Promoted as a match that was a most likely Grand Final preview, the Sydney Swans versus Hawthorn contest at the MCG in Round 18 lived up to expectations. A big crowd of 72,000 saw a pulsating game of Aussie Rules Football, with both teams showing they have what it takes to lift the Premiership Cup in September.
Lance “Buddy” Franklin - the ex-Hawthorn gun who went north to Sydney on a reported nine year ten million dollar deal - was being reminded of his defection as many of the Hawk supporters let out a mighty “boo” every time he touched the football. In the first quarter, there was a lot of booing as Franklin started the game in fine form, setting up two goals and marking with authority. At the opposite end of the MCG, 200-gamer Jarryd Roughead was providing a strong target for the Hawks. Roughead had the first goal on the board within a minute of the opening siren, before Franklin replied after a couple of misses. Hawthorn had more scoring chances in an uncompromising first quarter. However their accuracy deserted them as they took a four point lead into quarter time that could have been greater given the balance of play. read more »
Just ahead of the Round 18 match against Richmond, Eagle ruckman Dean Cox announced that 2014 would be his final season. Cox, 33, admitted that it takes him two or three days to recover after games and that he felt it was time to retire. He also said the current form of ruck partners Nic Nainatui, Scott Lycett and Callum Sinclair had made the decision easier. While he admitted it would have been nice to be the first Eagle to reach 300 games he said he had never planned on hanging around just to reach a certain number of games. Cox is planning on moving into a coaching role and has spent much of this season working with his fellow ruckmen in a coaching capacity. read more »
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
Richmond continued to show some late season form in the second half of Round 18, winning their fourth consecutive game in a tough encounter on the road against the West Coast Eagles. The match was reduced to a scrum at times with rain falling in torrential bursts, but the Tigers were better in the awful conditions and made the most of their opportunities in a game that was never really in doubt after Richmond got away to a solid start. read more »
Goal-kicking great Jason Dunstall was crowned the seventh Hawk Legend when the club celebrated the 50 year anniversary of their 1988-89 Premierships. He joins John Kennedy Senior and Leigh Matthews (2003), Graham Arthur (2005), Michael Tuck (2008), Peter Hudson (2010) and David Parkin (2013) in receiving the club’s highest accolade. read more »
Adelaide defender Ben Rutten, 31, will retire at the end of the season. It was a decision he made several months ago. In making the announcement, Rutten said he wanted to finish while still contributing to the team and felt the time was right. He believes the club is in good hands with "a talented and motivated playing group". Rutten, who will finish with more than 230 games to his credit, started with West Adelaide as a junior. He was overlooked in two national drafts before the Crows added him to their rookie list in 2002. He debuted in 2003 against Fremantle and kicked three consecutive goals with his first three kicks. He was named All Australian in 2005 and finished top three in the club champion awards in 2005 and 2011. read more »
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth, Western Australia
Saint Kilda honored star player Lenny Hayes who announced his retirement just days before the start of Round 18 by comprehensively thrashing Premiership contenders, the Fremantle Dockers. From the outset the Saints looked sharp and committed to the ball and - for the first time this season - showed the spirit they are famous for. Despite being on the bottom of the Ladder the Saints played above themselves to win one of the most memorable games in their club’s history. No-one gave them any hope of winning before the start of the game. Fremantle coach Ross Lyon even chose this round to rest some of his marquee players and let the lesser lights gain some match experience. The move backfired as his side was left wanting at every stage of the game. read more »
Are you or your group hosting a Grand Final party?
Once again, AFANA is accepting announcements of Grand Final parties. If you are hosting a Grand Final party and want AFANA to post it on our site complete the form below this article.
If you are a party organizer (no matter how big or small) or your footy club, social club, Australian American Chamber of Commerce, Aussie pub, etc. are planning a party please let us know. If we know, we can direct local fans and out of town visitors to you. Last year, many of the individual party listings were read over 1000 times each on our site! Our listings cover the entire globe. If there is a party somewhere around the world then we want to have it listed! If you haven't started planning your party, now is the time to do so. Selected parties can receive AFL merchandise for door prizes for their guests. All party organizers are automatically entered into any AFL contest on their web site.
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Looking for an AFL Grand Final Party in your area? You can reach all of our listings by clicking on the drop down box at the bottom of this article. (If you are reading this on the front page of our web site click on "read more" first.)Clicking on the city names above this page will take you a special web page with links to every article we have related to that city including the party pages but be sure to scroll down if necessary.
Are you hosting a party and would like to promote it? Once again, AFANA is accepting announcements of Grand Final parties. If you are hosting a Grand Final party and want AFANA to post it on our site, send us the details by going to: our party details entry page. read more »
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