Stephen Coniglio

Crows cut down Giants
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from Adelaide Oval

The Adelaide Crows have strengthened their claim on premiership favoritism with a dominating 36 point victory over a disappointing Greater Western Sydney Giants in the first qualifying final at Adelaide Oval on Thursday evening.

The win takes Adelaide into a preliminary final against the winner of next weekend’s Geelong vs Sydney Swans clash at the MCG. It will be the first time Adelaide has appeared in a preliminary final since 2012 when they went down narrowly to Hawthorn.

AFANA AFL Power Poll Round 20
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By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

There are just three rounds of the regular season remaining, and the make up of the final eight remains on a knife edge. A big win by the Adelaide Crows over crosstown rivals Port Adelaide has put the Crows six points clear at the top of the table, setting them up for two home finals and Premiership favoritism. The other big stories to come from round 19 were the Greater Western Sydney Giants back on track and looking primed for a big run into September, the Geelong Cats are stumbling, and the Richmond Tigers look to have confirmed an unlikely finals spot just a year after being in crisis.

1.    Adelaide Crows (Last time - 1)
The Crows have established themselves as clear premiership favorites after demolishing fellow finals aspirants and crosstown foes the Port Power by 84 points at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon.

2.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (3)

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.

Giants Cut Down Power
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

Greater Western Sydney has ticked another box in its development as an AFL powerhouse. The Giants staged a gutsy comeback against Port Adelaide in blustery conditions at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon. Trailing by 20 points at half time against a Port team desperate to win and still hoping to reach the finals; the Giants showed great determination to take control of the game and run out 19 point victors. The Giants vaulted themselves into second place on the AFL ladder.

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.

Giants Add to Dockers Nightmare
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth, Australia

The Greater Western Sydney Giants showed growing maturity to stave off a spirited Fremantle, to record their first ever victory against the Dockers at Domain Stadium. It was another indicator of the progress that GWS is making and of the disaster that has become the Dockers season.  It is hard to imagine that the same Dockers club was considered a real premiership threat the past several seasons.

Dockers Bring Down Giants
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

The Fremantle Dockers gradually wore down a determined Great Western Sydney Giants unit to go six premiership points clear on top of the AFL Ladder at Domain Stadium in their Round 18 clash.In an AFL matach earlier this season, David Mundy of the Fremantle Dockers kicks from the middle of the pack, Photo by David Woodley for AFANA. The Dockers didn’t have the game all their own way and the gutsy Giants were in the contest right to the end.

Fremantle was on the scoreboard early with goals to David Mundy and Michael Walters who were both in scintillating form.

Giants Come of Age in Upset
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Reigning champion Hawthorn traveled north to take on the up-and-coming Greater Western Sydney Giants at Spotless Stadium in Round 6, with all but the staunchest of Giants' fans expecting a Hawthorn victory. Despite losing team leaders Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis to suspension, the highly skilled Hawks were expected to comfortably account for a Giants team that had been smashed by the West Coast Eagles just a week earlier.

Club Champion Awards
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Shane Mumford has won the 2014 Kevin Sheedy Medal in his first season with the Giants. The former Sydney premiership ruckman was presented with the medal by its namesake, inaugural coach Kevin Sheedy who has remained at the club as a coaching director. Mumford, 28, crossed from the Swans at the end of 2013 and took out the club champion award despite missing five games through injury. He polled in 13 of the 17 games he played to finish with 81 votes. Co-captain Callan Ward and small forward Devon Smith were equal runners-up on 72 votes. Midfielder Adam Treloar finished fourth on 62 votes and vice-captain Heath Shaw fifth with 56 votes.

Jack Makes Giant Apology
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Round Ten's clash at Spotless Stadium between the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants and the Richmond Tigers would have been a major talking point in AFL media circles no matter the result. Richmond, struggling with a 2-6 record, found itself under massive media scrutiny all week, not only due to its ongoing poor form but also because key forward Jack Riewoldt had questioned Coach Damien Hardwick’s game plan in a press interview during the week. GWS players had been under pressure of their own, putting together a six game losing streak highlighted by a 111-point belting at the hands of the West Coast Eagles in Round Nine. To say both of these teams needed to win would be a massive understatement.

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