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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

CARL   1.2.1   1.4.3   2.9.3    2.12.7 (97)
BRIS   0.2.2   0.6.7   0.7.11   0.10.12 (72)

NINE POINT GOALS: CARL - Fisher, Carrazzo

SIX POINT GOALS: CARL - Fevola 4, Fisher 3, Scotland, Koutoufides, Russell, Whitnall, Stevens; BRIS - Stiller 2, Johnson 2, Brown 2, Moody, Sherman, Wood, McGrath

BEST: CARL - Stevens, Murphy, Thornton, Fisher, O'hAilpin, Fevola; BRIS - Black, Harding, Adcock, Stiller, Sherman, Fixter

MICHAEL TUCK MEDAL: Nick Stevens (CARL) - Stevens also won the medal in 2002 with Port Adelaide. This was also his fourth presason cup win, two with Port and two with Carlton

INJURY: BRIS - Notting (dislocated shoulder).

REPORTS: BRIS - Cameron Wood striking Cain Ackland

UMPIRES: Stevic, Vozzo, Ryan, Jeffery

CROWD: 46, 094 at Telstra Dome

Carlton has shaken off their summer blues and off-field shake-ups to take out their second preseason cup in two years. Several years ago, Coach Denis Pagan lamented the lack of a tall, strong defender, or as he put it, the club needed a gorilla to play on the gorilla forwards of the competition. Well, he just may have found himself his "gorilla" in the form of Irishman Setanta O’hAilpin. The 199 cm (6'5"), 102 kg ((224 lbs) stood Brisbane behemoth Jonathan Brown and kept him goalless for three terms and used his pace to rebound well.

It was Brisbane who scored first with a mark and goal to Sherman inside the first minute of play. It took until almost midterm for the Blues to register a goal when Fevola marked over Merrett and goaled from 40 meters (43 yards). The Lions replied three minutes later when Wood marked and goaled from 45 meters (49 yards). The Blues hit the front when a push in the back from Brennan resulted in a 50 meter (55 yards) penalty to Fisher, who was duly awarded a nine-point goal. Fished bobbed up a minute later to mark over the unlucky Brennan and booted a six-pointer to give Carlton an eight point lead. Brennan's bad luck continued when his shot for a supergoal hit the post just before the siren, leaving the Blues 10 points in front at 1/4 time.

Brisbane peppered the goals early in the second term, but were inaccurate. Not so Carlton as Scotland took a handpass from Kennedy and kicked a goal on the run to extend Carlton's lead to 13 points. Brown finally shook off the attentions of O'hAilpin and Walker to take a strong mark, but missed. Brisbane's kicking woes continued with McGrath and Black also scoring behinds. Finally, McGrath ended the streak of points with a goal from a free kick and a minute later gets the ball to Chris Johnson for a goal to give Brisbane the lead. When Moody booted another for the Lions two minutes later and Stiller chimed in with another midway through the term, things were looking grim for Carlton as they suddenly found themselves 14 points down.

A free kick to Kouta cut the lead to 8 points and it could have been trimmed even further but Fevola's kick from a tight angle missed, leaving the Lions seven points clear at 1/2 time.

At the opening bounce of the third term, Carrazzo was on the receiving end of a 50 meter penalty against Wood, who was also reported at the time. Carrazzo was credited with a nine-pointer to restore Carlton's lead. Two minutes later, the Lions suffered a blow when Notting injured his shoulder in a collision with young Blue Murphy during a marking contest. Despite the loss, Brisbane gained control of the ball for a few minutes through the middle but were once more wayward in front of goal. The Blues pounced with Russell goaling against the flow of play. When Fevola took a great one-handed mark and goaled from 40 meters, the Blues were again out to a 13 point lead and the home crowd erupted. A minute later, Whitnall, leading out of defense, bombed the ball long to a waiting Fisher for another Carlton goal. Fevola gets a free for a push and converts. When Whitnall pushed forward for mark and goal, the Blues were out to a 6 goal lead. After Moody and Johnson missed again, Stiller got Brisbane's only goal for the term and Carlton led by 21 points at 3/4 time.

Two minutes into the final term, Stevens drilled a running goal to extend Carlton's lead. Brown finally got into the game with mark and goal a minute later. Brown got involved again a few minutes later with a mark and pass to Johnson for a goal which cut Carlton's lead to 18 points. Brown then broke clear of O’hAilpin to mark and goal, giving the Lions a sniff. Enter Fevola at the other end for a badly needed goal to the Blues.

