AFLW Finals Race Coming Down to a Thrilling Last Round

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
04/11/2023
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AFLW Final Round Outlook as Finals Implications are Plenty

The AFLW season has come down to the last round with the finals picture incredibly cloudy and many teams jockeying for position. 

News Insights

  • The AFLW season has come down to the last round with the finals picture incredibly cloudy and many teams jockeying for position.
  • Essendon’s loss to Gold Coast could see them out.
  • Geelong and Sydney currently hold the final two spots on percentage.
  • St Kilda and Collingwood are on the outside but looking to pounce.

The home and away season of the AFLW has come down to what is sure to be a thrilling final round. With potential movement in nearly every spot of the top eight, each team must come to play. Top spot is up for grabs and we could see seven teams finish 6-4.  

Atop the Ladder 

Adelaide and Melbourne have been battling atop the AFLW ladder for nearly the whole season as both squads have just one loss to their names with 8-1 records. 
 
As it currently stands, Melbourne is on top thanks to their 260.4% which is well clear of Adelaide’s 196.3%. However, should Adelaide win this weekend and Melbourne faulter, the Crows would see themselves take the top spot once again.  
 
Melbourne has the much tougher final round matchup as they’ll face off against the 6-3 Brisbane Lions who just two rounds ago gave Adelaide their first loss of the season. The Lions will be motivated and hungry for a win as moving to 7-3 would lock them into a top four finish.  
 
Adelaide on the other hand will take on the 2-7 West Coast Eagles and are understandably expected to win with relative ease.  
 
These teams are locked into the top two spots. But who ends up first is to be decided this weekend.

Seven Teams Battling for Five Spots 

Behind those two is when the picture starts to get really messy.  
 
Gold Coast, thanks to yesterday’s 39-25 win over Essendon now sit at 6-3-1 and are tentatively in the third spot. The lowest they can finish is fifth depending on other results.  
 
After them, we have North Melbourne and the aforementioned Brisbane Lions. Both of these teams are 6-3 with North Melbourne holding a considerable edge in gf/ga percentage.  
 
North Melbourne is facing off against the bottom dwelling Western Bulldogs who at just 1-8 have not experienced a delightful season. Expected to win for obvious reasons, North Melbourne has a good shot at claiming the third spot.  
 
Brisbane, as mentioned before has a difficult matchup with Adelaide. If they win, they’re in the top four. However, if they lose they would join what is expected to be a cluster of 6-4 teams in the bottom half of the final eight.  
 
Essendon, with their loss to Gold Coast finishes the year 6-4 and sit in sixth as of now. They mustn’t celebrate quite yet though as if the teams behind them all win this weekend they could actually find themselves in trouble.  
 
Based on their 107.1% being greater than some of those of the teams behind them, they should be fairly safe to qualify for the finals but at this point in the year, that is not what you want to be relying on.  
 
Geelong, Sydney, St Kilda, and Collingwood are occupying spots 7-10 right now. Each team has a 5-4 record and have winnable games against team’s below them in the standings on deck.  
 
Because of their high percentage, Geelong is basically in a ‘win and you’re in’ situation against Hawthorn and could reasonably see themselves into the fifth or sixth spot.  
 
Sydney, currently eighth, is less safe. Their 101.9% isn’t all that much higher than St Kilda’s 97.1% and Collingwood’s 95%. They do have the advantage of playing the weekend’s final game meaning if both Collingwood and St Kilda win, they will know exactly how much they have to do in order to retain that eighth spot.  
 
For St Kilda and Collingwood, the strategy is simple, win, and do so by as many points as possible.  

With the AFLW final round upon us the finals picture is anything but set. The weekend is set to be an all timer with a battle for the top spot as well as endless possibilities in terms of who slots in where and who misses out on the final eight altogether.