AFL Rd 14 - Hawthorn v Essendon
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: Joe Daniher and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti of the Bombers celebrate a goal during the 2020 AFL Round 14 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Essendon Bombers at Adelaide Oval on August 27, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

What The F-Arc Review:

Daniher dazzles in Bombers comeback win

All eyes were cast upon the Bombers as Joe Daniher’s return to football was set to ignite a rather empty Adelaide Oval in true 2020 fashion. The Essendon spearhead booted three goals in his return, with the match ending as a tight affair in favour of the Bombers. The Hawks were off to a flyer, with soon-to-be appointed Bombers coach Ben Rutten already losing the backing of the fans by half time. However, the second-half script flipped the match on its head, with the Bombers coming back from a six-goal deficit to take all four points and keep their finals hopes alive.

Tigers cage Premiership favourites West Coast

 The Thursday night encounter played out as a fight for fourth place, with West Coast lining up as flag favourites off the back of six straight wins in Perth. The return to interstate hub life was a rude awakening for the 2018 premiers, as Richmond clawed their way to a 27-point victory at Metricon Stadium. While the MCG will remain out of the question, the Tigers could be timing their run home to the finals with perfection once again.

AFL Rd 14 - Richmond v West Coast
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 27: Josh J. Kennedy of West Coast Eagles receives attention on the field during the round 14 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium on August 27, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

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Controversy concludes Alice Springs showcase

The Demons and Saints met in centre of the nation to battle for a vital four points for both side’s finals hopes. The topsy-turvy contest was building to a climax, with All-Australian form midfielders Christian Petracca and Jack Steele making a case for their respective sides. The former was called upon in the dying seconds of a close match, turning three Saints defenders into traffic cones before launching at goal. The kick looked home before a diving effort from Dougal Howard forced the goal to be reviewed. With no goal-line footage and overall uncertainty, the six points stood, with the Demons going on to win by three points.

Blues stumbled in must-win Magpies clash

Hard to say whether Collingwood won this match or Carlton lost it. While the Magpies ran home with the four-goal win, David Teague’s side were calamitous in their attempt to put this game to bed by half time. The Magpies took advantage of Carlton’s poor resistance and soon had the ball talking in the second half. Collingwood’s role players stood up when it mattered and took home the chocolates from their oldest foe. The win sets up Collingwood nicely in the top-eight while Carlton fall behind the pack with four games remaining.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 11: David Cuningham of the Blues handballs whilst being tackled by Rupert Wills of the Magpies during the round eight AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 11, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)


Lower The Eyes:

Hawthorn vs. Adelaide

A danger game for the Hawks, with the Crows eyeing off their first win of the season. Following last week’s dismal second half against the Bombers, the Hawks playing group would have copped an earful from Alistair Clarkson at training. You can only pray for the drywall in the coach’s box if the Hawks fall to the 0-13 Crows on Tuesday. Adelaide haven’t got much to play for, except for avoiding the tag as the worst side in the AFL era. But, if you were ever going to tip them for a win this season, it’d be over the Hawks.

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ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 23: Tom Doedee of the Crows walks from the ground during the round one AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the Hawthorn Hawks at Adelaide Oval on March 23, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

West Coast vs. Essendon

The Eagles are short favourites to put the Bombers finals hopes to an end despite losing key forward Josh Kennedy to injury. The Bombers selection luck extends into their own camp, with skipper Dyson Heppell, defender Michael Hurley and cult-hero Sam Draper coming in to face the Eagles. If the Bombers come to play like they did in the first half last week, this game could be over by quarter time. Expect a fiery battle in the heart of the ground, with the Eagles a touch above their opponents in this one.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 21: Andrew McGrath of the Bombers wins possession of the ball against Elliot Yeo of the Eagles during the round 14 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Richmond vs. Fremantle

Not a glamorous contest as far as rivalries go, but there will be a number of battles within this war. Dustin Martin and Nat Fyfe will matchup in the engine room once again, while Justin Longmuir’s impenetrable defense will look to withhold Tigers surging attack. Richmond have won their past three against the Dockers, with an average winning margin over 68 points across that period, but don’t be surprised if this youthful Fremantle side make the Tigers earn all four points.

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA – MAY 06: Dustin Martin of the Tigers and Nat Fyfe of the Dockers compete for the ball during the 2018 AFL round seven match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 6, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Sydney vs. Melbourne

Once again, it wont be the most exciting pre-match build up, but both clubs will offer a strong four quarters. The jury is still out for the Demons, with their best performances usually backed up by a mediocre showing the following week. Off the back of Christian Petracca’s four goal game-winning performance against the Saints, the Demons will hope to escape the congested mid-ladder frenzy and cement themselves as a finals threat. For the Swans, an upset victory on Thursday will hand Sydney enhanced bragging rights over their rivaled capital city in for the time being.

during the round 21 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

Greater Western Sydney vs. Carlton

The Giants will come up against a side of their former selves, with the youthful Blues looking to embark on the top eight with a dozen or so ex-GWS players on their list. Leon Cameron’s side seem to be the hardest to read in 2020, churning out lackluster performances whilst defeating some of the league’s best. For the Blues, this is a must win. Their loss to Collingwood was the dagger they didn’t need, but a perfect run home could see them make the top eight for the first time in seven years. Expect a close contest, this could be anyone’s for the taking.

AFL Semi Final 2 - Brisbane v GWS
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 14: Zac Williams of the Giants celebrates a goal with team mates during the AFL Semi Final match between the Brisbane Lions and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at The Gabba on September 14, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)