Which premiership side is the best of the last four years?

Which premiership side is the best of the last four years?


  • Total voters
    371

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Vespa

🏆
Aug 15, 2013
47
42
AFL Club
Collingwood
Since the end of the Hawthorn dynasty in 2015, we've been going through a period where there's been no all time great teams. However, any side that wins a premiership is a good side even if it's not a dynasty or an all time great side.

Which premiership side is the best of the last four years?
 

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Yojimbo

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
9,516
8,296
On the "Sweet Wagon"
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
As a Bulldog fan it should be up to me to throw my hands in the air and say that since
the advent of the top eight system in 1994 only one team has won a premiership from
seventh place, the mighty Bulldogs. However the emergence of the Richmond side
the Shaolin Temple of Punt Rd, a force that cannot be denied, a sense of team that I
must kneel before in hushed reverence. Denied a three peat by an incredible game
from Collingwood who unfortunately for them they could not repeat the following week.

Premierships are all good, but they hinge on moments and sometimes even luck or
fate, Richmond seized both their flags with an iron grip and the result was obvious
very early on in both years. Not to take away from the other two eventual premiers,
but other factors were in play that helped mould the result on the big day. Don't
hate just contemplate, as they would say at the temple.
 

PonsfordMagpie

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 3, 2013
6,292
11,177
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Chelsea
Hard question to answer, but some stats worth noting.

Western Bulldogs (2016)
  • H&A record = 15-7 (115.4%) = 7th
  • 4-0 finals record (average winning margin 25 points, 2 interstate victories)
  • Defeated minor premier in Grand Final.
  • All Australians: Marcus Bontempelli and Matthew Boyd.
Richmond (2017)
  • H&A record = 15-7 (118.3%) = 3rd
  • 3-0 finals record (average winning margin 45 points)
  • Defeated minor premier in Grand Final.
  • All Australians: Alex Rance and Dustin Martin.
West Coast (2018)
  • H&A record = 16-6 (121.4%) = 2nd
  • 3-0 finals record (average winning margin 29 points, 1 interstate victory)
  • Defeated 3rd placed team in Grand Final.
  • All Australians: Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern, Andrew Gaff
Richmond (2019)
  • H&A record = 16-6 (113.7%) = 3rd
  • 3-0 finals record (average winning margin 55 points, 1 interstate victory)
  • Defeated 6th placed team in Grand Final.
  • All Australians: Dylan Grimes, Bachar Houli.
 

The Dice Man

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 6, 2005
21,457
11,184
La Côte d'Azur
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Everton FC
Who kicked 3 goals in the 2019 Grand Final?

What is the lowest losing score in a Grand Final in 59 years?

What is the 3rd greatest Grand Final winning margin?

Quite clearly it's Richmond, and you've been infected with Trump's 5G, via Bill Gate's widow's sentinel ghost dog if you think otherwise.
 

Quinz

Incognito
May 31, 2005
36,368
37,518
Belgium
AFL Club
West Coast
I’ll try to be fair and balanced here but it is clearly between the last 2 premiers.

West Coast 2018
Brilliant 2nd on the ladder, beating gutsy 3rd in the GF
Perfect 5-0 against the top 4 with 3 interstate wins
Outstanding 9-3 against the top 8
Amazingly won an away GF against an MCG team without their most influential player, AA wingman and elite half back
Made Eddie McGuire cry
Impressively won games at 6 venues in 5 states

Richmond 2019
Lowly 3rd on the ladder, beating a minnow 6th in the GF
Average 4-2 against the top 4
Mediocre 8-4 against the top 8 with an embarrassing single interstate win
Belted the 6th place interstate traveler on their 3rd consecutive road trip having left the MCG once since 1985
Made Kevin Bartlett happy
Probably didn’t win any games outside the MCG but I didn’t check

I give it to Richmond but it’s close
 

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Lsta062

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 15, 2014
13,093
26,022
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Chelsea
Richmond 2019 in my opinion. Belting a team by 89 points in the Grand Final says a lot. The other teams including the 2017 Richmond team had competitors (GF result in 2017 was an upset). However, when Richmond 2019 were on top of their game, teams really struggled to keep up.
 
