The season proper is finished. Done. Over. Gone. The cream has risen to the top and those who couldn’t cut it are enjoying end of season trips on tropical islands. It’s now business time. In the finals there are no easy games and one poor quarter can see teams thinking about what might have been rather than toasting premiership glory.
Friday – Hawthorn (1) V Collingwood (4)
Two competition heavyweights kick off week one of the AFL finals and while both teams are guaranteed a second chance, a win would provide confidence and a crucial free pass through to the final four.
Collingwood beat Hawthorn in a nail-biter in to advance to the 2011 Grand Final but the Hawks deservedly start as favourites this time in. Both teams have their stars and it will be a matter of who can step up on the big occasion in front of a packed house at the MCG.
Saturday – Adelaide (2) V Sydney (3)
The Swans poor performance last weekend saw Adelaide sneak into second spot and earn a crucial home final. But they will have to be at the best as the Swans have proven all year they are the number one contested football side in the competition. Some critics have written off the Crows on the basis they had an easy run into the finals and won’t be up to taking on a hard, tough Swans side in finals football.
Saturday – Geelong (5) V Fremantle (8)
One would think the Cats would be too strong in this do-or-die clash at the MCG but this is finals football and stranger things have happened. Geelong look the only real premiership chance outside the top the four but the Dockers have been able to consistently execute a game plan all season and have knocked off some of the big guns along the way
Sunday – West Coast (6) V North Melbourne (7)
At the start of the season the men from the west were all anyone in AFL circles could talk about. They shot to the top of the ladder early but injuries and a lack of form have seen them only just secure a spot in the finals. They start as favourites and rightly so given their talent stocks but the Kangaroos have hit their straps at the right end of the season and will head to Perth up for the challenge.
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