AFLW Insight: The numbers behind Melbourne's mid-season dip in form

THE STATS are in, and Melbourne had a horrible case of the goalkicking yips this season.

Thankfully for the Dees, they appear to have shaken it off, because their accuracy during defeats makes for some fairly eye-watering reading.

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Melbourne have had two very poor losses this year, kicking 2.12 against the Western Bulldogs and losing by 13 points, and scoring 1.8 against the Magpies in a big 49-point defeat.

By contrast, the Demons have kicked 9.2, 7.2, 9.6, 9.12 and 6.7 in their wins.

IS IT THE KICKING DISTANCE?

Coaches and commentators often talk about the need to get deep inside-50 entries in AFLW due to shorter kicking distances, so Champion Data broke down the distances from where Melbourne has taken its shots from this year.

Melbourne scores by distance

Round

0-15m

15-30m

30-40m

40-50m

1

2.0

5.0

2.1

0.1

2

0.0

5.1

2.0

0.1

3

0.0

5.2

4.2

0.1

4 (loss)

0.2

1.3

1.5

0.1

5 (loss)

0.0

0.4

1.3

0.1

6

1.0

6.4

1.4

1.1

7

2.2

3.2

1.3

0.0

Melbourne has not had a scoring shot beyond 50m this year.

There wasn't a big variance in the distance the Demons took their shots from during the round four and five losses, although they did not score from inside 15m against a formidable Collingwood defence.

The Dees had eight scoring shots recorded between 15m and 30m in their two losses, compared to 15 in the last two weeks (although the round six numbers were inflated by playing a weak St Kilda side).

Oddly enough, Melbourne actually had more scoring shots from beyond 30m before its brief form slump.

Eden Zanker kicks for goal during Melbourne's win over Adelaide in round six. Picture: Getty Images

WAS THE INACCURACY CAUSED BY RUSHED SHOTS?

Champion Data has a measurement called "expected accuracy", which takes into account the location of the shot, how it's taken (on the run, set shot etc.), the pressure a player is under and the average hit rate for that type of shot.

The numbers were crunched, and the difference in Melbourne's expected accuracy, compared to its actual accuracy, was stark during their losses.

Simply, they were just missing shots they should have made.

Melbourne Expected Accuracy

Round

Expected Accuracy

Accuracy

1

54.4%

75.0%

2

51.5%

63.6%

3

37.9%

47.4%

4 (loss)

38.7%

12.5%

5 (loss)

39.4%

10.0%

6

38.5%

31.0%

7

42.7%

33.3%

 

While the figures aren't quite as good as they were at the start of the season, Melbourne is well on the way back to matching its own accuracy with what is expected.

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