May 12, 2020
5
9
Brisbane
AFL Club
Richmond
I'm surprised no-ones mentioned how lucky the dogs and west coast are to be in this conversation at all, if memory serves both were a goal away from being knocked out of their finals series. Both great sides, 2016 dogs espeially an awesome story & finals highlights real, my favourite premiership outside Richmond, but they and the eagles just weren't nearly as convincing winners as the tiges in 17 or 19. Of those 2 I'd say Tiges of 2019 the better side narrowly.

EDIT: 2018 eagles were best gf of the bunch. Just forgot to say in original post
 

Big_Birdy

Premiership Player
Jul 6, 2011
3,430
4,940
AFL Club
West Coast
I'm surprised no-ones mentioned how lucky the dogs and west coast are to be in this conversation at all, if memory serves both were a goal away from being knocked out of their finals series. Both great sides, 2016 dogs espeially an awesome story & finals highlights real, my favourite premiership outside Richmond, but they and the eagles just weren't nearly as convincing winners as the tiges in 17 or 19. Of those 2 I'd say Tiges of 2019 the better side narrowly.

EDIT: 2018 eagles were best gf of the bunch. Just forgot to say in original post
Only in the GF, which isn't really being knocked out of the finals in the true sense.

Won QF by a shade under 3 goals (not a knock out anyway).

Won Prelim by 60 odd
 

Dr Tigris

Premium Platinum
Aug 19, 2009
6,695
15,879
Canberra
AFL Club
Richmond
I'll go Richmond 2019. Something that seems to have been forgotten is that the Tigers had about 1/2 of the team out for 1/2 of the season. Including guys like Rance, Jack, Cotchin. Then they won the last 12 games. That is, when the team was fit the 2019 Tigers were unbeatable.

But for irresistible momentum it's got to be Dogs 2016, Richmond 2017 and then WC, Tigers 2019 in a dead heat. Strange, but I pretty much reverse my order when you take into account that momentum and excitement. I don't know which team would actually beat the best in some imaginary GF. But I count momentum pretty high, and the more talented teams had less momentum in their respective years. So I actually end up not certain on who would win a single game although I am fairly certain on talent - 2019, 2018, 2017 then 2016.
 

Meteoric Rise

Club Legend
Feb 4, 2008
1,254
3,836
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
More interesting question than it first appears this one. The question asks which premiership team is the best....

So to answer it strictly, Eagles get no allowance for missing Gaff, Naitanui and Sheppard, you have to judge them on the 22 who played in the Premiership team.

Similarly Bulldogs no allowance for missing Murphy, Wallis, Suckling, Adams. Richmond 2019 get no allowance for missing Rance, Stack, Graham, and you could probably include Ross in that list.

Then if we are judging the best premiership team of the four, is it just who played best on the day, or best in the finals, or over the season, or just in terms of what the individual players have achieved or look like achieving over the course of their careers and where they were compared to their best on the day?

Best Grand Final performance
I am going to give this to Richmond 2017. They took on a minor premier who had cruised through the finals, albeit without Smith, McGovern, Milera(the last 2 were second year players.) Also missing for the Crows were Jenkins, Walker, Otten, Sloane... ;) The 2017 Tigers were subjected to the frightening Crow stance and won running away by 8 goals after trailing by 2 goals at 1/4 time.

I think this is superior to the Richmond 2019 GF win because I just don't think GWS were anywhere near right on that occasion, so it is very difficult to judge how good the Tigers' performance was. GWS had a very tough 4 final campaign, had players carrying injuries and a terrible slog in their prelim in the wet.

