AFL 2019: Five Things We Learned: Finals Week One

What did Joel Bowes learn from the first week of the finals?

Pies Claim A Scalp, Cats In Trouble

Collingwood’s highly contentious ‘away’ qualifying final against Geelong ended with the Pies winning impressively and locking a second straight preliminary final birth, and a second straight game at the MCG. With an interstate side in either Brisbane or GWS coming, the Magpies might be in for their best chance to claim their first flag since 2010. A week off will do Collingwood some good, as their Friday night encounter with Geelong proved to be a bruising one.

Bombers Make Up The Numbers Once Again

Another year, another final lost by Essendon who cannot manage to pull themselves together in September, a month that’s become a curse word in Bomber-land. Essendon were never in the contest on Thursday night, and although the margin was only 21 points at quarter time, they looked gone even then. Credit where its’s due however must go to the Eagles who were dominant and clinical in their swiping-aside of a far inferior team. The reigning Premiers would have been devastated to miss out on a top four birth, but they do seriously have a strong chance of knocking off the Cats next week in Melbourne.

Be sure to check out who our Players of the Round were for Week One of the Finals.

All The Hype and No Bite

I, like many was expecting this to be the match of the round. With so much to play for, GWS looked initially like maybe they’d succumb to the form side in the Bulldogs. For much of the first half, the sides duelled relatively evenly and played some quality football. After the main break however the gates opened and the Giants stormed home, thrashing the Dogs by 58 points. GWS looked slick through the midfield and left a stunned Bulldogs side behind in the dust. Finals pressure got to the Bulldogs who will be left licking their wounds as the men from Western Sydney head to Queensland next week.

The Lions Have Made Finals, But Can They Win?

Saturday night was an eye opener for Brisbane players and fans alike as to just how much this whole finals thing steps up. The Tigers were ruthless, disposing of Brisbane with ease away from home. The Tigers are geared up for another tilt at the flag, as Brisbane need to acclimatise to finals pressure quickly, with a strong challenge coming from the Giants next week. Although Brisbane’s home and away season was brilliant, they need to do more than just make finals, they need to at least make the prelims and challenge hard when they get there.

Looking Forward

Is anyone else excited? Everyone should be, especially for Friday night. Minor Premiers vs Reigning champs at footy’s largest ground, it will be massive. It will be interesting to see how Geelong responds to this week’s defeat, and their opponent is likely to provide just as much resistance as Collingwood did.  I’ll back the Eagles in to win, but the Cats will be hungry. In the other match up, The Lions will be favourites to beat GWS who will be hoping to take as many fans as possible with them to level out some of the noise the Lions fans will produce. Brisbane need to steady themselves after a shocker this week, and I think the Giants are a team they can do that against. It’s going to be a great remainder of the finals series.

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