The GWS Giants have awoken from a form slump to stamp themselves as genuine contenders. After consecutive losses to Sydney and West Coast, the Giants finished their three match tour of the Western Australian hub with a thumping victory over the Fremantle Dockers. The Giants were too big and too strong around the ball for the Dockers and up forward Jeremy Cameron shook off his indifferent form to boot four majors.
After two long weeks of matches, Round 18 was finally coming to a close as Collingwood hosted Adelaide in an immensely important Sunday game. Following the Gold Coast Suns' thrashing by crosstown rivals Brisbane, a win for Adelaide would see them enter the Top Eight for the first time this year, leapfrogging both the Suns and their opponents Collingwood. On the flip side, a Collingwood win would have them sitting two games clear of the Crows and a strong chance for Finals' action.
As hordes of Adelaide football supporters made their way into the city, the realization was setting in that the Crows were finally going to make Adelaide Oval their home ground. The iconic sporting venue - which is known worldwide as a picturesque cricket venue - has been redeveloped to house over 50,000 fans while still retaining its old school charm, including the manually run scoreboard that was first used back on 3rd November, 1911. Although both Adelaide and Port Adelaide opened the ground last week, it was Port that was the home side on that occasion and a sea of black and teal took over the stands as the Power fans enjoyed their first taste of their new surrounds. Round Three action saw Brenton Sanderson and the Crows with a home fixture and it was their turn to put on a show in front of a sea of red, blue and gold fans.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Ex-Richmond skipper Chris Newman plays his 230th game in Round 18. This will put him equal with Trevor Barker (StK) for most games without a Finals appearance. They are followed by Geoff Cunningham (224 games for StK), Gary Hardeman (219 games, MELB) and Steven Smith (203 games, MELB).
Other milestones being clebrated in Round 18 include:
200 games: Justin Koschitzke (StK)
150 games: Matt Maguire (BRIS)
100 games: David Mackay ADE)
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, Australia
All of Adelaide is a buzz at the moment with the hometown Crows exceeding all expectations in their first year with Brenton Sanderson at the helm. St Kilda is also having a solid start to the year under their own first year mentor but the Scott Watters led Saints faced a big challenge on the big stage of Friday Night Football in Round 12. When the two sides met last in 2011, St Kilda recorded a phenomenal 103 point victory with Neil Craig going on to relinquish his position as Adelaide coach in the days that followed. A lot has changed in that short time with the Crows looking like a totally different outfit in the first half of season 2012.