Biggest Wins and Losses in the 2021 AFL Season

With the home and away portion of the 2021 AFL season done and dusted, attention now shifts to the finals series. The last nine matches of the year start tonight, with Port Adelaide hosting Geelong at the Adelaide Oval. Before we get too caught up in finals fever, let’s take a look back at the biggest wins and losses each team had during the year and discuss some of the more interesting findings.

Here’s a graphical representation of each team’s biggest win and loss throughout the year.

Graphical of biggest win and loss

Obviously the biggest win and loss of the year came in Round 3 on Good Friday, when the Western Bulldogs steamrolled North Melbourne by 128 points. The highlights (mostly Josh Bruce kicking his 10 goals) can be viewed here.

But how many other times were the Western Bulldogs responsible for a team’s biggest loss?

The Bulldogs did it three times, as did Geelong. But the Brisbane Lions take the crown after they gave five teams their biggest loss for the season.

Team How many times ? Who did they do it against?
Brisbane Lions 5 Essendon (Round 5, 57 points)
Port Adelaide (Round 7, 49 points)
GWS (Round 11, 64 points)
Geelong (Round 15; 44 points)
Collingwood (Round 22, 85 points)
Geelong 3 West Coast (Round 6, 97 points)
Richmond (Round 8, 63 points)
Fremantle (Round 18, 69 points)
Western Bulldogs 3 North Melbourne (Round 3, 128 points)
St Kilda (Round 10, 111 points)
Melbourne (Round 19, 20 points)
Melbourne 2 Western Bulldogs (Round 11, 28 points)
Gold Coast (Round 20, 98 points)
St Kilda 2 Hawthorn (Round 7, 69 points)
Brisbane (Round 17, 32 points)
Gold Coast 1 Sydney (Round 6, 40 points)
GWS 1 Adelaide (Round 7, 67 points)
Port Adelaide 1 Carlton (Round 22, 95 points)

There are plenty of other interesting take aways from this table, including:

  • The average biggest loss was 67.56 points.
  • Four of teams who had their biggest lost to Brisbane made finals.
  • Melbourne gave the Western Bulldogs their biggest loss of the year in Round 11, but the Bulldogs returned the favour when the teams met again in Round 19.
  • Round 7 had the most biggest losses, with three.
  • St Kilda and the Gold Coast both had disappointing seasons, but managed to still give three teams their biggest loss for the year.

On the flip side, we can also look at see who teams had their biggest win against. North Melbourne and West Coast fans won’t be too happy, with each team having three games where their opponent had their biggest win for the year.

Team How many times? Who did it to them?
North Melbourne 3 Gold Coast (Round 2, 59 points)
Western Bulldogs (Round 3, 128 points)
Adelaide (Round 4, 41 points)
West Coast 3 Geelong (Round 6, 97 points)
Sydney (Round 16, 92 points)
Collingwood (Round 20, 45 points)
Carlton 2 North Melbourne (Round 19, 39 points)
Port Adelaide (Round 22, 95 points)
Fremantle 2 Carlton (Round 3, 45 points)
West Coast (Round 7, 59 points)
Hawthorn 2 St Kilda (Round 7, 69 points)
Fremantle (Round 17, 62 points)
St Kilda 2 Essendon (Round 3, 75 points)
Richmond (Round 5, 86 points)
Adelaide 1 GWS (Round 7, 67 points)
Collingwood 1 Brisbane (Round 22, 85 points)
Gold Coast 1 Melbourne (Round 20, 98 points)
Sydney 1 Hawthorn (Round 13, 38 points)

Other key take aways:

  • The average biggest win was 71.11 points.
  • North Melbourne gave three teams their biggest wins for the year in successive weeks.
  • Round 7 understandably had three biggest wins, but Round 3 also had three.

GWS were the closest to having their biggest win equal their biggest loss (67 point win, 64 point loss), with Fremantle being the next closest (62 point win, 69 point loss).

St Kilda potentially had the most inconsistent year, with 180 points between their biggest winning (69 points) and losing (111 points) margins. For reference, Hawthorn were the “most consistent” (107 points - 38 point win and 69 point loss).

A more detailed breakdown of all of the data in this post can be seen below.