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Stats incredible: Your club's quirky numbers

Gotcha: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti leads the League in rundown tackles in 2018 - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs
Gotcha: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti leads the League in rundown tackles in 2018

THINK you know the stats that mean everything to your team? Think again. Our writers take a deep dive into the numbers to come up with the revealing, surprising and downright quirky stats for all 18 clubs in 2018.

Defender gets on the offensive
He's known as a lockdown small defender, but Luke Brown also gets the Crows moving into attack. He has launched 16 scores from the defensive 50 this season – the equal-most of any player in the competition.

Losing their way going forward
The Crows excel at locking the ball in their midfield from a kick-in, but struggle to turn that into goal-scoring opportunities. The Crows are ranked third in the League for retaining possession in the midfield from a kick-in, at 57 per cent. However, only 26 per cent of those midfield retentions become an inside 50. That's ranked last in the competition.

Seed sprouts the long ball
Short passes aren't Paul Seedsman's thing. The Crows winger looks to gain at much distance as possible when he's moving the ball by foot. Seedsman has kicked the ball long 64 per cent of the time this season. It's the highest percentage of the top 150 players in the competition for total kicks. – Lee Gaskin

Win and win big
Brisbane has won just four games this season, but when the Lions have won, it's been in grand style. With victories over Hawthorn (56 points), Fremantle (55), Carlton (65) and the Hawks again (33), the Lions' average winning margin is 52 points, ranked second behind Melbourne (56 points).

Cashing in on clean hitouts
Most coaches in the competition will talk about winning ascendency around the stoppages, and the Lions seem to have stumbled onto a successful formula. With Stefan Martin and back-up Oscar McInerney doing most of the ruck work, Brisbane has won a hitout-to-advantage from 15.3 per cent of ruck contests this season – ranked fourth. They have then scored from 21 per cent of those hitouts-to-advantage, the highest percentage of any team in the AFL.

Rising Star under the radar?
While Collingwood's Jaidyn Stephenson and Adelaide's Tom Doedee rightly get plenty of discussion about their Rising Star credentials, Lion Alex Witherden is quietly putting together a stellar season. The creative half-back is averaging 23 disposals a game (at 79 per cent efficiency), but more impressively he's gaining 19 metres each disposal, ranked third of the top-50 ball winners in the competition. – Michael Whiting

Eric Hipwood and the Lions don't win much, but they win big. Picture: AFL Photos

Easy Free-sy
Carlton's scoring problems have been well documented this season. But they could be more severe, if not for some help from the umpires. The Blues have scored 31 per cent of their goals as a result of free kicks or 50-metre penalties – clearly the highest percentage of any side. The competition average is significantly less at just 17 per cent.

Short and steady
Carlton has tried to control the ball in possession this season. In fact, the Blues have kicked the ball short 64 per cent of the time they've had it, the highest percentage of any team in the competition. It perhaps suggests a bit of damage control from Carlton, with the young side trying to keep the footy out of the hands of their opponents for as long as possible.

Move it quicker
Carlton has a host of young bodies in its ranks at the moment, which may explain why quite a few of them are being caught with the ball for a bit too long. In fact, the Blues have been caught holding the ball on 94 occasions this season – the second most of any side in the competition. Only the Cats have been caught more, having been pinged for holding the ball 95 times. – Riley Beveridge

Bringing the heat
They have highly skilled players all over the field but the Magpies pride themselves on their hardness and pressure. This season they have won the contested-possession count and out-pressured their opponents in a competition-high 24 quarters. Nathan Buckley’s team will presumably need to add to that tally if they are to knock off league leader Richmond in their MCG blockbuster on Saturday.

Fast starters, slow finishers
The Pies set the tone early like no other team, outscoring their opponents by a combined tally of 184 points in the opening 10 minutes of quarters. However, they drop away late in quarters, having a -54 differential in time-on periods – ranked 14th.

Those magnificent Magpie flying machines
The rise of big men Mason Cox and Brody Mihocek and the much-vaunted 'Swoop Squad' (Jordan De Goey, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Josh Thomas and Jaidyn Stephenson) has been pivotal to the Magpies taking the second-most contested marks inside 50, averaging 3.5 a game. Overall, they average 11.6 marks in their forward arc, ranked seventh. - Ben Collins

Jordan De Goey and the Pies routinely get off to a flyer. Picture: AFL Photos

Beware of 'Walla'
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti has applied 10 rundown tackles this season – the most of any player in the competition.

