The Collingwood Magpies had to battle until the dying minutes of the match to pull off a narrow win over a spirited Fremantle Dockers side and lock up a top four position at the end of the home and away rounds. Fremantle took the game right up to the Pies, who traveled west in one of their rare forays across the country. It was Michael Johnson’s last appearance in a distinguished 244 game career, and his teammates dug in for him to nearly cause a "boil-over".
The West Coast Eagles outclassed and out-muscled the Fremantle Dockers to strengthen their grip on second spot on the ladder. However, their win could have serious ramifications for their premiership hopes as their main play maker, Andrew Gaff, looks set to be banned for an extended period. Gaff swung a left arm haymaker into the Dockers’ second draft pick, Andrew Brayshaw, breaking his jaw and re-arranging several teeth. The incident sparked several ugly melees as Fremantle players targeted Gaff with ferocious tackles and bumps. The Eagles absorbed the renewed vigor of the Dockers and finished the game playing conservatively, but still in control and making good use of their forward line air superiority.
The Richmond Tigers used deadly goal shooting to destroy any hope Fremantle held of enjoying their final game at Domain Stadium. The ruthless Tigers are now well placed to make the top four and are running hot. The promise they have shown for so long is finally coming to fruition. The young Dockers were mostly bystanders after quarter time, as Richmond handed them a 104 point lesson on how to play decisive and relentless football.
The Fremantle Dockers withstood a determined challenge from the Essendon Bombers, to dominate in the final quarter and score a morale boosting victory in energy sapping conditions. The mercury had risen to 87 degrees (Fahrenheit) by the first bouncedown, but the real heat was applied by the Essendon Bombers who were single-minded in their attack on the ball.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
The Trade period in mid-October was a very busy time for most clubs. Perhaps the two biggest were Hawks Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis heading to West Coast and Melbourne respectively. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was Bryce Gibbs unable to return home to Adelaide. Gibbs, still with three years remaining on a five year deal, had requested a trade home for family reasons. However, with the Blues demanding more than what Adelaide was willing to give up, a deal could not be struck. Below are all the trades in order as they happened.
A traditional rivalry began the 2014 Finals series with Hawthorn and Geelong meeting in the First Qualifying Final at the MCG. This was a match up that promised everything and, in front of almost 75,000 excited fans, it delivered on that promise early with a torrid opening quarter of hard physical contests, wayward kicks, nervous fumbles and both teams taking the game on at full throttle.
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 Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia
Grand Finals come but once a season and the week that precedes them is a bonanza for supporters and commentators alike all around Australia. With the Fremantle Dockers making their first Grand Final appearance in their 19 year history, Western Australia - and particularly the City of Fremantle - was in a state of magnificent anticipation. The streets of "Freo" were lined with purple and thousands of Dockers’ fans made the trek across the Nullabor Desert for the game. There were not enough seats on planes so coaches, buses and cars full of purple clad supporters headed east. It was reported that some supporters even took flights via Adelaide and then hired cars to drive to the Melbourne Cricket Ground while some stalwarts were said to have flown to Melbourne via Asia. Such was the euphoria on the Dockers’ side that many pundits were even tipping a Fremantle Premiership. The Hawthorn club went about its business somewhat quietly during the week, allowing the swirl of excitement and sea of purple surrounding the Dockers to dominate the media but not their team psyche, as they prepared to avenge the disappointment of their 2012 defeat.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA
Shaun Burgoyne (HAW, traded from PA) became the 29th player in League history to win a Premiership with two different clubs after the Hawks won the Grand Final. Most recent players to reach this milestone are Darren Jolly (SYD and COL), Stuart Dew (PA and HAW), Cameron Mooney (NM and GEEL), Jason Ball (WCE and SYD), Byron Pickett (NM and PA), Damian Hardwick (ESS and PA), Gavin Wanganeen (ESS and PA), Martin Pike (NM and BRIS) and Blake Caracella (ESS and BRIS).