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G'Day Footy Fans -
 
Rescued Miners Honored
Todd Russell and Brant Webb, the Tasmanian miners who were trapped for 2 weeks, will be guests and participants at the EJ Whitten Legends game next week.
Russell, a keen footballer himself, will be an assistant coach to Wayne Carey for the All-Stars team and Webb will also have a role in the game. Both will be guests at the prematch dinner and have a lap of honor around the Telstra Dome before the game.
Three of the rescue workers will also be involved in the game. One of the rescue workers is Brett Cresswell, brother to former Swan Daryn, will serve as a runner for the All-Stars, for whom Daryn will be playing.
The annual charity match, named for the late Ted Whitten, features past players and celebrities, is televised, and raises money for the EJ Whitten Cancer Foundation. 
Since its inception 10 years ago, it has raised over $600,000.
Story Source: The Australian
 
GENERAL NEWS
 
Drug Probe Snag
The AFL called on the Australian Federal Police to investigate how the names of 3 players who tested positive fell into the hands of the media. However, it seems the injunction which was granted to the AFL against the media outlets from releasing those names is preventing potential witnesses from telling police what they might know and now the police want that injunction changed so they can properly pursue the case.
According to police, the prospective witnesses came from organizations who are fighting the injunction in court. 
The parties in the ongoing court case include the AFL, AFLPA, the publisher of The Age and other newspaper publishers.
Story Source: Melbourne Age

Irish Athlete Tries Footy 
18 year old Irish athlete Marin Clark, from County Down, will travel to Australia next month for a 5 week training trial with Collingwood. Clarke was just one of a number of juniors who attended an AFL training camp in the southern Irish county of Limerick last year.
Story Source: BBC Sport, Northern Ireland
 
New Look For Old Grounds
The Victorian Government, AFL, and several local councils will all contribute $55 million to refurbish the old suburban grounds, which for decades served as fortresses for the likes of the Hawks, Kangaroos, Tigers, Saints, Magpies, Bombers, and Blues, The funds will be used to redevelop the grounds and their facilities not only for the clubs, who still train there, but to also turn the facilities into multi-purpose sport and recreation facilities for the wider communities.
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks was quoted in the Melbourne Age saying, “It will improve the performance of our AFL clubs and offer more opportunities for the clubs to connect with the community."
The clubs will receive upgraded training facilities and administrative offices. New meeting areas, function rooms and recreational areas will also be available for the communities.
The state government will put up $14 million while the AFL will inject approximately $10.5 over a 3 year period, with local councils and the individual clubs contributing the other $30 million.
AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said the improvements would bring the grounds and their facilities up to the levels of the interstate clubs, contribute to the improvement of on field performances, and strengthen the connection between club and community.
Geelong ($25 million for Skilled Stadium) and the Bulldogs $17 million for Whitten Oval) have already have already undertaken refurbishing projects under the AFL's Victorian AFL Club Funding Program, which was launched last year. 
Under the program, clubs submit proposals for training facilities, upgraded administration areas, community facilities like meeting spaces and shared offices, and grandstand decommissioning. Those applications were then reviewed by the AFL before the state government was approached.
 
After Andrew Demetriou and Steven Bracks made the announcement, several Melbourne City Council members voiced their opposition to the project, accusing Bracks of trying to "bully and railroad" the council into spending the money. Two council members also said that there had been no consultation with the communities involved and that there had been no budget commitment. One council member said the priority should be other areas such as child care.
Defenders of Bracks and the project, however, said there was a council resolution to support the redevelopment project. But minutes from council meetings show no financial commitment to Punt Road (Richmond) or Princes Park (Carlton).
Sports Minister Justin Madden defended the decision, pointing to the economic benefits generated by football and was quoted in the Age that "...we need to guarantee that Melbourne is the heartland of football into the future".
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Violence Seminars Conducted
Last week, a leading American authority on the prevention of violence against women conducted a series of seminars in Melbourne. Jackson Katz, who helped found the Mentors In Violence Prevention (MVP) program, and colleague Daryl Fort were there at the invitation of the AFL.
Katz, who also heads the first international violence prevention organization, has worked with NFL teams New England Patriots, the New York Jets, college sporting bodies, as well as the US military forces.
The information and education seminars in Australia were attended by AFL club CEOs, welfare managers, and other staff, as well as representatives from other state football bodies.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Youth On Show
As a prelude to the U-18 tournament to be held June 24-July 2, this week saw several U-18 Challenge matches in Melbourne. The scores were:
 
NT                16.17 (113) 
NSW/ACT        9.5 (59)
 
QLD     12.14 (86) 
TAS        3.5 (23)
 
Story Source: AFL Media Release
 
TRIBUNAL
Source of charge information: AFL Media Release

Charges Laid:   
 
Henry Slattery (ESS), attempting to strike Adelaide's Chris Knights: intentional (3), low impact (1), in play (0), and high contact (2), equaling 6 points, a Level 3 offense, and 125 demerits. He has a residual of 93.75 demerits from the past 12 months, increasing the total to 218.75 demerits and a 2 game suspension. He accepted an early plea, reducing the penalty 25% to 164.06 points and a 1 game suspension. 
 
Gary Ablett (GEEL), rough conduct against Eagle David Wirrpanda: negligent (1), medium impact (2), in play (0), and body contact (1), equaling 4 points, a Level 1 offense, and 75 demerits. An early plea would have reduced the penalty 25% to 56.75 points and a reprimand with the demerits held over toward his future record.
 
Wirrpanda testified via telephone saying Ablett's bump was a "fairly good knock" but that it was legal and involved contact consistent with a normal game of football.
Findlay said there was no injury to Wirrpanda and, thus, contact had not been unreasonable. The jury, who earlier had dismissed the charges against Docker Des Headland, took less than a minute to toss out the charge against Ablett, thus erasing the demerits he would have had to carry for a year and leaving his record clean.
Story Source: afl.com.au via Geelong website
 
After Cat Gary Ablett was cleared at the Tribunal for his bump on Eagle David Wirrpanda, Coach Lee Matthews wants clarification regarding the hip-and-shoulder. He is concerned that Lion Jamie Charman copped a suspension for a similar bump on Magpie Anthony Rocca several weeks ago.
Story Source: Melbourne Age

Brett Montgomery (WB), rough conduct against Hawk Peter Everitt:  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 a 1 game suspension within the past 3 years which does not affect his record. He accepted an early plea to reduce the penalty 25% to 93.75 demerits toward his future record and a reprimand. 
 
Jamie Charman (BRIS), rough conduct against Magpie Anthony Rocca: negligent (1), medium impact (2), in play (0), and high contact (2 ), equaling 5 points, a Level 2 offense, and 125 demerits. His total of 5 games suspended within the last 3 years increases the penalty 40% to 175 demerits. He also has 83.75 residual demerits, bringing the total to 258.75 demerits and a 2 game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 194.06 points and a one-game suspension.
 
Des Headland (FRE), attempting to strike Tiger Kayne Pettifer: intentional conduct (3), high impact (3), in play (0), and high contact (2) equaling 8 points, a Level 5 offense, and 225 demerits.  His record of 2 games suspended in the past 3 years increases the penalty 10% to 247.50 demerits. He also has 93.75 residual demerits within the past year, bringing the total to 341.25 demerits and a 3 game suspension.
 
Des Headland took his case to the Tribunal with Headland and giving testimony via video link.  Headland testified that he swung with an open hand to break the hold Tiger Kayne Pettifer had on him and that it was not his intention to strike Pettifer's head.
Video footage showed Pettifer with a firm grip on Headland's guernsey after a rushed behind had been scored and Headland's advocate argued that Headland was desperate to break Pettifer's grip as the ball was about to be kicked back into play. The panel was also told that Headland, at the advice of club doctors, was wearing a guard to protect the break at the base of his thumb and was advised to avoid heavy contact with his left hand.
The jury The jury of David Pittman, Stewart Loewe and Emmett Dunn deliberated for about 10 minutes before dismissing the charge against Headland. 
Story Source: afl.com.au via Fremantle Dockers website
 
Kayne Pettifer (RICH), striking Docker Steven Dodd: negligent (1), medium impact (2), in play
(0), and high contact (2), equaling 5 points, a Level 2 offense, and a 1 match suspension.
He entered an early plea, reducing the penalty 25% to 83.75 demerits and a reprimand with the demerits held over toward his future record
 
Steven Dodd (FRE) and Kayne Pettifer were both fined $1200 for a first wrestling offence. Both accepted, reducing the fine 25% to $900, Both accepted the fine.
 
