It was Tex Perkins and the Cruel Sea who once sang “The Honeymoon is over”
This is the case for all six remaining teams in the AFL Finals.
Win and you’re in a prelim, facing either the Tigers (Winner of Geelong v West Coast) or the Pies (Winner of Brisbane v GWS).
Lose and you can enjoy Mad Monday and reflect on a season wasted.
Will Geelong go out in straight sets?
Will West Coast find themselves in another prelim?
Are the mighty Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) ready to slay the Giants who have found their groove at the right time?
We give our unique insight into week two of the AFL Finals series with the hope of finding you a winner.
People going out in straight sets is a common occurrence across the road from the MCG around January, but not if you’re the minor premier playing in the AFL finals series in September.
In fact, since the introduction of the final eight back in 1994, the minor premier has never gone out of the finals in straight sets.
This is what Geelong face should they go down to West Coast on Friday night at their “home” MCG final.
Much like fetch, the Cats playing a home final at GMHBA Stadium was never going to happen and if Geelong wants to win a flag, they need to shut up and simply win three on the G.
Stadium politics can be put aside because this is do or die for the Cats and facing West Coast at the MCG isn’t what it used to be.
The Eagles have won five of their past six games at the ground with the new Optus Stadium being the same size as the G it’s clearly played into the Eagles favour.
West Coast will be more than delighted that they are playing the Cats at the G and not at whatever their home ground down the highway is called this week.
Despite losing by only 10 points against the Pies last week, Geelong wasn’t that flash in their first finals hit-out.
Dropping Rhys Stanley before the game remains questionable and with Nic Naitanui primed for finals, the Cats will want to match it up with him.
Geelong desperately needs to start well if they are a chance to book a spot in the prelim against the Tigers.
A one-goal first quarter like they did against Collingwood last week will simply not cut and their persistence with kicking the ball out on the wing clearly backfired resulting in a heap of turnovers to the Magpies.
Geelong will need to play a very attacking style of football on Friday night if they want to beat West Coast who were simply sensational last week against the Bombers.
Good news for the Cats is that they are not coming off a bye.
It seems to be a thing for them, Geelong has played 16 games coming off an in-season break of 12 days or more under the Chris Scott regime for only 3 wins and 12 losses.
The Cats have also played in all four finals series since the pre-finals bye was introduced back in 2016 for only one narrow win against Hawthorn.
Along with this, Geelong’s finals record since the 2011 Grand Final hasn’t been that flash.
Despite regular participation in September, the Cats have won only three finals since their last premiership.
The Eagles were dominant all-night as they easily disposed of Essendon in an elimination final which could be seen as having another bye these days.
With Nic Nat dominating in the ruck, the Eagles were able to kick seven goals from a centre bounce.
Along with this, 67 inside-50s in last weeks Elimination Final from the Eagles was a sign of clear dominance, and if Geelong allowed West Coast to do this kind of thing again they have no chance of winning.
If the Eagles can hold the likes of Tom Hawkins, Gary Ablett, Patrick Dangerfield, Gryan Miers at bay along with their future teammate Tim Kelly, they should be able to get the job done in this one.
It’s just a bump on a magnificent journey for the mighty Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) as they get another chance against the Giants at the Gabba this Saturday night.
If your team isn’t featuring in September action, it’s fair that many are getting behind the Lions as they have been the feel-good story of season 2019.
GWS on the other hand, have hardly any friends or sympathizers as a courtesy of AFL funding and favourable draft picks in its early years has turned into a team which many consider has underachieved even the stocks they have.
There have been a few times this season when the Lions had a “coming of age” game, some say it was the round 1 win over the Eagles, other say it was the Geelong clash but avid Brisbane Lions fans would say it was back in Round 16 when these two teams met at Giants Stadium.
Brisbane’s 20 point win over the Giants was something to savour when Lachie Neale got plenty of the footy and Charlie Cameron went nuts.
If the Lions are to book themselves a spot in the preliminary final, accurate kicking and a bit of poise and ruthlessness wouldn’t go astray.
Bar the first 20 minutes of last week’s game against the Tigers, the Lions lacked it for the rest of the match and allowed Richmond to easily run away with the game.
The possibility of Mitch Robinson being left out of the squad with injury might leave a bit of a hole in the middle of the ground for the Lions and it will be interesting to see who may take his place.
Harris Andrews and Darcy Gardiner will also need to be prepared for a busy night with the two Jeremy’s in Cameron and Finlayson up forward for GWS.
GWS were clinical in their convincing win over the Western Bulldogs last week.
The Giants were ahead on contested disposals last week and they’ll probably want to do the same thing against the Lions on Saturday night.
The men in orange and charcoal were able to find some much-needed form in the past two games and have been under pressure to deliver, which they have.
Selection for the Giants remains a fascinating topic, will Toby Greene miss out with suspension? Stephen Coniglio is unlikely to come back into the squad and veteran Brett Deledio has played his last game of AFL Footy.
If the Lions can find that ruthlessness and kick straight that was missing last week, they should be able to come home fast in front of an adoring home crowd at the Gabba witnessing Brisbane’s first finals win in over a decade and qualifying for a preliminary final for the first time since 2004.
There was plenty to learn from Saturday night's loss against the Tigers but our resident @brisbanelions die hard – Ned Merrett-Murray is confident this won't be the last Betting on the Lion for 2019.
— NedsAU (@NedsAus) September 9, 2019