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2022 AFL Hall of Fame

Matthew Pavlich

In mid-June, the AFL held their annual Hall of Fame function with eight new inductees and one previous inductee elevated to Legend status. The Legend elevation was the late Port Adelaide Magpie (SANFL) centerman Russell Ebert, who was also recently named as Port Adelaide's greatest ever player. Ebert is the 32nd player to be named a Legend. He passed away in 2021, and the award was accepted by his widow Dian.

The eight new inductees represented not only the AFL, but the state leagues and Tasmania. They are Terry Cashion, Bill Dempsey, Mike Fitzpatrick, Brent Harvey, Matthew Pavlich, Michael Taylor, Ted Tyson and Nicky Winmar.

The Inductees:

RUSSELL EBERT - elevated to Legend status

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Cats Jump Into Top Four

Hawkins booted goal 700

The Geelong Cats moved into the top four after doing enough in blustery conditions to beat the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium. The Cats have had a heavy couple of weeks on the training track, as they build their strength for the end of the season. They looked lethargic for much of the game but won critical balls when challenged to keep a determined West Coast Eagles under control. The Eagles were strengthened by a number of stars returning from injury and will be pleased with their improved performance against a strong team.

The early signs for the Cats looked good as Tyson Stengle burnt off a pack of chasing Eagles to handball to Brad Close, who goaled without much pressure. However, the Eagles were a different team to the one that played the first half of the season. They contested the ball with a new found hardness and with their more-experienced players tasting leather, ball movement became purposeful. Reward came after eight minutes when Willie Rioli received a free kick and goaled. The Cats played Jeremy Cameron away from the goals to draw the Eagles intercept marker (catcher), Jeremy McGovern, out of the play. The Cats' full forward Tom Hawkins appreciated the space to move, but was closely shadowed by the Eagles' fullback Tom Barrass. With Cameron and Hawkins not scoring, the Cats placed greater reliance on their small forwards. Tyson Stengle slipped in for an early goal after an excellent kick from Cameron on the boundary. Then Sam Menegola sharked a loose ball to snap the Cats' third major.

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Hawks Make Dockers Work Hard

Andrew Brayshaw (file photo)

The Hawthorn Hawks came to Optus Stadium as the underdogs but their game plan pushed the home team for most of the match. The Dockers had to work hard for the win as the Hawks applied heat around the ball and almost beat the Dockers at their own game. Fremantle welcomed back captain Nat Fyfe after a ten-month absence due to injury.

Fyfe was in the action at the first bounce down, knocking the ball from the Hawk's Sam Mitchell, which was gathered by Caleb Serong who kicked long to tall forward Rory Lobb, who marked (caught the ball) and booted the opening goal for the Dockers after just thirty seconds of play. Despite Dockers' ruckman, Sean Darcy, having the better of Hawthorn's ruckman Ned Reeves, the Hawks were able to get movement away from stoppages through solid clearance work by Conor Nash and Jaeger O'Meara.

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Dockers' Flurry Punishes Lions

James Aish spoils Zac Bailey

The Fremantle Dockers absorbed a first half attack from the Brisbane Lions, to set up a third quarter break-away and run out victors by fourteen points in a pulsating game at Optus Stadium. The match had everything that makes Australian football so watchable: high marks (catches), strong tackles, open attacking play, lighting quick handpasses, sweeping transitions from defense, and skillful goal kicking. Brisbane started in a ferocious manner, intent on putting the Fremantle play makers under pressure at every opportunity. The Lions laid more tackles and won more contested possessions than the Dockers in the first half and got away to an early lead. It wasn't quite rope-a-dope, but the Dockers' game mirrored those of an experienced boxer; absorb everything that your opponent can throw at you; and then when the time is right - lay a flurry of counter punches to win on points.

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Sydney Hall Of Fame

Franklin vs Alex Rance

Just ahead of Round 12, the Sydney Swans held their Hall of Fame dinner. The event was held in Melbourne for the first time in a decade. The club added four new inductees and elevated eight others to Champion status. This a new category, being introduced this year to recognize those with outstanding achievements and who have made significant contributions to the club, but who may not yet qualify for Legend due to a lack of games played.

