The AFL ladder was shaken as the result of Round 22 of the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership competition.
Brisbane moved to the top rung with a dramatic one point (75 – 74) win over Geelong, so we now know the conclusive answer to the question of which would win a fight between a Lion and a Cat. Unlike last week’s percentage boosting 91-point win over Gold Coast, a one-point win did little to aid Brisbane from a percentage perspective.
Brisbane did what needed to be done, as they by far had the toughest finishing fixture of the top clubs and next week’s game with the Richmond Tigers will find Brisbane beyond the friendly confines of the Gabba and playing Richmond in the interstate club graveyard that is the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Meanwhile, Richmond buried the West Coast Eagles at The G, by a narrow score of 88 – 82.
The rest of the ladder remained fixed from last round.
Seven of eight finals spots are confirmed.
Western Bulldogs hold the eighth position and hold a four-point advantage on No. 9 Hawthorn. If that struggle results in a tie, Hawthorn has a one-point advantage on percentage.
The Dogs’ final game will be in Adelaide with the Crows, which seems to give them an edge regarding Hawthorn, as the Hawks will host the reigning premiers West Coast in their home-and-away finale.
Clubs one through seven are Brisbane, Geelong, West Coast, Richmond, Collingwood, GWS and Essendon.
Essendon atoned for last week’s 104-point shellacking at the hands of the Dogs by beating Fremantle by 32.
One interesting element to the fixture for next week is the quest for the top four.
Richmond could conceivably be overtaken by Collingwood. The Pies have a considerable percentage advantage and while Brisbane began playing finals, at least based on their schedule, in Round 22, Collingwood has only Essendon with which to contend, while Richmond faces the prospects of a Brisbane club that would like nothing better than to finish on 10 consecutive and cement the minor premiership and bring finals to Queensland.