Turf Experiments for Dome

by Lisa Albergo — Sun, 08/27/2006 - 2:15pm — Last Updated: Sun, 02/10/2013 - 2:17pm
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by Lisa reporting for AFANA from Chicago

New Plan For Telstra Dome
The AFL, Telstra Dome management, and its turf supplier have been working together for the past 2 years on a new plan to improve the playing surface at the Telstra Dome. Experiments with new turf have been conducted in secret at Essendon's training ground Windy Hill. The controversial Telstra Dome playing surface could be replaced as early as the end of this season.

It is believed that Telstra Dome manager Ian Collins, who has traveled extensively to Europe and the USA to learn about turf management, will soon head to Germany to look at stadia used during the recent World Cup Soccer games.  

An advisory board to work on the issue was formed and includes Kangaroo Drew Petrie, Matt Finns of the AFLPA, and AFL grounds manager Jill Lindsay. All have been required to sign a confidentiality agreement due to the contract with HG Turf.

While the advisory board has found the surface traction has improved over the past two years, the surface is still deemed too hard underfoot, whereas the Windy Hill surface has been given the thumbs up by Essendon's football department. The Bombers, Telstra Dome's first tenant, have worked closely behind the scenes with stadium management to improve the condition of the playing surface. The advisory board believes the surface could be significantly improved by the new grass, which is believed to offer advantages in terms of drainage and wear and tear underfoot.

HG Turf, which has had complete charge of laying and managing the turf at the Dome, now only supplies the turf while the Dome team manages the turf.

Source: Melbourne Age

GENERAL NEWS

Survey Reveals Depression
A recent survey conducted through a joint effort of the Herald Sun and AFLPA has revealed that one in seven players have sought counseling for depression, almost double the numbers from a year ago.

The survey was completed by 626 players, with 93 confirming they were suffering from depression. Last year, 521 players took the survey with 44 of them admitting to the condition. AFLPA president Peter Bell said depression was a "huge issue" in the league, and he promised the real figure would be high while AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson praised those who sought treatment. He singled out Kangaroo Nathan Thompson for leading the way in admitting his problems with depression. Former Kangaroo and current media commentator Wayne Schwass also revealed his battle with depression.

The AFLPA is not alarmed by the statistic, declaring the number is proof that the stigma attached to depression is being broken down. AFLPA chief Brendon Gale said admitting to depression during his playing days (1990-2001) would have been viewed as a sign of weakness. The organization's psychology services manager Pippa Grange believes the incidence of depression has not risen in league ranks, but rather more understanding and awareness of the problem is encouraging players to seek help instead of hiding the problem.

Grange said depression was "absolutely random".

Source: The Australian

Hands Off Heads
A seeming increase in head high hits on the field has led the AFL to consider stiffer penalties for such offenses. AFL medical staff have become concerned at the number of serious injuries and compiled a report which was delivered to operations manager Adrian Anderson.

The report reviewed head high contact incidents from the past decade and highlighted the recent one involving Brisbane's Tim Notting and Magpie Blake Caracella, which forced Caracella to retire midseason. While the Notting/Caracella incident was the catalyst, the report also highlighted the hit by Eagle Beau Waters on Brisbane's Robert Copeland, the incident between Bomber Michael Long and then Demon Troy Simmonds from the 2000 Grand Final, and several featuring the hard hitting Byron Pickett. The Match Review Panel came under criticism for not handing out a stiffer penalty.and Waters was also under scrutiny again several weeks ago for a hit on Sydney's Jude Bolton.

The AFL is extremely mindful of maintaining the image of football especially for parents and the overall appeal of the game at junior level.

Source: Melbourne Age

International Recruiting Scheme
AFL clubs have been encouraged to expand their recruiting, with a new scholarship plan to include international players. It is similar to the Sydney scholarship plan introduced this year and will allow clubs to sign a maximum of 2 young players from overseas each season, including them on a separate list for international rookies. Until now, international recruits have had to be placed on a primary or rookie list, taking positions clubs have preferred to use on local, less speculative, prospects. Irish recruits will be excluded from this scheme and still be required to take a spot on a club's regular rookie list.

South Africa, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, which had a player make the Queensland Under-16 side for last month's national championships, are considered the newest areas for locating international talent. AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan was in South Africa at the request of its government this weekend to examine its coaching and development programs.

The AFL's game development manager, David Matthews, said the league did not expect clubs to rush immediately to sign international recruits, but expected players to emerge in the future.

Unlike the Sydney program, the scholarships aren't compulsory and won't be subsidized by the AFL. Clubs can draft players aged between 15 and 23 who are not Australian citizens.
They can recruit up to two international rookies each year, to a maximum of six.

Clubs will be able to survey young overseas talent at October's Barassi Cup in Canberra, which will feature several under-16 international teams.

Source: Melbourne Age

New PlayStation Game
Sony has released AFL Premiership 2006 for PlayStation2. It has new features and is an improvement on previous editions.

The introduction of a new Mission mode gives fans the chance to recreate historical matches in the AFL to see if they can achieve the same real life result of the game. Users are also able to enjoy the ultimate gaming experience through the EyeToy functionality which puts them in the game and up against the AFL’s best. It also features up to date teams and stadiums.

Other advancements are improved camera angles, more responsive game play and enhanced player images and graphics. A training mode has also been added to introduce new players to the sport by recreating the action and thrill of the game at home.  The new game costs A$79.95

Source: Sony Media Release

TRIBUNAL
Charges Laid:

Alan Didak (COL), making an obscene gesture to the crowd: fined $1200 for a first offense, reduced to $900 for acceptance.

Scott Burns: (COL), rough conduct against Port Adelaide's Domenic Cassisi:negligent conduct (1), low impact (1), in play (0), and high contact (2), equaling 4 points, a Level 1 Offense, and 75 demerits. He accepted, reducing the penalty by 25% to 56.25 demerits and a reprimand.

Cameron Mooney (GEEL), striking Swan Amon Buchanan: intentional conduct (3), medium impact (2), in play (0), and body contact (1), equaling 6 points, a Level 3 Offense, 225 demerits and a 2 game suspension. He has a total of 4 matches suspended within the last three years, increasing his penalty by 30% to 292.50 demerits. He also has 50 residual demerits from previous penalties for a total of 342.50 demerits and a 3 game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 256.88 demerits and a 2 game suspension.

Mooney now has claim to a dubious record - 4 suspensions in one season.

Jason Johnson (ESS): striking Hawk Sam Mitchell: intentional conduct (3), medium impact (2), in play (0), and body contact (1), equaling 6 points, a Level 3 Offense, 225 demerits and a 2 game suspension. His good record reduces this by 25% to 168.75 demerits and a 1 game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty a further 25% to 126.56 demerits and a 1 game suspension.

