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Purple Hazing

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Fremantle moved into the Top Four with a comprehensive thrashing of a demoralized Melbourne in their Round Nine clash at Patersons Stadium. Melbourne’s Jack Watts scored the first goal and for a brief time it looked as though there might be a bit of spirit in the visitors. Unfortunately it was short lived and Melbourne soon crumbled under a relentless and clinical onslaught by the Dockers.

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Freo Finds Finals Form

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium in Perth

With the Top Eight determined the previous round, all that was left was the shuffling of the deck chairs to find out which teams would play against each other in the Finals. It was down to percentage for the Fremantle Dockers as to where they finished, with the possibility that they could meet the West Coast Eagles in an Elimination Final if they finished in eighth position. Coach Ross Lyon talked about “managing” the result, a veiled reference some took as meaning not playing to their best to achieve that result.

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Tigers Unconvincing Over Demons

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting from the MCG for AFANA

A sunny Saturday afternoon was the setting for the Round 15 clash between a shell-shocked Richmond and a hungry Melbourne. The Tigers had endured a horror week off the field, losing Ty Vickery to season-ending shoulder surgery and team barometer Jake King to a knee injury for four weeks. As if that weren't enough, Dustin Martin was suspended by the club for two weeks in an incident that cost Daniel Connors his Richmond AFL career. Dylan Grimes was also unavailable with ongoing hamstring troubles and Daniel Jackson would be sitting out after being suspended for a love tap on Adelaide's Chris Knights in the previous round.

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Demon Demolition

Melbourne has had a tough time against the West Coast Eagles over the years, particularly when traveling to their fortress, Patersons Stadium, winning only eight times in the last 28 matches. The Demons were trounced last week in an emotional game after the passing of their club President and playing hero Jim Stynes. Today was another serving of the same medicine as the Eagles went all out to crush their spirit.

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Resurgent Tigers Overcome Demons

A Round 23 clash between two struggling clubs would normally not attract a lot of attention but this round had a high level of importance for both Richmond and Melbourne. The Tigers had seemingly lost their way after an exciting start to the season but, coming off a thumping 47 point win against perennial finalist Sydney, they appeared to have their mojo back. If they could pull off a win against Melbourne – a feat they had not managed since Round 18, 2009 – some momentum could be regained as the Tigers move into a very important off-season. Melbourne on the other hand, has had its season torn apart over the past month, going from a highly-touted dynasty built around Trengove, Scully and Watts to a team which sacked its coach after some abysmal late season performances. Amazingly, the Demons could still mathematically make the Finals with a win over Richmond and games against cellar-dwelling Gold Coast and Port Adelaide to follow.

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Demons Scare Dockers

With the business end of the season approaching, the fight for a spot in the top four is tightening. Finishing top four is important because it means a double chance in the finals. Fremantle has a battle ahead to maintain its current position in fourth place after losing to Richmond in an upset in Round 15. The shock loss of Michael Barlow with a broken tibia and fibula has changed the dynamic of the team.

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