Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Finals

Last week I watched all four of the opening round playoff matches-- two elimination finals and two qualifying finals. The top four seeds play in qualifying finals, in a 1-4 and 2-3 matchup. Win and you qualify for a bye into the final four, or a preliminary final match. Lose and you have to play your way through, but your season is not over.

I think the elimination final concept is pretty self-explanatory... the 5th place team meets the eighth place side, and 6 meets 7. Lose and you're eliminated. Win and you play the losers of the 1-4 and 2-3 games. 


Geelong and Hawthorn played in the 2-3 game, and it was a match worthy of being a playoff game. The Hawks missed a kick after the final siren and the Cats won by three points. Hawthorn would then have to play two more matches to make the Grand Final, whereas Geelong only needs to win one more time. 

Hawthorn would go on to face the Western Bulldogs, a side that beat the West Coast Eagles. Western went to Perth and won big against the Eagles. West Coast defeated playoff team Adelaide in the last week of the home-and-away season, giving us a reason to think the blue and yellow could win without their big ruckman Nic Natanui. It's especially weird since WCE has a reputaiton for playing poorly on the road. This time they played a bad game and did it in the safety of their home grounds.

Elsewhere regular-season premiers Sydney took a beating from the GWS Giants, in an intra-Sydney squabble. So the Swans move on to face Adelaide, who drummed North Melbourne out of the postseason. The biggest thing about the Kangaroos is that Brent Harvey played his final game in the blue and white after he and three others were not offered contracts for 2017, so this became a sort of swan song for some North greats. 

The next round will see Hawthorn vs. Western Bulldogs and Adelaide vs. Sydney. Winners advance to face Geelong or GWS, losers pack their stuff.

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