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AFANA AFL Power Poll Round 22

By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

There is just one minor round of the AFL season to go. In what has been an incredible season to date, we still do not know which eight teams will play in the finals, and amazingly, which teams will get the all-important double chance.

The only team guaranteed to finish top two is the Adelaide Crows, who maintain the top spot on the AFANA power poll despite a narrow loss to the rampaging Sydney Swans in Adelaide on Friday night. Speaking of the Swans, the Sydneysiders became the first team in history to make the finals after starting the season 0-6. To top it off, the Swans are a chance to move into fourth place next weekend, boosting their chances for a ride all the way to the premiership.
Where does this leave the other 16 teams as we head into the round 23? Let’s take a look. 

1.    Adelaide Crows (Last time - 1)
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Round 4 AFANA AFL Power Poll

AFANA AFL Power Poll (Round 4)
by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

1.    Adelaide Crows (Last Week - 1)
The Crows keep top spot after obliterating Essendon by 65 points in front of a rabid Adelaide Oval home crowd. No Josh Jenkins, no Mitch McGovern, no problems for the Crows who are on fire right now.

2.    Greater Western Sydney Giants (2)
The Giants didn’t have it all their own way against a feisty Port Adelaide at Spotless Stadium. Despite trailing by four points at three quarter time, the Giants stormed home to win by 31 points, keeping the Power goalless in the final quarter.
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Giants Cut Down Power

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

Greater Western Sydney has ticked another box in its development as an AFL powerhouse. The Giants staged a gutsy comeback against Port Adelaide in blustery conditions at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon. Trailing by 20 points at half time against a Port team desperate to win and still hoping to reach the finals; the Giants showed great determination to take control of the game and run out 19 point victors. The Giants vaulted themselves into second place on the AFL ladder.
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Dockers Shutdown Power

Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

In the clash of the two port teams, the Fremantle Dockers showed more desire for the ball than Port Adelaide. Port, a team that has promised their fans so much in recent years, have stumbled when they were within touching distance of the top eight.
Power Turned Off
The Dockers are suddenly among the league's hottest clubs trying to erase memories of the worst season start in club history.
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Concussion Claims Another Career

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Brisbane defender Matt Maguire has been forced into retirement due to a severe concussion suffered during a NEAFL match on Anzac Day (April 25). Maguire, 31, began his career with St Kilda in 2002 and

played 99 games for the Saints before a badly broken leg interrupted his career. He joined the Lions in 2009 and played 71 games. He has played just two games this season.

Although Brisbane's medical staff were confident Maguire would fully recover, he had still been suffering after-effects of the concussion - headaches, head and neck pain, blurred vision and dizziness. He had scans two months ago which revealed several blood clots on his brain. According to Maguire, the symptoms have prevented him from training or running properly so he could return to play. It was the seventh concussion Maguire has suffered over the course of his career. While he was assured by specialists that the symptoms would subside, he was told that it would take time.

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Tigers Crash Port Party

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

In Round 8, Richmond returned to the scene of last season’s 57 point Elimination Final debacle, determined to put up a better fight against a Port Adelaide team yet to find its best form in 2015. Although the game was to be a celebration of retiring Port legend Kane Cornes on his 300th and final game in front of a home crowd of more than 45,000 fans, it was the Tigers who burst out of the blocks early with a Jake Batchelor goal at the seven minute mark. Port players were being denied the space they crave for their free-running game as Richmond piled on the pressure with fierce tackling and an uncompromising attack on the ball. Jack Riewoldt found Brett Deledio right on the 50 meter arc at the 16 minute mark and Deledio did the rest, sending a towering kick through the goals to give Richmond a handy 19 point lead at quarter time. In a massive turnaround from when the teams last met, Port failed to kick a goal in the first quarter and the home fans grew restless with the slow start.

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Port Power Too Strong For Crows in Showdown

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

Bitter rivals Port Adelaide and Adelaide once again packed Adelaide Oval for the much anticipated Round 5 Showdown. Coming off a win against reigning Premiers Hawthorn, the Power had earned favorite status against a Crows outfit which has been playing much better football under the tutelage of new coach Phil Walsh.

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Dockers Fall Over Finish Line

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Ruck Action

A couple of last minute goals to Lachie Neale and Hayden Ballantyne saw the Fremantle Dockers sneak a win over Port Adelaide Power in their Round 1 clash at Domain (formerly Patersons) Stadium in Perth. Neale’s goal was a shot on the run from 50 meters out in the last minutes of the game, while Ballantyne played on from a match winning tackle by Zac Clarke who won a free kick after chasing down Jasper Pittard in the forward 50 metre zone. A four goal contribution by Matthew Pavlich, two of which were at critical times in the final quarter, also helped the Dockers to a stirring win.
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Club Awards

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney midfielder Luke Parker has won his first Bob Skilton medal as the Swans' best and fairest. Parker polled in all but three games to finish on 758 votes, ahead of Josh Kennedy (709) and Lance Franklin (688). Parker, 21, is the youngest winner since Michael O'Loughlin in 1998. He also won the Paul Kelly Players’ Player Award, which is voted on by the playing group. Parker led the club in 2014 for tackles, averaging six per game, and was among the leaders for the season in disposals, contested possessions and goals. Coach Longmire praised Parker as a great competitor, saying the win - after just 82 games - was a great achievement. “When you look at the players behind him - Kennedy and Franklin - you quickly get an understanding of how good a season he has had, and how highly we think of him as a player. Luke was taken as quite a late draft pick, but he really is testament to where hard work can get you, and we value that really highly."

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