The Geelong Cats left it all on the ground in their game with the Richmond Tigers, but they lost by three points, which counts as a lost just as much as the 105 points the Carlton Blues saw as the final margin in their game with Greater Western Sydney.
The loss to Richmond moved the Cats out of the top eight with three games remaining in the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition.
The Power plummeted from the top four all the way down to seventh in losing to the Crows, but those Crows remained mired in 12th and even though the win kept them alive, without the cooperation of the other clubs and a series of confluences, the Crows will be idle in September.
The Magpies continued to slide down the ladder, to sixth, after losing to the Sydney Swans, but they should be able to win, at a minimum, two of their final three. They have Brisbane next week, but cannot look past the Lions, as the Lions did not act tame in a narrow three-point loss to North Melbourne.
The Essendon Bombers saw their narrow hopes of playing finals evaporate by losing to Hawthorn. It would seem that they would be able to beat Saint Kilda in Round 21, but they close out the season with Richmond and Port, so their end-of-season prospects seem to consist mainly of affecting the final ladder.
The round was noteworthy for the narrow margins. Many of the games were decided by margins of fewer than 10 points, with the exceptions of the 105-point margin by Sydney over the Blues and the 96-point win by the Demons over the Gold Coast Suns.
The tightness of this year’s competition more than makes up for some of the rounds that completely lacked much in the way of interest.
The clubs between fourth and 10th are separated by one win.