Is the MCG a big advantage on Grand Final Day for Victorians against Interstate Sides? /Are Interstaters advantaged during the home and away season?

Is the MCG a significant advantage for Victorian sides against Interstate Teams on Grand Final Day?

  • Yes, It's a big advantage for the Vic Big Boys

    Votes: 190 67.1%
  • No. If you're good enough you'll win no matter who you play where you play

    Votes: 93 32.9%

  • Total voters
    283

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Macpotata

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Quite a number of Interstate fans have been present on the big day supporting their team. Personally I think it's a myth about the MCG '' advantage ''

It didn't stop WCE twice in the 1990's from disposing of Geelong. The Adelaide Crows got up against Vic opp in 97 and 98, and the Swans and Eagles also produced against their Vic Counterparts in 2012 and 2018. In between all of this, the magical magician work of the Brisbane Lions saw it produce 3 successive flags on Victorian soil all against VIC opponents.

2004, 2005, 2006 produced ALL-Interstate Grand Finalists and in two of those two teams, the Lions in 2004 and Swans in 05, both won their preliminary finals at the MCG, against Geelong and St.Kilda.

Before West Coast saluted last year, we had a stretch of 5 successive Grand Finals from 2013-2017 where the interstate sides got rolled to their Vic nemesis. '' Wasn't fair playing at the MCG '' were the cries.

What changed in between from the days that the Eagles triumphed in 1992-2018. More so, the years that the opposition supporters were barking at in 2013-2017? WCE played the Hawks in 2015 with an extra weeks rest as well as toppling them in week 1 of the finals.

Sour grapes, or do the Interstate fans have a point?


Conversely, there are some that believe the Interstate sides hold an advantage throughout the home and away season because they don't share their ground with rival tenants { except twice a year for some ) for example Collingwood might have a home game at the MCG, but play a fellow Victorian club like Carlton, Essendon, Melbourne or Hawthorn there. Crowd factor may not be the full brunt like an Eagles or Adelaide home game would be. I do see their point to a certain degree. But I feel like the MCG factor on Grand Final day, this has been happening for a long time in our game now. IMO it's simply not true. At the end of the day, you have to be good enough where you play against who you play.

There are advantages for you just as there are disadvantages. They are not the big mountain obstacles which many make out.


Suck it up and overcome whatever/whoever's in front of you. That's what winners do.
 
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Howard Littlejohn

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It is definitely an advantage, especially for the teams that play there regularly. It is, however, probably less on GF day than a norm H&A game because much of the crowd advantage is taken out of the equation and the pressure of the day is so different to the rest of the year.
 

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Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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West Coast finals record:

Subiaco Oval: 9/13
Optus Stadium: 2/2
WACA Ground: 2/2

Overall: 13/17 (76.5%)

No team with the exception of Fremantle would choose to play West Coast in a Grand Final in Perth compared to at the MCG if such choice existed. You cannot keep a straight face and say it's not an advantage. Is it an advantage to play a home and away game at home rather than away? Of course. The only difference for a GF is that there isn't a 90/10 crowd.

Where you get into grey areas is how much of an advantage and what other advantages and disadvantages are in play. Finishing top 2 as a non-Victorian side is a big advantage compared to 3rd or 4th. If we get a home QF we are odds on to make the GF - but then we will always have to travel the week of. Hawthorn 2015 get nowhere near enough credit for playing two finals in Perth en route to the GF. Or Freo 2013 winning at KP though they lost the GF. Collingwood 2018, Richmond 2017 got some benefit that higher ranked sides in the top 4 played MCG finals. Richmond play GWS/Adelaide away instead of Geelong "afraid of the MCG" Cats they probably don't make the 2017 GF.
 

