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There is sad news to report. Erin Walls, wife to former player and coach and current media commentator Robert Walls, passed away after a long battle with cancer. The news broke Sunday afternoon when 3AW caller Rex Hunt received word shortly after the conclusion of the Kangaroo / Bulldog game. Hunt and Walls were contemporaries in their playing days and, in the first years of their careers, played for Richmond and Carlton respectively, two sides which were bitter rivals at the time. Now Hunt and Walls are very good friends and sometimes work together on 3AW Radio with Hunt calling the games and Walls providing special comments. After the announcement, many fans calling in to the talkback forum extended their sympathies to Robert and his family and AFANA also sends its deepest condolences to the Walls family.


Source: 3AW live broadcast and author notes




Father/Son Rule Reviewed
Changes to the father/son rule were discussed last year, and the AFL will again look at it at the end of the season. Several options were considered at the time and will again be considered.

Currently, clubs must give up their 3rd round draft pick to secure a player under the rule, but that has come under criticism lately when a player does not live up to expectations. Last year, Brisbane Coach Leigh Matthews suggested a panel be appointed to determine the actual "market value" of a draftee, allowing a club to use a lower pick, if warranted, to claim a player. Another option which was proposed was a bidding system whereby other clubs could bid draft selections to secure a player. In that scenario, the father's club would then have to match or better the draft selection bid to secure the player.

One potential sticking point could be what happens when a team finishing last has prior claim to a player under the rule but then must compete with a top 4 team who is also interested in an eligible player and is willing to give up a first or second round selection.

Operations manager Adrian Anderson said any changes made would not go into effect until next year and that the league had no preference at this point in time. Most clubs previously have been opposed to any changes.


Source: Melbourne Age 


Another Injury Study

Medibank Insurance recently concluded its own injury study, to which former AFL Medical Officer Dr. Peter Larkin contributed, and it does not look good for footy. Although the AFL's recent study indicated an overall decline, Medibank's research, which covered a variety of sports and was based on hospital and doctor visits, listed footy as the #1 sport for injury. Basketball and netball came in second and third while soccer was seventh. Other sports mentioned were tennis, running, rugby, and aerobics.  

Dr Larkins said injury rates in all sports could be lowered by preseason conditioning, proper warm-ups, adequate rehydration, strapping and wearing protective equipment.  


Source: Melbourne Age

Sheeds Rates With Kids

During the recent U18s tournament, 200 junior players were surveyed and Essendon Coach Kevin Sheedy was the #1 choice as the coach the players would most like to play under and learn from. Sheedy pulled in 18% of the votes with with Adelaide Coach Neil Craig (15%) and West Coast's John Worsfold (13%) running second and third. 

Others to rate among the juniors were Paul Roos (10.5%), Mick Malthouse (8.5%), and Terry Wallace and Leigh Matthews (both 7.2%).

Last year, Chris Judd controversially stated he did not want to be a role model, but was nominated by the players as the one they most wanted to model themselves upon. With the voting done on a 3-2-1 basis, Judd had 16% of the votes, with Brisbane's Jonathan Brown (8.5%), Magpie Nathan Buckley (6.5%), Saint Nick Riewoldt (5%), Eagle Ben Cousins and Bomber James Hird (3.5% each) also polling a few votes. 
Asked why they wanted to play AFL football, the overwhelming majority (81%) cited the love of the game, while 8% cited "fulfilling potential". Only 6% said it was for career reasons and mateship rated just 2%. The competitive nature of the game and media/public profile rated just 1% of the voting.

The players were also asked to nominate the players in their own side and in their division that they believed had the most talent, potential and the work ethic to succeed at AFL level.

It was no surprise that SA's Bryce Gibbs and Vic Metro's Tom Hawkins were nominated as their states' best players. Gibbs SA and Glenelg teammate James Sellars came in 3rd while Jack Riewoldt was 3rd for Tasmania and Cyril Rioli (related to Essendon's Dean Rioli) was second for the NT side.


Source: Melbourne Age




Charges Laid:

Josh Mahoney (PA), striking Melbourne's Cameron Bruce, Melbourne: negligent conduct (1), low impact (1), in play (0) and high contact (2), equaling 4 points, a Level 1 offense, 75 demerits and a reprimand. He has an applicable good record which reduces the penalty 25%  to 56.25 demerits. Had he entered an early plea, it would have reduced the penalty a further 25% to 42.19 demerits, still a reprimand with the demerits held over toward his future record. 


Mahoney decided to contest the negligent classification and have it downgraded to accidental. Mahoney and his advocate, John Firth, gave evidence via video, arguing that Mahoney was attempting to tackle Demon Cameron Bruce, but aborted the attempt when he realized contact would be high and went after the ball instead. In his defense, he also pointed out that he had never been reported in either his junior or senior career. 

AFL legal counsel Andrew Tinney successfully argued that Mahoney's fist was closed when he made contact with Bruce and asked the jury comprising Stewart Loewe, Michael Sexton and David Pittman to find him guilty based on the fundamental aspects of tackling.

The jury agreed after 15 minutes of deliberation that Mahoney was not trying to tackle Bruce and upheld the original charge, leaving Mahoney to carry the 56.25 demerits toward his future record for the next year.


Brent Guerra (HAW), rough conduct against Saint Nick Dal Santo: reckless conduct (2), medium impact (2), in play (0), and high contact (2), equaling 6 points, a Level 3 offense, 225 demerits, and a 2 game suspension. He has a record of 7 games suspended within the past 3 years, increasing the penalty 50% (112.50 points) and a further 16.88 residual points, for a total of 354.38 demerits and a 3 game suspension. Guerra accepted, reducing the penalty by 25% to 265.79 demerits and a 2 game suspension. 


Jeff Farmer (FRE) striking Sydney's Craig Bolton: reckless conduct (2), low impact (1), in play (0), and high contact (2), equaling 5 points, a Level 2 offense, 125 demerits, and a 1 game suspension. He has a record of one match suspended within the last three years, which does not increase his penalty. He does have 68.75 residual points, increasing his penalty to 193.75 points. He entered an early plea, reducing the penalty 25% to 145.31 demerits for a 1 match suspension with 45.31 demerits held over. 


Josh Carr (FRE), wrestling Sydney's Amon Buchanan, was fined $4000 for a 3rd offense. He entered an early plea, reducing the fine 25% to a $3000.


Steven Dodd (FRE), wrestling Sydney's Amon Buchanan, was fined $2400 for a second offense. He entered an early plea, reducing the fine 25% to $1800.  


Amon Buchanan (SYD), wrestling Steven Dodd, was fined $1200 for a first offense. He entered an early plea, reducing the fine 25% to $900. 


Paul Williams (SYD), attempting to trip Docker Michael Johnson: intentional (3), medium impact (2), in play (0) and body contact (1), equaling 6 points, a Level 3 offense, 125 demerits, and a 1 game suspension. He has an existing five-year good record, reducing the penalty 25% to 93.75 demerits. He entered an early plea, reducing the penalty a further 25% to 70.31 demerits and a reprimand with the demerits held over for the remainder of the season (Williams is retiring at the end of the year). 


