ONE SHOT: The Waves have one final chance to make the AFL Wide Bay finals this weekend. But the NewsMail can reveal the side could be already there if it improved in one area.
ONE SHOT: The Waves have one final chance to make the AFL Wide Bay finals this weekend. But the NewsMail can reveal the side could be already there if it improved in one area. Matthew McInerney

Fade outs cost Eagles dearly

AUSSIE RULES: It is the damning statistic that could cost The Waves a spot in the AFL Wide Bay finals this season.

The Waves face Gympie on Saturday needing a win and Brothers Bulldogs to lose to Hervey Bay to make it.

The side also needs to gain just under 9 per cent in its for and against record as well.

But the NewsMail can reveal The Waves could already be in the finals if they played better in one area - the final quarter.

If the AFL Wide Bay season was decided by the results at the end of the third quarter, The Waves would have nine wins, two draws and six losses compared to the seven wins they have now.

The round four and round 13 losses to Gympie would become wins, and losses against Brothers (round 16) and Bay Power (round seven) would become draws.

All up, The Waves have won just six final quarters this season and have lost eight of the past 11 to find themselves in this position.

The only three recently have come against Maryborough (twice) and Hervey Bay when the Bombers led by 64 points at the final change.

When compared to Brothers the reason why the Bulldogs are ahead become clearer.

The Bulldogs have eight wins (32 points) but would actually be on seven wins and a draw (26 points) if the third term scores were counted.

Brothers have come back twice, in round 16 against The Waves and in round five against Gympie, to win this season and have won 10 out of 16 final terms.

The Waves coach Darryn Roche said the fade outs had been the story of their season.

"The fourth quarter fade outs have been down to training, we don't have the fitness levels to run out games,” he said.

"We've had a lack of commitment from some players who simply don't train.”

The positive for Roche and the team is they still have one chance to make the finals when they play the Cats at 3pm.

Find out how they plan to do it in Saturday's paper.