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HOME and AWAY

StatChat: A look at home stands and road trips.

HOME and AWAY

StatChat: A look at home stands and road trips.

December 9, 2020
STATCHAT is brought to you by the East Malvern Community Bank.

VAFA football runs in cycles, success and failure assisted by the two up/two down system that guarantees there will be different opponents each year.

Premier Section, of course, has no promotion, so there are just two teams in and two out.  

Since 2011, just sixteen teams have played in Premier Section.

Home teamYears FlagsRelegated
Collegians920
De La Salle901
Old Xaverians920
Old Trinity801
University Blues811
Old Carey603
Old Scotch602
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers602
Old Melburnians501
St Bernards511
University Blacks511
Beaumaris402
Old Brighton401
St Kevins420
Caulfield Grammarians101
Old Haileybury101

 

Therefore, there is a great familiarity with opposition teams. This familiarity should apply even more to opposition venues – team personnel changes from week to week and season to season, but the grounds remain the same. But does it apply?

The strengths and performance of the home team surely plays the greatest role in road trip failure (or triumph),but yet there are some patterns to be seen.

In looking at the last nine seasons, I’ve included only the home and away matchups between teams who will play in Premier Section in 2021.

HOME RECORDS (2011-2019)

Caulfield Grammarians only season in the top tier was a year without a win. So let’s leave them out of the equation for now. For the record, the Fields averaged 75.2 PF vs 118.6 PA against next season’s opponents. That’s a deficit of 43.4 points per game.

More meaningful are the records of the other nine clubs. Looking at the stats from the main home grounds of these clubs, we get the following:

(Bear in mind that the games played are far from equal, with seasons in Premier, home games against current Premier clubs and occasional games at school or other grounds all affecting the numbers.)

2021 Premier Clubs - Home Records of 9 clubs against each other 2011-19
TeamAve PFAve PAAverage HOME MarginWLDWin %
St Kevin's946826184081.81
Old Xaverians9071192815065.12
St Bernard's857781912159.37
Collegians8269132518254.55
Uni Blues776892319153.49
Old Scotch928841514051.72
Old Melburnians7380-71212050
Old Brighton7377-499147.37
Old Trinity6872-42021345.45
Average82748169124856.15

 

We can see that the toughest trips overall are St Kevin’s atTH King, Old Xavs at Toorak Park and St Bernard’s at the Snakepit. The most favourable Saturdays away from home would appear to be OMs at Elsternwick, Old Brighton at Beach Road and Old Trinity at Daley.

But hang on a minute. This is by no means as simple as that,because some teams are more powerful road warriors than others, though there are plenty of Achilles heels.

AWAY RECORDS (2011-2019)

Only two little words keep every Hammer in England up all night... "United away" - Pete Dunham, Green Street Hooligans

Again, we are looking at the nine Premier clubs and their records against each other. Sorry Caulfield, we’ll include you in our next review.

2021 Premier Clubs - Away Records of 9 clubs against each other 2011-19
TeamAve PFAve PAAverage AWAY MarginWLDWin %
Old Brighton7884-698052.94
Collegians7475-12321052.27
Old Xaverians787532423051.06
St Kevin's7476-21012045.45
Old Trinity7687-111723339.53
Uni Blues7684-81723339.53
Old Scotch7282-10915136.00
St Bernards7192-21923028.13
Old Melburnians6180-19621121.43
Average7382-8124169840.70

This table reveals a few surprises. Old Brighton tops the table on road win percentage, which is better than their performance at home. Collegians and Old Xaverians also have saluted more than half the time, with the latter having a slight PPG advantage. St Bernard’s, third best winning percentage at home, drops to ninth in that same category when on the road.  

VENUES AND VISITORS (2011-2019)

This table reveals the road ‘paradises’ and ‘graveyards’ for the 9 teams over the period.

TeamFriendly VenueRecordUnfriendly VenueRecord
Collegians @Uni Oval6-2Toorak Park2-7
Old Brighton @Daley Oval3-0Snakepit0-2
Old Melburnians @Toorak Park/Uni Oval2-3TH King0-4
Old Scotch @Uni Oval3-2Toorak Park0-3
Old Trinity @Beach Road2-0-1TH King0-3
Old Xaverians @Harry Trott 6-2Beach Road0-3
St Bernard's @Beach Road2-0Daley Oval0-5
St Kevin's @Daley Oval3-1Uni Oval0-4
Uni Blues @Daley Oval4-2-1Snakepit1-3-1

From this we see that 3 teams have had some decent success at the Daley and three more at Uni Oval. Yet Old Xavs, one of the stronger road teams, are 3-5 between the trees and 3-4 under the spires.

St Kevin’s don’t seem to have lit up Uni Oval either, but they have been pretty solid at the Daley.

Collegians seem to relish the Parkville picket fence but don’t travel too smoothly on Orrong Road.

The Purples have dominated the Daley but haven’t been too happy at home against the X Men.

PREDICTIONS

The VAFA’s Premier Section might be the nation’s most competitive. The average margin of ALL games played in the seasons 2011-2019 was about 30 points, which is about a goal less than the average margin in the AFL over the same period.

In an amateur comp where study,overseas travel (for those who have forgotten, that means getting on a boat ora plane with your passport in your pocket and a suitcase in hand), work and injury can change the power levels at a club each week, there’s no guarantee that past performance means much, if anything.

I wouldn’t be backing a team because ‘the boys always win here against that mob’, but in looking back after the season, it might surprise you to see how often the boys did exactly that.

As we’ve mentioned, Caulfield Grammarians has been excluded from this nine-year analysis. The war drums are telling that the Fields will be a competitive outfit in 2021, so we’d be expecting to feature their stats in next year’s tables.  

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