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Five in the mix for AFLW GF spot

Sarah Black  March 12, 2018 1:57 PM

INCREDIBLY, five teams remain in contention for the two Grand Final spots with just one round remaining.

Two big upsets in round six – Brisbane going down to Collingwood at home and the Giants defeating ladder-leaders the Western Bulldogs – means there are three "live" matches in the final round.

Only next weekend's clash between Fremantle (seventh) and Carlton (eighth) will not have a bearing on the make-up of the Grand Final, but it could decide which team finishes last.

What each team needs to make the Grand Final

Western Bulldogs (1st, 16 points, 143.4%) – a win over Melbourne will guarantee a Grand Final spot, otherwise the Dogs will be sweating on both Adelaide and the Giants losing, and Brisbane winning by a small margin.

Melbourne (2nd, 16 points, 119.3%) – defeating the Bulldogs will sew up a Grand Final position. If not, the Demons will be relying on Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney losing and Brisbane winning by a small margin.

Greater Western Sydney (3rd, 14 points, 112.4%) – a win against Brisbane (at home, in Blacktown), along with Adelaide losing, will see the Giants leap-frogging the loser of the Western Bulldogs-Melbourne into the Grand Final. A draw will see percentage come into play.

Adelaide (4th, 14 points, 101%) – beating a suddenly rejuvenated Collingwood (away, at Olympic Park Oval), plus the Giants losing, will be enough for Adelaide to take its spot in the Grand Final over the loser of the Western Bulldogs-Melbourne game. A draw will result into percentage determining spots.

Brisbane (5th, 12 points, 107%) – needs to beat the Giants (away at Blacktown), Adelaide to lose, and Western Bulldogs to defeat Melbourne by a fair margin to overtake the Demons on percentage and reach the Grand Final.

There remains the highly unlikely chance of Melbourne and Western Bulldogs drawing, and Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney both winning, meaning the top four teams would all finish on 18 points. In that case, the Grand Final spots will come down to percentage.

Star out after scans

Scans on the left knee of Melbourne defender Melissa Hickey on Monday confirmed the veteran had ruptured her ACL and would miss the rest of the AFLW season.

Hickey, who had returned to defence after starting the season in the midfield, was in tears when assisted from the ground by trainers.

She suffered an ACL injury in 2011, and the immediate fear from those watching was that she had recognised the signs after landing awkwardly while chasing the ball.

Bianca Jakobsson is expected to recover from a quad injury in time for Melbourne's must-win clash against the Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval and is the logical replacement for Hickey.

Key defender Laura Duryea, who has struggled to hold her spot in the side this season after playing every match last year, is another who could come into the line-up.