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Underdog Swans Claim Premiership Cup

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

It was a Grand Final for the ages. A crowd of 99,683 screaming fans was treated to an outstanding contest after a week of talk about the weather potentially spoiling the spectacle. Meteorologists were forecasting bitter cold, strong winds, heavy rain and hail so when the storm clouds held off to provide a windy but otherwise clear afternoon, there were sighs of relief around Australia. Rumors that swirled pre-game about Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford, all-Australian Ted Richards and Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge under injury clouds also appeared groundless with both teams lining up as expected. In a notable first, goal umpire Chelsea Roffey became the first female and the first Queenslander to officiate at an AFL Grand Final.

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Hot Hawks Team to Beat

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

A bumper crowd of over 85,000 flooded into the MCG for the Friday night Qualifying Final between Premiership favorite Hawthorn and last season’s runner up, Collingwood. The Hawks were dealt a blow with the late withdrawal of prime mover Jordan Lewis who suffered a hamstring “twinge” at training on the eve of the big game. Shane Savage came into the Hawthorn side at the expense of Lewis while Collingwood added Ben Sinclair for the omitted Jackson Paine. A heavy rain shower just prior to the commencement of proceedings

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Reality Check For Crows

After a narrow loss in one of the games of the season in Round Two against Geelong, Hawthorn were looking to get back on the winners list against the unbeaten and confident Adelaide Crows in Round 3. The next four quarters showed just why the Hawks remain one of the favorites for the Premiership title this year.

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Finals X Factors

Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

With the home and away season in the books, it’s time for footy fans to turn their attention to important matters. Eight teams are about to embark on what should be a fascinating Finals campaign. With so much at stake, which players will take the next step and write themselves into AFL folklore? All who watch know the magic that gun players such as Dane Swan, Chris Judd, Adam Goodes, Buddy Franklin, Dean Cox, Joel Selwood and Nick Riewoldt are capable of week in week out, but what about the lesser lights who have hit some form at the business end of the season?

In this series, AFANA will focus the spotlight on players who might seemingly come out of nowhere to power their teams through September in a quest for Premiership glory. This is a chance to run the slide rule over each of the Finals' combatants by picking one player from each team, players who may just be the 2012 Finals X Factors.

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Hawks Fly Into Eight

Hawthorn have returned to the Final Eight with a hard fought win against a valiant Fremantle Dockers team. Traveling interstate to Subiaco Oval for the Round 8 match against Fremantle, the Hawks came in with a defense seriously undermanned through injury. The Fremantle Dockers were coming off a morale-boosting three game winning streak and had the home advantage. Tipsters were divided in their predictions and Friday night football looked set to reward fans with an absolute beauty.

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