Brown got his hands on the ball again a few minutes later and passed to Johnson who proceeded to miss everything. It was pretty much game over when Brown gave away a free kick and a 50 meter penalty. It resulted in a goalsquare mark to Fisher and another Carlton goal just before the siren.

After the game, Coach Denis Pagan said the team had not set out to win the Cup, but just wanted to provide plenty of opportunities and experience for the younger players. He said that, after the boardroom turmoil, the win was very positive. He also took the opportunity to describe the arrival of Richard Pratt as a "bright light".

Pagan is confident that 2007 won't be a repeat of 2005, when the Blues also won the NAB Cup, only to nosedive straight to the bottom during the premiership season. Lance Whitnall, in an interview after the game, believes finals action is not of reach for the club.

Despite the defeat, Brisbane Coach Leigh Matthews was also pleased with the performance of the Lions during the preseason, saying it had boosted the confidence of many of the players.

RICH  3.2   6.4   9.9    10.12 (72)
COL   1.4   5.7   5.10    9.11 (65)

GOALS: RICH - Brown 4, Tuck, P. Bowden, Polak, Schultz, Foley, Tivendale; COL - Cloke 2, Lockyer 2, Licuria 2, H. Shaw, Bryan, Rocca

BEST: RICH - Brown, Johnson, Tambling, Pattison, J. Bowden; COL - Thomas, Cloke, Licuria, Davis, Burns

UMPIRES: McBurney, Sully, K. Nicholls

CROWD: 10,733 at Quandong Park, Red Cliffs (about 10 miles east of Mildura on the NSW/VIC border)

The Tigers went into the match with close to their best line-up, with only Richardson, Troy Simmonds, and Mark Coughlan missing through injury. Rookies Cameron Howat, Jake King, and Angus Graham were included as the trio are vying for the vacancy left by knee victim Mark Coughlan.

Despite the temperature hitting close to 90 degrees - requiring ice vests on both benches, it was an energetic contest with plenty of long kicking and contested marks from both sides. Collingwood was first to the board, albeit a point to Burns. The Tigers grabbed the lead with a goal to Tuck and never looked back. Both teams had five scoring shots in the opening term, but it was the Tigers who were more damaging with three goals to Collingwood's one to lead by 10 points at 1/4 time.

Most of the second term went goal for goal as the Tigers kept their noses in front. Cloke provided a patch of brilliance with two goals in two minutes for the Magpies, cutting Richmond's lead to two points at 1/2 time.

With Buckley, Holland, and Didak missing for the Pies, the likes of Kane Johnson, Tambling, and Deledio dominated the center. Joel Bowden cut Rocca out of the game. The result was three goals for the Tigers while the Pies posted three points in the third term. Had they been a bit more accurate, Richmond's lead could have exceeded 23 points at 3/4 time.

The Magpies had several final term flurries which twice put them within seven points, but a goal to Brown late in the term sealed the win for the Tigers.

For the Tigers, rookie Jake King was impressive in defense, as was ex-Docker Polak in the middle.

For the Magpies, youngster Dale Thomas seemed to be everywhere and attacked the ball fearlessly while Licuria and Davis were busy throughout the game.

PA     4.6   9.6   10.8   14.13 (97)
SYD    3.2   6.4   11.5   14.8 (92)

GOALS: PA - Ebert 4, White 3, Willits, Lonie, Pearce, Cassisi, Bentley, Logan, Cockshell; SYD - Davis 3, Hall 2, Jolly 2, O'Keefe, J. Bolton, Laidlaw, O'Loughlin, Dempster, Phillips, Goodes

BEST: PA - Pettigrew, Ebert, Pearce, Krakouer; SYD - Barry, C. Bolton, Fosdike, Hall

INJURY: PA - Pettigrew (ankle)

UMPIRES: Kamolins, Meredith, Wenn

CROWD: 3013 at Telstra Stadium, Sydney

Sydney continued its tradition of slow starts and, according to Coach Paul Roos, looked "scratchy" for much of the game. Even in the absence of Warren Tredrea, the Power proved the stronger up forward in the opening term, and it was only Port's inaccuracy and a late goal to Swan Laidlaw which kept Port's lead to just 10 points at 1/4 time.

Davis had the Swans within 4 points with a goal at the start of the second term, but Port kicked the next four in succession to establish a 28 point lead. Port was having the better of Sydney all over the ground and the Swans just could not find a clear avenue to their forward line. They did manage two late goals to Port's fifth for the term to trail by 20 points at 1/ time.

