With six teams enjoying the week off due to the programmed mid-season bye rounds, there was less quantity but no lack of quality during a fascinating round of football on the weekend. The festivities kicked off on Thursday night with Port continuing its good form with another win, but Friday night was what the AFL public was waiting for, with the Sydney Swans – the only team to defeat the Eagles – facing the West Coast again, this time on their home deck at the SCG.
An energetic and committed St Kilda has stayed the course to force a drawn game against Geelong in Round 21. While players say they never enjoy a tied game, this one had enormous ramifications with the Cats’ Finals chances dealt a heavy blow. For American fans, the most newsworthy facet of the game was the impressive debut of James Holmes from Chicago and the first American-born and raised AFL player. (Read more about Holmes at http://www.afana.com/drupal5/news/2015/08/21/chicago_native_set_debut_saints-7811).
In an entertaining first quarter, St Kilda threw down the gauntlet and ran all over Geelong for the first ten minutes, kicking the first four goals before the Cats could take a breath.
Johnson Leung reporting for AFANA from Melbourne
Collingwood and Geelong have announced their starting teams for Saturday's AFL Grand Final. In the only change to either team, Pies midfielder Dayne Beams, who only had two possessions in last week's Preliminary Final win over Hawthorn, is out with groin soreness and has been replaced by Alex Fasolo. Pies ruckman Darren Jolly and key defender Ben Reid, who suffered upper-leg injuries in the match, have been retained in the team.