MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Dustin Martin of the Tigers and Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats compete for the ball during the round 20 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 3, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

What The F-Arc Review

Adelaide vs. Greater Western Sydney

The Matthew Nicks September showcase rolls on, with consecutive wins brightening the horizon for the Crows’ future. Whether it was a poor performance from the Giants or a great one by the Crows, the upset victory was a rollercoaster tale divided into four quarters.

Despite missing several key players, the Giants fielded a stronger side and would have fallen out of the top eight if it weren’t for the several other contenders stumbling in the race for a finals finish. The Crows season has taken major steps in the last fortnight, with fans now hoping for a Tuesday afternoon timeslot each week. For a club supposedly having one of the worst seasons in AFL history, they’re just one win behind the Kangaroos and looking at a third straight win as they come up against the Blues in round 17.

Carlton vs. Sydney

The script for the 2020 AFL season looks to have aa few twists and turns left, with youngster Matt Cottrell showing up in the dying stages to complete a 40-point comeback and keep the Blues’ finals hopes alive. Sam Walsh has really proven his doubters wrong in the back-end of this season, putting in a man of the match performance to get his team over the line.

Not much talk about the Swans after the game, yes they’re a young group, but dropping a seven goal lead in the rain shouldn’t go unpunished. Lewis Taylor’s shot at goal really summed up this season in one kick, with questionable umpiring and a lack of impact on the scoresheet. Can the Blues make it to the finals? Yes, but realistically no.

 

 

Brisbane vs. Gold Coast

A fairly unattractive QClash with the Lions leading the way the entire game. Lachie Neale looks to have snatched another three votes after critics were beginning to suggest Travis Boak or Christian Petracca were set to steal his spot atop the podium. The Lions’ inaccuracies are beginning to fade, if they can continue to keep a straight eye for goal they’re perhaps going to be the toughest team to knock over come finals.

Not the most flattering four quarters for the Suns, but their ability to turn Hugh Greenwood and Brandon Ellis into ball magnets is a credit to their system. A few younger names continue to shine in Jack Lukosius and Noah Anderson, the future is certainly looking bright on the Gold Coast.

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St Kilda vs. West Coast

A seesaw affair opened up Round 17 between two clubs still needing to lock in their finals positions. An undermanned Eagles line-up were dealt another blow in the second quarter as star defender Jeremy McGovern suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter, who will now join the likes of Dom Sheed, Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo, Lewis Jetta and Brandon Ah Chee on the sidelines.

Tim Kelly put on a dazzling display to lift the Eagles to victory in this one, racking up 30 disposals and booting a goal in a best-on-ground effort. The win sees West Coast move back into the top four, while the Saints are now at risk of missing the eight altogether!

Lower The Eyes

Geelong vs. Richmond

A mouth-watering contest for your Friday evening. Six straight wins for Geelong has them sitting pretty in third place, but it could all come crashing down again the Tigers once again. The preliminary final loss to the Tigers seems a decade ago, with the Cats now getting the best out of their 2nd string midfielders and having Tom Hawkins and Mitch Duncan at their disposal.

A win here will have them sitting as flag favourites, no questions asked, but a loss will leave them with a very difficult task in making the big dance if they are to drop out of the top four. The Tigers are set to welcome back Dylan Grimes and Kane Lambert for what is a must-win clash for both sides. It’s sure to be a close four quarters, anyone’s bet at this point.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 07: Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats and Trent Cotchin of the Tigers compete for the ball during the 2019 AFL round 12 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 07, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

North Melbourne vs. Fremantle

Hard to think Metricon Stadium will be pulling in fans by the thousands with this tie. The Kangaroos have plenty to prove following mediocre performance after mediocre performance. Rhyce Shaw is suddenly finding the coaching life a lot harder than this time last year, but with the list in front of him, it’s hard to throw all the blame his way. Freo are flying, kind of.