Harry O'Brien (COL), striking Tiger Kayne Pettifer: intentional conduct (3), low impact (1), in play (0), and body contact (1), equaling 5 points, a Level 2 offense, 125 demerits, and a 1 game suspension. He has no applicable good or bad record and accepted an early plea, reducing the penalty 25% to 93.75 demerits and a reprimand. 


Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release &



Automatic AFL Life Membership: Brad Johnson (WB): Brad qualified for automatic AFL Life Membership this week with his 300th official match since his debut in 1994, comprising 267 premiership matches, 23 pre-season matches, 3 state of origin matches and six international rules matches
250 games: Peter Everitt (HAW)

200 games coached: Neale Daniher (MELB) coached his 200th senior game this weekend, making him the third coach in the history of the club to reach this mark behind Norm Smith (307 games 1952-67) and Checker Hughes (258 games 933-41, 1945-48 and 1965)

200 club games: Darren Gaspar (RICH)
150 games: Brett Voss (StK)

100 games: Shannon Watt (KANG), Adam Hunter (WCE)
50 games: Charlie Gardiner & David Johnson (GEEL), Mark McGough (StK), Ben Rutten (ADE), Michael Firrito (KANG)
50 club games: David Teague (CARL)


Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release





Irish recruit Colm Begley has been elevated to the seniors from the rookie list to replace the retired Justin Leppitsch. He is the 5th rookie to be elevated this year, joining Jason Roe, Cheynee Stiller, Marty Pask, and the speedy Scott Harding. Roe, Stiller, Pask, and Stiller all played against Carlton last week with Stiller kicking the matching winning goal. 

Begley,19, and Brendan Quigley were both recruited from County Laois (pronounced Leesh) at the end of last year on two-year contracts. However, Quigley returned to Ireland during the preseason due to homesickness.

Begley, who made a senior appearance during the preseason games, has surprised Coach Leigh Matthews with the progress he has made in handling the footy and his precision kicking to a long range target. Begley credits his teammates and the Brisbane coaching staff for his rapid development.


Injury Update:

Defender Jed Adcock (quad) resumed in the reserves this week, while Mal Michael, Daniel Merrett, Clark Keating, Troy Selwood, Josh Drummond and Marcus Allan came off the injury list from last week, with Keating and Drummond coming through the reserves unscathed.


Mitch Clark, OP, indefinite
Chris Johnson, OP, 5-7 weeks
Ashley McGrath, hamstring tear, 6 weeks
Richard Hadley, Anthony Corrie, Joel Macdonald, Pat Garner, knee, season
Jonathan Brown – hip – missing since Rd 11 with a hip fracture. 3-4 weeks
Chris Scott, hip, on long term injury list, indefinite
Beau McDonald,  hamstring tear, 3-5 weeks
Nigel Lappin, ankle, long term injury list, 3-4 weeks


10 Years Ago

The Lions played Melbourne just once in 1997, and it was a memorable occasion as it was the merged team's first win at the MCG. 
The Brisbane Bears had not won at the G since 1988, but the new Lions smashed any notion of the ‘G’ being a hoodoo ground for them with a 21.9 (135) to 7.8 (50) thumping.
Jarrod Molloy returned from an eight-week injury layoff with a then record seven goals, with fellow tall forward Justin Leppitsch contributing four goals. 
Demon Todd Viney was the leading possession-getter on the ground with 28, but the Brownlow votes went to Molloy, ‘Doc’ Clarke, and Michael Voss. However, the Lions match committee rated Marcus Ashcroft their best, followed by Molloy and Andrew Bews.


Source: & Julie Rackstraw, Club Media Release 


Last year after the International Rules Series, an anonymous email was sent to a local radio station. The writer expressed his disgust at the rough-house tactics employed by the Australian team. Hawk ruckman Peter Everitt last week revealed he was the author of the email in which he said he had lost respect for Chris Johnson (who was suspended for striking several Irish players) and even for his teammate Trent Croad who pushed an official during the melee. Everitt said he was so disgusted by what he saw, he turned the game off at 1/2 time.
Everitt was quoted in the Melbourne Age, "I felt embarrassed for our guys, because they went out and tried to intimidate them, yet half the guys who were playing wouldn't even think twice about doing it in our game to the likes of Barry Hall or Jonathan Brown and those kinds of blokes. As a player, I was sitting there thinking, 'Here they are on an international stage trying to prove how tough they are, yet on the local stage half of them are as weak as p**s.'

I remember just turning it off and thinking, 'Why do we need to do that?' I thought they really showed a lot of disrespect to the Irish and the game and the series. It brought embarrassment to nearly every AFL player. That was my thought behind it (the email)."

Everitt, who represented Australia in the 1998 series, said international rules was a great concept, and the players should focus on winning the game instead of risk losing for throwing punches.  

Everitt, who is still haggling over the duration of a new contract - he wants 2, but the club is offering 1 - has hired player agent Ricky Nixon to resolve the negotiations.

Injury Update:

Shane Crawford, shin, 1 week

Danny Jacobs, torn hamstring, season

Michael Osborne, foot, season

Lukas Markovic, foot, 2 weeks

Beau Muston, knee, indefinite


Source: Melbourne Age & Kristi High, Club Media Release



Matthew Lloyd has signed a new 3 year contract, believed to be worth about $2 million and it virtually ensures that Lloyd, 28, will remain a Bomber for life. Lloyd said to be a one-club player is fantastic.


James Hird is out for at least a month, if not more, after sustaining a calf injury at training last week. Hird has played only seven games this season and had only played two matches since resuming from a hamstring injury before this latest setback. He was attempting a mark during a training drill when he injured the same calf that kept him out of action earlier this season.

Hird has yet to decide his future, but said he would not want to retire if he thought he still had something to offer. Coach Kevin Sheedy may rest Hird for the remainder of the season to have him fresh and rested for 2007.
After Hird was ruled out of the Round 2 game with his initial calf injury, Sheedy indicated that he was considering a two weeks on-one week off scenario for Hird for the rest of this year.  

And Coach Kevin Sheedy has not ruled out resting his ageing star for the rest of the season, although Hird is determined to play again in 2006.

Injury Update:
Courtenay Dempsey, groin, 1-2 weeks
Jason Laycock, knee, 5-6 weeks
Jay Neagle, leg, 1-2 weeks
Dean Rioli, knee, 3 weeks
Jason Winderlich, fractured fibula, 5 weeks
Heath Hocking, foot, season
Lachlan McKinnon & Aaron Henneman, shoulder reconstruction, season
Matthew Lloyd, hamstring tear, season

James Hird, calf, 4 weeks

Adam Ramanauskas, cancer, indefinite


Membership: 36,063


Source: E. Robinson, Club Media Release &



Injury Update:
Luke Darcy, Robert Murphy, Tim Walsh, Adam Morgan, & Mitch Hahn, knee, season
Shaun Higgins, elbow, 4-6 weeks
Tom Williams, foot, 3 weeks
Shane Birss, ankle, 1 week


Source: Shaun Anderson



Last week, the official announcement was that Jared Crouch's consecutive games streak came to an end due to a shoulder injury. However, the club and Crouch this week issued a statement saying that Crouch needed a rest. Neither he nor the club would elaborate with Crouch saying only that it was a number of factors which had been building over time and the details were between himself, the doctor, and the club. Nor has there been any timeframe put on his return with Crouch saying when he feels ready to go, he will return.