Simon Wiggins (CARL), charging Tiger Brett Deledio: negligent conduct (1), medium impact (2), in play (0), and body contact (1), equaling 4 points, a Level 1 Offense, and 75 demerits and a reprimand. He has no applicable good or bad record but does have 42.19 residual demerits carried over from within the last 12 months, increasing his penalty to 117.19 demerits and a 1 game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 87.89 demerits and a reprimand.

The match day report laid against Collingwood's Paul Licuria was reviewed. It was the view of the Match Review Panel that Licuria was wrong-footed by the sideways movement of Port Adelaide's Jacob Surjan. Licuria's leg extended, but it was only to balance himself and was not judged to be a tripping action and therefore not reportable.

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release

MILESTONES
200 games: Brett Montgomery (WB), Mal Michael (BRIS), Lance Whitnall (CARL), Barry Hall (SYD)
100 games: Daniel Giansiracusa (WB), Paul Medhurst (FRE), Alan Didak (COL), Dean Rioli (ESS), Corey Enright GEEL), Paul Wheatley (MELB)
50 games: Charlie Gardiner (GEEL), Mark McGough & Leigh Montagna (STK), Brad Fisher (CARL)
50 games umpired: Matt Stevic

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release

TEAM NEWS

GEELONG
The Cats, frustrated at Cameron Mooney's on field aggression, are considering assigning him a mentor of some sort to help curb and channel that aggression which has gotten him suspended 4 times this season.

Club president Frank Costa described Mooney as "....a terrific young man, a very good footballer..." but said something had to be done about Mooney's white line fever.

Source: Melbourne Age

WEST COAST
Disgraced Eagle Michael Gardiner has said he would like to play for Hawthorn next season provided his body can hold up to the rigors of AFL. Gardiner, whose contract is unlikely to be renewed at the end of the season after a several indiscretions, said in a radio interview that he would have to see how he feels and if he thinks he still has something to offer another team. He has yet to speak with any other teams and won't do so until the end of the year.

The possibility of Gardiner at Hawthorn was raised when Hawk president Jeff Kennett admitted that Gardiner could be an option should Peter Everitt fail to come to terms and depart.

However, the associated baggage Gardiner would bring, including several serious injuries which have marred his career, could hinder a move to another club. He had a knee reconstruction in 2004 and now has problems with both feet.

He has been playing well for WAFL side Claremont in recent weeks and is determined to finish off the year strongly in an effort to revive his AFL career.

Injury Update:
Brad Smith, knee, season
Damien Adkins, broken leg, season
Mark Nicoski, ankle, 2 weeks
Travis Gaspar, foot, 2 weeks

The Eagles received a significant boost with the return of Adam Hunter (knee) and Daniel Chick (suspension). 

Source: Melbourne Age & Gary Stocks, Club Media Release

SYDNEY
Nick Davis earned a recall to the seniors this week after playing the past few weeks in the reserves.

Source: Melbourne Age

ADELAIDE
Injury Update:
Ken McGregor, hamstring, 1 week
Chad Gibson, quad, 1 week
Hayden Skipworth, hamstring, 1-2 weeks
Brett Burton, hamstring, ongoing assessment
Luke Jericho, shoulder, season

Source: David Burtenshaw, Club Media Release

CARLTON
Injury Update:
Ian Prendergast, knee, 2 weeks
Troy Longmuir, shoulder, 2-3 weeks
Josh Kennedy, collapsed lung, 2-3 weeks
Justin Davies, back, season
Craig Flint, fractured tibia, season
Marc Murphy, shoulder, season
Jason Saddington, knee, season
Simon Wiggins, fractured eye socket, season

Source: Stephen Wilson, Club Media Release

ESSENSON
Injury plagued Dean Rioli will played his 100th and last game for Essendon this weekend. He and the club reached an agreement for retirement package last week but those negotiations were not all smooth sailing and nearly derailed his chance to reach the milestone. The retirement package is believed to include payment of about $100,000, half his contract for next season.

Reaching the 100 game mark will see Rioli have his name his name inscribed on his No. 43 locker. More importantly, it will allow Essendon first crack at any Rioli sons under the father-son rule.

Injury Update:
Patrick Ryder, ankle, 2 weeks
Dustin Fletcher, strained hamstring, season
Scott Camporeale, strained calf, season
Andrew Lovett, hand, season
Henry Slattery, quad, season
Jay Neagle, fractured ankle, season
Tim O’Keefe, shoulder, season
Heath Hocking, foot, season
Jason Laycock, Aaron Henneman, & Lachlan McKinnon, shoulder reconstruction, season
Matthew Lloyd, hamstring tear, season
Adam Ramanauskas, cancer, indefinite

Source: Melbourne Age & Emma Robinson, Club Media Release

RICHMOND
Injury Update:
Darren Gaspar, Will Thursfield, & Mark Coughlan, knee, season
Nathan Brown, leg, season
Danny Meyer, foot, season
Chris Newman, broken leg, season
Brent Hartigan, foot, 2 weeks
Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls, fractured collarbone, season

Source: Glynis Smalley, Club Media Release

WESTERN BULLDOGS
Injury Update:
Luke Darcy, Robert Murphy, Tim Walsh, Adam Morgan, & Mitch Hahn, knee, season
Tom Williams, ankle, season
Shaun Higgins, elbow, 2-4 weeks
Nathan Eagleton, hamstring, 1-2 weeks
Travis Baird, hamstring, 1 week

Brett Montgomery and Dan Giansiracusa returned from hamstring injuries.

Source: Melbourne Age & Shaun Anderson, Club Media Release

KANGAROOS
Jade Rawlings announced his retirement last week, citing a lack of opportunities at the different clubs he has played for over the past 11 years. In that time, he has managed just 147 games. This weekend, he played just his 3rd game of the year with the Kangaroos.

That match will allow Rawlings to play alongside brother Brady and against some of his former teammates at Hawthorn. Rawlings played 116 games for the Hawks 1996-2003 and enjoyed his best season in his last year there, taking 158 marks, kicking 34 goals and placing 3rd in the best and fairest.

When he and Hawthorn could not come terms on a new contract, he was picked up by the Bulldogs in the preseason draft in 2003 and he played 29 games with the Bulldogs over the next 2 seasons.

Rawlings said he hoped to pursue a coaching career.

Midfielder Brent Harvey got a double last week, signing a new 3 year contract and being appointed stand-in captain for the sidelined Adam Simpson. The new contract will ensure Harvey, now in his 11th season, will see out his career as a one-club player.

The Kangaroos are rotating the captaincy for the last 3 games with Brady Rawlings leading the ream last week..

Injury Update:
Tim Hutchison & Adam Simpson, groin, season
Jesse Smith, ankle, season
Shannon Grant, knee, season
Daniel Pratt & Cameron Thurley, shoulder, season
Callum Urch & Blake Grima, hamstring, season

Glenn Archer (shoulder) returned this week and Brad Moran, wearing the #18 made famous by Wayne Carey, debuted.

