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Trick question: Are the Magpies really the League's best travellers?

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Collingwood's comeback last Friday in Perth breathed new life into a stuttering season
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COLLINGWOOD'S win against West Coast last week saw them once again referred to as the competition's best travelling team.

But do the numbers back up the claim that the Magpies are the AFL's leading road warriors?

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

Nearly, but not quite. Champion Data's statistics show that it is in fact the Eagles who fly their nest better than any side in the League.

West Coast had its biggest interstate win of all in last year's Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

The records supplied show each club's results for its past 20 games the team has been the away side in an interstate game.

It means for clubs who regularly host games away from their home base, such as Hawthorn and North Melbourne in Tasmania, or Greater Western Sydney in Canberra, they are not counted as interstate trips in this exercise. Only the away club in those games added to these tallies.

 

For overseas games, all clubs who have participated in international clashes have been included in the data due to the lack of a 'home' ground help.

The same applies for the Western Bulldogs' 'home' games in Cairns and Melbourne's 'home' games in the Northern Territory, as they don't play at these venues regularly enough to establish an advantage.

West Coast tops all clubs for its games when away from Optus Stadium. Last year's premiers have won 13 of their past 20 games outside of Perth, including last year's Grand Final win over Collingwood.

The sample size has covered a period where the Eagles have been at the top of their game – they have won 12 of 18 games interstate since the start of 2018 – but it does highlight how being able to win away from home is the mark of a quality team.

Equally, it is not a surprise that Gold Coast sit at the bottom of the table, having won only three games on the road of its past 20.

Melbourne is ranked second, with a strong percentage, while Collingwood is in third place. As captain Scott Pendlebury said after the club's win over the Eagles, the Pies don't travel often, but they travel well.

The Pies won for the third time in three 2019 interstate matches last week. Picture: AFL Photos
 

Unlike the Eagles, who have played 18 of the 20 interstate games in the past two seasons, the Magpies' 20 trips dates back to late 2015. They have won their three trips this season, and seven of their nine since the start of 2018.

Perhaps the most surprising result is Richmond. The Tigers are ranked 11th for their success away from Victoria, despite the period being a strong one for Damien Hardwick's side.

The road trip ladder: past 20 interstate games  
Pos.

Club

Wins

Draws

Losses

Pts

For

Ag

%

1

West Coast Eagles

13

0

7

52

1537

1585

96.97

2

Melbourne

12

0

8

48

1830

1630

112.27

3

Collingwood

12

0

8

48

1810

1720

105.23

4

Sydney Swans

12

0

8

48

1624

1607

101.06

5

Geelong Cats

11

1

8

46

1847

1561

118.32

6

North Melbourne

11

0

9

44

1764

1649

106.97

7

Hawthorn

11

0

9

44

1652

1738

95.05

8

Port Adelaide

10

0

10

40

1654

1564

105.75

9

Adelaide Crows

9

0

11

36

1737

1714

101.34

10

GWS Giants

8

1

11

34

1517

1623

93.47

11

Richmond

8

0

12

32

1700

1869

90.96

12

Western Bulldogs

7

0

13

28

1393

1710

81.46

13

Essendon

7

0

13

28

1562

1983

78.77

14

Brisbane Lions

6

0

14

24

1607

1833

87.67

15

St Kilda

4

0

16

16

1382

1940

71.24

16

Carlton

4

0

16

16

1330

1931

68.88

17

Fremantle

4

0

16

16

1276

1884

67.73

18

Gold Coast Suns

3

0

17

12

1131

2044

55.33

Statistics: Champion Data.

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