The AFL playoffs near their peak this weekend with four sides left fighting for a spot in the Grand Final. There are no second chances anymore and one bad quarter can see a team left to wait until next year for their chance at AFL glory.
Friday 21/0/12 – Sydney V Collingwood
The Swans have earned their home ground advantage here with a highly consistent regular season backed up with a strong win over Adelaide in the qualifying final. But they face a team who has given them nightmares in the past, having lost their past 11 games against the men in black and white. On the Swans side is their ability to field a consistent line up with the ‘pies having been forced to change their team from week to week for a variety of reasons. They will look to their midfield for continued success who would cement their status as one of the best in the game if they can perform on the big stage this weekend.
The Magpies are a big-game team who have a tremendous record in the harbour city. They have hit form at the right time and were at their best when toppling West Coast on the weekend. The good thing for the ‘Pies is they knocked off an in-form Eagles side despite Travis Cloak playing a minor role and if he can step up this weekend they will be very tough to stop.
Magpies by 4
Saturday 22/9/12 – Hawthorn V Adelaide
The Hawks are the premiership favourites and for good reason. If they play to their potential they look close to a moral here in front of a boisterous crowd at the MCG. They have three players named in the All Australian team earlier this week and all will have a massive role this weekend. How and if the Crows stop Franklin, Rioli and Birchall will go a long way to deciding if they can even get close to the short-priced favourites.
Adelaide struggled in the opening quarter in both their previous play off matches and if they don’t rectify that against the Hawks the game will be lost then and there. The Crows will rely strongly on their men up front who have been on fire recently, with Walker sending home five goals against Fremantle last weekend. Even at their best it seems the Crows are going to have to meet a Hawks side well below theirs to even stand a chance.
Hawthorn by 28
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