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What’s more important in the modern AFL era – offence or defence? | Tony Corke

How do relative performances at either end of the pitch impact on a team’s chances of reaching the finals – and potentially claiming a flag?

There are a lot of sports writers and fans who are adamant that it’s impossible to compare sporting teams across seasons and eras. Taken literally, that’s a truism, because every sport evolves, and what worked for a great team in, say the 1980s, might not work – or even be within the rules of the game – today.

Still, if asked to identify some of the best AFL teams of recent years, most would almost certainly include the 2000 Essendon, 2011 Geelong, and 2012 Hawthorn teams. We all have, if nothing else, some intuitive sense of relative team abilities across time.

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