Welcome to the first AFANA AFL Power Poll for 2019, and what a crazy couple of rounds of footy we have witnessed to kick off the season! If what we have seen so far is any indication, Aussie rules football fans are in for a crazy ride in 2019. Nothing should surprise us given the last three premiers have come from 8th, 13th and 6th on the ladder in the year prior to taking out the big one.
Round seventeen was full of upsets, great finishes and some very big injuries. The Giants resurrected their season with a win over the Tigers, the Eagles rode their big forwards to a classy win over Collingwood, and the Crows celebrated the re-signing of favorite son Rory Sloane by banking a win against the highly fancied Cats.
Biggest loser of the weekend has to go to Port Adelaide, who not only forfeited a chance at second place on the ladder by losing to an undermanned Fremantle,
By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
Hawthorn and Geelong gave us yet another Easter Monday classic with the Hawks scraping home by a solitary point in the match of the round. With just two weeks of the season in the books, the AFL brains trust must be delighted that there are just four teams sitting on two wins. Greater Western Sydney, Port Adelaide, Hawthorn and Gold Coast have set the pace with the Suns being the big surprise packet after outclassing an error-riddled Carlton on Saturday.
The Adelaide Crows have strengthened their claim on premiership favoritism with a dominating 36 point victory over a disappointing Greater Western Sydney Giants in the first qualifying final at Adelaide Oval on Thursday evening.
The win takes Adelaide into a preliminary final against the winner of next weekend’s Geelong vs Sydney Swans clash at the MCG. It will be the first time Adelaide has appeared in a preliminary final since 2012 when they went down narrowly to Hawthorn.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants continue to send shivers up the collective spine of every other team in the AFL. Despite losing two talented defenders early in their Sunday contest against the Western Bulldogs, the Giants rolled to their sixth win in a row, outlasting a plucky Bulldog outfit by 25 points at Spotless Stadium. GWS now sits in third on the AFL ladder in a 3 way log-jam at 7-2 for the year.
A sell-out crowd of almost 14,000 saw the Greater Western Sydney Giants overcome finals favorites Geelong in a stirring performance that signals their arrival as a team to be reckoned with. The fact that the Giants did it with ex-Cat Stevie Johnson kicking two important goals made it all the more memorable for the fledgling club.
The Fremantle Dockers gradually wore down a determined Great Western Sydney Giants unit to go six premiership points clear on top of the AFL Ladder at Domain Stadium in their Round 18 clash.
Fremantle was on the scoreboard early with goals to David Mundy and Michael Walters who were both in scintillating form.
Reigning champion Hawthorn traveled north to take on the up-and-coming Greater Western Sydney Giants at Spotless Stadium in Round 6, with all but the staunchest of Giants' fans expecting a Hawthorn victory. Despite losing team leaders Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis to suspension, the highly skilled Hawks were expected to comfortably account for a Giants team that had been smashed by the West Coast Eagles just a week earlier.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chcago
In late May, a Melbourne board meeting led to media speculation that Coach Mark Neeld was going be sacked. That rumor was quashed with Neeld himself saying it was simply a routine meeting. However, at a meeting on June 14, the board decided to tell Neeld his services were no longer required. Recently appointed CEO Peter Jackson held off on delivering the news to Neeld until the Monday following the completion of Round 12 due to concerns that the information would be leaked to the media before Neeld could be told.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Chad Cornes (254 games) and Kane Cornes (244 games) are now the sixth pair of brothers in League history to reach 500 combined games. The leading families are: Madden (710 games, Simon 378 and Justin 332), Nankervis (578 games, Ian 325 and Bruce 253), Coventry (533 games, Syd 227 and Gordon 306), Richardson (518 games, Wayne 277 and Max 241), Wakelin (513 games, Darryl 252 and Shane 261), Cornes (500 games, Chad 355 and Kane 245), Rocca (499 games, Saverio 257 and Anthony 242), Matthews (487 games, Leigh 332 and Kelvin 155), Hocking (473 games, Stephen 199 and Garry 274), Collier (470 games, Harry 253 and Albert 217).