2010 AFL finals series

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Logo for the 2010 AFL finals series

The Australian Football League's 2010 finals series determined the top eight final positions of the 2010 AFL season. The series was scheduled to occur over four weekends in September 2010, culminating with the 114th AFL/VFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 25 September 2010. However, after Collingwood and St Kilda drew in the Grand Final, the series was extended to five weeks, ending on 2 October, with the first Grand Final replay since 1977 (and the last, due to rules changes in 2016). Collingwood won the replay by 56 points to become the 2010 premiers.

The finals system[edit]

The system is a final eight system. This system is different from the McIntyre Final Eight System, which was previously used by the AFL, and is currently used by the National Rugby League.

The top four teams in the eight receive what is popularly known as the "double chance" when they play in week-one qualifying finals. This means that even if a top-four team loses in the first week, it still remains in the finals, playing a semi-final the next week against the winner of an elimination final. The bottom four of the eight play knock-out games, in that only the winners survive and move on to the next week. Home-state advantage goes to the team with the higher seed in the first two weeks, to the qualifying final winners in the third week. Games in Victoria are played at the MCG, regardless of the team's usual home ground, if a crowd larger than the seating capacity of Etihad Stadium (53,359) is expected.

In the second week, the winners of the qualifying finals receive a bye to the third week. The losers of the qualifying final plays the elimination finals winners in a semi-final. In the third week, the winners of the semi-finals from week two play the winners of the qualifying finals in the first week. The winners of those matches move on to the Grand Final at the MCG in Melbourne.[1]


Collingwood won the minor premiership, followed by 2009 Grand finalists Geelong and St Kilda, while giving Western Bulldogs a second chance spot in the top four. Sydney and Fremantle, the only non-Victorian clubs in the finals series, finished equal on points, but Sydney earned a game against Carlton on percentage. Hawthorn finished 7th despite a poor start to the season.

Summary of results[edit]

  Qualifying / Elimination finals Semifinals Preliminary finals Grand final and replay
  QF1: 4 Sep, MCG  
1  Collingwood 17.22 (124)  
4  Western Bulldogs 8.14 (62)     SF1: 11 Sep, MCG  
     Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77)    
EF1: 5 Sep, ANZ Stadium      Sydney 10.12 (72)       PF1: 17 Sep, MCG
5  Sydney 14.15 (99)        Collingwood 18.12 (120)  
8  Carlton 13.16 (94)          Geelong 11.13 (79)     GF: 25 Sep, MCG; Replay: 2 Oct MCG
         Collingwood 9.14 (68) 16.12 (108)
  EF2: 4 Sep, Subiaco Oval       PF2: 18 Sep, MCG      St Kilda 10.8 (68) 7.10 (52)
6  Fremantle 14.10 (94)          St Kilda 13.10 (88)  
7  Hawthorn 8.16 (64)     SF2: 10 Sep, MCG        Western Bulldogs 8.16 (64)  
     Geelong 20.15 (135)    
QF2: 3 Sep, MCG      Fremantle 10.6 (66)    
2  Geelong 11.13 (79)  
3  St Kilda 12.11 (83)  

Week one[edit]

First qualifying final (Collingwood vs. Western Bulldogs)[edit]

First qualifying final
4 September, 7:20pm Collingwood def. Western Bulldogs MCG (crowd: 66,545) Report
3.6 (24)
7.15 (57)
11.18 (84)
 17.22 (124)
0.5 (5)
3.7 (25)
5.11 (41)
 8.14 (62)
Umpires: Vozzo, Nicholls, Chamberlain
Television broadcast: Ten / One
Swan, Sidebottom 3
L. Brown, Didak, Pendlebury 2
Cloke, Thomas, Dawes, Davis, Jolly 1
Goals Griffen, Hall, Higgins 2
Hahn, Giansiracusa 1
Swan, Maxwell, Pendlebury, Thomas, O'Brien, Ball Best Griffen, Murphy, Hudson, Gilbee, Cross
Sharrod Wellingham (ankle) Injuries Callan Ward (elbow), Brian Lake (arm)
Nil Reports Barry Hall (using abusive language towards umpire Nicholls)

Collingwood was never challenged by the Bulldogs throughout the game. Collingwood midfielders Dane Swan (39 disposals, 3 goals), and Scott Pendlebury (30 disposals and 2 goals) controlled the game. The Bulldogs' best player was Ryan Griffen (34 disposals, 2 goals), who had come into the game under an injury cloud. Collingwood advanced to the preliminary final to play the winner of the second semi-final (Geelong), and the Bulldogs advanced to the first semi-final against Sydney.

