Round 18 AFL Review
Thursday, September 17
North Melbourne 4.10.34 defeated by West Coast Eagles 7.7.49
In a match where both teams had the same number of scoring shots, the West Coast Eagles got the job done with a 15-point win over the Kangaroos in their final match before the final's break. With the quarter-time scores being 2.4.16 for the Kangaroos, and 0.0.0 for the Eagles, really does show the dominance North Melbourne had in that quarter. In fact, if they had kicked straighter, there is a real chance the Roos could have gone a long way towards getting a win here. In another injury concern for the finals-bound Eagles, key-forward Josh Kennedy left the field in the second quarter with an ankle complaint. Hopefully, for his team, he is right for the finals. The Eagles will be playing Collingwood in an Elimination Final, most likely in Perth.
Friday, September 18
St Kilda 12.10.82 defeated GWS Giants 3.12.30
While quite a few people were expecting a St Kilda win in this match-up, I doubt many thought that GWS would capitulate so completely! With their 52-point trouncing of the Giants, the Saint's fans can look forward to their team being a part of finals action once again. After a nervous-looking and error-ridden first half, the Saints burst out of the half-time gates, kicking seven goals while the Giants were kept to points only. While the Saints only have seven players who have played in a final before, the team is playing a fast, unselfish brand of footy that will be a concern for the Bulldog, who they come up against in an Elimination game in the first week of the Finals.
Saturday, September 19
Essendon 7.7.49 defeated by Melbourne 10.8.68
In their must-win game against the Bombers on Saturday afternoon, the Demons came out hard and set-up what turned out to be a comfortable 19-point win across the first two quarters. While Joe Daniher's switch to ruck helped his team turnaround a four-goal deficit, into trailing by just seven points, the Bombers couldn't capitalise further and watched as Melbourne stretched the lead back out to the final 19-point margin. While Melbourne would be happy to finish the season off on a positive note, it wasn't enough to see them get into the finals, as the Bulldog's win the next day saw them push above the Demons on the ladder.
Adelaide Crows 4.9.33 defeated by Richmond 12.5.77
A No1 forward and No1 'ruckmanless' Richmond has seen off the challenge of an improved Adelaide Crows, in Adelaide, to head into the finals with a 44-point win. At the end of an entertaining match, where the Crows took things right up to the finals-bound Tigers, Richmond's defence proved too much for the Crows to be able to get through and kick a winning score. While the Crows will stay at the bottom of the ladder for the first time in the club's proud history, they will have the first pick at this year's draft. For the Tigers, there are bigger things on their immediate horizon, as the team will be getting ready to face the Lions again.
Brisbane Lions 11.12.78 defeated Carlton 10.1.61
By the end of an on-again-off-again rainy match in Brisbane on Saturday night, the Lions used a five-goal to none second-quarter to set the foundations for a win over straight-kicking Carlton Blues. While the end score shows there were only 17 points different in scores, this was mainly due to inaccurate goal kicking by the Lions, and the great goal kicking efforts by the Blues. While Carlton's season has come to an end, the Lions will need to prepare for the first week of the finals and a match-up against the Tigers, a team that gave them a 41-point drubbing in Round 10.
Sunday, September 20
Hawthorn 17.6.108 defeated Gold Coast Suns 8.9.57
In their last match for Season 2020, the Hawks did something they hadn't done for a very long time, they played good football! The Hawks played this match in a manner that we had become accustomed to seeing brown and yellow equipping themselves, to completely blow-away a Sun's team that was no match for them on any part of the ground. As two of Hawthornâ€™s club stalwarts were chaired off Adelaide Oval, I am sure both the Hawks and the Suns would be looking forward to some time off before focusing on getting a quality pre-season under their belts and improving on Season 2020.
Sydney Swans 9.9.63 defeated by Geelong Cats 10.9.69
Continuing the trend of the favoured teams winning in this last round of Season 2020, the Cats have left Metricon Stadium with a win over the Swans on Sunday night, but only just! The hard-fought win means that the Cats will finish the home and away season in fourth spot and will kick-off their finals campaign against Port Adelaide. With the Swans starting the match the stronger team, it took until Dangerfield's two goals early in the last quarter to drag his team across the finish line and into fourth spot on the ladder, as they head into the finals.
Fremantle 6.8.44 defeated by Western Bulldogs 11.8.74
Well they did it! The Western Bulldog's win over the Dockers on Sunday has secured the team a Top 8 position, and a spot in the finals for 2020. The Doggie's win, being their fourth from their past five matches, has pushed the Demons out of finals contention. With only a couple of goals difference going into the last, we saw the Bulldogs really come together, to both keep Fremantle goalless and kick three goals themselves for the thirty-point win. St. Kilda is playing the Bulldogs in the first week of the finals, and they will be in for a very tough match!
Monday, September 21
Collingwood 7.3.45 defeated by Port Adelaide 9.7.61
At the end of Monday night's match at the Gabba, on the back of beating Collingwood by 16-points, the Power had finished the 2020 Season on top of the ladder as the season's best team. The difference between the two teams was centre clearances; an area the Power won with a huge 14 to 4 advantage. The Power will now go into the final's series with the important double chance, home ground advantage and as the team to beat. They will play hosts to Geelong in Adelaide. For their first final, the Magpies will have to face the West Coat Eagles in Perth.