AND then there were six. Week one of the finals didn’t fail to deliver with the Tigers, Swans, Crows and Eagles all getting W’s and the season coming to a close for the Bombers and Power. A rollercoaster four game slate provided plenty of highlights, including perhaps the game of the year on Saturday night. Let’s dive in.
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In A Nutshell
- THE Crows kicked off the 2017 finals campaign with a cruisy 36 point win over the Giants and booked a home preliminary final in the process. An eight straight goal binge saw Adelaide take a 44 point advantage into the main break and while the Giants put up some fight in the third quarter it wasn’t enough to overcome a polished Crows outfit.
- MANY people, myself included expected Geelong to get the job done against Richmond, but that was far from the case. It looked like the Tigers were going to regret their missed opportunities after a wasteful 3.7 in the first half. Taking a 13 point lead into the last quarter though Richmond hit their straps booting seven goals to win their first final since 2001 by 51 points.
- IN Sydney the third game of the weekend went pretty much as expected with the Swans blowing the gates open during the second quarter effectively ending the contest by half time. 10.3 to 2.1 set up an easy win for Sydney fueled by a five-minute spurt of Lance Franklin dominance, setting up a HUGE match with the Cats next weekend.
- IT was the final that typified season 2017 with Port Adelaide and West Coast playing one of the games for the ages at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. After four quarters of intense action, the scores remained locked at 60 forcing extra time for just the third time in AFL history. With the Power clinging to a narrow four point lead and just seconds left on the clock, Luke Shuey was awarded a free kick and a post siren shot on goal. The Eagles gun held his nerve and drilled the goal to keep their season alive and break the hearts of Power fans across the globe.
The Four Points
Dusty Deserves A Pay Rise
IT’S been a pretty good fortnight for Richmond fans. They won their first final in 16 years and they had two players in the All- Australian squad, one of whom was named skipper of the AA side and the other committed his allegiance to the Tigers by signing for another seven years. It is believed that Dustin Martin left millions on the table stay at Punt Road and after his incredible game on Friday night the Tigers might be inclined to add another zero to his new deal. He’s worth every cent.
Buddy Is Up And About
WE have all seen the devastation that Lance Franklin can have off of his own boot in the past and it looks like the Swans forward is back in top gear. After playing every game this season Buddy has kicked 21 goals in the last month of football and seems ready to rip a finals game to shreds in the coming weeks.
Shuey’s Place Amongst The Greats
IN the last 30 years there have been seven shots after the siren to determine the outcome of a final. Names like Tony Lockett, Billy Brownless and Gary Ablett all share the honour of winning a final off their own boot with no time left on the clock, but after the monumental match between the Power and the Eagles, Luke Shuey’s kick may be greater than them all.
Who Should Be Scared More, The Giants Or Cats?
BOTH Geelong and Greater Western Sydney looked well short of the teams who finished 2nd and 4th on the ladder after the home and away season last weekend, sending alarm bells ringing in both camps. The Cats face the in form Sydney who has won 15 of their last 17 starts and the Giants face an Eagles team that they only just overcame at the same venue less than a month ago. Both teams face the real possibility of bowing out in straight sets, but if I had to pick one favoured to cop another L it would be Geelong.
Premiership Power Rankings
1. Adelaide Crows – They have one foot in the big dance with a home prelim in a fortnight’s time.
2. Richmond Tigers – Tigerland is daring to dream, with the Giants or Eagles visiting them at the MCG for a spot in the GF.
3. Sydney Swans –Unfortunately I can’t place the Swans higher based on the fact that they are playing this week and the Crows/Tigs aren’t. They are dangerous though.
4. Geelong Cats – Must show that they mean business against Sydney this week. They were my early premiership favourites and it would be a tough pill to swallow going out in straight sets.
5. GWS Giants – GWS should be very afraid. The Eagles are up and about and have nothing to lose. Time to stand up.
6. West Coast Eagles – Can the fairy tale continue for Sam Mitchell, Matt Priddis and Drew Petrie? The Dogs won from 7th last year so never say never.