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Are the Suns coasting into the finals?

Mark Macgugan  June 24, 2013 11:40 AM

AFL 2013 Rd 08 - Gold Coast v Western Bulldogs

The Suns have the easiest draw in the run home to the finals

GOLD Coast's hopes of securing a shock finals berth remain very much alive, with the third-year club facing the easiest run home of any team in the competition. 

While fellow top eight contenders West Coast, Port Adelaide and Carlton all have difficult fixtures over the final 10 rounds of the season, the Suns play four of the bottom six teams. 

Further, their only clash with a top six team is against Richmond in Cairns, a game they are yet to lose. 

Using a formula designating 18 points for a game against the top team, Hawthorn, down to one point for a game against the bottom team, Greater Westerm Sydney, the Suns' total of 75 points ranks 18th in difficulty.

St Kilda faces the toughest fixture, playing all of the top six teams for a total of 127 points over its final 10 matches. 

The Eagles, Power and Blues rank second, third and fourth, with 115, 112 and 101 points respectively. 

With 11 wins likely to be enough to clinch eighth place, Gold Coast would need to win six matches to put itself in the finals frame. 

The Suns' poor percentage, however, may see them needing a seventh win. 

Third-placed Fremantle is set to be the other major beneficiary of the fixture over the final 10 rounds. 

Ross Lyon's men appear certain to finish in the top four, with only two matches to come against top six opponents, and four against bottom six teams. 

Fremantle is also set to welcome back stars Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands from injury as September draws near.