James Walker (FRE) was fined $1200 for wrestling Tiger Kayne Pettifer. He accepted, reducing the fine to $900.  He accepted the fine.
 
Simon Wiggins (CARL), striking Port Adelaide's Michael Wilson: 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 clean record in the past 5 years which reduces the penalty 25% to 56.25 demerits. He entered an early plea, reducing the penalty a further 25% to 42.19 demerits and a reprimand.
 
The match day report laid against St Kilda's Brendon Goddard was reviewed with the MRP ruling that his action was not a strike and the charge was dismissed.
 
And now for the biggie. With the seriousness of the injury to Blake Caracella, the MRP reviewed the clash between Caracella and Lion Tim Notting. After carefully reviewing the action and movement of both players, as well as the ball, leading up to the collision, the panel ruled that it was an accident.
They explained that Caracella was in pursuit of the ball and Notting was chasing Caracella. The loose ball took an unexpected bounce backwards behind Caracella, who then changed direction in an effort to gain possession. As he did so, he slipped over. Notting was coming in low and at full pace, with the sole intention of getting between Caracella and the ball to gain possession himself. The panel ruled that because he was going at pace and due to Caracella's sudden change of direction, contact was unavoidable.
Story Source: Media Release
 
While the AFL has staunchly defended itself in saying it has done everything it can to protect players from head-high hits, there are others who believe not enough is being done in light of the Caracella injury.  Coach Mick Malthouse weighed in on the issue, calling for a complete overhaul of the system.

If Mick had his way, there would be rugby and Gaelic style rules introduced which would penalize players who are on the ground going for the ball and penalize any player who touches an opposition player who has gone to ground.  If a player has the ball and goes to ground, he would be required to dispose of it immediately. Malthouse believes that the introduction of such rules, while not eliminating legal bumps and tackles, would go a long way to preventing accidental collisions such as the one which sent Caracella to the hospital.
He would also like to see stiffer penalties - such as the 6-12 week suspensions in rugby - for head high contact.
Story Source: afl.com.au
 
MILESTONES      
150 games: Jude Bolton (SYD)
150 games and 100 club games: Jess Sinclair (KANG)
100 club games coached: Chris Connolly (FRE) became the first coach in the history of the club to reach 100 games, since Fremantle entered the competition in 1995.
50 games: David Johnson & Charlie Gardiner (GEEL)
Source: AFL Media Release
 
TEAM NEWS
 
ST KILDA
Michael Rix, a 25 year old ruckman and one of the oldest recruits in league history, made his debut for the Saints this week, giving its ruck stocks a much needed boost. His inclusion gave the Saints more flexibility, allowing Jason Blake to be used more in the midfield or in defense. Rix came in for the injured Andrew Thompson.
Story Source: The Age

Injury Update: 
Xavier Clarke, left hip, 4 weeks
James Gwilt J, left superior tibia/fibula sprain, 3 weeks
Aaron Hamill, right PCL sprain, 4 weeks
Lenny Hayes, ruptured ACL/knee reconstruction, season
Justin Koschitzke, skull fracture, indefinite
Ed McDonnell, fractured thumb, 2 weeks
Andrew Thompson, fractured vertebrae in back, 4 weeks
Fergus Watts, fractured left ankle, indefinite
 
Membership: 32,066 as of 6/5
 
Story Source: Club Media Release
 
GEELONG
One player out of the nominees was voted as the greatest all-time Cat, with that honor going to Gary Ablett, Sr. The brilliant Polly Farmer, who also wore #5, came a very close second in that voting.   Ablett was unable to attend the dinner as he was recovering in the hospital after injuring his foot in a lawn mower accident, but he did send a taped speech on DVD. In that speech, he said it was an honor to so named and thanked the club for giving him a second chance to play league football.

 Ablett began his career at Hawthorn but was there for just one season in 1982 as he could not adjust to city life. He then spent a year with Myrtleford (about 200 km NE of Melbourne and 60 km south of the NSW border). While there, he was spotted by Geelong recruiters and the rest, as they say, is history.
Ablett played 242 games in 13 seasons and kicked 1,030 goals to be 5th on the all-time league goals list behind Tony Lockett (1360), Gordon Coventry (1299), Jason Dunstall (1254), and fellow Cat Doug Wade ((1057). He and those 4 are the only players in league history to kick over 1000 goals, with the next nearest current player being  Essendon's Matthew Lloyd on 767 career goals.
Other Ablett honors: 7 time All-Australian; 1989 Norm Smith Medal (just the 2nd player in history to win the medal from a losing GF team); Coleman Medalist 1993-95; Geelong leading goalkicker 1985-86, 1988-90, 1993-96; member Geelong Hall Of Fame & Team Of The Century. He was finally named to the AFL Hall Of Fame last year and, in 1996, was named to the interchange in the AFL's Team Of The Century. He also took Mark of The Year in 1994.
 
One sour note was a story which leaked out that Ablett had offered a copy of his speech to Channel Nine for $20,000, but reportedly the alleged deal fell through when Nine tried to negotiate for a lower price. Ablett's former agent, the sometimes controversial Ricky Nixon, later said the tape/DVD was not for sale.
Club president Frank Costa, in his speech at the gala, said, "Gary was a fantastic player and is widely recognized as one of the greatest players the game has seen. We were fortunate to be able to watch him play for over a decade with us. He is worthy and deserving of the honor of being named as the greatest player we have had wear the navy and white hoops."
 
Former Geelong Coach Billy Goggin, however, believes that honor should have gone to Polly Farmer.
 
GEELONG'S GREATS
 
Pioneer Era (1859-1896): Thomas Wills, the game's founder, who was involved with both Melbourne and Geelong, also played cricket, and served as an early umpire
 
Corio Oval Era (1897-1940) Reg Hickey: 1926-40, 245 games, 24 goals; 1936 Brownlow Medal; B&F 1928.1934; captain 1932-40; premierships 1931 & 1937; captain/coach 1936-40; Geelong Team Of The Century (captain), Victorian representative 19 times; senior coach 1949-59 for premierships 1951-52. Hickey was coach in what is arguably Geelong's greatest era of the late 1940s and early 50s. It was in 1952 under Hickey that the Cats began an amazing winning streak which continued through mid-1953 and the chain of 26 games undefeated (23 consecutive wins, 25 overall wins and 1 draw) remains a league record.
 
Post-War Era (1941-1959) Bob "the Geelong Flyer" Davis: 1948-58, 189 games, 149 goals; 1957 B&F; captain 1955-58; All-Australian 1955, 1958; premierships 1951-52; Geelong Team Of the Century; represented Victoria in 13 games; senior coach 1960-65, 1963 premiership coach.
It was under Davis that the record-setting winning streak came to an end and he is the last Geelong coach to take the club to a premiership.
 
Colorful Era (1960-1983): Graham "Polly" Farmer: 1962-67, 101 games, 65 goals; 1963 Brownlow runner-up; 1963-64 club B&F; 1963 premiership: 6-time Victorian representative; senior coach 1975-77.
Farmer was also a huge star in West Australia: East Perth - 176 games; West Perth - 1968-71, 79 games, 55 goals; Sandover Medal (WA equivalent of Brownlow) 1956-57, 1960; East Perth B&F 1954-57 & 1959-61; East Perth premierships 1956 & 1958-59, 1971; West Perth B&F 1969; West Perth premierships 1969, 1971 (captain/coach); All-Australian 1956, 1958, 1961; AFL Team Of The Century; 6 time Victorian representative; 31 games for WA; AFL Hall Of Fame Legend
Farmer is credited with revolutionizing the game and the art of handball with his pinpoint delivery over long distances. There is a story that he used to practice handballing with his target a partially open car window to hone his accuracy. He was also a mentor to his ruck successor Sam Newman.
 
Player of the National Era (1984-2006): Gary Ablett snr - see above
Story Source: Melbourne Age, afl.com.au, author research for player details
 
The club is considering the installation of artificial grass and more padding around the interchange bench to prevent any further accidents such as the one which left Eagle Adam Hunter with scratches on his head, face, and arm. Hunter was nudged by Cameron Mooney while running for a mark, slipped over, and hit the cement base of the interchange bench. 
While the area around the boundary and interchange meets AFL standards, Geelong officials admitted the grass can get slippery when wet and believe reinforcing it with artificial grass, as has been done at Telstra Dome, would help alleviate the problem.
Cameron Mooney was cleared of any wrong doing by the MRP, who ruled that his bump on Hunter was a legitimate attempt to spoil the mark.
 
