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Mick Malthouse Reaches Coaching Milestone
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The 66-year coaching record of perhaps Collingwood's greatest ever coach Jock McHale will be equaled in Round Four and surpassed in Round Five. Carlton Coach Mick Malthouse will coach his 714th match, putting him equal with McHale. While McHale played and coached only at Collingwood, Mick's record includes 135 games coaching Footscray (now Western Bulldogs), 243 games coaching West Coast, 286 games with Collingwood and 50 games (through Round Four) at Carlton.

HD TV coverage and Anzac Game in NZ
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A long running problem should now be resolved. Since the AFL coverage has been on Fox Soccer Plus, any match originating from the Seven network usually was transmitted in wide screen standard definition (SD). Due to DirecTV policy, viewers using that satellite network only received the game on the SD version of FSP. The HD channel (621.1) was blacked out. This affected only DirecTV customers but was the source of great frustration and confusion. As of Round 4, 2015, Seven network will be producing all AFL matches in HD. (Foxtel already does this.) Therefore, as of this weekend, DirecTV no longer has any excuse to black out live matches on 621.1. All viewers should benefit from improved picture quality.

Regarding this coming Friday, the game between St Kilda v Carlton is listed by FSP at 8:00 PM. The match is in New Zealand and by all the sources we have from the AFL begins at 11:00 AM Melbourne time which equates to 9:00 PM US EDT. Fans are strongly encourage to take this into account when setting their video recorders or planning their viewing of the game. We have advised FSP of the issue and await an explanation or correction. While it's possible that ANZAC pregame ceremonies are being included however in this case the time window for the game is too short. (Update: 4/23/15: The AFL has confirmed the start time of the game as 9:10 PM US EDT. Pre-game ceremonies start approximately 8:38 PM . Telecast start time will be 9:00 PM. We have confirmation of that from the AFL and FSP. Coverage will run until 12 MN EDT.)

Tigers Trounce Lions at the Gabba
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Richmond bounced back from last week’s disappointing loss to the Western Bulldogs with a scrappy 79-point victory over a struggling Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night. Brisbane was looking to fire after a demoralizing 82 point loss at the hands of North Melbourne in round two, but despite a solid start could not match the rampaging Tigers who took control of the game late in the second quarter. Both teams were missing gun midfielders through injury, Brisbane without clearance machine Tom Rockliff while Brett Deledio failed to pass a mid-week fitness test for the Tigers.
 
The first quarter saw Richmond dominate possession, with captain Trent Cotchin leading the way as the Tigers took the lead through a Ben Griffith goal. Taylor Hunt and Kamdyn McIntosh were also racking up plenty of touches early as Richmond held a massive 10-3 advantage on possessions inside 50 meters, but the Tiger forwards failed to turn the advantage into a big lead. At quarter time, Richmond led by just nine points.

AFL Tribunal Says Dank Guilty
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Once the Anti-Doping Tribunal finished with the cases of the 34 past and present Essendon players, they turned their attention to the man at the center of it all: Stephen Dank. Dank was issued a show cause notice at the same time as the 34 players and his case was reviewed alongside those of the players however, no decision was rendered on him at that time. Dank never cooperated with the investigators or the tribunal. He also has claimed publicly throughout, that he never administered any banned substances and claimed he had proof that would clear the players. However, he has never produced the alleged proof and even cast doubt on whether it exists.

Bulldogs Take Down Tigers In Dream Season Start
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Fresh off a first-up win against the West Coast Eagles, a young Western Bulldogs outfit was expected to find life tougher against Richmond on their home turf at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Tigers, expected to challenge for a Top Eight spot in 2015, had plenty at stake after an unconvincing Round One win over a weakened Carlton outfit. Kane Lambert was the second Tiger debutant in as many weeks, with star midfielder Brett Deledio missing through suspension and small forward Shane Edwards a late withdrawal through injury.

New Committee To Empower Players
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After a recent survey and discussions between the AFLPA and players, a "Players and the Game Committee" will be formed to allow players a greater voice on the game and its future. The committee will consist of eight players - one from each state and four from Melbourne based clubs - who have strong and respected voices within the AFL industry and well-developed views on the game.

Kennedy Kicks Ten To Sink Carlton
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

A ten goal haul to West Coast Eagle forward Josh Kennedy was the difference in what became a one-sided game against the Carlton Blues at Domain Stadium in the opening match of Round 2. Kennedy was unstoppable and deadly accurate as he single-handedly tore the Blues apart. His tally of ten goals 1 point at the end of the game was only one point less than Carlton’s entire score.

Dockers Fall Over Finish Line
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Ruck Action

A couple of last minute goals to Lachie Neale and Hayden Ballantyne saw the Fremantle Dockers sneak a win over Port Adelaide Power in their Round 1 clash at Domain (formerly Patersons) Stadium in Perth. Neale’s goal was a shot on the run from 50 meters out in the last minutes of the game, while Ballantyne played on from a match winning tackle by Zac Clarke who won a free kick after chasing down Jasper Pittard in the forward 50 metre zone. A four goal contribution by Matthew Pavlich, two of which were at critical times in the final quarter, also helped the Dockers to a stirring win.

Tigers Down Blues In Season Opener
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Over 83,000 football starved fans flooded into the MCG on Thursday night for the opening game on the 2015 AFL season. Richmond went into the game as favorites after a strong finish to their 2014 campaign while Carlton was looking to make a stand despite its recent struggles.

Things started badly for the Tigers with star play maker Brett Deledio reported for a high hit within seconds of the opening bounce. They went from bad to worse when new Carlton recruit Liam Jones (ex-Western Bulldogs) had the first goal on the board for the Blues just seconds later. In a frantic opening few minutes, Carlton’s Dale Thomas left the game with a dislocated shoulder while his team mates were getting the better of their Richmond opponents. A Ben Griffiths goal kept the Tigers within touch but Carlton was doing the bulk of the attacking and stifling the much lauded Tigers midfield. Some errant kicking for goal was all that kept the Blues from building a healthy lead as they were clearly the more polished team early.

AFL Standings

 W  L  D %   Pts
Dockers  4  0  0  135.32 16
Giants  3  1  0  133.22 12
Magpies  3  1  0  128.32 12
Swans  3  1  0  125.00  12

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