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Giants Come of Age in Upset

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

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.
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Hawk Warriors Too Tough Too Good

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

For just under 100,000 fans packed into the MCG and millions of TV viewers in Australia and around the world, the anticipation and tension in the lead-up to the 2014 Grand Final was mouth-watering. Experts had the Swans as outright favorites for the Premiership Cup, bolstered with an unchanged team and by expensive recruits and big men Kurt Tippett and Lance “Buddy” Franklin. Teamed up with athletic giants Adam Goodes and Ben Reid, the Sydney forward line loomed large and many thought unstoppable. The added drama of a Grand Final clash between ex-Hawk Buddy and his old teammates - with whom he won a Premiership only 12 months ago - laid the ingredients on the table for an outstanding contest. Most predicted a win by the Swans and only a few could mount an argument for the Hawks by the very smallest of margins, such was the perceived might of the Swans after their demolition of North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.
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Hawthorn Hawks 2014 Premiers

Congratulations to the Hawthorn Hawks!

Winners of the 2014 AFL Grand Final


Sydney    2.3  5.3  8.5  11.8   74
Hawthorn  5.5 11.9 16.11 21.11 137

Norm Smith Medallist: Luke Hodge
Attendance: 99,454

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Peers Vote Docker Fyfe Best

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe has won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players' Association MVP. The award is decided with players from all clubs nominating three teammates. Each club then tallies the votes for their players. Out of that, the field is narrowed to 54 players. Players then award votes on a 3-2-1 basis for the 54 nominees. Fyfe just edged out Gary Ablett in one of the closest counts in the history of the award.

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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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Hungry Hawks Dismantle Tigers

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA

After going down to arch-rival Geelong last week, a fired-up Hawthorn met a struggling Richmond outfit at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers went into the match with some recent success against the reigning AFL Premiers, having defeated the Hawks in their last two encounters.

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Hawks Reigning Champions

by Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

Grand Finals come but once a season and the week that precedes them is a bonanza for supporters and commentators alike all around Australia. With the Fremantle Dockers making their first Grand Final appearance in their 19 year history, Western Australia - and particularly the City of Fremantle - was in a state of magnificent anticipation. The streets of "Freo" were lined with purple and thousands of Dockers’ fans made the trek across the Nullabor Desert for the game. There were not enough seats on planes so coaches, buses and cars full of purple clad supporters headed east. It was reported that some supporters even took flights via Adelaide and then hired cars to drive to the Melbourne Cricket Ground while some stalwarts were said to have flown to Melbourne via Asia. Such was the euphoria on the Dockers’ side that many pundits were even tipping a Fremantle Premiership. The Hawthorn club went about its business somewhat quietly during the week, allowing the swirl of excitement and sea of purple surrounding the Dockers to dominate the media but not their team psyche, as they prepared to avenge the disappointment of their 2012 defeat.

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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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Round 20 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Damien Hardwick (RICH) qualified for AFL Life Membership in Round 20 with his 300th league game as a player and coach. He debuted with Essendon in 1994 and played 153 games with the Bombers before crossing to Port Adelaide where he played 54 games. Hardwick has the distinction of being a Premiership player with both clubs, won the Best and Fairest at Essendon in 1998 and was named All-Australian in 2000. He played 13 pre-season games with Essendon and five with Port, four International Rules games, and has coached Richmond in 63 games.

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NAB Cup Sub Rule Out

Between the end of the NAB Cup series and the start of Round One on March 24, the AFL held the season launch in Sydney. In between the festivities, League officials met with club captains and coaches to discuss the new rules which were tried out in the preseason. One rule which was high on the agenda was the two substitute-two interchange player rule.

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