The 2015 Finalists: A Quarter-by-Quarter Head-to-Head Analysis

As the FootyMaths Institute has highlighted in its most recent post, this year sees a startlingly wide spread of winning rates amongst the eight Finalists when we consider only their games from the home-and-away seasons against one another. These rates range from a low of 33% for the Kangaroos to a high of 75% for Hawthorn.

In this blog we'll break down those Finalist-versus-Finalist performances on a quarter-by-quarter basis and look at each team's:

  • average Scores for and against
  • average Scoring Shot production and concession
  • average own and opponent Scoring Shot Conversion

The table with all of that data appears below and reveals that the Hawks' dominance in scoring has come especially in 2nd and 4th Quarters where it's outscored its co-Finalists by 12.4 and 16.0 points per game, respectively. 

In 4th Quarters, the Hawks' superiority has been both in terms of an excess of Scoring Shots (+3.5) and a better Conversion rate (+12% points), while in 2nd Quarters the superiority has been only in terms of additional Scoring Shots (+3.6). Whilst the Hawks have been a little less dominant in 3rd Quarters in terms of Scoring, they have been amazingly superior in terms of Scoring Shot Conversion, converting their own opportunities at a 62% rate while restricting their opponents to a rate of just 38%.

The Minor Premiers, Fremantle, have started well against the co-Finalists, registering more Scoring Shots (+1.1), converting them at a higher rate (+6% points), and therefore outscoring (+6.1 points) their opponents in 1st Quarters. They've conceded more Scoring Shots than they've generated in every other Quarter, however, so much so that even superior Conversion rates have been insufficient to enable them to outscore their opponents in any of these Quarters. Still, their dominance in Q1s has been enough to see them, on average, outscore their opponents across the entirety of the contest.

West Coast's dominance has been in 2nd and 4th Quarters where they have generated more Scoring Shots and registered more points than their opponents. Their Conversion has been somewhat problematic, however, being inferior to their opponents' in all of Quarters 1 through 3.

Sydney's statistics are inferior generally, the one bright light being 2nd Quarters where they're managed to outscore their opponents largely because of a vastly superior Conversion rate in these Quarters. In contrast, their Conversion rates in 1st and 3rd terms have been markedly worse than their opponents'.

Richmond has eked out superior 1st and 4th Quarter performances on the back of positive Conversion Rate differences in both Quarters, and on the back of greater Scoring Shot production in 4th Quarters. Overall, however, they've been outscored by their opponents across the four Quarters despite having a slightly superior Scoring Shot Conversion record across entire games, this because they've generated just over 1 Scoring Shot less than their opponents per game.

Adelaide, like Richmond, has outscored its opponents in 1st and 4th Quarters, but the Crows have needed to overcome a significant Scoring Shot Conversion rate deficit in 1st Quarters (-12% points) to do this. They've achieved that Quarter 1 superiority by generating 1.5 more Scoring Shots per game than their opponents. Quarter 2s have been particularly problematic for Adelaide, their 8% Scoring Shot Conversion rate deficit, coupled with a 1.3 Scoring Shot deficit, finding them scoring almost 7 points per quarter less than their opponents.

For the Dogs, points scoring superiority has come in 1st and 3rd Quarters, in 1st Quarters very much because of a superior Scoring Shot Conversion performance (+15% points), and in 3rd Quarters very much because of a superior Scoring Shot production performance (+2 Scoring Shots per quarter). Quarter 4s have hurt the Dogs, however, a Conversion rate deficit of 4% points paired with a Scoring Shot production deficit of 2.4 Scoring Shots per quarter seeing them outscored by 10.5 points in Q4s in an average game. That deficit has been enough to turn a +4.6 point scoring surplus in Q1s to Q3s into a 5.9 point scoring surplus for games taken as a whole, the third-worst result of all the Finalists.

Lastly, the Roos, like Sydney, show positive results in just a single quarter - for them, 3rd Quarters. In those Quarters they've, on average, generated 0.4 more Scoring Shots than their opponents, Converted these as a 5% point higher rate, and therefore outscored their opponents by 3.2 points per quarter. In all three other quarters they've generated fewer Scoring Shots and registered fewer points than their opponents. In 2nd Quarters they have, at least, been able to convert their Scoring Shots at a slightly higher rate than their opponents. while in 4th Quarters they've been particularly affected by their significantly inferior Scoring Shot Conversion rate, themselves converting at a rate of just 50% while their opponents have converted at 70%.