Dazzler10

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If it’s not an advantage then you would have to accept that playing a non MCG tenant on their patch would not be a disadvantage either. Same logic.
 

swiftdog

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It’s interesting, logic would suggest that of course it’s an advantage to Vic sides. Data suggests not so much (I’m just remembering some discussion in the squiggle thread here so memory could be wrong). Whether non-Vic sides are performing better than expected in spite of this or whether there are other factors in play in Grand Finals is something I don’t think anyone knows just yet.
 

Lsta062

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If we get a home QF we are odds on to make the GF
This is not the case for Victorian sides though. The chances that the opponent of our home QF/SF/PF is a team that knows our ground well is higher than a non-Victorian side.
Collingwood 2018, Richmond 2017 got some benefit that higher ranked sides in the top 4 played MCG finals. Richmond play GWS/Adelaide away instead of Geelong "afraid of the MCG" Cats they probably don't make the 2017 GF.
And the flip side of that is that Richmond were unlucky to play only MCG tenants (Hawthorn and Collingwood) in the QF and PF of the 2018 finals series after finishing 1st at the end of the H&A season. Did that happen to our fellow top 2 side West Coast? No. They had genuine home ground advantage against both Collingwood and Melbourne. Had we played Sydney or GWS in our home PF, I think our chances of making the 2018 GF would have looked very good.

So, swings and roundabouts. We got some benefits in the 2017 finals series, but we got disadvantaged in the 2018 finals series.


And my response to this thread is that yes, Victorian sides do have a sizeable advantage on Grand Final day over non-Victorian sides just as a top 2 non-Victorian sides have an advantage over highly ranked Victorian sides. The size of the advantage depends on where they play their regular season games at. The difference is that the non-Victorian Grand Final disadvantage against Victorian sides is a constant, whereas the Victorian disadvantage in the finals series in comparison to non-Victorian sides is not as there can be finals series where a top 2 Victorian side hosts a QF and PF against only non-Victorian sides or one where a lower Victorian side plays a higher one at a neutral ground.
 

Young Gun #6

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9-8 is the stat
How does an 9-8 record show it being an advantage or not?

There’s nothing to compare it to. If they played in the interstate venue and it was 14-3 then it quite clearly shows it’s an advantage, if 7-10 at the interstate venue then no not an advantage.

9-8 stat doesn’t mean anything when there’s nothing to compare it against, the interstate side could’ve been slightly better in all 17 match ups but lost because of the advantage of the ground.
 

PowerForGood

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How does an 9-8 record show it being an advantage or not?

There’s nothing to compare it to. If they played in the interstate venue and it was 14-3 then it quite clearly shows it’s an advantage, if 7-10 at the interstate venue then no not an advantage.

9-8 stat doesn’t mean anything when there’s nothing to compare it against, the interstate side could’ve been slightly better in all 17 match ups but lost because of the advantage of the ground.
Nor does it mean anything without considering margins of victory either....
 

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harrythetiger

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How does an 9-8 record show it being an advantage or not?

There’s nothing to compare it to. If they played in the interstate venue and it was 14-3 then it quite clearly shows it’s an advantage, if 7-10 at the interstate venue then no not an advantage.

9-8 stat doesn’t mean anything when there’s nothing to compare it against, the interstate side could’ve been slightly better in all 17 match ups but lost because of the advantage of the ground.
It’s 9-8
Interstate teams have certainly not been higher ranked in all 17 games, I’m pretty sure it’s as good as even in that regard too.
No doubt there’s an advantage. But it’s nowhere near what people make it out to be.
And don’t start on margins. Last I checked they don’t matter in a GF.
 

PowerForGood

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It’s 9-8
Interstate teams have certainly not been higher ranked in all 17 games, I’m pretty sure it’s as good as even in that regard too.
No doubt there’s an advantage. But it’s nowhere near what people make it out to be.
And don’t start on margins. Last I checked they don’t matter in a GF.
They don't matter in any final do they?
 

Sausages

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My position is that if you're good enough, you'll win it.