Injury Update: 
Andrew Ericksen, shoulder, 1-2 weeks
Source: Stephen Brassel, Club Media Release 


The club has been fined $10,000 by the league for a technical breach of the Player Payment rules in 2005. The breach occurred when Nathan Buckley’s endorsement with Volvo was replaced by a similar arrangement with Lexus. The club believed that it had communicated the relevant information to the AFL, However, due to an oversight, it was discovered that the AFL did not receive the appropriate documentation as required.  


Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release & Nicki Malady, Club Media Release



Good news for Saint fans as Justin Koschitzke played his first game since fracturing his skull. He lined up in the VFL this week wearing a protective helmet.

Injury Update:

Jason Blake, hamstring, 1 week

Aaron Hamill, right PCL sprain, 1 week

Lenny Hayes, knee reconstruction, season

Andrew Thompson, fractured vertebrae, 1 week

Fergus Watts, fractured ankle, indefinite


Membership: 32,327 (this is a new record for the club)


Source: Georgie Fidge, Club Media Release



The club has surpassed the 2005 membership figures despite the team's poor onfield performances. Coach Dean Laidley paid tribute the loyalty of the supporters who signed on to help the club but believes there are 4-5,000 who didn't renew their memberships and appealed to them to get on board. 

As of June 28, the club membership was 23,567.

Injury Update:

Tim Hutchison, groin, indefinite


Source: &  Mark Harrington, Club Media Release



Both chairman Paul Gardner and assistant coach Peter Curran have urged supporters to turn out in better numbers at games or face the prospect of the club selling home games interstate.

Gardner said that he has already had "very informal" discussions with NSW/ACT officials regarding the Canberra market, which would only be feasible if the Kangaroos decide to abandon their games in the capital. The financial gains would also have to be considered.  

Melbourne is believed to have told the AFL that it would consider playing in Canberra - or anywhere else - only if the league gave it more games at the MCG, fewer at Telstra Dome and arranged for it to be removed from its deal with the Brisbane Lions, which the Demons are happy with from a financial viewpoint.The Brisbane deal does not expire until 2009. 

While Gardner said Melbourne had not discussed Canberra at board level or sounded out Coach Neale Daniher, he said the club would look at any and all options to improve financial returns. He said the club would prefer to play all of its games at the MCG, but tempered that with a blunt challenge, being quoted in the Age,  "The people that claim they're our supporters and that love us and want us to stay need to come and watch us. Simple as that. Or we'll have to look at other options . . . "


Brad Miller has been unable to break back into the senior since returning from suspension 2 weeks ago. He has been playing with Sandringham in the VFL, and despite being in good form, may remain there for awhile because of the current form of others in the senior side.


Defender Alistair Nicholson returned from injury this week, but the club has lost young ruckman Paul Johnson for the season due to a shoulder reconstruction. Johnson injured his shoulder in Round 4 and was on the road to recovery in the VFL, but re-injured the shoulder in a collision in a Sandringham reserves game last week.  

Injury Update:
Brent Moloney, groin, 1 week
Matthew Bate, hamstring, 1-2 weeks
Clint Bizzell, leg, 1 week
Paul Johnson, shoulder, season
Source: Melbourne Age,, & Leigh Newton, Club Media Release



The club was fined $5000 by the AFL last week because it was deemed that runner David Arnfield had interfered with play. 


The club has secured a new 3 year sponsorship deal with Vodafone, which has supported the club since its entry into the AFL. Club president Greg Boulton thanked Vodafone for its continued support while Vodafone's general manager for South Australia, Declan O’Callaghan, said the new agreement reaffirms the company's commitment to the South Australian market.

At the announcement last week, The first episode of Power TV was screened. It is a made-for-mobile program exclusive to Vodafone live! with 3G starring Warren Tredrea and Aaron Shattock and free to Vodafone customers. The program will feature players, behind the scenes footage, and stories about the club and players. 

Injury Update: 

Matthew Bishop, pectoral muscle, 4-6 weeks 

Chad Cornes, ribs/lung, 3 weeks 

Josh Francou, knee, on-going assessment 


Source:; Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release, & Daniel Bryant, Club Media Release



Injury Update:
Will Thursfield & Mark Coughlan, knee, season 

Chris Newman, broken leg, season (Newman was injured last week and required surgery) 

Brent Hartigan, foot, 4-6 weeks (Hartigan broke a bone in his foot playing with Coburg in the VFL)


Membership: the final tally for 2006 is 29,406.


Source: Glynis Smalley, Club Media Release 


Membership: 32,287 

Source: Sarah Birch, Club Media Release



Injury Update:

Brad Smith, knee, season

Damien Adkins, broken leg, season

Dean Cox, fractured collarbone, 6 weeks

Matthew Spangher, groin, 2 weeks


Source: Gary Stocks, Club Media Release



Coach Neil Craig has signed a 2 year contract extension, which will make him the longest serving coach in the club's brief history. And he could also be the longest serving coach to be appointed after a caretaker role, surpassing St. Kilda's Grant Thomas. Craig took over from Gary Ayres in Round 14, 2004 while Thomas took over the Saints in Round 16, 2001.
Adelaide chairman Bill Sanders said Craig's contract extension was not due solely to his impressive win-loss record (43-14 prior to this round), but also because of his overall performance and vision for the future. Club CEO Steven Trigg said Craig's most important quality was his "...absolutely outstanding people management".

Of his extension, Coach Craig said he was comfortable and proud to be coaching Adelaide and praised the club environment and the players for wanting to be the best possible and their willingness to work. He said the environment was one in which he could develop as a coach and get even better.  

Craig, 50, was a brilliant midfielder in more than 300 SANFL matches with Norwood, Sturt and North Adelaide and 11 interstate appearances for South Australia (including a stint as state captain). He also coached Norwood for 5 years.  


Injury Update:

Ben Hart, broken arm, 1 week

Ian Perrie & Richard Douglas, knee, 1 week

Scott Welsh, quad, 1 week

Nathan van Berlo, broken collarbone, 3 weeks

Ben Hudson, knee, 3 weeks


Source: & David Burtenshaw, Club Media Release



While the AFL has approved financial assistance to the club, it has deemed that Carlton does not qualify for the special assistance package which has bailed out Melbourne, the Kangaroos, and Bulldogs in recent years. However, the AFL is willing to provide the $1.5 million the club needs in the way of a special loan. 
Under the terms of the assistance fund, Carlton does not qualify because of its historically  large supporter and membership bases and the lucrative deals it signed with the MCG and Telstra Dome last year, which will provide improved financial returns in the future.  

The AFL believes such a loan will not set a dangerous precedent as the club has the potential turn around its off field and on field fortunes very quickly.

The club has yet to accept the AFL's offer with president David Smorgon overseas, but he has been in contact with Andrew Demetriou on a regular basis.    

