It comes as no surprise that the 2020 Grand Final was Gary Ablett's last game. There was very little fanfare and no major announcement, most likely due to the fact that almost everyone knew it was to be his last. There is little that can be said about the "Little Master" that has not already been said or written. At the end of the game, all the Richmond players lined up with the Cats to form a guard of honor for Ablett. However, there was much more to it than that.
With the byes behind us, the first full slate of AFL games in a month gave us an absolutely sensational round of football with upsets, tight finishes and a brand new AFANA Power Poll leader!
Round fifteen highlights included a win for the Tigers over the second placed Swans, upset wins by Saint Kilda, the Western Bulldogs, Essendon and Brisbane and a big win by the Giants over the Hawks that has really opened up the competition for the final eight as we head into the last two months of the minor round.
Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
Almost a third of the way into the 2018 season and round seven gave us some answers while it also gave us plenty of questions. The West Coast Eagles are for real, Richmond are showing no signs of the dreaded “premiership hangover” and the Sydney Swans have seemingly lost their home ground dominance. Hawthorn is once again a contender after moving out the old and adding some ready- made talent.
Geelong pulled off one of the upsets of the season in smashing the much fancied Sydney Swans by 59 points at the MCG on Friday night. The Cats turned around a disappointing loss to Richmond just a week before in dominating the Swans from the outset.
An energetic and committed St Kilda has stayed the course to force a drawn game against Geelong in Round 21. While players say they never enjoy a tied game, this one had enormous ramifications with the Cats’ Finals chances dealt a heavy blow. For American fans, the most newsworthy facet of the game was the impressive debut of James Holmes from Chicago and the first American-born and raised AFL player. (Read more about Holmes at http://www.afana.com/drupal5/news/2015/08/21/chicago_native_set_debut_saints-7811).
In an entertaining first quarter, St Kilda threw down the gauntlet and ran all over Geelong for the first ten minutes, kicking the first four goals before the Cats could take a breath.
Geelong went into the Round 7 clash with Richmond holding an imposing record. The Cats had beaten up the Tigers in the last ten clashes between the two combatants with an average winning margin of 65 points. To find the last Richmond victory against Geelong you have to flick the pages of AFL history book back to Round 9, 2006 - a sobering thought for a Richmond team already struggling to regain any of the solid form it displayed in 2013. Complacency would not be an issue for the Cats who tasted defeat for the first time this season at the hands of an impressive Port Adelaide in the previous round.
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Australia
When we talk about the 2013 AFL season, the two teams that squared off against each other at AAMI Stadium in Round 17 could not have more contrasting tales. Geelong traveled to Adelaide having dropped just two games all year and looking destined to continue on for the rest of the season entrenched in the Top Two. In contrast Adelaide had seen its season go from bad to worse. After a successful 2012 that almost resulted in a Grand Final berth the Crows now faced the real prospect on missing out on Finals' action altogether.
Things did not quite go to plan as the Crows dominated the general play in the first quarter and only some inaccurate kicking in front of goals stopped them from having a sizable lead at quarter time.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
100 games as captain: Jonathan Brown (BRIS) joins Michael Voss (210 games 1997-2006) and Roger Merrett (125 games 1990-96) as the only men to have captained the Brisbane Lions/Brisbane Bears in 100 or more games. Brown was appointed captain in 2007 after Voss retired as a player. Merrett's last year as captain was also the last year of the Brisbane Bears. At the end of 1996, the merger with the Fitzroy Lions was finalized and the Bears became the Brisbane Lions starting in 1997.