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AFANA Power Poll - Round Sixteen

Thumbs up for top spot on the Power Poll!

After another top notch round of footy, Richmond holds onto top spot on the AFANA Power Poll as a result of its 47 point win over the Adelaide Crows, damaging the Crows chances of returning to finals football in 2018. Collingwood had to fight hard to defeat a determined Essendon, while the Swans stumbled at home against a very impressive Geelong.

Port Adelaide kept in touch with the top two after a comfortable win over Saint Kilda, the Eagles returned to the winners list in the “battle of the decimated forward lines” as they held off the Giants in Perth, and the Hawks solidified their run at the finals with a second half blitz to defeat the Bulldogs. 

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Club Champion Awards

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Shane Mumford has won the 2014 Kevin Sheedy Medal in his first season with the Giants. The former Sydney premiership ruckman was presented with the medal by its namesake, inaugural coach Kevin Sheedy who has remained at the club as a coaching director. Mumford, 28, crossed from the Swans at the end of 2013 and took out the club champion award despite missing five games through injury. He polled in 13 of the 17 games he played to finish with 81 votes. Co-captain Callan Ward and small forward Devon Smith were equal runners-up on 72 votes. Midfielder Adam Treloar finished fourth on 62 votes and vice-captain Heath Shaw fifth with 56 votes.
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Tigers Dream Run Continues

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond players faced St Kilda at the MCG in the final game of Round 22, knowing their fate was well and truly in their own hands. Riding the wave of an incredible seven game winning streak that included on the road wins against the West Coast Eagles and Adelaide Crows, the Tigers had to beat the Saints to keep their slim Finals' chances alive. After Round 14, Richmond held a 3-10 win-loss record, placing them 16th on the AFL premiership ladder. Fast forward to Sunday, and as the Tigers ran out onto the hallowed turf of the MCG, a win would send them to 11-10 and into the Top Eight with one round to play.

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Tigers Roar for Four

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

The Sunday special this week belonged to Richmond and St Kilda, two clubs with differing fortunes and vastly different short term futures. The Saints, only a couple of years removed from a Grand Final appearance, seem to have bypassed their potential Premiership window as their older players move away from their prime. The Tigers on the other hand, have put a dark recent past behind them, forging a bright future on the back of 60,000 plus members and a three game winning streak that should help them build towards their first Finals appearance since 2001. The sideshow to every St Kilda versus Richmond clash is the match up of gun forward cousins in Nick (St Kilda) and Jack (Richmond) Riewoldt, with Jack having the better of the spoils over the last few contests including a seven goal haul the last time these two teams met. Tiger young gun Nick Vlastuin was a late withdrawal prior to game time, while St Kilda were without feisty goal sneak Stephen Milne after off field issues that could potentially end a tumultuous but effective career.

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Ratten Sings the Blues

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from Etihad Stadium for AFANA

A glorious sunny afternoon welcomed spectators to Etihad Stadium for the final appearance of both Carlton and Saint Kilda for the 2012 AFL season. The Carlton faithful turned out to see Brett Ratten’s last day at the helm of the Blues, their loss to the lowly Gold Coast Suns in Round 22 putting an end to Carlton’s Finals hopes and with it, any hope of Ratten retaining his job with the impatient Carlton hierarchy. For first year St Kilda coach Scott Watters, the game would give him an opportunity to look forward to 2013 after disappointingly missing the Finals, despite some positive signs from a team that finally blooded some new talent to support a solid core of veterans.

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Tigers Bury Saints Hoodoo

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

In an unlikely “match of the round”, form teams St Kilda and Richmond met at Etihad Stadium in front of a pumped up Friday Night Footy crowd. The Tigers had not beaten St Kilda since 2003, though they came painfully close in the corresponding match just 12 months earlier when the game ended in a tense draw. The Saints were instilled as slight favorites with the bookmakers, in part due to the Tigers' poor form at Etihad and the aforementioned head to head record. St Kilda has been transformed into a more attacking team under new coach Scott Watters, giving the match all of the ingredients for an enthralling contest.

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Eagles Outlast Saints

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Critics of the West Coast Eagles have been silenced after a hard fought win over St Kilda. Commentators had declared the Eagles soft, saying their successful season start was because they had only played teams outside the Top Eight. In Round 8, with a forward line decimated through injury, the Eagles stood up and regained their position on top of the table. Not that it was easy, with the Saints mounting a solid challenge interstate.

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AFL Puts Divers On Notice

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

St Kilda's Brendon Goddard came close to being made an example by the Match Review Panel after a Round 7 incident in which he attempted to milk a free kick against Carlton. The AFL, in an effort to stamp out blatant staging or diving for free kicks, amended the Tribunal guidelines. The ruling, which was introduced at the start of the 2010 season, allows the MRP and umpires to report a player for unsportsmanlike conduct if they feel a player demonstrates "... excessive exaggeration of contact in an unsportsmanlike manner ...". Such conduct could be reportable if an umpire's decision-making was affected, started a brawl or if they felt such behavior was not in the spirit of the game.

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Saints Win For Jeans

Australian Rules Football lost one of its legends this week when Allan Jeans passed away. Jeans was the coach who took St Kilda to their only Premiership in over 100 years. It was going to be an emotional game for the Saints and these occasions can make for either inspiring wins or lamentable losses. St Kilda took the bull by the horns and ripped right into the West Coast Eagles in a cracking first quarter.

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