The four new inductees were Daryn Cresswell, Peter Reville, Arthur Hiskins and Tom Bushell. Elevated were Tony Lockett, Roy Cazaly, Laurie Nash, Barry Round, Greg Williams, Gerard Healy, Michael O’Loughlin and Brett Kirk.

The Inductees

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Midseason Rookie Draft

Sam Durdin marks (File photo)

At the beginning of June, the AFL held the midseason rookie draft. For some clubs, it was a chance to find replacements for players who have been injured and face extended periods on the sidelines. For others just a chance to bolster their lists for the future. Below are the selections. Clubs had to have a roster spot open to participate in the draft. As with the national draft, it is by club, selection number, player, club of origin, age, height, weight and position.

ADELAIDE

4. Brett Turner (Glenelg, SANFL), 25, 185cm (5'9"), 88kg (193 lbs), midfielder
Ready-made for AFL and is a ball winner who can play wing or forward.

19 - Pass

CARLTON

13. Sam Durdin (North Melbourne), 25, 199 (6'4"), 98 (215), defender
Drafted by North in 2014, he played 22 games before being delisted at the end of 2020. Has performed well for Glenelg in the SANFL.

22. Will Hayes (Carlton VFL), 26, 181 (5'8"), 77 (169), midfielder
Ball winner originally drafted by the Western Bulldogs in 2018 and played 11 games before being delisted at the end of 2021. Was a member of the 2016 VFL premiership team and has been impressive in the VFL with his footy smarts and ball winning ability. Good tackler and can kick goals.

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Another Midseason Retirement

Roughead (R) (file photo)

Collingwood ruck/defender Jordan Roughead retired just a week after Bomber Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti did the same. Roughead, 31, has not played since Round Five, his only game this year. He underwent shoulder surgery in February, then suffered a finger injury in Round Five. He said he knew 2022 would most likely be his last as he has had issues with his shoulder for several years, saying in part, "The last month or so I have spent some time thinking about when I would make the call. This is not a decision I am making because I want to but a decision I am making for my long-term health and my family as well.” Noted for his toughness and bravery, he said the game had taken its toll on him physically and he had been consulting with doctors. He also revealed that he and his wife are expecting their first child.

Roughead, the cousin of Hawthorn champion Jarryd, played 201 games over 14 seasons. He was traded to the Bulldogs at the end of 2018 where he played 63 games. He started with the Bulldogs and was a member of the 2016 premiership side, despite suffering an eye injury the previous week. In that Grand Final, he carried the ruck load for much of the match. In 2019 and 2020, he finished in the Top 10 in Collingwood's best and fairest count.

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Running Dogs Attack Eagles

Bulldogs cheer squad (file photo)

The Western Bulldogs produced an irresistible second half of football to record their highest score and biggest winning margin against the West Coast Eagles. The win allowed the Dogs to sneak back into the top eight after a slow start to the season. Their 6 wins and 5 losses put them within striking distance of the teams above them and sets them up for the second half of the season. West Coast have one win from eleven games, which equals their worst start to a season. The loss to the Bulldogs was also their seventh consecutive loss, all of which had a deficit of 50 points or more. The Bulldogs ruckman Tim English played a magnificent game, dominating the ruck and picking up 25 possessions in general play. It is rumored he will decline offers to return to Western Australia, and in the near future, will sign a new contract to stay with the Dogs.

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Bomber Favorite Retires

McDonald-Tipungwuti (AFANA file)

Just as Round 10 was set to commence, Bomber's player Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (or Tippa for short), announced his immediate retirement. Tippa, 29, played 20 games in 2021 but took a leave of absence from the club in February for personal reasons. He played 126 games and kicked 153 goals. He recently played several games in the VFL, but decided to retire. Hailing from the Tiwi Islands, Tippa first moved to the Northern Territory, then relocated to Victoria to play in the Under-18 competition. He was originally a defender and his dash out of defense and long-kicking were eye-catching. However, he was overlooked in the drafts.

In 2015, Essendon was in the midst of the supplements controversy. This opened the door for Tippa who was brought into the club's VFL program. With many senior Bombers suspended for the 2016 season, Tippa was added to the rookie list. He began as a running defender but a four-goal haul late in the season saw him switched to the forward line. HIs style and ability to chase down opponents to apply gripping tackles made him an instant hit with teammates and fans alike.

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