Source: Melbourne Age & Matt Harrington, Club Media Release

ST KILDA
Club president Rod Butterss believes some clubs resist speaking out against the AFL for fear of punishment. While conceding there has been improvement in the relationship between the commission and the clubs, Butterss said the league had little empathy for the difficulties involved in running a club, and ruled the 16 teams with a "divide and conquer" mentality.

He pointed to the vast differences between the wealthier clubs and those which struggle saying when one has inferior facilities and others work out of a "....five star head office" there is something very wrong.

He said it was important for all clubs to speak up against inequalities, keep their fans informed, and do their best for supporters. He was quoted in the Age, "I still get annoyed when you look at the draw and you notice that Collingwood travel 30% less than other clubs."

Injury Update:
Matt Ferguson, quad tightness, 1 week
Lenny Hayes, knee reconstruction, season
Matt Maguire, fractured leg, season
Andrew Thompson, adductor, 1-2 weeks

Source: Melbourne Age & Georgie Fidge, Club Media Release

PORT ADELAIDE
South Australia’s leading beer West End will continue to support South Australian football with the announcement that the South Australian Brewing Company has signed a new five year contract with Port Adelaide.

West End has been a premier partner of the club since its entry into the AFL. This new contract will be the third successive five-year contract between Port and SA Brewing.

Through the partnership West End will continue to have signage at AAMI Stadium and its logo on the Power’s practice balls. The partnership will also involve consumer promotions and player appearances. West End will also continue its support of the club’s annual Outback Odyssey, which raises funds for Novita, which helps disabled children.

Chronic knee problems have forced Josh Francou to retire. He was given a lap of honor prior to this week's game.

Francou managed just 23 games since he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee for the first time in Round 2, 2003. To that point, he had played more AFL games for Port Adelaide than anyone else, had more disposals than anyone and more Brownlow votes.

He required a second knee reconstruction in the summer of 2004, ruling him out of the club’s premiership year. He made an encouraging comeback in 2005, playing 23 games but persistent knee problems stopped him making any progress in 2006.

Francou’s career finishes on 156 AFL games, spanning the club’s first decade in the national competition. He played in the club’s first AFL game in 1997, finished third in the 2001 Brownlow Medal, second in the 2002 Brownlow Medal, third in the 2002 best-and-fairest, made the 2002 All-Australian team, and was the club’s Best Team Man in 1999.

Power Coach Mark Williams praised Francou as one of the club’s best of its first decade, saying fans probably forgot just how good he was as he has not played since 2003, “There is no doubt he is one of the best clearance players I have ever seen. He had that ability to find the ball in the pack and give it out straight away or break tackles. His hands were brilliant".

Williams sad Francou's importance to the club would not be forgotten. Francou said he would take many great football memories away with him and some wonderful friendships. And he said some of the highlights of his career were the Showdowns with cross-town rival Adelaide.

Francou has not ruled out continuing to play football in the SANFL. He said he would see how his knee was going at Christmas and what other opportunities had come up. He has flagged an interest in a special comments role in the media, which he has done on an irregular basis for local radio stations while injured.

Josh Francou: Port Adelaide 1997-2006, 156 games, 72 goals
Port Adelaide zone selection 1996 from North Adelaide
All Australian 2002
Runner-up Brownlow Medal 2002
Third place best-and-fairest 2002
Third place Brownlow Medal 2001
Pre-season Premiership side 2001,2002
International Rules Series 2001, 2002
Showdown Medallist Round 3 2001, Round 18 2001, Round 20 2002
Best Team Man 1999
Magarey Medal 1996

Injury Update:
Peter Burgoyne, hamstring,
James Ezard, osteitis pubis, season
Nathan Lonie, shoulder, Daniel Motlop, shoulder, season
Michael Pettigrew, shoulder/shins, season
Brad Symes, adductor, season
Adam Thomson, groin season
Warren Tredrea, knee, season
Michael Wilson, hamstring, season

Source: Hitaf Rasheed, Club Media Release

MELBOURNE
Injury Update:
Matthew Bate, bruised knee, 1-2 weeks
Paul Wheatley, back, 1-3 weeks
Ryan Ferguson, knee, 2-4 weeks
Brent Moloney, groin, season
Paul Johnson, Andre Gianfagna, shoulder, season
Heath Neville, groin, season

Byron Pickett (hamstring) was back in the side this week, but David Neitz (hip) missed.

Source: Melbourne Age & Leigh Newton, Club Media Release

HAWTHORN
The club has imposed an undisclosed sanction against Peter Everitt for going against club policy regarding media work when he served as a special commentator during the Hawks' match in Round 20 without seeking permission from or notifying the club that he was going to do so. Everitt does have a contract to appear on a weekly Fox Footy program.

At the conclusion of the match, Everitt took part in a live interview with Hawk Coach Alistair Clarkson, who was both embarrassed the Hawks and surprised as he was unaware of Everitt's presence in the commentary box. Everitt also admitted to feeling a bit awkward of how to address his coach during the interview.

Injury Update:
Simon Taylor, shoulder, 1-2 weeks
Peter Everitt, ankle, season
Danny Jacobs, hamstring, season
Michael Osborne, foot, season
Luke Brennan, knee, season

Source: Melbourne Age & Kristi High, Club Media Release

COLLINGWOOD
Another young Gaelic star has been signed up to play Aussie Rules. Martin Clarke, 18, has agreed to join the Magpies after coming to Melbourne for 5 weeks of testing and training at the club in June after attending the England Institute of Sport at Loughborough University for preliminary tests in May.

Clarke, 19 in October, is from County Down and plays for An Riocht. He was among the best in the McRory Cup played before 85,000 people at Croke Park and has won an All-Ireland minor medal with County Down.

Recruiting manager Derek Hine said the decision was based only partly on the teenager's impressive running ability and ball-handling at the Irish game. Hine said the club had been watching and considering Clarke for over a year and that Clarke adapted very quickly to the game during the weeks he previously spent at the club.

Collingwood will select him as an international rookie, and, as a rookie, Clarke will be required to wait to be elevated to the primary list when a senior spot opens up.

Nathan Buckley was rested this week due to a minor hip niggle.

Source: Melbourne Age

BRISBANE
Irish recruit Colm Begley notched up some symmetrical milestones upon debut last week. Begley became the 10th player to debut this season and was the 100th player to run out for the Lions in their 10th season as an entity in the AFL. The Lions have now blooded 21 newcomers in the past two seasons.

Full forward Daniel Bradshaw passed his previous career best season goal haul. His 3 goals in Round 20 gave him 57 for the season, one more than his previous best of 56 in 2000. He is unlikely to reach Alastair Lynch’s club record of 78 goals set in 2003. The next best tally was Lynch’s 68 goals in 2002.

Jason Akermanis will be allowed to pick which club he wants to play for next year, and said 9 of the 10 Victorian clubs have already expressed interest. One club he does not want to land at is Carlton because of its over-reliance on Brendan Fevola. Nor is Adelaide is an option as he believes the list is too strong and also there are more work opportunities for him in Melbourne, especially with the media.

