An incredible season of home-and-away upsets comes to an intriguing conclusion this weekend.
After 22 rounds Brisbane – 15th last year – Geelong, West Coast, Richmond, Collingwood, Greater Western Sydney and Essendon have secured places in the finals.
At this stage the Western Bulldogs are clinging to eight position a game clear of Hawthorn while Adelaide and Port Adelaide could still reach the play-offs if all the results and margins went their way.
A late season surge has the Bulldogs playing as well as any of the sides above them on the ladder.
This should bring the club victory over Adelaide – particularly as the match is being played at Mars Stadium, Ballarat – on Sunday, which would clinch eighth spot for the club.
Another tantalizing question mark hangs over the top four.
After an amazing win over Geelong last Saturday the Lions are the No.1 side but Brisbane are coming up against fourth-placed Richmond at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
It is a very difficult assignment for the Lions, especially considering the club’s lack of experience at the M.C.G.
Given a Geelong victory over Carlton at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday – which seems most likely – a loss would mean the Lions would surrender top spot to the Cats.
All the other top four computations are too exhausting to go into but if Brisbane defeat Richmond and Collingwood beat Essendon, which seems probable, the Magpies could edge into the top four at the expense of the Tigers.
Then of course West Coast needs to stop Hawthorn at Optus Oval on Saturday night but if the Hawks were to win and the Bulldogs lost they would claim eighth spot …. phew!
Last Week: 3
2019 Total: 111
Collingwood by 28pts
Sydney by 23pts
North Melbourne by 16pts
Geelong by 38pts
GWS Giants by 34pts
West Coast by 12pts
Western Bulldogs by 30pts
Port Adelaide by 20pts