Skip to main content
G'Day Footy Fans -
 
Foxtel Games Bid
One fly in the ointment is the continuing court case in which Foxtel is only one of a number of outlets being sued by Seven. As a result, Foxtel has been negotiating only with the Ten Network.     
 
Meanwhile, despite several AFL Commissioners and some clubs warming to the idea, Andrew Demetriou has again refuted any notion of a night Grand Final. However, new broadcast partners Seven and Ten both believe a night GF is inevitable in the future.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
GENERAL NEWS
 
New AFL Team Member
Dr .Melanie Heenan, who has worked at the Australian Center for the Study of Sexual Assault, has been appointed as AFL's Senior Project Officer to deliver the AFL's Respect and Responsibility Policy.  Dr. Heenan's career has included over 10 years of research and policy experience and she has held positions with the Victorian Law Reform Commission and the Victorian Department of Justice. Duties included providing training and education to counselors, police members, and the legal profession.
Andrew Demetriou said her appointment was a link between the AFL and VicHealth, with a view to implement and adapt the league's policy across all levels of football.
The policy was introduced last year, with key elements being: the introduction of model anti-sexual harassment and anti-sexual discrimination procedures across the AFL and its clubs; development of organizational policies and procedures to ensure a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for women; reviewing AFL rules relating to conduct unbecoming which cover the specific context of allegations of sexual assault; education of AFL players and other club officials with avenues for dissemination of the program to the community level being explored; the dissemination of model policies and procedures at the community club level; development of a public education campaign.
 
Heenan said the policy, once fully in place, would encourage positive relationships and the maximization of skills and participation of women in football. The first stage in Dr Heenan's work is set to be the development of a program which will utilize players who have elected to be mentors within their own playing groups and to publicly endorse the policy's objectives.
Heenan has also worked with the Center Against Sexual Assault (CASA House) 1999-2000, Legal Education and Training Project, CASA House 1997-99, National Conference on Sexual Assault and The Law 1995-96, and the r*pe Law Reform Evaluation Project 1992-95. She has also been heavily involved in community groups: Member of the Victorian Statewide Steering Committee to Reduce Sexual Assault (2003-Current); Member of the AFL Working Group for the Violence Against Women Strategy; Member of the Advisory Committee for the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Personal Safety Survey (2004-Current); Member of the Reference Group for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundations' Community Attitudes Survey on Violence Against Women (2005-Current); Trustee to the Board of Management for the Victorian Women's Trust (2005-Current) 
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age

Star Junior Meets AFL
Gibbs and Sellar listened to Pagan's address to the Carlton players last Saturday and also met Steve Kernahan, who also played with Glenelg and is a friend of Gibbs' father Ross. 
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
New MCG Costing Clubs
New facilities may be better for the AFL and fans attending games, but tenant clubs are concerned that they are losing $30-40,000 per game as the new facilities in the MCC compete with the clubs.  Tenant clubs Melbourne, Richmond, and Hawthorn have already approached the AFL about brokering a better deal because of lower gate returns they have received this year compared to 2005. However, any negotiations by the AFL have been put on hold until the league determines how much money will be allocated to the clubs under the new broadcast deal. Collingwood, another MCG tenant, is the only one not having financial problems in terms of gate takings at the ground.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
More Help For Past Players
AFL Commissioner Bill Kelty recently met with Lindsay Fox and the executive team of past players group,  X-Men, which was formed several years ago to provide financial assistance for ex-players who need help in paying for football related medical problems. Kelty pledged more money from the AFL to cover medical expenses.
Fox, an ex-player himself and president of St. Kilda's past players association, and Kelty are good friends and the meeting was held at his Fox's request after the X-Men asked the AFL to  establish a $10 million fund to pay for medical assistance for retired players who are struggling financially or unable to afford private health insurance, and the current AFL package is not sufficient.
 
Kelty and Fox heard a litany of cases dating back to the 1950s of footballers unable to afford medical costs for football related disabilities. Kelty then asked the representatives of X-Men to compile a formal list of player claims.   He said the AFL would investigate and cover the all medical costs deemed appropriate.

It is believed the X-Men's push was provoked by the case of former Carlton footballer Adrian Whitehead, who is still pursuing his case against the club and has already spent $150,000. Whitehead is claiming that treatment by club medical staff during a game in which he continued to play while injured,  left permanent damage to his foot. He was also told he had no claim through workmen's comp or Carlton. The damage to his foot also prematurely ended his career.

Currently each player in the league contributes 0.25% of his pay, with that amount lifting to half a per cent in 2007 and 0.75 per cent in 2008 to the AFLPA fund. It is expected that the AFLPA's fund will reach $250,000 this year and reach $2 million by 2008.
The X-men, who receive about $100,000 a year from the association's grand final week breakfast and grand final tickets package, told Kelty that the AFL's contribution to the fund should be administered by a board of trustees and include an X-Men representative. 
Further meetings will be scheduled after Kelty meets with the AFL and AFLPA.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
TRIBUNAL

Chris Tarrant (COL), striking Bulldog Dale Morris: negligent (1), medium impact (2), in play (0) and high contact (2)equaling 5 points, 125 demerits, a Level 2 offense and a 1 game suspension. He has a total of three matches suspended within the last three years for a 20% increase, and has 12.50 residual points, increasing the penalty to 162 50. Tarrant accepted, reducing the the penalty 25% to 121.88 points and a one-game sanction.
 
Brian Harris WB), striking Magpie Anthony Rocca: negligent (1), low impact (1), in play (0), and high contact (2), equaling 4 points, a Level 1 offense, 75 demerits and a reprimand. he has a record of 5 games suspended in the past 3 years, increasing the penalty 40% to 105 demerits and a 1 game suspension. He entered an early plea, reducing the penalty 25% to 78.75 demerits and a reprimand with the demerits held over toward any future offense.
 
Brent Guerra (HAW), striking Swan Lewis Roberts-Thomson: reckless conduct (2), high impact (3), in play (0) and high contact (2)equaling 7 points, a Level 4 offense, 325 demerits, and a 3 game suspension. He has a total of four matches suspended within the last three years, increasing his penalty 30% to 422.50 points and a 4 game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty by 25% to 316.88 points and a 3 game suspension. 
 
Nathan Lovett-Murray (ESS), rough conduct against Damon White (PA): negligent (1), medium impact (2), in play (0) and high contact (2) equaling 5 points, a Level 2 offense, 125 demerits and a 1 game suspension. He has no applicable good or bad record. He accepted, reducing the the penalty by 25% to 93.75 demerits and a reprimand
 
Mark McVeigh (ESS), was charged with acting in a threatening manner towards umpire Scott Jeffery incurring a $3200 fine for a first offense. He entered an early plea, reducing the penalty 25% to $2400.
 
Lenny Hayes (STK), striking Kangaroo Adam Simpson: reckless (2), low impact (1), in play (0), and high contact (2), equaling 5 points, a Level 2 offense, 125 demerits and a 1 game suspension. He has a total of 2 matches suspended within the last 2 years, increasing his penalty 10% to 137.50 points. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 103.13 points and a 1 game suspension. 
 
