It's that time of the year again which all fans live for and with the season once again being rocked by a COVID nightmare on the east coast, many are just happy to have the series going ahead.

Nonetheless week one of the 2021 finals series served up plenty of thrills and spills with each side learning their fate for the remainder of proceedings.

With this, let's look at a more condensed list of Power Rankings following the qualifying/elimination final matches.

1. Melbourne 

The Demons had a spectacular outing in Adelaide on Saturday night, breezing past the Lions to book their spot in a home preliminary final.

It was their prime movers in Oliver and Petracca that once again made the difference, combining for 63 touches and three goals between themselves.

Jake Lever was imperious down back with 15 intercepts, whilst Bayley Fritsch racked up four majors on a triumphant night for Melbourne.

Their next match in two weeks time against the Giants or Geelong will be a red-hot encounter, with both of their potential opponents set to give them an arm-wrestle of a game.


2. Port Adelaide 

Ken Hinkley has said time and time against to judge his side when they get to the business end of the year, and rightfully so with the Power pulling out a huge display to smash the Cats at a bubbling Adelaide Oval.

Favourite son Travis Boak was the Power's best-on with 32 possessions, seven tackles and seven clearances whilst Aliir Aliir rose to new heights with 11 intercepts, gobbling up every long ball sent in by Geelong.

The Power now have a two-week break before taking on either the Lions or Doggies in a home prelim, with the shortcomings of the corresponding fixture last year sure to spur them on.

3. Brisbane 

The Lions came up short in week one of finals for the second time in three seasons, going down to the Dees at Adelaide Oval on Saturday evening.

Despite the best efforts of Charlie Cameron (5 goals), Lachie Neale (46 disposals) and Jarryd Lyons (27 disposals), the Lions couldn't make it work on a disappointing night for the club.

Thankfully they now have a home semi-final to hopefully rectify things, against a Bulldogs side that bested them in Round 4 but are a bit below where they were at that time.

4. Greater Western Sydney

There was a big, big sound coming out of Launceston on Saturday afternoon, with the Giants surviving a final quarter onslaught from crosstown rivals Sydney to cling on for a one-point win.

Toby Greene, despite being in hot water for an incident involving umpire Matt Stevic, was unplayable for GWS with three goals whilst Tim Taranto (25 disposals, one goal) and Josh Kelly (28 disposals) were imperative to the Giants' victory.

Next week they face the Cats in Perth, with their win in Round 21 giving them confidence they can send Chris Scott's packing and advance to another preliminary final.


5. Geelong

The Cats were played off the park by Port Adelaide on Friday night and now have a 1-8 record in the first week of finals since 2012, emphasising their slow start to September action.

Geelong booted 5.13 for the match, and despite being boosted by the return of Mitch Duncan (33 disposals) could not make anything stick against Port Adelaide for the second year in a row.

They will have to patch their confidence up quickly as Friday night spells a do-or-die clash against the Giants at Optus Stadium, with Chris Scott's side hoping to snap their finals campaign into action with a victory.


6. Western Bulldogs

The Doggies returned to their best when they needed to most, running out 49-point winners against Essendon in Launceston on Sunday afternoon to advance to week two.

Luke Beveridge's kept the Bombers goalless after half-time, with Cody Weightman booting four goals in one of his best performances yet whilst Jack Macrae (36 disposals) and Tom Liberatore (35 disposals) were at the core of the team's success.

Next week they travel to Queensland to face the Lions in another sudden death encounter, with the side having to be at their very best to overcome the wounded Lions.


7. Sydney

The Swans were heartbreakingly close to victory in Tasmania, as they lost another battle of the bridge match - this time by the slimmest of margins.

Isaac Heeney was huge in the Swans' failed comeback with four second half goals while Luke Parker worked non-stop all day for John Longmire's side and finished with 34 touches.

Lance Franklin will have to wait another off-season to crack the 1000-goal mark after managing three majors on the day.

This shouldn't take away from the amazing year the Swans have had off the back of some youthful exuberance. Their youngsters now have a taste of finals footy and there is no question they will be frothing at the mouth for some more.


8. Essendon

The Bombers bowed out of the finals series rather unceremoniously, failing to register a goal after half-time and going down by 49 points.

Darcy Parish kept up his form with 35 touches and a goal while Sam Draper dominated in the ruck with 44 hit-outs as his side couldn't break their finals curse of 6000+ days without a win in September.

Aside from the loss there are plenty of positives to take from a year that many predicted to be fruitless for Ben Rutten's side. They have another off-season to gel even further and, with the fantastic crop of youth they possess, shouldn't have to wait too long to return to September footy.