SNAPSHOT OF WHAT HAPPENED AROUND THE AFL IN FINALS WEEK TWO
THEY SAID IT: “We’re going over there on a mission.” A bullish Brad Scott talks up North Melbourne’s chances of triumphing in their preliminary final against West Coast next Saturday.
STATS THAT MATTER: Just 31,182 poor souls at ANZ Stadium saw the Swans exit the finals with a 26-point defeat to North Melbourne. Hopefully the message is received at league headquarters and it’s the last AFL match at the Olympic venue.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Adam Goodes watched his fellow flag-winner Rhyce Shaw get carried off ANZ Stadium before quietly confiding in his teammates in the rooms he was also retiring after the Swans’ 26-point loss. The two-time Brownlow Medallist and premiership star will leave a huge hole in his club and the league.
TALKING POINT: Is Hawthorn’s premiership assault back on track? The Hawks were brutal in their 74-point demolition of Adelaide, but their next assignment – Fremantle in Perth – is a different proposition. Whether Ross Lyon considers Ryan Crowley after his 12-month doping ban expires mid-week is an intriguing prospect.
KEY INJURIES: Drew Petrie (NM) will have scans on his knee but played on after landing heavily from a marking contest on Saturday night, while Daniel Wells will also be considered to play West Coast. Jack Gunston’s ankle (Haw) trouble makes him no certainty to play the Eagles – who have Luke Shuey under an injury cloud but should be able to call on Matt Priddis, Jeremy McGovern and Chris Masten.
UNDER PRESSURE: Ross Lyon took Fremantle to the club’s first minor premiership but since round 20 the Dockers have beaten only lowly Melbourne and an injury-hit Sydney. Is this player management or an alarming form dip? Against the Hawks on Friday night, we’ll find out.