Brad Miller (MELB), striking Eagle Ashley Hansen: intentional (3), low impact (1), behind play (1) and high contact (2), equaling 7 points, 325 demerits, a Level 4 offense, and a 3 game suspension. He has a total of 2 matches suspended within the last 3 years, increasing his penalty 10% to 357.50 demerits and a 3 game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 268.13 demerits and a 2 game suspension. 
 
The match day report against St Kilda's Fraser Gehrig was reviewed. It was the view of the Match Review Panel that Gehrig's action was not a striking action, and the charge was dismissed. 
 
MILESTONES

Club Record Games: David Neitz (MELB), played his 273rd career game this week, breaking the club record of 272 games set by Robert Flower from 1973-87

700 official games: Michael Malthouse (COL) took part in his 700th official premiership match as a coach and player, comprising 174 games played for St Kilda and Richmond and 525 games so far as coach for Footscray, West Coast and Collingwood. He becomes only the sixth person in history to reach this mark. The top five on the total official match list are Collingwood's Jock McHale, whose record 878 official games comprised 261 as a player and player/coach and then a further 617 for Collingwood as a coach only, followed by Kevin Sheedy (851 games comprising 251 as a player for Richmond and 600 as a coach for Essendon), Leigh Matthews (736 games comprising 332 as a player for Hawthorn and 404 games as a coach for Collingwood and the Brisbane Lions), David Parkin (729 games comprising 211 as a player for Hawthorn and 518 games as a coach for Hawthorn, Carlton and Fitzroy) and fifth-placed Ron Barassi (719 games comprising 254 games as a player and player / coach for Melbourne and Carlton and 465 games as a coach only for Carlton, North Melbourne, Melbourne and Sydney)

250 games: Andrew McLeod (ADE) - he is just the 5th Crow in club the club's history to reach 250 games

250 games: Dustin Fletcher (ESS)
150 games: Chad Cornes (PA)
100 games: Mitch Hahn (WB), 
100 club games: Cameron Mooney (GEEL)
100 games coached: Chris Connolly (FRE)
50 games: David Johnson & Charlie Gardiner (GEEL), Toby Thurstans (PA)
 
TEAM NEWS
FREMANTLE
Debuted Adam Campbell this week. Campbell was born in NZ and has a rugby background. He didn't play footy until just 7 years ago, when the family moved to a farm in Western Victoria. Coach Chris Connolly believes Campbell, a forward, is the most aggressive player on the Dockers' list because of his rugby training.

He has already shown that aggression at ball and man in 2 preseason games this year. He featured in the spiteful London exhibition match against the Eagles last year and was  involved in a melee during a preseason game this year against Port Adelaide.
Campbell, before turning to footy, said he had always dreamed of playing the NZ All-Blacks rugby side. He began playing school footy to meet friends and stuck with it.
 
ST KILDA
Most knee victims know the worst almost as soon as it happens. However, neither Lenny Hayes nor the club medical staff realized he played out 3 terms last week with a ruptured ACL. He put down the soreness and loss of pace to a knock he had received to the knee and shin during the game, and had it treated at 1/2 time. It was only the next day, when the knee swelled up, that scans were done to reveal the extent of the injury.
Coach Grant Thomas ruled out blaming the medical team as everything done at the break showed that everything was fine. Hayes himself said he no serious discomfort during the game. The fact that the knee structure is very strong and only the ACL is damaged are two factors which could have contributed to the seriousness of the injury not being detected immediately.
Hayes traveled to Sydney after the surgery to spend time with his family and will then join the coaching team upon returning to the club.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age & afl.com.au
Beveridge said Khan is a 196cm athletic left footer who has played primarily as a ruckman but could develop into a key defender or forward.
Khan will receive advice from the Saints'  coaching and fitness/strength development staff and will spend time at the club during school holidays while continuing his schooling and representing their clubs in Sydney. While living in Sydney, he will be assisted through his involvement with the NSW development squad. Ryan will also play a part in his development.
 
Injury Update:
Xavier Clarke, left hip arthroscope, 5 weeks
James Gwilt, Gwilt J, left superior tibia/fibula sprain, 4 weeks
Aaron Hamill, right PCL strain, 5 weeks
Lenny Hayes, ACL rupture/ knee reconstruction, season
Justin Koschitzke, skull fracture, indefinite
Ed McDonnell, fractured thumb, 3 weeks
Fergus Watts, fractured left ankle, indefinite
 
Membership: 31,980 as of 5/30
 
GEELONG
Membership: 32,102 as of 5/30
 
PORT ADELAIDE
Brogan, who stands 199 cm and is a former Adelaide 36ers basketball player, has a history of striking on the football field. He was suspended for 3 games last year after head-butting former teammate and Carlton ruckman Barnaby French. He was also suspended for 1 match for charging Docker Robert Haddrill in a 2003 practice match in Perth and was suspended by the SANFL Tribunal in 2003 for striking a Glenelg player. 
 
Story Source: Herald Sun
 
Injury Update:
Peter Burgoyne, hamstring, 2-3 weeks
Dom Cassisi, knee, medial ligament, 2 weeks
Josh Francou, adductor, 1-2 week
Adam Kingsley, hamstring, 1 week
Gavin Wanganeen, knee, 8 weeks
 
Bartlett, who played 1965-1983, ended his career with 778 goals; Richardson, who kicked 65 goals last year, has 662.
Bowden, 28 next month, who played his 200th game in the Tigers' round-eight win over Adelaide, said he hoped to be "a one-club Richmond player" and enjoy "a bit of success" over the coming years.
The re-signing of Richardson and Bowden continues a long family tradition for both as  Richardson's father Alan was a member of the Tigers' 1967 premiership team while Bowden's father Michael played in the Tigers' 1969 premiership win.
 
The Tigers are raise funds to assist those affected by an explosion at a SA munitions factory, which killed 3 people. The explosion happened at the Quin Investments plant near Gladstone, 200 kilometers north of Adelaide. 
The Footy for Gladstone Appeal is auctioning the ball used in Joel Bowden's 200th game. The signed ball is being auctioned on the club's website, richmondfc.com.au.
Matthew Richardson had scans last week on his wrist which revealed he had cracked a small bone. He will be sidelined for 2 weeks.
 
Injury Update:
Nathan Brown, leg, ongoing assessment
Matthew Richardson, wrist, 2 weeks
Will Thursfield, knee, season
 
ADELAIDE
Football fans attending the game last week between the Crows and Carlton dug deep into their pockets to donate a total of $40,536 to the "Footy For Gladstone Appeal". The league also helped by waiving its normal $3.50 per copy charge for the AFL Record and instead encouraged footy fans at the ground to make a gold coin donation to the fund.
A further $10,000 was also collected at other AFL and SANFL games in South Australia.
 
Adversity can sometimes lead to improvisation - and so it was recently for Adelaide Coach Neil Craig, whose voice has been affected for the past month by the side effects of a flu bug.

Unable to bark out instructions on the field at training, the club bought 4 modified Nokia mobile phones which were slipped into the back pouches designed to carry the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) units that became the items last season. Players had the pouches strapped to their backs and Craig could then give them instructions over the phone from anywhere at the ground. One advantage to the system is that Craig can give instructions to one player without another one hearing them, thus creating near-match conditions in one-on-one training drills. 
 