Carlton's debt is estimated at between $6 million and $7 million, and its cash flow has been hit hard this year by a drop in membership, from 33,500 to about 28,000. The cash flow problem stems from penalties meted out for salary cap cheating under the Elliott regime, as well as the debt incurred for the ill-conceived Legends Stand - another Elliott white elephant.


Injury Update:

Brad Fisher, shoulder, 1-2 weeks

Jarrad Waite, knee, 3 weeks

Anthony Koutoufides, broken hand, 3 weeks

Troy Longmuir, shoulder, 5-7 weeks

Justin Davies, back, indefinite

Jason Saddington, knee, on-going assessment

Marc Murphy, shoulder, 8-10 weeks


Source: Melbourne Age & Ian Coutts, Club Media Release



Cameron Cloke injured his shoulder in the VFL last week and will be sidelined for several weeks.


Source: Melbourne Age



The Dockers have again achieved a record membership tally with 35,666 members giving the club its 4th consecutive record. The tally represents a 4.5% increase or just over 1500 additional members for 2006 and represents a growth of almost 12,000 (close to 50%) since the end of 2002. 


Fremantle Membership: 1995 - 18,456; 1996 - 19,622; 1997 - 19,949; 1998 - 22,186; 1999 - 24,896; 2000 - 24,925; 2001 - 23,898; 2002 - 23,775; 2003 - 25,368; 2004 - 32,780;

2005 - 34,124

Aaron Sandilands (broken jaw) returned this week.


Source Melbourne Age & Fremantle website



The original source for this is unclear as it has been circulating via email, got a mention in Inside Football, and was printed in full in the Melbourne magazine MX.It was even posted at a Delta Goodrem forum and her dad also received it via email. It was sent to me by AFANA's Melbourne reporter Johnson and is titled If Footy Teams Were Females. Johnson provided a few notes which make some of the comments a bit more clear.


Adelaide: Delta Goodrem - Tidy, attractive, professional, uncontroversial, nice to look at but sometimes just wants to make you yawn


Brisbane: Elle McPherson - Past her glorious best, but still easy on the eye and an old favorite of some


Carlton: Whitney Houston - has not looked after herself in recent years and has gone completely off the rails


Collingwood: Jocelyn Wildenstein (a woman obsessed with plastic surgery): Last woman on Earth scenario, you still wouldn't


Essendon: Katie Holmes - has a nutter in charge of every move and has lost credibility in recent times


Fremantle: Danii Minogue - Always trying hard to be as good as her big sister, but will never measure up. The b*tt of everyone's jokes


Geelong: Brittany Spears - At times stunning to look at, at other times can get ugly


Hawthorn: Lindsay Lothan - Young, not without talent, but heading for a crash and burn


Kangaroos: Paris Hilton - Lays down way too easily


Melbourne: Princess Stephanie of Monaco: A blue blood but hasn't done anything


Port Adelaide: Madonna - Also past her best but refuses to accept it gracefully


Richmond: Courtney Love - Cops a pounding and comes back for more


St. Kilda: Krystal from the Australian version of Big Brother - Has best and biggest assets, but everyone knows they're not the real deal


Sydney: J. Lo - quality, but especially good down back


West Coast: Nicole Kidman - very decent despite not having much up front


Western Bulldogs: Shakira - Proof to being short is not a barrier to getting you excited, will only get better


On to the scores: 

FRE   7.3    8.5   15.7     19.11 (125)
ESS   3.1    5.7   10.11    12.16 (88)
GOALS: FRE - Murphy 4, Crowley 4, Pavlich 4, Longmuir 2,
M. Carr, Sandilands, Bell, Schammer, Black;
ESS - Johns 3, Monfries 2, J. Johnson 2, M. Johnson,
Bolton, McVeigh, McPhee, Lucas
BEST: FRE - Murphy, McManus, Pavlich, Crowley, Hayden;
ESS - Camporeale, Johns, Hille, McVeigh,  Monfries 

INJURY: FRE - J. Carr (calf), Medhurst (calf); ESS - Johns (ribs), Fletcher (back), Monfries (calf strain)


CHANGES: FRE - McPharlin (ankle) and Webster (migraine) replaced in selected side by Crowley and Murphy


REPORTS: ESS - Lovett-Murray for striking M. Carr

UMPIRES: Meredith, Woodcock, Goldspink

CROWD: 34,608 at Subiaco Oval


Things got off to a heated start when Matthew Carr clashed with McPhee before the opening bounce and several scuffles broke out early the opening the term. But it was the Dockers who settled the more quickly when Crowley ran into an open goal 2 minutes into the game. Longmuir fired in  shot a minute later but it was touched on the line. Matthew Carr made amends for a miss with a goal as the midfield push and shove continued, resulting in a 50 meter penalty going the way of Mark Johnson. He was still too far out to score but found Monfries who raced forward, handballed to Stanton, then retook the ball for a Bomber goal. Young Courtney Johns took a strong grab for another Bomber goal before Camporeale hit the post. The Dockers, looking polished for once, took control with goals to Pavlich and Sandilands. Fremantle owned the remainder of the term and were helped by Essendon turnovers and some undisciplined play. Murphy booted his first goal, then from the bounce, was awarded a 50 meter penalty which took him to the goal line. The Bombers pulled one back through Johns again after Bell ran in for a goal. Pavlich was the beneficiary of a dubious free but sprayed the shot, leaving the Dockers 26 points in front at 1/4 time.

The Bombers fired in the 2nd term, but could not convert their chances as they wasted several opportunities. Jason Johnson was the first offender with a poster, only to follow with a nice running goal. Then Camporeale wasted a turnover when he gave away a free kick; McPhee squandered a shot while Schammer ran into an open goal to stretch Freo's lead. For all their effort, the Bombers just could not find the center as Johns hit the post and Jason Johnson sprayed his running attempt. Mark Johnson finally got a Bomber goal late in the term, but Bolton managed just a point and Dyson's kick from 30 was a shocker, going out on the full, to leave the Dockers 16 points clear at 1/2 time.

The early stages of the 3rd term was a shootout with both sides nailing 2 goals. The Dockers then kicked into gear with a 5 goal burst in less than 10 minutes to take a 45 point lead midway through the term. But the Dockers lost the plot, momentarily falling back into bad habits as they coughed of the ball and gave a frees. It allowed Essendon to hit back late in the term with goals to Bolton, Johns, and McVeigh slashing the Docker lead to just 26 points at 3/4 time.

The Dockers held off the inaccurate Bombers with a 4 goal to 2 final term to record a badly needed win and continue Essendon's worst season in 70 years. If the Bombers lose to St. Kilda next week, it will stretch their losing streak to 14 games, equaling a club record set in 1933.

For the Dockers, McManus (26/10) turned in a vintage performance, with plenty of support from Crowley (13), Hasleby (27/8), and Black (21/5). Hayden (17/10) and Peake (23/8) provided run out of defense, while Pavlich (18/13) and Murphy (8 kicks, 7 marks) were constant targets up forward.