With that said, one of things that stands out is the level of professionalism and attention to detail that is required to win an interstate final - and if you are travelling every second week in the home and away season, naturally you develop processes which address the myriad of concerns which are required to perform well away from home. The philosophy behind the statement "We are playing at home" can come back to bite you.

The psychology of being 22 vs 90,000 will potentially enhance the mental sharpness of the playing group of the away 22 and that, combined with being used to travelling and having a set process to follow, will enable the home ground advantage to be (somewhat) nullified. There's nothing comfortable, even as a fan, about grand final week - it's forever on your mind, the anxiety is heightened and the entire week seems consumed with the game. It's obvious this would be amplified significantly for the players involved. Again, returning to the procedures adopted with regularly travelling interstate for games, the familiarity of the process of how/what/when/where/why as regards travel, would go a long way into soothing those nerves.

With the home team being an MCG tenant or a Vic team - the whole thing could (possibly) slide slightly away from being "just another game" and into the realms of "omg it's a grand final" - and without that warm blanket of familiarity (ie, the reality of travel) enjoyed by the interstate team travelling and their specific processes, there exists the possibility that the familiar (ie, playing at home) becomes unfamiliar and thus erodes performance. I'm not sure on the specifics of how the Weagles, Port, Sydney and Adelaide approached their respective grand finals, but the Lions tried to keep everything normal with a few exceptions - you need to arrive a bit earlier (GF parade) and we also (famously) flew at a lower altitude, believing this would improve physical condition upon arrival (although there's debatable science about what benefits, if any, that would actually provide).

With so much of the game being psychological, allowing the players to both be comforted by familiar surrounds (ie, hotel, rooming buddy, away training venue etc) AND enjoy the unusual (GF parade, increased media attention) could possibly be easier to manage for an away team - but, you still have to be good enough on the day.

All in all - I think the Vic/MCG tenancy is overstated if you lose and irrelevant if you win. Everyone likes to blame something on a team's poor performance, but I'd be shocked if a coach ever simplified a GF loss as a result of playing away at the MCG. The GF is, for all intents and purposes, a neutral venue. Yes, you might get to wake up on the saturday in your own bed - but if you are waking up in a hotel, like you do 11 other times a season, there's really no justification referencing the fact it's an away game.
 

Benny78

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The real advantage is not being a sh*t team.

If your team is good and you don't lose more than 3 games a year. You won't be crying about the unfairness of home grounds and 6 day breaks. You'll generally be winning regardless of where or who you play. Perhaps try being good before crying and trying to change the game.
 
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PowerForGood

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My position is that if you're good enough, you'll win it.

With that said, one of things that stands out is the level of professionalism and attention to detail that is required to win an interstate final - and if you are travelling every second week in the home and away season, naturally you develop processes which address the myriad of concerns which are required to perform well away from home. The philosophy behind the statement "We are playing at home" can come back to bite you.

The psychology of being 22 vs 90,000 will potentially enhance the mental sharpness of the playing group of the away 22 and that, combined with being used to travelling and having a set process to follow, will enable the home ground advantage to be (somewhat) nullified. There's nothing comfortable, even as a fan, about grand final week - it's forever on your mind, the anxiety is heightened and the entire week seems consumed with the game. It's obvious this would be amplified significantly for the players involved. Again, returning to the procedures adopted with regularly travelling interstate for games, the familiarity of the process of how/what/when/where/why as regards travel, would go a long way into soothing those nerves.

With the home team being an MCG tenant or a Vic team - the whole thing could (possibly) slide slightly away from being "just another game" and into the realms of "omg it's a grand final" - and without that warm blanket of familiarity (ie, the reality of travel) enjoyed by the interstate team travelling and their specific processes, there exists the possibility that the familiar (ie, playing at home) becomes unfamiliar and thus erodes performance. I'm not sure on the specifics of how the Weagles, Port, Sydney and Adelaide approached their respective grand finals, but the Lions tried to keep everything normal with a few exceptions - you need to arrive a bit earlier (GF parade) and we also (famously) flew at a lower altitude, believing this would improve physical condition upon arrival (although there's debatable science about what benefits, if any, that would actually provide).