Injury Update:
Chad Gibson & Scott Welsh, quad, 1 week
Ian Perrie, Knee, 6 weeks
Richard Douglas, knee, 6-8 weeks
Ben Hart, broken arm, 7 weeks
Nathan Bock & Darren Pfeiffer, back, indefinite
Ben Hudson, knee reco rehab, possible late season return
 
CARTLON
Injury Update:
Adam Hartlett, hamstring, 2-3 weeks
Paul Bower & Jarrad Waite, knee, 5-7 weeks
Brad Fisher, shoulder, 6-8 weeks
Justin Davies, back, indefinite
 
SYDNEY
Should the Kangaroos opt for games on the Gold Coast rather than remain in Canberra, the Swans have expressed an interest in scheduling games at Manuka Oval. Club CEO Myles Baron-Hay said the club was considering how it could increase its presence in Canberra,  although options were restricted by scheduling commitments in Sydney and Melbourne, but he said the club could play away games at the oval. Their preference would be games against non-Victorian clubs, but believes luring the Eagles, Dockers, Crows, or Port there would be unlikely because of their strong financial positions.
The Swans have gained a strong following in Canberra because of its proximity to Sydney.
The Kangaroos are expected to make a decision by the end of June between Canberra or accepting an offer supported by the Southport Sharks to play in Carrara.

Injury Update:
Andrew Ericksen, shoulder, 2 weeks
Nick Malceski, hamstring, 3 weeks
 
ESSENDON
Injury Update:
Richard Cole, hamstring, 3 weeks 
James Hird, hamstring, 1-2 weeks 
Lachlan McKinnon & Aaron Henneman, shoulder reconstruction, season
Matthew Lloyd, hamstring, season
Adam Ramanauskas, cancer treatment, indefinite
 
Membership Update: 35,912 as 5/29
 
WESTERN BULLDOGS
Injury Update:
Luke Darcy, Robert Murphy, Tim Walsh, Adam Morgan, knee, season
Shane Birss, ankle, 6 weeks
Tom Williams, ankle, 1-2 weeks
 
MELBOURNE
Injury Update:
Paul Johnson, shoulder, 2 weeks
 
HAWTHORN
With the conceding that the shin injury to Crawford keeping him out for at least a month, Ben McGlynn was elevated from the rookie list to make his debut this week. McGlynn is 20 years old, 176 cm, and 76 kg. He was recruited from Box Hill.
 
Josh Thurgood came in for his first game for the year. He hasn't played since Round 22 last year and needed pre-season shoulder surgery. He then injured his hip in his first VFL game with Box Hill and missed a week, but has been impressive in the past 3 games.
 
Injury Update:
Shane Crawford, shin, 3-4 weeks, has been sore for the past month
Michael Osborne, foot, 1-2 weeks, resumed running last week
Xavier Ellis, foot, 1-2 weeks
Lukas Markovic, foot, indefinite
Luke McEntee, ankle, indefinite
 
BRISBANE
This year marks the 10th year of the Brisbane Lions after the merger with Fitzroy. The club will commemorate the anniversary on June 22 at a gala event. A Team Of The Decade will be named and select 10 Magic Moments from the first decade.
 
Last week's attendance at the Gabba (27,999) was the smallest of the year for the Gabba but was still the biggest for a match between the Lions and Dockers. The previous best was
25,070 in 2000.
 
Robert Copeland (neck) played in the AFLQ last week.
 
Injury Update:
Chris Johnson, groin strain, 2 weeks
Jed Adcock, quad, 3-6 weeks
Richard Hadley, Joel McDonald, Pat Garner, Anthony Corrie, knee reconstruction, season
Chris Scott, hip, long term injury list, indefinite
Clark Keating, stress reaction in foot,  1-2 weeks
Nigel Lappin, ankle, on long term injury list, 5-7 weeks
 
10 Years Ago  
The Lions met Collingwood just once in their inaugural year of 1997, in Round 13 at the Gabba.

The game was sold out a month in advance, but as a spectacle it was marred somewhat by unseasonal rain. The Lions had made no changes for the first time that season after having made 27 changes in the previous 6 weeks.

The Lions piled on 5.8 in the opening term and held Collingwood scoreless and led by 34 points at 3/4 time. The Magpies blasted 5 goals in the first 12 minutes of the final term, before matchwinner Jarrod Molloy, who later went to Collingwood, kicked a steadying goal.

The Lions ran out winners 11.22 (88) to 11.7 (73), with Craig Lambert collecting 35 possessions for the home side and Gavin Crosisca 31 for the visitors.
 
KANGAROOS
During and after the game last week, Coach Dean Laidley exchanged words with a disgruntled supporter, who was obviously inebriated. As Laidley was making his way to ground from the coach's box after the game, he invited the fan down the players' rooms so he could see that the team was hurting as much as the supporters.
The next day, the club learned that the young man had died in the wee hours of Monday morning after being hit by a train. It is unclear whether it was an accident or the man committed suicide.
The man's family and the police assured the club and Coach Laidley that the events at the game were not to blame for the death.
 
At the news of the incident involving a fan and Kangaroo Coach Dean Laidley, Coach Terry Wallace has called for tighter security at all football grounds. He said the set-up at the MCG was excellent, but conceded that doing so at some grounds was not possible as coaches had to make their way from the coach's box down the stairs between sections of seating.
Although ground security accompany the coaches, contact with fans is almost inevitable.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Injury Update:
Jesse Smith, ankle, 2 weeks
Michael Firrito, cracked fibula, 3-5 weeks
Ben Schwarze, ribs, 1 weeks
 
Membership: 22,854 as of May 26
 
GENERAL SILLINESS
May, 1995 and Bomber Coach Kevin Sheedy is coaching the Victorian State of Origin game against SA in Adelaide. He and the team arrived at the Adelaide airport and, among other things, were greeted by a 10 year old boy holding up a sign which read "Kick A Vic". The lad's effort won him a ticket to the game from a local radio station for being the best anti-Victorian sentiment. 
Bomber Scott Camporeale, in the AFL Record's Pocket Profile, was asked who his partner would be on Dancing With the Stars. His reply was it would have to be his wife or he'd be in big trouble.
 
Robert Harvey has been described as many things over his career: champion, the Rolls Royce of midfielders, Swivel Hips, etc. But Saint Coach Grant Thomas, after Harvey's  milestone game 2 weeks ago, came up with this amusing description: "He's....like those wind-up toys; you just turn the key on the back a few times, kick him up the bum across the line, and away he goes."
From the AFL Record
 
And if you want to see some absolutely adorable pics of a young lad practicing his footy, check out this site:
(Ed.: link removed, no longer valid).
The story concerns 8 year old Rory Matthews, who is an only child, but has found footy mates in his farm pets. There's Chicky, a baby llama, a border collie named Jet, a cockatoo, and a pig. So far, so good, as Rory has excelled with his local U-9s team.
 
