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The 1991 AFL Season was 95th edition of elite Australian rules football and the fifth season under the leagues interstate expansion, but the second to be offically named the Australian Football League (AFL) The season commenced on the 22nd of March and concluded on the 28th of September.
The league moved to 15 club with the inclusion of the Adelaide Football Club to the competition. With 15 teams, a bye was needed for the first time in AFL history. Seven teams had byes in round 1 and then one team had a bye for each subsequent round, equally a total of 2 byes per team. The fosters cup was won by Hawthorn who defeated North Melbourne.
The system for finals also shifted. The original 'top 5' was now a 'top 6'. The first round of finals saw 1v2 in a qualifying final, with the winner qualifying for a (non-elimination) semi-final and the loser qualifying for a sudden death semi-final. Then 3v4 and 5v6 in elimination finals with the winner of the 3v4 getting a second chance against the winner of 1v2 whilst the winner of 5v6 played the loser of 1v2 in a sudden death semi-final. The winner of the first semi-final (winner of 1v2 vs winner of 3v4) would qualify for the grand final, whilst the loser moved to the preliminary final. The second semi find (loser of 1v2 vs winner of 5v6) played off for the last spot in the preliminary final. The two teams then faced off for a spot in the Grand Final.
There were a number of coaching changes throughout the season. Allan Jeans retired and Alan Joyce returned as Hawthorn coach after taking them to the 1988 Premiership. David Parkin returned as Carlton coach after coaching them during the VFL years. Robert Shaw is appointed the Fitzroy coach. Former Carlton and Fitzroy player, Robert Walls is appointed as Brisbane Bears coach.
Geelong climbed 7 places which took them into the Preliminary Final. Whilst last season's premiers, Collingwood fell 5 places to 7th and out of the finals series.
|1||West Coast Eagles||22||19||3||0||162.2||76|
|2||Hawthorn Hawks (Premiers)||22||16||6||0||135.9||64|
|4||St Kilda Saints||22||14||7||1||120.4||58|
|8||North Melbourne Kangaroos||22||12||10||0||91.2||48|
|3||Geelong||Qualifying Semi Final|
|Qualifying Final||Geelong||Preliminary Final||Hawthorn|
|2||Hawthorn||Geelong||West Coast Eagles|
|1||West Coast Eagles||Eliminating Semi Final||West Coast Eagles|
|West Coast Eagles|