For Essendon, Camporeale (27) and Jason Johnson (26) were ball magnets in the middle while Johns (9 kicks, 7 marks) proved a handful up forward and could have been a match winner with better kicking. Monfries 14/5) was also lively in attack and McVeigh worked hard in defense.  

GEEL    5.0   11.1   17.2   23.4 (142)
CARL    2.5   4.7    7.10   11.11 (77)
GOALS: GEEL -  McCarthy 5, Ablett 4, Mooney 2, Mackie 2,
Chapman 2, Scarlett, Enright, Bartel, Prismall, Ling,
Johnson, Ottens, Stokes; CARL - Fevola 4, Kennedy 2,
Simpson, Houlihan, Carrazzo, French, Whitnall
BEST: GEEL - Ling, Chapman, Ablett, Ottens, King, Enright,
Corey, Mooney, McCarthy; CARL - Fevola, Scotland, Simpson,
McGrath, Whitnall 

CHANGES: CARL - Lappin (knee soreness) replaced in selected side by McGrath

UMPIRES: Rosebury, Nicholls, Ellis

CROWD: 32,096 at Telstra Dome


The Blues came to play, but Geelong played better from the outset, with Ablett in sparkling form, kicking the game's opening goal. Fevola and Simpson replied to give the Blues their only lead, but it was shortlived when Ablett left Walker in his wake as he streaked forward for a goal just inside 50. Ablett was gifted the next when a Whitnall punch away went straight to Ablett who sent it right back over Big Red's head and through the sticks. Carlton blazed away in attack but 2 posters, Walker kicking into the man on the mark, and Houlihan and McGrath spraying their shots while Chapman and Mooney goaled left the Cats leading by 16 points at 1/4 time.

The Blues were still hanging in strongly at the start of the 2nd term but it was the Cats who fired early with goals to McCarthy and Scarlett - the defender's first for the season - extended Geelong's lead. Kennedy goaled from a strong diving mark and Fevola followed minutes later to give the Blues a chance, but Geelong hit back with a 4 goal burst through McCarthy, Enright, and Bartel. The 4th goal came when Prismall forced a holding the ball decision against Stevens and converted to give the Cats a 36 point lead at 1/2 time. 

The momentum stayed with the Cats in the 3rd term as they banged on 3 goals in succession to blow the lead out even further. It was 56 points when Ottens booted a goal midway through the term. Carlton found enough fight to bang through 2 goals through Houlihan and Fevola before McCarthy replied. Carrazzo's dribble from the boundary line somehow evaded a desperate lunge from Scarlett to be the goal of the day. But McCarthy and Wojcinski put through two more for the Cats to give Geelong a 54 point break at 3/4 time.

It was all over but the shouting when McCarthy kicked the first of the final term and Mackie added 2 more. French got one for Carlton, but again the Cats responded with goals to Stokes and Mooney. With nothing left to play for but pride, Carlton at least managed 3 of the last 4 goals, but they were never going to overtake the Cats.

For the Cats, King (18 hitouts, 19/8) and Ottens (20 hitouts, 15/6) were simply too good for French (14 hitouts) and Deluca (3 hitouts), while Ling (30/8), Enright (25/8), and Corey (24) were prolific in the middle. If this game is anything to go by, the Cats may well have solved their forward problems with Ablett (17), Chapman (20), Mooney (19/9), and McCarthy 10 kicks, 7 marks) stretching the Carlton defense.

For Carlton, Scotland (28) again provided run from defense, while Whitnall (23/7) pulled double duty in defense and attack. McGrath (25/8), Simpson (21/6), Houlihan (23/6), and Stevens (17) tried to spark the midfield while Fevola (12 kicks, 7 marks) continued his excellent form in attack.  

HAW    5.3    10.4    14.6    16.8 (104)
WCE    5.1     9.3    13.7   17.12 (114)
GOALS: WCE -  Lynch 5, Cousins 2, A. Embley 2, Braun, Gardiner,
Graham, Hansen, Judd, Selwood, Waters, Wirrpanda; HAW - Williams 5,
Croad 3, Dixon 2, Campbell, Clarke, Everitt, Franklin, Hodge, Miller
BEST: WCE - Judd, Lynch, A. Embley, Cousins, Braun, Selwood;
HAW - Everitt, Williams, Mitchell, Hodge, Croad, Birchall
INJURY: WCE - Chick (calf), Nicoski (Achilles); HAW - Franklin (shoulder), 
Smith (quadriceps)

REPORTS: WCE - Kerr for striking Mitchell


UMPIRES: Head, Schmitt, Avon

CROWD: 21,989 at the MCG


This was West Coast's first visit to the MCG since last year's Grand Final, and if they thought Sydney at the time was a scrappy bunch, they got it in spades from a fired up Hawthorn. The instructions from Coach Clarkson was for the Hawks to stand toe-to-toe with the Eagles and they did just that, getting the early jump and matching the hard running Eagle midfield. They attacked strongly, firing in the first 2 goals of the match before Lynch got the Eagles on the board. Williams and Clark replied for the Hawks, but so did Selwood, Judd, and Braun for West Coast. Graham and Croad finished off the term to give the Hawks a narrow 2 point lead at 1 /4 time.

Dixon kept up the pace for the Hawks at the start of the 2nd term, but Hansen replied for the Eagles before the Hawks went on a 4 goal rampage with Miller, Hodge, Franklin, and Croad giving the Hawks a 25 point lead. The Eagles stormed back into the game with 4 goals of their own to be within 7 points at 1/2 time. It was a bruising term for both sides with Franklin crunching Cousins and sending him to the bench briefly. But Franklin himself ended up on the bench moments later when he was driven to the turf in a retaliatory gang tackle from Waters and Fletcher.

It was goal for goal in the 3rd term, with the highlight coming midway through when Everitt tapped the ball out to Miller, then took a great contested mark from Miller's clearance and goaled. Cousins booted a late goal to put the Eagles within 5 points at 3/4 time.

Seven minutes into the final term, Cousins kicked a brilliant running goal from the boundary and the Eagles were in front for the first time, but after Kerr was reported Williams accepted a Vandenberg pass and restored Hawthorn's lead from 40m. Croad had a chance to give the Hawks some breathing space but his kick fell short. The Eagles raced it to the other end where Lynch's banana goal handed the lead back to West Coast with just minutes remaining. Another goal to Williams regained the Hawk lead, but Embley soccered through a goal and it was the Eagles in front. Then Judd stepped up a notch, winning the advantage from a Stenglein tackle on Hodge and driving the ball long to a waiting Gardiner, who took a towering mark and goaled to seal the win. A minute later Judd ensured there would be no last minute Hawk miracle as he gained the final center clearance of the game. 

For the Eagles, Judd (33/5) was magnificent and had plenty of support from Cousins (12/5), Braun (20), and Embley (17/10). Lynch, much maligned in the past for dropping the easiest of marks, had no such problem this game as he grabbed even the most difficult to finish with 12 and 15 kicks. Selwood (16/5) was an excellent foil across half forward, while Seaby (15 hitouts) and Gardiner (11 hitouts) worked overtime in the ruck to match the rampaging Everitt.