On to the scores:
 
ADE    6.1    13.4   20.7    30.8 (188)
ESS    2.2     4.6    5.9      6.14 (50)
GOALS: ADE - Hentschel 8, McGregor 4, Burton 4, Ricciuto 3, Bode 2, Goodwin,.Biglands,  Reilly,  Knights,  Johncock,  Shirley, Doughty, Edwards, Thompson; ESS - Lucas 2, Johns 2,  Dyson, Nash
BEST: ADE - Ricciuto,  Hentschel,  Reilly,  Goodwin,  McGregor,  Doughty, McLeod; ESS - Johnson, Heffernan, Lucas
 
INJURY: ESS - Bradley (ankle)

UMPIRES: Chamberlain, Ryan, Woodcock

ATTENDANCE: 42,025 at AAMI Stadium
 
Several years ago, Adelaide suffered the mother of all hidings at the hands of the then all-conquering Lions. After the 141-point mauling, Crow fans were braying for newly installed Coach Neil Craig's head on a platter. This time, it was Adelaide's turn to dish out a humiliating belting. The Dons won the toss and attacked strongly from the first bounce and Courtney Johns booted the opening goal. After that, the Crows owned the game as they out ran, outclassed, and outmuscled the Bombers, who had no answers to counter Goodwin, Reilly, and Burton in the middle, or the forward line of Hentschel, McGregor, and Ricciuto. Burton got the Crows' first goal and after Essendon rushed a point, scoring dried up for a bit as Essendon matched the Crows until midterm when Hentschel kicked his first goal. Bode goaled from a free kick a few minutes later. Solomon managed a point against the run of play before Reilly sparked a 3 goal run for the Crows. Nash pulled one back for Essendon but the Crows led by 23 points at 1/4 time.
Reilly and Slattery traded points around a Burton goal to start the 2nd term, but the Crows dominated the rest of the term with McGregor and Ricciuto goaling before Hentschel nailed 2 in a minute and the Crows were out to a 55 point lead midway through the term. Ricciuto added another before Lucas. closely guarded by Stevens, kicked Essendon's only 2 goals for the term. Johncock kicked one more, giving the Crows a massive 52 point lead at 1/2 time.
The Crows continued the dominance in the 3rd term with a goal to Burton. Johns kicked a goal for Essendon shortly after, the Bombers' first since early in the 2nd term. But 6 goals from 6 individuals - Shirley, McGregor, Biglands, Goodwin, Hentschel, and Knights - buried the hapless Bombers and left the Crows 88 points clear at 3/4 time.
The Crows' accuracy was also impressive as their 30 goals came from 38 scoring shots and 2 of their points were rushed by Essendon.
For the Crows, Ricciuto had a game high 31 disposals (20 kicks, 11 handballs) and 13 marks as he rotated between midfield and full forward. Goodwin (25/5), Edwards (18), Reilly (22/10), and McLeod (18/5) were brilliant in the midfield, with McLeod taking a massive hanger at one stage. Not to be outdone, Johncock also flew for a speccie while up forward McGregor (21/13), Burton (18/7), and Hentschel (11 kicks) were unstoppable. The defense was again at its stingiest best through Bassett (21/6), Doughty (21/14), and Stevens (19/10) who kept a tight rein on Lucas.
The Crow defense is again one of the best, if not the best statistically in the league as it has not conceded 15 goals to any side this year with only Collingwood (12), West Coast (13), and Melbourne (14) getting close in the early rounds. Since then, the Crows have conceded just 9 (Carlton, Fremantle, and the Kangaroos), 8 (PA), 10 (Richmond), and the 7 (WB).
In the past 7 games the Crows have a cumulative score of 119.85 while giving up just 58.58 to the opposition.  Overall, the Crows so far are conceding an average 66 points per game, better than last year's overall average of 68 points per game, which was the best in league history.
Essendon, already missing Lloyd and Hird and banning an out of sorts Jason Johnson to the VFL, was hurting even more when they lost Kepler Bradley early in the game. Mark Johnson (25) tried hard in the middle, while Lucas (16 kicks, 10 marks) and Heffernan (25) battled gamely across half forward. Fletcher started on Ricciuto and made him earn the ball. He was later shifted onto McGregor and did well, while 3rd gamer Nash took on Ricciuto and got a football lesson.
 
WCE    2.1     4.1     9.2     16.5 (101)
GEEL   7.2    10.4   14.8    15.8 (98)
GOALS: WCE - Stenglein 3, Jones 2, Embley 2, Hunter 2, Cousins, Graham, Rosa, Cox, Lynch, Nicoski, Kerr;
GEEL  - Mooney 3, Chapman 2, S. Johnson 2, G. Ablett 2, Bartel 2, Kelly, Mackie, Enright, N. Ablett
BEST: WCE - Cousins, Nicoski, Kerr, Glass, Wirrpanda, Priddis, Stenglein; GEEL - Corey, Kelly, Egan, Milburn, Enright, Mooney, Bartel, G. Ablett
 
INJURY: GEEL - Harley (shoulder)

CHANGES: WCE - Seaby replaced in selected side by Priddis

UMPIRES:Stevic, Quigley, McInerney

CROWD: 24,028 at Skilled Stadium
 
Geelong had the benefit of a strong breeze and started the match in a blaze of physical pressure and run with Mooney up forward and Bartel, Corey (14 touches), and Kelly (10) influential in the center. Mooney was in everything early with 2 goals and setting up several others. And he found time to send Hunter to the bench to get patched up after slinging him to the ground, causing him to hit his head on the edge of the interchange bench. Gary Ablett was in the thick of it as well, flattening Wirrpanda with  good Old-fashioned shirtfront. The Eagles seemed to wilt under the pressure as they made skill errors and fumbled the ball. Cousins and Graham punctuated the Cat run with goals of their own, but the Cats piled on the last 4 of the term to lead by 31 points at 1/4 time.
The Cats continued to dominate in the 2nd term and looked set to end their losing streak and get back on track. Bartel stretched their lead early in the term before Jones and Rosa booted a couple to keep the Eagles in touch. But Steve Johnson and Mackie finished off the term for the Cats, giving them a 39 point lead at 1/2 time.
The margin blew out even more at the start of the 3rd term with goals to Gary Ablett and Enright. The Eagles hit back through Cox but Mooney goaled again midway through the term to give the Cats a 54 point lead. The tide turned dramatically after that when a series of free kicks went the Eagles' way in attack. Lynch, Jones, Stenglein all goaled from free kicks. And while the Cats still held a 6 goal lead, they seemed to panic and all but stopped running as the Eagles gained confidence and worked their way back into the match. Then an Enright kick meant for Scarlett went awry. Kerr intercepted and set up Embley for a goal, the Eagles' 4th in 8 minutes, sending the Cats into panic mode. Bartel goaled on the siren to leave the Cats 6 goals clear at 3/4 time.
There's an adage in footy about how much of the game is played above the shoulders and requires mental toughness as well as physical strength. Well, the final term here could be a fine example of two extremes. The Cats had what surely should have been an unassailable lead and should have had all the confidence in the world to go on with it while the Eagles should have been thoroughly demoralized. But in an amazing turnaround, it was the Eagles who came out full of confidence and mental toughness while the Cats fell away and raised further questions over their mental fragility.
Of course there was also several tactical moves by the Eagles which helped with Hunter and Embley going into attack. With all of this and the aid of the wind, the Eagles got on top with Kerr winning the ball out of the center. Goals to Hunter, Nicoski, Stenglein, and Embley had the Eagles within striking distance. Kerr's goal 20 minutes into the term gave the Eagles the lead. Nathan Ablett, completely shut out of the match by Glass, got it back for the Cats late in the term. But the Eagles would not be denied. Kerr was involved again, winning the ball out of a pack and passing to Jones, who found Hunter 40 meters out. Hunter drilled the winning goal to give the Eagles their best comeback win in club history and shred Geelong's finals aspirations.
The comeback surpasses their win over the Tigers in 1987 when they charged home from a 33 point deficit at 3/4 time. This was also West Coast's first win at Skilled Stadium since 1999, while the Cats have now lost 6 of their last 7 matches.
For the Eagles, Kerr (31/7), Cousins (31/8), and Stenglein (12/5) were excellent in the middle, with Kerr gathering 11 possessions in the final term alone. Nicoski (23/5), and Wirrpanda (22/5) mopped up across halfback, while Glass continued to enhance his status at fullback and young Priddis (19) impressed off the bench.
For the Cats, Corey (36/11), Kelly (19), Enright (25/11) and Bartel (24/8) found plenty of the ball when the Cats dominated. Mooney (17/8) and Gary Ablett (15/4) fired up forward while Egan, and Milburn (28/10) did well in defense.
Eagle Coach John Worsfold admitted afterward that he thought the game was lost at 3/4 time while Cat Coach Mark Thompson was at a loss to explain his team's fadeout.
 
