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The 2021 free kick ladder after four rounds


Free kicks are a weekly talking point.

The big ones missed, the dodgy ones paid, and the ones that can help decide a game.

There is the ‘noise of affirmation’ which can occur in front of a partisan interstate crowd and the ones you simply shake your head at.

We often like to take a look at what is happening in the free kick world to see who sits on top of the standings and who is on the wrong side of the ledger.

After four rounds of footy in 2021, the Adelaide Crows have been the umpires’ friends, winning 102 free kicks and giving away 77 to hold a +25 differential.

The Western Bulldogs also sit pretty with a noticeable disparity ahead of GWS, Sydney and West Coast.

At the other end of the scale, reigning premiers Richmond and last year’s runner-up Geelong have given away the most frees while receiving the least to sit on -27 together.

It has been a bad few years in front of the umpires for the Tigers who have been at the top of the frees against table in three of the last four years.

St Kilda, Brisbane, Hawthorn, Fremantle, Collingwood and Port Adelaide are also in the minus.

Check out the frees for, against and differential ladder below.

PositionClubFrees ForFrees AgainstDifferential
5West Coast836617
7North Melbourne94895
8Gold Coast79754
9Melbourne 78753
11Port Adelaide8486-2
16St Kilda6889-21

There is always some interest in which players attract the most free kicks.

Often seen as an individual on the wrong side of the law, Giants stars Toby Greene is now an abiding citizen. He has been awarded 16 frees so far this season (and given away five), ahead of Carlton’s Patrick Cripps and Geelong’s Joel Selwood (both 13).

Essendon’s Peter Wright and Adelaide’s Taylor Walker are the only other players in double figures.

PlayerClubFrees For
Toby GreeneGWS16
Patrick CrippsCAR13
Joel SelwoodGEE13
Peter Wright ESS10
Taylor WalkerADE10
Kayne TurnerNM9
Reilly O'BrienADE9
Jack MacraeWB9
Todd GoldsteinNM9
Rory SloaneADE9
Oscar AllenWCE9

And for those players who give the most frees away, Lions skipper Dayne Zorko sits clearly on top with 16 ahead of teammate Zac Bailey (12). Zorko has received just two free kicks.

There’s a hefty list in double figures including Geelong pair Tom Atkins (yet to receive a free kick) and Selwood as well as Collingwood duo Brodie Grundy and Jack Crisp.

PlayerClubFrees Against
Dayne ZorkoBRI16
Zac BaileyBRI12
Tom AtkinsGEE11
Jacob HopperGWS11
Brodie GrundyCOL11
Jack CrispCOL11
Luke Davies-UniackeNM11
Tom HickeySYD10
Joel SelwoodGEE10
Darcy MooreCOL9
Jack SteeleSTK9
Joe DaniherBRI9
Stefan MartinWB9
Ned McHenryADE9

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