Matthew Spencer, who has been on the senior list for 2 years but has managed just a few preseason games including this year's NAB GF, finally got his chance this week. He and David Wojcinski replaced injured duo Tom Harley (shoulder) and Jarad Rooke (foot)
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Injury Update:
Steven King, calf, 1 week
Peter Riccardi, calf, 1-2 weeks
Charlie Gardiner, ankle ligament strain, 1-2 weeks 
Tim Sheringham, hamstring, 2-3 weeks
Tom Harley, AC joint, 1-2 weeks
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
HAWTHORN
 
Defender Danny Jacobs will miss the rest of the season due to surgery to repair the hamstring injury suffered last week. Scans showed that the hamstring was partially detached from the bone, similar to the injury suffered by Essendon's Matthew Lloyd.
 
Trent Croad will not play again either until after the midseason break so he can recover from his wrist injury. Despite sitting out 2 games, the injury flared when he played last week and the club believes he needs to rest it further.

The club has elevated Ben McGlynn to replace Beau Muston (knee) who is on the long-term injury list. 
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Injury update:
Danny Jacobs, hamstring  surgery, season
Trent Croad, wrist, will not return until after midseason break 
Shane Crawford, shin, 2 weeks
Michael Osborne, foot, ongoing assessment, indefinite
Xavier Ellis, foot, 1 week
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
BRISBANE
Justin Leppitsch announced his retirement this past week. Leppitsch, 30 has been struggling to recover from nerve damage due to a slipped disc in his back, suffered last year. The nerve damage caused a calf muscle to atrophy, which prevented him from regaining full pace and agility. He did play 4 games this season, but was clearly not 100%.

Leppitsch was recruited to the then Brisbane Bears from Springvale in his final year of high school, making his debut in 1993. He played the first half of his career as a key forward but was moved to defense in 1999 and quickly established himself at CHB, winning the club's B&F award as well as All-Australian selection that year.
There was a tribute to Leppitsch at the Gabba this week ahead of the match against Adelaide.
 
JUSTIN LEPPITSCH
Debuted 1993; 227 games, 194 goals; 2001-03 premierships; 1999 B&F (tied with Jason Akermanis); All-Australian 1999, 2002, 2003; Lions vice-captain 2000-2004; leading goal kicker 1997, 1998; Victorian state-of-origin representative 1999; International Rules 1999, 2000
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age & Bribane Media Release
 
Injury Update:
Chris Johnson, groin, 1 week
Jed Adcock, quad, 2-5 weeks
Pat Garner, Anthony Corrie,Joel Macdonald, Richard Hadley, knee reconstruction, season
Daniel Merrett, fractured elbow, 5 weeks 
Chris Scott, hip, long term injury list, indefinite
Clark Keating, stress reaction in foot, 1 week
Nigel Lappin, ankle, 4-5 weeks
 
10 Years Ago
This week’s game celebrated the Brisbane Lions' first match against Adelaide at Football Park. In the course of the game, Lion Michael McLean suffered a season ending injury.
Darryl White kicked the first Brisbane goal and the Lions proceeded to kick 4 of the first 5 but the Crows rallied to lead by a goal at 1/4 time. Ruckman Clark Keating was up against his younger brother Aaron, who suffered a broken hip in a collision with Matthew Clarke, putting him on the sidelines until the preliminary final.

The Lions had no answer for forward duo of Tony Modra and Barry Standfield, who kicked 12 goals between them. Mark Ricciuto and Brett James were unstoppable in the midfield with 36 and 33 possessions respectively. New co-captains Alastair Lynch and Michael Voss kicked three goals each, while Marcus Ashcroft was best afield for Brisbane and Danny Dickfos was also impressive.
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
WEST COAST
The Eagles are investigating the possibility of holding a week long training camp in South Africa during the next preseason. They have already approached the AFL about a trip to Potchefstroom, 150km southwest of Johannesburg in the Northwest Province.
The high altitude township not only has a burgeoning footy program, but is also a popular training base for other world athletes, including the 2003 Australian cricket team. St. Kilda held a training camp there 2 years ago.
Like the Saints, the Eagles would visit local communities and hold clinics for the area youths involved in footy.
The Eagles would like to make the trip in either December or January but should they get the go ahead, it would kill Fremantle's plans for a South African trip in October as the league would have to decide on one or the other heading to South Africa.
Docker CEO Cameron Schwab has even floated the idea of a scholarship program similar to the AFL's NSW program. 
 
Has elevated Steven Armstrong to the seniors from the rookie list. Armstrong, who played 43 games and kicked 21 goals for Melbourne, replaces the retired Philip Matera.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Injury Update:
Brad Smith, knee, season
Damien Adkins, broken leg, season
Matthew Spangher, groin, 2 weeks
Chris Judd, hamstring, 2 weeks
 
Source: Club Media Release
  
COLLINGWOOD
Blake Caracella's season may be over after scans showed he had suffered a fracture to the C5 vertebrae in his neck and some bruising to his spinal cord. The latter has resolved itself, although Caracella was still suffering weakness and tingling in his arms for several days. He remained in the hospital and immobilized while swelling around the cord subsided.
Doctors said it was the most serious AFL injury since Bulldog Neil Sachse was left quadriplegic from a collision with a Fitzroy player in 1975. Sachse is confined to a wheelchair but does have limited use of his arms and hands. Doctors also said Caracella was just millimeters away from that type of injury. Caracella's injury was described as a displaced fracture, with the danger that bone fragments could permanently damage or even sever the spinal cord. They attributed the moderate damage to the fact that Caracella, as an elite athlete, has a much stronger muscular structure in his upper body and neck, than most people.
Caracella, once stabilized, will be required to wear a stiff neck brace for a minimum of 6 weeks, possibly more, and will then be assessed again. At that time also, it will be determined if he can play again this year. His doctor said it is feasible that Caracella could return to play later this season.
Caracella was injured when he slipped over chasing a loose ball and was bumped in the head by former Lion teammate Tim Notting. Caracella experienced weakness and tingling in his arms and legs.
The recently married, and soon-to-be dad, Caracella turns 30 later this year and it is believed that this may have been his final year.  
Collingwood has the option of promoting Harry O'Brien from the rookie list and putting Caracella on the long term injury list - which requires a minimum of 8 weeks out. However, that decision won't be made until the club has more information regarding the injury and Caracella's recovery. 
 
Brodie Holland missed this week with an Achilles injury.
 
Nick Maxwell will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken leg. and Dane Swan will also miss several weeks with a hamstring injury.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
ESSENDON
In true team spirit, Jason Johnson refused a recall to the seniors last week, telling Coach Kevin Sheedy he needed another week in the VFL to regain his touch and confidence. He was to replace late withdrawal Paddy Ryder (hamstring tightness). When Johnson declined, Angus Monfries was called up instead.

 
Lost Jobe Watson (corked knee) this week, but Jason Johnson returned to the side after completing a stint in the VFL.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Injury Update:
Richard Cole, & James Hird, hamstring, 2 weeks
Dean Rioli, knee, 8 weeks
Lachlan McKinnon & Aaron Henneman, shoulder reconstruction, season
Matthew Lloyd, hamstring surgery, season
 
Membership: 35,944 as of 6/5
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
CARLTON
Forward Troy Longmuir is out for the season as the shoulder injury he suffered last week will require surgery. Last week's game was his first for year and he has managed just 11 games since joining the Blues from Fremantle at the end of 2004.  He played 55 matches with the Dockers 2000-04 as well as 17 games with Melbourne 1998-99.
 
Better news for Carlton is that Jarrad Waite (knee) is a chance to return after the midseason break, although a final determination will be made after he is reassessed next week.  
 
Story Source: afl.com.au via Carlton website
 
Injury Update:
Adam Hartlett, hamstring, 2 weeks
Jarrad Waite & Paul Bower, knee, 4-6 weeks
Brad Fisher, shoulder, 5-7
Troy Longmuir, shoulder, ongoing assessment
Justin Davies, back, indefinite
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
RICHMOND
Nathan Brown returned to the senior side this week after missing the past 7 due to residual soreness from his broken leg.
He played the first 3 games this year and had a promising start with 18 possessions against the Western Bulldogs in Round 1, but then struggled. 
 He had just 10 touches against the Saints in Round 2, and just 2 kicks against the Eagles in Round 3 and began suffering soreness in the leg, which he broke in Round 10 last year against Melbourne.
X-rays 3 weeks ago showed the bone had not completely healed over, but Brown is confident of coming back without incident.
Brown said he felt "a chronic ache" in the leg for up to 6 days after each of those 3 games and that the leg was sore going into the game against the Eagles.
Coach Terry Wallace said Brown would be rotated on and off the ground and through various positions.
 