WB      1.7    7.9    11.11    16.13 (109)
HAW   4.3     7.7     10.8     13.10 (88)
GOALS: WB - Johnson 4, Higgins 2, Grant, Griffen, Robbins, Eagleton, Montgomery, Cooney, Hargrave, Hahn, McMahon, Cross; HAW - Dixon 5, Williams 2, Franklin, Roughead, Clarke, McGlynn, Croad, Everitt
BEST: WB - Johnson, West, Griffen, Cross, Higgins, Grant, Cooney; HAW - Lewis, Everitt, Hodge, Mitchell, Smith, Bateman, Dixon
 
INJURY: HAW - Jacobs (hamstring)

UMPIRES: McBurney, Margetts, Sully

CROWD: 29,960 at Telstra Dome
 
The Hawks began the game with a loaded forward line. They had Williams, Dixon, Croad, and Roughead all in attack and Franklin acting as link, pushing from a wing into the half forward line. Everitt, with his ruck dominance and the ballwinning skills of Mitchell and Hodge helped the Hawks gain the early advantage as Dixon got the first goal of the game. Then Franklin weaved his way through the opposition to slot a great goal. Grant pounced on a Hodge turnover for the Dogs' only goal of the term. It wasn't for lack of chances, the Dogs just couldn't kick straight with Cooney, Johnson, Montgomery, and Street among the offenders. The Hawks were having no such problem with 4 more goals. Roughead put one through from a tight angle and Dixon finished off the term with a strong lead and mark to give the Hawks a 14 point lead at 1/4 time.
Both sides lifted the intensity several notches in the 2nd term with West providing constant drive for the Dogs, with Griffen getting their 2nd goal of the game. Second gamer Higgins was also showing poise beyond his years and sparked the Dogs when he gathered a loose ball and kicked his first career goal midway through the term. Williams replied at the other end before the Hawks suffered a blow when Jacobs hobbled off with a hamstring injury. It forced a reshuffle and the Hawks employed a flood but it failed as Higgins bobbed up again and then Robbins baulked around a Hawk defender and goaled to give the Dogs the lead. Eagleton found himself on the end of a midfield burst by Griffen for another goal. Clark got one back for the Hawks but then Montgomery marked on the run in reply. Hawk McGlynn goaled to have the Hawks within 2 points at 1/2 time.
Hodge was shifted from defense to the center to start the 3rd term with telling effect as Dixon and Croad both goaled in the first minutes of the term. But the Dogs rallied starting with Cooney. Then Johnson, despite being crunched in the second term, had a great 3 goal burst in 10 minutes to close out the term and give the Dogs a 9 point lead at 3/4 time.
Hargrave crumbed a goal when Roughead dropped a mark early in the final term but the Hawks hit back with goals to Dixon and Everitt who took a big grab in the goalsquare and had the Hawks within 3 points. But Johnson, Hahn, and Cross all goaled to seal the match before Dixon and McMahon each added another for their respective sides.
For the Dogs, West (34) ran himself into the ground and had excellent support from Cross (30/5), Higgins (22/5), and Cooney (18/7). Johnson (30/11), Griffen (25/5), and Grant (16/5) grabbed just about everything coming their way up forward.
For Hawthorn, Everitt was superb in the ruck with 30 hitouts and around the ground with 19 possessions and 8 marks while Hodge (26), Mitchell (30/5), and Lewis (29/6) sparked the midfield. Smith (19/10) was solid across half back while Dixon (11 kicks), and Bateman (17) worked hard up forward.
 
COL    3.5    6.6    11.10    16.13 (109)
BRIS   2.2    5.5      8.7      12.11 (83)
GOALS: COL Buckley 6, Davis 2, Fraser 2, Holland 2, Rocca 2, Lonie, Pendlebury;
BRIS - Brown 4, McGrath 3, Akermanis 2, Bradshaw, Roe, Sherman
BEST: COL - Buckley, Johnson, Burns, H. Shaw, Lockyer, Licuria; BRIS - Brown, Akermanis, Notting, Roe, Sherman, Black
 
INJURY: COL - Caracella (neck), Maxwell (suspected broken leg), Swan (hamstring);  BRIS - Bradshaw (corked thigh)

REPORTS: BRIS - Charman for rough conduct on Rocca 

UMPIRES: Rosebury, Allen, Jeffrey

CROWD: 54,820 at the MCG
 
Collingwood has not fared well against the Lions in recent times, winning just 2 of their past 15 games against Brisbane, including 2 Grand Finals. But this is a totally different Magpie outfit and they were not afraid to take on the battle hardened boys from the north. It started with young Maxwell taking his life in hands to b*tt heads with the bruising Brown, leaving the Brisbane bruiser dazed. Up forward, it speedster vs speedster with Davis leading Akermanis on a merry dance to kick the first goal. McGrath and Rocca ensured the scores stayed close before the Pie lead was stretched when Davis laid a fine shepherd to allow Holland to run into an open goal. But the Lions are proving they can still be a force as McGrath swooped on a wayward Licuria pass to goal from long range, leaving the Pies just 9 points in front at 1/4 time, by which time Maxwell was already off the ground.  
The Collingwood bench was reduced to just 2 fit players when Caracella had to be stretchered off in the opening minutes of the 2nd term. But the Pies remained undaunted with Buckley goaling, then finding debutant Pendlebury, who joined the first kick goal club to give the Pies a 21 point lead. Fraser got in amongst the goals midterm but the Lions surged late in the term with goals to Brown, Roe, and Brown again to be within 7 points at 1/2 time.
Fraser was now off nursing a sore thigh and the Pie bench was down to one player. The Lions made the most of the Pies' distress with Akermanis shifted forward to dribble through a goal from the first bounce. Shaw had a chance to ease the pressure on the Pies but hit the post before Brown and Bradshaw goaled to give the Lions a 3 point lead. Akers was in the mix again when he cleared ball and found Bradshaw for another goal. Buckley, who was moved from the center to the forward line, kicked the next, sparking the Pies into a devastating 8 minute burst. Rocca's goal snatched back the lead for the Pies and Holland continued the run. Rocca led up the ground and was well outside the 50 meter arc where he marked, turned, and found Buckley a few meters away for another goal. It gave the Pies, who have become 3rd term specialists, a 21 point lead at 3/4 time.
The Lions had a sniff when Brown and Bradshaw both goaling to cut the margin to just 9 points. Bradshaw had a chance to make the margin 3 points, but sprayed the shot. Buckley tried also, but his long kick was marked in the goal square by Power. It was a brief respite, however, as the Pies recovered and Davis goaled. Young defender Roe was moved off Buckley with the job going to the more experienced hard nut Scott. But to no avail as Buckley goaled again after a great tackle on Michael. Fraser came on and went to full forward while Richards did battle in the ruck. Fraser marked, and despite a sore leg, marked and goaled from 30 meters. Davis roved far afield to mark and unleashed a Rocca-like roost but it was touched on the line by Charman. The Pies, however, despite the injury toll, finished full of running with goals to Buckley and Lonie to hold a 34 point lead with just minutes remaining. The Lions battled to the bitter end with late goals to McGrath and Sherman.
For Collingwood, Buckley (39/13) was simply awesome and had plenty of help in the middle from Burns ((29/5), Licuria (20/11), Johnson (17/13), and Lonie (20/8) off the bench. Clement (9 kicks, 5 marks), Lockyer (27/9), and Shaw (26/5) stood tall in defense, while Rocca (11 kicks, marks), Davis (10 kicks) Didak (16/6) more than compensated for the absence of the suspended Tarrant.
For the Lions, Akermanis (31/10) was at his best again while Black (27), Sherman (21/5), and Voss (19/6) drove the midfield. Notting (28/12), Roe (18/11)  and Scott (18/6) were valiant in defense while Brown (14/9) and Power (20/7) kept the Lions in it right to the end.
 
