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AFANA Finals Preview: West Coast vs Collingwood

West Coast Eagles vs Collingwood Magpies (Optus Stadium)

STATE OF PLAY:

The Saturday clash between West Coast and Collingwood is a top four battle of two teams that have been hit hard by injury during the season but have come through in pretty good shape nonetheless.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Twenty Two

The Demons are back in the finals.

With just one round to be played before the finals series begins, the top eight is finally taking shape, but there is still plenty to be decided with some big match-ups in the final round. The big winner out of round 22 was Melbourne, which finished strongly against the West Coast Eagles in Perth to book their first finals appearance in 12 seasons, much to the relief of Coach Simon Goodwin. Last year the Demons crashed out of the race late in 2017. Collingwood strengthened its hold on a top four finish with a big win over Port Adelaide at the MCG, effectively ending Port’s finals campaign in the process. 

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Melbourne Ruffles Some Feathers

Demons Celebrate the Win

Apparently no one had read the script to the Melbourne Demons. They hadn’t beaten a team in the top eight all season and it was a West Coast Eagles home game, Optus Stadium is a fortress and at 75 degrees, it was supposed to be too hot for Melbourne teams to last four full quarters. All that mattered little when the siren sounded and the Demons put on a display worthy of finalists when they ran over the Eagles in an upset in the West.

From the very first moments it was clear that Melbourne had come to play. They were ferocious in their tackling and hunted the Eagles down in packs all over the ground. West Coast were rattled and started to make disposal errors that played right into Melbourne’s hands.

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Eagles' Fight and Height Routs Power

Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Optus Stadium, Perth

The West Coast Eagles won contested possessions and used their height advantage in attack and defeated the Port Adelaide Power to record their sixth consecutive victory.  Port offered little challenge, except briefly during the third quarter. Port’s coach, Ken Hinkley, was obviously disappointed with his players’ lack of hardness and desire to compete.

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