Brett Deledio returned from injury this week.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Injury Update:
Matthew Richardson, wrist, 1-2 weeks
Will Thursfield, knee, season
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
SYDNEY
Injury Update:
Andrew Ericksen, shoulder, 1 week
Nick Malceski, hamstring, 2 weeks
 
Paul Williams (calf soreness) returned after being a late withdrawal last week.
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
WESTERN BULLDOGS
The club was fined $7500 for briefly having an extra player on the field in the final term of last week's match against Hawthorn.
Although the Bulldogs sent in a formal response to the league, in which they took full responsibility for what they labeled a simple mistake, club officials were still shocked and disappointed at the severity of the fine.
AFL Operations Manager Adrian Anderson said the league took into account the club's response and its review of preventive procedures when imposing the fine.
Under AFL rules, a fine up to $15,000 can be levied for a first offense. In extreme cases, the team's scores to that point in the match can be erased or the results of the match can be reversed.
Anderson also wrote to all the clubs reminding them of the interchange rules. 
 
Coach Rodney Eade believes the fine is way too harsh for what he called a minor breach which had no influence on the game. He said a suspended fine would have been more appropriate.
The incident happened when Wayde Skipper was coming off the ground and Peter Street entered the field before Skipper had reached the interchange area. Scott West kicked the ball and Skipper instinctively marked it. Defender Matthew Boyd saw what was happening and took himself off the ground in an effort to rectify the situation. The entire incident lasted about 15 seconds.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
The club has signed talented 15 year old Braedon Jones under the scholarship program.
Braedon is from the Singleton Football Club in Aberdeen, 2 hours north of Newcastle in NSW. He also plays for the Northern Heat U-15 team which competes in the NSW State Championships and, his signing with the Dogs, was also a member of the Swans Academy.
David Beauchamp, the club's Sydney-based recruiter, recommended Braedon to Scott Clayton, the club's recruiting manager.
Beauchamp will continue to play a role in Braedon’s development and will provide continual feedback to the club on his progress. 
Standing at 185cm and 65kg, Clayton describe Braedon as a hard running, marking midfielder with an exciting future. Clayton also described Braedon as very mature with a good work ethic and one who wants to get the best out of himself and be the best player he can be.
Remarkably, Braedon, who has a background in soccer and cross-country running, only began playing footy 2 years ago.
Braedon and the club have a 3 year commitment under the program, and the Bulldogs will have first crack at him when he becomes eligible for the draft.
 
Injury Update:
Luke Darcy, Robert Murphy, Tim Walsh, & Adam Morgan, knee reconstruction, season
Shane Birss, ankle, 5 weeks
 
Story Source: Club Media Release
 
FREMANTLE
CEO Cameron Schwab has been reappointed for another 3 years. Vice President Mel Ashton said the board felt Schwab's contributions were crucial to the club's future development.  Schwab was first appointed CEO in September 2001, after the the club had just completed its worst on field season in its brief history winning just two games. It had also posted a loss of more than $2.5 million for the year, bringing the total to $5 million in losses over a 3 year period. The club also was carrying $8 million in debt and membership was 23,898 with only 12,000 as reserved seat holders. Average home game attendances were 21,258.
Under Schwab, the club has turned its fortunes around and, as of February 2005, is debt-free. The club also has a cash flow of over $1 million, does not require external support, has posted profits of in the past 3 seasons ($711,000 in 2003, $1.254 million in 2004, and $1.015 million in 2005) and is now a strong, stable and profitable business across all areas.
Club membership has hit record levels since 2002 with over 35,000 members (31,000 reserved seats) in 2006, average home game attendances now exceed 36,000 per season, and the growth of sponsorship and corporate sales has also achieved record levels. The club has attracted major, first class sponsors to the club highlighted by LG Electronics Major Sponsorship of the club in 2006.
The club had also developed and implemented ground-breaking initiatives such as the Community Development Program.
Despite its ordinary form this season, the team did achieve a 51% winning ratio since 2002, well up on the 25% ratio over the previous 5 seasons.
 
Injury Update:
Peter Bell, calf, 3 weeks
Ryan Crowley, fractured cheekbone, 1 week
Daniel Haines, achilles, season
Scott Thornton, shoulder, 5 weeks
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
MELBOURNE
Injury Update:
Paul Johnson, shoulder, 1-2 weeks
Nathan Brown, hamstring, 1-2 weeks
Alistair Nicholson, foot, 2 weeks
Brock McLean, injured hamstring at training, 2-3 weeks
 
Source: Club Media Release

 
KANGAROOS
Membership: 22,854 as of May 26
 
Source: Club Media Release

 
ADELAIDE
Injury Update:
Scott Welsh, quad, 1 week
Ben Hudson, knee rehab, possible late season return
Ben Hart, broken arm, 6 weeks
Ian Perrie, knee, 5 weeks
Richard Douglas, knee, 7 weeks
Nathan Bock & Darren Pfeiffer, back, 5 weeks
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
PORT ADELAIDE
A tearful Gavin Wanganeen announced his retirement last week, saying his knee wouldn't tolerate the rigors of AFL. Wanganeen, 33, has had a horror run of injury this year starting in Round 1 against the Kangaroos when he hurt is back. He then hurt his calf while regaining match fitness in the SANFL and then damaged the cartilage in his knee while playing for the Port Adelaide Magpies on late last month. The surgery virtually removed all the cartilage from the knee. He has been playing for the past several weeks in the SANFL, hoping to rejoin the seniors and play out what would have been his final year.
Wanganeen, surrounded by teammates, his wife, and 2 year old son Tex, said it was a sad day for him and spoke of his disappointment at not being able to have one last game with his mates and share the emotion of it.
Port Coach Mark Williams, who persuaded Wanganeen to play one final season, and Essendon Coach Kevin Sheedy both described Wanganeen as a champion. Sheedy also said Wanganeen had been an inspiration to indigenous players. Wanganeen came to Essendon shortly after another one of the club's indigenous greats - Michael Long. The 2 were teammates in the Bombers' 1993 premiership.
Both Gavin and Coach Mark Williams played in Port Adelaide's 1990 SANFL premiership side. The duo were reunited when Gavin returned to Port in 1997 with Williams as coach.
Port was already planning a testimonial for Wanganeen next month guests from both Essendon and Port, including Kevin Sheedy. He will also have a lap of honor in Round 20 when Port plays Collingwood at AAMI Stadium.
 
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
Dean Brogan was fined $5000 by the club for the airport altercation. The fine is the maximum allowed under the AFLPA's Code of Conduct. As well as the fine, Brogan will be required to complete 20 hours of community service under the Community Youth Program. He will also receive additional counseling.
The club, in a media statement, also confirmed that it was aware of an incident involving Brogan more than seven months ago which was investigated by police but no charges were laid against either Brogan or the others involved. At that time, Brogan was cautioned and counseled. 
 
Story Source: afl.com.au via Port Adelaide website
 
Injury Update:
Peter Burgoyne, hamstring, 2 weeks
Dom Cassisi, medial knee ligament, 1 week
Josh Francou, knee, 3 weeks
Gavin Wanganeen, knee, 7 weeks
Damon White, AC sprain, 3 weeks
 
Source: Club Media Release
 
GENERAL SILLINESS
With the refurbishment project announced last week, one writer from the Melbourne Age waxed nostalgic about the myths and legends which permeate the old suburban grounds.The writer dug several interesting and amusing snippets including one about one Carlton supporter between the two world wars who took his his pet cockatoo to the games. Whenever the Blues were attacking, the bird would sing the club song.
Story Source: Melbourne Age
 
On to the scores:

GEEL    6.3   12.5    16.6    20.10 (130)
ESS      2.3    5.4      9.7      13.10 (88)
GOALS: GEEL - G. Ablett 4, S. Johnson 3, Mooney 3, Stokes 3, Enright 2, Chapman, Corey, Ling, Milburn, Ottens; ESS - Lucas 3, Monfries 2, Dempsey, Dyson, Hille, Johns, Laycock, Lovett-Murray, McPhee, Reynolds
BEST: GEEL - G. Ablett, Chapman, Corey, Scarlett, Bartel, Ling; ESS - Fletcher, J. Johnson, M. Johnson, Lucas, Monfries, Laycock

INJURY: ESS - Winderlich (leg)

CHANGES: ESS - Camporeale (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Dyson

UMPIRES: Allen, Wenn, Pannell

CROWD: 43,600 at Telstra Dome

If ever there were two sides desperate for a confidence boosting win, these two were it. Essendon, if for nothing else but to restore a bit of pride after the flogging they copped last week, and Geelong to keep its slender finals hopes flickering. Since Round 3, there has only been one win between these two teams - Geelong in Round 7. And, of course, someone had to lose this one. The questions were who and by how much.

