While preparations for Grand Final parties around the globe continue to take shape, the final three rounds of the AFL season will bring fans plenty of excitement. There will be heartbreak for some, as eleven teams remain in Finals' contention with only eight spots up for grabs. The top five - Fremantle, West Coast, Hawthorn, the Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans - have all but locked up a place in the post-season, but there is a traffic jam of teams vying for positions six through eight. What better time to run the slide rule over the remaining rounds and see if we can work out who makes the major round – and who is left to pick up the pieces?
Coach Rodney Eade traveled west once again with the Western Bulldogs to take on the West Coast Eagles who were coming off a demoralising loss to Saint Kilda the previous week. The Bulldogs enjoy an impressive winning record at Subiaco Oval and with an unbeaten record in the first three rounds, there were justifiably high expectations of another win.
After a nightmare week in the media spotlight, beleaguered Richmond Tigers coach Terry Wallace found no salvation in Sunday's must win game against the Melbourne Demons. Week-long headlines prophesying Wallace's demise should Richmond fail to produce a winning performance were read by all it seems except the Melbourne football team. Twenty-two players, most in their fledgling years of AFL football, ran on to the MCG in red and black Melbourne guernseys. The youthful Demons came with but one aim - to play the best brand of football they could muster. Not only did they turn a deaf ear to the roars of the Tiger Army, they turned the footy tipping world upside down in a display of character football for which the Tigers had no answers. At last the starved Demons have something to build upon for the future.