Akermanis, while not revealing the full background of his falling out with Coach Leigh Matthews, did say he had lost some respect for him after the players were required to go straight into training after their Kokoda Trail trek. He said there was no time to recover from the grueling 96 km, 5 day camping and hiking excursion. However, he did hint that more would be revealed once he found a new football home.

Injury Update:
Richard Hadley, Anthony Corrie, Joel McDonald, Pat Garner, knee reconstruction, season
Jonathan Brown & Chris Scott, hip, season
Jamie Charman, dislocated shoulder, season
Nigel Lappin, ankle, season

10 Years Ago
The Brisbane Lions met the Sydney Swans in Round 10, 1997 and it was a thriller with 11 lead changes before the Lions fell over the line 13.14 (92) to Sydney's 13.11 (79) despite playing well below their best. Alastair Lynch spent most of the day controlling the defensive goalsquare, before being swung forward to kick the winning goal with 3 minutes remaining after the Swans had blasted 4 unanswered goals.

Nick Trask made an eye-catching debut after Jason Akermanis and Chris Johnson had been sent to the reserves, while Craig Lambert was the most prolific player on the ground with 35 possessions.

Chris Johnson (OP), who has not played since Round 6, finally returned to action this weekend.

Source: Melbourne Age, Herald Sun, & Julie Rackstraw, Club Media Release

FREMANTLE
Ryan Crowley (hamstring) and Paul Hasleby (abdominal strain) both returned this week, while Jeff Farmer was cleared of any hamstring damage to take his place in the side.

Source: afl.com & Melbourne Age

GENERAL SILLINESS
3 Mobile, an Essendon sponsor, has come up with an amusing tone for the cell phones. A caller can now hear Sheedy's voice at their end getting a spray. Call recipients, instead of the normal ring tones, are told in no uncertain terms by Sheeds to answer the phone.

Kangaroo Leigh Brown has a number of nicknames, among them Lethal, Browny, and Bad Leroy Brown. He is so used to everyone calling him by his various monikers that one day at training an assistant coach called to him by his given yet as he kicked the ball in Leigh's direction. The hail went right past Brown and the ball hit him in the head.

One of the regular questions asked players in the AFL Record's Pocket Profile is who their partner would be on Dancing With The Stars. Most say their partners, wives, girlfriends or an actress or model on whom they have a crush. Not Tiger Adam Pattison. He said his partner would be teammate David Rodan.

In another Pocket Profile, Carlton's Jordan Bannister says two of the funniest things he has seen at the club were Andrew Walker "....dancing naked like a bug" and watching Irish recruit Aiske O'hAilpin getting stuck into his older brother Sentanta.

Source: Simon Matthews, Essendon Media Release & AFL Record

On to the scores:

STK 3.4   13.5   18.8   22.10 (142)
WB  6.3    9.5   12.10  13.14 (92)
GOALS: STK - Gehrig 8, Riewoldt 5, Voss 2, Harvey 2, Milne 2, Koschitzke, Dal Santo, Ackland; WB - Johnson 6, Grant, West, Gilbee, Street, Minson, Robbins, Montgomery
BEST: STK - Gehrig, Dal Santo, Harvey, Riewoldt, Ball, Goddard, Montagna, S. Fisher, Gram; WB - Johnson, Cross, Grant, Gilbee, Cooney, Griffen

UMPIRES: Kennedy, Allen, Jeffery

CROWD: 47,120 at Telstra Dome

The Bulldogs have been admired all year for their fleet footed run, but still have a glaring problem of an undersized defense. And it was this which the Saints exploited. The Saints also matched the Dogs in the midfield for pace. But it was the Dogs who had the early advantage with Johnson's aerial skills at the other end worrying the Saint defense. He had 3 goals to his name for the term while Riewoldt, Koschitzke, and Voss missed several gettable shots. But the signs were there that the tall Saint forward line would kick into gear as they had five of the side's 7 scoring shots. The Dogs managed 3 more for the term to the Saints' 3 for a 17 point lead at 1/4 time.

The Saints began to get on top in the 2nd term with Powell covering West in the middle and an early goal cut the Bulldog lead before an errant Street handpass led to Johnson giving the Dogs an 11 point lead minutes later. The Saints lifted several notches to seize control. With the likes or Riewoldt, Koschitzke, Gehrig, and Hamill all leading well, the Saint runners were confident in delivering the ball into attack. The result was 7 unanswered goals for a 31 point lead just before the break.

The Saints continued the hard running dominance in the 3rd term as they played accountable football to deny the Bulldogs the space they dearly love. They were hard at the packs and won the ball consistently and booted 4 more goals to take a 49 point lead halfway through the term. The Bulldogs managed 3 late in the term to cut the Saint lead to 28 points at 3/4 time.

That would prove to be the Bulldogs' last hurrah as the Saints kicked the final four goals of the game to give themselves a crack at a top 4 finish heading into the finals.

For the Saints, Harvey (25/10) showed there is still plenty left in the old legs and was well supported by Dal Santo (26/4), Ball (27/5), and Goddard (29/4). Gehrig (14 kicks, 12 marks) and Riewoldt (7 kicks, 10 marks) were simply too mobile, agile, and strong for Morris and Harris. Sam Fisher (26/5) and Gram (21/4) provided the usual dash from defense.

For the Bulldogs, Johnson (16/8) and Grant (18/7) provided the forward spark, while West (22/3) Griffen (13), Cross (36/9), and Cooney (23/8) battled in the midfield, and Gilbee (23/5) and Boyd (22/7) were best in defense.

GEEL   2.1   5.4   11.5  14.10 (94)
MELB   5.2  10.5   12.8  14.10 (94)
GOALS: GEEL - S. Johnson 4, N. Ablett 2, Scarlett 2, G. Ablett, Corey, Chapman, D. Johnson, Ottens, Prismall: MELB - Yze 3, McDonald 2, Robertson 2, Bartram, Bruce, Jamar, Johnstone, Miller, Pickett, Sylvia
BEST: GEEL - Ling, Bartel, G. Ablett, N. Ablett, S. Johnson, Harley, Enright, Milburn; MELB - Ward, McDonald, Yze, Bartram, Bruce, Johnstone

INJURY: GEEL - Lonergan (lacerated kidney); MELB - Whelan (hamstring)
Lonergan was rushed to the hospital for treatment, where his condition worsened and he underwent surgery to have the kidney removed.

CHANGES: GEEL - Mackie (back soreness) replaced in selected side by Kingsley

UMPIRES: Meredith, Wenn, Ellis

CROWD: 23,006 at Skilled Stadium

The Demons got off to a flyer with goals to Miller and Robertson. Then when Yze took a contender for mark of the year high over Hunt in the goalsquare, the Dees were out to a handy lead. Nathan Ablett got one for the Cats before McDonald and Yze added two more. A goal to Chapman finished off the term with the Demons 18 points up at 1/4 time.

