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Opinion

The AFL pecking order in Round 16

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Roar Guru
9th September, 2020
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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 16 proved tough to rank as there were a couple of upsets. Five out of eight games were won with a margin of 14 points or less. The margin in the game between North Melbourne and Port Adelaide, which was the first game of Round 16, was 36 points, while the game between Geelong and Essendon was 66 points.

The final game of the round was one-sided, with the Brisbane Lions beating Gold Coast by 45 points.

In Round 16 Collingwood and Richmond had the bye, therefore there are only 16 teams in the pecking order.

Take a look at the pecking order from Round 16!

1. Brisbane Lions
They started the game well, with nine scoring shots in the first quarter to Gold Coast’s one. They played extremely well considering they were playing without arguably their most important player in Harris Andrews. When Gold Coast were in possession of the ball Brisbane’s pressure was elite. It was a four-quarter effort from the Lions when they could have easily taken the foot off the peddle. They kicked at least two goals in all four quarters.

(Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

2. Geelong Cats
Geelong took their opportunities to kick goals in the opening part of the game. Their efficiency and ball use were impressive, and they transferred their dominance onto the scoreboard, deservedly leading by five goals at quarter-time. They continued from where they left off in the second quarter. At halftime the margin was 59 points in favour of Geelong. They weren’t complacent. In the second half they may have taken their foot off the peddle, adding just seven points more to their halftime lead.

3. Adelaide Crows
The Crows started the game well because their endeavour and pressure were extremely high, which they translated onto the scoreboard, accumulating a 14-point lead at quarter-time. Unfortunately, they kept Greater Western Sydney in the game, kicking just three goals from eight scoring shots, which equated to a five-point lead near halftime. Their attack on the footy never wavered for the entire game. Their endeavour and resilience were admirable.

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4. Western Bulldogs
Their start to the game was shocking, conceding the first four goals in the first quarter. The second quarter was a different story – they took their chances to hit the scoreboard. The game was tight despite the fact they controlled the balance of play after quarter-time due to inaccurate goal kicking!

5. St Kilda Saints
St Kilda started the game slowly. They should have been well prepared for this match. After conceding the first three goals of the game they kicked the next three majors, showing plenty of character. They led by three points at halftime, the game in the balance. It was 16 scoring shots to 11 in favour of St Kilda in the third quarter, but the scores were level. They played well in the third term, accumulating a 13-point lead at three-quarter-time. The fourth quarter was an arm wrestle, just surviving Hawthorn’s onslaught.

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6. Fremantle Dockers
The Dockers started the game playing a fairly decent brand of footy. They should have been completely in control of the contest at quarter-time, but their first six scoring shots in the first quarter were all behinds. They didn’t convert their opportunities to put any scoreboard pressure on their opposition. In the third quarter they may not have played their best footy but their pressure without the ball was good. Despite keeping the Demons in the game with their inaccurate goal kicking, the Fremantle Dockers put in a four-quarter effort.

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7. Hawthorn Hawks
They started well, kicking the opening three goals of the game. They were rewarded for their effort on the scoreboard. They played well in the first quarter but led by only three points at quarter-time. The future looks bright for Hawthorn based on their performance in Round 16, as they controlled the first and last quarters. They finished with the fifth-highest score of the round, scoring 66 points, despite the fact they lost the game to St Kilda.

8. Port Adelaide Power
They responded well to conceding the first goal of the game. It was like a training drill, but they treated it like a final in the first quarter. The second quarter was a different story, as they allowed North Melbourne to stay in the game. Port Adelaide dominated the third quarter. The fourth quarter ebbed and flowed. They would be disappointed they didn’t win by more than 36 points.

Kane Farrell

(Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

9. Carlton Blues
Carlton continued their poor recent form, going goalless for the first quarter. They kicked four goals in a row after conceding the first seven goals. In the third quarter they were more methodical with the ball and were rewarded as they decreased the deficit to six points at three-quarter-time after it had been 39 points in the second quarter. They won the game deservedly in the end.

10. Greater Western Sydney Giants
The Giants were poor early in the game. They were outplayed and outworked. They stayed in touch on the scoreboard in the first half, trailing by just four points at halftime. The second half was a bit of an improvement but on the whole more of the same.

11. Sydney Swans
They kicked the opening seven goals of the game and looked ready for the match from start to finish. They dominated the game and translated their control onto the scoreboard. But they allowed Carlton back in the match, conceding four goals in a row in the second quarter. The third was controlled by Carlton as well.

12. West Coast Eagles
The Eagles led, kicking the first four goals of the game. The difference between the two teams in the first quarter was that they were more accurate than the Western Bulldogs. West Coast were completely outplayed by the Bulldogs after quarter time.

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13. North Melbourne
North carried on as they had left off in Round 15, with a disappointing start to the game. They worked hard in the second quarter, staying in touch with Port Adelaide on the scoreboard. That all changed in the third quarter when Port Adelaide outclassed them. They showed some endeavour, but there weren’t many positives for North to take out of the game.

14. Essendon Bombers
They missed a couple of chances early in the game, which hurt them badly. It was one-way traffic in Geelong’s favour – it was difficult to decipher whether the Cats were good or Essendon were bad. It was probably a combination of both. Their endeavour was okay in the second half, but it was too late. It was a shocking display in a game they appeared to be ill-prepared for.

15. Melbourne Demons
Melbourne struggled to get possession of the ball in the early stages but stayed in the contest on the scoreboard, trailing by just 11 points at quarter-time. Their style of play didn’t stack up for the entire game against a team that were 14th on the ladder after 15 rounds. They only started to take risks with their ball movement in the fourth quarter, but by then it was too late.

16. Gold Coast Suns
They didn’t have many positives in a game they would be disappointed and embarrassed with.