ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 22: Travis Boak of the Power celebrates at the final siren during the round 14 AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Geelong Cats at Adelaide Oval on June 22, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

What The F-Arc Review:

Saints end nine-year finals drought

St Kilda have booked their place in the top-eight whilst ending the Giants’ season, with the latter now questioning where it all went wrong. While we could put salt in the wounds of the Giants, the story lies with the Saints, who evaded a further slip in form with their 52-point victory. The club have just one player still on their list from their last final, with skipper Jarryn Geary holding out for some success with Saints. Their rampaging finish to the season will hold a major boost for their first final in nine years as they come up against the Bulldogs in two weeks time.

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Hawks give veterans a stellar swansong

With the retirements of triple premiership pair Ben Stratton and Paul Puopolo announced last week, fans were expecting the Hawks of old to show up on Sunday, and they did. Unfortunately for the Suns, their performance was one to mirror their last decade too, as Hawthorn ran to a 51-point win. The departing duo both managed to get onto the scorers sheet in style, with Puopolo kicking three goals while Stratton booted his second ever. 

Cats dodge Swans scare

Geelong fans will tell you they weren’t confident in the build up to this game and it showed why. The club have become masters at throwing away important wins, but when it mattered, up stepped Patrick Dangerfield. The Cats star put a quiet first half behind him and did what he does best. Credit to the Swans, they had the Geelong right where they wanted them, unfortunately, some things are inevitable. The victory means the Cats earn a top four finish for the 11th time in the last 14 seasons, wow.

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Port clinch minor premiership 

The Power have claimed the minor premiership for the first time since their triumphant season that was 2004. While they won’t have Toby Thurstans to lead their Grand Final push, they will have a man by the name of Charlie Dixon. Port were deserving of the title with a 14-3 finish as they held off a surging Magpies unit to claim the AFL throne. The question remains, can they keep up their tilt come October? Let’s hope so. 

Lower The Eyes: 

West Coast vs. Collingwood

The Magpies will have the daunting task of flying to Western Australia to face the Eagles at home. Collingwood were embarrassed at Optus Stadium in Round 8, with the Eagles ending the four quarters with a 66-point buffer. The week’s break will play into the Eagles’ hands nicely, with a suitcase of key names set to make a return from injury. Unfortunately for the Magpies, defender Jeremy Howe and midfielder Steele Sidebottom have been ruled out of a return in 2020, leaving Nathan Buckley with a tough task ahead. A win for Collingwood won’t make up for the loss, but it would be sweet revenge for that one day in 2018.

AFL Rd 8 - West Coast v Collingwood
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JULY 26: Brodie Grundy of the Magpies contests a ruck with Nic Naitanui of the Eagles during the round 8 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on July 26, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

St Kilda vs. Western Bulldogs

The Saints have ended a nine-year finals-less drought and will now look ahead to playing the Bulldogs for a sniff at the title. Both clubs aren’t favoured to go the distance, but their best football is sure enough going to scare the fellow top-eight clubs if they can find the right gear. Aaron Naughton will be in a race against the clock to return from injury, with his potential omission a major swing in who will be favourites in this one. Expect a tight, fiery contest that will be decided by less than two goals.

AFL Rd 2 - St Kilda v Western Bulldogs
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 14: Dan Hannebery of the Saints celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 3 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on June 14, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Brisbane vs. Richmond

Brisbane are a top two team in the competition, there’s no disputing that. But when they come up against the Tigers they’ve been anything but clinical. Across their last two games against Richmond, the Lions have booted a total of 12 goals and 34 behinds. The Tigers also have a winning streak over the Lions, dating back 11-years. The history is stacked against them, but you can sense this Lions team is building something spectacular in 2020. Both Tom Lynch and Harris Andrews are hoping to return to their respective sides for the first weeks of finals, with a win here skyrocketing either side into premiership favouritism. 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 25: Lachie Neale of the Lions in action during the 2019 AFL round 23 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 25, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

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Port Adelaide vs. Geelong

Flashback to Round 12 and the Cats put Port Adelaide to the sword thanks to a man of the match outing by Tom Hawkins. At the other end of the field, Charlie Dixon was kept goalless for just the second time this season and all of a sudden their premiership push was in question. Port have managed to remain on top of the ladder – as they have in every round this season – and will welcome the Cats to Adelaide Oval to seek vengeance. No chance the Power offer up what they did last time these two met, this one will go down to the wire.