Three takeaways from round seventeen

Charlie Cameron of the Brisbane Lions runs in to kick one of his four goals during their win over Port Adelaide. (Photo by: Matt Turner/AFL Photos)

The Lions will finish top four and possibly top two

A 48-point win over Port Adelaide away from home has strengthened the Lions hold on a top four finish whilst also signalling a warning to the rest of the competition, that being that the Lions are a premiership threat.

The Lions domination of the Power on Sunday was their fourth consecutive win, with matches against North Melbourne, Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast to follow over the next month, all teams that currently sit outside of the top eight and all games that the Lions will enter as favourites.

Brisbane could easily win all four of these games, and already sit in a healthy position at third on the ladder; a top four finish looks very likely for Chris Fagan’s men, and a tough road trip for any side that has to travel to Brisbane to play them in a final.

Even if the Lions were to drop one of those four games, they will enter their last two remaining games of the season against stronger teams Geelong and Richmond with a top two spot in their sights.

Stephen Coniglio’s injury is huge for multiple reasons

The Giants are struggling for form, and their fortunes only worsened on Sunday when their star midfielder went down with a knee injury.

Coniglio has battled knee injuries for the majority of 2019 season, yet has still managed to maintain his lofty standards as one of the elite on-ballers in the competition; the prognosis from Sunday’s injury however has all but signalled the end of his 2019 campaign – a monumental blow to the Giants and their premiership credentials.

It is a bit of a double edged sword for the Giants, with Coniglio coming out of contract at the end of the season and being courted by several clubs for his services in 2020 and onwards; meaning he could possibly have played his last game for the Giants if he does decide to test the free agency market.

After losing players of the likes of Devon Smith, Tom Scully and Dylan Shiel in recent seasons, Coniglio’s signature is one the Giants are desperate to keep.

Carlton have had a stunning turnaround

At the conclusion of round eleven, Carlton had a solitary win to their name from the first eleven matches of the season.

Two weeks earlier they had been thumped by GWS by 93 points, and a 41-point loss to Essendon all but sealed coach Brendon Bolton’s dire fate.

That loss saw assistant coach David Teague handed the reins for the remainder of the season as interim coach, and he’s transformed Carlton from a team in despair, to a team that is quickly learning how to win again.

Since Teague’s been in the hot seat, the Blues have won three out of their five games, their biggest scalp coming on Saturday, defeating the Swans at the SCG, a ground they hadn’t won at since 2011.

Saturday’s win saw them dominate at the stoppages, beating the Swans at their own game; it’s a win that gives Teague’s case to become eventual Carlton coach more credibility, despite the perceived stance that the blues would target a proven senior coach for the job.

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