Sydney fired at the start of third term and rallied with three goals to again be within a kick. A slick passage of play between O'Keefe, O'Loughlin, and Hall resulted in a goal to young forward Phillips and the Swans suddenly found themselves in front by 3 points at 3/4 time.

Port reclaimed the lead early in final term. Sydney booted the next goal but Port kicked the next three to hold onto the lead. Sydney challenged again with two late goals but time ran out.

WB   4.1   6.2   11.5   15.6 (96)
WCE  0.1   4.5    7.7   11.10 (76)

GOALS: WB - Johnson 3, Eagleton 2, Cooney 2, Higgins 2, Minson, Robbins, Ray, Darcy, Giansiracusa, Hargrave; WCE - Lynch 4, Armstrong 2, LeCras 2, Hunter, Cox, Judd

BEST: WB - Eagleton, West, Johnson, Cooney, Boyd; WCE - Cousins, Judd, Wirrpanda, Lynch

INJURY: WB - Grant (groin), Skipper (leg); WCE - Hansen (groin), Hunter (head cut)

UMPIRES: Hendrie, Bandy, Margetts, Keating

CROWD: 6873 at Subiaco Oval

It was a mix of fortune for Bulldog veterans Chris Grant and Luke Darcy. Darcy got plenty of game time under his belt but Grant hobbled off the ground less than five minutes after the start and did not return. The club is hopeful that the injury is not serious and he will be OK for the opening round.

It took until midway through the first term for a goal to be scored. It went the way of the Bulldogs and began an avalanche of four in five minutes to the Dogs, who kept the Eagles to a single point and led by 24 points at 1/4 time.

Farren Ray and Will Minson kicked two goals to start the second term as the Dogs scooted out to a handy lead. Eagle LeCras was in the right place at the right time to intercept a Bulldog pass and kick the Eagles' first goal which sparked the his side into action. Cox took a heavy hit in a collision with Montgomery and Hargrave, but it didn't dampen the Eagle run as they slammed through three more goals to cut the Dog lead to nine points at 1/2 time.

The Dogs cleared the ball at the opening bounce of the third term and got it forward where Giansiracusa soccered through another goal. Again the Eagles lifted and Lynch fired up forward. The Eagles were able to dominate in a brief patch, surging forward where a waiting Lynch took four marks in five minutes and kicked three goals. But the Bulldogs hit back with the last three goals to lead by 22 points at 3/4 time.

Both sides kicked four goals for the term, with Brad Johnson booting three for the Bulldogs to help his side to victory.

The media was banned from West Coast's change rooms after the game, and Worsfold walked out of the post game press conference when the first question asked was about the Fletcher incident and rumored drug use by the players.

FRE    4.3    5.7    8.9    12.11 (83)
ADE    1.3    2.10   3.12    7.16 (58)

GOALS: FRE - Tarrant 4, Gilmore 2, Pavlich, Sandilands, Peake, Browne, Solomon, Murphy; ADE - Bode 2, Bock, Burton, Hudson, Johncock, McLeod

BEST: FRE - Sandilands, Tarrant, Pavlich, Hasleby, Peake, J. Carr, McPharlin; ADE - Johncock, Bode, Bassett, McLeod, Bock

REPORTS: FRE - M. Carr for allegedly striking Bassett

CROWD: 5,278 at AAMI Stadium

Umpires: Donlon, Grun, Avon

Adelaide was not only undermanned due to their long injury list, but also had players coming in somewhat underdone due to interrupted preseasons. One of those was ruckman Ben Hudson. Not a good thing when your opponent is the towering 211 cm (7') Aaron Sandilands. His height, strength and mobility helped to constantly feed the ball out to the midfield talent of Haselby, Peake, and Josh Carr. They, in turn, fed the forward line where Pavlich and Tarrant combined as if they had always been teammates instead of Tarrant only just arriving from Collingwood. Tarrant booted the first two goals of the game which sparked a four goal run by the Dockers, who led by 18 points at 1/4 time.

The skill levels of both sides fell away badly in the second term with errors and poor kicking for goal with nine behinds registered from the two teams. Some of was due to the relentless pressure applied by the Dockers. Finally, late in the term Hudson broke the string of points with a dribbled goal to put the Crows within nine points. Tarrant goaled just before the siren to give the Dockers a 15 point lead at 1/2 time.