Second qualifying final (Geelong vs. St Kilda)[edit]

Second qualifying final
3 September, 7:45pm Geelong def. by St Kilda MCG (crowd: 63,608) Report
3.4 (22)
5.6 (36)
10.6 (66)
 11.13 (79)
4.7 (31)
8.8 (56)
11.11 (77)
 12.11 (83)
Umpires: Rosebury, Stevic, Ryan
Television broadcast: Seven
Mooney 3
Johnson, Stokes, Varcoe 2
Byrnes, Chapman 1
Goals Milne, Riewoldt 3
Gardiner, Goddard, Jones, Koschitzke, Montagna, Schneider 1
Bartel, Chapman, Ablett, Ling, Milburn Best Hayes, Riewoldt, Goddard, S Fisher, Milne, Dal Santo

St Kilda won in an upset against Geelong in the qualifying final. The Saints controlled the first half, and held a 33-point early in the third quarter, before Geelong fought back. The final quarter was played in heavy rain, and Geelong dominated general play, recording seventeen inside-50s to St Kilda's five; however, wayward goalkicking saw Geelong score 1.7 (13) to St Kilda's 1.0 (6). A potential go-ahead goal by Cameron Ling with one minute remaining was disallowed because Cameron Mooney pushed James Gwilt in the back during the tackle which set up the shot on goal. Although controversial, the free kick was deemed to be correct.[2] Mooney and Geelong coach Mark Thompson were both criticised in the media for their response to the free kick, but neither was penalised by the AFL.[3] St Kilda advanced to the preliminary final to play the winner of the first semi-final (Western Bulldogs), while Geelong advanced to the second semi-final against Fremantle.

First elimination final (Sydney vs. Carlton)[edit]

First elimination final
5 September, 2:40pm Sydney def. Carlton ANZ Stadium (crowd: 41,596) Report
6.6 (42)
11.8 (74)
11.11 (77)
 14.15 (99)
4.3 (27)
7.8 (50)
12.12 (84)
 13.16 (94)
Umpires: McBurney, Jeffery, McInerney
Television broadcast: Seven
Dennis-Lane 4
Bevan 3
Shaw 2
Jack, White, Goodes, Jetta, O'Keefe 1
Goals Walker, Waite 3
Warnock, Garlett, Henderson 2
Murphy 1
Kennedy, Goodes, Kirk, Dennis-Lane, Shaw, Smith Best Judd, Waite, Walker, Jacobs, Carrazzo, Murphy

Sydney recorded a memorable elimination final win against Carlton at ANZ Stadium by five points. Sydney scored the first four goals of the game, and maintained that advantage at half time, but Carlton scored five unanswered goals in the third quarter to lead by seven points at three-quarter time. First-year forward Trent Dennis-Lane proved the match-winner in the final quarter, scoring two of the Swans’ three goals, as Sydney won by five points. Josh Kennedy played his best game for the Swans, Brett Kirk effectively tagged Kade Simpson and Dennis-Lane finished with four crucial goals. Carlton captain Chris Judd was instrumental in Carlton's third-quarter fightback, while Marc Murphy was damaging through the midfield and Andrew Walker, who had played mainly in defence during the season, played forward and scored three goals.

Second elimination final (Fremantle vs. Hawthorn)[edit]

Second elimination final
4 September, 1:20pm Fremantle def. Hawthorn Subiaco Oval (crowd: 42,719) Report
4.3 (27)
6.4 (40)
12.7 (79)
 14.10 (94)
1.4 (10)
1.11 (17)
4.13 (37)
 8.16 (64)
Umpires: Donlon, Kennedy, Meredith
Television broadcast: Ten / One
Pavlich 3
Mayne 2
Broughton, Morabito, Sandilands, Walters, Hill, Crowley, McPhee, Mundy, Silvagni 1
Goals Roughead 4
Franklin 2
Whitecross, Ladson 1
McPhee, Mundy, McPharlin, Broughton, Hill, Fyfe, Morabito Best Mitchell, Burgoyne, Sewell, Gibson, Skipper
Aaron Sandilands (knee) Injuries Peterson replaced in selected side by Ladson, Cyril Rioli (hamstring), Xavier Ellis (ankle)

Fremantle record its second win in a finals match in the club's history, overpowering Hawthorn by 30 points at Subiaco Oval. Fremantle built a 42 point lead at three-quarter time, while Hawthorn's goalkicking accuracy was poor, scoring 1.11 (17) in the first half. Hawthorn kicked four goals to two in the final quarter, but Fremantle withstood the minor challenge to win and advance to the second semi-final against Geelong. Tagger Adam McPhee was particularly influential on Luke Hodge, holding the former Norm Smith medallist to only five disposals in the first three quarters.

