The run home: Race for finals is a hot one

The match in the final round between Port Macquarie and Northern Beaches could well decide which team makes it into the 2021 finals series and who misses out. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

THERE are only two rounds remaining before the finals start and the make-up of who will be playing at the business end of the season in either the seniors or women’s competitions is still unknown.

In the seniors the Coffs Breakers have secured the minor premiership but the battle for the remaining places in the top four is as hot as an Alice Springs footpath in summer.

The team that is currently sitting in second position could still miss out on the finals altogether while the team that is currently fifth could manage to grab the double chance if all other results go their way.

The top three positions in the women’s competition are locked away barring some massive scores being kicked which could wildly change the percentages of the Coffs Breakers, Northern Beaches and Lismore Swans.

Port Macquarie, Grafton and Sawtell/Toormina are all locked in an intense battle for the last available position in the finals.

Scroll down to see each teams run home for the remainder of the season and what their best and worst case scenarios are.

Saturday’s match between Sawtell/Toormina and the Lismore Swans will go a long way toward deciding the make-up of the top four in the seniors. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing



44 points, 208.74%
Remaining matches: Port Macquarie (away), Casino Lions (away)

No matter what happens in the last two rounds of the season the Coffs Breakers will finish on top of the ladder and play in the 2nd Semi Final against the team that finishes second on the ladder.


32 points, 180.62%
Remaining matches: Sawtell/Toormina (away), Nambucca Valley (home)

The Swans can finish anywhere from second to fifth.

Winning both of their matches in the run home would keep the Swans in second position.

One win in the final two rounds is all the Swans need to make sure they play finals. The Lismore team could still finish second with just one win but would need all other finals aspirants to lose at least one of their last two matches for it to work out that way.

The AFL North Coast newcomers could still miss out on the finals if they lose both of their two remaining matches by large margins. The very healthy percentage the Lismore side has built up is a major advantage though and could see them sneak into fourth position if they do hit a late season slump.


32 points, 119.38%
Remaining matches: Lismore Swans (home), Grafton (away)

To finish in second position at the end of the home and away matches, the Saints must beat the Lismore Swans this Saturday. A loss this Saturday and last year’s runner-up is left to fight to finish for third or fourth.

Winning both of the last two matches would ensure Sawtell/Toormina finishes in second position.

A win against the Swans followed by a loss a week later against Grafton would mean the Saints could still finish second but would be relying on Nambucca Valley to cause an upset against Lismore Swans and perhaps Port Macquarie to beat Northern Beaches for it to happen.

Of the team’s locked in the battle for a finals berth, Sawtell/Toormina has the lowest percentage which could be an issue for the Saints.

If the Saints were to lose both of their last two matches, they can still play in the finals but will need Port Macquarie or Northern Beaches to also lose two matches for it to happen.


30 points, 137.60%
Remaining matches: Casino Lions (home), Port Macquarie (away)

Three losses in the past four matches has left Northern Beaches precariously placed. The Blues can win both of their remaining two matches and still face a knockout 1st Semi Final in the first week of the 2021 finals series.

To finish in second position and grab the double chance, Northern Beaches needs to not only win both of its remaining matches but also for both the Lismore Swans and Sawtell/Toormina to lose at least one match each.

If the Blues beat Casino this Saturday and Port Macquarie loses at home to the Coffs Breakers then the Blues can’t miss the finals. If Port Macquarie wins this week, the Blues and Magpies will meet in the final round in what would probably amount to a knockout game.


28 points, 141.55%
Remaining matches: Coffs Breakers (home), Northern Beaches (home)

If Port Macquarie reaches the finals the Magpies will have done it the hard way because of all of the contenders they face the toughest fixture over the last two rounds.

One thing the Magpies have in their favour is both of their last two matches are being played at home.

There are two scenarios that can get Port into the finals. The first is to simply win both of their last two matches. The second is to win one of the remaining matches and hope either Sawtell/Toormina or the Lismore Swans lose both of their matches.

Grafton’s match against Sawtell/Toormina in the final round could possibly decide who grabs a berth in the women’s 1st Semi Final. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing



8 points, 55.45%
Remaining matches: Coffs Breakers (home), Northern Beaches (home)

Facing the two best teams in the competition isn’t the ideal way to end a season when locked in a tight battle for a finals berth.

That’s the task ahead of Port Macquarie’s women.

With two losses the Magpies could still play in the finals provided Sawtell/Toormina loses to the Swans this Saturday then turns their form around and beats Grafton in the final round.

One thing the Magpies have in their favour over the other two contenders for fourth spot is a healthier percentage which could prove vital in the final wash-up.

With just one win in the last two rounds, that percentage would probably see the Magpies reach the finals.

If it’s two wins, Port Macquarie’s women will hit the finals and suddenly be in the best form of any team.


8 points, 28.12%
Remaining matches: Bye, Sawtell/Toormina (home)

To finish fourth, the equation for Grafton is simple. Beat Sawtell/Toormina in the final round and hope Port Macquarie loses both of its final two matches.

If the Tigers lose to the Saints at Ellem Oval on August 7, they will not be playing in the finals.


4 points, 13.02%
Remaining matches: Lismore Swans (home), Grafton (away)

The Saints’ low percentage means they will need to win both of their remaining two matches to reach the finals.