Yes they sit 13th, but they’re two wins off the top eight after embarrassing Melbourne on Monday night. Be sure to have your money on the unders, with Justin Longmuir guaranteed to hold North to one goal per quarter as his impenetrable defence continue to withstand any attack. On paper, its not the best game for the neutral fan, but it’s sure to be a close one nonetheless.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – MAY 27: Adam Cerra of the Dockers gets his kick away under pressure during the round 10 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Optus Stadium on May 27, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Port Adelaide vs. Essendon

Essendon fans will be clinging onto their mathematical chances of reaching the finals until the first bounce of this match. A loss here will end their 2020 season. It’s okay though, it’s not like they have 17 uncontracted players to take care of…oh wait. Port are going to have a field-day if the Bombers start this game like they did against the Cats, with Charlie ‘chuck wagon’ Dixon perhaps able to close the 10-goal deficit Tom Hawkins has in the Coleman Medal race.

A win for the Power and they’re four points away from the minor premiership. Many are still questioning whether they have the ability to go the distance but a confidence booster this weekend could just be what ignites an exciting play for a second AFL premiership. Perhaps last week was the kick in the backside that Essendon needed, who knows, they might take Port the distance in this one.

Greater Western Sydney vs. Melbourne

Two sides that seem like they don’t want to make the finals. Unfortunately, someone is going to win this game. The Giants will likely welcome back a handful of leaders for what will be a must-win match for both sides. GWS currently sit in the eight, but a loss to the Dees and they can fall to as low as 11th with one game remaining.

You would think after losing to the Crows that the Giants were the out-of-form side of the competition, but up steps Melbourne. Losses to Sydney and Fremantle now place Simon Goodwin’s side on the outer of a finals placing and facing an uphill battle. Both sides are carrying the weight of very high expectations for this season on their backs and one is set to fall short of the mark, it’s going to be great to watch.

Carlton vs. Adelaide

Who would have thought that this game would have been one to mark down on the calendar? The Crows are turning a historically bad season into a fairy-tale finish and have Carlton in their sights. The Blues are clinging onto the smallest of margins for their finals chances off the back of Matt Cottrell’s heroics against Sydney.

Yes, Adelaide are in some sort of decent form but it would be just the Carlton thing to do in ruining their last gasp with a loss to the cellar-dwellers. The ‘Bryce Gibbs derby’ will actually feature the Crows veteran in what will be his swansong match, but its hard to think either set of fans will be that sad to see him go. You’d like to see the Blues get up in this one, just so it can all come crashing down in the final match of the season.

Hawthorn vs. Western Bulldogs

Suddenly the Bulldogs are favoured to make the top eight after their centre-metre-perfect win over the Eagles to keep their finals chances alive.  They come up against arguably the worst side in the competition over the last month, with the Hawks now facing the daunting reality of a bottom three finish.

There seems to be one game very week that suggests anyone could win, and this might just be that match. The Hawks have nothing to play for while the Dogs have everything on the line and we know exactly how these kind of games tend to go down. You’d be silly to tip the Hawks, but if you’re chasing points, this could be the upset to get you to the top.

Sydney vs. Brisbane

While it won’t seem like the most enticing Sunday night showcase, there’s plenty in this game for the viewers. Many are believing the Brownlow race is tighter than expected, with Lachie Neale needing to claim as many votes as he can in the last two round to secure Charlie.

The Lions will also be hoping to put as much pressure on Port Adelaide for the minor premiership, with a blow-out win their best chance in leapfrogging the South Australians via a percentage boost. The Swans won’t have much riding on this game, but following their 40-point stumble to the Blues, there’s sure to be some fire in their bellies. Potentially another upset to tip for if you’re behind the pack, but hard Brisbane placing a foot wrong.

Collingwood vs. Gold Coast

Shorter breaks between games have been a major talking point in 2020 with congested fixtures and the discussion will roll into this clash, with the Suns coming off a four-day spell compared to the Magpies’ nine. Collingwood remain the short favourites with the growing chance they welcome back some big names to end their season on a high.

Somehow they’ve remained in the top eight with everyone else around them crashing and burning their campaigns into the ground. The Suns’ shine has slowly dimmed as the season has progressed, but plenty of neutral fans will love to see one more glowing performance to turn round 18 into a finals frenzy as several clubs fight for the last remaining spots. Out of all the potential upsets in round 17, this could be the one to back.