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Hawks Run Riot over Crows and Advance to Preliminary Final

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA from Australia

Hawthorn's Luke Hodge Hodge gets trapped by Thompson of the Crows. Photo by Kiim Densham for AFANA.A fearless Hawthorn completely dominated the Adelaide Crows in front of over 70,000 fans at the MCG on Friday night. With their potential “three-peat“ under threat after an indifferent performance against the West Coast Eagles just a week earlier, the Hawks showed no mercy as they piled on eight first-quarter goals.

Adelaide, despite coming into the game in season-best form, had no answers for the Hawks' brilliant ball use and pinpoint accuracy.
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Hawks Target Threepeat

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Hawthorn overcame a sluggish start to stamp their claim for a "threepeat" (three consecutive AFL premierships) when they came from behind to take down a determined West Coast Eagles. West Coast went into the game without in-form ruckman Nic Naitanui who had flown to Fiji after his mother’s death.

Hawks Win
The Eagles got out of the blocks early, scoring the first two goals with the aid of a howling wind. They also hit the post twice and had these shots scored goals their lead may have been unassailable for the Hawks. Hawthorn had their chances too but were sluggish early and the windy conditions at their end played havoc with the skills of even their best forwards. Luke Breust’s goal from deep in the pocket and from a very acute angle showcased the Hawks’ exceptional scoring talent in general play. A third "poster" from the Eagles had them in the lead at the quarter time change but they had not closed the door on the Hawks.
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No Fear Hawks

Janet Linn, reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

A traditional rivalry began the 2014 Finals series with Hawthorn and Geelong meeting in the First Qualifying Final at the MCG. This was a match up that promised everything and, in front of almost 75,000 excited fans, it delivered on that promise early with a torrid opening quarter of hard physical contests, wayward kicks, nervous fumbles and both teams taking the game on at full throttle.
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Hawks Stake Premiership Claims

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Promoted as a match that was a most likely Grand Final preview, the Sydney Swans versus Hawthorn contest at the MCG in Round 18 lived up to expectations. A big crowd of 72,000 saw a pulsating game of Aussie Rules Football, with both teams showing they have what it takes to lift the Premiership Cup in September.

Lance “Buddy” Franklin - the ex-Hawthorn gun who went north to Sydney on a reported nine year ten million dollar deal - was being reminded of his defection as many of the Hawk supporters let out a mighty “boo” every time he touched the football. In the first quarter, there was a lot of booing as Franklin started the game in fine form, setting up two goals and marking with authority. At the opposite end of the MCG, 200-gamer Jarryd Roughead was providing a strong target for the Hawks. Roughead had the first goal on the board within a minute of the opening siren, before Franklin replied after a couple of misses. Hawthorn had more scoring chances in an uncompromising first quarter. However their accuracy deserted them as they took a four point lead into quarter time that could have been greater given the balance of play.
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Round Nine Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Selwood brothers will play a combined total of 503 games in Round Nine, putting them in tenth place on the League's all time list of combined games by brothers and ahead of the Shaw brothers. The breakdown is 182 games for Adam (WCE), 75 games for Troy (delisted by Brisbane), 142 games for Joel (GEEL) and 99 games for Scott (WCE).

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Heat Rules Under Fire

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

A number of AFL coaches have questioned the AFL's trial of limiting bench rotations during the NAB Cup series to 80 per game. Hawthorn Coach Alastair Clarkson said he and his staff were spending more time pre-game trying to prepare for various scenarios based on the rotation limit and more time

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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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Like Tigers Of Old

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

The Round 9 match between Hawthorn and Richmond was billed as a clash between the newly anointed Premiership favorites and the up and coming Finals hopefuls. The recent demise of Carlton and the continuing struggles of Geelong had the bookmakers talking up the Hawks as the team to beat in 2012. With young gun defender Dylan Grimes out of the Richmond team through injury, all signs pointed to a comfortable Hawthorn victory. The late withdrawal of another solid defender in Jake Batchelor left the Tigers' defense ripe for the picking for the Hawks' prize forwards in Lance “Buddy” Franklin and the dynamic Cyril Rioli.

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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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