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Run to the AFL finals: how your team will fare

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Port Adelaide has already proved the surprise packet of 2014. But as the AFL season enters its home stretch, the Power is in danger of not getting the reward its efforts deserve.

Ken Hinkley’s side barely put a foot wrong for the first half of the season, but with the race for the top four as tight as in recent memory, its recent lapse has the potential to prove very costly.indeed.

After 12 rounds, Port was two games clear in top spot. It’s still third despite having lost three of its past four matches. But in a cruel twist of fate, the Power could well end up losing the all-important double chance in the last round of the home-and-away season.

The Power could well end up losing the all-important double chance in the last round of the home-and-away season.

The Power could well end up losing the all-important double chance in the last round of the home-and-away season. Photo: Getty Images

Round 23 serves up what surely is football’s biggest challenge, taking on the defensive steel of Fremantle on the Dockers’ own turf at Patersons Stadium. That game already looks like a de facto final, with a top-four spot going to the victor and the loser having to come from fifth.

For Port Adelaide, the Fremantle clash is one of two games set to determine its finals fate -  the other three weeks earlier at home against Sydney. On form, it’s difficult to tip a Port win in either game which, by my count, sentences it to fifth spot.

I’ve been through the run home of the top-eight teams plus those of the only two outside the eight still with some sort of finals chance - Adelaide and Essendon - and it’s the Power for which the bell tolls if it can’t upset either Sydney or Fremantle.one of the Swans or Dockers.

Fremantle was always going to be a big danger in a favourable home stretch, and so it’s proving. Ross Lyon’s side has won seven on the trot and is at short odds to make it 10 before a potentially season-defining clash with Geelong at Simonds Stadium, the scene of their memorable qualifying final win last year.

Another victory there and Freo could even afford to drop the Port game and still finish in the top four. But the incentive for a win would be considerable, a finish of first or second and the right to host two home finals.

While the Dockers are more than 4 per cent behind Hawthorn, I reckon they might be able to win big enough against weaker opponents to close the gap and slip past the Hawks.

Port Adelaide is one of six final-eight contenders that has to face two top-four teams - Sydney, Hawthorn, Fremantle, Geelong and Collingwood are the others. The Dockers are the only side I’ve got winning both those engagements - home dates against the Hawks and Power.

And the obvious beneficiary of all that top-four civil war is Geelong. After having slipped from the top bracket in its round-14 loss to Gold Coast, I’ve got Geelong sneaking in again at the death because of Port’s stumble and what should be a very winnable game on its own turf against the Brisbane Lions.

That, of course, is providing the Cats beat at least one of Fremantle at home or Hawthorn at the MCG in the penultimate round of the season.

And while in premiership terms, just who fills the last few spots in the eight appears of academic interest only, things look headed for a pretty tight finish there, too.

Collingwood, despite its recent slump, a critical game against Essendon on Sunday and tests against Port Adelaide and Hawthorn, will still make it by my calculations, as will a first-timer in Gold Coast.

Having got through a nightmarish six-week stretch of tough games, things get a bit more manageable for the Suns now, with the next month serving up the Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, St Kilda and Carlton, which should give Gold Coast a little breathing space before a couple more toughies.

Adelaide and Essendon are pushing, but the next fortnight against Hawthorn and Collingwood, the latter at the MCG, will be telling for the Crows, while the Bombers have the Pies, Sydney at the SCG and Gold Coast to handle if they’re going to make it.

The Crows and Dons might have left their run a fraction late. But neither would be nearly as stiff to miss out as Port Adelaide would be to miss a double chance it seemed to have firmly in its grasp for so long.

16 comments so far

  • That's 13 wins for essendon and no finals. Has that happened before?

    Commenter
    vexxed
    Date and time
    July 07, 2014, 6:33PM
    • Yes, Essendon won 14 last year and had no finals.

      Commenter
      bio logical
      Location
      perth
      Date and time
      July 07, 2014, 7:55PM
  • I predicted after Round 4 that Port would not finish top 2 because no club in the modern era is capable of maintaining maximum intensity for the entire season. Nevermind the finals. They basically peaked too early and you will see some of the more clever coaches tweaking & tweaking before a full on assault at the finals half way through the season so they charge towards finals rather than limp. I also think Sydney & Freo will finish top 2 but with absolutely no guarantee either will play in the GF. The yo-yoing emphasis on home ground advantage (Simmonds, AO, Subiaco) is a yawn- it plays little part when the best teams play.

