Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
Round 23 Recaps and Highlights
The final Round of the Home and Away season started with the Port Adelaide Power’s last and best chance to sneak into the Eight after falling out last week. All they had to do was beat the Essendon Bombers at home and hope/pray that the Gold Coast Suns could somehow beat the Geelong Cats in Geelong.
Well, they couldn’t even take care of their part as they fell to the Bombers 111-89. They ended the season losing 6 of 7 after starting 11-4. Yes, questions are being asked in Adelaide. Here are the highlights:
On proper Friday night, the first game was the aforementioned clash between the Cats and Suns. Luckily for me, the match was on at a decent hour in LA and I managed to watch the entire glorious thing. As expected, it was an ass-kicking. The Cats won by 102 (142-40) and here are the highlights:
Almost simultaneously, the Richmond Tigers were taking on the Western Bulldogs at the MCG in a final warmup before finals. The Doggies gave the Tigers all they could handle and could have/should have won on a shot by Brad Lynch with less than a minute to play,
— AFL (@AFL) August 25, 2018
but it hit the post for a behind and that was that. This is yet one more example of a player choosing a side shot instead of a drop punt. Oh well, here are the highlights:
Later that night, the Collingwood Magpies traveled to Perth to take on the Fremantle Dockers and got a taste of the Optus Stadium experience. It was good and they liked it as they won 76-67. Now, they get to return in two weeks to face the West Coast Eagles in a Qualifying Final. Highlights:
In a game that no one saw because 1) It was really late at night and 2) It had Carlton playing Adelaide, the Crows put a positive spin on the end of the year with a 165-61 thrashing of the Blues. Here are the “highlights”:
The other reason why no one saw the Carlton-Adelaide game was because at roughly the same time, the Hawthorn Hawks traveled to Sydney to take on the Swans in a match that would determine who got the Double Chance. The Swans were missing Buddy Franklin, but the rest of the team stepped up and it was a tight game throughout. In the end, though, the Hawks pulled away to win by 9 (83-74) and took home 4th place in the competition and the Double Chance. Here are the highlights:
On North American Saturday night, the Brisbane Lions started off the action by hosting the West Coast Eagles. The Eagles were fighting to hold on to the #2 spot and the Home Qualifying Final that goes along with it. I actually watched this game and, I’m telling you, Brisbane will be good next year if they can stop making mistakes. They, again, played well, but ultimately succumbed to the better team, 98-72. Highlights:
The second game had vital finals implications. If Melbourne won, they would finish 5th and host an Elimination Final. If not, they would drop down to 8th and the Demons and Giants would play again in two weeks except this time in Sydney.
Well, there will be no rematch as the Demons took care of the injured Giants and will now host a final against the Geelong Cats. Here are the highlights:
In the last game of the Round (and of the Home and Away Season), the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the St. Kilda Saints both looked to finish the year on a good note by winning their last game. North’s Ben Brown also had an outside shot (by scoring 7 goals) of tying/beating Jack Riewoldt for the Coleman medal, given to the player that scores the most goals in the season.
Well, the Roos got one out of two as they beat the Saints 117-94, but Ben only scored three and thus Jack Riewoldt is your 2018 Coleman medal winner. Here are the highlights:
Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?
|2||West Coast Eagles||16||6||0||64||121.4|
|9||North Melbourne Kangaroos||12||10||0||48||108.9|
|10||Port Adelaide Power||12||10||0||48||107.6|
|16||St. Kilda Saints||4||17||1||18||75.6|
|17||Gold Coast Suns||4||18||0||16||59.9|
Here is the Balls (TM) graph:
Our Eight and the finals matchups are now set as Geelong did take care of business against the Gold Coast Suns and Port lost to Essendon. Here is the bracket:
Here is the finals schedule (All times Pacific):
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Qualifying Final #1
2:20 AM (Late Wednesday Night/Early Thursday Morning) – Richmond Tigers v Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG
Friday, September 7, 2018
Elimination Final #1
2:50 AM (Late Thursday Night/Early Friday Morning) – Melbourne Demons v Geelong Cats at the MCG
Elimination Final #2
11:20 PM – Sydney Swans v GWS Giants at the SCG
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Qualifying Final #2
3:10 AM (Late Friday Night/Early Saturday Morning) – West Coast Eagles v Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium
Remember that only the losers of the Elimination Finals are going home after Finals Week #1. The losers of the Qualifying Finals get the Double Chance and will play the winners of the Elimination Finals in the Semi-Finals in Finals Week #2.
Footy Tipping Contest
Here is where we are after Round 23:
|P||TIPPER||Round Tips||Round Margin||TOTAL Tips||TOTAL Margin|
|9||Game Time Decision||8||60||117||743|
|10||Joliet Jake Delhomme||5||104||110||757|
A hearty congratulations to WhyEaglesWhy for a perfect week! Don’t forget that the pool continues THROUGH the Grand Final, so there are still more games to come as we will be picking all games in the finals! That means there is still a realistic chance of Sunrisesunrise catching SonOfSpam while Litre, Spanky, and I have a mathematical chance.
DON’T FORGET TO PUT THE FOOTY TIPS IN!!!
The AFL will have a bye next week and I’ll be writing a “Season in Review”. It may not be pretty for some clubs. In addition, this week coming up is “Awards Week” and I’ll be reporting on who won what. Finally, the Monday after the end of the season is traditionally known as “Mad Monday” and the teams typically have parties and players dress up in crazy costumes to celebrate the end of the year. I’ll be scouring the Australian internet for the best pics. See you next week!
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