WITH Collingwood going to second-place after a two-point win over St Kilda last night, it sets up a blockbuster top of the table clash against the league-leading Sydney Swans at ANZ Stadium next Saturday night.
The Pies moved past Adelaide and Hawthorn after the win, although the Crows have the chance to remain in second spot with a win over Essendon today AAMI Stadium.
But next week’s match has a huge billing on what may occur come finals time and the ladder positions surrounding the top four.
Sydney will be assured of top spot, if it hasn’t been done so already, if it wins. Collingwood, on the other hand if it wins, can lay a claim on a top two spot for a home final which will count for a lot considering two interstate teams linger in the top four.
Coach Nathan Buckley had eyes for the blockbuster clash next week straight after last night’s result.
“Personally I don’t believe we’re in a position to be projecting too far forward, and definitively not reflecting on what we thought our aspirations were at the beginning of the year,” Buckley said.
“You can only ever deal with what’s in front of you.
“We had a narrow victory tonight that should have been a lot more substantial than that.
“We’ll take the lessons from it, the positives from it, and then we’ll go and attack the ladder leaders [the Sydney Swans] next weekend.”
Adelaide has an easier run home than its other three contenders for the top four and should remain in the top two if results go its way. Hawthorn’s biggest test will come with games against Sydney and West Coast to finish off the year.
The Hawks appear likely to finish in either third or fourth and will be hoping to match up against Collingwood in the first week of the finals considering their good record against it.