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AFL Finals week 2 preview

Just five matches left for AFL season 2015. It's over to @AFLRatings for the detailed analysis.

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AFL Finals week 2 courtesy of AFLratings.com.au, @AFLratings

Only four teams have gone out in straight sets under the current AFL Finals system introduced in 2000, two of those teams were eliminated in the same year just 12 months ago. Can the Hawks & Swans rebound with a win to stay alive?

Hawthorn 3rd v Adelaide 6th

Venue: MCG, Melbourne
2015 Head to Head record: Hawthorn 1-0 Adelaide 0-1
Weather Forecast: Shower or two clearing, Min 10 Max 15


The Hawks put in their worst performance for the year last week against West Coast in Perth, the hard road ahead will not be easy if they are to succeed in winning their third consecutive Premiership. The Crows were fantastic in what was arguably the game of the year in defeating the Bulldogs at the MCG, Adelaide return to Melbourne this week but the same open style footy may not be available against one of the best defences in the AFL this season. Hawthorn has held opponents to fewer than 80pts in 16 games this season, seven of those opponents have been Final 8 teams. The Total Match Points line of O/U188.5 must be a consideration to fall short, cool conditions with a possible slippery surface at the MCG adding to a cut throat Final against the No.1 defensive team just looks and feels like an under investment. Adelaide are likely to maintain their all-out attacking style against the Hawks in an attempt to advance in to a Preliminary Final in Perth next week, the Crows average 100.5pts per game this year and 111.7pts in their past nine games but against Final 8 teams that average drops to only 92.1pts. It will be very interesting to see how this game is played, Hawthorn are only 10-15 (40%) when scoring fewer than 100pts & 48-0 (100%) when scoring over 100pts since the beginning of the 2013 season. The big money will be for the Hawks, but Adelaide are not without a chance.

Sydney 4th v Nth Melbourne 8th

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
2015 Head to Head record: Sydney 1-0 Nth Melbourne 0-1
Weather Forecast: Shower or two, Min 12 Max 20


The weather forecast for this game looks bleak, currently up to 15mm of rain is expected to fall in Sydney on Saturday which at a minimum will create slippery conditions at ANZ Stadium. Sydney were terrific last week in a narrow loss to Fremantle, their spirit in the game was huge despite missing some of their better key players. Nth Melbourne ground out a solid win against a panicked Richmond last week to create an opportunity for redemption after a demoralising Preliminary Final loss at this same venue 12 months ago, the Kangaroos forward line may require a different set-up if inclement conditions do impact this game. Sydney has lost only three games to teams that finished outside the Top 4 this season, Nth Melbourne’s six of nine losses have come against Final 8 teams. Historically no 8th placed team has made a Preliminary Final under the current Finals system, but with some clear leaders still missing from the Swans team this may be the ideal time for the Kangaroos to create a little history. If Sydney are able to replicate their effort and intensity for the contest similar to last week then it could be a long night for Nth Melbourne, defensively they can shut down the Kangaroos scoring power. Not willing to give up on the Swans just yet, last week was a great reminder they are still one of the better teams in the AFL this year.

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