Round fourteen saw the last of four “bye” weeks played out, with top teams Sydney and Richmond having the week off along with Geelong, Adelaide, Fremantle, Adelaide and Saint Kilda. The big winner of round fourteen was Port Adelaide, who beat fellow top four aspirants Melbourne in a tough game of tightly contested football at the Adelaide Oval. The biggest loser of the round
Round thirteen will kick off with Thursday night footy at Adelaide Oval, with Port Adelaide – fresh off a victory over the reigning premiers – taking on the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval. This makes for a short turnaround from a cracking Queen’s Birthday Monday clash that saw a red hot Collingwood take down the highly fancied Melbourne Demons in front of a massive MCG crowd.
Mason Cox may still have his Texan drawl but his first words when your AFANA correspondent spoke to him was the typical Australian greeting, "G'day mate". Having played nearly 100 minutes of brutal football against the West Coast Eagles, he then offered a typical Australian understatement by saying he was, "feeling a bit sore".
The long trip west is not one most Victorian teams look forward to, particularly after a six-day break. More often than not, the visiting teams return home looking more like road kill than prime meat. This week it was the Collingwood Magpies' turn to be hit by the hometown juggernaut, West Coast.
Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA
Mason Cox had not heard of Australian Rules Football just two years ago. Today, he debuted for arguably the biggest team in the AFL – Collingwood – in front of more than 85,000 fans on a day that holds huge importance on the Australian and New Zealand calendar: ANZAC Day (the equivalent of Memorial Day).
Former American college basketball player turned St Kilda Saint, Jason Holmes, probably felt a bit strange when the siren sounded to end his debut game against Geelong on Saturday night Australian time and the game just ended there. With the scores tied at 97 points apiece, the 6'8" (203cm) Chicago native could have been excused for expecting "overtime". The lack of extra time is one of the idiosyncrasies of Australian rules football. Ties, though unusual, are an accepted result after four hard fought quarters of footy. The quirky result aside, Holmes' debut was a success. Saints' coach Alan Richardson praised the work ethic of his American recruit. It was Holmes' ruck work that stood out, with his vertical leap and all-round athleticism drawing parallels to Nic Naitanui of the West Coast Eagles - who most experts agree is the most exciting ruckman in the competition. On the heels of Holmes, another American is on the verge of his debut.