teams. It was great for the Demons that they won a tight contest in what could be a season-defining game.
8- Collingwood found it difficult to cope with Carlton’s intensity, but despite that Collingwood kicked two of the first three goals. After that Carlton fought hard to arrest the momentum in the first half.
The game appeared to be played on Carlton’s terms at halftime. In the third quarter it was even, with Collingwood kicking the only goal of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Collingwood showed plenty of character in the way in which they controlled the game in the fourth quarter.
9- St Kilda had the same number of scoring shots as Melbourne Demons at quarter time, but trailed by fifteen points. That continued in the second quarter, until they stopped the rot and hit the scoreboard late in the second quarter to make the deficit two points at halftime.
They started to get the game more on their terms due to those goals in the second quarter. It’s simple they didn’t take their chances in the second half and they had too many turnovers!
10- Sydney Swans displayed good endeavour, but they didn’t have any polish with regards to their ball use. They stayed in touch on the scoreboard and that’s the main thing that matters; the deficit was only eight points at quarter time.
The second quarter was a different story; the Sydney Swans failed to score! The third quarter was more even, as they kicked two goals. There were some positives for them to take as they made some positional changes and were brave in defeat.
11- Western Bulldogs came to play. They brought an extremely good style in the early part of the game. They translated their dominance onto the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, they were outplayed in the last three quarters. They allowed Geelong to control the game in the second quarter as the margin was only three goals at halftime. The third was a tough contest between two quality teams. They were outclassed in the fourth quarter.
12- West Coast would be pleased that they kicked the second goal of the game to make the deficit one point at quarter time, somewhat unjustly, as Richmond controlled the tempo in the first quarter. The second quarter was more even, however West Coast struggled in the third quarter, but were within 14 points of Richmond at three quarter time.
From then on it was pretty much one way traffic. There’s plenty of work that West Coast have to do based on their Round 14 performance!
13- Hawthorn started the game the brighter of the two teams. They controlled the balance of play, outworking their opposition and use the ball efficiently. Their confidence and belief appeared to be high; that translated onto the scoreboard, as they took a six-goal lead into the halftime break.
There were few positives for Hawthorn, as they threw away what should’ve been a morale boosting win!
14- Carlton turned the ball over to gift Collingwood the first goal of the game. After that they brought a high amount of pressure when they didn’t have the footy for the first half of the game. Even though the scoreboard was close they seemed to be in control of the balance of play in the first half.
That all changed in the second half; They faded away after that. They failed to kick a goal in the second half!
15- Fremantle started the game slowly, which set the tone for remainder of the game. They were outplayed early in the game and were punished on the scoreboard. In the third quarter David Mundy kicked two goals in a row to give them some hope. It was short lived as it was one way traffic after that point in time. It was a morale sapping loss by 38 points.
16- North Melbourne struggled from the start of the game conceding the first two goals of the due to turnovers. Their system didn’t stack up against the Gold Coast’s. The performance from North Melbourne was thoroughly disappointing with Gold Coast having 31 scoring shots to North Melbourne’s eight scoring shots.