Ladies and gentlemen, strap yourselves in, finals week one has arrived.
Last week we gave you a quick summary of what the journey has looked like for each team in the top eight, from some powerful teams who haven’t faltered all season to the teams that managed to scrape into the eight just in the nick of time.
This week, we’ve got all eyes on the weekend and we are ready for finals footy.
Friday 27 August: Port Adelaide vs Geelong Cats, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide’s win over the Bulldogs last weekend really set the tone for Port’s approach to finals, full of confidence and with an added home-field advantage, we have a feeling that this will be a final that will go down in history. A rematch of last year’s qualifying final, Geelong will be looking to rebound off their shock loss to Melbourne, after pushing hard in the first half to gain a 44 point lead, close to booking themselves a minor premiership, they faltered in the final hurdle.
Two teams with two different points to prove, Port Adelaide want to stamp themselves as a legitimate premiership chance while Geelong want to prove that last weekend will not define their 2021 finals season.
Saturday 28 August: Sydney Swans vs GWS Giants, University of Tasmania Stadium
A Sydney Derby of epic proportions, the two sides from Sydney will be battling it out for the pride of New South Wales as their elimination final plays out in Tasmania. Sydney Swans, the surprise package of 2021, are going in the odds on favourite, but GWS have a tendency to always pull it out of the bag.
With stars like Buddy Franklin and Tom Papley from the Swans, or Toby Greene and Josh Kelly, this is shaping up to be the match of the round.
Saturday 28 August: Melbourne Demons vs Brisbane Lions, Adelaide Oval
Melbourne should have the confidence that they could beat any team in the eight right now, after an inspiring comeback from 44 points down to win the game with a kick after the siren to secure top spot on the ladder. Brisbane will come in full of confidence too, after in the last minute of the game they managed to kick an additional goal to put their percentage ahead of Western Bulldogs and put them in the top four.
Melbourne have proved too good for the Lions in the past, winning by 22 points more recently, but finals are a whole new beast. Lions have a bunch of weapons across the ground, it’ll come down to whether or not they can get them working against the top spot Dee’s.
Sunday 29 August: Western Bulldogs vs Essendon, University of Tasmania Stadium
It was a weekend to forget for the Western Bulldogs last week, giving up their top four spot and a double chance in the last minute of the Eagles vs Brisbane game. Now, the Dogs are up against a youthful Essendon, who have their tales up after pushing their way into finals in the final weeks of this season. With stars like Jake Stringer, Darcy Parish and Zach Merrett the Bombers are ready to take on a Bulldogs outfit who may be a bit shaky after a week of turmoil.