Week two[edit]

First semi-final (Western Bulldogs vs. Sydney)[edit]

First semi-final
11 September, 7:20pm Western Bulldogs def. Sydney MCG (crowd: 39,596) Report
3.4 (22)
5.6 (36)
8.9 (57)
 11.11 (77)
3.4 (22)
8.4 (52)
8.9 (57)
 10.12 (72)
Umpires: Rosebury, Stevic, Ryan
Television broadcast: Ten / One
Hall 4
Giansiracusa 3
Addison, Hooper, Grant, Murphy 1
Goals Bradshaw 3
Goodes, Shaw 2
J Bolton, McGlynn, Jetta 1
Hall, Harbrow, Griffen, Boyd, Murphy, Picken, Giansiracusa Best Goodes, Kennelly, Kennedy, McVeigh, Jack, Malceski, Mattner, Kirk

Sydney entered as narrow favourites, having won its last five games, and with full forward Daniel Bradshaw and goalsneak Ben McGlynn back into the side. After a close first quarter, Sydney dominated the second quarter, kicking five goals in a row to lead by as much as 30 points. However, goals against the run of play to Bulldogs Barry Hall and debutante Andrew Hooper reduced the margin to 16 points at half time. The Bulldogs' played much better in the third quarter, scoring three goals to Sydney's none to tie the scores at three quarter time; the Swans missed several opportunities, scoring 0.5 (5) in the quarter. In a tight final quarter, the Bulldogs opened up a 13 point lead, and while Sydney brought the margin back to 5 points, the Bulldogs held on for the victory. The loss was the final game for Sydney captain Brett Kirk and coach Paul Roos, who had both pre-announced their retirements at the end of the season. The Bulldogs advance to their third consecutive preliminary final, a rematch of the 2009 preliminary final against St Kilda.

Second semi-final (Geelong vs. Fremantle)[edit]

Second semi-final
10 September, 7:45pm Geelong def. Fremantle MCG (crowd: 45,056) Report
8.1 (49)
10.7 (67)
14.13 (97)
 20.15 (135)
1.1 (7)
4.2 (26)
7.6 (48)
 10.6 (66)
Umpires: Vozzo, McBurney, Chamberlain
Television broadcast: Seven
S Johnson, Podsiadly, Stokes 3
Wojcinski 2
Bartel, Byrnes, Chapman, Hawkins, Ling, Mooney, Ottens, Selwood, Varcoe 1
Goals Pavlich 4
Walters 3
Duffield, Fyfe, Mayne 1
Ablett, Wojcinski, Bartel, Chapman, Varcoe, Corey, Selwood, S Johnson Best Pavlich, Mundy, Walters, McPharlin, Broughton, Fyfe, M Johnson

Geelong scored eight goals to Fremantle's one in the first quarter of their semi-final to take a 42 point lead into quarter time. From there, Geelong was never seriously challenged, eventually winning by 69 points. Geelong dominated the disposal count, recording 484 disposals (the highest ever in a final) to Fremantle's 287. Geelong advanced to its fourth consecutive preliminary final, and the third of those to be played against Collingwood.

Week three[edit]

First preliminary final (Collingwood vs. Geelong)[edit]

First preliminary final
17 September, 7:45pm Collingwood def. Geelong MCG (crowd: 95,241) Report
7.2 (44)
13.7 (85)
16.11 (107)
 18.12 (120)
1.1 (7)
3.5 (23)
6.10 (46)
 11.13 (79)
Umpires: Rosebury, Chamberlain, Ryan
Television broadcast: Seven
Cloke 3
Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Swan, Wellingham 2
Beams, Brown, Dawes, Didak, Johnson, Macaffer, Thomas 1
Goals Varcoe, Stokes, Byrnes 2
Bartel, Johnson, Mooney, Ottens, Podsiadly 1
Swan, Pendlebury, Brown, Thomas, Toovey, Cloke, Didak Best Ablett, Varcoe, Bartel, Kelly
Ball (hamstring) Injuries Nil

Collingwood built a big lead early in the game, and Geelong was never able to bring the game back to competitive. At one stage, Collingwood led by over 80 points, before Geelong scored 8 second half goals to finish 41 point behind, meaning they missed on competing in the AFL Grand Final for the first time since 2006. The Cats' 62-point half-time deficit was the largest that Geelong had faced in any game since Round 18, 1998 against Sydney.