FRE      3.4     7.6     10.8      15.10 (100)
RICH    2.4     7.6     11.11    13.11 (89)
GOALS: FRE - Pavlich 3, Peake, Headland, Medhurst 2, McPharlin, Sandilands, Farmer, Bell, M. Carr, McManus; RICH - Simmonds, Hyde 2, Stafford, Kellaway, Tivendale, Foley, P. Bowden, Pettifer, Coughlan, Tuck, White
BEST: FRE - Johnson, Peake, McManus, Pavlich, Walker, Dodd; RICH - Coughlan, P. Bowden, Hyde, Pettifer, Tuck, Raines

INJURY: FRE - Bell (lower calf)

CHANGES: FRE - Longmuir (knee) replaced in selected side by Headland

REPORTS: FRE - Headland for striking Pettifer; RICH - Pettifer for striking Dodd

UMPIRES: Vozzo, Davis, Grun

CROWD: 36,032 at Subiaco Oval
 
The difference in this game was perhaps the return of giant Docker ruckman Aaron Sandilands from a broken jaw, as well as forwards Luke McPharlin and Jeff Farmer. Sandilands dominated the center square with the onballers taking full advantage of the hitouts. Bell started proceedings with a slice of magic 5 minutes into the match with a dribbling goal while hard up on the boundary line. Stafford got the Tigers first a few minutes later before Kellaway slipped forward for a rare defender's goal. Bell was forced off late in the term with a calf injury and did not return.  Both sides had chances to break clear but Peake shanked several shots on goal, then Pavlich and McPharlin got in each other's way with Pavlich dropping a routine chest mark. At the other end, Hyde missed a running shot on goal only to watch as the Dockers rebounded for a goal to Peake to give them a 6 point lead at 1/4 time.
The 2nd term see-sawed with the Dockers getting on top, then the Tigers fighting back as Patrick Bowden, Pavlich, Simmonds, and McPharlin swapped goals. While the forward lines seemed to click, both defenses turned the ball over several times, presenting the Dockers with scoring chances. Medhurst was the beneficiary of one of those but Tivendale and Foley goaled to keep Richmond in touch. Then Matthew Carr spoiled Sandilands' marking attempt, gifting Simmonds a goal before Sandilands goaled to level the scores at 1/2 time.
The Dockers clearly missed Bell's influence and struggled to match the Tigers with Coughlan (22), Patrick Bowden (17), and Tuck (16) all busy in the midfield. 
Richmond shot out of the blocks early 3rd term, with goals to Hyde and Pettifer opening up a 14 point lead, but the Dockers rallied with goals to Headland, Farmer, and Pavlich to take back the lead midway through the term. Headland then wrapped up Pettifer in such a fierce tackle that it took the Tiger over the goal line and got himself reported. The Tigers responded with goals to Hyde and Tuck to lead by 9 points at 3/4 time.
Coughlan made it a 15 point margin within in the opening minutes of the final term but Peake goaled moments later to bring the margin back to 9 points. From there, neither side could make any inroads against the other until midway through the term when first gamer Matthew White put in a contender for goal of the year with a wonderful 47 meter across-the-body snap to give the Tigers a 14 point lead. The game became a scrap with both sides fighting hard for every touch and creating plenty of congestion around the ball. Matthew Carr finally broke the deadlock when he snapped a goal out of a pack, then Headland goaled after Hall was pinged for running too far and the Dockers were within a point. Veteran Shaun McManus goaled on the run from 30 meters to give the Dockers the lead and Medhurst sealed the win with just minutes remaining.
Richmond's record at Subiaco is now a dismal 4-15 with the Tigers failing to register a win there since 2001.
For the Dockers, Peake (24/12), McManus (21/7), and Dodd (19/11) feasted on the 26 hitouts from Sandilands through the middle, while Pavlich (11 kicks) was a force up forward, and Walker (16/7) and Michael Johnson (20/8) were fine contributors in defense.  
For the Tigers, Coughlan (35), Tuck (20/12), Patrick Bowden (24/12), Hall (15/8), and Hyde (20/6) kept the midfield ticking thanks to the work of Knobel (12 hitouts) and Simmonds (20 hitouts)in the ruck. Pettifer (18/7) worked hard to create chances across half forward, while Raines (17/6) and Joel Bowden (23/8) made sure the Docker forwards earned their kicks. 
Fremantle coach Chris Connolly admitted his team had not played its best and still had a few things to work on.
 
MELB    4.4    10.9    12.10    15.13 (103)
STK       2.2     5.3      10.8     13.12 (90)
GOALS: MELB - Neitz 8, McLean, Dunn, Robertson, Bruce, Whelan, Bate, Pickett; StK -  Dal Santo 3,  Gehrig 2, Riewoldt 2, Schwarze 2, Montagna, Ball, Blake, Voss
BEST: MELB - Neitz, McLean, Yze, C Johnson, Carroll, Holland, McDonald, Bate, White; StK - Dal Santo, Ball, Gram, Goddard, L. Fisher, Voss

INJURY: MELB - Whelan (hip); StK - Thompson (bruised back)

