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Close Shave for Eagles

Eagles fans delighted

It took until the dying minutes of the game for the West Coast Eagles to overcome a spirited Collingwood Magpies in the 2nd Qualifying Final. It was the second trip to Perth for the Pies in as many weeks, and they proved that they are not overawed at the prospect of playing in front of nearly 60,000 hostile fans in the cauldron of Optus Stadium. There were a dozen lead changes over the course of the game and it could have gone either way as time ticked down. Both sides were spent, but it was Lewis Jetta who danced on a dime to put the Eagles in front when it mattered – five minutes out from the final siren.

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Eagles' Fight and Height Routs Power

Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Optus Stadium, Perth

The West Coast Eagles won contested possessions and used their height advantage in attack and defeated the Port Adelaide Power to record their sixth consecutive victory.  Port offered little challenge, except briefly during the third quarter. Port’s coach, Ken Hinkley, was obviously disappointed with his players’ lack of hardness and desire to compete.

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Eagles Add Heat To Beat Dockers

Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Optus Stadium, Perth

AFL Fremantle v West Coast, 2018 Optus Stadium.
Stephen Hill under pressure

Optus Stadium became an over sized pressure cooker as the temperature rose to 87 degrees Fahrenheit and the Eagles used sizzling ball movement to overcome a wounded but resolute Fremantle Dockers. A record Perth crowd of 56,521 witnessed scintillating football with several dashes of spice, which forced umpires to extinguish spot fires, as tempers rose and passions boiled over.

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Relentless Eagles Send Message East

by Chris Kowald, reporting for AFANA from Perth, Australia

First Bounce
West Coast Eagles sent a powerful message east. From the first bounce, when Nick Naitanui flew over opposing ruckman, Stefan Martin, it was clear that the Eagles would not be dispensing Easter cheer. Brisbane though were not to be denied, Tom Rockliff was back to his best, as he showed his young charges how to draw first blood, with a goal at the three–minute mark. The Eagles responded a minute later by kicking long into the forward line.
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Player Moves Around AFL

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After the Round 23 game, Gold Coast's Harley Bennell was involved in an undisclosed incident which saw him issued with a "public nuisance" notice.

It was the final straw for the Suns who have announced that he will be traded. Bennell has had a number of off-field issues, not the least of which was the publication of photographs of him apparently indulging in illicit drugs. The pictures were from a 2013 trip but were only published in the newspapers in June this year.

After this latest incident, a series of meetings were held between club officials, coaching staff, the leadership group and Bennell's management. CEO Travis Auld issued a statement confirming the decision to dump Bennell was unanimous.
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Tigers Raid Lions Den

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Fresh from a hellish three week stint that netted three narrow losses, Richmond took their 7-10 record north to face the Brisbane Lions - also holders of a 7-10 record. Both teams have displayed enough during the season to suggest there are better times ahead, but with a view to further improvement in the future, a win here for either team would provide a great fillip as their seasons wind down.

As the Tigers and Lions prepared for battle, the unfamiliar sight of Brisbane veteran Simon Black in the fluoro green sub vest had the crowd and the pundits speculating on what Lions' coach Michael Voss was concocting. Opposition coach Damien Hardwick would have been delighted to see the gutsy ball magnet in Black sitting on the sidelines for the start of the contest.

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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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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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Dockers Hunt Down Lions

Fremantle kept its Finals' hopes intact with a convincing win over the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium in Round 14. The Dockers were without Michael Barlow who pulled up sore after his comeback game last week, but Alex Silvagni was back to add some muscle in defense. Brisbane had been doing well since the return of bruising full forward and captain Jonathon Brown, but had their worries without classy midfielder Drew Banfield in the team.

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Tiger Cotchin Loses At Tribunal

Trent Cotchin (RICH), charging North Melbourne's Sam Wright: assessed as reckless conduct (two points), high impact (three points), and high contact (two points), equaling seven activation points, a Level Four offense, 425 demerits, and a four game suspension. Cotchin and the Richmond Football Club took the case to the Tribunal in an attempt to have the high contact classification dismissed and downgraded.

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