Second preliminary final (St Kilda vs. Western Bulldogs)[edit]

Second preliminary final
18 September, 7:20pm St Kilda def. Western Bulldogs MCG (crowd: 62,694) Report
1.5 (11)
3.6 (24)
10.10 (70)
 13.10 (88)
3.1 (19)
4.6 (30)
5.9 (39)
 8.16 (64)
Umpires: Vozzo, McBurney, Stevic
Television broadcast: Ten / One
Riewoldt, Schneider 3
Milne, Koschitzke 2
Gardiner, McEvoy, Peake 1
Goals Hahn 2
Addison, Giansiracusa, Gilbee, Grant, Hall, Picken 1
Riewoldt, Montagna, Dawson, Hayes, Gwilt, Fisher, Gram, Jones Best Ward, Cross, Lake, Picken, Boyd, Griffen

Despite being underdogs, the Bulldogs started the match well. In slippery conditions, the Bulldogs made the most of their opportunities to take a six point lead at half time. In the third quarter, Nick Riewoldt inspired the Saints to a seven-goals-to-one quarter, opening up a 31-point lead from which the Bulldogs could not recover. It was the Bulldogs' third consecutive preliminary final loss, marked the final game of retiring captain Brad Johnson. St Kilda advanced to its second consecutive Grand Final.

Weeks four and five[edit]

Grand final and replay (Collingwood vs. St Kilda)[edit]

Note: this article covers both the drawn grand final and the grand final replay


Grand final
25 September, 2:30pm Collingwood drew with St Kilda MCG (crowd: 100,016) Report
4.2 (26)
7.8 (50)
7.13 (55)
 9.14 (68)
3.2 (20)
4.2 (26)
7.5 (47)
 10.8 (68)
Umpires: Chamberlain, Rosebury, Ryan
Norm Smith Medal: Lenny Hayes
Television broadcast: Seven / 7mate
National anthem: Cameron and Taylor Henderson
Cloke 2
Jolly, Blair, Didak, Thomas, Macaffer, O'Brien, Davis
Goals Riewoldt, Milne, Goddard 2
Schneider, Koschitzke, Gilbert, Hayes
Shaw, Thomas, Swan, N. Brown, Maxwell, Pendlebury Best Hayes, Goddard, Fisher, Gilbert, Gwilt, Schneider
Prestigiacomo (groin), replaced in the side by N. Brown Injuries Gardiner (hamstring)
  • The third drawn Grand Final in VFL/AFL history, following previous draws in 1948 and 1977.

Grand final replay
2 October, 2:30pm Collingwood def. St Kilda MCG (crowd: 93,853) Report
3.2 (20)
6.5 (41)
11.8 (74)
 16.12 (108)
0.2 (2)
1.8 (14)
4.9 (33)
 7.10 (52)
Umpires: Chamberlain, Rosebury, Ryan
Norm Smith Medal: Scott Pendlebury
Television broadcast: Seven / 7mate
National anthem: Julie Anthony
Dawes, Didak, Macaffer, Sidebottom 2
Goldsack, Johnson, Jolly, O'Brien, Swan, D. Thomas
Goals Milne 2
Dal Santo, Gilbert, Goddard, Hayes, Koschitzke
Ball, N. Brown, Jolly, Pendlebury, Shaw, Sidebottom, D. Thomas, Wellingham Best Dawson, Gilbert, Goddard, Gwilt, Jones
Reid (leg) Injuries Eddy (arm), Fisher (hamstring)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ AFL Finals System Explained (AFL.com.au)[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ McFarlane G, Nicholson R,Herald Sun "AFL backs James Gwilt free kick against Cameron Mooney", 5 September 2010, Retrieved 6 September 2010
  3. ^ Paton A,Herald Sun "Mooney cleared for umpire blast", 6 September 2010, Retrieved 6 September 2010.

External links[edit]