Eagles 2018 GF performance, they fell in v a Collingwood team that was very makeshift in key positions, missing Reid, Dunn, Moore and also had a decent bit of salary cap missing in Wells. The Pies were playing their 3rd consecutive knockout final and fourth final in all and I don't rate the Eagles overall performance in this GF really highly.

The Dogs took on a Sydney team in its fourth final, missing Sinclair, Aliir, maybe you could throw in Ted Richards and Tippett was not near 100%. So the Swans were unable to exploit the Dogs key position weaknesses. Still, this Sydney team were off two strong wins and the Bulldogs GF win had decent merit.

Best Finals performance
I have to give this to the Dogs in 2016, ahead of Tigers 2017 and Tigers 2019 which I think were hard to split. The Dogs had 3 brilliant wins leading to the GF, beating three teams at their preferred venues, Eagles in Perth, Hawks at the MCG, both easily, and Giants at Spotless in a tough thriller. From where they commenced I would have to say that is the best 4 match finals performance I have seen in my lifetime - born mid 60's.

Richmond 2017 involved 3 smashing wins, all at the club's preferred venue, the MCG. But no team got within 6 goals and it was total dominance against some pretty strong outfits, Cats, GWS, Crows.

Richmond 2019 was also a great finals run, beating Brisbane in Brisbane by 8 goals, taking the minor premier Geelong down in a come from behind 3 goal win and well, impossible to judge how good the GF was imo, GWS were clearly spent.

Eagles 2018 had a two goal win at home v the Pies, dispensed with Melbourne(who had beaten Hawks and Cats easily) easily at home in what I thought was a meritorious win, and fell in against the Pies in the GF, which I have already written about.

Over the course of the whole season, well that is very tough to judge with loaded fixtures, and all sorts of things coming into play, too difficult to assess readily, opposition injuries etc etc. All four sides had 15 or 16 wins and percentages in the 113-121 range. None were especially dominant and I would not like to try to separate them on the grounds of performance over the whole season.

The most noteworthy thing may be Richmond 2017 where they won 15 matches, lost 3 by a kick, and another two by 9 and 14. The only thing though is the other two losses were by 76 and 67 points, so fearful hidings. Their narrowest win was by 11 points. So in 21 of 25 matches across the whole season they either won, or lost by a kick. Having said that, with a percentage of 115 they were not especially more dominant. Richmond 2019 once they put together close to their best team after the bye strung together 12 consecutive wins with a percentage above 170% I think. They had 3 matches away from the MCG in that time, all very strong wins against top middle and lower rated teams.

In terms of the playing personnel and what they have achieved in the game, the Bulldogs were largely a bunch of no names. Roberts, Biggs, a very young and inexperienced T Boyd, Cordy, Daniel and Dunkley. Players like Biggs, Boyd, Roberts, Smith have barely scraped 50 games in their full careers, and Dickson scraped over 100. They lacked a ruckman and were weakish in all key positions. Incredible job to win a flag when you reflect on that but their actual 22 would be made up of the lowest rated players.

I would say the Tigers 2019 team was superior in personnel to their 2017 team and this is borne out by a player like Macintosh playing in the 2017 team but missing selection in the 2019 team. The 2019 team lacks Rance but adds Lynch, and is just more mature and better overall. The addition of the second ruckman strengthened the 2019 team as well.

But how does that compare with he Eagles 2018 outfit which also contained a lot of stars?

Shuey, Kennedy, Hurn, Barass, Yeo, Darling, McGovern, Jetta, LeCras, maybe Sheed have been or looked like being top class at least at stages of their careers. You could possibly add Cripps, Rioli, Ryan to that. At the other end of the scale perhaps Vardy, Hutchings, Cole, Venables have not forged great careers or not yet established. Mastern and LeCras may have been a bit past their use by dates as well.

The Tigers 2019 have Grimes, Houli, Edwards, Martin, Cotchin, Riewoldt, Lynch, Lambert, Vlastuin, Prestia who form the top end of the team. All have either been or looked like being top class players at stages. The Tigers bottom end is probably made up by Castagna, Soldo, Bolton, Broad, Baker.

