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AFANA Power Poll - Round Eleven

Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

Tigers run through banner.

In a quirky scheduling twist this week, round eleven – celebrating Australia’s Indigenous heritage - saw the top eight teams pitted against the bottom eight, giving the top teams the chance to stretch their advantage while those struggling had the opportunity to make up some ground. Fast forward to Monday, and with all of the games in the books, the top six teams on the AFANA Power Poll all had wins, keeping them at the top of the tree.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Ten

 

AFL Fremantle v Kangaroos, 2018 Optus Stadium.

Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

The Eagles are still flying high, the Demons are red hot and the Kangaroos continue to defy the critics. These were the big stories of an enthralling round ten. The Giants once again couldn’t find a way to win while the Tigers, minus two of their playmakers who went off injured early, could. Collingwood won again to keep in touch with the pack while Adelaide had a shocker. 

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Purple Rain Grounds Bombers

Chris Kowald reporting from Optus Stadium, Perth

Before play started, the new Optus Stadium resonated to the sound of Prince’s classic song Purple Rain. The Fremantle Dockers responded by being ‘on song’ to defeat the Essendon Bombers, who last week defeated last year’s Grand Finalists, Adelaide.   

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Tigers Hit Bombers For Six

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

A little over a month and a half ago, the Richmond Football Club was languishing near the bottom of the AFL table, an abysmal 3-10 record reflecting a lost season after a promising return to Finals in 2013. Fast forward to their Round 20 game against arch-rivals Essendon with the Tigers a chance to take their record to 9-10 and retain a sniff of the possibility of Finals footy. Essendon itself has been in good shape to appear in the Finals after a horror 2013 when they finished eighth, only to have their points stripped due to the ASADA drug saga, vaulting Carlton from ninth position into the top eight. A win against Richmond would set the Bombers up nicely to play in the major round, despite missing their Captain Jobe Watson since Round 12.
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Bomber Dreamtime Tiger Nightmare

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

“Dreamtime at the G" between Essendon and Richmond once again drew a big crowd of around 75,000 fans, with most expecting a close contest between two teams fighting to stay in contention for Finals' action. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, only one team appeared hungry and it wasn’t the boys donning the yellow sash. Essendon players appeared refreshed after their Round Ten bye and they bounced out of the blocks with the first goal to back man Dustin Fletcher within three minutes of the opening siren. Ben Howlett added a second before ex-Geelong goal sneak Paul Chapman tripled the Bombers' pleasure, giving Essendon a 19 point lead at the ten minute mark with the Tigers yet to score. Essendon’s pressure was first class, forcing Richmond into numerous turnovers. The Tigers bombed the ball forward - seemingly without system - playing into the hands of the hard running Bombers. Howlett kicked his second goal as the Bombers did what they pleased. It wasn’t until the twenty-one minute mark that Richmond finally registered a score - and it was a rushed behind. At quarter time the Bombers held a commanding 27 point lead that should have been even greater on the balance
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Bombers Week From Hell

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

It started on July 26 when Hawthorn dished out a ten goal hiding to the Bombers. After the match, chairman Mark Evans suffered an undisclosed physical breakdown in the rooms. That same night, following Hird's post-match press conference, Evans announced he was great but SEN personality Tim Watson (and father to Bomber captain Jobe),  said the supplement saga had taken a toll on Evans and that he was "completely and utterly burnt out .... struggling with his health ... exhausted." Watson said that Evans had been under enormous stress and strain since February. There have also been media speculations, denied by all, that Coach James Hird and Evans had been at "loggerheads" regarding conversations which took place before the Bombers went public about the supplements.

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Dreamtime Nightmare For Tigers

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Off field distractions haunted both teams in the lead-up to “Dreamtime at the G”, with Essendon players continuing to be interviewed by ASADA and Tiger Alex Rance in court to face his one time acquaintance turned stalker. There were further problems on the injury front for Richmond, with young Tiger Brandon Ellis pulling out with a hamstring injury incurred at training prior to the big match.

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Season Preview Part Three

by Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Melbourne Demons
With the “tanking” saga behind them and the club coffers $500,000 lighter as a result, the Demons can head into 2013 with a clean slate and better times on the horizon. Chris Dawes comes across from Collingwood in an attempt to provide some help for Mitch Clark inside the forward fifty, while disgruntled midfielder Brent Moloney was given his walking papers to the sunny climes of Brisbane with the Lions. Whilst Shannon Byrnes should slot straight into Melbourne’s best 22 with a fresh opportunity after stagnating somewhat at Geelong, the real

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Cloke Finds Form For Pies

Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

Final round action saw traditional rivals Collingwood and Essendon lock horns at the MCG but their end of season situations were in stark contrast. For the Bombers, it was a chance to regain some pride. After letting a great start to the season slip by the wayside with their horrible run home, they cost themselves any chance of participating in Finals action. The Magpies on the other hand needed to win the game to sew up a spot in the Top Four and gain the double chance.

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Finals X Factors Part 2

Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

After looking at potential catalysts for Collingwood, Geelong, Hawthorn and West Coast in Part 1, AFANA turns its attention to the remaining four Finals' combatants, Sydney, Essendon, Carlton and St Kilda. Who are the “under the radar” players to watch out for as Week One of the Finals approaches?

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