AFL 2019 - How did your team perform in each quarter?

With Finals football only few days away, we thought it'd be a perfect time to take a deeper look at some of the AFL's underlying metrics.

And while ultimately, all the ladder really cared about is who did and who didn't make the AFL finals in 2019, it's always worth taking a deeper dive to examine just how and why clubs arrived at their final destinations.

There's of course a tonne of analytical devices we can call upon to better understand what's taking place on the field, and one tool of analysis too often overlooked is breaking down a game from a quarter by quarter perspective.

By distilling a match into smaller portions we're able to get under the bonnet and discover insights into where games are being won and lost. What we found in 2019 was really quite intriguing.

First Quarter:

Richmond finished first place with 16 first quarter wins, while their 159.38% percentage was the best mark by any team in any quarter. Geelong and West Coast followed, while Alistair Clarkson's Hawks completed the Top 4. 

By watching Collingwood's first halves in 2019, you'd be aware that it wasn't too often the Pies headed for the quarter time huddle behind on the scoreboard. But thanks to injuries and a difficult second half of the season, the Magpies fell all the way to fifth on the first quarter ladder. 

It’s also interesting to note that the Swans actually outperformed Top 8 teams such as Essendon, the Bulldogs, Brisbane and the Giants in the first term, having won 11 first quarters on the season. 

Position

Team

Played

Win

Loss

Draw

%Won

Percentage

1

Richmond Tigers

22

16

6

0

72.73%

159.38%

2

Geelong Cats

22

15

6

1

70.45%

134.11%

3

West Coast Eagles

22

14

7

1

65.91%

127.52%

4

Hawthorn Hawks

22

13

8

1

61.36%

122.72%

5

Collingwood Magpies

22

13

8

1

61.36%

117.53%

6

North Melbourne Kangaroos

22

11

10

1

52.27%

128.28%

7

Sydney Swans

22

11

10

1

52.27%

95.05%

8

Brisbane Lions

22

11

11

0

50.00%

99.16%

9

GWS Giants

22

10

12

0

45.45%

117.46%

10

Melbourne Demons

22

10

12

0

45.45%

87.40%

11

Western Bulldogs

22

9

11

2

45.45%

99.22%

12

Fremantle Dockers

22

9

12

1

43.18%

93.64%

13

Adelaide Crows

22

9

12

1

43.18%

92.36%

14

Gold Coast Suns

22

9

12

1

43.18%

74.10%

15

Essendon Bombers

22

9

13

0

40.91%

89.07%

16

Port Adelaide Power

22

8

13

1

38.64%

74.39%

17

St Kilda Saints

22

7

14

1

34.09%

75.43%

18

Carlton Blues

22

7

14

1

34.09%

68.66%

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Second Quarter:

They might have finished 14th on the ladder, but with 15 wins, the Saints were actually joint-leaders with Richmond for most second quarter wins. 

Geelong, third on the list, had the league's best, second term percentage at 133.05, while special mention must go the Gold Coast Suns whose four wins were the very worst performance by any team, in any quarter- as too was their deplorable 48.81 percentage in the second term.

Position

Team

Played

Win

Loss

Draw

%Won

Percentage

1

St Kilda Saints

22

15

6

1

70.45%

118.58%

2

Richmond Tigers

22

15

6

1

70.45%

115.21%

3

Geelong Cats

22

15

7

0

68.18%

133.05%

4

Port Adelaide Power

22

13

8

1

61.36%

128.80%

5

Adelaide Crows

22

12

8

2

59.09%

126.79%

6

Brisbane Lions

22

12

8

2

59.09%

112.21%

7

Western Bulldogs

22

12

9

1

56.82%

109.87%

8

Sydney Swans

22

11

11

0

50.00%

99.55%

9

GWS Giants

22

10

9

3

52.27%

126.11%

10

Collingwood Magpies

22

10

11

1

47.73%

108.59%

11

Essendon Bombers

22

10

11

1

47.73%

89.03%

12

Melbourne Demons

22

9

12

1

43.18%

88.40%

13

Carlton Blues

22

9

12

1

43.18%

76.58%

14

West Coast Eagles

22

9

13

0

40.91%

100.65%

15

Hawthorn Hawks

22

9

13

0

40.91%

92.93%

16

North Melbourne Kangaroos

22

8

14

0

36.36%

87.55%

17

Fremantle Dockers

22

7

14

1

34.09%

76.46%

18

Gold Coast Suns

22

4

18

0

18.18%

48.81%

Third Quarter

Brisbane finished out on top with 16 wins, while Geelong, Giants and the Swans rounded out the top four. 

Interestingly, St Kilda, the equal best team in the competition where second quarter performance was concerned, slid all the way to last for third quarter performance with just five wins and sixteen losses on the season.

