Coast-to-Coast Blowouts: Who's Responsible and When Do They Strike?

Previously, I created a Game Typology for home-and-away fixtures and then went on to use that typology to characterise whole seasons and eras.

In this blog we'll use that typology to investigate the winning and losing tendencies of individual teams and to consider how the mix of different game types varies as the home-and-away season progresses.

First, let's look at the game type profile of each team's victories and losses in season 2010.

2010 - Game Type by Team 2010.png

Five teams made a habit of recording Coast-to-Coast Comfortably victories this season - Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs - all of them finalists, and all of them winning in this fashion at least 5 times during the season.

Two other finalists, Hawthorn and the Saints, were masters of the Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biter. They, along with Port Adelaide, registered four or more of this type of win.

Of the six other game types there were only two that any single team recorded on 4 occasions. The Roos managed four Quarter 2 Press Light victories, and Geelong had four wins categorised as Quarter 3 Press victories.

Looking next at loss typology, we find six teams specialising in Coast-to-Coast Comfortably losses. One of them is Carlton, who also appeared on the list of teams specialising in wins of this variety, reinforcing the point that I made in an earlier blog about the Blues' fate often being determined in 2010 by their 1st quarter performance.

The other teams on the list of frequent Coast-to-Coast Comfortably losers are, unsurprisingly, those from positions 13 through 16 on the final ladder, and the Roos. They finished 9th on the ladder but recorded a paltry 87.4 percentage, this the logical consequence of all those Coast-to-Coast Comfortably losses.

Collingwood and Hawthorn each managed four losses labelled Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters, and West Coast lost four encounters that were Quarter 2 Press Lights, and four more that were 2nd-Half Revivals where they weren't doing the reviving.

With only 22 games to consider for each team it's hard to get much of a read on general tendencies. So let's increase the sample by an order of magnitude and go back over the previous 10 seasons.

2010 - Game Type by Team 2001-2010.png

Adelaide's wins have come disproportionately often from presses in the 1st or 2nd quarters and relatively rarely from 2nd-Half Revivals or Coast-to-Coast results. They've had more than their expected share of losses of type Q2 Press Light, but less than their share of Q1 Press and Coast-to-Coast losses. In particular, they've suffered few Coast-to-Coast Blowout losses.

Brisbane have recorded an excess of Coast-to-Coast Comfortably and Blowout victories and less Q1 Press, Q3 Press and Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters than might be expected. No game type has featured disproportionately more often amongst their losses, but they have had relatively few Q2 Press and Q3 Press losses.

Carlton has specialised in the Q2 Press victory type and has, relatively speaking, shunned Q3 Press and Coast-to-Coast Blowout victories. Their losses also include a disportionately high number of Q2 Press losses, which suggests that, over the broader time horizon of a decade, Carlton's fate has been more about how they've performed in the 2nd term. Carlton have also suffered a disproportionately high share of Coast-to-Coast Blowouts - which is I suppose what a Q2 Press loss might become if it gets ugly - yet have racked up fewer than the expected number of Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters and Coast-to-Coast Comfortablys. If you're going to lose Coast-to-Coast, might as well make it a big one.

Collingwood's victories have been disproportionately often 2nd-Half Revivals or Coast-to-Coast Blowouts and not Q1 Presses or Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters. Their pattern of losses has been partly a mirror image of their pattern of wins, with a preponderance of Q1 Presses and Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters and a scarcity of 2nd-Half Revivals. They've also, however, had few losses that were Q2 or Q3 Presses or that were Coast-to-Coast Comfortablys.

Wins for Essendon have been Q1 Presses or Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters unexpectedly often, but have been Q2 Press Lights or 2nd-Half Revivals significantly less often than for the average team. The only game type overrepresented amongst their losses has been the Coast-to-Coast Comfortably type, while Coast-to-Coast Blowouts, Q1 Presses and, especially, Q2 Presses have been signficantly underrepresented.

Fremantle's had a penchant for leaving their runs late. Amongst their victories, Q3 Presses and 2nd-Half Revivals occur more often than for the average team, while Coast-to-Coast Blowouts are relatively rare. Their losses also have a disproportionately high showing of 2nd-Half Revivals and an underrepresentation of Coast-to-Coast Blowouts and Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters. It's fair to say that Freo don't do Coast-to-Coast results.