For Hawthorn, Everitt (31 hitouts, 18/8) was the dominant big man on the ground, while Mitchell (35/7) was everywhere as was Hodge (23). Croad (17/9) battled at CHB, while Williams (10 kicks, 7 marks) and Birchall (18/6) did well up forward.    

RICH    5.3    8.5    12.6    14.8 (92)
PA      4.3    5.8    5.14    6.18 (54)
GOALS: RICH - Brown 3, Schulz 2, Krakouer 2,
Simmonds 2, Tuck 2, Hyde, Polo, P. Bowden; PA - Lade,
Salopek, Tredrea, Thomas, Lonie, Thompson
BEST: RICH - Johnson, Simmonds, P. Bowden, J. Bowden,
Tuck, Krakouer, Tivendale, Pettifer; PA - K. Cornes,
Walsh, Lonie, Salopek, Dew, Chaplin

INJURIY: RICH - Foley (cut eye); PA - P. Burgoyne
(right hamstring)

CHANGES: RICH - Meyer replaced in selected side by Richardson; PA - Symes (adductor) replaced in selected side by Thomas


UMPIRES: Stevic, Ryan, Pannell

CROWD: 25,067 at AAMI Stadium


The opening minutes saw a few scuffles and some behind incidents before Lade kicked the first goal. Hyde answered for the Tigers but goals to Salopek and Tredrea briefly gave Port the lead. Port suffered a big blow when Peter Burgoyne limped from the ground midway through term, throwing his mouthguard in utter frustration. Schwarze then bobbed up for 2 in a row as the Tigers surged. Then debutant Thomas entered the fray and joined the first kick-first goal club - doing so after marking an Ebert pass 45 meters out. But the Tigers were willing to run and shut down Port's key playmakers and it allowed Tuck and Polo to goal for a 6 point lead to Richmond at 1/4 time.

A Simmonds goal early in the 2nd term made it a 2 goal difference. Port had plenty of chances in the 2nd term, but were dreadfully inaccurate in front of goal. Tredrea seemed to lose confidence and was kept in check, while others squandered shots. At the other end it was an opposite story with late inclusion Richardson marshalling the troops.  Lonie got Port's only goal for the term, and with the Tigers continuing to dominate their Port counterparts all over the ground, Krakouer burst into action with 2 late goals to make it a 15 point difference at 1/2 time.

The first half of the 3rd term saw Port work its way back into the game - at least onfield. But they could not translate that to the scoreboard, kicking three points - two of them posters - in the first half of the term. They were still just 2 goals in arrears before the Tigers surged, starting with Patrick Bowden. Brown kicked 2 in succession and Simmonds put to rest any hope of a Port rally to give the Tigers a 34 point lead at 3/4 time.

Port's goalkicking woes continued in the final term as they just couldn't buy a goal, with Thomson the only player firing a shot while Tuck and Brown put the result beyond any doubt.

The Tigers had winners everywhere with Johnson (16/8) shutting down Shaun Burgoyne (3), Gaspar getting the job done on Tredrea (6 kicks, 4 marks), and Simmonds (15 hitouts, 14/7) more than handy in the ruck and around the ground. Joel (27) and Patrick (28/15) provided plenty of drive out of defense while Krakouer (23/9), Tivendale (23/11) and Pettifer (20/8) gave the Port defense plenty of headaches. Tuck (22) was dynamic in the middle.

For Port, Dew (18), Kane Cornes (33/6), Salopek (25), and Lonie (21/8) did all they could to lift the side in the middle, while Chaplin (19/6), Surjan (19), and Welsh 19 stood tall in a besieged defense. Tredrea (6 kicks, 4 marks) was well contained by Patrick Bowden before being benched midway through the final term. Brogan (10 hitouts, 14/7) and Lade (14 hitouts, 10/9 battled manfully in the ruck.

It was the first time in nine attempts the Tigers have beaten Port in Adelaide, only their 4th win in 13 tries, and only their second win from the past 10 games. 

MELB    2.2    5.6    10.9    14.14 (98)
BRIS    5.2    7.5    10.10   13.12 (90)
GOALS: MELB - Neitz 4, Green 2, Sylvia 2, Davey,
McLean, Robertson, Whelan, White, Yze; BRIS - Bradshaw 8,
Akermanis 2, Sherman, Charman, Moody
BEST: MELB - Bruce, Johnstone, Sylvia, Rivers, McLean,
Ward, Neitz; BRIS - Bradshaw, Black, Power, Stiller, Charman 

UMPIRES: Kennedy, Quigley, Kamolins


CROWD: 25,541 at the Gabba


Melbourne was off to a slow start while the Lions were full of running, with Bradshaw and Black starring from the outset with Bradshaw posting the first goal. The Demons struggled to get their hands on the ball while Black, Stiller, and Rischitelli were wreaking plenty of havoc for the Lions as they were smashing the Dees at the clearances and Bradshaw was running the Demon defense ragged. Melbourne's first scoring shot was only a point to Yze, but he followed Bradshaw's goal with one of his own midway through the term. But Lions goaled again through Sherman and Bradshaw. Johnstone rushed a point, then Whelan bobbed up for a late Demon goal. The Demons, working their way back into the contest, played a stretch of keepings off for the remainder of the term, holding the Lions to a 3 goal lead at 1/4 time. 

Johnstone and Green lifted in the second term, finding more a ball to get Melbourne going. White booted an early goal for the Dees then tapped out to Johnstone who set up set up Sylvia for another. Green leveled the scores midway through the term as youthful skill errors crept into Brisbane's game, gifting the Demons several opportunities before Moody and Bradshaw gave the Lions an 11 point lead at 1/2 time.  

Michael had done the job on Neitz in the first half, but he finally broke the shackles for a 3 goal burst in 5 minutes as Johnstone and Green were again keys in driving the Demons forward, with Green setting up Neitz for two with some excellent foot passes. A point gave the Demons the slenderest of leads, as Bradshaw suddenly had a lapse, kicking 3 points for the term, one of them leveling the scores halfway through the term. Another behind to Black gave the Lions a 1 point lead before Bradshaw set up Akermanis for a goal. Both sides kicked several points to keep the scoreboard tight before Davey pulled off a World Cup soccer style goal to again level the scores. Green put the Demons in front before Miller tried getting the ball, but ended up tapping it straight to Akermanis in the goal square. Akers' goal gave Brisbane a 1 point lead at 3/4 time. 

An early goal to McLean put the Dees back in front and when Neitz booted two in succession, the Demons looked home. But the Lions were far from being down for the count with Bradshaw goaling again. Sylvia made it a 2 goal game before Robertson gave the Demons some breathing room with one of his rare kicks for the game. But the Lions fought it out to the end with Bradshaw kicking his 8th goal of the game and Charman taking a spectacular goal line grab with just a few minutes remaining. Behinds to Pickett and Bruce ensured the Demon win.   

The game being a Melbourne "home" game" was their 8th in a row, but it was the first time they have won in Brisbane since 2002. 

