The finish to the home-and-away season proved just as dramatic as we dreamed it would be, and now that the dust has settled we finally know for certain just what the makeup of the 2019 AFL Finals series will be.
The first piece of the puzzle fell into place on Friday night when Collingwood got up against Essendon at the MCG. This put the Pies back in the mix for top four, and meant the Dons were certain to play an away elimination final.
The real twist in the tale however came at Optus Stadium on Saturday when Hawthorn not only managed to upset the West Coast Eagles but frankly embarrassed them, victorious by more than six goals.
This gave the Hawks some hope of a finals berth but more importantly knocked West Coast all the way down to fifth, leaving them in need of a Richmond loss on Sunday to sneak back into the top four.
That simply was not to be. In the end, the Tigers comfortably bettered Brisbane to secure their ninth consecutive win and move into third on the ladder; that result also handing Geelong the minor premiership.
Sunday also saw the Western Bulldogs run out comfortable victors over Adelaide, ending the Crows’ slim finals hopes as well as leapfrogging Hawthorn into the eight, and snuffing out Port Adelaide’s narrow chance before they even got a chance to play.
The fixtures for week one of the 2019 AFL Finals series are below.
West Coast Eagles vs Essendon Bombers
First elimination final
8:10pm AEST, Thursday 5 September
Geelong Cats vs Collingwood Magpies
First qualifying final
7:50pm AEST, Friday 6 September
GWS Giants vs Western Bulldogs
Second elimination final
3:20pm AEST, Saturday 7 September
Brisbane Lions vs Richmond Tigers
Second qualifying final
7:25pm AEST, Saturday 7 September