2018 AFL finals series

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2018 premiership season
2018 AFL finals series logo.svg
Date6 – 29 September 2018
PremiersWest Coast
Matches played9
Attendance700,393 (77,821 per match)
Highest attendance100,022 (Grand Final, West Coast vs. Collingwood)
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Picture taken during the National anthem prior to the elimination final between Melbourne and Geelong starting

The 2018 Australian Football League finals series was the 122nd annual edition of the VFL/AFL finals series, the Australian rules football tournament staged to determine the winner of the 2018 AFL season. The finals ran over four weekends in September 2018, culminating with the 2018 AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 29 September 2018.

The top eight teams from the 2018 season qualified for the finals series, which has been played under the current format since 2000.



The matches of the 2018 AFL finals series were contested at three venues around the country. The newly built Perth Stadium hosted its first finals, hosting West Coast's qualifying and preliminary finals. The MCG hosted Richmond's qualifying and preliminary finals, both semi finals (hosted by Hawthorn and Collingwood), as well as Melbourne's elimination final. The SCG hosted its first Sydney derby final.

Sydney Cricket Ground
Capacity: 48,000
Sydney Cricket Ground (24509044622).jpg
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Capacity: 100,024
Anzac Day 2011 game 3.jpg
Optus Stadium
Capacity: 60,000
E37 Perth Stadium Open Day 089.JPG


The system used for the 2018 AFL finals series is a final eight system. The top four teams in the eight receive the "double chance" when they play in week-one qualifying finals, such that 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 – only the winners survive and move on to the next week. Home-state advantage goes to the team with the higher ladder position in the first two weeks, to the qualifying final winners in the third week.

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]

  Qualifying / Elimination finals Semi-finals Preliminary finals Grand final
  QF1: Sep 6, MCG  
1  Richmond 13.17 (95)  
4  Hawthorn 9.10 (64)     SF1: Sep 14, MCG  
     Hawthorn 10.11 (71)    
EF1: Sep 7, MCG      Melbourne 16.8 (104)       PF1: Sep 21, MCG
5  Melbourne 10.15 (75)        Richmond 8.10 (58)  
8  Geelong 6.10 (46)          Collingwood 15.7 (97)     GF: 29 Sep, MCG
         West Coast 11.13 (79)
  EF2: Sep 8, SCG       PF2: Sep 22, Optus Stadium      Collingwood 11.8 (74)
6  Sydney 4.6 (30)          West Coast 18.13 (121)  
7  Greater Western Sydney 10.19 (79)     SF2: Sep 15, MCG        Melbourne 7.13 (55)  
     Collingwood 9.15 (69)    
QF2: Sep 8, Optus Stadium      Greater Western Sydney 9.5 (59)    
2  West Coast 12.14 (86)  
3  Collingwood 10.10 (70)  

Week one (qualifying and elimination finals)[edit]

First qualifying final (Richmond vs. Hawthorn)[edit]

The first qualifying final saw minor premiers and defending premier Richmond defeat the fourth placed Hawthorn at the MCG in the third-ever Thursday night final and first in Victoria. Despite both clubs' presence in the competition for almost 100 years, this was the first meeting between Richmond and Hawthorn in a final.

First qualifying final
Thursday, 6 September (7:20 pm) Richmond def. Hawthorn MCG (crowd: 91,446) Report
2.2 (14)
5.7 (37)
10.13 (73)
 13.17 (95)
2.3 (15)
3.5 (23)
5.8 (38)
 9.10 (64)
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
3: McIntosh, Rioli
2: Caddy
1: Martin, Prestia, Higgins, Edwards, Graham
Goals 3: Roughead
1: Shiels, Nash, Impey, Mitchell, Breust, Smith
Martin, Prestia, Cotchin, Rioli, Lambert, Grimes, Grigg Best O'Meara, Mitchell, Shiels, Smith, Henderson, Sicily
Rance (foot) Injuries Hardwick (hip), Stratton (hamstring)

First elimination final (Melbourne vs. Geelong)[edit]

The first elimination final was held between fifth placed Melbourne and eighth placed Geelong at the MCG. Melbourne returned to the finals for the first time in twelve years, securing two impressive wins over West Coast and Greater Western Sydney in the final two rounds of the home and away season to earn a home final for the first time since the corresponding first elimination final in 2006. Geelong, meanwhile, looked in danger of missing the eight late in the home and away season but recorded two victories by 100 or more points over Fremantle and Gold Coast to secure their eleventh finals berth in twelve years.

