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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

NOTE: The West Coast vs. Adelaide scoreline at the source was incorrect except for the final total. There was not enough information on the Melbourne vs. Richmond game to provide a proper match summary - ed.

BRIS   1.2.4    1.2.7    3.4.8    3.8.10 (85)
GEEL   0.1.1    0.3.4    0.9.8    0.10.13 (73)

NINE POINT GOALS: BRIS - Adcock, Black, Begley

SIX POINT GOALS: BRIS - Sherman 3, Johnson 2, Tyler, Patfull, Power; GEEL - Mooney 3, Gardiner 3, Varcoe 2, Byrnes, Milburn

BEST: BRIS - Rischitelli, Black, Sherman, Power, Copeland, Johnson, Notting;.GEEL - Enright, Bartel, Mooney, Gardiner, Kelly, Milburn, Byrnes

INJURY: GEEL - Hunt (strained knee)

UMPIRES: McBurney, Head, Nicholls, Ryan

CROWD: 14,475 at Telstra Dome

The Lion cubs combined with the experience of Black and Power - 49 possessions between them - to run the Cats off their feet. The Lion defense restricted the Cats early on while the Brown-less attack was still potent enough to take a 3 goal lead into 1/4 time.

The Cats clawed their way back in the second term to hold the Lions to just three points while adding two goals of their own to be within 6 points at 1/2 time.

The Cats stepped up a gear in the third term, piling on six normal goals to two. Despite two nine point goals from Lions, the Cats had a slim two point lead at 3/4 time.

The Cats managed just one goal in the final term as the Lions fought back. They leveled the scores with just three minutes remaining. Notting bombed the ball into attack where young Lion Patfull marked in the goal square and kicked the winning goal for the Lions.

CARL    1.0.4    1.3.7   1.7.9    1.13.13.(100)
KANG    0.1.2    0.6.4   1.10.4    1.12.4 (85)

NINE POINT GOALS: CARL - Fevola; KANG - Thompson

SIX POINT GOALS: CARL - Fevola 7, Murphy 2, Betts 2, Fisher, Stevens; KANG - Grant 3, Archer 3, Thomas 2, Campbell 2, Harvey

BEST: CARL - Fevola, Murphy, Betts, Houlihan, Stevens; KANG - Grant, Archer, Thomas, Thompson

UMPIRES: Vozzo, Stevic, Grun, Chamberlain

CROWD: 7,228 at Gold Coast Stadium

Brendon Fevola more or less picked up where he left off last season to lead the Blues to victory. While Carlton was a bit astray in kicking for goal in the opening term, Fevola banged through a nine-pointer while the Kangaroos kicked just one six pointer for the term, leaving Carlton eight points clear at 1/4 time.

The Kangaroos, who started training about five minutes after the final siren of Round 22 last year and promised a more direct and attacking style, fired in the second term, working their way back into the game with 5 goals to three. They were within one straight kick at 1/2 time.

They over took the Blues in the third term, booting 4 unanswered goals to lead by 37 points late in the term, but Carlton - thanks to Fevola - clawed their way back into the match and trailed by just 13 points at 3/4 time.

The Blues blew the game open in the final term, holding the Kangaroos to just two goals for the term while kicking six of their own to advance to the NAB Cup Grand Final against Brisbane.

PA    4.4   10.9   14.12    21.14 (140)
STK   3.3   7.4      9.8    12.11 (83)

GOALS: PA - Rodan 4, Ebert 4, Krakouer 3, Willits 3, Pearce 2, Cockshell 2, Motlop, Boak, Gray;
STK - Milne 4, Blake 2, Ball 2, Montagna, Brooks, Rix, Gram

BEST: PA - Rodan, Salopek, Thomson, Lonie, Brogan, Willits, Ebert; STK - Dal Santo, Harvey, Thompson, Goddard, Jones, Milne

INJURY: PA - Cassisi (corked thigh)

UMPIRES: James, Sully, Nicholls, Fila

CROWD: 4424 at AAMI Stadium

Port steamrolled an undermanned St. Kilda. The Saints went in minus Riewoldt, Koschitzke, the Clarke brothers, and a raft of others. Port wasted no time with former Tiger Krakouer booting the first two goals of the game. in the middle, speedsters Pearce and Peter Burgoyne rotated off the bench and created havoc for the Saints with their run. Port grabbed two more goals in the opening term, but the Saints managed to stay in touch and trailed by only 7 points at 1/4 time.

With Milne firing up forward for the Saints and forgotten big man Brooks also looking good, the Saints remained competitive through the second term, booting 4 goals. But Ebert, Krakouer, and fellow ex-Tiger Rodan equally dangerous at the other end, Port slammed through six goals to extend their lead to 23 points at 1/2 time. Port kept at in the third term with 4 goals to St. Kilda's two and led by 34 points at 3/4 time.