It took awhile in the 2nd term before Bartram extended the Demon lead, despite a dominant display from Bruce. Steve Johnson and Prismall goaled for the Cats to keep Geelong in the contest, but when Johnstone, Robertson, Bruce, and Pickett goaled, the Demons were on the road to what looked like an easy win. Geelong got only final goal for the term through Ottens, leaving the Demons 34 points clear at 1/2 time.

Nathan Ablett goaled early in the 3rd but McDonald and Sylvia replied, extending the Demon lead to 38 points before Geelong clawed their way back into the match with Gary Ablett and Steve Johnson leading the attack. The pair chimed in for 2 of the Cats' five unanswered goals, cutting the Demon lead to just 9 points at 3/4 time.

Yze got the all-important first goal of the final term to give Melbourne some breathing space. However, two quick goals to Steve Johnson had the Cats within a point midway through the final term. The Cats then stole the lead in somewhat controversial circumstances. As Melbourne defender Holland and Steve Johnson ran onto a loose ball from opposite directions just 20 meters from Geelong's goal, Johnson appeared to bump Holland in the head, causing the ball to run loose. But instead of blowing for a free kick, the umpires called play on allowing Scarlett to stroll into an open goal and give the Cats the lead. With just 5 minutes remaining, Jamar marked and goaled from 35 meters to level the scores.From there it was a battle of attrition as neither side could get a clear break until the final seconds of the game.

In the final passage of play Geelong defender Scarlett, playing up forward for most of the game, kicked long to the square. Demon defender Carroll went for the mark but dropped it. As the ball spilled to the ground, Bartel forced the ball over the line for what would have been the winning point. But the siren sounded just seconds before the ball crossed the line, robbing the Cats of a finals berth, and leaving the Demons with a chance for a top 4 finish.

For the Demons, Bartram (17/7), Johnstone (23/7), and McDonald (22) were prolific ballwinners through the midfield, while Bruce (23/8) and Ward (27/7) mopped up across halfback, and Yze (22/7) was effective in attack, where Robertson appeared to struggle with injury.

For the Cats, Ling (21/11), Gary Ablett (14 kicks, 4 marks), and Enright (26), were best in the midfield, while Milburn (20/7) and Harley (9/5) led the defense. Nathan Ablett (6 kicks, 2 marks) did well at center half forward while Bartel (31/10) and Steve Johnson (10 kicks, 7 marks) always looked dangerous.

HAW   2.4   4.8  5.11   7.16 (58)
KANG  4.2   4.3   4.8   4.12 (36)
GOALS: HAW - Dixon 3, Franklin 2 Williams 2; KANG - Thompson, Green, McIntosh, Harding
BEST: HAW - Clarke, Birchall, Bateman, Dixon, Mitchell, Croad, Smith; KANG - Harvey, Sinclair, Wells, Moran, Jones, Petrie, Brown

CHANGES: KANG - Rocca replaced in selected side by Brown

UMPIRES: McBurney, Sully, Stevic

CROWD: 18,836 at Aurora Stadium, Tasmania

With Rocca a late withdrawal, the Roos lacked firepower from the word go, and with Croad effectively holding down Nathan Thompson, their options in attack were minimal. Blustery conditions with a tricky breeze made things even more difficult.
The Hawks got off to a better start with Franklin goaling within two minutes and it appeared Roo defender Petrie was in for a long day at the office. In response, Thompson broke free from Croad for a goal and Green pounced for the next. The retiring Jade Rawlings then marked 50 meters out, kicked to Brown, who blew the lead out to 11 points. A point to the Hawks made it a 10 point lead to the Kangaroos at 1/4 time.

The rest of the game turned into somewhat of an arm-wrestle, as the Hawks worked their way on top slowly. They ran the ball well out of defense to set up attacking moves, but were also helped by the sloppy work of the Kangaroos, who missed their teammates with alarming regularity. And then there was their abysmal kicking for goal, which allowed the Hawk defenders even more opportunity. Harding sprayed one set shot from less than 50 meters, sending the ball out on the full. Hale managed the Roos only score for the term when he ran into an open goal only to dribble the ball through for a point. While Franklin and Dixon goaled for the Hawks in the term, the Hawks also had their problems in front of goal, and led by only 5 points at 1/2 time.

The 3rd term was more of the same with Dixon kicking the only goal for the term, and that from a free kick. But for that goal, the Kangaroos would have won the term - 5 points to 3 points, with the last two kicked by McIntosh in time-on. It left the Hawks with a 9 point lead at 3/4 time.

While the fourth term got off to a flyer for the Hawks with Williams bagging his first goal of the game, the Roos again couldn't take a trick as Sansbury slammed a set shot into the post. Under the circumstances, Williams' second goal sealed the win as the Kangaroos were again off target, kicking another 5 behinds. The Hawks weren't much better as they registered 4 for the term, but it was enough to give them a shot at a finals berth.

For the Hawks, Mitchell (25/9), Smith (19/5), and Bateman (19/9) led the midfield charge, while Birchall (27/10) and Croad (18/8) led the defense. Clarke (28/11) lent support in attack where Dixon (6 kicks, 3 marks) was the best forward on the ground in tricky conditions.

For the Kangaroos, Wells (29/8), Sinclair (27,7), and Harvey (33/11) did what they could to drive their side, while Petrie (16/8) and Brown (16/7) were solid in defense, and Jones (26/7) tried to create in attack. One shining light for the Kangaroos was debutant Brad Moran (21/10), who only began playing football 3 years ago. He rotated ruck duties with Hale and won plenty of the ball at ground level and proved very mobile for his size.

SYD    3.2   7.4   9.8   14.13 (97)
BRIS   3.1   4.2   5.3    6.4 (40)
GOALS: SYD - Hall 2, O'Loughlin 2, Goodes, Buchanan, Malceski, Kennelly, J. Bolton, Doyle, McVeigh, Mathews, Fosdike, Dempster; BRIS - Sherman 2, Pask, Voss, Johnson, Bradshaw
BEST: SYD - Goodes, Jolly, J. Bolton, O'Keefe, Buchanan, C. Bolton, Malceski; BRIS - Stiller, Michael, Sherman, Adcock

INJURY: BRIS - Roe (knee)

CHANGES: SYD - Ablett (back) replaced in selected side by Mathews, Roberts-Thomson (foot) replaced in selected side by Bevan

UMPIRES: Davis, James, Grun

CROWD: 37,659 at Telstra Stadium, Sydney

As has almost become a tradition with the Swans, they started off slowly, allowing the Lions the first break when Stiller and Pask combined for the opening goal. It wasn't until well into the term that the Swans finally got on the board when Goodes marked 80 meters from goal, played on and drilled it home from 35 meters. When O'Loughlin goaled a minute later, it looked like the Swans were on their way, but the Lions had other ideas. Sherman's kick from the boundary rolled through and despite vehement protestations from Kennelly that the ball shaved the post, it was ruled a goal. Replays showed it did indeed scrape the post, but the goal stood. Hall then marked on a lead and goaled before Voss put one through, as the Swans went to 1/4 time just 1 point in front.

