Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - AFL sides set for finals frenzy

AFL sides set for finals frenzy

AFL sides set for finals frenzy

The 2011 AFL finals kick off this week with four exciting match-ups to be hosted in footy’s heartland, Melbourne. Qualifying finals will see two teams earn themselves a week off and a place in the preliminary final, while the two losers from the elimination finals will be abolished from the premiership race. Cambodian kick-off times are shown.

Second Qualifying Final
Friday September 9 – 4:45pm
Geelong (2) V Hawthorn (3) @ MCG

THE second qualifying final is the clash of finals week 1, with red-hot rivals Geelong and Hawthorn going head to head in a battle that will determine the main challenger to the Magpies.

Form/Fitness: Geelong smashed Collingwood last week to finish the season off strongly and restore the faith after some questionable form over the preceding rounds.

The Cats’ well-known run and carry through the corridor was back with a vengeance last week.

The Hawks, too, are in great health and fly into the finals having won eight in a row. They will welcome back several guns after resting eight players last week against the Gold Coast.

The Tip: These two star-studded teams have a recent history of ferocious, close encounters , of which Geelong has won the past six.

The Hawks are a chance if forwards Rioli and Franklin get hold of the game, but I expect Geelong’s celebrated back line will curb their influence.

Score prediction: Geelong by 17

First Qualifying Final
Saturday September 10 – 11:20am
Collingwood (1) v West Coast (4) @ MCG

ON Saturday afternoon, league leaders and premiership favourites Collingwood meet the big improvers of the year, the West Coast Eagles.    

Form/Fitness: Despite last week’s unexpected belting at the hands of a highly motivated Cats outfit, Collingwood remain the team to beat after dominating a majority of their opponents on their way to a 20-2 season. The Magpies have a few personnel concerns leading into the game with key players Tarrent, Goldsack and Cloke picking up niggling injuries last week, while skipper Maxwell is in doubt with a broken thumb.

The West Coast list is in tip-top shape, and they will take a settled line up into the game. The Eagles are now a proven force away from their home fortress, having won six of their past seven away matches.

The Tip: A case can be made for a tough, tight game but in reality, the Pies’ loss last week must be dismissed as they were clearly saving themselves for this contest.

I expect West Coast to challenge early, but it won’t be long before Collinwood’s relentless pressure and flawless zoning prove too much for a team playing its first final since 2007.

Score prediction: Collingwood by 43     

Second Elimination Final
Saturday September 10 – 4:20pm
St Kilda (6) v Sydney (7) @ Etihad

TWO in-form teams capable of beating anyone on their day lock horns at Etihad stadium in the secnd elimination final.  

Form/Fitness: After a shocking start to the year, the Saints managed to turn their season around and will go into the finals with some confidence, having won eight of their past 10 games.

Key players Dal Santo, Goddard, Milne and Montagna were all in form last week in a win against the Blues that ensured a home final this week.

The Swans too, bring great form into the game, having won three in a row, including a win against the Saints in Sydney.

The Tip: A tough one to call. History between these two sides suggests a close, scrappy affair.

Both teams are known for getting numbers to the contest, for their hard tackling and a focus on defence.

Goals won’t come easily at either end, and it will come down to the battle in the midfield.

Score prediction: Saints by 16

First Elimination Final
Sunday September 11 - 11:40am
Carlton (5) v Essendon (8) @ MCG

ANOTHER classic match-up here, with traditional rivals Carlton and Essendon meeting in a do-or-die final on Sunday afternoon.

Form/Fitness: Both teams take unconvincing form into the game.

Carlton, after a great first half of the year, have slipped a little in the past two months, surrendering their top-four slot and struggling to deal with the better teams in the comp.

Injuries to key players have played a  part and remain a concern this week.

Essendon looked far from convincing in their last outing, scraping home in the final term against lowly Port Adelaide to secure eighth spot. The Bombers have their own injury worries, with season regulars Crameri, Prismall, Dempsey and Winderlich all unavailable.

The Tip: The Blues deserve favouritism and will be desperate for a first finals win under Brett Ratten after falling short two years running.

For Essendon to cause an upset, their tall forwards would have to fire against the Blues’ unsettled backline. I can’t see it happening.

Score prediction: Carlton by 32

MOST VIEWED

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea