The Forest from the Trees: A post for the stats nerds


I reckon our setups were a factor here. The article I posted above noted that we ran with an aggressive 6-6-6 starting setup over 60% of the time (about the third highest rate). The Pies also set up quite aggressively. Easier to score when you have your forwards in position.

The interesting one is the Dees who often ran with defensive setups but still scored heavily from the centre.


Where’s Cripps?


Scores from Centre Bounces: Well we would have to assume that this was averaged over the season, and the mere fact that the midfields rated #1 and #2, Collingwood and Melbourne feature 2 times each in the top 10 confirms either bias, or fact, either way, Essendon scores well in this comparison and is an outlier particularly in respect of the result vs the reputation, which is statistically possible, but more than likely indicates that at least in this respect our midfield is good.

Scores from Kickins: I am sick of being out spread by other teams at kickins. This goes back to the way we used to play. We used to generate scoring from half back. iow we flooded back and hoped we would win the ball there and launch a counterattack. Now, its the forward half game. Collingwoods scoring from chains after kickins is a big winner for them, and we don’t defend it well.


Tell ya what - answer this question for me clearly in black and white terms without ambiguity or colour. What causes a team to win a premiership title?

If you can do that precisely and accurately, and relate it directly to any published statistic for any team consistently and repeatedly - I’ll be interested. Excepting, of course - ‘the highest score at the final siren wins grand final’.


Have you considered Richmond’s clearance stats for 2017?


Perhaps the most interesting thing in the table is how far ahead that Sydney combination is in terms of how often they were together. Speaks to their lack of midfield deph perhaps.

I’m surprised or best combination was only in 37 times. But that also kind of makes deckham’s point. The isn’t enough info he to determine the significance of the stat.


Hate to admit but I’m with Deckham on this one.

Listening to Rutten the other day and he goes into great detail about the changes he has brought to us from Richmond.

We have a very aggressive/attacking mindset from centre bounces that allows us to score more freely than others but it also means if we turn it over we can be scored heavily against due to our numbers running forward.

He mentioned we will be having more players behind the ball to protect the defence which means we will be less likely to be scored against but also means we are less likely to see the flashy sort of goals that fans love.


Dom Sheed


you have to get the balance right and read the momentum of the game. When tbell gets hot we should go for it. If he’s being dominated we should adopt a different posture.

I also think at times we go too big at stoppages. Myers and hepp can both get exposed going the other way if the other side gets a clean tap.

I’m hoping to see us improve our ability to stop fast clearances with McGrath and Shiel seeing some centre square time.


Love it when sanctimonious types shoot down someone with a clearly misguided faith in stats.


I happened to have discovered a way to troll almost all the posters on this forum.
Diggers barracks for Sydney, I barrack for stats. OK?


I love stats.


Not necessarily absolute garbage.

There’s often an outlier or two at either end, then more or less one big clump.

Which is the case this year - 15 teams are ranged from 55 to 71.
Hawks and Pies have 80 and 79 games avg, GC are bottom with 50.

So we’re technically 2nd least experienced, but realistically there’s not much between 55 (us) and 61 (GWS) who are 10th most experienced.

Same with age, we’re 6th oldest list at 24.11 yrs - but Freo are 15th at 23.86.
There’s a split hair in it.

Not total garbage, but not worth worrying about, unless you’re one of those outliers at either end (which we were, a year or two ago).


Plan B, we don’t have a Plan B. Do we?

Woosha is not regarded as a good game day coach. Guess what, its not going to get much better and it wont get much better for virtually all coaches. Runners can no longer go on the field nearly as often. Players will need to carry messages out from the bench.

Now we are talking about empowerment of players to make changes on the field. Captains on field leadership is going to be much more important.


Agree that the actual combination numbers are the interesting part.
For simplicity of calculating, assume there’s about 25 goals a game.
That’s 550 centre bounces per team over the home & away season.

So any of these combinations, bar Sydney’s, are a really small proportion of the total centre bounces each team contested


Unless they’ve done something funky with their formatting, isn’t that saying he’s 8th best in the AFL?

EDIT: read it properly now. Yes it is selected players not a top 10.


I thought we (rightfully) did a fair bit of experimenting with midfield/flank combos in the back end.
Ie I don’t recall seeing Tippa attend a bounce im 2016 or 2017 but he had a couple in 2018.

Weren’t hampered by anywhere near the number of one-dimensional mids (only really Myers).


Agree, we definitely improved in this area over 2017 when we’d often have two of Jobe, hepp and Myers in there


Its is well known that stats wise, Richmond is a relatively poor clearance team. It did not stop them from being Minor Premiers in 2018. Of course there is more to footy than clearances and scores from centre bounce combos.
However, I posted some images of tables published in the Sun, and expected discussion about them. But if you wish to extrapolate and say they don’t mean anything in the context of the game as a whole, thats OK by me. I never said we would win the premiership because we scored 21.6 % of the time we had a certain midfield combo in place.

The point I made was simply this, our best centre bounce combo cuts it against the others. The reality is we run lots of players through the midfield because we don’t have enough Mitchells/ Fyfes and Pendleburys. Running all these “non specialist mids” in the midfield sort of guarantees in one respect that our midfield is going to be average, although it attempts to ensure we have fresh legs in there to make us better. Its probably the only way we could address the issue off insufficient midfielder star power.

An illustration of this issue was in the 4th quarter in the second Collingwood game. Pendlebury was allowed to walk out of centre bounces several times. He kicked to De Goey who was just too good for the defender we had on him.


I thought we stuffed ourself with how we selected our midfield (both list and 22) in 2017.

You look at the last 3 flag sides, they both only really have 1 or 2 one-dimensional inside mids (Redden for WCE, Cotchin for Rich, Libba for the Dogs) in their flag sides.

Having the flexibility of a MBoyd off the back flank or Caddy from the forward pocket, rather than having to use a spot in the 22 on a Wallis or Miles has ended up paying dividends.