Last night’s win over St. Kilda means the Eagles have confirmed their place in the 2020 finals.
There’s still plenty to play for with some big games coming up in the final two rounds of the 2020 AFL season.
Last night’s win took the Eagles into 4th place in the AFL ladder, jumping two points clear of Richmond, who play a firing Geelong side on Friday night.
But where will they finish?
We’ve strategized out all the possible scenarios that could take the Eagles to grand final glory.
The best outcome: if the Cats get a win tomorrow night against the Tigers, the Eagles still have a strong chance of getting a top-four spot.
The other good news: the West Coast can’t now finish lower than sixth place. Last night’s win put them clearly from the remaining teams in the top 8 meaning they’ve also bagged themselves a first-round home elimination final at worst.
But let’s focus on what needs to happen for the Eagles to get into a qualifying final.
After their win against the Saints, the Eagles have put themselves on the front foot to securing a spot in the top four.
Ultimately, West Coast will still need to clock a win against North Melbourne next week to give them the best chance of getting into the qualifying finals.
Wishful thinking: There is a highly slim chance that the Eagles could finish in the top three, should Richmond win against Geelong tomorrow night, and both Port Adelaide and Brisbane lose their next two games.
The Eagles can then capitalise on these losses and will need to beat the Kangaroos by a heavy points difference to push themselves into 48 points and into the top three. If they score well, they could even climb past Port and the Lions into the top spot. That is very wishful thinking though and the West Coast will also need Port and the Lions to get beaten in both their games by a large deficit. They’ll also need the Cats and the Tigers both lose their final game of the season, a very far fetched scenario.
Cats vs Geelong: Now this is the one game Eagles fans will want to keep their eyes on and is set to be a belter of a game, with the Cats in scoring form, annihilating Essendon last week, and the Tigers just finding their groove going late in the season. Richmond currently sit on 42 points, with the Cats on 44 points, and the West Coast will be hoping the Cats can take 4 points from the Tigers, meaning the highest points the Tigers can finish on this year would be 46.
With a win against the Roos, the Eagles would then secure the fourth place spot ahead of the tigers on 48 points.
Double chance: Even then, a Tigers win tomorrow isn’t the be-all and end-all as the Cats will still have to play a revitalized Swans side who were unlucky to lose against Carlton last week. If the Swans win against the Cats in round 18 then the Eagles will secure the Fourth and final qualifying place.
And what if both the Tigers and the Cats lose in Round 18, well although another farfetched scenario, the Eagles will shoot up into the top four again should they beat the Kangas.
The fourth place tie off: Now this is the weirdest scenario. If Geelong lose both their games, and the Eagles can’t nick a win against the Roo’s next week, we’ll have two teams tied on 44 points in 4th and 5th place. But depending on the gravity of each loss, the Eagles could still swing into the qualifying finals by reducing the points difference and deficit. It’s a long shot again, but could still happen if Geelong suffer two heavy losses against the Tigers and the Swans.
Ultimately unless Geelong win tomorrow against the Tigers, it’s most likely that the Eagles will be heading for a home elimination final. But if the Cats lose both their remaining two fixtures, the Eagles are still in with a shot of grabbing fourth place.
It’s all still up for grabs heading into the final week of this year’s AFL campaign!