The second term was a scrap in the field with the Swans' hard at it approach first forcing Kirk off under the blood rule. He wouldn't be the first. Minutes later, Dempster followed Kirk to get patched up. From a throw-in, Jolly tapped the ball out to Fosdike who found Buchanan as the Swans increased their lead. Brisbane was working overtime to keep pace with the Swans and attacked well, but Goodes always seemed to be dropping back to lend a hand as he repelled numerous attempts by Brisbane. The Swans missed a few shots before Sherman added another goal for the Lions to keep scores close, but the Swans slammed on the last 3 goals. First was Malceski from 40 meters, then Kennelly dashed forward from halfback to kick his first since the 2005 Grand Final. Minutes later, Scott gathered the ball but Hall laid a perfect tackle, forcing a free for holding the ball and sent the Swans to 1/2 time with a 20 point lead.

The Swans were briefly off target to start the 3rd term, but the defense was doing the job on Bradshaw who barely had a sniff of the ball for the game. Kirk, who had come back on, collided with Jolly, sending the latter off for treatment. Patfull ht the post as the Lions could make no inroads on the scoreboard. A turnover midway through the term led to a goal for Jude Bolton, but the Lions finally managed to snag one from the bounce when Stiller grabbed the ball out of the middle and kicked long to Johnson. Doyle took a big grab and goaled for the Swans, giving Sydney a 29 point lead at 3/4 time.

Bradshaw opened the final term with his only goal for the game, but from there it was all Sydney as they blasted through the next 5 goals to all but secure a top 4 finish.

For Sydney, Jolly completely dominated with 42 hitouts and he had some good back up from Doyle (18 hitouts), ensuring plenty of supply. Goodes (24/5) was everywhere while Buchanan (16/5) ran well. Craig Bolton (14/9) was solid across half back as was Malceski (20/9), while Jude Bolton did likewise across half forward. O'Keefe (27/8) found plenty of the ball between midfield and half forward, but managed only a point. Davis 11 kicks, 6 marks)looked a bit rusty after his stint in the reserves but was still serviceable.

For the Lions, Adcock (24/7) showed plenty in the midfield, Michael (20/10) had his work cut out in defense, while Sherman (27/7) in attack and Stiller (31/10) in defense continued to impress. Selwood (21/7), despite copping a heavy knock early, did well as he restricted Goodes' influence in the second half.

RICH  5.2   10.3   14.8   20.9 (129)
ESS   3.5    9.8   12.11  16.17 (113)
GOALS: RICH - Richardson 9, Pettifer 3, Simmonds 2, Schulz, Krakouer, Tambling, Pattison, Howat, Johnson; ESS - Lucas 4, Hird 2, Johnson 2, Lovett-Murray 2, Johns, Stanton, Peverill, Rioli, Dyson, McVeigh
BEST: RICH - Richardson, Simmonds, Chaffey, Pettifer, Johnson, Foley, J. Bowden; ESS - Peverill, Hird, Lucas, Stanton, Lovett-Murray, Watson, M. Johnson, Hird

INJURY: RICH - Krakouer (rolled ankle); ESS - Rioli (suspected broken wrist)

REPORTS: RICH - Hall for unduly rough play on Peverill

UMPIRES: Head, Hendrie, McInerney

CROWD: 48,710 at the MCG

Dean Rioli, in game #100, led the side out and tossed the coin. The Tigers won the opening bounce and fired the ball into attack where Schulz marked well. In doing so, he banged his head on the goalpost. Showing no ill-effects, he banged through the first goal. Johns found space at the other end to reply, but Richardson had warmed up by then and continued his love affair with the MCG as he booted 2 in succession to give the Tigers a 12 point lead. But the Bombers again hit back with goals to Lucas and Stanton to level the scores. Bradley, already in strife against the rampant Richo, gave away a 50 meter penalty, sending Richo to the goal line. Bradley's dirty day continued when Richo outmarked him soon after and kicked his 4th goal for the term, giving the Tigers a 9 point lead at 1/4 time.

The lead blew out to 28 points when Pettifer, Krakouer, and Richardson again kicked the first 3 goals. Essendon, led by Hird, came again as Peverill and Lovett-Murray cut the Tiger lead. Richardson, enjoying the delivery coming in from the likes of Raines, Tuck, and Johnstone, bobbed up for #6. The Bombers would not go away a Mark Johnson kicked through an absolute shocker before bobbing up again for a more traditional shot. Rioli, playing off the bench, marked and goaled to have the Bombers within 1 point at 1/2 time.

Richardson continued his stellar game to start the 3rd term, but Lovett-Murray again replied for the Bombers with an eye of the needle shot. Young White got involved in the next goal when he ran down Dyson to earn a free kick. Pattison then slotted one from the tightest of angles. But neither side could establish a break with both sides finishing off with two goals each, leaving Richmond 9 points in front at 3/4 time.

Hird snapped a brilliant goal to put the Bombers within 3 points early in the final term, but Richardson and Howat both goaled to give Richmond some breathing space. McVeigh's goal kept the Bombers in touch, but Essendon then kicked themselves out of the match with 4 straight behinds. From the kick in after the last, the Tigers regained possession and raced to the other end where Pettifer goaled to keep the Bombers at bay. Richmond then iced the match with 3 of the last 5 goals.

For the Tigers, Richardson (11 kicks, 19 marks, 9.5) was simply awesome, while Johnson (20/8), Foley (20), and Tuck (20/6) fed off Simmonds (21 hitouts, 21/11) who also was terrific at ground level. Joel Bowden (23/6) and Chaffey (29/8) swept across half forward with ease, while Pettifer (15/7) also provided a target up forward for whatever Richardson didn't get his hands on.

For Essendon, Peverill (32), Stanton (22), and Watson (25) won the ball well through the midfield while Hird (26/5), and Lucas (16/11) worked hard in attack. Mark Johnson (18) continued his fine season in defense while Lovett-Murray (21/8) worked both ends of the ground with aplomb. And Rioli 7 kicks, 4 marks) was chaired from the ground as he farewells football.

While the result has no impact on this year's finals series, history buffs might be interested to know that the Tiger win means they have a clean sweep in 2006 of their traditional "big 4" rivals Carlton, Collingwood and Essendon, a feat they have not accomplished since 1931.

