Steven Motlop

Crows Crush Cats to Advance
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Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

The Adelaide Crows led from start to finish, cruising to a crushing 61 point Preliminary Final win over a disappointing Geelong at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night.  Pre-game concerns about their scoring capability in the absence of an injured Mitch McGovern were quickly dismissed, as the speedy Charlie Cameron kicked five goals in the Crows 61 point victory. 

Holmes Makes Debut in Saints and Cats Draw
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

An energetic and committed St Kilda has stayed the course to force a drawn game against Geelong in Round 21. While players say they never enjoy a tied game, this one had enormous ramifications with the Cats’ Finals chances dealt a heavy blow. Jason Holmes debuts for the St Kilda Saints. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA.For American fans, the most newsworthy facet of the game was the impressive debut of James Holmes from Chicago and the first American-born and raised AFL player. (Read more about Holmes at http://www.afana.com/drupal5/news/2015/08/21/chicago_native_set_debut_saints-7811).

In an entertaining first quarter, St Kilda threw down the gauntlet and ran all over Geelong for the first ten minutes, kicking the first four goals before the Cats could take a breath.

Cats Halt Late Tiger Charge
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Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Geelong went into the Round 7 clash with Richmond holding an imposing record. The Cats had beaten up the Tigers in the last ten clashes between the two combatants with an average winning margin of 65 points. To find the last Richmond victory against Geelong you have to flick the pages of AFL history book back to Round 9, 2006 - a sobering thought for a Richmond team already struggling to regain any of the solid form it displayed in 2013. Complacency would not be an issue for the Cats who tasted defeat for the first time this season at the hands of an impressive Port Adelaide in the previous round.

Hawks Head to Grand Final After Thriller
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from the Melbourne Cricket Ground

All week Australian Rules Football fans were agog with the excitement of two stunning Preliminary Finals. The first promised a nail-biting encounter between two teams that have shared an astonishing rivalry since Hawthorn upset Geelong - the overwhelming favorites - in the 2008 Grand Final. In the eleven games since taking that Premiership, Hawthorn has not beaten Geelong again. With a week off after winning the Qualifying Final against Sydney, the Hawks had their best chance yet to take the Cats and advance to the Grand Final.

Geelong Old Guard Sets Up Win
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

After a disappointing loss against Hawthorn in the Qualifying Final last week, Geelong coach Chris Scott was not about to take an over-optimistic approach to the Semi Final against Port Adelaide. However during the week he did say that he was confident “our best footy will still be good enough” to progress the Geelong’s Finals’ campaign.

Port Adelaide was coming fresh off one of the upsets of the season, after bundling huge Melbourne club Collingwood out of the Finals series with their “never say die, run all day” brand of football. Given the basket case that was Port Adelaide just over twelve months ago, coach Ken Hinkley and the Port players could have been excused for resting on their laurels and satisfying themselves with their gains so far but that is not the Power way and so a great contest got underway in front of over 52,000 fans on a glorious evening at the MCG.

Anywhere Anytime Anyone For Dockers
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon proved his adage that he and his Dockers will take on Geelong, “Anywhere, anytime,” when his team powered away for a win at Simonds Stadium in their Qualifying Final encounter. Geelong had a 99% win ratio at Simonds going into the game and had every reason to expect another notch in their belts. It was a bruising and often spiteful match that epitomized the standard of play in a Finals series.

Semi Finals Milestones
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

200 games: Kade Simpson (CARL)
150 games: Nick Malceski (SYD)
100 games: Daniel Hannebery (SYD)
50 games: Steven Motlop (GEEL)

Club Record Finals: Jude Bolton (SYD) will play his 25th Finals match in the Semi Final, giving him the club record for most Finals games in the history of South Melbourne/Sydney.

Geelong Romps Home
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Geelong gave the West Coast Eagles a football lesson when they beat them hands down in a one-sided display at Patersons Stadium in their Round 21 match. From the get-go Geelong were all over their opponents, kicking the first two goals before the crowd had all taken their seats. From there on it only got better for the Cats.

Adelaide Comeback Stuns Cats
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Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Australia

When we talk about the 2013 AFL season, the two teams that squared off against each other at AAMI Stadium in Round 17 could not have more contrasting tales. Geelong traveled to Adelaide having dropped just two games all year and looking destined to continue on for the rest of the season entrenched in the Top Two. In contrast Adelaide had seen its season go from bad to worse. After a successful 2012 that almost resulted in a Grand Final berth the Crows now faced the real prospect on missing out on Finals' action altogether.

Things did not quite go to plan as the Crows dominated the general play in the first quarter and only some inaccurate kicking in front of goals stopped them from having a sizable lead at quarter time.

Eagles Steal Win Over Cats
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Much was at stake when the West Coast Eagles took on the visiting Geelong Cats. The winner would still be in contention for a double chance in the Finals, while the loser risked drifting towards elimination from the Top Eight. The Cats were hot from their win last week against definite Premiership favorite in Hawthorn. It was all up for grabs as the ball was bounced.

West Coast got off to a great start with Dean Cox making the most of the ball landing in his hands to slot the opening goal. Fast movement through the middle of the ground had the Eagles’ second on the board when Quinten Lynch scored. The Eagles looked pumped but were soon brought back to earth when Tom Hawkins scored the Cats’ first goal from a free kick.

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