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Freo to put the screws on Crows

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Fremantle is playing with confidence and is at the peak of its powers.

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Real Footy finals: Adelaide v Fremantle

It's week two of footy finals and Michael Gleeson, Robert Walls and Emma Quayle take you through the team line-ups for Friday night's clash.

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FIVE weeks ago at home, the Crows comfortably beat the Dockers by 28 points. That day, Rising Star winner Daniel Talia kept Matthew Pavlich in check, and two of the Dockers' very best, Aaron Sandilands and Nathan Fyfe, didn't play. Tonight, again at AAMI Stadium, it will be different.

Talia has a broken arm and won't play, but Sandilands and Fyfe will. Since that victory, the Crows have lost two games and won two.

The Dockers, however, have not missed a beat, winning all four games by an average of six goals.

Aaron Sandilands of the Dockers.

Aaron Sandilands of the Dockers. Photo: Getty Images

So the Crows need to be switched on and learn a lesson from last Saturday night, when the complacent Cats got smashed, as they underestimated just how fierce and frantic Fremantle can be.

FREMANTLE

The Dockers pulled up healthy in body and mind after their Geelong triumph. It can't be undersold just how much confidence the Dockers would have gained from that win. It was huge. But it was impressive how the purple haze took it in their stride. As coach Ross Lyon said: ''Just another step in taking the team to where they want to go.''

Fremantle's midfield is the best it has been all year. Sandilands is rucking well and, more importantly, it is winning the clearances. Stephen Hill, Fyfe and David Mundy are quality inside and outside players; they win contested ball but their run and finish is setting up plenty of scoring opportunities. Ryan Crowley is keeping control of whichever midfield star he is assigned, while Clancee Pearce and Tendai Mzungu cover enormous ground to help out the defence. They also relish the hard hitting of bodies.

In defence, the Dockers like to run three talls. Alex Silvagni did a fine job replacing the injured Luke McPharlin last week, while Zac Dawson kept Tom Hawkins goalless. This enables the mobile Michael Johnson to sweep across the half-back line, blocking forward advances.

Adam McPhee's confidence is at an all-time high and his attack on the ball, especially in the air, has been first rate. And the low-key Paul Duffield continues to be the Dockers' best defensive rebounder.

Up forward, Pavlich, Chris Mayne, Hayden Ballantyne and Michael Walters are all kicking and creating goals, and Matt de Boer leads the way by locking the ball in with red-hot chasing and ferocious tackling. The class of Walters shouldn't be underestimated. He is not fast, but he is a quick thinker, clean ball handler and finishes off his work with aplomb.

ADELAIDE

The Crows kick a lot and handball a little. They like to kick long, take contested marks and rely on marks being taken in their forward 50 to kick goals.

In the home-and-away season they were the second-highest scoring team, behind Hawthorn. Sam Jacobs has been the best tap ruckman for the season. His work has helped the Crows excel at winning clearances and contested ball in close, tight situations.

To have jumped from 14th to second is a credit to new coach Brenton Sanderson. But the reality of finals pressure hit home last week, when the experienced Swans put the stranglehold on the Crows. As good as the Crows have been, they have an unhealthy reliance on too few. Jacobs, Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett up forward and Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield in the midfield have carried this team. The Swans were good enough and clever enough to lessen the influence of the Adelaide stars. None of the five guns fired. Especially disappointing were the two big boys up forward. They normally kick five goals a game between them. Last week, it was one.

There's no doubt Lyon will target the Crows stars again, so it is vital that others step up. Rory Sloane was good last week, but has to be even better. Up forward, Ian Callinan, Jared Petrenko, Jason Porplyzia and Graham Johncock have to hit the scoreboard. They didn't last week, with their team scoring a paltry five goals from 59 forward-50 entries.

TACTICS

The Crows need to be conscious of using all their forwards and not just bombing long to Walker and Tippett. So the midfielders need to lower their eyes and take a fraction longer with the ball to ensure they spot up leading players inside the forward 50. In the absence of Talia, Ben Rutten should be made responsible for the hot Pavlich. As the Crows will be short of a tall defender, Sandilands may be asked to rest in the goal square.

After Dangerfield and Thompson, the Crows fall off markedly in the midfield. If both are restricted to good games instead of very good games, the Crows will struggle. So expect Crowley to take Thompson, and Fyfe to go head-to-head with Dangerfield. Silvagni and Dawson kept Podsiadly and Hawkins goalless last week. If they can do that again on Walker and Tippett, it will be game over.

Brent Reilly is the Crows' most effective defensive rebounder. Ballantyne will be set to keep him busy and limit his influence.

The Dockers are a selfless team and will rely on 22 players fulfilling their role. They hunt in packs and run hard to outnumber the opposition. They are organised at the stoppages and keep a forward structure in place so that when they get a fast clearance, they always have targets to aim at.

X-FACTOR

Fremantle: Stephen Hill. The speedy left-footer can be a game breaker as he makes lots of 80-metre plays. If tagged, he is willing to reverse roles and hunt a Dangerfield type if required.

Adelaide: Patrick Dangerfield. He dominates in so many areas for his team. He is No.1 for contested possessions, long kicks and inside-50s. He is No.2 for disposals and clearances. Dangerfield is a star, whose inspirational plays could be the difference.

PREDICTION

Fremantle to win. The Dockers' continual harassment to wear down the Crows' lesser lights means the stars have to shine. And that won't happen due to the strong negating tactics that will be employed by the Dockers.

Fremantle by 20 points.

