The big movers on the AFANA AFL Power Poll this week were the Tigers and the Saints up four places each, while the Adelaide Crows fell four spots after a disastrous loss to the previously winless Kangaroos. Other notable happenings over another topsy-turvy round of footy were the Demons notching their first win for the season up in Sydney, while the previously unbeaten Cats were ambushed late by an impressive Giants outfit despite losing Callan Ward to a nasty knee injury in the first quarter.
Richmond Tigers vs Hawthorn Hawks (MCG)
State of Play:
This game has all the makings of an absolute classic. On one hand you have Richmond, the reigning premier coming into the game riding a 21-game winning streak at the MCG. On the other you have Hawthorn, the form team of the competition boasting a massive total of 265 games of finals experience (the Tigers have just 114).
While it was the hottest Grand Final in history with the mercury hitting 31.3 degrees Celsius (88.3 Fahrenheit), the much anticipated “close contest” between Hawthorn and the West Coast did not bring the heat many anticipated and - in the case of West Coast supporters - hoped for. In the end, this Grand Final was not a replay of “David and Goliath”. The Hawks entered the match favorites and they won nearly everything - the coin toss, all the important game statistics, the Premiership Cup, the Norm Smith Medal and the full-blown respect of the Australian football public. The Hawks' players were never challenged in a master class performance of Aussie Rules football. Alastair Clarkson and his coaching staff cemented a well-earned place in history as the Hawks won the “three-peat”, back to back Premierships in 2013 (defeating Fremantle), 2014 (dominating over Sydney) and now in 2015. No doubt West Coast fans are wondering what happened and how their break out season ended so lamely.
After going down to arch-rival Geelong last week, a fired-up Hawthorn met a struggling Richmond outfit at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers went into the match with some recent success against the reigning AFL Premiers, having defeated the Hawks in their last two encounters.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
The trade period opened on Monday, October 7 and included the moves of players eligible for free agency. Under AFL rules, clubs can attempt to retain players by matching a rival club's bid. Should they be unable or unwilling to do so, the player is free to move. Clubs losing players under the free agency rule may receive compensatory draft selections.
by Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA
Richmond found itself in unfamiliar territory on Friday night with a Round One win under their belt, plus the uncomfortable tag as “favorites” against a St Kilda team reeling from defeat at the hands of the Gold Coast Suns. The Tigers were looking to start the AFL season 2-0 for the first time since 1997 while the Saints had the perfect chance to silence the naysayers who were predicting a slide for the club which had featured in two of the last four Grand Finals.
This is the second in a series of what Australian Rules football fans have to look forward to as the 2012 season approaches.
MORE SAINTS, LESS SINNERS
After a messy 2011 that featured player scandals, reputations on the line and a coach leaving for greener (some might say purple) pastures, the Saints have quietly ushered in a new era under incoming coach Scott Watters.
Saint Kilda was the firm favorite with the bookmakers on a warm and clear night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the first game of Round 2 of the AFL season. Rain was forecast for late in a game that was billed as a clash of the forwards with the Riewoldt cousins (Nick and Jack) facing off. This game marked the first time that Richmond and St Kilda have played a Friday night game on the MCG.
Both Collingwood and St Kilda have made minimal changes to the teams which will line up for the Grand Final replay. One good news story is Saint Ben McEvoy, who played 18 games this season as a back up ruckman to Michael Gardiner.
A controversial interchange penalty against Hawthorn could well be responsible for denying the Hawks victory against St Kilda. Cyril Rioli had just kicked a goal with two minutes remaining in the final term to give Hawthorn a 13 point lead. However, the goal was disallowed due to Hawk Grant Birchall briefly putting a foot across the interchange line before a teammate had come off the ground. The emergency umpire signaled the infringement to the field umpire who then awarded a 50 meter penalty to the Saints.