Missing Joe?
Even without star forward Joe Daniher for most of the season, Essendon has taken a mark from 21 per cent of kicks into the forward 50 this season, which is the highest percentage of any side.

No goal gimmes
The Bombers have won just 34 free kicks inside their forward 50 this season. This is the fewest of any side and six fewer than the next lowest team. - Callum Twomey

It's safe with 'Son-Son'
He's one of the most watchable players in the AFL, but few would have guessed Michael Walters is also the most bankable forward 50 target in the competition. The Dockers retain possession 63 per cent of the time when they aim for the star goalkicker inside the attacking arc, which is the best percentage of the top-60 forward 50 targets in the competition. Not bad for a 177cm small forward.

Letting it slip
Ross Lyon lamented that the Bombers stuck their tackles more around clearances during a fourth-quarter breakaway against Fremantle last Saturday, but maybe the Dockers have a bigger issue clamping down on their opponents. In the defensive half of the ground, they have recorded a tackle efficiency of 64 per cent, which is the third-worst rating of any team.

Making it clear
The Dockers are renowned as a strong all-round stoppage side, especially when they have one-two punch Aaron Sandilands and Nat Fyfe working together, but they have been outscored from centre clearances by 3.5 points per game (ranked 17th in the League) this season. In contrast, Freo outscores opponents by 3.1 points from around the ground ball ups (second). – Travis King

Good things happen for the Dockers when Michael Walters is involved. Picture: AFL Photos

Far from the Harlem Globetrotters
If you thought Geelong would be untouchable with the trio of Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett, think again. The Cats have been pinged holding the ball 95 times for the season, the most of any side in the competition. In overall free kicks against, the Cats rank No.8.

Thrown into the deep end
The Cats have used 39 players this season – the equal-most of any side with Gold Coast. It equals the Cats' 1998 season and is their equal highest since 42 were used in 1990. With six debutants used already this season, untried ruckman Ryan Abbott and midfielder Charlie Constable will be hoping to take the Cats' tally to 41 by season's end. 

Keeping it close
Comprehensively beaten by Essendon in round 9 to the tune of 34 points, the Cats' other six losses have all come by three goals or less. It sees their average losing margin of 14 points ranked as the lowest in the competition. – Mitch Cleary

Making it tough for themselves
The Suns are by far the least accurate goalkicking team in the competition, converting just over 40 per cent of its attempts at goal – and they don't seem to be making it easy on themselves. They've kicked just 69.9 per cent of their goals from within the corridor, the second-lowest percentage of any side. 

Riding the boundary
It's pretty clear how Stuart Dew has wanted to play in his first season of coaching, and this statistic backs it up. When rebounding out of its defensive 50 Gold Coast use the boundary 58 per cent of the time – the highest percentage of any team.

Tunnel vision?
It might be playing around the boundary line, but you can't accuse Gold Coast of not trying to be direct. The Suns kick the ball forward – as opposed to laterally or backwards – 90.3 per cent of the time, which is the highest percentage of any team in the competition. – Michael Whiting

Jarryd Lyons is one of a number of Suns with a wonky radar in front of goal. Picture: AFL Photos

Tall targets have gone AWOL
Only 46 per cent of the Giants' scores have come from set shots – the lowest percentage of any side. GWS is ranked 14th for marks inside 50 this season, with Jeremy Cameron (ranked equal second) the only Giant in top 35 players in the competition, and he's missed five games. Cameron has averaged of 3.3 per game, but Jon Patton (1.5) hasn't had a great year, and Rory Lobb (0.7) has spent much of the season in the ruck.

Second-chance Giant treasures every possession
Forward Matt de Boer has averaged 8.64 disposals per turnover – the second-best return of the 250 highest disposal winners across the competition.The former Fremantle midfielder has relished his new role as a defensive forward at GWS and has averaged a career-high 20.2 disposals in 2018. One of the most professional players at the club, de Boer has worked extremely hard on his disposal, knowing the impact he can have playing closer to goal. 

Sharing the love
Some 71.5 per cent of the Giants' scores have been assisted by a teammate this season – the second-highest percentage of any side. With the likes of Toby Greene, Lobb and Patton missing with injury at different stages, and Cameron suspended in recent weeks, the Giants' main avenues to goal have been unavailable for plenty of games this year. As we've seen above, the marks have dried up, so goals have had to come from ground level. – Adam Curley

Scorethorn
Hawthorn's lowest score this season was 60 points, which it managed against West Coast this season. The Hawks are the only team to score at least 60 points in every game this year.

