Finals 4, 2015 Penny

Technical Analysis prior to Grand Final, 2015

By Penny Dredfell

Added 26 Sep 2015

While fundamental analysis (used by most media tipsters) takes into account the ability of the two competing teams, the home ground advantage, injuries, team changes etc, technical analysis looks for trends and patterns which explain the otherwise inexplicable.

Reviewing last week: my analysis was mixed last week – pleased that I didn’t go all out on the Dockers; but they were still a bit disappointing; very pleased about tipping the Eagles to win the second term (by 15 points); they won that AND the third as well (by 26 points)!

This week there isn’t a great deal of choice as far as the game to select.  This match takes me back to my very first article for the year:

Recapping it: those teams that win a grand final by more than 6 goals AND make the grand final the following year have had a poor record in that second grand final.  In particular, they drop off in the second half of the match The second half deficit of these 8 teams to progress (since 1961) was:

Roos: 11 points in 1976

Hawks: 49 in 1984

Hawks: 21 in 1987

Hawks: 31 in 1989 (but the only one to hang on for a win)

Bombers: 38 in 2001

Lions: 41 in 2004

Cats: 23 in 2008

Pies: 41 in 2011
So, on average, they were outscored by 32 points in the second halves of their respective repeat grand finals.  This is statistically significant.


Assuming that 11 points and 49 points form the borders of what to expect – we conclude that the Hawks need to be 2 goals up at least at half time in order to have a chance; and that a 50 point plus lead at half time would seal the deal.  Any Eagles lead or narrow Hawk lead at half time would lead to a “certain” Eagles victory.

Therefore, the Eagles will be my tip.  They can lose it by being totally overawed early on – or by being jumped and making poor decisions in order to get back into the game.  I expect neither of these to occur.  The likely scenario would be similar to the 2008 and 2011 grand finals.  In these cases, the favoured big grand final winner from the previous year looked dominant early, but didn’t put a space between themselves and their opponents.  Then the tide turned in the third term and the underdog drew away late.


The other thing that these big grand final winners can tend to do is to play injured players.  This article is written on Wednesday, but it will be interesting to see what happens with Luke Hodge and Jack Gunston.


Eagles to win by 20 points after being about level at half time.

Review: 30 Nov 2015

Okay, I’ve finally emerged from my bunker – having made a wrong call on this one.  Here are some notes of interest:
1. The Hawks were the first team to have 2 consecutive big grand final wins (>6 goals) since Melbourne in 1959 / 60
2. Hawthorn is the only team since 1960 to win back to back flags after winning the first one by >6 goals.
3. And the Hawks are the only team since 1960 to have a big grand final win and then win the second half of the grand final in the following year

From a technical viewpoint, I felt that the Eagles had to win the second term in order to win the match; they didn’t, but still had chances to get within striking distance shortly after half time; they went forward numerous times, but kept hitting Hawk defenders with their passes.

I spoke to Harry hindsight about my errant forecast; he noted that when teams meet in week 1 of the finals and then again in the grand final, the result generally gets reversed. 

Let’s look at this phenomenon in the modern era; the finals (as we know them) have been in place since 2000; in that time, the teams playing in the grand final have met in week 1 of the finals 4 times; in each case, the result was reversed (loser in week 1 won the grand final); the examples are:

2003 Pies beat Lions in week 1 by 15 points
Lions beat Pies in grand final by 50 points

2005 Eagles beat Swans in week 1 by 4 points
Swans beat Eagles in grand final by 4 points

2006 Swans beat Eagles in week 1 by 1 point
Eagles beat Swans in grand final by 1 point

2015 Eagles beat Hawks in week 1 by 32 points
Hawks beat Eagles in grand final by 46 points

From a statistical viewpoint, there is a lovely symmetry to these numbers; if the 1993 season is included (a final 6 in place then, however), we see:

1993 Blues beat Bombers in week 1 by 2 points
Bombers beat Blues in grand final by 44 points

I will take note of this new insight in future

Happy holidays, Penny