Unhappy Hawks under new ownership
Unhappy Hawks under new ownership

On Channel Seven news last Thursday night I emphasized the importance of Saturday's clash between Carlton and Essendon, suggesting it was the pivotal game to Fremantle's chances of playing in the finals.

I went so far as to suggest if the Blues won, Fremantle would finish in 8th spot even if they dropped their game against North Melbourne in Melbourne.

Well so much for that idea.

It never crossed my mind Mark Murphy and Chris Judd would lead Carlton to a percentage boosting 95 point romp over the hapless Bombers.

They now face Gold Coast this week with the prospect of piling on even more percentage.

At the same time it's hard to pick Fremantle over North.

But you've at least got to give me some credit, if nothing else I'm immediately back up on the horse.

Now I AM predicting percentage!

Which means at this time next week Carlton should be in the eight by virtue of a 2 to 5 percent advantage over Fremantle.

If Essendon manage to get past Richmond (joining the Blues and the Dockers on 12 wins) it's inconceivable they could adequately repair such a battered percentage.

The following week the Dockers play Melbourne but it's problematic they can make up the percentage they might need.

So now I've decided the Carlton / St Kilda game will decide Fremantle's fate.

Strangely that game is on the Sunday.

Clearly when it announced the timetable for the season's final round a few weeks back the AFL didn't think much of Carlton's chances either!

Mind you, back in round 7 the Saints topped the Blues by 24 points.

And for me, out of necessity, looking back has become the new looking forward.

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