Five Lessons Learnt – AFL Round 17

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1. No Hawkins. No Geelong.

Tom Hawkins has been a model of consistency throughout his illustrious career but he has been one of the driving force behind the success of the Cats in season 2020.

The big forward has been the focal point for a Cats side that has scored more points than any other side in 2020 and he will be rewarded with his first Coleman Medal.

But are the Cats lost without him?

The late withdrawal of Gary Rohan before Friday night’s game against Richmond at Metricon Stadium really threw a spanner in the works for Geelong and ultimately exposed them with their goal kicking options.

Richmond’s pressure was outstanding and it did not allow Geelong to move the ball quickly into their forward 50, taking away the one on one contests that Hawkins has thrived in this season.

Esava Ratagolea started to clunk some marks late in the game, but it was all too late.

A positive for Geelong is that this happened leading into the finals where they have a chance to rectify their mistakes, as opposed to being bundled out in another elimination final.

2. Port Adelaide Are Underrated

On face value this seems an odd statement to make about the ladder leaders and more than likely minor premiers.

But Port Adelaide remain very much underrated by the punters and heading into the final round they are on the fourth line of betting in premiership betting.

The Power have won four in a row and have lost just three games for the year but the punters are still willing to take them on.

3. GWS Do Not Deserve To Play Finals Football

The Giants squandered a two goal lead in the third quarter to lose to Melbourne in what was a very important game for the club to progress into the 2020 finals series.

GWS has now won just two of their last six games and they have a host of players that are out of form.

They tried to make a statement with the following changes to their team for the clash against the Dees.

Bobby Hill (Managed),Jackson Hately (Omitted),Jake Riccardi (Managed),Jye Caldwell (Omitted),Lachie Ash (Omitted),Sam Jacobs (Omitted),Stephen Coniglio (Omitted).

It did not work. They were up for the fight far too inconsistently throughout the night and in their current form, they will barely offer a whimper were they to play post season football.

They must beat St Kilda on Friday night and hope other results go their way to make finals football a reality.

4. The Crows Are September Specialists

You can’t fault Matthew Knicks, he has the Adelaide Crows peaking at the right time of year!

Well, heading into season 2020 back in January/February, playing their best footy in September may have been the plan.

To say things have not followed the script this season for the Adelaide Crows would be an understatement but there has been some good signs in recent weeks.

They have now won their last three in a row, all in the month of September.

5. The Eight Is Set

The final round of the season is always a fascinating spectacle.

Plenty of media outlets will run through all the different combinations and snakes and ladder will ensue over the next week.

Barring a shock Richmond or Geelong loss, the top four is all but set in stone and while the bottom half of the eight may change around, we are confident the eight is set.

But football is a funny game at times…

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