1. Geelong

60 points (15 wins, five losses), 134.3 per cent
The Cats cruised to victory over North Melbourne on Saturday night, making their trip to the Gabba next week a huge game. Beat the Lions, and you can almost lock in a home qualifying final. But lose to the in-form Brisbane and the Cats' grip on a top-two spot is in jeopardy with West Coast also in the battle for one of those positions, even though Geelong will be favoured to comfortably account for Carlton in Geelong in the final round. Will their up-and-down W-L-W-L-W-L-W-L-W since the bye continue next week?  - Callum Twomey

The run home
R22: Brisbane @ Gabba
R23: Carlton @ GMHBA Stadium

2. Brisbane

60 points (15 wins, five losses), 121.8 per cent
With eight straight wins under its belt, Brisbane now embarks on a fortnight that will determine whether it gets one chance or two in September, and one home final or two. With matches against fellow flag aspirants Geelong and Richmond, the Lions could finish anywhere between first and fifth, but one thing's for sure, they could not be in better form. Next Saturday's match against the Cats is already a sellout, while playing the Tigers at the MCG is the perfect finals dress rehearsal for Chris Fagan's young men. - Michael Whiting

The run home
R22: Geelong @ Gabba
R23: Richmond @ MCG

3. West Coast

60 points (15 wins, five losses), 117.0 per cent
The Eagles got the job done over the Crows and are in control of their top-two fate given Geelong and Brisbane face off next round. The showdown against Richmond at the MCG has loomed large for weeks now and if West Coast can pull off an upset next Sunday a home qualifying final is there for the taking. Lose to the Tigers, and even top four might not be fully guaranteed heading into the season-ending clash with Hawthorn. - Travis King

The run home
R22: Richmond @ MCG
R23: Hawthorn @ Optus Stadium

4. Richmond

56 points (14 wins, six losses), 112.8 per cent
The Tigers are sitting nicely in fourth spot with a much healthier percentage than before the bye, when they were ninth with just 92 per cent. But the biggest test of Richmond's season is to come. West Coast has no issues playing at the MCG, while Brisbane is comfortably in its best form for the past 10 years. Win these matches, and a top-two spot will be on the cards. - Sarah Black

The run home
R22: West Coast @ MCG
R23: Brisbane @ MCG

5. Collingwood

52 points (13 wins, seven losses), 113.9 per cent
Briefly returned to the top four until the Tigers accounted for Carlton on Sunday, but the Pies will need one of that elite group to slip up in the last two rounds to start the finals from there. They didn't hit top gear in wins over Gold Coast and Melbourne but must defeat the Crows in Adelaide on Saturday and do the same against the out-of-sorts Bombers to keep their top-four hopes alive. At worst, Collingwood should host an elimination final in week one. - Marc McGowan

The run home
R22: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R23: Essendon @ MCG

6. Greater Western Sydney

48 points (12 wins, eight losses), 116.5 per cent
The Giants' top-four hopes were dealt a huge blow when they were thrashed by Hawthorn in Canberra on Friday night, leaving Leon Cameron's side needing two wins from the final two rounds – and have other results go in their favour – to have any chance of earning the double chance. Suddenly their round 22 clash against the Bulldogs at home looks a tricky proposition, although they should be able to finish the season on a high when they take on the lowly Suns in the last round. - Jonathan Healy

The run home
R22: Western Bulldogs @ Giants Stadium
R23: Gold Coast @ Metricon Stadium

7. Essendon

44 points (11 wins, nine losses), 93.8 per cent
All of a sudden, things don't look so simple for Essendon. It probably needs one win in its final two games to guarantee a finals berth, but on current form achieving that crucial victory will be easier said than done. Thrashings against Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs over the last fortnight – two sides pushing for its spot in the top-eight – has brought the gap between itself and the chasing pack closer. It has also seen it lose more than 10 from its percentage over just two weeks. A road trip to Fremantle and a Friday night blockbuster against Collingwood awaits. Perhaps just as important as finding that one elusive win will be finding some form. Its September hopes rely on it. - Riley Beveridge

The run home
R22: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium
R23: Collingwood @ MCG

8. Port Adelaide

40 points (10 wins, 10 losses), 109.0 per cent
The Power have stormed into the top eight after Saturday's 47-point thumping of Sydney at Adelaide Oval. They are ahead of crosstown rivals Adelaide on percentage and are in the box seat to punch their finals ticket. They are in good form, but North Melbourne can be a dangerous proposition when it's up and firing, while Fremantle could still be in the finals hunt in round 23. That match – the last of the home and away fixture – could be a virtual elimination final. The Power could regain defender Ryan Burton in a couple of weeks from a hamstring injury, while there's still no room in the side for ruckman Scott Lycett. - Lee Gaskin

NINE THINGS WE LEARNED Is there method to Port's madness?

