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The run home: Round 19

Ashley Browne, AFL Media  July 24, 2017 9:31 AM

Adelaide strengthened its spot in first place on the AFL ladder with a win over Geelong

Adelaide strengthened its spot in first place on the AFL ladder with a win over Geelong

1. Adelaide

52 pts (13 wins, four losses) 139.9 per cent
The Crows are in the box seat for two home finals after their impressive win over Geelong, but they still have some work to do. None of their remaining five games are certainties, particularly the Showdown and the Swans, but three wins from here will absolutely lock them in. On current form, they appear good enough for that.

The run home
Rd 19: Collingwood (MCG)
Rd 20: Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 21: Essendon (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: Sydney (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 23: West Coast (Domain Stadium)

2. Geelong

46 points (11 wins, five losses, 1 draw) 115.5 per cent
The good news for the Cats is they don't travel again, at least until the finals, and three of their remaining five games are at Simonds Stadium. They're all beauties and the Swans on a Friday night and the Tigers eight days later will make Simonds Stadium the centre of the football universe.

The run home
Rd 19: Carlton (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 20: Sydney (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 21: Richmond (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 22: Collingwood (MCG)
Rd 23: GWS (Simonds Stadium)

3. Greater Western Sydney

44 points (10 wins, five losses, two draws) 113.6 per cent
Forget home preliminary finals, the Giants need to get their skates on just to make the finals. They've won one game from six since the bye and while they should get past the Dockers at home next week, you wouldn’t pick them with any confidence to win any of their remaining four after that without a) an attitude readjustment and b) the return of more key players.

The run home
Rd 19: Fremantle (Spotless Stadium)
Rd 20: Melbourne (Manuka Oval)
Rd 21: Western Bulldogs (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: West Coast (Spotless Stadium)
Rd 23: Geelong (Simonds Stadium) 

4. Richmond

44 points (11 wins, six losses) 108.6 per cent
A huge win for the Tigers against the Giants in the proverbial 'eight-point game'. They’re a game clear in fourth and the double chance is theirs for the taking, but being Richmond, this will go down to the wire. If they can win four from five they should get it. The Hawks will make them earn it, but the Geelong game away after that is massive. Good luck trying to get a ticket for that one.

The run home
Rd 19: Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium)
Rd 20: Hawthorn (MCG)
Rd 21: Geelong (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 22: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)
Rd 23: St Kilda (MCG)

5. Port Adelaide

40 points (10 wins, seven losses) 132.1 per cent
The Power again fell short against a top-eight side, but they remain in the mix for the top four, for now, based on their ability to beat up on weak teams. On that basis, they remain a good chance for the double chance given they play the fading Saints, plus Collingwood and the Suns at home. But the Showdown in a fortnight is critical; Port badly needs the scalp of a top eight team and who better than the Crows?

The run home
Rd 19: St Kilda (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 20: Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 21: Collingwood (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 22: Western Bulldogs (Eureka Stadium)
Rd 23: Gold Coast (Adelaide Oval) 


6. Sydney

40 points (10 wins, seven losses) 115.9 per cent
The show rolls on. Ten wins from their past 11, with their only loss against the Hawks, who they visit Friday night in a very big game. The strange thing about this match-up is that the Hawks tend to win at the SCG while the Swans usually prevail at the MCG. The Swans will play finals; this much we now know. But as we've been saying for weeks, they need to win two of their three remaining road games – Geelong and Adelaide are the others – to get themselves into the top six and at least minimise their travel come the finals. But gee, they are playing brilliantly.

The run home
Rd 19: Hawthorn (MCG)
Rd 20: Geelong (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 21: Fremantle (SCG)
Rd 22: Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 23: Carlton (SCG) 

7. Melbourne

40 points (10 wins, seven losses) 107.9 per cent
The Demons hit the road for the next fortnight, but with great away wins against West Coast and Adelaide in their pocket, they won't be fazed by Hobart and Canberra. After that comes the Saints – against who they were supposed to be measured this year. They might already have gone past them, and by a significant margin. They're in the top-four mix, but percentage might count against them.

The run home
Rd 19: North Melbourne (Blundstone Arena)
Rd 20: GWS (Manuka Oval)
Rd 21: St Kilda (MCG)
Rd 22: Brisbane Lions (MCG)
Rd 23: Collingwood (MCG)

8. Essendon

36 points (nine wins, eight losses) 109.7 per cent
The Sunday 1.10pm timeslot is not exactly prime time, but no complaints here with Richmond-GWS this week just gone, followed by Dogs-Bombers in round 19. It is one of those games the Bombers need to win on their run home in order to play finals, but in which they'll need to play significantly better than they did on Saturday to make sure of it.

The run home
Rd 19: Western Bulldogs (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 20: Carlton (MCG)
Rd 21: Adelaide (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium)
Rd 23: Fremantle (Etihad Stadium)

9. West Coast

36 points (nine wins, eight losses) 101.4 per cent
Blew a four-goal lead early in the final quarter against Collingwood and the finals worthiness of this team diminishes by the week. They're likely good for home wins against the Lions and Blues, but will return to the scene of this crime in a fortnight to play the Saints. It shapes as an elimination final, perhaps for both clubs. If they're still alive in round 23 they host Adelaide in the last ever game at Domain Stadium and will be hoping favourite son Don Pyke is in a charitable mood and chooses to rest a couple.

The run home
Rd 19: Brisbane Lions (Domain Stadium)
Rd 20: St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 21: Carlton (Domain Stadium)
Rd 22: GWS (Spotless Stadium)
Rd 23: Adelaide (Domain Stadium) 

10. Western Bulldogs

36 points (nine wins, eight losses) 98.2 per cent
The Dogs have found some form in dispatching Carlton and Gold Coast in consecutive weeks, but they step up a weight division this week against the Bombers. Four wins from their remaining five should nearly get them into the finals, but the Essendon game on Sunday is massive and is as good as an elimination final in July.

The run home
Rd 19: Essendon (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 20: Brisbane Lions (Gabba)
Rd 21: GWS (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: Port Adelaide (Eureka Stadium)
Rd 23: Hawthorn (Etihad Stadium)

11. St Kilda

36 points (nine wins, eight losses) 96.7 per cent
St Kilda’s road woes reappeared at the worst possible time and what was a 42-point loss to the Swans could have been much, much worse had the Swans kicked straight. Now the Saints head to Adelaide Oval where they are winless in seven attempts. Of the games after that, you might give them West Coast and North at home, but unless they can suddenly recapture the pressure from the GWS game earlier this year and the silk from the Richmond clash a fortnight ago, these Saints aren’t playing finals in 2017.

The run home
Rd 19: Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 20: West Coast (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 21: Melbourne (MCG)
Rd 22: North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 23: Richmond (MCG) 


12. Hawthorn

30 points (seven wins, nine losses, one draw) 88.0 per cent
The Hawks would need to win out from here and perhaps still need some luck to make it. But their second half of the season has been excellent and they’ll create some anxious moments for finals aspirants the Swans on Friday night, Richmond the following week and perhaps the Western Bulldogs in the final game of the year. If they do win this week, do they press the button on Cyril Rioli?

The run home
Rd 19: Sydney (MCG)
Rd 20: Richmond (MCG)
Rd 21: North Melbourne (University of Tasmania Stadium)
Rd 22: Carlton (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 23: Western Bulldogs (Etihad Stadium)