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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 2015

            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
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            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
            View All Fixtures
            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 Report Stats
            Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
            STK 78 vs WCE 131 Report Stats
            GWS 108 vs ADE 84 Report Stats
            GCF 63 vs COL 132 Report Stats
            HAW 69 vs SYD 73 Report Stats
            FRE 115 vs NTH 42 Report Stats
            Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
            ESS 136 vs BRI 78 Report Stats
            MEL 103 vs WBU 64 Report Stats
            PTA 43 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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            Round 9
            Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
            Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
            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
            Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
            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
            Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
            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
            Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
            Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
            GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
            WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
            Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
            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
            Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
            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
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            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
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            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
            View All Fixtures
            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
            View All Fixtures
            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
            View All Fixtures
            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 8 8 0 0 155.29 32
            West Coast Eagles 8 6 2 0 158.17 24
            Sydney Swans 8 6 2 0 127.36 24
            GWS Giants 8 6 2 0 118.87 24
            Collingwood 8 5 3 0 129.90 20
            Adelaide Crows 8 5 3 0 116.32 20
            Hawthorn 8 4 4 0 145.81 16
            Richmond 8 4 4 0 107.64 16
            View all
             
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