The run home
R22: North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium
R23: Fremantle @ Adelaide Oval 

9. Adelaide

40 points (10 wins, 10 losses), 107.5 per cent
The Crows have plummeted from fourth to ninth on the ladder after five losses from their past seven outings and are in a dogfight for September. If Don Pyke's men can win both of their remaining matches then they would be unlucky to miss out on the eight, but anything less than that and their destiny will be significantly impacted by other results. The final round clash in Ballarat could be a 'win and you're in' scenario for both Adelaide and the Bulldogs. - Travis King

The run home
R22: Collingwood @ Adelaide Oval
R23: Western Bulldogs @ Mars Stadium

10. Western Bulldogs

40 points (10 wins, 10 losses), 102.2 per cent
A thrilling 104-point victory over Essendon meant the percentage problems that once loomed as an issue for the Western Bulldogs are no longer. But, according to coach Luke Beveridge, the Dogs still need to go two-from-two over the next fortnight to even stand a chance of playing finals footy. Next week's clash at Giants Stadium looms as the biggest test. If they can overcome the finals-bound Greater Western Sydney side on the road, they will undoubtedly take great confidence going into a do-or-die Ballarat encounter with a fading Adelaide outfit. They might need to be perfect from here until the end of the season, but they're hitting form at the right time to achieve what once appeared an unlikely outcome. - Riley Beveridge

The run home
R22: Greater Western Sydney @ Giants Stadium
R23: Adelaide @ Mars Stadium

11. Hawthorn

36 points (nine wins, 11 losses), 102.2 per cent
The Hawks kept their slim finals hopes alive when they demolished the Giants by 56 points on Friday night. A match-up against the lowly Suns next weekend means Alastair Clarkson's side are likely to enter the final round still with a mathematical chance of playing in September. The bad news is they have to travel to Perth to play the reigning premiers in that final round, so they will need everything to go right if they are to feature in September. - Jonathan Healy

AROUND THE STATE LEAGUES Dumped Sun shines, Power ruck's day out

The run home
R22: Gold Coast @ Marvel Stadium
R23: West Coast @ Optus Stadium

12. Fremantle

36 points (nine wins, 11 losses), 95.8 per cent
The Dockers' finals hopes were virtually extinguished by St Kilda on Sunday and only an extraordinary last fortnight would lift them into the top eight. Freo not only needs to win its last two games but also dramatically improve its percentage. A big home win over a suddenly struggling Essendon at home is certainly on the cards but Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval is a far tougher proposition. - Ben Collins

The run home
R22: Essendon @ Optus Stadium
R23: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval

13. St Kilda

36 points (nine wins, 11 losses), 85.3 per cent
The Saints' thrilling victory over fellow finals hopeful Fremantle has drawn them level on wins with the Dockers, but they need a miracle to qualify for September. They are certainly capable of winning their final games against Carlton and Sydney but are unlikely to gain the massive percentage boost they need. It ain't going to happen. - Ben Collins

The run home
R22: Carlton @ MCG
R23: Sydney @ SCG

14. North Melbourne

32 points (eight wins, 12 losses), 94.0 per cent
Any faint hope the Roos had to make the finals was snuffed out by Geelong on Saturday night, with North recording its lowest ever score (1.8) in a limp performance. There are a group of clubs, such as Port Adelaide, Essendon, the Western Bulldogs, Adelaide and Hawthorn all fighting it out for a top-eight position, but North isn't one of them anymore. - Callum Twomey

The run home
R22: Port Adelaide @ Marvel Stadium
R23: Melbourne @ Blundstone Arena

It was a horror night in Geelong for Kangaroos players. Picture: AFL Photos