The defensive contested 1v1 thread

Ok. So instead of clogging up other threads with this stat that only I really care about, I thought I’d put it all in one place. I’ll try to update the figures after each game.

Before I start, I’ll try and clarify what this stat actually is.

As per Champion data:
A 50-50 contest that occurs after a kick, and involves only two players – a target player and a defender. Each player must have a reasonable chance to win the ball in order for a one-on-one to be recorded. Winning and losing percentages refer to how often a player wins the ball or concedes a possession to his opponent.

So, it’s gotta be a 50/50 contest, no third man involved. It doesn’t count when a ball is kicked to a forward’s advantage.

Also, if a defender is good at closing down an opponent or getting in a late spoil, that doesn’t really get represented here. Or the opposite, if he gets burnt on the lead and never gets to the contest, that won’t affect the number here.

So it’s hardly an all-inclusive stat, and it doesn’t paint the full defensive picture just by itself. But it does give some interesting insight into how well your defenders actually defend, all things being equal.

So, here are some numbers:
Firstly, last season:

2021 Total Av per game Total losses Loss %
Laverde 78 3.4 18 23.1
Stewart 69 4.1 22 31.9
Kelly 65 3.3 11 16.9
Ridley 62 2.8 9 14.5
Heppell 28 1.5 5 17.9
Hind 25 1.1 4 16.0
Redman 21 1.0 7 33.3
Francis 21 1.4 8 38.1
Zerk 9 1.5 1 11.1

Now, this season

2022 Total Av per game Total losses Loss %
Laverde 29 5.8 9 31.0
Kelly 21 4.2 9 42.9
Stewart 12 4.0 5 41.7
Ridley 10 2.0 4 40.0
Zerk 8 4.0 3 37.5
Heppell 8 1.6 3 37.5
Redman 4 0.8 1 25.0
Hind 1 0.2 0 0

And here are the top 10 in the league for average number of contests per game. (the guys who are really getting hammered this year so far.)

Av per game Loss %
Harris Andrews 6.0 16.7
Jayden Laverde 5.8 31.0
Jordan Butts 5.4 33.3
Alex Pearce 5.0 20.0
Trent McKenzie 4.7 50.0
Sam Collins 4.6 13.0
Charlie Ballard 4.2 19.0
Jake Kelly 4.2 42.9
Steven May 4.2 4.8
James Stewart 4.0 41.7

My Initial Observations

Obviously, all our guys have higher percentages than last year, but it’s the average per game that really stands out. We are getting hammered, Laverde especially. That’s three guys in the top 10 (To be fair, Stewart is equal 10th with like 7 other guys, including Zerk, but he’s in here for effect.)

This points to how the footy is coming into our defensive 50. Our guys aren’t getting set up properly / in time, aren’t able to highlight the real threats for each entry, and are struggling to get third man up to contests. It’s leaving our guys quite exposed, and they are all struggling.

Lav is actually holding up quite well here, which suggests he’s getting burnt on the lead a bit more over the last few weeks. Which to me, says that him being undersized is not the core issue causing the goals against him.

One final observation… 2MP’s last four opponents are all sitting in the top 10, which shows how often we are just bombing it to him. (they all had year highs against us)

Anyway, I find this interesting, but i know not everyone does. :laughing:


I approve of this thread.


Hinds only been in 1 contest in 5 rounds? Fmd

At least he didn’t lose it


Great thread. Thanks for sharing those stats.

Goes into our fundamentals issue. Do we want players that pick and choose when they go or always go.

We are getting less everything out of Hind.

Yes, we are getting left beHind.

PS Thanks for stats - interesting.

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Good thread - thanks!

Just a request, if you think it sounds useful @Paul_Peos , would it be possible to add a column on the Essendon 2022 table that shows the +/- for Loss % from 2022 compared to that player’s 2021 numbers?


Since it’s your thread, Peos…

Do you think it’s More that the defensive set-up personnel isn’t right, or that it wouldn’t matter who we had or how they were matched up with the lack of pressure further up the ground?

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Kelly going from 17% loss in '21 to 43% loss in '22 tells a stark tale about where we are at defensively.

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I’m not really sure, I guess it’s a bit of both?

Seeing as though it’s only counting the 50/50’s, better defenders should do better here regardless of the scoreboard. And Jake Kelly wasn’t exactly playing in a top team last year when he got those numbers. He’s way down this year.

But the sheer quantity of one on ones points to the problem being up the field. The ball is just coming in far too quickly for our defenders to set up, and leaving our guys exposed. Carlton last year were a good example. Statistically, Jones was the best defender in the game, with Weitering close behind. But, they also faced the most one on ones of anybody, and conceded big scores and big bags of goals.

They’ve tightened that up this year.

I dunno, I think the names in the defence are all good enough individually, but they all seem to be simultaneously down in form this year, which is odd.


Being lifelong Essendon, I have no interest in this topic.


It would be nice, I’ll have a look later. Too many columns stuffs the formatting up on mobile, so have to be prudent.

I might do that with the weekly updates.

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I actually have all the EFC figures going back to 2013 (when they first starting counting it).

Surely that would excite you Dingus?


I’d love to see these numbers for a couple of other teams. Like Geelong and Brisbane. See if there’s a trend in the game or if it’s just us getting pumped. Maybe it’s an early season thing? Obviously the Geelong game has ■■■■■■ our stats if you average them out over the first 5 rounds too.

I like this thread, thank you.

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Great thread, @Paul_Peos. Love this stuff

Just so I can understand these stats correctly, are you saying that if a defender is beaten on the lead by the forward, that isn’t captured in these stats?

For example, Wright bet May and Andrews a few times on the lead in his match up against them. These contests don’t count as losses to May and Andrews?



In fact, all of Andrews, May and Butts recorded 0 losses against us, despite 2MP taking multiple contested marks against all three of them.

They are very conservative on what they count. We only lost three yesterday, Lav 2 (of 6), Zerk 1 (of 5).


These dont count as contests, they are uncontested marks.

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But even a contested mark doesn’t automatically count as a contested one on one.

Only if the defender had an equal chance of winning the contest.