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AFLW: The finals puzzle

Seven of the 10 AFL Women's teams are still in finals contention with one round remaining.

Under the conference system, the top two teams from each pool qualify for preliminary finals to be played on Saturday, March 23.  

The first-placed teams in each conference will host the second-placed team in the opposite conference B (A1 v B2 and B1 v A2).

The winner of each preliminary final will progress to the Grand Final, with the team finishing with the most premiership points (or higher percentage in the case of a tie) earning hosting rights.

Here are the potential outcomes for all 10 teams:

CONFERENCE A

NORTH MELBOURNE

  • Second in Conference A on 20 points with a percentage of 143.7
  • Plays Fremantle (third in Conference A) at Fremantle Oval on Saturday

If North Melbourne wins = Qualifies for finals. A big win in conjunction with an Adelaide victory will lead to a battle of percentage for top spot. A small win alongside an Adelaide win will lead to second spot. If Adelaide loses, North Melbourne will finish first.

If North Melbourne draws = An Adelaide win would see the Roos qualify in second spot, due to their slightly superior percentage over Fremantle. An Adelaide loss would mean the Roos would finish first.

If North Melbourne loses = A loss and an Adelaide win would mean North Melbourne missed out on a preliminary final. If Adelaide loses, it becomes a percentage battle for second spot with the Crows and Melbourne.

ADELAIDE

  • First in Conference A on 20 points with a percentage of 184.3
  • Plays Melbourne (fourth in Conference A) at Casey Fields on Saturday

If Adelaide wins = Qualifies for a preliminary final and in the box seat for first place due to its high percentage. Could drop to second with a close victory and a thumping win by North Melbourne or Fremantle

If Adelaide draws = Qualifies for finals in second spot.

If Adelaide loses = Will be vying for second place against the loser of Fremantle-North Melbourne, with percentage the determining factor. Will drop out of the top two if the Dockers and Roos draw.

FREMANTLE

  • Third in Conference A on 20 points with a percentage of 133.8
  • Plays North Melbourne (second in Conference A) at Fremantle Oval on Saturday

If Fremantle wins = Qualifies for finals. A big win in conjunction with an Adelaide win will lead to a battle of percentage for top spot. A small win alongside an Adelaide win will lead to second spot. If Adelaide loses, Fremantle will finish first.

If Fremantle draws = An Adelaide win would see the Dockers just miss a final, due to its slightly poorer percentage compared to North Melbourne. An Adelaide loss would mean the Dockers would finish second.

If Fremantle loses = A loss and an Adelaide win means Fremantle will miss out on finals. If Adelaide loses, it becomes a percentage battle for second spot with the Crows and Melbourne.

MELBOURNE

  • Fourth in Conference A on 16 points with a percentage of 148.1
  • Plays Adelaide (first in Conference A) at Casey Fields on Saturday

If Melbourne wins = Percentage battle for second place with Adelaide and the loser of Fremantle-North Melbourne. If Fremantle and North Melbourne draw, Melbourne cannot qualify.

If Melbourne draws = No preliminary final.

If Melbourne loses = No preliminary final.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

  • Fifth in Conference A on eight points with a percentage of 72.1
  • Plays Carlton (first in Conference B) at VU Whitten Oval on Sunday
  • Cannot move out of fifth spot, win, lose or draw. No final for the reigning premier.

CONFERENCE B

CARLTON

  • First in Conference B on 12 points with a percentage of 98.2
  • Plays the Western Bulldogs (fifth in Conference A) at VU Whitten Oval on Sunday

If Carlton wins = Qualifies for a preliminary final and is in the box seat for first place due to its higher percentage. Could drop to second with a close victory and a thumping win by Geelong or even Brisbane.

If Carlton draws = Qualifies for a final in first spot if Geelong loses and finishes second if the Cats win.

If Carlton loses = If Geelong and Brisbane win, it will come down to percentage for second spot. If Geelong wins and Brisbane loses, finishes second and plays in a final. If Geelong loses and Brisbane wins, could finish anywhere from first to third on percentage.

GEELONG

  • Second in Conference B on 12 points with a percentage of 74.2
  • Plays Greater Western Sydney (fourth in Conference B) at UNSW Oval (Canberra) on Friday

If Geelong wins = Qualifies for a final. If Carlton also wins, it will come down to percentage to determine first and second spots. If Carlton loses, Geelong will finish first.

If Geelong draws = Reaches a final in first spot if Carlton loses and finishes second if the Blues win.

If Geelong loses = If Carlton and Brisbane win, percentage will determine second spot. If Carlton wins and Brisbane loses, will finish second and play a final. If Carlton loses and Brisbane wins, could finish anywhere from first to third on percentage.

BRISBANE

  • Third in Conference B on eight points with a percentage of 69.9
  • Plays Collingwood (fifth in Conference B) at Victoria Park on Sunday

If Brisbane wins = Will need one of Carlton and Geelong to lose and finish with a superior percentage to the loser to qualify for a final. If both Carlton and Geelong win, Brisbane won't qualify.

If Brisbane draws = No finals.

If Brisbane loses = No finals.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

  • Fourth in Conference B on four points with a percentage of 58.6
  • Plays Geelong (second in Conference B) at UNSW Oval (Canberra) on Friday
  • Can finish third with a win and a Brisbane loss, although it will come down to percentage. Could finish fifth with a loss and a Collingwood win.

COLLINGWOOD

  • Fifth in Conference B on zero points with a percentage of 61.2
  • Plays Brisbane at Victoria Park on Sunday
  • Can move to fourth with a win and a Giants loss; finishes fifth with a loss.