From early in the first term, it looked like Geelong would be the one to finally break its losing streak when Gary Ablett booted the opening goal. But in an error filled match, it was 10 minutes before he got the next. Midway through the term, Mooney got into the action with 2 marks and goals in less than 10 minutes. Monfries and Laycock broke the run for the Bombers, but a late goal to young Cat Stokes gave the Cats a 4 goal lead at 1/4 time.

That margin was reduced to just 11 points when Hille and Lucas goaled in the first few minutes of the 2nd term. Steve Johnson got one back for Geelong before Reynolds bobbed up for Essendon. From there, it was all Geelong with goals to Enright, Ling, Enright, Stokes, and Corey blowing the lead out to 43 points at 1/2 time.

The Bombers worked a bit harder early in the 3rd term but it didn't last when a shocker of kick out of defense from Welsh was marked by Milburn who set up Ottens for a goal to give the Cats a 50 point lead. Last week, the Cats had the Eagles on toast with a similar margin, and most Cat fans could be forgiven a serious case of deja vu when the Bombers rallied with goals to Johns, Lucas, and McPhee to get the Bombers within 31 points. But instead of wilting under the pressure like last week, the Cats withstood the onslaught as Ablett created a bit of dad-like magic with 2 goals to steady the ship. First he wriggled his way out of the clutches of two Bombers after getting hold of a Cat miskick, with his kick skittering under Solomon's arm. A minute later, he took a one-handed mark on the goal line. Lovett-Murray and Chapman booted late goals, but Geelong was out to a 41 point lead at 3/4 time.

Monfries snapped a goal in the first minutes of the final term, but any hope of a comeback was quashed when Mooney and Johnson goaled to send the margin back out to 50 points midway through the term. The Bombers refused to roll over, however, and battled on with goals to Dyson, Lucas, and Dempsey before Stokes and Johnson finished the game off once and for all.

For the Cats, Gary Ablett (19) and Chapman (33/8) were excellent with an aggression that has been lacking of late in the team. Both proved a handful for the Bombers with Chapman not only dangerous around goal but roaming the midfield as well. Corey (30/7), Ling (23/10), and Bartel (27) tore through the midfield while Scarlett (20) marshaled the defense and kept a tight rein on Johns.

For Essendon, Jason Johnson (33/9) was back to his best while Mark Johnson (28/7) and McVeigh (22) lent support. Fletcher (20/7) was his usual solid self in defense as he cut Nathan Ablett out of the game, while Lucas (21/13) and Monfries (21) worked hard in attack and Laycock (16/5, 8 hitouts) battled in the ruck and around the ground coming off the bench.

RICH     3.2    7.5    13.8    15.12 (102)
KANG   3.6    4.9     8.10     9.13 (67)
GOALS: RICH - Pettifer 4, Brown 2, Meyer 2, P Bowden, Tivendale, Simmonds, Kellaway, Krakouer, Hyde, J. Bowden; KANG - Thompson 5, Co. Jones, Green, J. Rawlings, Harvey
BEST: RICH - P. Bowden, Simmonds, J. Bowden, Pettifer, Deledio, Raines, Tuck, Tivendale:
KANG - Thompson, Harris, Wells, Simpson, Pratt, Harvey

CHANGES: KANG - Firrito (leg) replaced in selected side by Thurley

REPORTS: KANG - Jade Rawlings for rough conduct against Richard Tambling

UMPIRES: Kamolins, Ryan, Nicholls

CROWD: 42,841 at the MCG

The Kangaroos, while attacking well and having better of the Tigers early in the first term, undid all their good work with too many skill errors, indirect play, and poor kicking for goal. Simpson and Harvey were particularly prominent early. Tiger defenders Patrick and Joel Bowden made the most of Kangaroo errors with plenty of marks and rebound out of the back line. And it was Patrick who rammed home the opening goal in the first minute. Green and Simmonds then traded goals and despite the Kangaroos' poor play, the lead changed several times before Thompson slotted two goals, giving the Roos a 10 point lead. Pettifer goaled late, leaving the Kangaroos just 4 points ahead at 1/4 time.

The lead went back to the Tigers when Meyer goaled, but Thompson again restored it for the Kangaroos. The Tigers, through the midfield efforts of Coughlan, Foley, Johnson, and Tuck, began to get on top. With Deledio, Raines, Krakouer, Meyer, Tivendale, and Tambling also chiming in, the Tigers took control of the game. A goal to Hyde midway through the term gave the lead back to Richmond and further goals to Brown and Kellaway gave them a 14 point lead at 1/2 time.

Tivendale made it a 20 point margin early in the 3rd term, but Thompson and Corey Jones goaled to bring the margin back to just 8 points. Again the Tigers took control with 2 goals to Pettifer. Krakouer goaled just before the siren and Richmond headed into 3/4 time with a 28 point lead.

The win broke a 4 game losing streak against the Kangaroos, going back to Round 21, 2001. It is also just the 3rd Tiger win over the Kangaroos out of 11 matches. Since 1987, the Kangaroos have won 23 out of 32 games between the two clubs. But the Tigers have now won 6 of their past 8 against the Kangaroos.

For the Kangaroos, it was their 9th loss of the season and their 5th in a row, their worst start to a season since 1984 when they won only 2 out of the first 16 games.

For the Tigers, Tuck (22), Tivendale (197), Deledio (25/11), and Raines (20/6) were excellent in the center and scooting forward. Simmonds (21/10) had just 12 hitouts but was more than handy around the ground, while Patrick Bowden (26/10) and Joel Bowden (26/9) were superb in attack and defense while Pettifer (22/12) continued the fine form he has shown recently.
Nathan Brown did well with 14 possessions and 2 goals despite a lack of match fitness.

For the Kangaroos, Thompson (12 kicks, 8 marks) played a lone hand up forward despite hitting the post 3 times in the final term. Harris (21), Wells (17), and Simpson (24) tried to spark the side out of the center, while Pratt (16/4) battled in defense as did Harvey (27) from a forward pocket.

ADE    0.4    3.7    7.13    10.15 (75)
BRIS   3.3    4.8    5.11     8.12 (60)GOALS: ADE - Hentschel 3, McGregor, Reilly, Ricciuto, Burton, McLeod, Johncock, Thompson; BRIS - Akermanis 3, Power, Moody, Rischitelli, Bradshaw, Roe
BEST: ADE - Bassett, Edwards, Hentschel, Stevens, Doughty, Johncock, McLeod, Massie; BRIS - Power, Akermanis, Black, Notting, Voss, Copeland, Sherman

INJURY: ADE - Ricciuto (groin strain), McGregor (ankle); Van Berlo (broken collarbone)
While Ricciuto and McGregor are a chance to play next week providing they can prove their fitness, Van Berlo will miss the next 2 months

CHANGES: BRIS - Brown (hip) replaced in selected side by Pask

UMPIRES: McLaren, Quigley, Head

CROWD: 27,516 at the Gabba

Heavy rain not only put a literal damper on Justin Leppitsch's retirement lap of honor, but also saw the Lions revel in the conditions with Power slamming through a goal from the first bounce less than a minute after the start. It was the Lions of old - well, at least going back 3-4 years anyway - as they came out full of running and stopped the Crows in their tracks. While the rain was heavy, it wasn't enough to create a flood, but it didn't need to as the Lions did plenty of that on their own, forcing the Crows to chip the ball around everywhere and anywhere accept into attack. But the Crows at least managed to defend stoutly to hold Brisbane to just 2 more goals for a 17 point lead at 1/4 time.

The Crows lifted in the 2nd term and were aided by the wet conditions, which made kicking goals more difficult. While it was Adelaide which adapted better for the term, Brisbane seemed to flounder in front of the big sticks, missing a number of chances to extend their lead. Goals to McGregor and Reilly went some way to atone for the temporary loss of Ricciuto to a minor groin strain. They also adjusted their game plan, setting their running players loose to run in tandem and back each other to propel themselves into attack. Then it was time for a bit of Akermanis flair. From a boundary throw in deep in Brisbane's forward zone, Akermanis, who surely must have been inspired by the current World Cup Soccer, was at the fall of the ball hard up against the boundary near the point post. He lashed out with his left foot and somehow soccered the ball through from the most acutely impossible angle imaginable. But Ricciuto was back on to help out his mates and Hentschel kicked his first for the match, but the Lions still had their noses in front by 7 points at 1/2 time.

