Lance Franklin

Cats Sink Swans Season
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Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Geelong pulled off one of the upsets of the season in smashing the much fancied Sydney Swans by 59 points at the MCG on Friday night. The Cats turned around a disappointing loss to Richmond just a week before in dominating the Swans from the outset.

AFANA Finals Power Poll and Predictions
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By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

Just eight teams remain. In one of the tightest finishes in AFL history, the final regular season round had footy fans reaching for their calculators until the last few minutes of the final game of the year between the Adelaide Crows and the West Coast Eagles. Incredibly, the 29 point Eagles victory was enough to see them through to the final eight, while Melbourne, sitting a game and percentage inside the final eight prior to the round, saw their finals dreams shattered on the back of a shock loss to Collingwood and the Eagles win.

AFANA AFL Power Poll
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AFANA AFL POWER POLL (Round 1)
by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

1.    Western Bulldogs
Not at their best but still good enough to beat an impressive Collingwood at the MCG. They will only get better as the season unfolds and their injured talls return– a scary prospect for the other seventeen teams.

2.    Adelaide Crows
The Crows made a mockery of claims their midfield is not top class with a comprehensive victory over the premiership favorite Giants. Every other team should fear playing the Crows at Adelaide Oval this season.

Giants Take Sydney Crown
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Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Just 100 games into their existence, the Greater Western Sydney Giants are living up to their name – and the rest of the AFL competition must be seriously concerned. In the battle for Sydney supremacy at Spotless Stadium on Sunday, the Giants dismantled perennial finals contenders the Sydney Swans, ruining the Swans chance to go top of the ladder and giving them plenty to think about as the AFL moves into the second half of the regular season.

Tigers Dream Finish
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

To kick the game winning goal after the final siren is every Australian footballer’s dream.Richmond celebrates stunning win. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA. It’s the equivalent of the walk-off home run in baseball, the three-point winning buzzer-beater in basketball and the overtime goal in the NHL. On Saturday night, Richmond’s Sam Lloyd lived that very dream. In a see-sawing battle at the MCG in front of a small but rabid crowd of 36,014, Lloyd saved Richmond’s flailing season, possibly the job of its coach Damien Hardwick, and certainly gave its loyal fan base a healthy dose of joy in a season that has delivered mostly just heartache. A live audience on Fox Sports 1 watched across the US.

Lance Franklin Out Indefinitely
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Shortly after Round 23 concluded, the Swans announced that Lance Franklin was suffering from, and being treated for, an undisclosed mental health issue.Buddy Franklin pounces on David Hale and forces the spill during Round 8, 2015. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA. It was also reported that Franklin had suffered a minor epileptic seizure at a cafe on the Friday morning before Sydney's match against Gold Coast. He was taken to a hospital, treated and released. Although hospital doctors recommended he not play that weekend, Sydney's medical staff cleared him to play.

Tigers Upset Swans in Thriller
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

In a Round 13 game played in two distinct halves of football, the Richmond Tigers pulled off a three goal victory over 2014 Grand Finalists the Sydney Swans in a down-to-the-wire thriller at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Lance Franklin of the Sydney SwansThe Swans had won their last six games and looked set to run the listless Tigers into the ground before the Tigers found their mojo in the third quarter and produced a scintillating seven goal quarter.

Even before the ball was bounced to start the first quarter, the Swans were showing signs they meant business with Lance (Buddy) Franklin and his opponent Alex Rance

Club Awards
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney midfielder Luke Parker has won his first Bob Skilton medal as the Swans' best and fairest. Parker polled in all but three games to finish on 758 votes, ahead of Josh Kennedy (709) and Lance Franklin (688). Parker, 21, is the youngest winner since Michael O'Loughlin in 1998. He also won the Paul Kelly Players’ Player Award, which is voted on by the playing group. Parker led the club in 2014 for tackles, averaging six per game, and was among the leaders for the season in disposals, contested possessions and goals. Coach Longmire praised Parker as a great competitor, saying the win - after just 82 games - was a great achievement. “When you look at the players behind him - Kennedy and Franklin - you quickly get an understanding of how good a season he has had, and how highly we think of him as a player. Luke was taken as quite a late draft pick, but he really is testament to where hard work can get you, and we value that really highly."

Hawk Warriors Too Tough Too Good
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

For just under 100,000 fans packed into the MCG and millions of TV viewers in Australia and around the world, the anticipation and tension in the lead-up to the 2014 Grand Final was mouth-watering. Experts had the Swans as outright favorites for the Premiership Cup, bolstered with an unchanged team and by expensive recruits and big men Kurt Tippett and Lance “Buddy” Franklin. Teamed up with athletic giants Adam Goodes and Ben Reid, the Sydney forward line loomed large and many thought unstoppable. The added drama of a Grand Final clash between ex-Hawk Buddy and his old teammates - with whom he won a Premiership only 12 months ago - laid the ingredients on the table for an outstanding contest. Most predicted a win by the Swans and only a few could mount an argument for the Hawks by the very smallest of margins, such was the perceived might of the Swans after their demolition of North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.

Longmire Coach Of The Year
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney may have lost the Grand Final to Hawthorn, but Coach John Longmire enjoyed an individual victory over opposition Coach Alistair Clarkson when he was named Coach of the Year, winning the Allan Jeans award by one vote over Clarkson just a few days before the Grand Final. It is the second win for Longmire, the previous award coming in 2012. Port Coach Ken Hinkley won in 2013.

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