The AFL finals have arrived, with the top eight sides making the knockout stages of what has been a long and fascinating season. This is The Roar’s complete guide to the first week of the finals, including the matches, start times and all the key information you could possibly need to know.
The finals will get underway on Thursday, September 5, with the first week of action seeing one game on Thursday, one on Friday and two on Saturday.
As is tradition in the AFL, the top eight is divided into the top four and bottom four, with all of the top four receiving a second chance in qualifying finals, and the bottom four being thrown straight into elimination finals, which will reduce the remaining field of teams to six.
The Geelong Cats finished as minor premiers at the end of an incredibly close regular season, and as a result, will play the Collingwood Magpies in the first qualifying final, while the Brisbane Lions, who finished second, get to host the Richmond Tigers in the other.
The elimination finals will feature the fifth-placed West Coast Eagles, who will play the first game of the week on Thursday, against the Essendon Bombers, while the other elimination final will be played at Homebush between the GWS Giants and Western Bulldogs.
Date: Thursday, September 5
First bounce: 8:10pm (AEST) – 6:10pm (local)
Venue: Optus Stadium, Perth
West Coast Eagles
B Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Will Schofield
HB Brad Sheppard, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta
C Dom Sheed, Jack Redden, Andrew Gaff
HF Willie Rioli, Jack Darling, Chris Masten
F Jamie Cripps, Josh J. Kennedy, Liam Ryan
FOL Nic Naitanui, Elliot Yeo, Luke Shuey
I/C Jake Waterman, Tom Hickey, Jackson Nelson, Mark Hutchings
EMG Liam Duggan, Nathan Vardy, Jarrod Cameron, Brendon Ah Chee
B Adam Saad, Cale Hooker, Aaron Francis
HB Conor McKenna, Michael Hurley, Mason Redman
C Andrew McGrath, Zach Merrett, Darcy Parish
HF Jake Stringer, Shaun McKernan, Patrick Ambrose
F Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Mitch Brown, Orazio Fantasia
FOL Tom Bellchambers, Dylan Shiel, Dyson Heppell
I/C Jayden Laverde, Kyle Langford, Will Snelling, Brayden Ham
EMG Tom Jok, Dylan Clarke, Michael Hartley, Jordan Ridley
Date: Friday, September 6
First bounce: 7:50pm (AEST)
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Date: Saturday, September 7
First bounce: 3:20pm (AEST)
Venue: GIANTS Stadium, Homebush
Date: Saturday, September 7
First bounce: 7:25pm (AEST)
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane
Every single game during the first week of the AFL finals can be viewed on official broadcast channels Fox Sports through Fox Footy on Channel 504, or Channel 7.
If you’d prefer to live stream the action, then you’ll be able to do so on Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, the Foxtel App, Plus7 or the AFL Digital Pass.
Here at The Roar, every game of the AFL finals will be covered with live scores, blogs and highlights.