For the Demons, Green (20/12) and Johnstone (20/7) led the midfield brigade with Sylvia (18/6), McDonald (27/6), and McLean (18/6) in support. White (22 hitouts, 19) and Jamar (16 hitouts) combined well in the ruck, while Rivers (17/7), Ward (254/14), and Whelan 25/6) stood up in defense. Neitz (12 kicks, 5 marks), Yze (23/8), and Bruce (27/5) Kept the Brisbane defense busy. Pickett (8) sacrificed his own game to restrict Akermanis (13).

For Brisbane, Black (36), Power (26/5), and Voss (28) were prominent in the center, while Charman (30 hitouts) held his own in the ruck and Bradshaw (11 kicks, 7 marks) just missed setting a new Brisbane goal record for a single match. Pafull kept Robertson to just a handful of touches.  

SYD     2.2    3.5   4.10    8.14 (62)
ADE     1.4    7.7    9.8    15.11 (101)
GOALS: ADE - Hentschel 3, Johncock 2, Ricciuto 2,
McGregor 2, Biglands, Goodwin, Bode, Thompson,
Edwards, Burton; SYD - McVeigh 2, O'Keefe, O'Loughlin,
Davis, Buchanan, Williams, Goodes
BEST: ADE - Goodwin, Ricciuto, Hentschel, Johncock, Mattner;
SYD - McVeigh, Vogels, Dempster, Goodes, O'Loughlin

CHANGES: ADE - Porplyzia (hip) replaced in the starting side by Skipworth


UMPIRES: McBurney, Jeffery, McInerney


CROWD: 36,104 at the Sydney Cricket Ground


If any team could be described as a well-oiled machine, it is the 2006 Adelaide Crows, although it took until the second term for them to shake off a tenacious and close-checking Sydney. The Swans worked hard and played the choking game they do so well to restrict Adelaide's run out of defense. It meant a low-scoring opening term, with the first goal not coming until 6 minutes when all 3 of Sydney's guns got in the act. It was Hall to O'Loughlin whose high kick found O'Keefe. Midway through the term, Hentschel got the Crows on the board, but O'Loughlin took a strong mark and goaled a minute later to give Sydney a 4 point lead at 1/4 time.
Adelaide wasted no time in asserting themselves in the 2nd term with the Crows swooping on an errant Swan pass and Ricciuto, who barely touched the ball in the opening term, booted a bomb from outside 50. Goals to Johncock running out of defense, and Biglands in the space of a few minutes, had Sydney on the back foot and chasing tails as the Crows shifted into high gear. Johncock cleared a pack to bounce one through from long range, then  Biglands showed his mobility from the ensuing bounce to slam through another from 45 meters. When Goodwin did the same a minute later, the Crows were out to a 19 point lead. Then Johncock's dubious soccer kick - which looked to have been kicked after the ball was over the line - was ruled a goal, much to the displeasure of the home crowd. It wasn't until time-on before the previously unsighted Davis finally got one for the Swans, but Hentschel's kick evaded a pack of defenders just seconds before the siren and Adelaide was

26 points in front at 1/2 time.

Sydney started the 3rd term much like the first as they tried to curb the hard-running Crows. It worked for awhile as Sydney started to play better, but squandered their chances to dent the scores. Jude Bolton handed the Crows a gimme goal when he dropped an easy chest mark which was pounced upon by Ricciuto 30 meters out from goal. McVeigh goaled to give the Swans some hope midway through the term, but the momentum seemed to come to a screeching halt when O'Loughlin kicked a shocker, missing from just 20 meters. Bode had no such problem at the other end as Adelaide took a 28 point advantage into 3/4 time.

The final term started with goal shootout as the Crows booted a pair, only for Sydney to follow suit. But the Crows put the issue to rest with another burst of goals to Edwards, Burton, Hentschel, and McGregor before the Swans gave one last gasp with goals to Williams and Goodes.

The Crows had winners everywhere with Biglands (22 hitouts) getting good support from Maric (7 hitouts) to feed the midfield led by Ricciuto (16/8), Goodwin (27,9), Mattner (11/4), and Edwards (13). Hentschel (15/5) and McGregor (8 kicks, 4 marks) were twin towers in attack and Rutten (15/8), Bassett (17/7), and Stevens (17/7) were miserly in defense.

For the Swans, Dempster (4/3), Vogels (11/3), and McVeigh didn't rack up big stats, but worked hard nonetheless. Hall (14/12), Goodes (19/7) and O'Loughlin (17/7) battled to break through the stingy Crow defense with little success. Hall, for all his touches, managed just 4 points for the game.  

STK     4.3   9.4   15.8   19.8 (122)
COL     3.3   5.6    8.7    9.9 (63)
GOALS: StK - Milne 3, Riewoldt 3, Gehrig 2,
Montagna 2, Gram 2, Voss 2, X Clarke, Goddard,
Fiora, Harvey, Maguire; COL - Buckley 2, Burns 2,
Clement, Thomas, Lockyer, Fraser, H. Shaw
BEST: StK - Maguire, Montagna, Baker, Hudghton,
Goddard, Ball, Riewoldt, Gram; COL - Buckley, Burns,
Fraser, H. Shaw
INJURY: COL - Prestigiacomo(bruised shoulder) 

UMPIRES: James, Allen, Chamberlain


CROWD: 48,564 at Telstra Dome


With two sides showing great form and vying for September action, it was a finals like atmosphere and stayed that way through much of the first term. It was Collingwood who got off to a flyer when boom star in the making Dale Thomas took a mark in the goal square. Buckley, playing off a wing, was in everything and made a mea of a Maguire turnover for the next goal. Fraser got the next from a free when Rix held onto him and the Pies were out to a 3 goal lead less than 10 minutes into the term. Several years ago, this would have caused the Saints to either panic, roll over dead, or both. But the new-breed Saints held their nerve and got their game going with Montagna slotting one from a Riewoldt pass. Rix then slipped a pass through a Pie pack to a waiting Clarke, who in turn got the ball to Riewoldt and his goal gave the Saints the lead. A late Milne goal had the Saints in front by 6 points at 1/4 time.

That lead was quickly extended when Montagna bagged one at the start of the 2nd term. The Magpies had slowed to a walk as Milne and Harvey put more space between the two sides, but Buckley stopped the rot midway through the term when he got on the end of a long pass from Rocca. It was the first Magpie goal since their early first term burst. 

Goddard provided himself with a clip for the highlight reel when he stripped the ball from Pendlebury in center square, took a bounce, and drilled a goal from outside 50. Heath Shaw did well from a tight angle on the boundary, but Gehrig's reply gave the Saints a 22 point lead at 1/2 time. 

Despite being outplayed for much of the first half, the Pies were still within striking distance as the second half got underway, but that didn't last long as the Saints made their move. Gram's goal was canceled out by a long-range reply from Burns, but the Magpies were powerless to stop a four goal burst that effectively iced the result. Gehrig started the run and was quickly followed by Voss' first goal in his 150th match and when Fiora snapped the next, the margin was out to a hefty 49 points. Late goals to Lockyer and Clement brought the deficit down marginally, but Milne booted a late goal to put the Saints 43 points clear at 3/4 time. 

The sting had well and truly gone out of the match, but the Saints  gave themselves a handy percentage booster with four goals to one to seal the comprehensive win.