The rain kept coming in the 3rd term as the two sides slogged it out. Akermanis opened the scoring with a point, but then followed up with a goal soon after to keep Adelaide at bay. The Crows attacked strongly again and Hentschel spun out of a tackle to goal to put the Crows within striking distance. When Ricciuto goaled minutes later, the Crows had cut the deficit to a single point. Rischitelli wasted a chance to give the Lions some breathing room when hit the post and Hentschel gave Adelaide the lead with another goal. In the wet conditions, neither side could gain a clear advantage with both squandering opportunities in front of goal before Burton goaled to stretch Adelaide's lead. More misses and several rushed points followed, leaving the Crows 14 points clear at 3/4 time.
A free to Bode early in the opening term was wasted with Ricciuto managing only a point, and McLeod fared no better in the wet.

McLeod's goal a minute later was disallowed because of a free paid to Roe. The Lions headed into attack and Rischitelli goaled as the Lions mounted a fightback. Akermanis, dangerous throughout, had his kick for goal spoiled by Burton. Bradshaw was then shifted from defense to the forward line with almost immediate results. After Hentschel missed from 30 meters, Bradshaw marked and goaled to get the Lions within 3 points. But McLeod goaled to give the Crows a 9 point lead. But Roe bobbed up for a mark and 40 meter goal and it was back  to a 3 point margin with 5 minutes remaining. The Crows lifted again, pressured the Lions, and had numbers at the ball, forcing Voss into an uncharacteristic error. Then Akermanis fumbled and the Crows cleared. McLeod got on the end of it and found Johncock for a goal to restore Adelaide's 9 point lead. The game was safely in Adelaide's keeping when Thompson was given a free kick 50 meters out and goaled.

For the Crows, Johncock (21/8), Bassett (24/10) and Doughty (23/6) were excellent in defense while Edwards (24), McLeod (19/7), drove the midfield which was well served by Biglands (22 hitouts) and Maric (16 hitouts). Stevens (21) was creative across half forward.

For the Lions, McDonald (20 hitouts) and Wood (14 hitouts) broke even against the Crow rucks, while Black (28), Voss (27), Power (34), Copeland (20), Notting (22/5), and Sherman - aka the Shermanator - never stopped running. Akermanis (29) was an absolute menace in a forward pocket with his flair and skills unhampered by the wet. Patfull, in just his 4th game, was superb against veteran Crow Ricciuto while Selwood restricted Goodwin to just 16 touches.

STK    2.3     5.5     7.6    7.10 (52)
SYD    0.1    3.3     5.5     7.8 (50)
GOALS: SYD -Schneider 3, Hall, Roberts-Thomson, McVeigh, Kirk; StK - Gehrig 3, Rix, Goddard, Blake, Montagna
BEST: StK - S. Fisher, Maguire, Riewoldt, Ball, Goddard; SYD - Goodes, Kirk, J. Bolton, Schneider

INJURY: StK - Ball (concussion)

UMPIRES: Vozzo, Schmitt, Ellis

CROWD: 31,146 at SCG

Like Brisbane, Sydney was hit with heavy rain for much of this game but it was the Saints who handled the conditions better, starting with debutant Rix goaling with his first league kick from 50 meters out. Gehrig grabbed the next one, while Maguire outbustled Bustling Barry at the other end, in their first meeting since their preliminary final stoush. The result was Sydney going goalless for the term and leaving the Saints 14 points clear at 1/4 time.

It was the first time Sydney has been unable to score a goal since the 3rd term of last year's GF.

Hall goaled from the first bounce of the 2nd term, but the Saints responded to keep their 2 goal advantage through Goddard and Gehrig. Roberts-Thompson slipped forward from the half forward line to boot one for the Swans, but Gehrig answered with another one for the Saints.  McVeigh ended the term with another Sydney goal, but the Saints still led by 14 points at 1/2 time.
The rain turned the center of the SCG into a mudpit (shades of 1996 Sydney vs Kangaroos - Lisa). Some of the Auskickers who were there for the canceled curtain-raiser finally made it out onto the ground, but instead of having a kick, enjoyed themselves with chest slides on the soggy, saturated ground.

The Saints extended their lead early in the 3rd term with both goals coming courtesy of Leo Barry stuff ups. He gave away a free to Blake for one goal. Schneider goaled twice in succession for Sydney, but Barry then had a shocker, with his handball going straight to Montagna, who obliged with a goal to give the Saints  a 13 point lead at 3/4 time.

The Swans pushed hard in the final term, and surged when Ball had to be stretchered off after a collision with teammate Maguire. Both sides were fierce in their attack with Voss also having come off after copping one in the nose as he dived for a pack mark. He was back on soon after and the Swans kept coming with a goal to Kirk closing the gap and giving Sydney a chance. Schneider goaled late to have the Swans within a kick and they continued to attack strongly. One last gasp effort in the dying seconds was foiled by a game saving contested mark in the goal square from Riewoldt.

In a strange twist of fate, this time it was St. Kilda's turn to end Sydney's winning streak, just as Sydney ended the Saints' 10 game winning streak in 2004 - also at the SCG.

Some of the match ups and individual duels would have been worth the price of admission on their own: Barry vs Gehrig, Kirk cutting Dal Santo out of the match, Craig Bolton's battle with Riewoldt, Blake tagging the irrepressible Goodes.

For the Saints, Maguire (16 kicks, 4 marks) was magnificent in holding Hall to just 5 kicks and 5 marks, Riewoldt (23/7) dominated half forward with support from Voss (20) in a forward pocket and Goddard 12/4). Gehrig ( 8 kicks, 8 marks) did well to make the most of his chances in game not suited for players of his ilk, while Ball was key in the middle before going off.

For the Swans, Goodes (20/8) had a mountain of the ball across half forward, while Kirk (25/10) drove the midfield, Jude Bolton (22 kicks) and Kennelly (18) launched plenty of attacks from defense, and Schneider (14) worked hard in defense and attack. 

PA        8.2     15.4    18.10     22.13 (145)
HAW     2.1      2.4      5.5       7.7 (49)
GOALS: PA - Tredrea 3, Pettigrew 3, Dew 2, Ebert 2, Salopek 2, Pearce 2, Lonie, Wilson, Thurstans, C. Cornes, Lade, Surjan, Thompson, Mahoney; HAW - Barker 2, Williams, Clarke, Lewis, Campbell, Dixon
BEST: PA - Tredrea, Lade, Salopek, C. Cornes, Surjan, K. Cornes, Pearce, Wakelin; HAW - Clarke, Hodge, Bateman, Brown

INJURY PA - Thurstans (ankle), Ezard (corked thigh), Bishop (hamstring tightness); HAW - Everitt (ankle)

UMPIRES: Donlon, Davis, McInerney

CROWD: 24,511 at AAMI Stadium

Less than midway through the opening term, the Hawks were out to a 7 point lead with goals to Barker and Williams wrapped around one to Dew. Port took over after that as they slammed on 7 unanswered goals to lead by 37 points at 1/4 time.

If the first term was bad for the Hawks, the 2nd was a nightmare with Port players practically lining up to kick a succession of goals. The only scoring shot Hawthorn had came late in the 2nd term for a point. The other two behinds the Hawks accumulated didn't even come off their own boots, they were rushed by Port, who led by a very comfortable 78 points at 1/2 time.

The lead was out to 86 points when Lade booted one early in the 3rd term. The Hawks finally showed a bit midway through the term with goals to Clarke and Lewis, which brought ironic cheers from the home crowd. Surjan broke any hope of a Hawk revival before Barker bobbed up again. It was all for naught as Pearce's goal gave Port an 83 point lead at 3/4 time.

WB     4.4   10.6   14.7   15.10 (100)
FRE    5.3    7.5    9.9     12.14 (86)
GOALS: WB - Johnson 3, Boyd 2, Cooney 2, Robbins 2, Eagleton, Higgins, McMahon, Ray, Skipper, Smith; FRE - Pavlich 3, McPharlin 2, Black, Farmer, Hasleby, Headland, Medhurst, Peake, Sandilands
BEST: WB - Cooney, West, Gilbee, Johnson, Boyd, McMahon; FRE - Pavlich, Mundy, J. Carr, Hasleby, Headland, Medhurst

INJURY: WB - Grant (knee); FRE -  Gilmore (knee), Grover (shoulder), Polak (adductor)

CHANGES: WB - Giansiracusa (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Power

UMPIRES: Grun, Woodcock, Goldspink

CROWD: 23,805 at Telstra Dome

After Medhurst opened the scoring with a point, the Dogs, with the pacy, attacking midfield which has become their stock in trade, rattled on 3 goals through McMahon, Boyd, and Cooney to grab an early lead. All 3 were long-range efforts, Cooney's being a classy 3 bounce run and kick out of the middle. McPharlin sparked a Docker surge with 2 goals midway through the term. Pavlich and Hasleby followed up before Johnson pulled one back for the Dogs before Peake swooped on a Skipper error for a goal to ensure a 5 point Docker lead at 1/4 time.