Geelong have tended to either dominate throughout a game or to leave their surge until later. Their victories are disproportionately of the Coast-to-Coast Blowout and Q3 Press varieties and are less likely to be Q2 Presses (Regular or Light) or 2nd-Half Revivals. Losses have been Q2 Press Lights more often than expected, and Q1 Presses, Q3 Presses or Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters less often than expected.

Hawthorn have won with Q2 Press Lights disproportionately often, but have recorded 2nd-Half Revivals relatively infrequently and Q2 Presses very infrequently. Q2 Press Lights are also overrepresented amongst their losses, while Q2 Presses and Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters appear less often than would be expected.

The Roos specialise in Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biter and Q2 Press Light victories and tend to avoid Q2 and Q3 Presses, as well as Coast-to-Coast Comfortably and Blowout victories. Losses have come disproportionately from the Q3 Press bucket and relatively rarely from the Q2 Press (Regular or Light) categories. The Roos generally make their supporters wait until late in the game to find out how it's going to end.

Melbourne heavily favour the Q2 Press Light style of victory and have tended to avoid any of the Coast-to-Coast varieties, especially the Blowout variant. They have, however, suffered more than their share of Coast-to-Coast Comfortably losses, but less than their share of Coast-to-Coast Blowout and Q2 Press Light losses.

Port Adelaide's pattern of victories has been a bit like Geelong's. They too have won disproportionately often via Q3 Presses or Coast-to-Coast Blowouts and their wins have been underrepresented in the Q2 Press Light category. They've also been particularly prone to Q2 and Q3 Press losses, but not to Q1 Presses or 2nd-Half Revivals.

Richmond wins have been disproportionately 2nd-Half Revivals or Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters, and rarely Q1 or Q3 Presses. Their losses have been Coast-to-Coast Blowouts disproportionately often, but Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters and Q2 Press Lights relatively less often than expected.

St Kilda have been masters of the foot-to-the-floor style of victory. They're overrepresented amongst Q1 and Q2 Presses, as well as Coast-to-Coast Blowouts, and underrepresented amongst Q3 Presses and Coast-to-Coast Comfortablys. Their losses include more Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters than the average team, and fewer Q1 and Q3 Presses, and 2nd-Half Revivals.

Sydney's loss profile almost mirrors the average team's with the sole exception being a relative abundance of Q3 Presses. Their profile of losses, however, differs significantly from the average and shows an excess of Q1 Presses, 2nd-Half Revivals and Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters, a relative scarcity of Q3 Presses and Coast-to-Coast Comfortablys, and a virtual absence of Coast-to-Coast Blowouts.

West Coast victories have come disproportionately as Q2 Press Lights and have rarely been of any other of the Press varieties. In particular, Q2 Presses have been relatively rare. Their losses have all too often been Coast-to-Coast blowouts or Q2 Presses, and have come as Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biters relatively infrequently.

The Western Bulldogs have won with Coast-to-Coast Comfortablys far more often than the average team, and with the other two varieties of Coast-to-Coast victories far less often. Their profile of losses mirrors that of the average team excepting that Q1 Presses are somewhat underrepresented.

We move now from associating teams with various game types to associating rounds of the season with various game types.

You might wonder, as I did, whether different parts of the season tend to produce a greater or lesser proportion of games of particular types. Do we, for example, see more Coast-to-Coast Blowouts early in the season when teams are still establishing routines and disciplines, or later on in the season when teams with no chance meet teams vying for preferred finals berths?

2010 - Game Type by Round 2001-2010.png

For this chart, I've divided the seasons from 2001 to 2010 into rough quadrants, each spanning 5 or 6 rounds.

The Coast-to-Coast Comfortably game type occurs most often in the early rounds of the season, then falls away a little through the next two quadrants before spiking a little in the run up to the finals.

The pattern for the Coast-to-Coast Nail-Biter game type is almost the exact opposite. It's relatively rare early in the season and becomes more prevalent as the season progresses through its middle stages, before tapering off in the final quadrant.

Coast-to-Coast Blowouts occur relatively infrequently during the first half of the season, but then blossom, like weeds, in the second half, especially during the last 5 rounds when they reach near-plague proportions.

Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 Presses occur with similar frequencies across the season, though they both show up slightly more often as the season progresses. Quarter 2 Press Lights, however, predominate in the first 5 rounds of the season and then decline in frequency across rounds 6 to 16 before tapering dramatically in the season's final quadrant.

Quarter 3 Presses occur least often in the early rounds, show a mild spike in Rounds 6 to 11, and then taper off in frequency across the remainder of the season. 2nd-Half Revivals show a broadly similar pattern.