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Free Agency Compensation

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

During the trade period, the AFL released an advisement to the clubs of their compensations for losing players to free agency. Under these rules, according to the AFL, a club is not automatically entitled to compensation for

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Ratten Sings the Blues

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from Etihad Stadium for AFANA

A glorious sunny afternoon welcomed spectators to Etihad Stadium for the final appearance of both Carlton and Saint Kilda for the 2012 AFL season. The Carlton faithful turned out to see Brett Ratten’s last day at the helm of the Blues, their loss to the lowly Gold Coast Suns in Round 22 putting an end to Carlton’s Finals hopes and with it, any hope of Ratten retaining his job with the impatient Carlton hierarchy. For first year St Kilda coach Scott Watters, the game would give him an opportunity to look forward to 2013 after disappointingly missing the Finals, despite some positive signs from a team that finally blooded some new talent to support a solid core of veterans.

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Round 18 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

200 games: Brendon Goddard (St K)
150 games: Andrew Carazzo (CARL)
150 club games: Jason Gram (St K)
100 games: Jarrod Harbrow (GC)
100 games: Tom Logan (PA)
100 games: Cyril Rioli (HAW)
50 games: Matthew Broadbent (PA)
50 games: Rory Sloane (ADE)

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Tigers Bury Saints Hoodoo

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

In an unlikely “match of the round”, form teams St Kilda and Richmond met at Etihad Stadium in front of a pumped up Friday Night Footy crowd. The Tigers had not beaten St Kilda since 2003, though they came painfully close in the corresponding match just 12 months earlier when the game ended in a tense draw. The Saints were instilled as slight favorites with the bookmakers, in part due to the Tigers' poor form at Etihad and the aforementioned head to head record. St Kilda has been transformed into a more attacking team under new coach Scott Watters, giving the match all of the ingredients for an enthralling contest.

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AFL Puts Divers On Notice

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

St Kilda's Brendon Goddard came close to being made an example by the Match Review Panel after a Round 7 incident in which he attempted to milk a free kick against Carlton. The AFL, in an effort to stamp out blatant staging or diving for free kicks, amended the Tribunal guidelines. The ruling, which was introduced at the start of the 2010 season, allows the MRP and umpires to report a player for unsportsmanlike conduct if they feel a player demonstrates "... excessive exaggeration of contact in an unsportsmanlike manner ...". Such conduct could be reportable if an umpire's decision-making was affected, started a brawl or if they felt such behavior was not in the spirit of the game.

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History Made At MCG

Saint Kilda was the firm favorite with the bookmakers on a warm and clear night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the first game of Round 2 of the AFL season. Rain was forecast for late in a game that was billed as a clash of the forwards with the Riewoldt cousins (Nick and Jack) facing off. This game marked the first time that Richmond and St Kilda have played a Friday night game on the MCG.

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Saint Lenny Club Champion

Vice-captain Lenny Hayes, the Norm Smith Medalist in the drawn Grand Final, has won the Saints' best and fairest award for the second time. Hayes was the runaway winner with 528 votes.

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Teams Selected For Grand Final Replay

Both Collingwood and St Kilda have made minimal changes to the teams which will line up for the Grand Final replay. One good news story is Saint Ben McEvoy, who played 18 games this season as a back up ruckman to Michael Gardiner.

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Seven Newcomers For All-Australian

On the Monday following the Semi-Finals, the AFL held their All-Australian ceremony. Richmond's Jack Riewoldt was presented with the Coleman Medal as the AFL's leading goalkicker for the season, Melbourne's Liam Jurrah was awarded Mark of the Year and Lance Franklin was awarded Goal of the Year.

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