Well, it’s taken 23 rounds and we now, finally, know the make up of the finals. With the Crows rolling over against the Dogs, ending the Hawks chances of pinching the final spot. Going in, the top 4 looked set, West Coast to not only drop their game against the Hawks but cop a percentage hit to the point that Collingwood took their spot in the top 4 leaving the Eagles in a precarious position.
Elsewhere we saw and Gallant Essendon fall just short on Friday night against the Pies, The Giants belted the Suns and managed to get Jeremy Cameron the Coleman Medal in the process, The Dees coughed up a game like only they can to hand North another win and the Cats found form against the Blues to finish top of the ladder for the home and away season. Finally, the Tigers knocked off the Lions at the G, but will face them again at the Gabba next week in the first week of the finals
So, where the chocolates of the final round, and who were the boiled lollies?
Western Bulldogs – Needed to win to cement finals and they did the job as needed. Comfortable win and now go into finals as one of the form teams of the competition. They now face the Giants away and after beating them convincingly last round. Would be confidant of making the 2nd round of the finals, and from there, who knows.
Geelong – Carlton at home gave them a great chance to find some much needed form leading into finals. Dangerfield was best on ground, Ablett found the goals again and with Stanley having a good game in the ruck, they seem to have all the pieces together leading into finals.
Jeremy Cameron – Needing 6 goals to win the Coleman and playing Gold coast he was an outside chance to do it. To do it by 3qtr time was just incredible. It’s the first notable award for the Giants and with a finals campaign coming they’ll be hoping they can keep those good feeling going with a big clash against the Dogs this week
Collingwood – Had to win against Essendon to give themselves a chance for top 4 and did it as needed on Friday night. Then got to sit back and watch the Hawks not only beat West Coast, by enough to relegate the eagles to 5th gifting the Pies a top 4 chance and a crack at the Cats at the MCG. After all the injuries, suspensions and all the other noise around the club this year. They have been given a great chance to make amends for last year.
Richmond – Needed to win to finish top 4 and did it easily in the end. Set up a final against the Lions at the Gabba now but they have the double chance. Like Collingwood, they’ve battled injuries all year, but now have a red-hot chance to go for a 2nd flag in 3 years.
Adelaide – Had an outside chance to make finals, but more importantly had a chance to at least finish off another poor season on a positive note. But no, they again wilted under the Dogs early pressure and never had a chance of victory. Jenkins will go, Betts likely, one of the Crouch brothers too and of course the coach will be lucky to see out the week.
West Coast – Top 4 chance lost, so will now face an elimination final against Essendon, whilst it’s at home, they have left themselves no margin for error from here on in, nor will have the luxury of 2 home finals. A bad loss at home has made their chances of back to back a lot more difficult.
Ben Brown – Lead the Coleman by 4 and would have thought himself a good chance to kick a few against the Dees in Hobart. Kicked two and gave himself every chance. Then must watch the Gold Coast give up 7 to Jeremy Cameron in 3 qtrs of footy to see his chance of a first Coleman medal.
Carlton – Disappointing end to a mixed bag of a year. Lacked the fight of previous weeks and maybe their minds were elsewhere with the end of the year coming. David Teague has plenty to work with, but it was an average end to a great final 10 weeks.
Brett Ratten – Two losses in the last 2 games have taken the gloss off his start as St Kilda coach. Lacked the fight and class against a fired-up Sydney side, and that has the potential to hinder his chances of winning the Saints top job he wants. Still likely to be favored but would have liked to a win over these last 2 winnable games.