Hawthorn, who started the season slugglishly and who we’ve mostly rated adrift from or within the top pack but not above it, have pushed up another spot in our rankings this week thanks to their demolition of Richmond. Notably, they’ve pushed their defence rating (efficiency of opponent inside-50s) above the league average in the last two weeks after looking relatively weak in this measure in earlier performances.
West Coast slip in the ratings despite winning thanks to a really lopsided inside-50 count hurting their midfield rating. We use inside-50 ratio as out measure of between-the-arcs strength because it correlates strongly with victory – as The Arc vividly demonstrated this week.
The Bulldogs were also harshly punished (a 1.1% drop in strength rating is big for this stage of the season) after their loss to St Kilda. This was a perfect storm of:
- breaking roughly even in inside-50s hurt their midfield rating
- poorer inside-50 efficiency further hurt their forward strength rating
- St Kilda’s relatively high inside-50 efficiency hurt their defensive rating
- the addition of a weaker opponent hurt their opponent strength adjustment
It was a bad night for the Bulldogs’ aspirations all around.
Finally, here’s another look at the ratings for each team’s opponent set this year:
Most teams have played most sides, some have played teams twice. Adelaide have faced the hardest draw due to not yet having played Essendon or Brisbane, while West Coast have had the weakest schedule so far on the back of doubling up on Brisbane and not facing GWS. These are fairly modest differences.