Round fourteen saw the last of four “bye” weeks played out, with top teams Sydney and Richmond having the week off along with Geelong, Adelaide, Fremantle, Adelaide and Saint Kilda. The big winner of round fourteen was Port Adelaide, who beat fellow top four aspirants Melbourne in a tough game of tightly contested football at the Adelaide Oval. The biggest loser of the round
Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
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.
Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
Almost a third of the way into the 2018 season and round seven gave us some answers while it also gave us plenty of questions. The West Coast Eagles are for real, Richmond are showing no signs of the dreaded “premiership hangover” and the Sydney Swans have seemingly lost their home ground dominance. Hawthorn is once again a contender after moving out the old and adding some ready- made talent.
There are just three rounds of the regular season remaining, and the make up of the final eight remains on a knife edge. A big win by the Adelaide Crows over crosstown rivals Port Adelaide has put the Crows six points clear at the top of the table, setting them up for two home finals and Premiership favoritism. The other big stories to come from round 19 were the Greater Western Sydney Giants back on track and looking primed for a big run into September, the Geelong Cats are stumbling, and the Richmond Tigers look to have confirmed an unlikely finals spot just a year after being in crisis.
1. Adelaide Crows (Last time - 1)
The Crows have established themselves as clear premiership favorites after demolishing fellow finals aspirants and crosstown foes the Port Power by 84 points at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon.
2. Greater Western Sydney Giants (3)
There are some big movers in the AFANA power poll this week as upset wins continue across the league. In what looks to be the most even competition in years, predicting the top eight is becoming somewhat of a wild guess.
1. Greater Western Sydney Giants (Last Week - 1)
For the second week in a row, the injury riddled Giants found a way to win despite being outplayed for most of the game by a Richmond team that seems to consistently find unique ways to lose. With plenty of talent to return to their list, the Giants will be hard to beat as the season progresses.
Greater Western Sydney has ticked another box in its development as an AFL powerhouse. The Giants staged a gutsy comeback against Port Adelaide in blustery conditions at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon. Trailing by 20 points at half time against a Port team desperate to win and still hoping to reach the finals; the Giants showed great determination to take control of the game and run out 19 point victors. The Giants vaulted themselves into second place on the AFL ladder.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants continue to send shivers up the collective spine of every other team in the AFL. Despite losing two talented defenders early in their Sunday contest against the Western Bulldogs, the Giants rolled to their sixth win in a row, outlasting a plucky Bulldog outfit by 25 points at Spotless Stadium. GWS now sits in third on the AFL ladder in a 3 way log-jam at 7-2 for the year.
The Fremantle Dockers gradually wore down a determined Great Western Sydney Giants unit to go six premiership points clear on top of the AFL Ladder at Domain Stadium in their Round 18 clash.
Fremantle was on the scoreboard early with goals to David Mundy and Michael Walters who were both in scintillating form.
Reigning champion Hawthorn traveled north to take on the up-and-coming Greater Western Sydney Giants at Spotless Stadium in Round 6, with all but the staunchest of Giants' fans expecting a Hawthorn victory. Despite losing team leaders Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis to suspension, the highly skilled Hawks were expected to comfortably account for a Giants team that had been smashed by the West Coast Eagles just a week earlier.
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.