Port powered away with a seven goal to 3 final term for a commanding win.

SYD    6.1    10.2    15.4    19.9 (123)
COL    1.0     5.4     9.6    10.7 (67)

INJURY: SYD - Bevan (hamstring), Schmidt (wrist)

CROWD: 10,979 at Narrandera Sports Ground (Riverina area of NSW, 150 miles NW of Canberra)

It was the first game played in Narrandera in seven years and brought out not only the entire population of the town - 6500 - as well as others from neighboring areas. All proceeds from the match went to drought relief.

The Swans fielded their strongest side of the season so far, with Goodes again dominate around the ground and Hall, O'Loughlin, and Davis up forward. The Pies fired the first shot, but the Swans hit back quickly, first through Vogels. From mid-term, it was all Sydney with Davis, O'Loughlin, Schmidt, and Davis again all kicking goals and the Swans were out to a 31 point lead. Rocca marked and goaled on the siren for Collingwood's second goal and the Swans led by 25 points at 1/4 time.

Sydney kept up the pressure, harassment, and tackling - and the scoring. They kicked four of the first five goals of the second term and led by seven goals late in the term. The Pies got the last two goals of the term, but it was still the Swans by 28 points at 1/2 time.

The Magpies rallied in the third term with four goals to cut the margin back to just four points, but Syndey responded with five goals in eight minutes and kept the Pied goalless for the remainder of the term. It stretched Sydney's lead to 34 points at 3/4 time.

Collingwood opened the final term with a goal, but it was their only goal for the term while Syndey blasted through four more for an emphatic win.

WCE   12.12 (84)
ADE   11.11 (77)

GOALS: WCE - Lynch 2, Hunter 2, Seaby, Armstrong, Brown, Hurn, Kerr, Stenglein, Houlihan, McKinley; ADE - Bock 3, Welsh 3, Douglas, Burton, Bode, Vince, Goodwin

BEST: WCE - Hurn, Kerr, Braun, Judd, Seaby, Priddis; ADE - Goodwin, van Berlo, Reilly, McLeod, Edwards, Rutten, Bock, Welsh

UMPIRES: Meredith, Woodcock, Avon, Goldspink

CROWD: About 11,000 at Trager Park, Alice Springs

Both sides fielded strong teams in the steamy conditions, with West Coast recalling midfield stars Chris Judd, Daniel Kerr and Dean Cox, while the Crows had Graham Johncock and Tyson Edwards on deck for their first game of the season The Eagles started with Cox in the ruck and Judd, Kerr, and Priddis in the middle. They were matched by Hudson, Shirley, Reilly, and rookie Richard Douglas. Those match-ups didn't last long as both coaches rotated players looking for the best combinations for their respective sides.

As one would expect from two of the AFL's heavyweights, the first half was intense and featured plenty of highlights, not the least of which was typical Judd. After the Crows took an early lead through Douglas, Judd took the ball from a center bounce, put on a burst of speed, evaded a pack of oncoming Crows, and kicked a well-weighted pass straight to Lynch, who took a chest mark 40 meters (43 yards) out and converted. The Eagles led for much of the term but a late goal to Adelaide had the Crows in front by 3 points at 1/4 time.

The intensity continued through the second term, with both sides applying plenty of pressure to force errors and turnovers. But it was the Crows who withstood that pressure better, kicking the first two goals of the term to extend their lead to 17 points late in the term. Hurn then blasted through a goal from beyond 50 meters (55 yards) for the Eagles' first goal since the opening term, but Bode replied for the Crows to restore their 17 point lead at 1/2 time.

Two goals in a minute extended the Adelaide's lead to 29 points midway through the third term. But the Eagles refused to lie down and tried to stay close. But the Crows closed out the term with two more goals and a 25 point lead at 3/4 time.

West Coast was more direct in the final term, kicking three quick goals to cut the margin to just seven points. That margin was down to two points when Lynch bagged his second of the match. Two more goals had the Eagles in front and they never looked back.

Shannon Hurn was excellent across halfback and pushed forward on occasion, while the midfield of Kerr, Judd, Braun, and Embley showed they will be a force to reckon with in 2007 as Cox and Seaby again partnered well in the ruck.

For the Crows, van Berlo was solid, McLeod was his usual classy self, Edwards and Rutten were strong in the center, while Bock and Welsh were excellent options in attack.