This marked the eighth final between the two sides, having previously met in a Sectional Round 1 Final in 1900, the 1925 Semi Final, 1937 Semi Final, 1950 First Semi Final, 1954 Preliminary Final, 1989 First Semi Final and 2005 Second Elimination Final.

First elimination final
Friday, 7 September (7:50 pm) Melbourne def. Geelong MCG (crowd: 91,767) Report
5.3 (33)
5.9 (39)
6.13 (49)
 10.15 (75)
0.2 (2)
2.4 (16)
3.8 (26)
 6.10 (46)
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
3: Weideman
1: Harmes, Gawn, Melksham, T.McDonald, Jones, Hannan, Neal-Bullen
Goals 2: Hawkins
1: Kelly, Tuohy, Murdoch, Duncan
Weideman, Harmes, Brayshaw, T.McDonald, Gawn, Viney, vandenBerg Best Dangerfield, J.Selwood, Ablett, Bews, Tuohy
Injuries Stewart (neck)

Second elimination final (Sydney vs. Greater Western Sydney)[edit]

The second elimination final saw Sydney and Greater Western Sydney face each other in a finals match for the second time in three years, after the two sides had previously met in the 2016 first qualifying final. It was the first finals match between the pair to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, after the 2016 final was played at Stadium Australia.

Second elimination final
Saturday, 8 September (4:20 pm) Sydney def. by Greater Western Sydney SCG (crowd: 40,350) Report
1.4 (10)
2.4 (16)
2.6 (18)
 4.6 (30)
2.3 (15)
4.7 (31)
7.11 (53)
 10.19 (79)
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
2: Papley
1: Parker, Ronke
Goals 3: Greene
2: Cameron, Himmelberg
1: Coniglio, de Boer, Ward
Kennedy, Parker, Heeney, Cunningham Best Davis, Whitfield, Greene, Coniglio, Himmelberg, Ward, Haynes
Injuries Kelly (knee)

Second qualifying final (West Coast vs. Collingwood)[edit]

The second qualifying final sees second placed West Coast host third-placed Collingwood at Optus Stadium; the first final at the new venue. This marks the sixth final between the two sides, having previously contested a qualifying final and replay in 1990, a qualifying final in 1994, a semi final in 2007, a qualifying final in 2011 and a semi final in 2012.

Second qualifying final
Saturday, 8 September (6:10 pm) West Coast def. Collingwood Optus Stadium (crowd: 59,585) Report
3.3 (21)
6.7 (43)
7.11 (53)
 12.14 (86)
1.3 (9)
7.4 (46)
9.9 (63)
 10.10 (70)
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
2: Ryan, Darling, Kennedy
1: Vardy, Jetta, Sheed, Cripps, Rioli, Redden
Goals 2: Adams, De Goey, Mihocek
1: Stephenson, Thomas, Varcoe, Mayne
Yeo, McGovern, Ryan, Jetta, Sheed, Redden Best Sidebottom, Adams, Grundy, Goldsack, Treloar, Mihocek
Sheppard (hamstring) Injuries

Week two (semi-finals)[edit]

First semi-final (Hawthorn vs. Melbourne)[edit]

This was the seventh finals meeting between Hawthorn and Melbourne, and the first since the 1990 elimination final.

First semi-final
Friday, September 14 (7:50 pm) Hawthorn def. by Melbourne MCG (crowd: 90,152) Report
3.1 (19)
3.7 (25)
6.9 (45)
 10.11 (71)
3.1 (19)
6.2 (38)
12.5 (77)
 16.8 (104)
Umpires: Rosebury, Stevic, Nicholls
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
3: Gunston
2: Schoenmakers, Roughead
1: Worpel, Puopolo, Smith
Goals 4: T. McDonald
2: Weideman, Brayshaw, Melksham, Spargo
1: Petracca, Gawn, Neal-Bullen, Hannan
Gunston, Mirra, Howe, Shiels, Mitchell, Henderson Best Viney, T.McDonald, Petracca, Jetta, Hibberd, Oliver
Mitchell (AC joint), Puopolo (hamstring) Injuries Nil
Nil Reports Nil

Second semi-final (Collingwood vs. Greater Western Sydney)[edit]

This was the first finals meeting between Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney.

