Scott Pendlebury

Magpies Swoop On Dozing Dockers
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

The Collingwood Magpies flew into Domain Stadium and dominated in the first quarter to stun the slow starting Fremantle Dockers. It was only the poor goal kicking of the wayward Magpies that allowed the Dockers to remain in touch at quarter time as the visitors entered the attacking zone 17 times to score just three goals. The Dockers on the other hand made just six attacks but were more effective to score two goals.

Round 9 AFANA AFL Power Poll
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by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

There are some big movers in the AFANA power poll this week as upset wins continue across the league. In what looks to be the most even competition in years, predicting the top eight is becoming somewhat of a wild guess.

1.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (Last Week - 1)
For the second week in a row, the injury riddled Giants found a way to win despite being outplayed for most of the game by a Richmond team that seems to consistently find unique ways to lose. With plenty of talent to return to their list, the Giants will be hard to beat as the season progresses.

American Cox Debuts in Anzac Day Win
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA

Mason Cox had not heard of Australian Rules Football just two years ago. Today, he debuted for arguably the biggest team in the AFL – Collingwood – in front of more than 85,000 fans on a day that holds huge importance on the Australian and New Zealand calendar: ANZAC Day (the equivalent of Memorial Day).Mason Cox goes for the ball. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA.

Tigers Claw Victory Over Magpies
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA from the Melbourne Cricket Ground

A beautiful Melbourne afternoon greeted fans of Collingwood and Richmond as they headed in droves towards the mecca of Australian sport, the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Under enormous pressure after three losses in a row and with a tough draw ahead, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was in desperate need of a win to avoid another week of speculation about his tenure at the helm of the Tigers. The late withdrawal of small forward Shane Edwards, arguably the Tigers' best player of the season to date, was a cruel blow to Hardwick and Tiger fans prior to game time. Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley would have been feeling confident of victory with the Magpies holding a winning streak against the Tigers that went back as far as Round 19 in 2007.

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.

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."

Peers Vote Docker Fyfe Best
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe has won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players' Association MVP. The award is decided with players from all clubs nominating three teammates. Each club then tallies the votes for their players. Out of that, the field is narrowed to 54 players. Players then award votes on a 3-2-1 basis for the 54 nominees. Fyfe just edged out Gary Ablett in one of the closest counts in the history of the award.

Eagles Humble Pies
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

In the "battle of the birds", the West Coast Eagles completely outclassed their smaller avian cousins the Collingwood Magpies, with a 60 point thumping in their Round 20 clash at Patersons Stadium. Collingwood were the favorites in the match, having beaten the Eagles in seven out of their eight previous encounters. However the Magpies rarely go on the road and looked out of touch and out of legs for much of the game.

Late Surge Sinks Pies
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Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Australia

After two long weeks of matches, Round 18 was finally coming to a close as Collingwood hosted Adelaide in an immensely important Sunday game. Following the Gold Coast Suns' thrashing by crosstown rivals Brisbane, a win for Adelaide would see them enter the Top Eight for the first time this year, leapfrogging both the Suns and their opponents Collingwood. On the flip side, a Collingwood win would have them sitting two games clear of the Crows and a strong chance for Finals' action.

Thursday Night Lights Up Crows
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Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval, Australia

On a big night for football in Adelaide - as the revamped Adelaide Oval hosted its first Crows night game mid-week - the biggest question was “now that they’ve built it, will they come?” "Yes" was the resounding answer as a mixture of Adelaide and Collingwood fans flooded into the stadium to create an atmosphere not seen for a long time at an AFL game in South Australia. Also adding to the interest factor in the game was Crows' cult figure Taylor Walker, making his return to AFL action after a 12 month layoff due to a severe knee injury.

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