CHANGES: MELB - Moloney (groin soreness) replaced in selected side by Godfrey

REPORTS: STK - Goddard for striking McDonald
 
UMPIRES: McLaren, Meredith, Wenn

CROWD: 41,665 at the MCG
 
The opening minute of the match was a good news-bad news scenario for the Saints. While Schwarze got the Saints on the board with a quick goal, Andrew Thompson was badly crunched in the back and sat out the rest of the game. Then it turned into the David Neitz show, as the Demons' club goals record holder and now games record holder booted 3 in succession. Robertson followed with one of his own to help the Dees out to a fast 20 point lead. Riewoldt got one back for the Saints, leaving the Demons 14 points ahead at 1/4 time.
The 2nd term unfolded much the same as the 1st, except the Saints didn't suffer any more injury. Dal Santo snagged a goal in the first minute, but the Demons seized control once more. Bruce kicked a goal in rather amusing fashion when he found himself in the right place at the right time to grab an errant Gram kick which hit teammate Blake in the head at close range in defense. Then Neitz again took center stage to blast through 3 more in row, giving the Demons a 6 goal lead midway through the term. Dal Santo and Gehrig booted 2 late goals to peg the margin back to 24 points, but the Demons responded with two of their own to Whelan and McLean to lead by 6 goals at 12 time.
Just minutes into the 3rd term, Neitz bagged his 7th goal for the day, but the Saints dug in to mount a challenge with Riewoldt, who was quiet in the first half, Baker and Montagna all lifting. The Saints slammed through 5 unanswered goals to be within 8 points. Dunn made amends for a wayward kick for a point a minute later with a mark and goal to stem the tide. Fiora had a chance to slash the margin even further but hit the post and the Dees were up by 14 points at 3/4 time.
Neitz's day out continued after the main break, when he booted his seventh at the three-minute mark of the third term, giving Melbourne a 41-point lead. But that soon proved to be one of few highlights for the Demons in the term.
The Saints attacked well in the early stages of the final term, but Gehrig's two shots on goal resulted in points, with the second coming from just 30 meters out. Robertson missed at the other end but Schwarze turned the ball over and Pickett cleared the ball from half back. But the Demons also turned the ball over, resulting in a goal to Voss. Again, the Saints squandered opportunities when Fiora missed everything from just 15 meters and Goddard managed just a point. After Davey kicked a point, the Demons again regained possession with Pickett again running the ball out of defense. After a blazing run up the wing, he found Bate 50 meters out and the goal virtually sealed the match for the Demons with just 5 minutes remaining. Pickett was in the thick of the action once more with a goal to put the result beyond doubt, despite 2 final goals from Riewoldt and Schwarze.
Neitz was the star of the show in his record breaking game. He not only holds the club records for games and goals, he is also the club's longest serving captain. He had 14 kicks and 8 marks despite the close attention of Maguire and Hudghton and his 8 goal haul was his best effort since kicking 9 against Richmond in Round 2, 2004. Yze (27/10) across half forward provided an excellent foil for Neitz, while Bate (20/7), Johnson (20/10), McDonald (27/4), and McLean (31/8) racked up touches in the middle due to White's (27 hitouts, 22/9) ruck hitouts. Carroll (16/9) and Holland (14/9) were unobtrusive but effective in defense.
For the Saints, Gehrig (6 kicks, 3 marks) was well held by Holland). Ball (26/7), Dal Santo (29/6), and Goddard (23) were key to the midfield drive, while Voss (16/6) linked well across half forward, and Leigh Fisher (18/7) and Gram (21) had a tough day at the office down back.
Melbourne has yet to be defeated in its five games at the MCG this year.
Neitz said after the game he was proud to have surpassed Robert Flower's games record but was now determined to push on to become the first Melbourne player to play 300 games. He said it was a travesty that the oldest footy club didn't have a 300 game player.
 
PA         8.4    13.8    15.14    17.16 (118)
CARL    3.2     4.5       6.8      12.12 (84)
GOALS: PA - Ebert 3, C Cornes 2, Lade 2, Dew 2, Thurstans 2, Lonie, Surjan, Ezard, Salopek, Mahoney, Chaplin; CARL - Fevola 5, Betts 2, Koutoufides, Walker, Murphy, Whitnall, McLaren
BEST: PA - C Cornes, K Cornes, Salopek, S Burgoyne, Pearce, Dew, Lonie, Ebert; CARL - Scotland, Fevola, Murphy, Whitnall, Stevens, Houlihan
INJURY: PA - White (shoulder); CARL - Longmuir (shoulder)

UMPIRES: Head, Schmitt, Kamolins

CROWD: 18,665 at Telstra Dome
 
Port had the right mix of youthful exuberance and experience with the line up featuring 10 players with 50 or less games of experience. Carlton stacked its forward line with the experienced trio of Whitnall, Koutoufides, and Fevola. And it was Kouta who started off for the Blues with goal 3 minutes into the term. But it would be the only time Carlton would hold the lead as Port used the hard-running dash of its young brigade to surge into attack. That attack had to be reshuffled when White was confined to the bench early and replaced by Ebert, who promptly opened Port's account. Walker found himself in perfect position to snap the next one for Carlton but Lonie started a run for Port with a long range goal from just inside 50. Chad Cornes, Surjan, and Ezard all followed with goals to give Port a 19 point lead. Fevola then led hard to mark and goal late in the term but Port fired in more goals through Salopek, Ebert, and Thurstans to hold an imposing 32 point lead at 1/4 time.
Port continued the barrage in the 2nd term with goals to Lade, Chad Cornes, and Dew blowing the margin out to 50 points. Fevola again broke the run but Ebert and Lade goaled again to extend Port's lead to 57 points at 1/2 time.
The 3rd term started with Lade winning the ball out of the middle and then pushing forward where he marked in goal square and dished it off to Mahoney. Minutes later, Murphy  intercepted Bishop's kick in and goaled. That one was answered by Chaplin at the other end but Betts finished off the term with some good work as he forced a holding the ball decision, earned the free kick and goaled, but it was still Port by 10 goals at 3/4 time.
After Thurstans pushed the margin out to 11 goals at the start of the final term, Carlton finally kicked into gear to slam on 3 quick goals through Fevola, Whitnall, and Betts. Dew provided another moment for his highlight reel with one of his trademark torps, but the Blues finished well with goals to Fevola, McLaren, and Fevola again to flatter themselves on the scoreboard.
It is the first time this season that Port has recorded consecutive wins.
The Cornes brothers (29/6 each) were both instrumental, Chad at CHF and Kane in the middle. Shaun Burgoyne (21), Dew (25/6), Pearce (23), Salopek (31/9), and Surjan (15/6) across half forward gave the Port attack plenty of opportunity as they constantly used chains of handballs to drive the team forward. Lonie (23) and Symes provided plenty of drive out of half back. Pearce was particularly damaging with his bursts from packs and pinpoint disposals finding teammates. Salopek was equally dangerous and courageous winning the contested ball.
For Carlton, Whitnall (30/8) was a tower of strength in both defense and attack, while Fevola made the most of his 16 kicks and 11 marks. Houlihan (25/6) and Murphy (22/7) ran hard through the middle while Scotland (32/13) was excellent across half back, as was Stevens (27) across half forward.
 
SYD     5.3     7.3     11.6     16.9 (105)
KANG   0.6    7.10   12.11    14.14 (98)
GOALS: SYD - Hall 6, Schneider 2, Dempster, Kirk, Ablett, Goodes, McVeigh, Buchanan, O'Loughlin, O'Keefe; KANG - Hale 3, Thompson 2, Grant 2, J. Rawlings, Harvey, Simpson, Green, Harris, Watt, Petrie
BEST: SYD - Hall, Bolton, Goodes, Kirk, Ablett, Barry;
KANG - Archer, Hale, Harris, Harvey, Simpson, J. Rawlings
CHANGES: SYD - Williams (calf soreness) replaced in selected side by Dempster

UMPIRES: Donlon, Kennedy, Pannell

CROWD: 14,922 at Manuka Oval
The attendance was a record for Manuka, bettering the previous record of 14,891 in Round 4, 2004, also for a Kangaroo-Sydney match.
 