I think when you look at it in these terms and consider maybe Kennedy and LeCras of the Eagles top end types were past their best at the time of the GF, I think the Tigers 22 on GF 2019 is a better team overall in terms of personnel than the Eagles 2018, but not by much.

All of those things considered, GF performance, overall finals performance, season performance and quality of personnel overall, if you asked me to rate these GF winners(based on the 22 who took the park) say to play in a mythical match v Cats 07 in a GF, I would rate them:

1. Richmond 2019
2. Richmond 2017
3. Eagles 2018
4. Bulldogs 2016


But if I wanted a team to put together a remarkable finals run against the odds, Bulldogs 2016 every time, absolutely amazing performance.
 
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Big_Birdy

Premiership Player
Jul 6, 2011
3,430
4,940
AFL Club
West Coast
More interesting question than it first appears this one. The question asks which premiership team were the best....

So to answer it strictly, Eagles get no allowance for missing Gaff, Naitanui and Sheppard, you have to judge them on the 22 who played in the Premiership team.

Similarly Bulldogs no allowance for missing Murphy, Wallis, Suckling, Adams. Richmond 2019 get no allowance for missing Rance, Stack, Graham, and you could probably include Ross in that list.

Then if we are judging the best premiership team of the four, is it just who played best on the day, or best in the finals, or over the season, or just in terms of what the individual players have achieved or look like achieving over the course of their careers and where they were compared to their best on the day?

Best Grand Final performance
I am going to give this to Richmond 2017. They took on a minor premier who had cruised through the finals, albeit without Smith, McGovern, Milera(the last 2 were second year players.) Also missing for the Crows were Jenkins, Walker, Otten, Sloane... ;) The 2017 Tigers were subjected to the frightening Crow stance and won running away by 8 goals after training by 2 goals at 1/4 time.

I think this is superior to the Richmond 2019 GF win because I just don't think GWS were anywhere near right on that occasion, so it is very difficult to judge how good the Tigers' performance was. GWS had a very tough 4 final campaign, had players carrying injuries and a terrible slog in their prelim in the wet.

Eagles 2018 GF performance, they fell in v a Collingwood team that was very makeshift in key positions, missing Reid, Dunn, Moore and also had a decent bit of salary cap missing in Wells. The Pies were playing their 3rd consecutive knockout final and fourth final in all and I don't rate the Eagles overall performance in this GF really highly.

The Dogs took on a Sydney team in its fourth final, missing Sinclair, Aliir, maybe you could throw in Ted Richards and Tippett was not near 100%. So the Swans were unable to exploit the Dogs key position weaknesses. Still, this Sydney team were off two strong wins and the Bulldogs GF win had decent merit.

Best Finals performance
I have to give this to the Dogs in 2016, ahead of Tigers 2017 and Tigers 2019 which I think were hard to split. The Dogs had 3 brilliant wins leading to the GF, beating three teams at their preferred venues, Eagles in Perth, Hawks at the MCG, both easily, and Giants at Spotless in a tough thriller. From where they commenced I would have to say that is the best 4 match finals performance I have seen in my lifetime - born mid 60's.

Richmond 2017 involved 3 smashing wins, all at the club's preferred venue, the MCG. But no team got within 6 goals and it was total dominance against some pretty strong outfits, Cats, GWS, Crows.

Richmond 2019 was also a great finals run, beating Brisbane in Brisbane by 8 goals, taking the minor premier Geelong down in a come from behind 3 goal win and well, impossible to judge how good the GF was imo, GWS were clearly spent.

Eagles 2018 had a two goal win at home v the Pies, dispensed with Melbourne(who had beaten Hawks and Cats easily) easily at home in what I thought was a meritorious win, and fell in against the Pies in the GF, which I have already written about.

Over the course of the whole season, well that is very tough to judge with loaded fixtures, and all sorts of things coming into play, too difficult to assess readily, opposition injuries etc etc. All four sides had 15 or 16 wins and percentages in the 113-121 range. None were especially dominant and I would not like to try to separate them on the grounds of performance over the whole season.