The Adelaide defense, noted last year as the stingiest in 20 years were troubled by Tarrant and Pavlich. Although Pavlich was held to just one goal, his efforts to create opportunities for others helped set up two in the third term to stretch the Docker lead. Gilmore blasted through a great running goal on the run from 55 meters out (60 yards) to give the Dockers a 27 point lead at 3/4 time.

The Dockers continued the onslaught in the final term with 4 unanswered goals. But the Crows put on a burst of four of their own in the final 10 minutes of the game to ad some respectability to the final score.

ESS   1.5   1.8   8.12   10.15 (75)
HAW   1.4   6.6    7.8    9.11 (65)

GOALS: ESS - Davey 3, Lloyd 2, McVeigh, Peverill, Dempsey, Slattery, Lucas; HAW - Williams 3, Franklin 3, Dixon, Boyle, Young

BEST: ESS - Hird, Monfries, Davey, Slattery, McVeigh; HAW - Mitchell, Hodge, Franklin, Lewis, Young

INJURY: HAW - McGlynn (head), Vandenberg (back)

REPORTS: ESS - Hille striking Muston, Bradley for making forceful contact to head of Birchall; HAW - Hodge for striking Lloyd and charging Peverill; Crawford for abusive language toward an umpire

UMPIRES: Ellis, Pannell, Farmer, James

CROWD: approx 3,500 at Casey Fields, Melbourne

The Bombers looked be bombing out in a big way when could manage a paltry 1.8 in the first half, while a Williams led attack had the Hawks out to a 28 point lead by 1/2 time. It was in the second term that a scuffle broke out which led to the reports.

The Bombers must have found their kicking boots at the break as they produced a stunning turnaround in the third term. They went on a rampage, kicking seven goals to one to take a 10 point lead at 3/4 time.

Hodge was reported early in the final term, forcing Peverill from the ground.The teams broke even in the term, kicking 2.3 each.

GEEL    2.5   3.10   7.13   11.13 (79)
MELB    0.2    2.7    6.8    7.12 (54)

GOALS: GEEL - Mooney 4, Gardiner 2, N. Ablett 2, Djerrkura, Tenace, Wojcinski; MELB - Robertson 3, Neitz 2, Miller, Jamar

BEST: GEEL - Bartel, Mooney, Milburn, Wojcinski, Scarlett, Egan; MELB - Johnstone, Ward, Jones, Whelan

INJURY: GEEL - King (calf strain)

UMPIRES: M. Nicholls, Head, Allen

CROWD: Approx 2,500 at Skilled Stadium

A swirling wind made for difficult conditions, especially in front of goal in the first half when just 5 goals were kicked. Swirling winds are not uncommon at Skilled Stadium and the Cats adapted better than the Demons, who kicked just 2 points in the first term, leaving the Cats 15 points clear at 1/4 time.

The Demons managed two goals in the second term to the Cats' one, and Geelong could have led by more than nine points at 1/2 time had they kicked better for goal.

Mooney, one of the second term offenders, stepped up in the third term to kick two of Geelong's four goals. The Demons also played better in the term with four goals of their own but Geelong still led by 11 points at 3/4 time.

The Cats finished strongly with Mooney again booting two of Geelong's four goals in the final term while the Demons kicked just one more for the game.

For the Cats, Bartel was again at his best in the midfield as was Wojcinski while Mackie did well against Demon forward Robertson.

For the Demons, Johnstone was productive as ever in the midfield while McLean looked good in his first match.

STK   10.13 (73)
KANG    9.8 (62)

REPORTS: STK - Hayes for striking Thomas

The Saints led for the entire match but the Kangaroos rallied to get within a few points late in the final term. But Milne, who finished the game with four goals, sealed the win with a late snap.

Koschitzke was stationed at full forward in his first game but was well-held by Kangaroo defender Watt and is clearly a long way off his best. But he and Maguire both came through the game unscathed. Afterward, Coach Ross Lyon said it would take time for Kosi to find some form.

Hayes and Harvey led the way for the Saints while youngster Aaron Edwards filled the breach for the Kangaroos when Thompson went off injured. He had kicked one goal prior to that and added two more to his name to be a contender as Thompson's replacement.

Others to impress for the Kangaroos were Daniel Harris, Matt Riggio, Andrew Swallow, and Leigh Adams. Adams, who was playing his first senior game collected 17 possessions through the midfield.

Source: Melbourne Age &

Article last changed on Thursday, March 22, 2007 - 10:03 PM EDT

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