Pavlich kicked another at the start of the 2nd term, but the Dogs wasted no time in reasserting themselves, first with a Cross handball to Eagleton for a goal to bring the margin back to less than a kick.  A Higgins bomb from 50 and a goal to Robbins gave the lead back to the Dogs. Medhurst had the Dockers within 2 points before Johnson outmuscled  Grover to mark and goal. Cooney and Smith sent through late goals to give the Dogs a 19 point lead at 1/2 time.

The Dockers kept coming early in the 3rd but had little to show for their efforts with Pavlich the only goal scorer after Ray put one through for the Dogs. Johnson and Boyd replied to hold the advantage. Then Grant hobbled off favoring his knee after he and Robbins collided. While he saw no more action, Bulldog fans breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of Grant jogging along the boundary during the final term. It didn't slow the Dogs down much as Skipper soccered through a goal. Sandilands was awarded a free kick as well as a 50 meter penalty late in the term and goaled for the Dockers, then earned another free at the center bounce for an infringement. Pavlich marked on the lead but hit the post from 40 meters and it was the Dogs by 28 points at 3/4 time.

Headland gave away a free kick to Robbins early in the final term and he appeared to seal the win for the Dogs, but the Dockers surged and attacked relentlessly. Again, their efforts were wasted when Matthew Carr missed from 48 meters. While Farmer goaled to give the Dockers a slim chance, Walker managed just a point on the run, as did Farmer who put it  out on the full. The Dockers won the ball back and found Headland for a goal before Medhurst goaled to put a scare into the Dogs who cleared again only for the Dockers to get it back once more. Medhurst couldn't buy a goal as he sprayed another shot. At the other end, Montgomery hit the post instead of easing the pressure on the Dogs. Medhurst's kick to Pavlich missed the mark and dribbled through for a point before Black's goal put the Dockers within striking distance. Griffen had a chance via a free kick from 50 but also missed, but the Dogs regained possession and held their nerve to hang on.

For the Dogs, it was the class, skill, and pace of the midfield with West (29), Cooney (27), Eagleton (17/7), and Ray (21) which was on show. GIlbee (19) and Boyd (22/6) gave plenty of drive from defense while Harris (19/7) kept a close watch on Pavlich and Johnson (11/6) led the attack.

For the Dockers, Black (21/8), Josh Carr (26/7), Headland (21/10), and Hasleby (25/5) were prolific as ever in the middle, Mundy (19/10) battled hard in defense, especially when Grover (11 kicks, 4 marks) was off injured, and Pavlich (10 kicks, 10 marks) presented well up forward despite the close attention of Harris.

The win breaks a 4 game losing streak for the Dogs against the Dockers going back to 2002.

WCE     3.3    5.6     8.11    16.15 (111)
CARL    6.2    9.8    13.10   15.11 (101)
GOALS: WCE - Hunter 4, Lynch 3, Embley 2, Jones, Staker, Hansen, Nicoski, Wirrpanda, Chick, Cousins; CARL - Fevola 6, Betts 3, Wiggins, Scotland 2, Murphy, Stevens
BEST: WCE - Hunter, Rosa, Wirrpanda, Embley, Braun, Cousins; CARL - Fevola, Whitnall, Betts, Scotland, Murphy, Houlihan, Stevens

INJURY: WCE - Rosa (concussion)

UMPIRES: Rosebury, Margetts, Hendrie

CROWD: 40,090 at Subiaco Oval, Perth

West Coast entered the match as the shortest-priced favorites in recent betting history. TAB Sportsbet had them at $1.04 to win and when Staker opened proceedings, it looked like ot would be another cakewalk at Subiaco. But the Blues put on an absolute clinic from there with Wiggins and Fevola giving the lead to the Blues. Pagan had a game plan and it worked a treat as the Blues played man-on-man, accountable football, never leaving their opponents' sides. If an Eagle came off, so did his Carlton minder. Whitnall played deep in defense while Hansen had to roam further up the ground for the ball, allowing Whitnall to be the loose man down back.

 At the other end, Fevola gave Glass a football lesson with hard leading and strong body work. Lynch kicked his first score - a point, and the Blues raced to the other end where Wiggins goaled. It was answered by Jones. Kennedy missed and from the kick-in, Chick turned the ball over for another goal to Fevola. Selwood missed before Fevola booted two in row. Lynch got one back for the Eagles, but enter Fevola yet again to give the Blues a 17 point lead at 1/4 time. Murphy (12) and Scotland (9) were pivotal in the term through the middle and across halfback, while Whitnall (10) was doing a stellar job in defense.

Walker's chance to extend that lead was spoiled by Wirrpanda and quick goals to Lynch and Hansen after a rushed point in Carlton's favor reduced the margin 7 points. It was back out to 13 points with a mark and goal to Betts. Carlton couldn't press their advantage much further over the next few minutes with Murphy missing from 50 and Koutoufides rushing his kick for another behind. At the other end, Whitnall was continuing his fine work with a great effort to get hands to Embley's long kick. The Eagles needed more up forward and Hunter was moved out of the backline into attack. Betts then crumbed a goal off a pack. Again, both sides continued the pressure and neither could make much of an impact with a free to Cox wasted when Rosa turned the ball over to McGrath, only for Houlihan to spray his shot on goal. Embley got a free but was spoiled yet again by Whitnall while Hansen and Selwood kicked behinds. Fevola again marked strongly, but this time was hard up on the boundary at an acute angle and was unable to convert. The Blues kept the ball in their forward arc and had numbers at the ball. Betts got hands to it, but fumbled. Fevola was in perfect position to soccer through an amazing contender for Goal of the Year literally right on the siren. The umpires had to confer before confirming Fev had gotten boot to ball just a millisecond before the siren and the Blues were 26 points in front at 1/2 time.

Worsfold, desperate to stem the tide, rang the changes in the 3rd term. Fletcher was moved forward and Stenglein was shifted onto Stevens, who had been running with Kerr and wreaking havoc of his own in the midfield. It didn't work as a free to Betts resulted in a goal at the start, then Scotland marked and roosted a 50 meter goal. Stevens was in the thick of it again at the bounce and found Fevola 55 meters out, but he hit the post. The Blues won the ball in the middle again and Stevens kicked long to a pack in the square and Murphy crumbed the Blues' 3rd straight goal for the term to give them a 44 point lead. The Carlton defense, often criticized in recent times, was standing firm as Lynch's kick was touched on the line. From the kick out, the Eagles took possession but in a bizarre and humorous incident, Braun kicked the ball towards Lynch again, but he had his back to the play and the ball bounced off his head and through for a point. A minute later, he was paying attention to take a grab and goal. Murphy got into trouble in the middle and was caught with the ball, a free to Hunter. His long kick found Chick in the square, but again the Blues' defenders spoiled the shot. The scenario repeated itself at the kick in, this time with Lappin caught, and Cox missing from the resultant free. Nicoski finally broke the run of outs with a goal, but Fevola replied with a mark and goal from 45 meters to put the lead back out to 34 points.

Rosa was then crunched by Houlihan in a legitimate contest. Play went on as he was helped from the ground, looking a mite worse for the wear as Kennedy kicked a point. Hunter marked on the boundary deep in a pocket and threaded through a goal, reducing Carlton's lead to 29 points.

Could the Blues hang on or would the Eagles pull off another great escape like the one the previous week against Geelong? Commentators on 6PR Radio in Perth speculated that the herculean efforts of the previous week had taken too much out of the Eagles and that a Carlton upset would send a message to the other 14 teams that the Eagles were vulnerable.

Lappin became a loose man in defense as Carlton flooded back to protect its lead, now looking more and more fragile as the Eagle midfield kicked up another gear and Hunter goaled from the bounce and the margin was now just 23 points. Scotland and Stevens goaled on either side of an Embley point. Wirrpanda, the half back sweeper specialist was moved forward and goaled to bring the Eagles within 28 points midway through the term. The Eagles lifted and now became the ones to put the pressure on as Carlton seemed to simply run out of steam. Hunter finally got the better of Whitnall to mark and goal again before another series of points were either kicked or rushed. The Eagles attacked again through a soft free to Cox at a throw in as a pack gathered in the square. Chick was slung to the ground but somehow got boot to ball in the process for a miracle goal. The Eagles broke from the center, steaming past the leg weary Blues, who seemed suddenly helpless as Cousins roared into an open goal, and for the first time since the opening minutes of the game, the Eagles had the lead. educing the Carlton lead with less than 4 minutes remaining. Embley bobbed up again but managed just a point, leaving a small hope for Carlton fans. But Carlton's last chance was foiled as Glass cleared the ball and the Eagles raced into again where Embley goaled to give the Eagles one of their greatest comebacks of all time.

