What a crazy end to a crazy season!

With ten minutes to go in the 2017 home and away season, it still wasn’t clear who exactly would play finals. Melbourne, having dropped their game against Collingwood on Saturday, needed Adelaide to beat West Coast by about 20 points or more.

Unfortunately for Melbourne fans, the inconsistent Eagles pulled one out of the bag and booked their September ticket by just 0.5% on the ladder.

Melbourne only have themselves to blame for missing out, having lost to bottom six teams North Melbourne (twice), Collingwood and Fremantle. The Dees final drought endures – they still haven’t played finals since 2006.

Geelong and Richmond quietened those who were questioning their premiership chances, producing commanding performances against GWS and St Kilda respectively while potential Gold Coast coaches might be reconsidering their applications after the Suns’ capitulation against the Power. Port Adelaide continued their season of beating up on poor teams, can they find form against the cream of the crop for finals?

Buddy Franklin sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition with his second career bag of ten goals or more, and in doing so, outscored Carlton all by himself. As always, the Bud will be the player to keep an eye on during September.

Elsewhere, North Melbourne defeated Brisbane in the ‘Spoonbowl’, handing the Lions their first bottom place finish since 1998, Hawthorn sent Luke Hodge off in style with a narrow win over the Bulldogs and Essendon got a scare from a more competitive Fremantle team.

Who wins it from here is anyone’s guess. Bring on finals!

What did you like, learn and hate from AFL Round 23? Have your say here.