Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of the opening AFL final for season 2021. Port Adelaide v Geelong in the second qualifying final will be underway at Adelaide Oval at 7.20pm local time (7.50pm AEST).
I’m going to be honest, I have no idea who’s going to win tonight, tomorrow, next week, or at any other juncture between now and the last Saturday in September. This is as open a finals field as you could imagine. For what seemed like months there was a defined top-five (of which I expected the Bulldogs to finish as the first among equals) but the run home was a lottery with teams dipping in and out of form, the Swans making it a top six, and both GWS and Essendon showing enough to suggest they’re going to do more than simply make up the numbers. It promises to be a belting few weeks.
Tonight’s opener should start the ball rolling nicely. The Power are the competition’s form side with six wins on the spin and just one defeat in their past ten matches. However, there remains a question mark over their ability to beat the best. They have suffered home losses this season to the Bulldogs, Demons, and tonight’s opponents the Cats, each loss raising doubts over their fortitude in finals footy. Last week’s thrilling triumph over the Doggies was the perfect pre-Finals fillip.
The Cats seem a quarter-to-quarter proposition, let alone a week-to-week one. At times they look the best pure football team in the competition by some distance with so many experienced A-grade stars in synch. But they can just as easily look slow and directionless, unable to arrest the momentum of a contest working against them. After looking premiers elect through the middle third of the campaign Geelong’s injury-plagued run home raises the possibility once again of another limp postseason exit for Chris Scott’s perennial contenders.