This year’s AFL Tournament started with a split Round 1.
The Round was completed by West Coast Eagles’ victory over the Western Bulldogs.
Seven of the nine games played in Round 1 followed the end of 2013 season rankings. The exceptions were victories by the Greater Western Sydney Giants over Sydney and the Gold Coast Suns win over Richmond Tigers.
The Giants’ win was particularly noteworthy as they were the only team in Round 1 to overturn an end of Third Quarter deficit (3 points).
Winning and Losing
Round 1 performances give a first opportunity to look at how the eighteen Football Departments in the AFL have worked to transform (or build on) 2013 performances.
The average winning and losing profile by Quarter for Round 1 was:
The average gap between winners and losers in Round 1 was 40 points. There was a substantial difference in performance in the Fourth Quarter. Winners averaged 36 points and losers 17.
Round 1 in 2013 was a different kind of Round to its 2014 counterpart. Six teams outperformed their 2012 end of season ranking position. The average gap between winners and losers was 31 points. Losers were much more competitive in the Fourth Quarter of these games. Winners averaged 29 and losers 22.
The average winning and losing profile was:
The Gold Coast Suns won their 2013 and 2014 Round 1 games. The Greater Western Sydney Giants recorded one win in their 2013 season (Round 19 at home v Melbourne).
It will be interesting to see how both of the newest teams in the AFL progress this season. In my observation system, the Giants’ defeat of Sydney is particularly worthy of attention. There was a great disparity in ranking and the Giants overcame an end of Third Quarter deficit. Their ability to do this at home has very important implications for its supporters. It was a local derby win too.