Pointless v St Kilda

The Swans' 2nd and 3rd quarter performances last Saturday should not go unremarked.

In the 3rd quarter they failed to register a point, which is a phenomenon that's occurred in only 1.2% of all quarters ever played and in just 0.3% of quarters played since and including the 1980 season. Indeed, so rare is it that only one occurrence has been recorded in each of the last two seasons.

Last year, Melbourne racked up the season's duck egg in the 1st quarter of their Round 19 clash against Geelong, leaving them trailing 0.0 to 8.5 at the first change and in so doing setting a new standard for rapidity in disillusioning Heritage Fund Investors. In 2007 the Western Bulldogs were the team who failed to trouble the goal umpire for an entire quarter - the 2nd quarter of their Round 22 game against the Kangaroos.

So, let's firstly salute the rarity that is failing to score for an entire quarter.

But the Swans did more than this. They preceded their scoreless quarter with a quarter in which they kicked just two behinds. Stringing together successive quarters that, combined, yield two points or fewer is a feat that's been achieved only 175 times in the entire history of the game, and 140 of those were recorded in the period from 1897 to 1918.

Across the last 30 seasons only 12 teams have managed such frugality in front of goal. Prior to the Swans, the most recent example was back in Round 14 of 2002 when West Coast went in at half-time against Geelong having scored 4.7 and headed to the sheds a bit over an hour later having scored just two behinds in the 3rd quarter and nothing at all in the 4th. That makes it almost 6-and-a-half seasons since anyone has done what the Swans did on Saturday.

Prior to the Eagles we need to reach back to Round 4 of 1999 when Essendon - playing West Coast as it happens - finished the 1st quarter and the half stuck at 2.2 and then managed just two behinds in the 3rd term. (They went on to record only two more scoring shots in the final term but rather spoiled things by making one of them a major.)

If you saw the Swans games then, you witnessed a little piece of history.