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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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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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Eagles Outlast Fast Finishing Blues

A bumper crowd of nearly 43,000 fans witnessed an epic Semi-final contest in perfect football conditions in Perth. West Coast was charged up to win a game and go one step closer to a Grand Final berth. Carlton had never won a Finals match away from Melbourne but this did not seem to faze them as they produced a cracking start in the opening minutes of the game.

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Blues Carve Up Dockers

Carlton effectively ended Fremantle’s Finals’ hopes in a comprehensive demolition at Patersons Stadium in Round 21. Fremantle had won the last 12 of 14 encounters with Carlton and got off to a great start winning the ball from the first bounce down. Aaron Sandilands was back after injury and tapped the ball down for a Matthew Pavlich clearance. Pavlich chased up his own kick to goal within the first 30 seconds of the game.

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Blues Blitz Tame Tigers

Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

After going down to the vastly improved West Coast Eagles last week, Brett Ratten’s Carlton players were keen to re-establish themselves as a genuine Top 4 team on the big stage of the MCG. Richmond on the other hand was in need of a solid showing after playing whipping boy to the Blues in their last seven encounters.

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Round 19 Tribunal

Brent Guerra took his case to the Tribunal to challenge the reckless classification and succeeded. Guerra and his advocate argued that he heard the umpire call "advantage" (which allows a player of the infringed team to play on when they are in possession of the ball so as not to disadvantage them by stopping play for a free kick) after his tackle on Malceski, but that he did not hear the umpire's whistle to stop play for a 50 meter (55 yards) penalty. He and his advocate convinced the panel to listen to audio of the match commentary which aided Guerra's case.

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