Blues, Magpies could clash in historic semi-final

Morgan Hancock/AAP PHOTOS

Carlton's first AFL finals series in a decade could feature their first September clash against Collingwood in more than a generation.

If the Blues win their elimination final and Collingwood go down to Melbourne in a qualifying final, it would set up a semi-final between the league's fiercest rivals.

The last Carlton-Collingwood final was the 1988 qualifying final, which the Blues won by 38 points.

The only other chance of a Blues-Pies match-up next month would be the grand final.

Collingwood famously beat Carlton by one point in round 23 last year to deny the Blues a finals berth.

Carlton's 32-point loss to GWS on Sunday night, the last game of the home-and-away season, meant the Blues will play Sydney in an elimination final.

By ending Carlton's nine-game winning streak, GWS also made the finals at the Western Bulldogs' expense.

But the Giants just failed on percentage to take sixth spot and a home elimination final away from St Kilda.

St Kilda finished on 107.8 per cent to the Giants' 107.1, meaning the Saints will host their sudden-death encounter.

While the Saints would prefer the match be played at Marvel Stadium, the venue will most likely be the MCG.

The weekend's results also meant ongoing gnashing of teeth at West Lakes over last week's debacle at the end of the Adelaide-Sydney match.

Had Ben Keays' shot at goal been reviewed and Adelaide held on to win, they would have finished in the eight at Sydney's expense.

Instead, in the frenetic finish to the pivotal round-23 clash, the Swans won by a point and Adelaide ended up 10th, a game outside the top eight..

The goal umpire ruled Keays' shot hit the post, but video replays clearly showed it was a goal.

The day after the Crows lost, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan acknowledged the mistake and the league has since brought in changes to its video review system in an effort to avoid a similar blunder during the finals.

But Sydney's loss to Melbourne on Sunday cost them an SCG elimination final.

Had the Swans beaten the Demons, they would have finished sixth. Instead, they are eighth.

Collingwood will open the finals series on Thursday, September 7 after the pre-finals bye, with their qualifying final against the Demons.

Friday night will feature Carlton's elimination final against the Swans, also at the MCG.

Brisbane, who have a perfect record at the Gabba this season, are guaranteed two home finals after finishing second and their qualifying final against Port Adelaide will be on the Friday.

The AFL will confirm the week-one finals schedule on Monday morning.

WEEK ONE AFL FINALS (match times to be confirmed)


Collingwood v Melbourne qualifying final, MCG


Carlton v   elimination final, MCG


Brisbane v Port Adelaide qualifying final, Gabba

St Kilda v GWS elimination final, MCG or Marvel Stadium