The week ahead in sport: Prepare for the playoffs

14 August 2020

Written by: Stephen Riosa

There are plenty of big matches happening this week as the footy frenzy comes to a close and the NBA Playoffs begin.


We won’t be seeing any matches on a Tuesday or Wednesday this week as the footy frenzy comes to a close. Round 12 has already begun with the Sydney Swans dismantling the GWS Giants, but there are many more key games to tune into.

Geelong Cats v Port Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, 14/8, 7:50pm (free-to-air)

This is a huge match between third and first on the ladder. Sam Menegola has been in ripping form for the Cats, while Ollie Wines has been stepping up with some big games for the Power. Both teams are coming off big wins, with Geelong smashing St Kilda and Port Adelaide overcoming Richmond in a thriller, so this match should be an intriguing one.

Melbourne v Collingwood, Gabba, 15/8, 5:10pm

It’s an important match for these clubs, as the Demons seek a spot in the top eight, while the Magpies look to hold theirs. Both teams head into this game under big injury clouds, with Melbourne facing a crisis in the ruck department, and Collingwood missing star midfielders such as Adam Treloar and Scott Pendlebury.

Fremantle v Carlton, Optus Stadium, 15/8, 8:10pm (free-to-air)

This game presents the Dockers and Blues with one of their last chances to chase a spot in the top eight. A loss here would be a massive blow. Freo’s Nat Fyfe and Carlton’s Patrick Cripps are always the ones to watch, but midfielder Andrew Brayshaw has flown under the radar, having himself a breakout season.

St Kilda v Essendon, Gabba, 16/8, 3:35pm (free-to-air)

Both teams will be looking to get back on the win column. The Saints were dominated by Geelong, while the Bombers drew with Gold Coast in a very exciting match. Andrew McGrath has been playing his best footy for Essendon this season, so he’ll be one to watch closely.

All games can be seen on Foxtel, Kayo and AFL Live Pass. Free-to-air games can be seen on Channel Seven.



Paramatta Eels v St. George Illawarra Dragons, Bankwest Stadium, 14/8, 7:55pm (free-to-air)

The third-placed Eels have been in great form leading up to this match, winning their last six of seven. Can they continue their winning ways, or can the 12th-placed Dragons cause an upset?

Newcastle Knights v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, McDonald Jones Stadium, 16/8, 2pm

It’s a crucial match for both sides, with the sixth-placed Knights looking for their spot in the top eight, while Manly sit at ninth spot, a win outside the eight.

All games can be seen on Foxtel, Kayo and NRL Live Pass. Free-to-air games can be seen on Channel Nine.



Sydney FC v Western United FC, Leichhardt Oval, 15/8, 5pm (free-to-air)

Western United FC v Melbourne City FC, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 19/8, 7:30pm

There are only two matches left in the season, with Western United featuring in both of them. They currently hold sixth spot and a win in either game would put them up to fifth to take on the Brisbane Roar in the elimination final. If they lose both, they take on the Wellington Phoenix instead.

Sydney FC and Melbourne City have first and second spots sealed, and they’ll be watching the elimination finals laid back on their couches, as they get the bye.

Finals begin on August 22.

All games can be seen on Foxtel, Kayo and My Football Live. Free-to-air games can be seen on ABC.


Super Netball

Rounds four and five will be played this week and they’re not too far apart, so there’s plenty of netball to watch. The Vixens and Swifts are currently undefeated, while the Firebirds are yet to record a win.


Round 4

Collingwood Magpies vs West Coast Fever, Nissan Arena, 15/8, 1pm (free-to-air)

Queensland Firebirds vs GIANTS Netball, Nissan Arena, 15/8, 3pm (free-to-air)

Sunshine Coast Lightning vs NSW Swifts, USC Stadium, 16/8, 1pm (free-to-air)

Melbourne Vixens vs Adelaide Thunderbirds, USC Stadium, 16/8, 3:30pm


Round 5

West Coast Fever vs Melbourne Vixens, Nissan Arena, 18/8, 5pm

Queensland Firebirds vs NSW Swifts, Nissan Arena, 18/8, 7:30pm

Collingwood Magpies vs Adelaide Thunderbirds, USC Stadium, 19/8, 5pm

Sunshine Coast Lightning vs GIANTS Netball, USC Stadium, 19/8, 7:30pm


All games can be seen on Netball Live, games not free-to-air on Telstra TV. Free-to-air games can be seen on Channel Nine.



The playoffs are only a few days away, with the first games starting on August 18. Before that, a play-in tournament will be played this weekend for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference. The Memphis Grizzlies will take on either the Phoenix Suns or Portland Trail Blazers in the tournament.

As for playoff games already scheduled, there are plenty that you can watch in the morning (or even early morning if you want to wake up for that).


Tuesday, August 18th

Brooklyn Nets @ Toronto Raptors, Game 1, 6am

Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics, Game 1, 8:30am

Dallas Mavericks @ LA Clippers, Game 1, 11am


Wednesday, August 19th

Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers, Game 1, 6am (official seeding TBD)

OKC Thunder vs Houston Rockets, Game 1, 8:30am (official seeding TBD)


Thursday, August 20th

Utah Jazz @ Denver Nuggets, Game 2, 6am

Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics, Game 2, 8:30am

Dallas Mavericks @ LA Clippers, Game 2, 11am


Friday, August 21st

OKC Thunder vs Houston Rockets, Game 2, 5:30am (official seeding TBD)

Orlando Magic @ Milwaukee Bucks, Game 2, 8am


All playoff games can be seen on Foxtel (ESPN) and Kayo.



The NHL playoffs have begun with series already a couple of games in. If you’re new to hockey, then it should be a very exciting watch as the sport is fast-paced and very physical. It’s three 20-minute periods, where you should see some big hits, the occasional fight and of course, some great goals.

If playoff games go to overtime, it’s another 20-minute period where the next goal wins. They could end in a minute, or you could end up seeing multiple overtimes. Recently, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets played five overtimes, which was ended by Tampa’s Brayden Point, to give them a 3-2 win in Game 1.

Just like the NBA, the NHL has bubbles in Toronto for Eastern Conference teams and Edmonton for Western Conference teams.


Here are some games you can tune into:

Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames, Game 3, 15/8, 12:30pm

Vegas Golden Knights @ Chicago Blackhawks, Game 3, 16/8, 10am

St. Louis Blues @ Vancouver Canucks, Game 3, 17/8, 12:30pm

St. Louis Blues @ Vancouver Canucks, Game 4, 18/8, 12:30pm


Games can be seen on Foxtel (ESPN) and Kayo.


Photo: LeBron James LAL by Andrew D. Bernstein available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.