As the season nears to a close, more clubs not in contention have made cuts to their lists and a few more players have announced their retirements.
An extended round six kicked off with the unusual Wednesday night game that saw Richmond victorious by 43 points over the struggling Melbourne Demons. The Anzac Day battle between Collingwood and Essendon was a classic that ended with the Magpies hanging on to win by four points in controversial circumstances as the Bombers fell just short of pulling off a great comeback. Brisbane, Port Adelaide, Fremantle and the Giants took care of business as expected while Carlton almost pulled off back to back victories before succumbing by just five points to a frantic Hawthorn down in Tasmania.
1. Adelaide Crows (Last Week - 2)
The Crows take top spot on the Power poll after a stirring win in “The Showdown” against crosstown rivals Port Adelaide. Despite trailing early, the classy Crows posted their third win in as many games, the 17-point win keeping them on the top of the AFL ladder.
2. Greater Western Sydney Giants (3)
The Giants are starting to roll, and they might take some stopping. A 42-point drubbing of the Kangaroos – with a whopping 71 entries inside the 50 meter arc – will have teams scrambling for a plan on how to stop Leon Cameron’s young juggernaut.
G Michael reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, South Australia
A brilliant performance by Patrick Dangerfield saw the Crows blitz Gold Coast by a whopping 91 points in Round 23. With support from Scott Thompson, the young Crow took the game apart in the second half to amass 36 possessions for the game whilst also scoring two goals. As both Dangerfield and Thompson firm among the favorites for the Brownlow Medal, the Crows secured a Top Two position for the season, returning to the Finals for the first time since 2009 and ending the home and away with an equal club record of 17 wins for the season.
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Australia
Carlton left Melbourne for Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast with everything to play for against the lowly Gold Coast Suns. After being Premiership favorites early in the season, things went wrong mid-season to the point where Brett Ratten was hanging on by a thread to his position as coach. A huge win against the Bombers last week made Finals a very realistic goal and a strong showing against the Suns would have the Blues riding a wave of momentum into the major round if things went according to plan.
Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA
Tropical Cairns greeted a Richmond outfit with a genuine chance to lift themselves into the Top Eight with a win over a much improved Gold Coat Suns. A solid showing in Round 15 against reigning Premiers Geelong gave the Suns renewed hope that their first win of the season was just around the corner. The Tigers' hierarchy was anxious for a win in Cairns having lost the equivalent “home” game in 2011, giving rise to criticism of the three year package brokered by the Tigers to assist in funding a depleted football department. Gold Coast fans would have been well pleased to learn that in-form Tiger ruckman Ivan Maric was a late withdrawal due to groin soreness.
When the bottom team travels to play a team sitting in seventh position on its home turf it is generally a recipe for disaster. The Gold Coast Suns are a developing team with flashes of brilliance and two wins so far in their first season. The Fremantle Dockers wanted to celebrate the occasion of Captain Matthew Pavlich’s 250th game. “Pav” is acknowledged by many as the greatest player in the history of the Fremantle Football Club. Weather conditions were blustery, cold and wet – a rare combination in Perth, but perfect for Aussie Rules football.