Published by Max Laughton, 26 August 2018 on foxsports.com.au
THE top eight is locked in, and we now know who will be playing who in week one of the finals.
West Coast’s win over Brisbane early on Sunday confirmed it would host a qualifying final from second, with Collingwood to travel west for the clash.
Then in the Sunday afternoon game, Melbourne defeated GWS to confirm it would be hosting an elimination final in its first September appearance since 2006.
The times and dates of the matches are to be confirmed.
FINAL TOP 8 AFTER SUNDAY
1. Richmond (72 points, percentage of 136.1)
2. West Coast Eagles (64, 121.4%)
3. Collingwood (60, 120.4%)
4. Hawthorn (60, 120.1%)
5. Melbourne (56, 131.4%)
6. Sydney Swans (56, 109.5%)
7. GWS Giants (54, 114.3%)
8. Geelong Cats (52, 131.6%)
WEEK 1 FINALS
First Qualifying Final: Richmond v Hawthorn
First Elimination Final: Melbourne v Geelong Cats
Second Elimination Final: Sydney Swans v GWS Giants
Second Qualifying Final: West Coast Eagles v Collingwood
The loser of the First Qualifying Final hosts the winner of the First Elimination Final in a semi-final.
The winner of that then plays the winner of the Second Qualifying Final.
The loser of the Second Qualifying Final hosts the winner of the Second Elimination Final in a semi-final.
The winner of that then plays the winner of the First Qualifying Final.
RICHMOND (72 points, 136.1%)
Result: Defeated Western Bulldogs by three points
The Tigers are locked into finishing First. They will host Hawthorn in the First Qualifying Final.
WEST COAST EAGLES (64 points, 120.8%)
Result: Defeated Brisbane Lions by 26 points
The Eagles locked in a finish of Second and a home Second Qualifying Final by defeating Brisbane, which means they have the best path possible to the Grand Final – just win twice at home.
COLLINGWOOD (60 points, 120.4%)
Result: Defeated Fremantle by nine points
The Magpies escaped the west with a win, and they’ll finish in the top four. And another close game on Saturday night means they’re set to avoid Richmond.
But West Coast’s win over Brisbane means the Magpies have finished Third, and will travel back to Perth in week one of the finals, rather than hosting the Eagles in the Second Qualifying Final.
HAWTHORN (60 points, 120.1%)
Result: Defeated Sydney by nine points
Alastair Clarkson’s side has earned a top four berth, a year after being written off by most as their era being over.
But the Hawks didn’t do enough to pass Collingwood on percentage, and it means they will finish Fourth and face Richmond in the First Qualifying Final.
It will be the first ever meeting between the Tigers and the Hawks in a final.
MELBOURNE (56 points, 131.4%)
Result: Defeated GWS Giants by 45 points
Demons fans must feel a bit weird seeing their side on a winning streak heading into September.
The Dees will host Geelong in the First Elimination Final.
SYDNEY SWANS (56 points, 109.5%)
Result: Lost to Hawthorn by nine points
It was tight, but the Swans in the end couldn’t eke out another close win, falling to Hawthorn at the SCG.
That means Sydney will finish Sixth. Their opponent in the Second Elimination Final will be cross-town rivals GWS, thanks to the Giants’ loss to Melbourne.
GWS GIANTS (54 points, 114.3%)
Result: Lost to Melbourne by 45 points
The Giants weren’t going to be travelling in week one of the finals either way, but thanks to their loss to Melbourne, they’ll be in a slightly different stadium.
GWS has finished Seventh and will face Sydney in the Second Elimination Final. The alternative was to be hosting Melbourne from fifth.
GEELONG CATS (52 points, 131.6%)
Result: Defeated Gold Coast by 102 points
A thumping win over the lowly Suns saw Geelong briefly pass Melbourne on percentage.
But because the Demons defeated GWS on Sunday, the Cats have finished Eighth, and will now face Simon Goodwin’s side in the First Elimination Final.
The alternative was to travel up to Sydney and face the Swans.