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High Flying Nic In Finals Form

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Nic Naitanui played the best game of his career to lead the West Coast Eagles to a demolition of the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium in Round 18. The Eagles needed a win to keep in touch with the Top Four with six rounds to play. Brisbane had beaten West Coast against the odds last time they played and held a winning record in the last six out of eight encounters. The Lions had every reason to go into the game with their tails up.

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Round 17 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Most Club Games: Stephen Milne (St K) played his 252nd game for the Saints in Round 17, putting him equal with Justin Peckett in eighth place on the club's all-time list. The leaders for most games at St Kilda are: Robert Harvey (383 games, 1988-2008), Nathan Burke (323 games, 1987-2003), Stewart Loewe (321 games, 1986-2002), Barry Breen (300 games, 1965-82), Gary Colling (265 games, 1968-81), Lenny Hayes (256 games, 1999-current), Kevin Neale (256 games, 1965-77), Justin Peckett (252 games, 1992-2006), Stephen Milne (252 games, 2001–current) and Danny Frawley (240 games, 1984-95).

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Swans Retain Top Spot

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

At the end of the last round, Sydney Swans found themselves on top of the AFL Ladder by what looked like a feat of legerdemain. Throughout the season the Swans have quietly crept up the table under the radar of their opponents and must now be seen as serious Grand Final contenders. The West Coast Eagles were below them in second position prior to the round but needed to win this important match up to stay in touch for the all-important double chance in the Finals.

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Round 13 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Dean Cox (WCE) played his 239th game in Round 13. This puts him fourth on the list for most games by a player who was originally rookie-listed.

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Eagles Top Blues

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

With sixteen consecutive winning games at Patersons Stadium, the West Coast Eagles were favorites to win against the Carlton Blues. This was the 600th game for West Coast since entering the competition in 1987. Carlton has been on a slide going down as they struggle to win with key players out injured. The Eagles were coming off a bye and were well rested ahead of the game played in wet and wintry conditions.

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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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Eagles Class Prevails

Despite injuries to top talent including Mark LeCras and Andrew Embley, the West Coast Eagles remained at the top of the Ladder as they flew into Melbourne to take on the improving Richmond Tigers. The bookmakers had installed the visiting Eagles as solid favorites, however a quick look at the recent results between the two teams at Etihad Stadium showed the Tigers with a 3-0 advantage. For Richmond it was a chance to notch a win against top class opposition – something it had threatened to do all season without being able to close the deal. For the Eagles it was a perfect opportunity to consolidate a Top Two position on the Ladder and a springboard to the Finals.

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Eagles Outlast Fast Finishing Blues

A bumper crowd of nearly 43,000 fans witnessed an epic Semi-final contest in perfect football conditions in Perth. West Coast was charged up to win a game and go one step closer to a Grand Final berth. Carlton had never won a Finals match away from Melbourne but this did not seem to faze them as they produced a cracking start in the opening minutes of the game.

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Collingwood Challenged

Collingwood and West Coast have played each other in three Finals over recent years. Each game has been a closely fought affair, including one draw. This was Allan Didak’s 200th game and while most were expecting the Pies to win, the encounter didn’t go entirely to plan.

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Eagles Secure Fourth Against Lions

Brisbane has a good record at the Gabba and has not lost an encounter against the West Coast Eagles at its home ground in five years. Conditions were wet and slippery after six hours of torrential rain but the Eagles had a lot at stake, fighting for fourth position on the Ladder to secure a home Final. The opening of the game proved that the Lions were not going to make it easy for them.

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