Craig Bird

More Retirements And Delistings
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

With the trade period concluded, clubs embarked on the next phase of list changes in the form of delistings. Two veterans, Shane Mumford and Travis Cloke also announced their retirements.

Eagles Beat Brave Bombers
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia

This was meant to be a game where the result was never in doubt. West Coast at home are a formidable team, who despite recently capitulation to Adelaide, were expected to blow the Bombers away by a huge margin. The pregame highlight for the West Coast fans was the lap of honor performed by the 2006 Premiership team marking the tenth anniversary of the club’s third premiership. Daniel Chick and David Wirrpanda carry the 2006 Premiership cup during a parade of the Premiership team before the game against the Bombers. David Woodley for AFANA.

Three Way Trades
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

During the trade period, there were several deals involving three clubs exchanging draft selections which they acquired in trades with other clubs as well as player movement. Below are the deals involving the players trade.

A three club deal was done in which Collingwood, North Melbourne and Brisbane traded players and draft selections. The final outcome saw Brisbane's James Aish move to Collingwood and North's Ryan Bastinac move to Brisbane. Collingwood traded their round two selection (currently number 26) and 2016 on-traded round two selection to the Brisbane Lions for Aish. Bastinac played 121 games while Aish played 32 games.

Hawks Stake Premiership Claims
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

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.

Preliminary Pounding
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Dockers Celebrate

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium Perth

Sydney limped across to Perth for the Preliminary Final against the Fremantle Dockers, injury ravaged and tired from their Semi Final encounter against Carlton. Fremantle players were fresh after a week off and, playing on their home ground in front of more than 43,000 people, were expected to outlast their opponents and secure a place in the Grand Final.

Round 16 Milestones
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Milestones for Round 16 include:

200 games: Justin Koschitzke (StK) and Luke Ball (COL)
150 games: Colin Sylvia (MELB), Joel Selwood (GEEL) and Nathan Jones (MELB)
100 games: Steele Sidebottom (COLL), Matthew Kreuzer (CARL), Craig Bird (SYD), Trent Cotchin (RICH), Stephen Hill (FREM) and Liam Picken (WB)
50 games: Jordan Roughead (WB), Jeremy Howe (MELB), Levi Greenwood (NM) and Trent McKenzie (GC)
50 club games: Jarrod Harbrow and Jared Brennan (GC)

Swans Retain Top Spot
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

At the end of the last round, Sydney Swans found themselves on top of the AFL Ladder by what looked like a feat of legerdemain. Throughout the season the Swans have quietly crept up the table under the radar of their opponents and must now be seen as serious Grand Final contenders. The West Coast Eagles were below them in second position prior to the round but needed to win this important match up to stay in touch for the all-important double chance in the Finals.

Round 21 Injury
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GEELONG
Mark Blake, hamstring, test
Mitch Brown, shoulder, season, long term injury list
Cameron Ling, hamstring, test
Tom Lonergan, virus, test
Max Rooke, knee, test
Jesse Stringer, hip, season
Adam Varcoe, knee, season

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