Good to see the fight for finals is still happening this late in the season. Port have had something of a renaissance this week, increasing their finals chances by a whole 41% thanks to their win over Sydney. But the teams with the biggest impact this week are arguably Essendon and the Bulldogs. In possibly the most lopsided match of the season, Essendon have thrown their campaign for finals into doubt and Bulldogs (who many were considering a good chance of playing finals) are now being taken a bit more seriously by my model. Above them, we have 5 teams who are confirmed as finals teams and 1 more who will have to pull out a miracle of some kind to miss out. 2 finals spots left, 4 (5 if you include Hawthorn) teams left.
North Melbourne also joined the mathematical impossibility crew this weekend, bringing the total to 5 teams. The teams with 9 wins currently (Hawthorn, Fremantle and St Kilda) are a very real chance of joining them next week.
Position ranges have tightened up quite a lot at this stage. We can actually separate the league into 6 different groups.
- The top 3: Geelong, Brisbane, and West Coast.
- In limbo: Richmond.
- Home elimination finals: Collingwood, and GWS Giants.
- Fighting for finals: Port Adelaide, Essendon, Adelaide, W Bulldogs, and Hawthorn.
- Decent but not decent enough: Fremantle, St Kilda, and North Melbourne.
- Never really looked finals quality: Sydney, Carlton, Melbourne, and Gold Coast.
I really need to figure a better way of showing this graphic. For the moment, you’ll probably just need to open up the image in a new tab to get a good look at it.
The biggest loser in premiership chance this week is GWS after their big loss to the Hawks. They went from 12% to 3% this week. The big premiership contenders are now a group of 4, with Collingwood, GWS, Port, Adelaide, Essendon and the Bulldogs hovering around in the background.
The flagpoles reflect everything else. The top 3 had their flagpole gain a little bit of height. Essendon and GWS took sizeable dents.