Trent Cotchin

Round 4 AFANA AFL Power Poll
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AFANA AFL Power Poll (Round 4)
by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

1.    Adelaide Crows (Last Week - 1)
The Crows keep top spot after obliterating Essendon by 65 points in front of a rabid Adelaide Oval home crowd. No Josh Jenkins, no Mitch McGovern, no problems for the Crows who are on fire right now.

2.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (2)
The Giants didn’t have it all their own way against a feisty Port Adelaide at Spotless Stadium. Despite trailing by four points at three quarter time, the Giants stormed home to win by 31 points, keeping the Power goalless in the final quarter.

Tigers Triumph In Error Filled MCG Clash
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Troy Thompson for AFANA from the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.

It was a cool night in Melbourne for this clash of traditional rivals. At ground level there was a noticeable breeze that is not necessarily consistent in any direction due to the stadium configuration.  It is hard to know how much credit to give the breeze and how much contempt to throw on the players for poor kicking execution, but at any rate poor kicking dominated the night.

Bulldogs Tame Tenacious Tigers
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

Despite an almighty scare against the lowly ranked Tigers, the Western Bulldogs ran out 10 point winners in a stirring contest at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. Fielding a young team with one eye firmly on the future, the Tigers almost pulled off a massive upset as they led deep into the final quarter.Im the AFL weekend action, Anthony Miles catches Mitch Wallis. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA. In the end it was the class of the enigmatic Jake Stringer and young gun Marcus Bontempelli that helped the Bulldogs to victory and kept their top-four hopes alive.

What's Next For Essendon and AFL
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE FALLOUT

For the immediate present, the two biggest issues facing Essendon are replacing the suspended players and whether or not Jobe Watson keeps his 2012 Brownlow Medal. The league has already put provisions in place for replacement players for Essendon as well as Melbourne, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs. For the latter four, they can upgrade rookies to their a rookie to their respective senior lists to replace the suspended players.

Of course, it is a bit more complicated for Essendon. However, the AFL had held meetings with Essendon and the AFLPA and came up with several resolutions:

Brilliant Crows Run Riot Over Tigers
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from Adelaide Oval for AFANA

What a difference a week makes. Richmond players and coaches traveled to Adelaide on a high after defeating premiership favorite Hawthorn, confident they could defeat an Adelaide Crows team that had been demoralized by the Sydney Swans just a week earlier. The Crows knew they had to win to keep their Finals hopes alive, while the Tigers' Top Four chances depended on a victory over the Crows in front of a sell-out Adelaide crowd.Tex Walker of the Adelaide Crows in a match earlier this season. Photo by David Woodley of AFANA.

Richmond received bad news on the eve of the big clash with the news that Brett Deledio - their four-goal hero against Hawthorn - would not take his place in the team due to a bad case of influenza. With Deledio missing, the onus was on Jack Riewoldt and Ty Vickery to produce enough goals to win against the hard running Crows.

Tigers Stun Hawks With Intent
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Just days after one of Australia’s largest online betting sites paid out on Hawthorn winning the 2015 Premiership - more than two months before the Grand Final is to be played - the raging favorites have been upset by Richmond in front of a massive MCG crowd. Shaun Burgoyne of the Hawthorn Hawks handballs as Trent Cotchin of the Richmond Tigers approaches in a round 18 AFL match.Over 66,000 fans were treated to an intense contest that saw the Tigers put Round 17’s last gasp loss to first placed Fremantle behind them with a stirring win over the reigning Premiers in Hawthorn.

Tigers Upset Swans in Thriller
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

In a Round 13 game played in two distinct halves of football, the Richmond Tigers pulled off a three goal victory over 2014 Grand Finalists the Sydney Swans in a down-to-the-wire thriller at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Lance Franklin of the Sydney SwansThe Swans had won their last six games and looked set to run the listless Tigers into the ground before the Tigers found their mojo in the third quarter and produced a scintillating seven goal quarter.

Even before the ball was bounced to start the first quarter, the Swans were showing signs they meant business with Lance (Buddy) Franklin and his opponent Alex Rance

Tigers Shock Dockers
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Riewoldt Marks for Richmond on way to win over DockersThe Fremantle Dockers entered Friday night’s home clash with visiting Richmond, searching for what would be a club record tenth win in as many games to start the season. Despite a close call with Adelaide in round nine, no team had been able to penetrate the vaunted Fremantle defense well enough to end the winning streak in 2015. Richmond went into the game on a roll of its own, having chalked up three wins in a row against quality opposition after an indifferent 2-4 start to the season. While the Tigers had not beaten Fremantle in Western Australia since 2009, they could take some solace in the fact their away record has been solid over the past few seasons.

Tigers Turn Bombers Dreamtime Into Nightmare
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Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Deledilo Tackled during Richmond Win over EssendonUndoubtedly the biggest game of the AFL’s Indigenous Round - one that celebrates Australia’s indigenous population and their contribution to the game of AFL - is the “Dreamtime at the G” clash between Essendon and Richmond. Almost 84,000 fans packed the MCG to watch this year’s encounter, with both Essendon and Richmond desperate for victory to keep in touch with the Top Eight. The Bombers, having already beaten the reigning Premier in Hawthorn, had shown sporadic form heading into Saturday night’s game, while the Tigers seemed to be finding their mojo with consecutive wins against Collingwood and Port Adelaide after a poor start to the season. There was more to celebrate for Essendon fans as stalwart fullback Dustin Fletcher was playing his 400th AFL game - an amazing achievement given the demands on the modern AFL player.

Tigers Crash Port Party
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

In Round 8, Richmond returned to the scene of last season’s 57 point Elimination Final debacle, determined to put up a better fight against a Port Adelaide team yet to find its best form in 2015. Although the game was to be a celebration of retiring Port legend Kane Cornes on his 300th and final game in front of a home crowd of more than 45,000 fans, it was the Tigers who burst out of the blocks early with a Jake Batchelor goal at the seven minute mark. Port players were being denied the space they crave for their free-running game as Richmond piled on the pressure with fierce tackling and an uncompromising attack on the ball. Jack Riewoldt found Brett Deledio right on the 50 meter arc at the 16 minute mark and Deledio did the rest, sending a towering kick through the goals to give Richmond a handy 19 point lead at quarter time. In a massive turnaround from when the teams last met, Port failed to kick a goal in the first quarter and the home fans grew restless with the slow start.

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