    Commenter
    Peter
    Date and time
    July 07, 2014, 7:23PM
    • Yes in 2013 when Essendon won 14 games and didn't play in the finals.

      Commenter
      Tezza
      Date and time
      July 07, 2014, 7:29PM
      • Gold Coast winning every game without Ablett?

        Commenter
        Bill
        Date and time
        July 07, 2014, 7:31PM
        • ??? He's got GC with two losses.

          Commenter
          ChrisH
          Location
          Vic
          Date and time
          July 07, 2014, 8:28PM
        • Those losses are after Abletts likely return.

          Commenter
          Bill
          Date and time
          July 07, 2014, 8:56PM
      • Last season :)
        In 2012 the eight placed team had 14 wins

        Commenter
        cliffh
        Location
        Gippsland
        Date and time
        July 07, 2014, 7:38PM
        • How long will it be before eagle supporters turn on their coach after yet another season of failure?

          Commenter
          Bags of money
          Date and time
          July 07, 2014, 7:46PM
          • And yet again Rohan fails to mention North even once. Ghost team at 6th ?

            Commenter
            coops90
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            July 07, 2014, 7:51PM

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            AFL 2016

            Round 1
            Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
            RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
            Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
            MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
            GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
            NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
            SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
            Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
            WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
            PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
            WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
            Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
            GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
            View All Fixtures
            Round 2
            Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
            COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
            Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
            ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
            ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
            BRI vs NTH 16:35G
            STK vs WBU 19:25ES
            FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
            HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
            CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
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            Round 3
            Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
            STK vs COL 13:45MCG
            RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
            SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
            GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
            WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
            WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
            GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
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            Round 4
            Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
            WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
            HAW vs STK 14:10AS
            BRI vs GCF 16:35G
            CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
            ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
            COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
            NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
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            Round 5
            Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
            Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
            GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
            WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
            PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
            STK vs GWS 13:10ES
            FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
            MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
            Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
            COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
            View All Fixtures
            Round 6
            Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
            Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs STK 13:45ES
            ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
            GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
            RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
            GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
            Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs SYD 13:10G
            CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
            WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
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            Round 7
            Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
            Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
            COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
            GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
            SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
            GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
            WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
            FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
            STK vs NTH 15:20ES
            PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
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            Round 8
            Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
            ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
            HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
            GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
            BRI vs COL 19:25G
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            Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
            MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
            WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
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            Round 9
            Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
            Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
            COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
            GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
            PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
            NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
            FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
            GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
            STK vs ESS 16:40ES
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            Round 10
            Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
            Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs HAW 13:45G
            MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
            STK vs FRE 16:35ES
            ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
            ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
            COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
            WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
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            Round 11
            Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
            Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
            CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
            GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
            GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
            FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
            COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
            WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
            ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
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            Round 12
            Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
            Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
            BRI vs FRE 16:35G
            GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
            WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
            STK vs CAR 13:10ES
            RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
            GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
            Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
            View All Fixtures
            Round 13
            Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
            Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs WCE 13:40G
            FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
            WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
            Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
            ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
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            Round 14
            Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
            ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
            COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
            Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
            GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
            STK vs GEE 19:25ES
            Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
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            Round 15
            Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
            WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
            Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
            GCF vs STK 13:40MS
            SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
            CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
            Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
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            Round 16
            Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
            GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
            Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
            GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
            WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
            MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
            Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
            WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
            ESS vs STK 16:40ES
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            Round 17
            Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
            Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
            FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
            NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
            WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
            ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
            STK vs MEL 15:20ES
            BRI vs GWS 16:40G
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            Round 18
            Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
            COL vs NTH 19:50ES
            Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
            GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
            WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
            WBU vs STK 19:25ES
            GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
            Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
            HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
            PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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            Round 19
            Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
            GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
            Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
            HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
            COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
            BRI vs PTA 19:25G
            NTH vs STK 19:25ES
            Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
            FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
            ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
            View All Fixtures
            Round 20
            Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
            Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
            MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
            GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
            WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
            ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
            GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
            FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 21
            Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
            WBU vs COL 19:50ES
            Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs CAR 13:45G
            HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
            GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
            STK vs SYD 19:25ES
            PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
            RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
            FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 22
            Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
            WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
            RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
            GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
            COL vs GCF 19:25ES
            PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
            BRI vs GEE 15:20G
            ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
            View All Fixtures
            Round 23
            Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
            STK vs BRI 12:00ES
            ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
            GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
            SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
            NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
            GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
            ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
            FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            AFL 2015
            Overall standings
            Team P W L D % Pts
            Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
            View all
             

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