GET OUT OF HERE DUSTY!
— AFL (@AFL) September 6, 2018
And Dustin Martin is good.
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
The First Qualifying Final started things off with #1 Richmond hosting #4 Hawthorn at the MCG. Now, prior to the game, the big question was whether Hawthorn was BACK and if Richmond was up for the challenge of defending their title.
That question was answered in roughly two quarters as the Tigers showed exactly why they’re the favourites to win it all again this year with an emphatic 95-64 victory.
The Tigers simply wore down the Hawks physically and structurally. I really don’t think anyone outside of GWS can hang with them. That’s assuming, of course, that GWS even gets an opportunity to play them this year.
Here are the highlights:
On Friday morning, I woke up extra early to catch the second half of the First Elimination Final between the Melbourne Demons and my Geelong Cats.
I might as well have gotten the extra rest.
The Cats trailed at Half Time by 23 after a masterful first quarter from the Demons in which they scored 5 goals and 3 behinds to Geelong’s 2 behinds.
Geelong kept trying to get back in the game and at one point had the opportunity to get it to 15, but Joel Selwood gave away a silly free kick off the ball when Tom Hawkins had a set shot at goal and that was that.
In truth, the only reason the Cats stayed within reach was that the Demons were extremely wasteful. Against a better team, the Demons could have lost. The game ended 10.15.75 to 6.10.46. Here are the highlights:
Late on North American Friday night, the Second Elimination Final started with a Sydney Derby consisting of the Swans taking on the GWS Giants with the loser going home.
The stakes don’t really get any higher in rivalry games and this clash was greatly anticipated as the Match of Finals Week One. GWS brought back a lot of injured players while the Swans were able to have Buddy Franklin although it was obvious he was not 100%.
It didn’t matter. After a tight first quarter, the Giants crushed the Swans and ran away with a well-deserved 79-30 rout. Sydney only scored 4 goals all game and two of those were in garbage time. Here are the highlights
Finally, the Second Qualifying Final was played later on Friday night / Saturday morning with the West Coast Eagles hosting the Collingwood Magpies in Perth. Both teams, if you will recall, have overcome significant injuries to key players to finish in the Top Four and earn their Double Chance.
It was a thriller and it makes me happy these teams got the chance to play again as they were both worthy of staying in the hunt. The game was close throughout and only a brilliant fourth quarter from the Eagles allowed them to pull out the 86-70 win.
It was really a closer game than the final margin suggests as the final goal by the Eagles was scored at the siren. The Pies had a 10 point lead going into the Fourth, so that shows you how crazy the last quarter really was.
Here are the highlights:
Let’s take a look at the bracket, shall we?
The Eagles and Tigers now get a well-deserved rest while the Hawks and Pies get another shot at glory by taking on the Demons and Giants, respectively.
Finals Week Two Schedule
Here is the finals schedule (All times Pacific):
Friday, September 14, 2018
2:50 AM (Late Thursday night / Friday morning) – Hawthorn Hawks v Melbourne Demons at the MCG
Saturday, September 15, 2018
2:25 AM (Late Friday night / Saturday morning) – Collingwood Magpies v GWS Giants at the MCG
Footy Tipping Contest
Here is where we are after the first week of finals:
|P||TIPPER||Round Tips||Round Margin||TOTAL Tips||TOTAL Margin|
|9||Game Time Decision||3||11||120||754|
|10||Joliet Jake Delhomme||0||31||110||788|
Sunrisesunrise is nipping at SonofSpam’s heels and is now within ONE after a perfect week! This contest is not over yet!
Well, at least not for them. With only five games left, the rest of us have been mathematically ruled out. I do want to give props to Game Time Decision, who has managed to get a hang of the game and is putting up great picks each week. There are still final ladder positions to fight for, so
DON’T FORGET TO PUT THE FOOTY TIPS IN!!
That’s all for this week. There are only five games left in the year and the intensity is at its highest. If there is ever a time to watch, it is now.
See you next week!