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2015 Premiers - The Hawthorn Hawks!
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Congratulations to the Hawthorn Hawks!

Winners of the 2015 AFL Grand Final

West Coast    1.5 3.8  5.9  8.13  61
Hawthorn      5.0 9.3 14.5 16.11 107

Norm Smith Medalist: Cyril Rioli
Attendance: 98,632
A full match report and photos will be posted soon.

Can the Hawks Repeat 1991?
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Finals history between Hawthorn and West Coast is brief, with just two Finals matches and one Grand Final since the Eagles were admitted to the competition in 1987. The Hawks were a powerhouse throughout the 1980's with Grand Final appearances from 1983-1989. The Hawks won four of those seven matches, including two in a row in 1988 and 1989. At the time, West Coast was a fledgling team aiming high. While Hawthorn had many battle-hardened warriors, the Eagles were comprised of a few experienced players who had returned to Perth from the Victorian teams they played for to join the Eagles, players plucked from teams in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and young players from the juniors' competition via the draft.

Eagles Run Down Plucky Roos
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 Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

The West Coast Eagles overcame an early scare to finally dispose of a determined North Melbourne outfit at Domain Stadium in the second Preliminary Final. Despite going into the game as rank underdogs, it was the Kangaroos who made the early running by winning the contested ball and using the ball much better than their favored opponents. The Eagles could only manage two minor scores in the first quarter as their highly vaunted attack was starved of opportunities by a fired up North Melbourne.

Hawks Run Over Dockers and Head for Grand Final
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Hawthorn has been Fremantle’s bogeyman ever since the 2013 Grand Final and the Dockers' disappointing defeat. If there were a team that Fremantle would rather face in the Preliminary Final it would be anyone other than the Hawks. Fremantle may have had the week off courtesy of a good win over Sydney but the Hawks, having beaten the Dockers in their last encounter at Domain and in the dynamic form they showed in last week's demolition of Adelaide, had nothing to fear in coming back West to play them in the Peliminary Final. As it turned out Hawthorn dominated Fremantle to have them sliding out of the Finals and racing gently into that good night called the off season.

Hawks Run Riot over Crows and Advance to Preliminary Final
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA from Australia

Hawthorn's Luke Hodge Hodge gets trapped by Thompson of the Crows. Photo by Kiim Densham for AFANA.A fearless Hawthorn completely dominated the Adelaide Crows in front of over 70,000 fans at the MCG on Friday night. With their potential “three-peat“ under threat after an indifferent performance against the West Coast Eagles just a week earlier, the Hawks showed no mercy as they piled on eight first-quarter goals.

Adelaide, despite coming into the game in season-best form, had no answers for the Hawks' brilliant ball use and pinpoint accuracy.

Kangaroos Make Second Consecutive Preliminary Final
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

North Melbourne earned a rare distinction in its dissection of the Sydney Swans at ANZ Stadium in the first Semi-Final. The Kangaroos are the only team in League history to make a Preliminary Final from eighth position after making Sydney look all at sea as they ran over them by more than four goals. Sydney never fired a shot in a scrappy and congested game that got away from them and saw some poor decision making by their coach.

Goodes Leads Latest AFL Departures
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Adam Goodes markes in the Sydney forward line during Round 17, 2015, Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.Within the football community, including his teammates and Coach John Longmire, there was speculation that Adam Goodes would retire at the end of the year. And so it came to be after Sydney's season ended at the hands of North Melbourne. There was no fanfare or chairing from the ground as Goodes did not announce his retirement until after the game in the rooms. Goodes was close to quitting mid-season after the widely reported over the top jeering from opposition fans but returned after a week away to see out the season. It is believed he will miss the Grand Final parade and traditional pre-game lap of honor for retiring players due to taking some holiday time. However he will have a chance to farewell the fans at the start of next season.

Although disappointed with the loss and missing out on one more chance at a premiership, Goodes leaves the game having achieved almost all there is to achieve over 372 games. He holds the record for the most games by an indigenous player and is inside the top ten in League history. His work in the community and for indigenous people has also been recognized and commended by many.

Champion Data in New AFL Contract
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Two major data companies, Champion Data and Catapult Sports International, have bid to become the AFL's GPS data provider. Champion Data was founded by former Carlton player Ted Hopkins (best known for his four second half goals which helped the Blues overcome a 44 point deficit to win the 1970 Grand Final) and has been the official statistical provider for the AFL since 1999. It is Champion Data which provides live stats during match broadcasts as well as post-match statistics. They also have a hand in fantasy football and tipping. Champion is not exclusive to football as they also have contracts with world cricket, rugby and netball. Part of Champion's consortium is US-based Zebra Technologies which has contracts with the NFL as well as Irish company Stats Sports. Champion is 49% owned by the AFL. Two of the company's directors are AFL Legal Consul Andrew Dillon and general manager of broadcasting Simon Lethlean.

Kangaroos Snatch Finals Dream from Tigers
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from the MCG, Melbourne

When the legion of Richmond fans who packed the MCG for the first Elimination Final on Sunday saw the North Melbourne fan club banner – one side of which read “Tigers Don’t Win Finals” - they let out a ringing chorus of “boos”. Lyndsey Thomas of North Melbourne kicks a goal after being subbed on. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA.They then no doubt dismissed the thought that Richmond could possibly be defeated in its third Elimination Final in a row and sat back in their seats ready for glory, so much better prepared were the Tigers this year, having finished fifth on the Ladder, only one game short of the Top Four.

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AFL Standings

 W  L  D %   Pts
Dockers  17  5  0  118.73 68
Eagles  16  5  1  148.22 66
Hawks  16  6  0  158.40 64
Swans  16  6  0  127.12  64

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