22 comments

  • Either Seven pre-planned to pull back their cameras to see more of the ground or the Dockers ability to honeycomb the players across the full area of the "G" v Cats last week forced them to. I'm not sure which.
    Some of Sevens best camera work for the year.

    Commenter
    Rocky
    Location
    Docklands
    Date and time
    September 14, 2012, 9:08AM
    • When Geelong went forward there were 36 players clogging their half. They couldn't get a clean possesion or hit up an unmanned target. Have never seen so many smothers off the boot by Freo. The actual pressure on the Cats soon manifestered into implied pressure with the likes of Bartel etc fumbling and coughing it up even when open. The Purple Haze would then get their turn-over and whip is down to an open forward line where Pav could use his strength and mobility. The fortunate key was that Freo managed to get a solid lead early that they could protect. This enabled then to form the defensive zone when neccessary, blocking the Cats forward half whenever the Cats looked like getting a role on. Worked well. Crows need to be on their game from the very start as Freo did look very hungry and played with absolutely nothing to lose.

      Commenter
      Terry
      Location
      Mooroopna
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 9:39AM
    • Yeah, thanks channel 7, you're so great.

      Commenter
      Padrino
      Location
      Ellivarray
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 9:50AM
    • Shame it wasn't in HD.

      Commenter
      Badge
      Location
      Utopia
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 12:05PM
  • The crows were a little rattled last week but 13 players were in their first final. I feel that they will rebound well this week as good sides do. You do not win 17 games in a seson if you are not a really good footy side and I think the crows will have too many guns around the park for Fremantle to handle. Geelong gave the dockers a 50 point start last week and nearly ran them down and I do not expect the same thing in this clash as adelaide will be ready and firing early after last weeks nervous start. The crows should win by about 4 to 6 goals and their big fellas will bag roughly 7 between them as dawson and silvagni will be exposed tonight for sure. Henderson is also a really big inclusion as he will stretch the dockers defence even further and he kicked six against the dockers last time, so they do have some problems in defence, and although pav is playing out of his skin, if he does not kick a bag of five , I do not see where the goals are going to come from.

    Commenter
    wisemanoncequoted
    Date and time
    September 14, 2012, 9:18AM
    • "You do not win 17 games in a seson if you are not a really good footy side"

      You do if 8 of those games are against Gold Coast, GWS, Melbourne and Port Adelaide and another against the Bulldogs. Adelaide wouldn't be top 4 without the soft fixture.

      Dockers have plenty of goal kickers besides Pavlich, but they are one of the best defensive teams in the comp now, so can still win without kicking bags of goals.

      Commenter
      GB
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 9:50AM
    • I agree wiseman, the young Crows were overawed last week. Sydney did play very well though, and if they continue that intensity they could very well win the premiership this year. I expect Dangerfield and Thompson to really fire up tonight and will be very hard to stop. Personally I would switch Tippett and Walker from their normal positions which would unsettle the Dockers defence.

      I think the Crows will bounce back this week, they are the only side to beat Fremantle in their last 11 games. I tip the Crows by 18 points.

      Commenter
      SimonTigey
      Location
      Adelaide
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 10:29AM
    • Adelaide lost to the best defensive team last week, and are up against the second best defensive team this week. As Walls has pointed out, they played a long bomb game and lost to Sydney, and if there was a second dimension to attack they would have used it last week.

      In case you missed it, Fremantle kicked its equal highest score of the season against North Melbourne 3 weeks ago and Pavlich wasn't even on the park.

      Finals are won bringing the ball out of defence (i.e. turn overs), so with Ballantyne, De Boer and Mayne smashing the Adelaide runners, Dangerfield will have to play deep which means kicking the ball long, taking them back to a strategy that won't win the game.

      Commenter
      jj
      Location
      perth
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 12:59PM
    • "You do not win 17 games in a seson if you are not a really good footy side"

      unless 14 of them are against sides that the orbost under 15 girls side would give a run for their money...

      Commenter
      samuel coleridge
      Location
      xanadu
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 1:53PM
    • You also do win 17 games in a season if you get 2 games each against Gold Coast, GWS & Port... fortunately for the Cows they did, hence they are still around in the final 6 of season 2012.

      Freo for me by a couple of goals.

      Commenter
      Victorian living in SA
      Location
      rAdelaide
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 3:21PM

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Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74 vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66 vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63 vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76 vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127 vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49 vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119 vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74 vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65 vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67 vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125 vs ADE 68 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45 vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76 vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73 vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118 vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70 vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120 vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50 vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80 vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91 vs PTA 115 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59 vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109 vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87 vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108 vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78 vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50 vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80 vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75 vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68 vs WCE 78 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82 vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119 vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155 vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57 vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120 vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135 vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88 vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105 vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102 vs PTA 65 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140 vs CAR 63 Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs WCE 13:45ES
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GCF vs COL 16:35MS
HAW vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs NTH 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
PTA vs RIC 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
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HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
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BRI vs STK 13:10G
COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
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MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
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Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
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Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
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Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
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GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
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GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
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Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
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BRI vs ADE 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:20ES
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
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Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
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Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
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Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
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AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 7 7 0 0 144.44 28
West Coast Eagles 7 5 2 0 156.58 20
Sydney Swans 7 5 2 0 130.51 20
Adelaide Crows 7 5 2 0 123.60 20
GWS Giants 7 5 2 0 117.45 20
Hawthorn 7 4 3 0 152.96 16
Collingwood 7 4 3 0 120.42 16
Western Bulldogs 7 4 3 0 100.00 16
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