Western Bulldogs

Eagles Stave Off Depleted Bulldogs
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

On a perfect cool night for football, the West Coast Eagles and the Western Bulldogs showed how a dour and intense game can thrill a crowd. Numbers around the ball, slick hand passing and high pressure tackling was the order of the night. Despite the Bulldogs missing nine of their best players, they matched or bettered the Eagles in all aspects of the game with the exception of marks (catches) within the attacking fifty meter arc and crucially, on the scoreboard.

Dockers Stun Bulldogs
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The Dockers had produced abysmal football in the first two rounds of the season and it was expected that the ferocious Bulldogs would easily account for the Dockers, who were sitting at the bottom of the ladder after folding to Port Adelaide the previous weekend. In a tumultuous week, the Dockers had swung the selection axe by chopping six senior players. It was the injection of youthful enthusiasm and a determination to run and pressure which blindsided the Dogs.

Banned Bombers Lose Appeal
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Swiss Court For Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the 34 former and current Essendon players. The player were initially cleared by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal, but WADA's appeal to CAS overturned that verdict and the players then launched their appeal against the banishment. With the penalty backdated to account for procedural delays, the players were effectively ruled out of the entire 2016 season.

2016 Grand Final Live on Fox Soccer Plus, TSN2, and WatchAFL in North America
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Fans should carefully note the start and end times of Grand Final coverage in the USA and Canada. We have been advised by Fox Sports that due to music rights guarantees requested by the host broadcaster Seven Network, many broadcasters including Fox Soccer Plus will be unable to show anything except the Grand Final game itself. This will mean coverage will be limited to a window between 12:24 AM and approximately 3:30 AM EDT in the US. Coverage will end shortly after the match ends. Fox has indicated they expect to be able to air the medal ceremony.  Fox Soccer Plus (FSP) in the USA and TSN2 in Canada will carry the Grand Final between Sydney and Western Bulldogs LIVE on Friday night / Saturday morning, September 30th / October 1st.  US coverage on FSP will begin at 12:24 AM EDT Saturday. Set your DVR accordingly by adding extra time before and after so you don't miss any of the medal ceremony or extra time if it occurs! Coverage will continue until approximately 3:30 AM EDT Saturday concluding after the medal ceremony. No other pre- or post-match coverage will be provided. Canadian coverage on TSN2 will begin at 10:30 PM EDT Friday and run to 4:00 AM Saturday. If you have no access to any of the preceding options, the game will be live via the internet on WatchAFL (payment required, US$22) and you can sign up at this link. WatchAFL coverage will begin at 11:30 PM EDT. Fans should check our TV Schedule page for full TV listings including any repeats and our TV Info page for more information on FSP, WatchAFL, and TSN2. For those looking for parties, see our listings on our Grand Final Party page. (Note:  the only live coverage in North America is via these outlets and they are available nationally via cable and satellite services -- see our TV Info page. Asking us if there are others will not get you a different answer because there isn't one.)

Eagles Savaged by Bulldog Packs
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia.

In a Thursday night (Perth time) elimination final, the Western Bulldogs defied history and the betting markets by shredding the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium.  Bulldogs players celebrate as the Eagles players realise the season is over. AFL post season match in Perth. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.Eleven days earlier the Bulldogs had been humiliated at the same venue by losing to the struggling Fremantle Dockers. Experienced tipsters gave the Bulldogs no chance of defeating the Eagles who had lost only one home game this season.

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.

Dockers Punish Dogs On Pavlich's Day
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia

In an emotional farewell to Fremantle’s greatest ever player, Matthew Pavlich, the Dockers rose to the occasion to defeat the determined Western Bulldogs by twenty points. Matthew Pavlich kicks his 700th career goal during the first quarter of the AFL match in Perth. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.Pavlich played his final and 353rd game by picking up twenty possessions and taking ten marks (catches). However, the only statistic that really mattered to the Fremantle faithful was the goal that Pavlich kicked in the fourteenth minute of the first quarter.

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.

Giants are The Real Deal
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

The Greater Western Sydney Giants continue to send shivers up the collective spine of every other team in the AFL. Despite losing two talented defenders early in their Sunday contest against the Western Bulldogs, the Giants rolled to their sixth win in a row, outlasting a plucky Bulldog outfit by 25 points at Spotless Stadium. GWS now sits in third on the AFL ladder in a 3 way log-jam at 7-2 for the year.

Footy World Divided On Replacement Players
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Here are reactions from around the footy world to the replacement players allowed for Essendon, but not for other affected clubs:

Journalist Martin Blake, who has a weekly spot on Kevin Bartlett's show Hungry For Sport, said that since the players had been convicted, there should be no compensation. He accused the AFL of compromising, saying the league didn't want a powerhouse club like Essendon to not be able to field a team. He said the club should just have elevated the rookies.

Former Bulldog and Tiger coach Terry Wallace queried why Port Adelaide weren’t allowed to replace Angus Monfries,

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