St Kilda received excellent service from midfield trio Goddard (26/6), Dal Santo (23/7), and  Ball (22/5), while Baker (16/6) did a superb job blanketing dangerous goalsneak Didak(7 kicks, 3 marks, and 0.1).

Hudghton (17/7) was also excellent in cutting Tarrant (3 kicks, 3 marks) out of the game and Maguire did a reasonable on Rocca while Gram (21/5) provided plenty of rebound from halfback. Riewoldt (19/10) and Montagna (23/6) provided options in attack while Gehrig (5 kicks, 2 marks) made the most of his limited chances. For the Pies, Buckley (30/12) as was Burns (21/9) but lacked support. Fraser (13 hitouts, 20/8) worked hard in the ruck and around the ground, while Clement (15/4) and Heath Shaw (20/4) tried to stem the flow from defense. Thomas (14/7) was a livewire across half forward.  

KANG    4.2    7.7   10.13   13.16 (94)
WB      2.3    4.7    10.8   12.10 (82)
GOALS: KANG -  Thompson 5, Harding 2, McIntosh, Hale,
Brown, Harris, Makepeace, Green; WB - Robbins 4, Smith 3,
Grant 2, Eagleton, Gilbee, Street
BEST: KANG - Petrie, Thompson, Makepeace, Hale, Sinclair,
Corey Jones, Schwarze; WB - Robbins, Griffen, Cross, Smith,
INJURY: KANG - Archer (dislocated shoulder) - Archer will miss 
6 weeks
REPORTS: KANG - Thompson reported for charging Morris  

UMPIRES: Vozzo, Sully, Grun

CROWD: 28,173 at the MCG


It was goal-for-goal early in the first term before Thompson and Hale booted consecutive goals for the Kangaroos late in the term to give them an 11 point lead at 1/4 time.

Thompson bagged another to start the 2nd term and then dished off to a running Harris for another as the Roos scooted out to a 24 point lead. The Dogs got on the board late in the quarter through Smith and Eagleton's goal shortly after brought the Dogs within 2 goals. But when Brown bobbed up late in the  term, the margin was back out to 3 goals at 1/2 time. But the moment was soured with Archer off to the hospital after injuring his shoulder when he fell awkwardly as he lunged to knock the ball clear.   

Petrie proved a handful for the Dogs in the first half as he dropped back into defense to take 6 marks while Sinclair and Makepeace kept the Dog attack to a minimum. On the other side, Griffen (21 disposals) and Cross (17) did everything they could too keep the Dogs in it.

Makepeace had the Roos out to a 27 point lead to start the 3rd term, but then they were struck with a serious case of the goal yips, with youngster Andrew Swallow muffing two shots midway through the term and the Dogs took full advantage with Grant and Gilbee slashing the margin. Street got one on either side of goals to Harding and Thompson before

livewire forward Robbins booted two in succession, the second coming after he edged out Pratt. Smith kicked a gem to have the Dogs within 5 points at 3/4 time.

The Dogs were still firing at the start of the final term but Smith missed as did Schwarze for the Roos. Then Robbins kicked a beauty from a pocket to give the Dogs a 1 point lead. But the never-say-die Roos fought back first through Harding with a great running shot. The Dogs kept scrapping as Cooney found Johnson but the ball went out of bounds in the Dogs' attacking zone. They briefly kept it in their forward zone but from another throw-in, the Kangaroos cleared it and Thompson restored the Kangaroo lead midway through the term. Green and Smith swapped goals as Grant was pushed forward to give the Dogs another option. Smith had another chance a few minutes later after Harding hit the post, but gave away a free kick. From there, the game turned into a free for all from one end to the other as both sides threw themselves at the contests, forcing spillages and turnovers. But the best the Dogs could do after that was a point to Eagleton which left the Dogs 2 goals shy. From there, the Roos simply denied the Dogs with hard running and pressure play to hang on.

For the Kangaroos, Thompson was the difference between the teams as he made the most of his 7 kicks and 8 marks. McIntosh (11 hitouts, 15/4) and Hale (19 hitouts, 13 kicks) were a dynamic duo in the ruck, while Schwarze (19/7), and Harris (20/4) contributed out of the center. Jones (26) provided an excellent foil for Thompson across halfback, while Sinclair (23/7), Makepeace (24) defended stoutly. Watt got the job done on the dangerous Johnson and did not fail.

The Dogs were best served by Cross (26/7) and West (21) in the middle, while Griffen (30/7) cleaned up across halfback, and Robbins (6 kicks, 3 marks) starred up forward despite his limited touches. 
For the Bulldogs, Matthew Robbins made the most of his opportunities when his side needed someone to stand up, and he finished the match with four goals. He kicked two majors to put his side right back into the contest in the third term, while he was also the one to put the Dogs in front.  

            W    L    FOR       AGST      %     PTS  
 ADE       12    2    1546      907     170.45   48  
 WCE       11    3    1382     1204     114.78   44  
 MELB     10    4    1434     1238     115.83   40  
 COL        9    4    1439     1164     123.63   36  
 WB         9    4    1427     1242     114.9    36  
 SYD        8    6    1348     1150     117.22   32  
 RICH       8    6    1184     1359      87.12   32  
 StK        7    6    1172     1046     112.05   28 
 FRE       7     7    1175     1313      89.49   28  
 GEEL    6     8    1324    1285     103.04   24  
 PA        6     8    1319    1446      91.22   24  
 BRIS      5     9    1256     1356      92.63   20  
 HAW     5     9    1140    1426      79.94   20  
 KANG    4     9    1080     1315      82.13   16  
 CARL    2    12    1096    1475      74.31    8  
 ESS     1    13    1194    1590      75.09    4
Brendan Fevola (CARL)  54 
Barry Hall (SYD)       44 
Anthony Rocca (COL)    40 
Matthew Pavlich (FRE)  40 
Brad Johnson (WB)      40 
David Neitz (MELB)     39 
Nick Riewoldt (StK)    39 
Mark Williams (HAW)    38 
Mark Ricciuto (ADE)    37 
Nathan Thompson (KANG) 37 

Source: Melbourne Age,, and author notes from live broadcasts


Brisbane Lion Cheynee Stiller is the Round 14 Rising Star nominee.  

Stiller was rookie-listed by the Lions in 2005 and made his debut in Round 3 after being elevated to the seniors when Pat Garner went onto the long term injury list due to a knee reconstruction. He was matched up against Saint Aaron Fiora in that game.

In just his fourth AFL match, Stiller delivered a best-on-ground performance in the Lions’ 15-point win over Carlton He had 28 possessions, laid three tackles, took 8 marks, and kicked a goal from the wing.  

Stiller, 20, is a Brisbane local, playing for the Zillmere Eagles juniors and played a full season for the Zillmere Eagles seniors last year. Stiller was nominated AFLQ Rising Star in 2005 and represented Queensland in the 2004 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.


Source: Michelle Clyne, AFL Media Release


And that's it for this week.

Lisa Albergo, reporting for AFANA, from Chicago.

Article last changed on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - 12:15 AM EDT

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