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Big Third Quarter From Tigers Blows Away Giants

A huge crowd of 94,258 packed the MCG this afternoon and appeared to be about 90,000 Richmond supporters. The match got underway after an afternoon where the temperature in Melbourne had reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but during the first quarter a southerly change came through and dropped the temperature by 30 degrees. The swirling wind inside the ground did appear to affected the match somewhat particularly in set shots for goal. Richmond burst out of the blocks with a goal to Lambert after just 16 seconds and a second through Caddy inside the first two minutes.
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Cats Sink Swans Season

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Geelong pulled off one of the upsets of the season in smashing the much fancied Sydney Swans by 59 points at the MCG on Friday night. The Cats turned around a disappointing loss to Richmond just a week before in dominating the Swans from the outset.
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Crows cut down Giants

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from Adelaide Oval

The Adelaide Crows have strengthened their claim on premiership favoritism with a dominating 36 point victory over a disappointing Greater Western Sydney Giants in the first qualifying final at Adelaide Oval on Thursday evening.

The win takes Adelaide into a preliminary final against the winner of next weekend’s Geelong vs Sydney Swans clash at the MCG. It will be the first time Adelaide has appeared in a preliminary final since 2012 when they went down narrowly to Hawthorn.
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Martin Muscle Inspires Tigers Second Qualifying Final Triumph

An MCG full house greeted Geelong and Richmond to the all-Victorian second qualifying final with most fans already in their seats. It was particularly noticeable that the crowd was dominated by Tiger's supporters. A massive roar for the Tigers when they ran out and loud boos for Cats. A win in this match would give the winner a preliminary final against an interstate team and avoid meeting either of the form sides in Sydney and Adelaide before the grand final.
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AFANA Finals Power Poll and Predictions

By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

Just eight teams remain. In one of the tightest finishes in AFL history, the final regular season round had footy fans reaching for their calculators until the last few minutes of the final game of the year between the Adelaide Crows and the West Coast Eagles. Incredibly, the 29 point Eagles victory was enough to see them through to the final eight, while Melbourne, sitting a game and percentage inside the final eight prior to the round, saw their finals dreams shattered on the back of a shock loss to Collingwood and the Eagles win.
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Young Bomber Named Rookie Of The Year

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Not since 2002, when Nick Riewoldt (drafted in 2000) won the Rising Star Award*, has a Number One draft pick been the winner. Now, Essendon's prized frist selection from 2016 joins Riewoldt in the unique double. He was named and presented with the award on Sept. 1 after an impressive debut season. McGrath, 19, earned his nomination in Round Four against Adelaide. He had 28 disposals, laid four tackles and had five scoring involvements. McGrath becomes the second Essendon player to win the award, following Dyson Heppell's win in 2011.

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Another Raft of Retirements

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

At the conclusion of Round 23, four more players announced that 2017 would be their last season: veteran Cat defenders Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan, Kangaroo Lachie Hansen and Kangaroo veteran turned West Coast rookie Drew Petrie. The Cats and Eagles still have a finals campaign to navigate in September.A few days later, Saint stalwart Leigh Montagna also announced his retirement.

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Vale Drew Morphett

by Lisa Albergo reporting from AFANA from Chicago

Just as Round 23 was getting underway - literally - veteran commentator Drew Morphett passed away at the age of 69. Reportedly he was at home watching the Friday night game between the Bulldogs and Hawks. He was found by his wife Karen. .No cause of death was reported but it is believes he suffered a heart attack. International fans - including Americans - who watched the little coverage available in the 1980's and 1990's would remember his commentary on Australia's Channel Seven.
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Eagles Defeat Crows To Vanquish Demons

Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

One of the most remarkable home-and-away seasons concluded with ninth placed West Coast Eagles defeating the league leaders, the Adelaide Crows, by a large enough margin to slip into the top eight of the competition, at the expense of the Melbourne Demons. To add drama to the last AFL game played at Domain Stadium, the Eagles achieved the task within the last four minutes of the last game of the regular season. The Demons, who would have been watching the game live on TV in Melbourne, would have been cursing themselves for their slow start against the Collingwood Magpies two nights earlier; which left the gate open for the Eagles and cost the Demons their first finals appearance in ten years.
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AFANA AFL Power Poll Round 22

By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

There is just one minor round of the AFL season to go. In what has been an incredible season to date, we still do not know which eight teams will play in the finals, and amazingly, which teams will get the all-important double chance.

The only team guaranteed to finish top two is the Adelaide Crows, who maintain the top spot on the AFANA power poll despite a narrow loss to the rampaging Sydney Swans in Adelaide on Friday night. Speaking of the Swans, the Sydneysiders became the first team in history to make the finals after starting the season 0-6. To top it off, the Swans are a chance to move into fourth place next weekend, boosting their chances for a ride all the way to the premiership.
Where does this leave the other 16 teams as we head into the round 23? Let’s take a look. 

1.    Adelaide Crows (Last time - 1)
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