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Injuries Take Toll As More Retire

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

A severe toe injury has forced Tiger Jake King to retire immediately. He explained to SEN's hosts that there was no cartilage left in the joint connecting his big toe to his foot and also there was a crack in the bone. Both made it painful for him to walk and he could no longer kick the ball. He said a number of treatments have been tried but all had failed. The only option left is surgery to fuse the joint. The injury restricted him to just two senior games this year.

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Tigers Roar for Four

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

The Sunday special this week belonged to Richmond and St Kilda, two clubs with differing fortunes and vastly different short term futures. The Saints, only a couple of years removed from a Grand Final appearance, seem to have bypassed their potential Premiership window as their older players move away from their prime. The Tigers on the other hand, have put a dark recent past behind them, forging a bright future on the back of 60,000 plus members and a three game winning streak that should help them build towards their first Finals appearance since 2001. The sideshow to every St Kilda versus Richmond clash is the match up of gun forward cousins in Nick (St Kilda) and Jack (Richmond) Riewoldt, with Jack having the better of the spoils over the last few contests including a seven goal haul the last time these two teams met. Tiger young gun Nick Vlastuin was a late withdrawal prior to game time, while St Kilda were without feisty goal sneak Stephen Milne after off field issues that could potentially end a tumultuous but effective career.

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Round 15 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Joel Corey (GEEL) will qualify for AFL Life Membership in Round 15 with his 300th game. He has played 265 season games, one State of Origin match, 31 preseason games and two International Rules Matches. Other Round milestones include:

200 games: Campbell Brown (GC) and Justin Koschitzke (StK)
150 games: Will Minson (WB)
100 games: Josh Hill (WCE), Liam Picken (WB), Shaun Grigg (RICH), Josh Kennedy (SYD) and Jake King (RICH)
50 games: Jamie Macmillan (NM), Allen Christensen (GEEL) and Danny Stanley (GC)

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Tigers Earn Stripes

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Taking a leaf right out of the NFL playbook, the AFL decided to run its own version of Monday Night Football in Western Australia for the Round 10 clash between the West Coast Eagles and Richmond. While Hank Williams Jr. was nowhere to be seen, plenty of spectators had taken up the offer of footy on a public holiday as Patersons Stadium was packed to the rafters for this all-important clash. The Eagles' season had been gaining momentum after four wins on the trot coinciding with the return of excitement machine Nic Naitanui, while Richmond headed west looking for credibility after being trounced by a rampaging Essendon in Round 9.

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Classy Cats Undefeated

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond faced the undefeated Geelong in Round Six action with both teams having plenty to play for. If the Cats could get through with a win, they would carry a sensational 6-0 record into a week seven match up with a potentially 6-0 Essendon. For the Tigers, a solid 3-0 start had quickly turned sour with defeat at the hands of Collingwood then Fremantle by the barest of margins. Geelong has owned Richmond in recent years, the Tigers not having tasted victory over the Cats since Round 9 in 2006.

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Dockers Ship Comes In

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Richmond was living its YOLO (You Only Live Once) creed as the players prepared for a roll of the dice against a tough Fremantle Dockers unit at home. Pre-match the Tigers said they were prepared to throw everything into the Round 21 game and leave nothing on the table in the encounter. There was a bit of skullduggery before the game when giant ruckman Aaron Sandilands replaced Jonathon Griffen who claimed to be injured in the warm-up. It was pure theater as there were rumors that the fix was on right from the start to upset the Tigers’ game plan.

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Tigers Dominate Dogs

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Despite having only the slimmest of mathematical chances of making the Finals, Richmond Coach Damien Hardwick insists that his team will be going all out to win every remaining game of the 2012 season. On the other side of the coin, the Western Bulldogs are doing their best to stay positive in the face of multiple injuries and poor performance. Past match history was in the Bulldogs favor in Round 20 as the Tigers had not registered a win against the Doggies since Round 3 in 2005. The Tigers received a pre-game boost when Bulldog midfield gun Ryan Griffen was ruled out with an injury.

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Like Tigers Of Old

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

The Round 9 match between Hawthorn and Richmond was billed as a clash between the newly anointed Premiership favorites and the up and coming Finals hopefuls. The recent demise of Carlton and the continuing struggles of Geelong had the bookmakers talking up the Hawks as the team to beat in 2012. With young gun defender Dylan Grimes out of the Richmond team through injury, all signs pointed to a comfortable Hawthorn victory. The late withdrawal of another solid defender in Jake Batchelor left the Tigers' defense ripe for the picking for the Hawks' prize forwards in Lance “Buddy” Franklin and the dynamic Cyril Rioli.

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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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Happy West Coast 25th Anniversary

In recent years, Patersons Stadium has been a fortress for the West Coast Eagles against Richmond with 12 of the last 14 matches going West Coast’s way. The Richmond Tigers had been given no chance of winning the Round 20 encounter, particularly with the Eagles celebrating 25 years in the competition and knocking on the door of a Final Four berth. Tiger fans hoped that with nothing to lose, Richmond might come out with a hunger to play and rain on the Eagles’ parade.

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