THE MAKE-UP of the top eight has gone down to the final match of the season, with West Coast snatching eighth spot on the ladder at the expense of Melbourne.
With Essendon defeating Fremantle, Melbourne's finals hopes hinged on the West Coast-Adelaide match after losing to the Pies by 16 points. The Eagles trailed the Dees by 0.9 per cent and needed to defeat the Crows by about 20-25 points to make up the difference.
The Eagles bridged the percentage gap by defeating Adelaide by 29 points, securing an away elimination final against fifth-placed Port Adelaide.
Finals-bound Essendon ended St Kilda's slim finals hopes, as the Saints would have needed to beat Richmond by an almost impossible margin to make up the seven per cent deficit to Melbourne – and then rely on the Eagles losing to the Crows.
Port Adelaide's massive win over Gold Coast trumped Sydney's over Carlton earlier in the day to give the Power a temporary hold on fourth spot. However, the third-placed Tigers relegated the Power to fifth place and a home elimination final.
The Swans will finish sixth and also host an elimination final.
The Bulldogs' faint finals chances were dashed with a loss to Hawthorn on Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Brisbane Lions will finish the season with the wooden spoon after they lost to North Melbourne, with the Roos moving up to 15th place with the win.
Gold Coast's heavy loss saw them drop to 17th, while Carlton finished 16th.
Friday, August 25
Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, 7.50pm AEST
HAWTHORN 15.9 (99)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 13.12 (90)
The Hawks can't move from 12th and the Bulldogs moved up to 10th spot after St Kilda sustained a large percentage drop in its loss to Richmond on Sunday.
Saturday, August 26
Collingwood v Melbourne at the MCG, 1.45pm AEST
COLLINGWOOD 14.15 (99)
MELBOURNE 12.11 (83)
Melbourne's finals spot hinged on other results. With Essendon securing a finals spot, the Demons fell out of the eight after West Coast defeated Adelaide by 29 points and bridged the percentage gap needed to overtake Simon Goodwin's men. Meanwhile, Collingwood will stay in 13th spot.
Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne at the Gabba, 2.10pm AEST
BRISBANE LIONS 11.13 (79)
NORTH MELBOURNE 19.16 (130)
The Lions wrapped up the wooden spoon while North Melbourne jumps up to 15th spot after Carlton and Gold Coast both lost.
Sydney v Carlton at the SCG, 4.35pm AEST
SYDNEY 21.12 (138)
CARLTON 8.9 (57)
A convincing win briefly put the Swans in fourth place, but the Power trumped Sydney with a thumping win over Gold Coast. Sydney ended in sixth spot following Richmond's win and will host an elimination final. The Suns' heavy loss means Carlton finishes the season in 16th spot.
Geelong v Greater Western Sydney at Simonds Stadium, 7.25pm AEST
GEELONG 15.13 (103)
GWS 8.11 (59)
A massively important win by the Cats sees them finish the season in second spot and seal a qualifying final against Richmond. The Giants' loss means they drop to fourth and play an away qualifying final against Adelaide.
Port Adelaide v Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm ACST
PORT ADELAIDE 20.15 (135)
GOLD COAST 3.2 (20)
The Power's monstrous win was enough to take temporary hold of fourth spot, but they were ultimately pushed down to fifth by the third-placed Tigers. Port finishes fifth and hosts an elimination final, while the Suns' disastrous loss sees them drop down to 17th spot.
Sunday, August 27
Essendon v Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm AEST
ESSENDON 16.11 (107)
FREMANTLE 14.8 (92)
Essendon just needed a win to be guaranteed a finals berth and will now taste September action for the first time since 2014. The 15-point victory over Fremantle saw the Bombers move into seventh position, while the Dockers stayed in 14th spot regardless of the result.
Richmond v St Kilda at the MCG, 3.20pm AEST
RICHMOND 19.8 (122)
ST KILDA 12.9 (81)
The Tigers earned the double chance and set up a blockbuster qualifying final against Geelong, thanks to their 41-point win over the Saints. St Kilda's faint finals hopes all but ended when Essendon won earlier in the day. The Saints finished in 11th position, falling below the Western Bulldogs by virtue of their heavy loss to Richmond.
West Coast v Adelaide at Domain Stadium, 2.20pm AWST
WEST COAST 15.10 (100)
ADELAIDE 10.11 (71)
The equation was simple for the Eagles: win by around 20-25 points to leapfrog Melbourne and seal eighth position. The Eagles won by 29 points to snatch the last spot in the eight. The Crows had already sewn up the minor premiership after Greater Western Sydney's loss to Geelong and now play the Giants in a home qualifying final.