Position

Team

Played

Win

Loss

Draw

%Won

Percentage

1

Brisbane Lions

22

16

5

1

75.00%

150.77%

2

Geelong Cats

22

15

7

0

68.18%

145.92%

3

GWS Giants

22

14

8

0

63.64%

123.64%

4

Sydney Swans

22

13

9

0

59.09%

96.08%

5

Port Adelaide Power

22

12

9

1

56.82%

116.36%

6

Western Bulldogs

22

12

10

0

54.55%

113.23%

7

Richmond Tigers

22

12

10

0

54.55%

94.21%

8

Collingwood Magpies

22

11

10

1

52.27%

116.08%

9

West Coast Eagles

22

11

11

0

50.00%

114.57%

10

Essendon Bombers

22

11

11

0

50.00%

100.96%

11

Carlton Blues

22

11

11

0

50.00%

97.82%

12

Hawthorn Hawks

22

10

12

0

45.45%

113.82%

13

Fremantle Dockers

22

10

12

0

45.45%

94.70%

14

Adelaide Crows

22

9

13

0

40.91%

90.06%

15

North Melbourne Kangaroos

22

9

13

0

40.91%

84.85%

16

Melbourne Demons

22

8

14

0

36.36%

70.64%

17

Gold Coast Suns

22

7

15

0

31.82%

55.70%

18

St Kilda Saints

22

5

16

1

25.00%

71.11%

Fourth Quarter

The Lions led the league where final stanza performance was concerned netting 14 wins while the Hawk's barnstorming finish to the season was reflected in their 13 last quarter wins. 

With 12 fourth quarter victories in 2019, Geelong and Collingwood completed the Top 4.

After 17 games this season, the Giants were ranked first on the Final Term ladder with 11 wins, however in the final ten matches they managed just one fourth quarter win, resulting in a slide down to the eighth spot.

Position

Team

Played

Win

Loss

Draw

%Won

Percentage

1

Brisbane Lions

22

14

8

0

63.64%

115.75%

2

Hawthorn Hawks

22

13

8

1

61.36%

106.57%

3

Geelong Cats

22

12

9

1

56.82%

129.43%

4

Collingwood Magpies

22

12

9

1

56.82%

128.50%

5

Port Adelaide Power

22

12

10

0

54.55%

113.75%

6

North Melbourne Kangaroos

22

12

10

0

54.55%

103.09%

7

Richmond Tigers

22

12

10

0

54.55%

100.69%

8

GWS Giants

22

12

10

0

54.55%

97.19%

9

Carlton Blues

22

11

9

2

54.55%

98.40%

10

Adelaide Crows

22

11

10

1

52.27%

98.94%

11

West Coast Eagles

22

11

11

0

50.00%

108.92%

12

Essendon Bombers

22

11

11

0

50.00%

102.80%

13

Fremantle Dockers

22

10

11

1

47.73%

104.71%

14

Western Bulldogs

22

10

12

0

45.45%

108.06%

15

Sydney Swans

22

9

10

3

47.73%

100.23%

16

St Kilda Saints

22

9

13

0

40.91%

79.36%

17

Melbourne Demons

22

6

16

0

27.27%

71.93%

18

Gold Coast Suns

22

6

16

0

27.27%

64.36%

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All Quarters

As expected, the 2019 Minor Premiers, Geelong, had the the most total quarters won in 2019 with 57 from their 88 played. Among the Finals teams, Essendon won the least quarters (41). 

At the other end of the Quarters Won table, Fremantle, St Kilda, Melbourne and the Suns filled out the bottom four spots on the overall ladder.

Position

Team

Played

Win

Loss

Draw

%Won

Percentage

1

Geelong Cats

88

57

29

2

65.91%

135.70%

2

Richmond Tigers

88

55

32

1

63.07%

113.70%

3

Brisbane Lions

88

53

32

3

61.93%

118.30%

4

Collingwood Magpies

88

46

38

4

54.55%

117.74%

5

GWS Giants

88

46

39

3

53.98%

115.40%

6

Port Adelaide Power

88

45

40

3

52.84%

105.37%

7

Hawthorn Hawks

88

45

41

2

52.27%

108.74%

8

West Coast Eagles

88

45

42

1

51.70%

112.48%

9

Sydney Swans

88

44

40

4

52.27%

97.71%

10

Western Bulldogs

88

43

42

3

50.57%

107.24%

11

Adelaide Crows

88

41

43

4

48.86%

100.85%

12

Essendon Bombers

88

41

46

1

47.16%

95.40%

13

North Melbourne Kangaroos

88

40

47

1

46.02%

99.45%

14

Carlton Blues

88

38

46

4

45.45%

84.46%

15

Fremantle Dockers

88

36

49

3

42.61%

91.91%

16

St Kilda Saints

88

36

49

3

42.61%

83.89%

17

Melbourne Demons

88

33

54

1

38.07%

78.65%

18

Gold Coast Suns

88

26

61

1

30.11%

60.53%


The Tigers, Lions, Dogs and Pies come into September with some momentum from the final few rounds of the season, yet the Finals are a different beast altogether where the caliber of opposition jumps significantly. 

In September, each and every quarter takes on 'make or break' importance, while one half-hour of excellence or ineptitude could well be the difference between premiership glory and a sad 'Mad Monday'. 

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Nikhil Deshpande

Started supporting Manchester United for Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Chose Collingwood FC because my hairdresser convinced me to. Spreading the word that Charlie Austin and Ben Simmons are GOATs. Got dealt a good hand with sense of humor but had to sacrifice all my Fantasy sports skills in return. Don't regret it at all. Well... maybe just a little.

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