FRE  4.1  8.5  14.8   18.10 (118)
WCE  4.3  4.8   4.11   8.13 (61)
GOALS: FRE - Farmer 4, Crowley 2, Headland 2, Bell 2, Hasleby 2, Pavlich, Johnson, Peake, Longmuir, Cook; WCE - Cousins 3, Staker 2, Lynch 2, Judd
BEST: FRE - Bell, Farmer, Sandilands, Hayden, J. Carr, Headland, Crowley; WCE - Cousins, Judd, Glass, Stenglein

Ross Glendinning Medal Peter Bell

INJURY: WCE - Embley (shoulder), Wirrpanda (hamstring)

CHANGES: WCE - Hansen (cyst) replaced in selected side by Sampi, Kerr (calf) replaced in selected side by B Jones

UMPIRES: Vozzo, Rosebury, Ryan

CROWD: 43,527 at Subiaco Oval

Just as the SA Showdown last year was the most important as it was a final, this one was almost equally so, as the Dockers needed the win to grab a top 4 berth and Eagles needed the win to stay atop the ladder.

The Eagles, as has most often been the case against their cross-town rival, began the better of the two teams. The Dockers kept pace, but the Eagles held the lead for most of the first term, but Headland pounced on an uncharacteristic Judd error to cut that lead to 2 points at 1/4 time.

The Dockers took that the momentum into the 2nd term and turned up the heat to bombard and blitz the Eagles in a manner unthinkable just a few years ago. The no-name defense stood tall as the Dockers flooded back and ran in numbers to restrict the Eagles to just 5 points for the term. Headland goaled to give the Dockers the lead. Framer then kicked one himself and helped set up several others. He combined with Johnson to set up Peake with the Dockers' fourth for the term to give them a 21 point lead at 1/2 time.

The Eagles appeared shell-shocked as the Dockers continued the run and barrage to pile on 6 unanswered goals in the 3rd term to hold a massive 57 point lead at 3/4 time.

The party continued in the final term as the Dockers finished full of run. More than an hour had elapsed before Cousins gave the Eagles their 5th goal of the game. While the Eagles kicked 4 for the term, so did the Dockers to run out easy winners.

For the Dockers, Bell (28/10), Peake (23/7), Crowley (20/5), and Josh Carr (31/11) were prolific in the midfield on the back of Sandilands' (22 hitouts, 22/7) ruckwork and assistance around the ground. Hayden (16/5) and McPharlin (18/12) were best in defense while Farmer (11 kicks, 5 marks) was at his mercurial best.

For the Eagles, Cousins (31/7), Judd (26), Stenglein (28/7), and Fletcher (27/11) were the driving force in midfield.

Should the Eagles defeat Richmond next week, they will finish in first place. The win puts the Dockers in 3rd place and a win next week against Port Adelaide will see them hold that spot.

COL   4.5   13.8   20.10   24.12 (156)
CARL  7.1   11.4   17.7    17.10 (112)
GOALS: COL - Rocca 6, Egan 3, Rusling 2, Didak 2, Holland 2, Burns 2, Johnson 2, Lonie, Licuria, R. Shaw, Maxwell, H. Shaw: CARL - Fevola 3, Betts 3, Whitnall 2, Deluca 2, Waite 2, Simpson, French, Bower, Sporn, Koutoufides
BEST: COL - Didak, Swan, Johnson, Rocca, Fraser, Burns, Holland, Licuria; CARL - Simpson, Whitnall, Koutoufides, Scotland, Carrazzo, Lappin, Houlihan, Carrazzo

INJURY: COL - T. Cloke (shoulder)

CHANGES: CARL - Stevens (stiff neck) replaced in selected side by Deluca

REPORTS: COL - Didak reported for engaging in rough conduct on Scotland; CARL - Bannister for striking Holland, Fevola for striking Swan

UMPIRES: : Schmitt, Kamolins, Goldspink

CROWD: 57,719 at MCG

Carlton hardly looked like a wooden spooner in the opening term as they 6 of the first 8 goals in a classic shootout. Fundamental skill errors then began to creep into their game, which allowed the Pies to storm right back into the match, and getting to within 14 points at 1/4 time.

Simpson's goal at the start of the 2nd term extended the Carlton lead, then things turned nasty, sparked by Didak's head high hit on Scotland. Scotland was slow in getting up and had to leave the ground, blood streaming from his face. It sparked a series of heated scuffles all over the ground. The resultant free kick delivered the ball to Blues' crumber Betts, who kicked one of the goals of the year from tight in the forward pocket to give the Blues a 21 point lead. The scuffles continued, causing a number of off the ball frees. It sparked the Pies into action as Rocca marked and goaled to start the turnaround. Burns was handed a goalsquare free kick after being shoved in the face by Lance Whitnall, for another goal. That was followed by another scuffle, with Collingwood's Holland rewarded with a point-blank free kick after Bannister gave him a fierce push in the mush. It cut Carlton's lead to just 5 points and the Blues looked rattled. Collingwood added 3 quick goals to grab the lead. A fourth to Maxwell was sandwiched between 2 to Fevola before another undisciplined free and 50 meter penalty handed Holland another goal to give the Pies a 16 point lead at 1/2 time.

The Blues kept competing in the 3rd term which started as a goal for goal shootout, with Whitnall, who started on Rocca, moved into attack and sparking a small revival. He pulled the margin back to 8 points with a goal midway through the term, but his next shot from a forward pocket went out on the full and the Pies raced it to the other end for a running goal to Johnson. Collingwood booted 3 of the last 5 for the term to lead by 21 points at 3/4 time.

Collingwood then coasted home in the final term as they held Carlton to just a handful of points while adding 4 goals of their own.

For the Pies, Burns (23/8), Licuria (31/11), and Swan (33/11) ran hard through the middle and across half forward, while Fraser (26 hitouts, 19/7) did well in the ruck and provided midfield support. Johnson 23/4) provided great drive from defense, while Didak (26/13) and Holland (23/11) were dangerous up forward as supporting acts to Rocca (10 kicks, 7 marks) who showed a timely return to form.

For the Blues, Scotland (29/8), Lappin (28/6), and Houlihan (21) battled in the middle, while French and McLaren (23 hitouts) combined well in the ruck. Whitnall (12/11) worked hard at both ends of the ground while Carrazzo (20) did well in defense and Koutoufides (28/4) provided a target up forward where Fevola (6 kicks, 5 marks) was contained by Prestigiacomo.

PA   1.2   6.3   11.5   14.11 (95)
ADE  3.8   6.12   9.13  11.15 (81)
GOALS: PA - Ebert 3, Lade 2, S. Burgoyne 2, Mahoney 2, Cassisi 2, Salopek, Dew, Bentley; ADE - Bode 4, van Berlo 2, Clarke, Bassett, Welsh, Edwards, Goodwin
BEST: PA - C. Cornes, Ebert, Kingsley, Cassisi, Lade, Pearce, Dew, Salopek; ADE - Clarke, Goodwin, McLeod, van Berlo, Edwards, Doughty, Bode, Shirley

Showdown Medal: Chad Cornes

INJURY: PA - White (back), Wakelin (concussion), Logan (ankle); ADE - Hentschel (knee), Bassett (cheekbone), Hart (Achilles tendon)

CHANGES: Ricciuto (flu) replaced in selected side by Knights

UMPIRES: McLaren, Chamberlain, Woodcock

CROWD: 41,549 at AAMI Stadium

Adelaide was disadvantaged before the bounce with the late withdrawal of Ricciuto. But they still had the better of Port at the start with goals to Bode and Welsh, while the midfield seemed to be in control against Port's young brigade of runners. But the Crows were unable to put enough scoreboard pressure on Port with a number of sprayed shots. Port added one through Salopek before Goodwin gave the Crows an 18 point lead at 1/4 time.

