Jarrad Waite

Round 8 AFANA AFL Power Poll
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by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

The Power Poll returns after a few weeks hiatus as Boris was on assignment for another media outlet.

1.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (Last Time - 2)
Some might point to a narrow victory at home over Collingwood and say the Giants were lucky. Deeper examination shows a team that played two players short for most of the game and three players short for the final quarter who found a way to win. A long injury list hasn’t stopped the Giants from winning. Expect a lot more.

The AFANA AFL 2016 Finals Preview
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

So, who wins it all? In what looks to be the most open finals series for some time, you could mount a solid argument for six teams that could potentially take out the 2016 premiership. Read on for my take on who can win the Aussie rules championship in 2016 and why – and my pick for the two teams that will meet in the biggest AFL match of the year on October 1st.

I’ll start in reverse order of regular season finish, from eighth to top spot.

Kangaroos Celebrate Harvey Milestone in Style
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

In a scrappy contest in front of just over 40,000 fans at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, North Melbourne helped to celebrate Brent Harvey’s games record with a 23 point victory over St Kilda. Boomer Harvey is chaired off the field by Michale Firrito and Drew Petrie in Aussie rules match. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA.Harvey’s 427th VFL/AFL game broke the record held by Hawthorn’s Michael Tuck, and with seemingly plenty left in the tank it would take a brave man to suggest he cannot reach the amazing milestone of 450 league games if he decides to play on next season.

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.

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.

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.

Players On The Move
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Jarrad Waite has left Carlton and signed with North Melbourne as a free agent. Waite, 31, was drafted by the Blues as a father-son selection in 2001 and debuted in 2003. Injury restricted him to 184 games in which he kicked 252 goals. He was named Carlton's best first year player in 2003 and ran third in the best and fairest in 2007. His father Vin played in Carlton's 1970 and 1972 Premierships. Waite opted to sign with North Melbourne for two years after Carlton only offered him a one year deal. Although several other clubs showed interest, North was the most serious. Carlton will not receive a compensation draft selection as Waite was an unrestricted free agent.

Dockers Pinch Thriller
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Fremantle picked a win out of the pocket of Carlton at Patersons Stadium in their Round 19 clash. Pre-game defiant Blues' coach Mick Malthouse was adamant that they weren’t in Perth to “just lay down”. Although their 2014 season has been less than impressive, Carlton had won six out of their past nine encounters in Perth so they had some reason to feel confident. The Dockers brought their "A Team" to the encounter after an embarrassing humiliation in their last game against St Kilda and the Dockers needed every man as the match went down to the last 40 seconds to decide the winner.

Tigers Beat Blue Hoodoo
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Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Richmond and Carlton met in a Thursday night clash of considerable significance despite the AFL season being just one round old. Last year the Tigers narrowly defeated the Blues in Round One, only to give up a big lead in the Elimination Final against the Blues in a crushing defeat for Richmond and its army of loyal fans. With both Carlton and Richmond suffering first round defeats, the Round Two meeting was a “must win” for both clubs with Finals aspirations taking a big hit for the loser.

Blue Day for Tigers
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

This is what footy is all about. An Elimination Final between traditional rivals Carlton and Richmond on a beautiful sunny day in front of over 95,000 rabid footy fans. For the Tigers, it was about being back where they so desperately wanted to be after 12 years in the football wilderness. For Carlton, it was a chance - due to an unprecedented slice of luck when Essendon were stripped of their premiership points to vacate a spot in the Finals for the Blues - to restore lost faith under a new regime.

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