The most noteworthy thing may be Richmond 2017 where they won 15 matches, lost 3 by a kick, and another two by 9 and 14. The only thing though is the other two losses were by 76 and 67 points, so fearful hidings. Their narrowest win was by 11 points. So in 21 of 25 matches across the whole season they won or lost by a kick. Having said that, with a percentage of 115 they were not especially more dominant. Richmond 2019 once they put together close to their best team after the bye strung together 12 consecutive wins with a percentage above 170% I think. They had 3 matches away from the MCG in that time, all very strong wins against top middle and lower rated teams.

In terms of the playing personnel and what they have achieved in the game, the Bulldogs were largely a bunch of no names. Roberts, Biggs, a very young and inexperienced T Boyd, Cordy, Daniel and Dunkley. Players like Biggs, Boyd, Roberts, Smith have barely scraped 50 games in their full careers, and Dickson scraped over 100. They lacked a ruckman and were weakish in all key positions. Incredible job to win a flag when you reflect on that but their actual 22 would be made up of the lowest rated players.

I would say the Tigers 2019 team was superior in personnel to their 2017 team and this is borne out by a player like Macintosh playing in the 2017 team but missing selection in the 2019 team. The 2019 team lacks Rance but adds Lynch, and is just more mature and better overall. The addition of the second ruckman strengthened the 2019 team as well.

But how does that compare with he Eagles 2018 outfit which also contained a lot of stars?

Shuey, Kennedy, Hurn, Barass, Yeo, Darling, McGovern, Jetta, LeCras, maybe Sheed have been or looked like being top class at least at stages of their careers. You could possibly add Cripps, Rioli, Ryan to that. At the other end of the scale perhaps Vardy, Hutchings, Cole, Venables have not forged great careers or not yet established. Mastern and LeCras may have been a bit past their use by dates as well.

The Tigers 2019 have Grimes, Houli, Edwards, Martin, Cotchin, Riewoldt, Lynch, Lambert, Vlastuin, Prestia who form the top end of the team. All have either been or looked like being top class players at stages. The Tigers bottom end is probably made up by Castagna, Soldo, Bolton, Broad, Baker.

I think when you look at it in these terms and consider maybe Kennedy and LeCras of the Eagles top end types were past their best at the time of the GF's, I think the Tigers 22 on GF 2019 is a better team overall in terms of personnel than the Eagles 2018, but not by much.

All of those things considered, GF performance, overall finals performance, season performance and quality of personnel overall, if you asked me to rate these GF winners(based on the 22 who took the park) say to play in a mythical match v Cats 07 in a GF, I would rate them:

1. Richmond 2019
2. Richmond 2017
3. Eagles 2018
4. Bulldogs 2016


But if I wanted a team to put together a remarkable finals run against the odds, Bulldogs 2016 every time, absolutely amazing performance.
"So to answer it strictly, Eagles get no allowance for missing Gaff, Naitanui and Sheppard, you have to judge them on the 22 who played in the Premiership team"

"Eagles 2018 GF performance, they fell in v a Collingwood team that was very makeshift in key positions, missing Reid, Dunn, Moore and also had a decent bit of salary cap missing in Wells.



Lol
 

Meteoric Rise

Club Legend
Feb 4, 2008
1,254
3,836
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
"So to answer it strictly, Eagles get no allowance for missing Gaff, Naitanui and Sheppard, you have to judge them on the 22 who played in the Premiership team"

"Eagles 2018 GF performance, they fell in v a Collingwood team that was very makeshift in key positions, missing Reid, Dunn, Moore and also had a decent bit of salary cap missing in Wells.



Lol
I think you might need to think about that lol. When rating the premiership teams that took the field, it is right to consider the strength of the opposition they faced, but not consider what players they themselves had missing....but I am not sure will get that. ;)
 
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