FRE    1.5   5.6   9.10   12.12 (84)
HAW    0.3   5.5    6.7    9.9 (63)

GOALS: FRE - Campbell 3, Mourish 2, Ibbotson, McManus, M. Carr, Murphy, Bell, Cook, Browne;
HAW - Boyle 3, Little 2, Roughead 2, Ellis, Morton

BEST: FRE - Walker, M. Carr, Bell, Gilmore, Campbell; HAW - Boyle, Franklin, Bateman, Ellis, Little

REPORTS: HAW - Crawford for striking Bell

UMPIRES: Bandy, Margetts, Ellis, Pannell

CROWD: 6321 at Subiaco Oval

The home crowd was treated to the first appearance of former Magpie Chris Tarrant, but his debut for the Dockers was less than stellar, His first contribution for the match was giving away a free kick. He later marked 35 meters (38 yards) out missed. Some wayward kicking was the story of the first term, but the Dockers at least managed one goal to Hawthorn's five behinds to lead by 8 points at 1/4 time.

The Hawks fired in the second term, rattling on five goals to four to cut the deficit to a solitary point at 1/2 time.

Fremantle reversed the trend in the third term, holding the Hawks to just one goal while grabbing four of their own to extend the lead to extend their lead to 23 points at 3/4 time.

The final term was about as even as it could get, with both sides registering identical scores of 3.2 for the term, leaving the Dockers with the win.

WB    4.3    8.6    12.10    15.12 (102)
ESS   2.6    5.9     9.12    13.13 (91)

GOALS: WB - Giansiracusa 3, Murphy 2, Johnson 2, Robbins 2, Skipper 2, Cooney, Akermanis, Minson, McDougall; ESS - Lloyd 7, Davey 2, Gumbleton, Hird, Jetta, Bradley

BEST: WB - Cooney, Ray, Giansiracusa, Cross, Akermanis, White; ESS - Lloyd, Hird, Davey, M. Johnson, McVeigh, Laycock

INJURY: WB - Higgins (corked thigh)

UMPIRES: Rosebury, Kamolins, Farmer, Lee-Archer

CROWD: Approx. 4,000 at Skilled Stadium

A minute's silence was held before the game and all players wore black armbands in honor of former AFL chairman Ron Evans.

The most pleasing aspect for both sides was the successful return of Bulldog knee victims Darcy and Murphy and Lloyd for the Bombers. It was Darcy's first game since Round Six, 2005. While Murphy contributed a pair goals, Darcy didn't have huge impact but all signs were that he has fully recovered. Murphy kicked the opening goal from his first touch from 45 meters (49 yards). Darcy rotated off the bench for spells in the ruck, in attack, and as loose man in defense.

The Dogs jumped the slow starting and inaccurate Bombers in the opening term and had a 9 point lead at 1/4 time.

The Bulldogs were again at their running best with Cooney, Ray, Cross, and Giansiracusa providing plenty of drive and pushing forward. The result was 4 goals to three and a 15 point lead at 1/2 time.

Both sides kicked four goals each in the third term, leaving the Dogs just 16 points in front at 3/4 time.

Essendon, thanks to a commanding performance from Lloyd, outscored the Dogs in the final term, booting five goals to three, but it wasn't enough to overtake the impressive Bulldogs.

For the Bulldogs, ex-Eagle McDougall looked promising while Akermanis showed glimpses of his brilliance.

For the Bombers, Hird starred in the middle and in attack while youngsters Davey, Jetta, and Houli also impressed with their form. Davey,like his Demon brother, showed his defensive skills in attack with continual chasing, tackling, and smothers. Young ruckman Laycock looks to have overcome the injury woes which plagued him for the past two seasons, while McVeigh, Mark Johnson, and Michael were solid.

MELB    3.3    8.7    11.10    15.13 (103)
RICH    0.3    6.7     7.12    10.15 (75)

GOALS: MELB - Neitz 3, White 3, Jones 2, Davey 2, Johnstone, Johnson, Green, Bruce, Whelan;
RICH - Polak, Pettifer, Meyer, Schulz 2, Tuck, Hartigan

BEST: MELB - Bruce, Johnstone, Bizzell, Jones; RICH - Tuck, Pettifer, Foley

UMPIRES: Donlon, Dey, Keating, Hendrie

At MC Labour Park

Next week, Carlton will host Brisbane in the NAB Cup Grand Final at Telstra Dome on Saturday night. The Blues won the right for the home game as they have kicked 35 goals over the course of the NAB Cup while the Lions kicked a total of 32.

The practice games will be:

Kangaroos vs. St. Kilda at MC Labour Park

Richmond vs. Collingwood in Mildura (NW Victoria on the VIC-NSW border, about 75 miles from the SA border)

Sydney vs. Port Adelaide at Telstra Stadium, Sydney

Adelaide v Fremantle at AAMI Stadium

Hawthorn vs. Essendon at Casey Fields, Melbourne

Geelong vs. Melbourne at Skilled Stadium

West Coast vs. Western Bulldogs at Subiaco

Source: Melbourne Age &

Article last changed on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 7:57 PM EDT

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