Port Adelaide shored up their AFL finals berth, Melbourne’s September drought is just about over and St Kilda’s fate is out of their hands.
And Hawthorn’s season still has a pulse.
The Demons had a massive win over the Saints and Port Adelaide held off Collingwood on Sunday, adding a couple of pieces to the top-eight jigsaw with two rounds left.
The 11th-placed Saints remain in finals contention, but they will need plenty to go right.
They face North Melbourne and Richmond in the last two rounds.
Melbourne opened up a 40-point lead and then held off St Kilda’s rally to win by four goals.
The 14.12 (96) to 10.12 (72) win was massive for the Demons after two losses.
They are seventh on 11 wins and with MCG games to come against Brisbane and Collingwood, the Demons looked set for their first finals series since 2006.
Coming off their Showdown shocker, the Power kicked five goals to two in the last quarter for a comfortable 14.14 (98) to 10.11 (71) win.
That leaves them sixth and they can still snare the double chance – they are only a game behind fourth-placed Richmond and have a better percentage.
But their more likely outcome is a home elimination final.
Port head to Ballarat next Saturday for a pivotal match against the Western Bulldogs.
Friday night’s 48-point loss to GWS left the Bulldogs ninth and they are well down on percentage behind eighth-placed West Coast.
The last defending premiers to miss the finals were Hawthorn in 2009.
In Launceston, the 12-placed Hawks beat North Melbourne by 27 points to remain the lowest team still in the September hunt.
The 18.8 (116) to 14.5 (89) win leaves the Hawks a game-and-a-half outside eighth, with Carlton and the Bulldogs to come.
On Saturday, Sydney demolished Fremantle by 104 points – the worst losing margin of Ross Lyon’s senior coaching career – to continue their barnstorming run.
After losing their opening six matches, Sydney have won 12 out of 14 and are now fifth, like Port breathing down the Tigers’ necks.
Their Friday night away blockbuster against top side Adelaide is a potential grand final preview.
Geelong upset the Tigers at Simonds Stadium by 14 points and the two teams swapped spots, with the Cats improving to third.
The only lowlight of the Giants’ impressive Friday night performance was that star forward Toby Greene is in tribunal trouble again.
He was booked for rough conduct, after his foot caught Luke Dahlhaus high and left him with a cut lip.
Essendon’s 43-point loss to Adelaide on Saturday night means the Bombers, like the Saints, are dangling off the precipice.
Essendon, who are 10th, and St Kilda sit a game behind Melbourne, West Coast and the Bulldogs.
But the Bombers’ run home is favourable – Gold Coast (away) and Fremantle (Etihad Stadium).
West Coast stayed in the top eight with a 17-point home win over Carlton.
Dean Solomon’s tenure as caretaker Gold Coast coach started badly, with Brisbane belting them by 58.