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Dockers Dodge Crow Attack

David Mundy Greets Fans

The Fremantle Dockers survived a third-quarter attack from the Adelaide Crows to break through for their first win of the season. The more experienced Adelaide players controlled the ball in the midfield for long periods of the game, but the Crow forwards were wasteful in front of goals and delivered spirit-sapping misses. The once-mighty Crows, who were Grand Finalists in 2017, now sit at the bottom of the AFL table with little to suggest they have the players, or the desire, to challenge other teams. The young Dockers played without their captain and dual Brownlow medallist, Nat Fyfe, were missing their three biggest defenders; and yet ran out comfortable winners against the physically stronger Adelaide team.

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American Sports Fans Shocked by Aussie AFL Documentary

Adam Goodes in full flight.

An editorial from Brook Kilpatrick, AFANA's staff member in Adelaide, with contributions by Chris Kowald, in Perth. 

American sports fans have reacted to “The Australian Dream” after ESPN recently aired the Australian AFL documentary that focuses on the racism encountered by Sydney Swans legend Adam Goodes. 

US website “Brinkwire” has reported an “outpouring of support” for Goodes after viewers learned of the “incessant taunting and booing” that was directed at Goodes throughout the tail end of his career. (https://en.brinkwire.com/news/americans-claim-racism-is-worse-in-australia-after-espn-screens-the-adam-goodes-documentary/ )

The cutting quote that some Americans claim racism is “worse in Australia” is certainly cause for discussion, and it cannot be denied that indigenous Australian AFL players such as Adam Goodes have experienced the worst of it at various stages throughout their career. Australian football greats such as Maurice Rioli, Phil and Jim Krakouer, Nicky Winmar, and current player Eddie Betts have all spoken about the racism they have encountered throughout their football lives, with some such as Betts, actively being involved in campaigns to educate with a view to eradicating such abhorrent behavior. Betts recently called out a person who posted an image of a chimpanzee on his Twitter page. Winmar recently forced an apology from three Melbourne journalists who claimed Winmar's iconic gesture was not related to racial issues.

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The Passing Of A Legend

As Round Four was about to get underway, former Hawthorn coach and icon of the game John Kennedy, Sr  passed away at the age of 91. Just a few weeks earlier, he was elevated to legend status in the AFL Hall of Fame (see story at https://www.afana.com/news/2020/06/05/afl-hall-fame-2020)

The Hawthorn club issued a statement saying he passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of June 25th. The club statement also said in part, "... John was a man of extraordinary humility and strong family values. He is not only woven into every thread of Hawthorn Football Club’s fabric, but he underpins the values that our family club is built upon."

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Undefeated Power Crunch Eagles

Port Adelaide Power continued their bright start to the season with a convincing win over the West Coast Eagles. Port Adelaide played rugged no-nonsense physical football, where they used their muscle to crunch the opposition in the packs; and then distribute the ball to their unheralded outside players, who moved the ball quickly to unsettle opposition defenses. West Coast were hoping the fine conditions would finally allow them to play their possession and clean delivery game; however, the Power rarely gave them space and dictated the game from within the packs.

Charlie Dixon marks as Robbie Tarrant reaches to tackle
Dixon against the Roos in 2019

Big forward, Charley Dixon, dominated the air in the Port forward line and finished with six goals. To the casual observer, it may seem that Dixon was a one-man band, but it was a team effort.

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Brave Blues Crack Kardinia Curse

Eddie Betts Saved the Day

Much maligned Carlton has held on grimly to defeat a fast-finishing Geelong by just two points at Kardinia Park on Saturday night – the Blues first win at Geelong’s home park since 1996. This continued a series of surprising results in this already unusual season. The star of the Carlton show was undoubtedly veteran Eddie Betts, with the plucky goal sneak not only kicking the game’s opening goal but bookending it with a game-saving tackle within the last minute of the match.

Carlton stunned the highly fancied Geelong by dominating the first quarter through some great work by star midfielder Patrick Cripps and emerging ruckman Marc Pittonet, with the aforementioned Eddie Betts chipping in with two goals. At quarter time the Blues led by 25 points after what was comfortably their most impressive quarter for the season to date.

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Port Show Power in the Wet

Ollie Wines Celebrates (2019)

A powerful second quarter, in a deluge of biblical proportions, was enough for Port Adelaide to set up a commanding lead over the Fremantle Dockers. The young Dockers challenged Port in the first quarter but were easily pushed aside during the waterlogged second term. The bigger bodied Power played hard-nosed wet weather football and the Dockers watched. The bruised Dockers steadied in the clear conditions after halftime but were unable to make inroads on the Port lead.

