Hawthorn defeated the Western Bulldogs on Friday night, sealing their season with 10 and a half wins, and locking them into 12th on the ladder.
It’s a hidden blessing for Collingwood.
The Pies are now locked into finishing 13th - unless they lose to Melbourne and Fremantle beat Essendon, which sees them 14th - and, because of the intricacies of the fixture, it means they’ll take home an easier draw next season.
Each team plays five sides twice over a season, determined by where they finished last season.
Out of the groups that finish first to sixth, seventh to 12th and 13th to 18th, each team plays a minimum of two and a maximum of three return games against whoever finished in their group.
That means Collingwood will play two or three of Fremantle, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Carlton and North Melbourne twice next season.
It becomes an easier prospect than finishing 12th and facing return clashes against the likes of the Demons, Dogs and Saints - all teams they have lost to this season.
Naturally, it means the Hawks will face a tougher fixture next year, too.