With so much of the game being psychological, allowing the players to both be comforted by familiar surrounds (ie, hotel, rooming buddy, away training venue etc) AND enjoy the unusual (GF parade, increased media attention) could possibly be easier to manage for an away team - but, you still have to be good enough on the day.

All in all - I think the Vic/MCG tenancy is overstated if you lose and irrelevant if you win. Everyone likes to blame something on a team's poor performance, but I'd be shocked if a coach ever simplified a GF loss as a result of playing away at the MCG. The GF is, for all intents and purposes, a neutral venue. Yes, you might get to wake up on the saturday in your own bed - but if you are waking up in a hotel, like you do 11 other times a season, there's really no justification referencing the fact it's an away game.
So a very long post stating that the AFL GF is unique in world sport in that there is no home advantage.
 

kaiserchief13

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Yes it's true that a team can win if they are good enough to beat both the opposition and the away game factor. If a non vic team wins vs a vic team if the game was at the non vic teams home they win by 30+ more points than they did at mcg
 

Gibbke

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The argument diminishes when you analyse every interstate v Victorian performance in a GF since 1991...

Only 1 interstater could possibly say with a certainty that a match played in their home state would probably have seen a reversed result, and that's Freo in 2013. They were almost invincible at home, having the forward press and defensive pressure down to a T on their own turf. The Hawks had to pull out all stops, were brilliantly coached, and had the best forwards in the comp...and needed all of it to knock off Freo. While on the day I had no fear the Hawks would pull away when it got close, simply because Freo couldn't kick a goal to save themselves on their best day that season, I wouldn't have been so cocky if the game was in WA. Mind you, if one proposal many have put forward was in place - home ground to the higher placed team - this would have been a moot point because the Hawks were minor premiers...

Outside that, though, no one has a case:

- WC in 2015*, Adelaide in 2017*, Sydney in 2014*, Port in 2007 - all were sh*t. They turned up with nothing on their biggest day of their lives, and there's nothing to suggest they would have fared better at home...
- Sydney in 1996*, WC in 1991* - both were outmatched by opponents who had proven their superiority, and both North and Hawthorn had the credentials to be backable favourites if the games were played interstate - North because they were the best side of 1996, and Hawthorn because of their experience and the fact they'd knocked off WC at Subi in a final only 3 weeks earlier and were coming off a week's rest...
- Sydney in 2016* - just a great game of footy on a ground that didn't belong to either team. Footscray are a Docklands-bred side, and at that particular moment were enjoying an insanely good purple patch...WC away, Hawthorn off the back of a threepeat, and GWS away after a week's rest...that's what the Swans were up against, not the G...

- Interstaters won the other 9. Nothing to see here.

* Interestingly, all interstate losers except Freo and Port were higher placed sides. Of the winners, 5 of the 9 were lower placed than their Vic opponent. Total - 7 of 17 were lower placed for a 5-2 record, 10 were higher for a 4-6 record...
 

Topkent

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Hypothetical: Would a GF involving WC or Freo v any other side played at Optus stadium be considered an advantage?
No because because people are really dumb when coming up with these arguments.

Do people really think WC get to the G an go fu** the grounds 3metres different and forget where to stand? It's ******* nonsense.

The home ground advantage comes from the crowds. WC is so supreme because it's the furthest for VIC teams to travel so less away supporters.

If they split the tickets for your ground like they did the MCG on GF day an had 40,000 corporates and 10k each for WC an the opposition team the home ground advantage would completely disappear.

Prelim finals at home have a huge advantage, GFs do not.
 

Dirty Bird

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I don’t really think the ground is the issue come gameday.
I think it’s more the week and being away from home and not in your own bed.

Would honestly say if we ditched the parade on the Friday.
Let the clubs travel a day or two later
The teams would be more in their comfort zone and in a better state of mind to play.
 

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