The Dockers began the game with plenty of pluck, matching Port in the packs in the first quarter. Two goals to Matt Taberner and singles to Travis Colyer and Brandon Matera saw the Dockers lead by a goal at the first break. As the match progressed, the undermanned Dockers

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Rampaging Power Stun Crows

Port Fans Waiving the Flag

Port Adelaide kept a firm grip on top spot on the AFL ladder with a rampant 75-point win over crosstown rivals the Adelaide Crows on Saturday night at Adelaide Oval.

With the season’s first batch of fans – 2240 in total – present at the ground, the Power completely outclassed a struggling Crows outfit that lost defender Jake Kelly early to concussion, then Captain Rory Sloane with a thigh injury that kept the Adelaide favorite sidelined for all of the second half.

The winning margin was the highest by Port against their local rivals while also restricting the Crows to their lowest total score in all previous “showdowns”.

Early in the first quarter there was no indication of the drubbing that eventually took place as Adelaide produced eight of the first nine entries inside the 50 meter arc, resulting in goals to Rory Sloane and young forward Darcy Fogarty. That was where the joy ended for the underdog Crows as Port completely dominated proceedings from then on, finishing on the positive side of the ledger for a total of 57 entries inside 50 compared to just 30 for the shell-shocked Crows.

Port was continually first to the contested ball, and it was the young guns that once again shone for the Power just as they had done in 2019. Connor Rozee (17 disposals, 8 clearances, 6 tackles) continues to play at a level that belies his experience, Xavier Duursma (17 disposals, 3 goals) is on fire and Zak Butters (21 disposals, 7 marks and 8 tackles) completed the domination of the second year Power draftees.

After quarter time when Adelaide trailed by just 13 points, it was one-way traffic with the Power brushing aside the Crows with ease. Half time saw Port’s advantage balloon to 32 points as the Crows showed frustration in giving away two late 50 meter penalties that resulted in Port goals.

When the Port Adelaide veterans decided to join the party, there was no stopping the boys wearing the old-school “prison bar” jumpers made famous by the original Port Adelaide that dominated the South Australian Football League back in the day. Justin Westhoff and Charlie Dixon chipped in with three goals each while Steven Motlop added two more plus the mark of the day with a screamer that had the 1,400 odd and spaced out Port supporters in raptures.

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Alex Aurrichio Big As Life

Alex Aurrichio

(photo credit: Southport Sharks) By now, most footy fans have heard the news of the tragic death on June 8 of former New York Magpie Alex Aurrichio. To summarize the sad news, he was riding his bicycle near Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia when he was hit from behind by a car. The driver stopped as did others to render assistance but he died at the scene due to severe head trauma. We've surveyed the other media and offer a summary of the reaction.

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ESPN To Add Two Live Games

According to an international TV schedule released by the AFL, two games from Round 2 will appear this weekend on ESPN2/ESPN3. We are attempting to confirm this with ESPN. The announced schedule is:

ESPN2 Fri 6/12/20 5:30 AM US EDT Geelong vs Hawthorn
ESPN3 Sun 6/14/20 1:30 AM US EDT Sydney vs Essendon

(Note: future schedules will be on our TV schedules page, just click on yellow button above.)(Update 6/12 10:30 AM:) While ESPN has yet to confirm this, the first match did air as scheduled. Overnight, the AFL broadcasting department advised us that up to two matches per week will air for the duration of the AFL season on one of the ESPN networks in the US, not including finals. We will continue to update this note as more information becomes available. Once ESPN replies, we will seek schedules for upcoming weeks and add them to our schedule pages.

(Update 6/13: From ESPN press release: "ESPN has brought back one of its earliest fan favorites, live Australian rules football, which returned Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. ET with the Geelong Cats vs. Hawthorn Hawks on ESPN2. Regular-season action will continue with one live match per week on a linear TV channel and one on ESPN3. ... A total of 32 Australian Football League (AFL) games across 16 weeks will be presented. Commentary and graphics will come from the host broadcaster. ESPN, which launched in September 1979, gained some of its first national attention by airing Australian Rules Football in its first year as the sport quickly grew a cult-like following. ESPN continued with AFL through 1985, airing the Grand Final live the final three years. ESPN2 aired AFL in 1996-97 and 2010-11.")

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Pies and Tigers Draw Ends Covid Break But Brings Little Joy

Jeremy Howe against West Coast (file)

A cool winter’s evening with virtually no breeze greeted the two teams that lead the way back for the competition onto the MCG after the long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There was no crowd allowed in the massive stadium save for a handful of officials and some artificial crowd cutouts behind the goals. The ground was slippery from a heavy dew. Pre-match saw both teams randomly spread around the center circle and ‘take a knee’ in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. It was almost 3 months ago that round 1 was completed and for players and fans of the game, the long wait was over. 

Richmond won the toss and chose to kick to the city end. It was Collingwood who scored first when Taylor Adams roved a boundary throw-in and snapped on the run from 40m out. Tom Phillips followed up with a second for Collingwood with a set shot goal.

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