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Family First For Hawk Star

Rioli Takes a Mark

In June, Hawk star Cyril Rioli was granted indefinite leave by Hawthorn to return to Darwin for family reasons. Just ahead of Round 16, he announced his retirement, effective immediately. He said he had thought about it for the past year and believes he has made the right decision for himself and his family.

In making the announcement, he said,

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AFANA Power Poll - Round Eleven

Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

Tigers run through banner.

In a quirky scheduling twist this week, round eleven – celebrating Australia’s Indigenous heritage - saw the top eight teams pitted against the bottom eight, giving the top teams the chance to stretch their advantage while those struggling had the opportunity to make up some ground. Fast forward to Monday, and with all of the games in the books, the top six teams on the AFANA Power Poll all had wins, keeping them at the top of the tree.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Ten

 

AFL Fremantle v Kangaroos, 2018 Optus Stadium.

Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

The Eagles are still flying high, the Demons are red hot and the Kangaroos continue to defy the critics. These were the big stories of an enthralling round ten. The Giants once again couldn’t find a way to win while the Tigers, minus two of their playmakers who went off injured early, could. Collingwood won again to keep in touch with the pack while Adelaide had a shocker. 

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Stuart Dew Appointed Suns' Coach

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Former Port Adelaide and Hawthorn premiership player Stuart Dew has been appointed as the new senior coach of the Gold Coast Suns. Dew, 38, won out over Carlton assistant coach John Barker and Collingwood assistant coach Scott Burns. He, like Barker, has completed his Level Four coaching course and won strong reviews throughout the AFL program which was designed to help assistants advance to senior positions. Dew was first interviewed formally by the Suns in mid-September, along with Adam Kingsley (St Kilda), Jade Rawlings (Melbourne) and former Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney. He, Barker and Burns made it to the final interview stage.
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Three More Veterans Bow Out

by Lisa Albergp reporting for AFANA from Chicago

 In mid-August, three more veterans announced they would be retiring at the end of the year - Bulldog Robert Murphy, Hawk Josh Gibson and Cat turned Bomber James Kelly. Murphy joins teammate and fellow 300-gamer Matthew Boyd in retiring.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll Round 18

By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

The big winners in Round 18 were the Adelaide Crows and the Sydney Swans. The Crows win over second placed Geelong in Adelaide gives them a six-point buffer at the head of the table, providing a great chance at finishing in first at the end of the minor round with the bonus of home finals. For the Swans, their big win over the Saints has them sitting 6th as the best performed team in the last two months.

The big loser over the weekend was the West Coast Eagles, whose final quarter capitulation against an undermanned Collingwood dropped them out of the top eight, leaving them with an uphill battle ahead to work their way back into finals contention.

1.    Adelaide Crows (Last time - 1)
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Hawks Create History with Third Consecutive Premiership

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

Captain Hodge and defender Josh Gibson share the love with the fans after defeating West Coast eagles in the AFL Grand Final. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA.While it was the hottest Grand Final in history with the mercury hitting 31.3 degrees Celsius (88.3 Fahrenheit), the much anticipated “close contest” between Hawthorn and the West Coast did not bring the heat many anticipated and - in the case of West Coast supporters - hoped for. In the end, this Grand Final was not a replay of “David and Goliath”. The Hawks entered the match favorites and they won nearly everything - the coin toss, all the important game statistics, the Premiership Cup, the Norm Smith Medal and the full-blown respect of the Australian football public. The Hawks' players were never challenged in a master class performance of Aussie Rules football. Alastair Clarkson and his coaching staff cemented a well-earned place in history as the Hawks won the “three-peat”, back to back Premierships in 2013 (defeating Fremantle), 2014 (dominating over Sydney) and now in 2015. No doubt West Coast fans are wondering what happened and how their break out season ended so lamely.
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Hawks Run Over Dockers and Head for Grand Final

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Hawthorn has been Fremantle’s bogeyman ever since the 2013 Grand Final and the Dockers' disappointing defeat. If there were a team that Fremantle would rather face in the Preliminary Final it would be anyone other than the Hawks. Fremantle may have had the week off courtesy of a good win over Sydney but the Hawks, having beaten the Dockers in their last encounter at Domain and in the dynamic form they showed in last week's demolition of Adelaide, had nothing to fear in coming back West to play them in the Peliminary Final. As it turned out Hawthorn dominated Fremantle to have them sliding out of the Finals and racing gently into that good night called the off season.
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Hawks Run Riot over Crows and Advance to Preliminary Final

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA from Australia

Hawthorn's Luke Hodge Hodge gets trapped by Thompson of the Crows. Photo by Kiim Densham for AFANA.A fearless Hawthorn completely dominated the Adelaide Crows in front of over 70,000 fans at the MCG on Friday night. With their potential “three-peat“ under threat after an indifferent performance against the West Coast Eagles just a week earlier, the Hawks showed no mercy as they piled on eight first-quarter goals.

Adelaide, despite coming into the game in season-best form, had no answers for the Hawks' brilliant ball use and pinpoint accuracy.
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