Port lifted in the 2nd term and began winning more of the ball out of the center and pumped it quickly into their forward line. Lade and Ebert helped themselves to a pair before Bode snagged one for the Crows. Port then banged on 3 in a row with the last from Shaun Burgoyne giving them the lead for the first time. The Crows regrouped with the final two goals to take a 9 point lead into 1/2 time.

Adelaide extended that lead with the opening goals of the 3rd term, but those were pulled back by Shaun Burgoyne and Ebert. Bassett goaled for the Crows to stem the tide. But Port rattled on 3 late goals to lead by 3 points at 3/4 time.

The Crows entered the final term with injury concerns as Hentschel wrenched a knee and Bassett was injured in a nasty collision with Ebert late in the 3rd term. Both were stretchered off and Adelaide's cause was not helped with Knights and Hart also sitting out the rest of the game, leaving the Crows with just 18 fit players. They battled on bravely, but with no one to rotate off the bench, they ran out steam and Port capitalized midway through the term when Dew soccered through a goal to give Port a 13 point lead. When Lade and Cassisi goaled on either side of one to van Berlo, they had the match in their keeping as the Crows could manage only one more late in the term.

For Port, Chad Cornes (28/13) was excellent as loose man in defense with Dew (16) creating drive out of the backline. Lade (29 hitouts, 12/6) fed the ball out to Pearce (24/5), Kingsley (23/6), Salopek (23/6), and Cassisi (22). Ebert (17/10) was a strong target in attack.

For the Crows, Edwards (31/8), Goodwin (22), Doughty (22/7), Shirley (20/5), and Clarke (13/4) worked well in the midfield, while van Berlo (17/6) impressed across half back with McLeod (22/5) and Bode 15/4) was effective up forward.

STANDINGS 
                W   L  D  FOR   AGST   %     PTS
WEST COAST     16   5  0  2084  1789  116.49  64
ADELAIDE       15   6  0  2179  1546  140.94  60
FREMANTLE      14   7  0  1928  1821  105.88  56
MELBOURNE      13   7  1  2052  1805  113.68  54
SYDNEY         13   8  0  1962  1586  123.71  52
COLLINGWOOD    13   8  0  2206  1894  116.47  52
ST KILDA       13   8  0  1966  1695  115.99  52
WEST. BULLDOGS 12   9  0  2164  2048  105.66  48

RICHMOND       11  10  0  1849  2072   89.24  44
GEELONG        10  10  1  1910  1869  102.19  42
PORT ADELAIDE   8  13  0  1839  2000   91.95  32
HAWTHORN        8  13  0  1701  2068   82.25  32
BRISBANE        7  14  0  1787  2131   83.86  28
KANGAROOS       7  14  0  1683  2028   82.99  28
ESSENDON        3  17  1  1896  2322   81.65  14
CARLTON         3  17  1  1747  2279   76.66  14

The games for Round 22 are:
WCE vs. RICH
WB vs. ESS
ADE vs. MELB
BRIS vs. STK
FRE vs. PORT
SYD vs. CARL
COL vs. KANG
HAW vs. GEEL

The Eagles are still not assured of that first place finish and could have found themselves sitting in second had the Crows prevailed this week. They must beat Richmond to stay on top. If they lose and the Crows defeat Melbourne, the Crows take top spot on percentage. If the Demons prevail, they could depose Fremantle from 3rd on percentage even if the Dockers defeat Port. And it could be a double blow for the Demons if they lose and Sydney wins. Then Sydney climbs into the top 4 and the Demons will drop.

If Carlton stages an upset over the Swans, Sydney could find itself in the bottom half of the 8 depending on the Collingwood and St. Kilda games. The Bulldogs can consider themselves lucky that the Tigers have such a low percentage. Richmond would have to win by a huge margin and the Dogs would have to go down to Essendon by a hefty score in order for the Tigers to slip into 8th place. Highly unlikely but still a mathematical possibility.

So stay tuned for next week as it will be a mad scramble for finals placings.

GOALS
Brendon Fevola(CARL)   83
Fraser Gehrig (STK)    65
Brad Johnson (WB)      65
Barry Hall (SYD)       64
Scott Lucas (ESS)      59
Daniel Bradshaw        58
Matthew Pavlich (FRE)  58
Nick Riewoldt (STK)    57
David Neitz (MELB)     56
Nathan Thompson (KANG) 54

Source: Melbourne Age, afl.com, Herald Sun, sportal.com, author notes from live broadcasts

Melbourne's Nathan Jones is the Round 20 Rising Star nominee.

Nathan debuted in Round 17 this season and has played just 4 games. He was named among Melbourne’s best players in its win over the Kangaroos last week, when he collected 25 disposals in the midfield.

The 18-year-old impressed in Melbourne’s NAB Cup campaign, and despite being named as an emergency many times this season, he has bided his time with Sandringham in the VFL.
The dynamic midfielder, with a reputation for having great endurance and ball-winning ability, was Melbourne’s first selection (12th overall) in the 2005 Draft. He was a member of the Vic Metro squad at the 2005 Under 18 Championships and was selected an All-Australian.

Nathan is a former triathlete and played junior football at Mt
Eliza, but gained attention playing for the Dandenong Stingrays in the 2005 TAC Cup Grand Final, gaining 36 possessions in a losing side.

Nathan is the Demons’ third nomination this year, following Clint Bartram in Round 7 and Matthew Bate in Round 18.

Source: Michelle Clyne, AFL Media Release

From Marc Century in North Carolina:

Capitals 2.5   6.7   11.10   13.12 (90)
Wolves   1.3   4.6     4.9    8.11 (59) 


And on a warm, humid, and overcast day here in Chicago, the Cincinnati Dockers came to take on Chicago United in the last USAFL game of the season before the Nationals. Chicago got off to a flyer with a couple of quick goals and continued to dominate proceedings throughout the game. The best the Dockers could do was a brief scoring flurry in the 1st term, but it yielded only 3 points as Chicago repelled any and all attacks to hold the Dockers completely goalless for the entire match. Final score:

Chicago     4.4   8.7   11.11   17.13 (115)
Cincinnati  0.3   0.3    0.4     0.5   (5)

And that's it for this week.

GO BLUES!!

Lisa
AFANA
Chicago

AFL Standings

 W  L  D %   Pts
Swans  13  4  0  138.83  52
Hawls  13  4  0  137.96  52
Cats  13  4  0  112.12 52
Dockers  12  5  0  133.16  48

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