Second semi-final
Saturday, September 15 (7:25 pm) Collingwood def. Greater Western Sydney MCG (crowd: 72,504) Report
3.6 (24)
4.9 (33)
6.12 (48)
 9.15 (69)
0.2 (2)
4.2 (26)
7.3 (45)
 9.5 (59)
Umpires: Chamberlain, Findlay, Ryan
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
3: De Goey
2: Thomas, Hoskin-Elliot
1: Mihocek, Varcoe
Goals 2: Coniglio
1: Griffen, Himmelberg, Lobb, Cameron, Langdon, De Boer
De Goey, Sidebottom, Howe, Treloar, Maynard, Adams, Langdon, Phillips Best Whitfield, Coniglio, Lobb, Shiel, Williams, Davis
Nil Injuries Davis (shoulder)
Nil Reports Nil

Week three[edit]

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

This was the seventeenth finals meeting between Richmond and Collingwood, and the first since the 1980 Grand Final. Richmond have won nine of those games, while Collingwood have won eight. This was the first time that Collingwood has defeated Richmond in a final since 1937.

First preliminary final
Friday, September 21 (7:50 pm) Richmond def. by Collingwood MCG (crowd: 94,959) Report
1.3 (9)
2.8 (20)
6.10 (46)
 8.10 (58)
5.2 (32)
10.4 (64)
12.7 (79)
 15.7 (97)
Umpires: Stevic,Rosebury and Ryan
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
5: Riewoldt
2: Higgins
1: Houli
Goals 4: De Goey
3: Cox
2: Crisp, Mihocek
1: Varcoe, Treloar, Grundy, Stephenson
Riewoldt, Cotchin, Houli, Higgins Best Sidebottom, Cox, Grundy, Adams, Crisp, De Goey, Greenwood
Nil Injuries Howe (ankle)
Nil Reports Nil

Second preliminary final (West Coast vs. Melbourne)[edit]

This was the fifth finals meeting between West Coast and Melbourne. The clubs previously met in the 1988 elimination final, the 1990 semi final, the 1991 semi final and the 1994 preliminary final. West Coast won three of those four games.

Second preliminary final
Saturday, September 22 (1:20 pm) West Coast def. Melbourne Optus Stadium (crowd: 59,608) Report
4.8 (32)
10.9 (69)
15.10 (100)
 18.13 (121)
0.3 (3)
0.6 (6)
5.9 (39)
 7.13 (55)
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (simulcast)
4: Kennedy
3: LeCras, Darling, Cripps
1: Ryan, Venables, Hutchings, Rioli, Redden
Goals 2: Melksham
1: Hannan, Weideman, Smith, Harmes, Oliver
Kennedy, Redden, Cripps, Hurn, McGovern, Sheed, LeCras Best Brayshaw, Oliver, Harmes
Nil Injuries Nil
Nil Reports Nil

Week four (grand final)[edit]

Grand final
Saturday, 29 September (2:30 pm) West Coast def. Collingwood MCG (crowd: 100,022) Report
2.2 (14)
4.3 (27)
8.7 (55)
 11.13 (79)
5.1 (31)
6.3 (39)
8.7 (55)
 11.8 (74)
Umpires: Rosebury, Stevic, Ryan
Norm Smith Medal: Luke Shuey
Television broadcast: Seven Network,
Fox Footy (replay only)
National anthem: Mahalia Barnes


  1. ^ Hutchinson, Col; Rodgers, Stephen (1 August 2010). "The final 8 system explained". Australian Football League. Telstra Media. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  2. ^ Harrington, Anna (22 September 2018). "Melbourne becomes the first team since 1927 to be held goalless to halftime of a VFL/AFL final". Fox Sports Australia. Retrieved 22 September 2018.

External links[edit]