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AFL West Coast v Adelaide, Round 21, Optus Stadium.
The Eagles are Flying

Our top three on the AFANA AFL Power Poll all came through with wins this week, with Brisbane crushing the Suns, the Eagles defeating the Crows and Richmond too strong in the wet for the improving Carlton.

The Giants took a big hit on Friday night footy, registering a rare loss in Canberra while playing in even rarer conditions – snow! Yes, for the first time in a home and away AFL contest, snow fell at Manuka Oval in Canberra as Hawthorn gave the Giants a football lesson. Geelong took care of the Kangaroos in similar fashion, with Rhyce Shaw’s men managing just a single goal for the entire match.

Just when we thought we had seen everything in the two previously mentioned games – Essendon outdid all of the previous futility by conceding 21 consecutive goals to a rampaging Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night. All of the other games went as expected, with Collingwood defeating Melbourne, Port too strong for a young Sydney Swans and the Saints getting home in a thriller against Fremantle on Sunday at Marvel Stadium. 

With just two rounds remaining, incredibly we are still a long way from knowing which teams will finish in the top four (double chance) or anywhere in the final eight for that matter. This means football fans have an incredible two weeks of drama to look forward to. Where does your team sit on the AFL AFANA Power Poll? Read on and find out!

1.    Brisbane Lions (Last Week: 1) 
With an eight game winning streak in the bank, Chris Fagan’s men will look forward to big match-ups in the next two weeks against league leading Geelong and Richmond before launching into the finals.

2.    West Coast Eagles (2) 
The Eagles are building nicely. Fresh from a 10 point win against the Adelaide Crows, West Coast will face Richmond this weekend in what should be a sensational match between the 2017 and 2018 premiers. Forward Jack Darling is in scintillating form for the Eagles and will give the Tiger backs plenty to think about.

3.   Richmond Tigers (3) 
The Tigers extended their winning streak to seven with a comfortable victory over Carlton at the MCG on Sunday, but if they want that streak to continue they will need to get even better. Facing the Eagles in round 22 before finishing the minor round with a clash against a red hot Brisbane Lions means Richmond could finish anywhere from 2nd to 7th on the ladder depending on results.

4.    Geelong Cats (5) 
Geelong demolished the Kangaroos at GMHBA Stadium, conceding a solitary goal for the entire match. Despite not being in their best form of late, Chris Scott’s men are still very much in the mix to take out the premiership after they were easily the competition’s best team in the early going.  

5.    Collingwood Magpies (6) 
Collingwood remain a chance for a top four finish after taking care of struggling Melbourne by 17 points at the MCG on Saturday. Coach Nathan Buckley will be looking to restock his best 22 with players returning from injury and suspension to once again give the premiership a shake. A rare road trip this week to Adelaide looms as a solid test.

6.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (4) 
The Giants put in an absolute shocker against Hawthorn in Canberra on Friday night, severely damaging their claims on a top four finish and the all-important finals double chance. As if the cold and snow wasn’t enough for brave Giants fans that turned out to cheer on their heroes, Leon Cameron’s men put an absolute stinker. Toby Greene was the clear best for the Giants, continuing his great form since moving back to the midfield.   

7.    Port Adelaide Power (10) 
Port notched back to back wins for the first time since round six with a clinical defeat of the young Sydney Swans at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Defender Darcy Byrne-Jones continued his excellent form with 28 possessions for The Power. Finals remains a real possibility with two winnable games against the Kangaroos and Fremantle to come.

8.    Western Bulldogs (11) 
The Bulldogs pulled off the miraculous feat of kicking 21 unanswered goals against Essendon on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium. The 104 point win should send a warning to the rest of the competition that the Bulldogs won’t just be making up the numbers if they can steal a spot in the top eight.

9.    Adelaide Crows (9) 
The bad news for Adelaide fans was that they lost again, this time to the Eagles in Perth. The good news is that the Crows played a much improved brand of football, and if not for losing Rory Sloane just after half time, may have bagged a rare win against the Eagles in Perth. There is no time for “what ifs” for Coach Don Pyke however as a home game against Collingwood this week is a must win to keep Adelaide’s finals hopes alive.

10.    Essendon Bombers (7) 
There are no two ways about it – Essendon served up an absolute shocker against the Bulldogs on Saturday night, and in turn have put themselves in real danger of missing the finals altogether. The Bombers have Fremantle away before finishing with Collingwood in the final two rounds - both tough assignments. 

11.    Hawthorn Hawks (13) 
Hawthorn produced one of its best performances for the season in smashing the fancied Giants in Canberra on Friday night. If there was any doubt that Alastair Clarkson remains one of the greatest coaches in the AFL, they needed only to witness his pre-game shirtless jog in arctic conditions in the nation’s capital. It surely relaxed and inspired his players.

12.    North Melbourne Kangaroos (8) 
The Kangaroos followed Essendon’s Saturday night lead by also putting in a putrid performance, kicking just 1.8 for the entire game, including just three behinds in the entire second half. Not much else to say about this one. 

13.    St Kilda Saints (15) 
The Saints did it again. Trailing for most of the second half, Saint Kilda booted the final two goals of the match, with Josh Bruce converting with less than a minute remaining to steal a three-point win over an unlucky Fremantle Dockers. 

14.    Carlton Blues (12) 
The Blues started slowly in wet conditions against the Tigers at the MCG, but acquitted themselves well for most of the match despite being outclassed by Richmond. Patrick Cripps was at his best with 37 disposals and seven tackles.

15.    Fremantle Dockers (14) 
The Dockers were unlucky two point losers on Sunday, more than likely ending any chance of a finals appearance in 2019. Captain Nat Fyfe was, as usual, brilliant with 35 disposals and a game high 11 entries inside 50 meters.

16.    Sydney Swans (16) 
The young Swans are running out of gas, and were unable to match the intensity of their Port counterparts over four quarters of football. The speedy Oliver Florent had one of his best games for the Swans, with 29 disposals and five tackles.

17.    Melbourne Demons (17) 
It was more of the same for Melbourne against Collingwood on Saturday at the MCG, being competitive while showing flashes of brilliance but never really looking like they would win.

18.    Gold Coast Suns (18) 
16 losses in a row. Ouch.

Article last changed on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 8:41 PM EDT


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