The highly decorated, 15-year, 305-game career of Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel has come to an end with Bartel announcing his retirement during the October trade period. While Bartel said he felt he had more to give, he "understood the bigger picture" and respected the direction in which the club wanted to move.
A slick Adelaide Crows unit has sent North Melbourne packing for season 2016 with a dominant second half blitz at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night. Livewire Crows forward Eddie Betts stole the show kicking six goals to snuff out any chance of a North Melbourne challenge, a result in keeping with two teams at the opposite end of the form line.
So, who wins it all? In what looks to be the most open finals series for some time, you could mount a solid argument for six teams that could potentially take out the 2016 premiership. Read on for my take on who can win the Aussie rules championship in 2016 and why – and my pick for the two teams that will meet in the biggest AFL match of the year on October 1st.
I’ll start in reverse order of regular season finish, from eighth to top spot.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Stephen Milne (StK) will play his 264th senior game in Round Seven, putting him equal with James McDonald for the most games played by anyone in the game’s history who began his career on a Rookie list.
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
West Coast remains the only unbeaten team at the end of Round 6 after overcoming a gutsy challenge from a determined North Melbourne side. Just before the game it was announced that Eagles’ excitement machine Nic Naitanui had withdrawn and this sent a ripple of unease through supporters. He was replaced by second gamer, Scott Lycett. Kangaroos ruckman Todd Goldstein was also missing so each team would be exposed in the ruck competitions. In a first for the Eagles, Jacob Brennan (son of club great and Premiership player and vice-captain Michael Brennan) was playing his making his debut, the first father/son combination in Eagles’ history.
Trent Cotchin (RICH), charging North Melbourne's Sam Wright: assessed as reckless conduct (two points), high impact (three points), and high contact (two points), equaling seven activation points, a Level Four offense, 425 demerits, and a four game suspension. Cotchin and the Richmond Football Club took the case to the Tribunal in an attempt to have the high contact classification dismissed and downgraded.
Charges from conduct to gestures
Max Rooke (GEEL): rough conduct against North Melbourne’s Sam Power: assessed as negligent conduct (one point), high impact (three points) and body contact (one point), equaling five activation points, a Level Three offense, 225 demerits and a two game suspension. His previous record of one game suspended within the past three years increases the penalty 10% to 247.50 demerits, still a two-game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 185.63 demerits and a one game suspension.