1st-place Sydney to open finals against Fremantle
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The first-place Sydney Swans play fourth-place Fremantle while defending champions Hawthorn take on Geelong in qualifying finals to start the Australian Football League playoffs.
Under the AFL’s second-chance playoff system, the top four teams play each other in the first round, with the winners advancing direct to the preliminary finals. The losers play the winners of elimination matches involving teams finishing from fifth to eighth.
The Hawks-Geelong match is on Friday while the Swans and Dockers play Saturday.
North Melbourne plays Essendon in one elimination match next Saturday while Port Adelaide hosts Richmond on Sunday. The losers are finished for the season.
The preliminary finals are set for Sept. 20-21. The winners of those matches play in the AFL’s grand final on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.