The triple tall attack of Thompson, McIntosh, and Jade Rawlings, which was supposed to stretch the smaller Sydney defense failed to fire in the opening term and may have been disadvantaged by the strong breeze, which the Swans used to good effect. The blue collar midfield was in devastating touch as they constantly and quickly moved the ball from defense to attack where Dempster, Kirk, Hall, and Ablett goaled. Just before time, Archer took Schneider too high in front of goals and Schneider duly converted, leaving the Swans 27 points in front at 1/4 time.
The Kangaroos came out a different unit in the 2nd term and worked their way back into the game with goals to Rawlings, Thompson and Hale. Harvey and Grant chimed in to give the Kangaroos the lead midway through the term. Shortly after, Goodes put through the Swans' first for the term to level the scores. A goal to Hale after the siren gave the Kangaroos a 7 point lead at 1/2 time.
Their 2nd term onslaught was soured briefly when Makepeace came off second best in a collision with Swan tough nut Crouch. He returned late in the term, and Thompson also appeared to be struggling with a shoulder problem.
The wind dropped off at the start of the second half and the Kangaroos took full advantage with goals to Green, Harris, Watt, and Thompson giving them a 32 point lead, their biggest lead of the match. But the Swans, who last year made a pact to never give in and always play for each other, lifted with goals to Hall and McVeigh giving them hope and inspiring them to go in harder. After O'Keefe sprayed his shot, Crouch earned a free in the middle, and kicked to Hall who had bustled his way out near the center square.He kicked long to a leading Buchanan who cut the margin to just 2 goals. Fosdike also missed and the Roos cleared the ball and Thompson marked on a long lead. He kicked to Rawlings who was 50 meters out and his long kick for goal was marked in the square by Petrie for another goal. The Kangaroos attacked again, but a free to Barry allowed the Swans to get out of trouble. This time it was Buchanan who got the ball in the center and kicked to a leading Hall who marked just before the siren. He unloaded from 50 meters, cutting the Kangaroo lead to just  11 points at 3/4 time.
The Swans lifted a few more notches but it looked as if the Kangaroos would hold them off early. After Wells missed a chance that would have gone a long way to sealing the game, free kicks to O'Keefe and Goodes allowed the Swans to push forward where Hall marked only to kick out on the full. The Swans kept the ball in their attacking zone and a throw in a few minutes later went to O'Loughlin's advantage. Hall was lurking nearby and made amends with his earlier error with a goal. The Swans had a sniff now and refused to give in. Richards  kicked a point and the Kangaroos headed into attack once more, but Thompson missed. The Roos regained possession from the kick in and Hale goaled to keep the Swans at bay. The Swans cleared but Goodes missed, then it was the Kangaroos' turn as Thompson hit the post. The points now were becoming as important as the goals as the Swans see-sawed between 11 and 12 point deficits. O'Loughlin took a pass from Hall and kicked a magnificent over the shoulder goal to put the Swans within 6 points midway through the term. Crouch made the difference 5 points but a goal to Grant sent the margin back out to 11 points. It was back to 5 points 5 minutes later when Hall goaled. O'Keefe gave the Swans a 1 point lead with less than 10 minutes remaining. The battle remained intense but it was the Swans who finally prevailed with Schneider kicking the sealer with just minutes remaining. The Kangaroos had one more roll of the dice but Grant's kick was out on the full and the Swans hung on for a gutsy come from behind win worthy of the reigning premiers.
For Sydney, Kirk (25) was again the midfield general with plenty of support from Ablett (17), Buchanan (16/6), Crouch (14), and Goodes (25/7) who was excellent off a wing and when he pushed forward. Barry (15/6) and Craig Bolton (24/8) provided the usual run out of defense, while Hall (13 kicks, 7 marks) was a forward force and had good support from O'Keefe (11 kicks, 6 marks) and O'Loughlin (12/5). Jolly ((25 hitouts) and Chambers (15) did well in the ruck.
For the Kangaroos, who surely must be wondering what has happened to their Shinboner spirit, Archer (17/9) battled valiantly in defense, Harris (23/8),Harvey (20/5), and Simpson (22) tried hard in the midfield, while Rawlings gave good support up forward. Hale (11 hitouts, 15/8) worked well in tandem with Petrie (15 hitouts) in the ruck.
 
STANDINGS
 

              W       L     FOR     AGST       %           PTS  

WCE      9       1     1033      829     124.61      36  

ADE       8       2     1100      670     164.18      32  

COL       8      2     1205      849     141.93      32  

SYD       7      3     1063      844     125.95      28  

WB         6     4     1109      989      112.13     24  

MELB    6     4        964      897      107.47     24  

FRE      6      4       854      916        93.23      24  

StK       5      5       935       818     114.3        20  

BRIS    4     6       932        982      94.91     16  

HAW    4      6      827        978      84.56     16  

PA        4      6      941      1125      83.64     16  

GEEL  3      7      879        921      95.44     12  

KANG  2     8      796      1022      77.89       8  

CARL  2      8     760      1030      73.79       8 

ESS    1      9      854      1128      75.71      4 

 

 

GOALS 
Barry Hall (SYD)                  40 
Brendan Fevola (CARL)     37 
Jonathan Brown (BRIS)     35 
Anthony Rocca (COL)        34 
Mark Williams (HAW)        31 
Nick Riewoldt (StK)           30 
Matthew Pavlich (FRE)     28 
Mark Ricciuto (ADE)         27 
Brad Johnson (WB)         27 
David Neitz (MELB)         24 
 

Brad Symes is the Round 9 Rising Star nominee.
The defender, who turned 21 in March, played in Rounds 4-5 before appendicitis kept him out for several weeks. He returned in Round 8 and picked up where he left off, averaging 23 possessions in 4 games. He was among Port's best in their thumping win over the Bombers last week. 

Symes debuted for Port Adelaide in 2004 and after just one match returned to the SANFL, where he played the entire 2005 season. He was one of Central District’s best in its Grand Final-winning side.   Symes was a member of the 2001 AIS-AFL Academy intake. He was named South Australia’s MVP in the 2003 U-18 Championships and was also named All-Australian.  He was Port Adelaide’s second selection, (30th overall) in 2003 draft. He played in 2 reserves GF wins for Central Districts in the SANFL before being drafted.

He is the 2nd Port player to earn a nomination with Danyle Pearce winning the accolades in Round 3.
 
All match summaries compiled from the Melbourne Age, afl.com.au, and writer's recollections and impressions from live broadcasts at afl.com.au
 
And from Marc in NC, the latest East Coast USAFL score:
 
NC Tigers        5.0   10.7    14.11    18.14 (122)
Philly Hawks   2.1     3.3      5.7        7.9   (51)
 
And that's it for this week.

GO BLUES!!

Lisa
AFANA
Chicago

Article last changed on Saturday, July 16, 2016 - 2:05 PM EDT


Recent content

Partners

Worldfootynews.com
Official Statistics Partner of AFANA