What Did We Learn From Round 1? #AFL

Plus the Lowbrown and a couple of other things.

We’re going to do weekly round-ups this year on HPN, and this time we mean it. Honestly. Just trust us.

Winners v Losers

For the first time in AFL history the nine winners from round 1 travel this week to play the nine losers from the first week. This is an extremely unlikely outcome at first glance, but how unlikely is it by the numbers? Footy stats guru Tony Corke weighed in and said that:

Corke Prob

The perfect scenario after this week would of course be all nine travelling teams winning, leaving every team in the competition at either a 100% or 0% winning record. According to one the betting agencies, the likelihood of this oddity occurring currently stands at a mere 72.51 to 1 right now, with the only outsider in the market being Gold Coast vs Fremantle. With the Suns out of the equation, the odds reduce to a mere 14.5 to 1. While it’s unlikely, there remains the real chance that after two rounds the top eight teams could only be separated by percentage.

Hot Take of the Week

For our first HTOTW, we’re actually going with our second choice. We’ve already written about the hottest take going, the Collingwood 11.

But in the meantime, read this #taek on the maybe greatest number one draft pick of all time but probably not because he’s only played one game that his team lost.

Dermie is the sense of reason in this piece. DERMIE! You know your take is a garbage fire when you get freaking DERMIE in to lower everyone’s expectations. He’s the guy who wrote off McCartin after FOUR GAMES! There have been some very, very, very good players picked at number 1. Weitering might be good – he might even be great – but he’s played one freaking game. Cool your jets people.

Things to watch this week

  1. Will Brisbane’s defence step up?

Last year Brisbane had a lot of structural issues, but none more than in their defence. The Lions managed to concede goals on 29% of their conceded inside 50s, a mark that’s good for worst in the league. The Lions also came dead last in scoring shots conceded per opposition inside 50 and opposition marks inside 50 per entry.

2015 AFL defensive

Last week they were even worse, admittedly against one of the best forward lines in the competition in a game where the defence didn’t matter.

2016 R1 AFL defensive

After their loss last week, the focus coming out of the coaching box was pride that they could score over 100 points, and not on their defensive frailties. It’s hard to conceive of a team conceding more than 20 goals and winning a game in the modern era, but the Lions appear to be slowly moving down that path.

North, like West Coast, have a variety of potent forwards of all different sizes. Could we see another team rack up a 150+ score on the fledgling Lions backline, or will they learn their lesson from last week?

  1. Will stoppages bounce back to 2015 levels?

Round one saw a total of 1434 hitouts, a big number on paper but somewhat down on the weekly average of 1610 last year. If this trend continues, how much will it hurt the more dominant ruck teams such as Fremantle, West Coast and North Melbourne?

  1. The debut of Dougal Howard

What a name. HPN has put a fiver on him for the Rising Star based on it alone. Come on you good thing.

  1. Can the high scoring continue?

Last week saw a total of 255 goals kicked at an accuracy of 53.9%, up on last year’s round average of 235 (at 53.45). It’s possible that last week was an anomaly with a number of high scoring match-ups, and scoring will revert back to normal, but some analysts seem to think that the increase in scoring may be linked to factors such as the reduced interchange bench and the new rule interpretations.

Lowbrown Medal – Round 1

The Lowbrown Medal is HPN’s attempt to find the least useful and productive AFL player over the course of a season. After each round HPN votes for the best of the worst. Players are ineligible if they are injured early in the match, or aren’t on the park enough to contribute.

Richmond v Carlton

  1. S Morris
  2. D Buckley
  3. D Grimes

Melbourne v GWS Giants

  1. J Stewart
  2. S Frost
  3. T Greene

Gold Coast v Essendon

  1. S McKernan
  2. S Lemmans
  3. J Simpkin

North Melbourne v Adelaide

  1. W Milera
  2. M McGovern
  3. L McDonald

Sydney v Collingwood

  1. C Gault
  2. T Cloke
  3. J Witts

Western Bulldogs v Fremantle

  1. C Mayne
  2. J Griffen
  3. S Hill

Port Adelaide v St Kilda

  1. E Templeton
  2. J Neade
  3. J Impey

West Coast v Brisbane

  1. J Freeman
  2. C Beams
  3. D Gardiner

Geelong v Hawthorn

  1. R Shoenmakers
  2. S Kersten
  3. J Sicily

The Irwin Medal

It was pointed out to us over the offseason that we didn’t have an equivalent match for the Coleman Medal as a companion to our Lowbrown Medal. So HPN would like to introduce the Irwin Medal, named after Warwick Irwin, a former Fitzroy/Collingwood/St Kilda forward who managed to have two of the most prolific yet inaccurate seasons of all time. The winner of this medal will be the player with the worst goalkicking accuracy, minimum 30 attempts on goal.


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