Hawks have punch
Hawthorn has recorded the third-most spoils of any side this season (41 per game). The Hawks have won possession or created a stoppage with 71.4 per cent of their spoils – the highest percentage of any side.  Regular Hawk watchers would know that Ben Stratton, James Frawley, James Sicily and Ben McEvoy are particularly adept at this part of the game.

#freekickpoppy
Paul Puopolo has scored 40 per cent of his goals from free-kicks this season – the highest percentage of any of the top 100 goalkickers in the competition. Just 7 per cent of his goals come from marks – the lowest percentage of the top 100 goalkickers. - Ashley Browne

Paul Puopolo's score sources aren't the norm. Picture: AFL Photos

'Milkshake' sweetens the forward line
Melbourne has retained possession from 68 per cent of forward Jake Melksham's kicks into the forward 50 this season – the highest percentage of the top-100 players. Melksham's ability to deliver low and flat passes to teammates on either foot is a rare skill. The Demons forward, who has gone by the nickname 'Milkshake' during his career, is also No.1 in the AFL for goal assists (26), ahead of Shane Edwards (23).

Bombs away in the first
The Demons have scored from just 41 per cent of inside 50s in first quarters this season – ranked 16th in the AFL. Efficiency going into attack has been an issue all season, although they have scored from 49 per cent of entries in third quarters – ranked fourth.  Simon Goodwin's team is ranked No.1 in the AFL for inside 50s (averaging 61.6 per game).

Defence to offence at lightning speed
A key criticism of Melbourne this season has been its inability to defend, but when the club gets it right it is difficult to stop. The Demons score from 13 per cent of chains starting in defensive 50 – ranked No.1 in the AFL. Although the ball tends to live in Melbourne's forward half, the team has been able to score from just 52 per cent of chains originating in forward 50 – ranked 15th. - Ben Guthrie

Game of keepings off
The Roos were in possession of the Sherrin for a whopping 42.5 per cent of game time through 18 rounds, the second-highest percentage of any side behind Collingwood. On a related note, they've coughed up the seventh-most turnovers per game at 72.6, but snatched back the fifth-most intercepts at 74.4.

Hooking up
Todd Goldstein and Ben Cunnington are the No.1 ruck-rover combination in the competition this season, amassing 62 effective hit-outs together so far this year. They also rank fourth in centre-bounce link-ups (24) behind the Aaron Sandilands-Nat Fyfe union (27) and Max Gawn with Clayton Oliver (26) and Nathan Jones (25).

Jacking up the heat
Skipper Jack Ziebell, who is playing more as a forward than a midfielder, has forced an opposition turnover with 21 per cent of his 257 pressure acts. That's the second-highest percentage of the top-100 players for total pressure acts in 2018, highlighting Ziebell's value at Arden St. - Marc McGowan

Jack Ziebell's pressure is ever-present for the Roos. Picture: AFL Photos

Lienert on his lonesome
The Power have gone with experience this season, handing an AFL debut to just one player. That was 23-year-old defender Jarrod Lienert, who had an impressive first game in last weekend's 22-point loss to Greater Western Sydney. Lienert – a SANFL premiership player for Sturt in 2016 – had 20 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency and five inside 50s. The Power have nine players on their list who are untried at AFL level. 

Power become comeback kings
The Power are a resilient lot, and are no strangers to fighting their way back into a game. They've trailed at half-time eight times this season, and have come back four times to claim victory. It's the most second-half comebacks of any side in the competition this season. 

Houston, we have takeoff
Port Adelaide has been able to generate a score from 26 per cent of Dan Houston's intercepts this season – the highest percentage of the top-50 intercept players in the competition.– Lee Gaskin

Hardwick's handballers
We know all about the Tigers' pressure and the fact they love to use handballs to cut through congestion and move the ball forward. Their use of handballing as a propelling mechanism has been more effective than any other team, having gained a whopping average of 507 metres per game from handballs alone, which ranks them first and measures 250m more than any other side.

Behind blitz
The Tigers have registered the most rushed behinds of any side this season, having racked up a total of 56 points not scored directly off the boot. It's an amusing stat given the inadvertent input 265-game Tiger Joel Bowden had in the 2009 implementation of the rushed behind rule that awards a free kick for deliberately taking the ball over the line. Bowden rushed two behinds in a row in a home-and-away match in 2008 to waste time, before the Hawks rushed 11 behinds in the 2008 Grand Final. 

