At season’s end, Round 20 may be looked back at as the weekend when a pair of so-called contenders were proven to be not up to it.
On Friday night, Sydney travelled down the highway to Simonds Stadium and blew Geelong off the park. It’s the second time in three weeks that the Cats have not cut it against top four competition and with Joel Selwood to miss the remainder of the home and away season, Chris Scott’s team suddenly look vulnerable in the top four. Next week’s clash with Richmond will be massive.
In the Showdown on Sunday evening, Port Adelaide proved themselves to be ‘flat track bullies’ once again, losing to the Crows by an embarrassing margin of 84 points. Adelaide, meanwhile, are almost a monty for a top two spot. From that position, they’ll be tough to stop from at least making the Grand Final.
In the race for remaining finals spots, the Bulldogs won their fourth-straight game to rise to 7th, Essendon knocked over a brave Carlton side in the last minute and St Kilda kept their hopes alive whilst simultaneously denting West Coast’s.
The last top eight aspirant, Melbourne, were absolutely dreadful. The Dees came up against a GWS team missing its three leading goalkickers and didn’t fire a shot after the first five minutes. Their match against St Kilda this Sunday will be a virtual elimination final. For a team that was knocking on the door of the top four a month ago, a loss to the Saints would be a hugely disappointing.