ROBBIE Gray's feted matchwinner on Sunday broke Carlton hearts but also continued top side Port Adelaide's 'red-time' heroics in 2020.

The Power are a game clear on top of the AFL ladder and proving doubly as deadly in red-time scoring differential than any of their rivals through the first seven rounds.

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Robbie's ridiculous match-winner after siren

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However, the bigger surprise is Leon Cameron's Giants.

The one-time flag fancies are the competition's worst in this area and are routinely being clobbered as time ticks towards the end of quarters.

THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?

The League's official number-cruncher, Champion Data, still classifies red time as anything beyond the 20-minute mark of each term.

That's despite quarters this year lasting 16 minutes – down from 20 – plus time on, because of the unique circumstances created by the COVID-19 outbreak, including an interrupted season and a compressed fixture.

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Average red time per term was between 10 and 11 minutes every season from 2010 onwards but is down to 5.4 minutes in 2020 and extrapolates to about 20 minutes less each match.

Some coaches and commentators blamed this on the at-times ugly spectacles this year, suggesting that games weren't opening up as they usually do towards the latter end of terms.

THE FULL INJURY LIST Who is racing the clock?

In reality, the numbers tell us the only real difference is, as pointed out above, there is just less red time and hence opportunity to score – and it's in proportion with the reduction.

The average number of points in red time per team is 13.5 points this season, compared to 27.7 a year ago and 28.5 in 2018.

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Watch the last two minutes: Frem v StK

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Richmond is the constant among the AFL's best four sides in red-time scoring differential in this and the past two seasons, while Collingwood and Geelong both featured twice in that period.

The bolter is Brett Ratten's St Kilda, which ranked 16th last year but has rocketed to fourth this season as it eyes an unlikely finals berth. 





Port Adelaide









St Kilda












GWS Giants



Another improver is Gold Coast, with Stuart Dew's men going from being in the bottom two with a double-digit deficit in each of the last two seasons up to 13th this year.

The Suns are still in the negative but are no longer easy prey.

They've certainly been more competitive in all facets since Port Adelaide crushed them by 25 points in red time in their season opener. 

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Ken Hinkley's Power also had a 23-point buffer over Adelaide in round two.

Interestingly, the Magpies hammered GWS by five goals in red time in their round four clash but the Giants still won, yet GWS beat Brisbane in this area by 16 points and lost the game.

Either way, it's another problem Cameron and co. must sort out if the Giants are to return to the Grand Final.