AFL 2011 Power Rankings – Round 6 – Dockers/Bombers Rise, Dogs/Saints fall

Round 6 Power Rankings are here. Luke has taken the multi-bye rounds to work the power ranking and see how the teams worked themselves out and there have been a couple of teams drop off and a couple of teams rising. Onto the rankings:

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Collingwood 1 <NO CHANGE> Summary: Out-slugged the Dogs in the wet.

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Statistically, they remain the best side in the competition – and their win/loss record shows that also. Interestingly, the Pies allow the highest percentage of points against them in the second half of games in the competition, at 60.4% (league average is 51.4%). Taking the foot off the pedal perhaps? It need not matter, they're still the best we have at the minute.

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Stat line: Of the points they allow their opposition, they give away more than any other team in the 3rd quarter, at 37.6%.

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Geelong 2 UP 1 Summary: Round 6 BYE.

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Fremantle 3 UP 3 Summary: Round 6 BYE.

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Hawthorn 4 <NO CHANGE> Summary: Round 6 BYE.

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Bulldogs 5 DOWN 3 Summary: Struggling to stay positive about the Dogs without a bark.

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You may recall I was quite "bullish" about the Dogs premiership window a few weeks ago. Now, I'm not so sure. They got off to a bright start against the Pies on Sunday, but couldn't maintain it – eventually going down by 48 points. Is fitness an issue down at the kennel? They're being run over in the final term, giving the highest percentage of points away of any team in the final quarter of games.

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Stat line: The Dogs feature the "oldest" group of "top 10" players in the competition, at an average age of 29.

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Carlton 6 DOWN 1 Summary: One of the best wins for the Blues in recent memory.

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Just quietly, the Blues are doing all that is asked of them so far in 2011. Their only loss came against the Pies (by 28 points, the lowest winning margin of any Pies victory this season) and you could argue they should have beaten Essendon in round 4. And after running over the top of the Swans (at the SCG) on Friday night, you get the feeling the Blues are ready to contend for a top 4 position.

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Stat line: Carlton are ranked #1 in terms of keeping the ball off their opponent, giving up just 329 disposals a game.

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Essendon 7 UP 2 Summary: The Dons did what they had to do against the Suns.

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As expected, Essendon made light work of the Gold Coast Suns on Sunday. Their record-breaking first quarter (15 goals to 0) was a delight for supporters, though losing the second quarter to the Suns was a bit of a mystery. After surviving a horror first 5-round schedule, the Bombers face the Eagles, Lions (away) and Tigers in their next three games – a terrific opportunity to lock themselves in the top 8.

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Stat line: In terms of %, the Dons are 1st in the league for points scored in the first half – and last in the league for second half points.

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Sydney 8 <NO CHANGE> Summary: An uncharacteristic loss at the SCG, to the Blues.

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In a game that appeared custom-built for a Sydney win over Carlton, the Swans couldn't go on with it in the second half of their rain-sodden match at the SCG, with Carlton finishing all over them for a rare victory in Sydney. The Swans fixture is sure to improve, having so far played teams only in the top 8 (as at end of round 6). A home encounter this week against Port Adelaide is as good as 4 premiership points in the bag.

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Stat line: The Swans average a league low 312 disposals per game.

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Adelaide 9 UP 1 Summary: Continued the Saints miserable run with an impressive home victory.

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It wasn't a walk in the park, though it appeared that way early – however the Crows proved too good for the Saints on Saturday night at AAMI Stadium. The Crows don't jump off in the page in any one statistical category, but they would be happy with their 19-point win against the struggling Saints. Tippett and Walker will prove to be a handful for opposition defenders this season.

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Stat line: The Swans and Tigers are the only clubs not to have any 200-game players on their playing lists.

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St Kilda 10 DOWN 3 Summary: It's time for the Saints to be turned over.

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Some say it's already begun, but if it's not already in the pipeline, it must be started now – the Saints have to rebuild in a hurry. There is some evidence of a rebuild "on-the-go", given that the 22 that took the field on Saturday were an average 1.1 years younger and 14 games less experienced (per player), compared to the 22 that played in their round 1 side. I query how good their young brigade can be, but if you're a Saints fan – any change is good right now.

