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Finals spots still very much up for grabs in AFL

A top-four spot is on the cards for Freo and West Coast may yet play finals in 2014 as well.

A top-four spot is on the cards for Freo and West Coast may yet play finals in 2014 as well. Photo: Paul Kane

The AFL must be ecstatic with the closeness of the season.

With two rounds of home and away fixtures remaining, three sides can still claim the minor premiership, five are fighting for the coveted top-four spots and 12 sides are trying to fit into the final eight.

And this is likely to remain the scenario right up to the end of round 23.

Despite losing to Essendon by three points on Saturday night, West Coast’s favourable draw leaves it in the best spot of pinching eighth spot, even though the Eagles are currently sitting in 12th spot. 

And while Fremantle impressed with a 19-point win over Hawthorn on Sunday, the victory does not guarantee the Dockers a spot in the top four come finals time.

The fourth-placed Dockers are just one win ahead of Port Adelaide on the ladder.

Fremantle plays Brisbane at the Gabba this Sunday, while the Power hosts Carlton at Adelaide Oval on Friday night. The Dockers also hold a 2.3 percentage advantage.

So, should results go as expected next weekend, the Dockers and Port clash at Patersons Stadium in round 23 will be a straight fight out for fourth spot and the double-chance.

The bookies believe the Eagles will finish eighth after Collingwood and Adelaide failed to take their chances on the weekend.

If they can beat Melbourne at Patersons Stadium next week and the Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium in round 23, the Eagles will finish on 44 points.

And that could be enough to leapfrog the Crows, Richmond, the Magpies and the Suns into September action. All have currently won just one more game than West Coast, but the Eagles have a very good percentage.

Only the Crows have a better percentage than West Coast, by just 0.1 of a per cent.

Of course, if any of the sides fighting West Coast for that last spot in the finals can win both of their remaining games, the Eagles’ season is over after round 23, regardless of how they fare in the coming fortnight.

But all of those sides are still to face one side that is currently higher than them on the ladder.

The run home:

1.       Sydney (64 - 142.7) – Western Bulldogs (Etihad Stadium), Richmond (ANZ Stadium)

2.       Geelong (64 - 112.8) – Hawthorn (MCG), Brisbane (Simonds Stadium)

3.       Hawthorn (60 - 138.5) – Geelong (MCG), Collingwood (MCG)

4.       Fremantle (56 - 128.8) – Brisbane (Gabba), Port Adelaide (Patersons Stadium)

5.       Port Adelaide (52 - 126.5) – Carlton (Adelaide Oval), Fremantle (Patersons Stadium)

6.       North Melbourne (48 - 116.7) – Adelaide (Hobart), Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)

7.       Essendon (44 - 105.8) – Gold Coast (Etihad Stadium), Carlton (MCG)

8.       Adelaide (40 - 111.2) – North Melbourne (Hobart), St Kilda (Adelaide Oval)

9.       Richmond (40 - 104.5) – St Kilda (MCG), Sydney (ANZ Stadium)

10.   Collingwood (40 - 96.9) – GWS Giants (Spotless Stadium), Hawthorn (MCG)

11.   Gold Coast (40 - 96.8) – Essendon (Etihad Stadium), West Coast (Metricon)

12.   West Coast (36 - 111.1) – Melbourne (Patersons Stadium), Gold Coast (Metricon)

14 comments

  • I'm guessing this journo doesn't actually know how to read betting odds.

    Because the Eagles are not favourites to claim a top 8 spot, the odds are:
    Essendon 1.08
    Adelaide 1.55
    West Coast 3.00
    Richmond 5.00

    meaning that the favourites are Adelaide & Essendon. Though if Adelaide lose to North then everything changes, but as it stands the claims in this article are wrong.

    Commenter
    Matt
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 18, 2014, 12:28PM
    • Matt, one of the pains of living in Western Australia is you will hear about the Eagles maybe making the finals week after week even when the team is crap, players are injured and the team is playing way below their best because most of the reporters are Eagles fans. It is rather boring and tiresome but it happens every year and won't stop until every mathematical possibility has been discounted.

      Commenter
      Peter
      Date and time
      August 18, 2014, 1:34PM
  • Eagles can make it, but they wont. We had our chance and blew it, simple as that.

    As for Fremantle, they can certainly give the flag a serious push. No doubt both Hawthorn & Sydney will lift the intensity big time in September. And if Roughhead & Rioli return, it changes everything. But the top four are all in it to win it. Will be a great finals series I think.

    Commenter
    Derek
    Date and time
    August 18, 2014, 1:34PM
    • As a pies supporter we will lose to GWS and Hawthorn so certainly won't make the finals now so count the pies out. I must be the only logical Collingwood supporter who thinks we are actually on the right track? We have two top ten draft picks from last year who havent even played a game yet, will secure the defacto number one this year in Darcy Moore and simly cant have the wretched luck with injuries again in 2015. As for the Hawks, better make the most of it this year fellas becasue your ageing list will be in decline from now. Just two flags from their golden era whereas Geelong have 3 and if you meet Geelong in the GF this year it will be 4. Respect the Cats and the Swans for what they have done but the Hawks are underachievers with the list they had.

      Commenter
      Petra
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 18, 2014, 1:35PM
      • Counted them out before the season commenced.

        Commenter
        Amy
        Date and time
        August 18, 2014, 1:48PM
      • Hawks under achievers ?? .... You must think flags are plucked from a tree like an apple. Don't worry about the Hawks, yesterday doesn't make a season. Been around long enough to know that.

        If any club in the universe are under achievers, it has to be Collingwood. All the hype around them and their membership numbers, they have won 2 flags in 56 years. Even Brisbane in a rugby league state has a better record.

        Commenter
        Con
        Date and time
        August 18, 2014, 2:00PM
      • A bit anti-Hawks there Petra. I watched the game yesterday and Freo are improving and with Lyon coaching will be very competitive in finals. Hawks were off best but there are concerns for them when there free-wheeling passing game to blokes on there own is interrupted. I think Freo and Lyon realize that like Geelong you hurt Hawks by attacking on rebound. No good being ultra defensive all day. Having Schoenmakers (panics under pressure) and Lake (passed his best) on the backline may spell trouble. Just got to hold Gibson to be accountable to his direct opponent The seemingly clearcut Swans/Hawks GF no certainty.

        Commenter
        John
        Date and time
        August 18, 2014, 3:39PM
    • Ah Con stats eh?...stats such as the fact that the pies still have more flags than hawthorn and will only add to that with the dynasty Buckley is building while your ageing list disappears for some time to come. There is no way known Hawthorn will get over Sydney or Geelong in this finals and Freo probably have you covered as well. 2 flags in the Franklin era no doubt an underachievement. Geelong on the other hand have made the most of a less talented list and Sydney are just aclub you have to respect.

      Commenter
      Petra
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 18, 2014, 2:37PM
      • Ahhhh I see Petra, your counting the premierships won back in the early 1900's. When they used to use 2 pairs of rolled up socks for a footy & football grounds 7 miles long. And beating up on clubs like University and Fitzroy.

        Yep keep holding onto that mantle of greatness.

        Commenter
        Barrnone
        Date and time
        August 18, 2014, 3:02PM
      • You lost me at "Dynasty" and "Buckley".

        But it gave me a good laugh & lifted my Monday spirits :)

        Commenter
        Ian
        Date and time
        August 18, 2014, 3:06PM

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