AFLW goes straight into finals mode

Oliver Caffrey
Unbeaten Fremantle can plan for the AFLW finals two rounds ahead of schedule due to the coronavirus

The AFLW's final two rounds have been axed with the competition to enter an eight-team finals series this weekend during the coronavirus crisis.

It follows a marathon meeting at AFL House on Wednesday, with league boss Gillon McLachlan confirming men's and women's games would proceed amid the pandemic.

With 14 sides in this year's competition - including newcomers Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast - a six-team, three-week finals series was introduced for the AFLW's fourth season.

But the AFL announced late on Wednesday that four teams from the two conferences will qualify for the post-season.

North Melbourne finish top of Conference A while undefeated Fremantle claim Conference B after the first six of the eight planned rounds.

GWS Giants, Brisbane and the Suns will join the Kangaroos from Conference A, while Carlton, Melbourne and Collingwood are also through.

It was a rollercoaster ride for Magpies players, with The Age reporting they were in tears watching McLachlan's announcement believing they would miss the finals.

"We would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to all 14 clubs and players in our competition, who have worked incredibly hard across the season," AFL women's boss Nicole Livingstone said.

"They should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.

"We look forward to the next three weeks of finals, and wish all eight teams the best of luck."

All games will continue to be played behind closed doors due to the federal government's initiatives to contain the spread of coronavirus.

After Adelaide won the 2019 grand final against Carlton in front of a record 53,034 fans, this year's premiership will be decided without spectators.

Full details, including match-ups, venues and times, will be released on Thursday.