For the Eagles, Cox (28 hitouts, 22/5) was again the dominant big man, while Braun (21), Cousins (24/6), Fletcher (30), Rosa (18/7), and Jones (23/7) were prolific in the midfield. Wirrpanda (21/6) was at his rebounding best before going forward as was Hunter (18/7). Embley (17/6) was the undoubted hero up forward.

For the Blues, Whitnall (21/9) was the general in defense, with Scotland (24/6) rebounding well across halfback. Stevens (25/5)  Murphy (27) led the midfield brigade, while Fevola (10 kicks, 6 marks) was the star in attack with support from Houlihan (21/7) and Betts (8 effective kicks) in the pockets.

Eagle Coach John Worsfold said the team took inspiration from last week's comeback win to not give up, back themselves, and believe in themselves to pull off the win.

A devastated Carlton Coach Denis Pagan compared the loss to a boxing match. From his post-match press conference, he was quoted, "They're going to learn a hell of a lot from that today....A lot of those young kids are really hurting - I've probably never seen them more distressed. They gave a supreme effort, (they) really (fought) out of their weight division to come over here, against one of the best sides if not maybe the best...To win the first 10 rounds of the fight and then to be punched out in the last couple of rounds by a real team of champions when their backs are against the wall to be able to kick eight goals to two, just shows you where they are in the competition."

NOTE: OK, I reported this match impartially, but, as a Blues supporter, I have to say something here, which I rarely do as you all know. I picked this game up early in the first term and was absolutely elated as the first 3 terms unfolded. Listening to the final term was pretty disheartening and I can only imagine the heartbreak felt by the players, especially the young blokes, as Coach Pagan said. It is small consolation, but the effort they did put in this week was a magnificent one and can only bode well for the future - Lisa

MELB    4.2    10.3    17.7    22.9 (141)
COL       2.5     5.7     9.8     14.10 (94)
GOALS: MELB - Yze 4, Davey 3, Neitz 3, Pickett 3, Rivers 2, Bruce 2, Robertson, Bate, Dunn, Johnstone, Jamar; COL - Davis 3, Didak 2, Thomas 2, Tarrant 2, Lockyer, Fraser, Pendlebury, Burns, Rocca
BEST: MELB - Johnstone, Bruce, Davey, Pickett, Yze, Holland, Carroll;  COL - Clement, Didak, Fraser

INJURY: COL - Wakelin (thigh)

CHANGES: MELB - McLean (hamstring) replaced by Godfrey, Whelan (hip/buttock) replaced by Ward

UMPIRES - McBurney, James, Stevic

CROWD - 78,773 at the MCG

The Pies began smartly enough, with O'Bree clearing the ball at the opening bounce and kicking long to the square where opportunist Davis swooped on a pack spillage to snap a brilliant goal. Pickett had a chance to level the scores but missed - and it was less than two minutes into the game. Soon after, Neitz kicked a goal which gave the Demons a lead they would never relinquish as Pickett made amends for his earlier m*ff. Tarrant goaled, but Robertson replied in kind for the Demons. With just seconds remaining to the term, defender Heath Shaw was chased down by Davey as he attempted to clear the ball. Davey then goaled from outside 50 to hand the Dees a 9 point lead at 1/4 time.

Davey was again at his mercurial best as the 2nd term got underway when he tapped the ball to himself, then dished off to Neitz. Didak pulled it back for the Pies, but Davey was in it again when he handballed to youngster Matthew Bate for a goal. Less than a minute later, Davey slipped away from a Morrison tackle to goal himself. A few more Demons finally got in on the action with Yze potting one and Rivers scooting forward to kick a rare defender's goal. Enter Davey again, who set set up Bruce for a goal with a clever chip which evaded both Licuria and Pendlebury. Didak finished off the term with a goal for the Pies, but it was the Demons by 26 points at 1/2 time.

That man Davey was in the fray from the outset of 3rd term, with another goal before the Pies hit back with two goals - the first time they managed that feat for the game - to Davis and Fraser. But the Demons doubled that tally in quick succession through Yze, Pickett, Dunn, and Neitz. The last could perhaps sum up the entire game in which the Demons seemingly could do no wrong, while nothing seemed to go right for the Magpies. Neitz' goal came late in the term when a Morrison kick sailed over the head of a leading Tarrant and the Demons rebounded into attack with Neitz snapping a captain's goal from the boundary. Pendlebury bobbed up with a goal after Tarrant squandered another chance for the Pies. But the Demons were on a roll and Yze, 35 meters out, managed to get boot to ball. Normally, under such conditions, the kick would be odds-on to miss, but, in keeping with the Demons' sheer luck, it sailed through. He followed up shortly after with another before Burns finally got one more for the Pies, who trailed by 47 points at 3/4 time.

The Pies perhaps gave their best effort in the final term, matching the Demons goal for goal and point for point, but it wasn't enough.
The Demons had winners everywhere and smashed Collingwood in the midfield with Buckley ineffective while Johnstone (28/11), McDonald (24), Bate (23/6), and Green (28/10) dominated. Carroll (23/7) blanketed Tarrant (8 kicks, 4 marks) and Holland did the job on Rocca, who had just 3 touches and kicked his only goal in junk time of the final term. White (25 hitouts, 23/10)continued his stellar season in the ruck and around the ground, while Davey (16 kicks, 4 marks), Bruce (28/10) and Pickett (19) were influential up forward.

For the Pies, Clement (17/6) kept Robertson quiet, Didak (23/11) battled up forward, and Fraser (12 hitouts, 14/5) did all he could. Buckley, who looked less than 100%, appeared to struggle parked in forward pocket as Burns (29/10) and Lockyer (22/7) worked hard in the middle and Lonie (22/7) and Morrison lent support in defense.



STANDINGS
        W    L      FOR     AGST      %       PTS 
WCE    10    1     1144      930    123.01    40 
ADE     9    2     1175      730    160.96    36 
COl     8    3     1299      990    131.21    32 
SYD     7    4     1113      896    124.22    28 
WB      7    4     1209     1075    112.47    28 
MELB    7    4     1105      991    111.5     28 
StK     6    5      987      868    113.71    24 
FRE     6    5      940     1016     92.52    24 
 
RICH    6    5      936     1155     81.04    24 
PA      5    6     1086     1174     92.5     20 
GEEL    4    7     1009     1009    100       16 
BRIS    4    7      992     1057     93.85    16 
HAW   4    7      876     1123     78.01    16 
KANG  2    9      863     1124     76.78     8 
CARL   2    9      861     1141     75.46     8 
ESS    1   10      942     1258     74.88 4
GOALS
Brendan Fevola (CARL)     43
Barry Hall Sydney (SYD)   41
Jonathan Brown (BRIS)     35
Anthony Rocca (COL)       35
Mark Williams (HAW)       32
Matthew Pavlich (FRE)     31
Nick Riewoldt (StK)       30
Brad Johnson (WB)        30
Mark Ricciuto (ADE)       28
David Neitz (MELB)        27

Standings and Goals information from afl.com.au


Eagle Matt Rosa is the Round 10 Rising Star nominee.

Rosa gathered 18 possessions, laid six tackles and kicked a goal opposed to Shannon Byrnes and James Kelly in the Eagles’ win over the Cats. The week before, he was opposed to Demon midfield ace Travis Johnstone.

Rosa spent most of 2005 with Peel Thunder in the WAFL, playing just 3 senior games. He worked hard over the preseason to add bulk to his lean, athletic frame and it has paid off. He was an emergency in Round 1 this year, then a late inclusion in Round 2 against the Crows and put in a fine display with 27 possessions. He hasn't missed a senior game since and has averaged 17 touches a game.

Rosa, 19, hails from Warracknabeal in NW Victoria and played Under 18 football for North Ballarat. He represented Vic Country in the U-18 Championships in 2004 and finished the year strongly as runner-up in North Ballarat's best and fairest and was named in the TAC Cup team of the year.

And that's it for this week.

GO BLUES!!

Lisa
AFANA
Chicago

Article last changed on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 9:38 AM EDT


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