Stoppages schmoppages
They're top of the table so it doesn't seem to be hurting them, but the Tigers don't have a strong focus on winning contested possessions at stoppages, which is reflected in their differential of minus-119, ranked last in the League. They save their hardest work for what happens next, with a post-stoppage contested possession differential of plus-38 (seventh). – Jennifer Phelan

Shane Edwards and the Tigers slice and dice their opponents by hand. Picture: AFL Photos

Slow starters
In the opening 20 minutes of games, the Saints have been outscored by 154 points, which is ranked last in the AFL. Last week's limp start against Richmond and the round 12 hammering at Sydney's hands were the most brutal beatings they have received this year. 

On the rebound
No team has launched a higher proportion of its scoring chains from the back 50 than St Kilda, at 22 per cent. It's an area the side has improved at, and with Jake Carlisle's intercepting work and Jimmy Webster's scything left foot, the Saints do have a relatively impressive defence when fully fit. 

Giving away freebies
St Kilda has conceded 28 more free kicks at stoppages than it has received in 2018. That's the worst differential in the competition. Part of that might be explained by the Saints ranking 12th in average contested possession differential, indicating they are losing more contests than they are winning. Meanwhile, they have broken even for free kicks in general play. – Dinny Navaratnam

Road warriors have issues in their own backyard
Sydney has a 4-5 record in its home state this season, but is 7-1 record in interstate games. The Swans have lost three games by 12 points or less and the other two by around four goals at home, in one of the year's biggest surprises. It will likely cost them a top four spot, but maybe an away final suits them better this year anyway, given Richmond is the only team to take the points off them away from the SCG.

Horse has his charges ready from the bounce
Sydney has outscored its opposition by 51 points in the opening 10 minutes of games this season – ranked No.1. The Swans' defence is ranked fifth for points against this year and is a major reason behind their solid starts. Jarrad McVeigh, Heath Grundy, Nick Smith, Dane Rampe and Jake Lloyd are all experienced backmen who have played plenty of footy together, so they can absorb pressure and counter-attack as well as any unit in the League. 

Rejuvenated defender back from the dead
Aliir Aliir has lost just two of his 23 defensive one-on-one contests this season – the best loss rate (8.7 per cent) of the top 75 one-on-one defenders. He's been in the footy wilderness since his breakout 2016 season, but an extended stint in the NEAFL looks to have worked wonders for the cult figure. Aliir's athleticism and closing speed is a massive advantage in one on one situations, and his willingness to back himself to win the footy makes him a valuable defender. – Adam Curley

Home hasn't been so sweet for Luke Parker and the Swans. Picture: AFL Photos

'You can't win anything with kids'
That oft-quoted remark from British football pundit Alan Hansen in 1995 was shown up by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Eagles are making a mockery of predictions of their demise following the retirements and delistings of some experienced campaigners last season. West Coast has transitioned from the oldest list in the AFL and blooded a League-high eight debutants this season, and Adam Simpson's men are gunning for a flag against all expectations.

Flicking the switch
The Eagles' ball movement by foot has been exceptional on the wider expanses of Optus Stadium and, crucially, they successfully brought that style to the MCG in a confidence-boosting win over Collingwood in round 17. West Coast hasn't been afraid of going back to go forwards by switching the ball across the ground with fast and precise kicking, and defender Brad Sheppard has had 31 backwards kicks – eight more than any other player in the competition.

Big birds rule the skies
West Coast kicks the ball more than any other side, so it makes sense that the Eagles also pull in plenty of marks. They average a League-high 103 per game, with skipper Shannon Hurn (143) taking the most of any player, and also lead the AFL for contested grabs (13.4 per game) thanks mainly to bookends Jeremy McGovern and Jack Darling. You won't find the Eagles scrapping as much on the deck, given their groundball-get differential of -205 across the season – ranking them 18th. – Travis King

Brad Sheppard sets the Eagles forward by kicking backwards. Picture: AFL Photos

Dogs leave the gate open
The Bulldogs have continued their wretched record in front of goal this season, with a dismal goal accuracy of just 42.1 per cent – ranked 17th in the AFL. When it comes to stopping the opposition, Luke Beveridge's men are the League's easiest team to score against (51.8 per cent). 

Handball happy
The Dogs rode their handball-happy style to the 2016 premiership, and while the current iteration of the Dogs isn't much different, they're just not as successful. The Bulldogs generate 59 per cent of their clearances from handballs this season – the highest percentage of any side.

Tommy gun's scatter approach
While he's not a genuine ruckman, 28 per cent of Tom Boyd's tap-outs have been sharked by the opposition, which gives the 22-year-old the worst percentage of the top-20 players for total hit-outs this season. – Ryan Davidson