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Stat line: The Saints schedule over the next 5 games is statistically the second most difficult in the competition at the minute.

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Richmond 11 UP 2 Summary: Plenty to like about the Tigers – get on board!

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Bendigo's own, Dustin Martin, has taken his game to a new level in 2011 – in only his second year of AFL (okay, I know he's from Castlemaine – but that's close enough to claim him as a Bendigo boy!). His cult following has inspired a series of Chuck Norris-like comparisons, such is his toughness and aggression at the footy. Richmond fielded the second youngest team in the AFL on the weekend, an indication that the best is definitely yet to come for this team.

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Stat line: The young Tigers have won the second fewest amount of quarters over their past 5 games (6 out of 20).

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West Coast 12 UP 2 Summary: The Eagles continue to be the surprise of 2011 thus far.

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No doubt about it, I didn't see this kind of rejuvenation coming from the Eagles so quickly. First year player, Jack Darling, has been a revelation and opposition club recruiters must be wondering how they allowed this kid to slip to pick #26 in the 2010 AFL Draft. If the draft is re-done tomorrow, he goes top 5. Credit to the Eagles for their 3 wins, but they've come against the Kangaroos, Port Power and the Demons. A massive test awaits this weekend against Essendon in Melbourne.

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Stat line: Statistically speaking, the Eagles have the second toughest fixture remaining in 2011.

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Melbourne 13 DOWN 2 Summary: How are the Dees still in the Top 8?

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The Demons are struggling, yet as at the end of round 6, they are sitting in 8th position with 10 premiership points. Disturbingly, however, their wins have come against the 16th and 17th placed teams on the ladder (Gold Coast and Brisbane) and they drew against a team not currently in the top 8. So, perhaps their position of 8th on the AFL ladder is generous.

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Stat line: The Demons struggle in third terms. They are worst in the AFL – losing 3rd terms by 10 points on average.

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North Melbourne 14 DOWN 2 Summary: A much needed bounce-back on the weekend, albeit against the Power.

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Despite the victory coming against the Power, 4 points is 4 points. Their schedule has been rough – two trips to Perth and an engagement with Collingwood amongst their first 4 matches – it can only get easier from here. Oh wait, they face the Cats at Skilled Stadium this coming weekend. Perhaps it gets easier after that?

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Stat line: The Kangaroos will enjoy the second easiest fixture for the rest of 2011, after a torrid first month.

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Brisbane 15 <NO CHANGE> Summary: The only team without a win – says it all really.

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Though the Lions are winless after 5 games, most of their exposed form has been better than you might think. If you remove their round 2 thumping at the hands of the Bulldogs, they have been more than competitive. With Jonathon Brown back in the line-up, I see improvement from the Lions in the second half of 2011.

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Stat line: The loss of Jonathon Brown is hurting, as expected. The Lions average the second fewest points per game in the AFL.

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Gold Coast 16 UP 1 Summary: Pick on someone your own size, Bombers!

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Okay, that performance against the Bombers was not great – making it difficult to justify ranking the Suns ahead of the Power this round. Alas, that's exactly what I've done – because remember, these rankings are not about the last match played by each club – but more so, it is about this season and beyond. The Suns list has potential premiership threat written all over it (albeit a few years away yet). One horrendous loss to Essendon does not change this fact.

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Stat line: In % terms, the Gold Coast are ranked #1 for second half points differential in the AFL.

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Port Adelaide 17 DOWN 1 Summary: Please AFL, give this team a week off!

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Personally, round 12 cannot come fast enough (the round the Power have their bye). After another insipid display on the weekend, there is talk of a fall-out amongst the playing group and word that the coach has lost control. The Power have made the most team changes in the AFL (15 from 6 games) – a sign that Primus is struggling to find a mix that will play the game style he wants for 4 quarters. I'm expecting a mass overhaul of the list come this next off-season, with or without Primus at the helm.

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Stat line: In bad news for the Power, statistically, they face the toughest remaining schedule of 2011.
Comments or complaints? You can contact me on Twitter – @luke2177 – or find me in the AFLspace.com community.
Thanks for reading!



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