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Trio Hangs Up Boots

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Melbourne's Joel MacDonald and Eagle duo Adam Selwood and Mark Nicoski have all announced their retirements. Neither MacDonald nor Nicoski will see out the season as injury has taken a toll. Selwood will see out the year.

MacDonald has not played a senior game since Round 10 due to hamstring, foot and groin injuries. MacDonald, a running defender, was originally drafted by Brisbane as a rookie and elevated to the senior list in 2003. He played 80 games with the Lions before being delisted at the end of 2009. The Demons picked him up in the preseason draft and he has played a further 44 games with Melbourne.

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Crows Capture NAB Cup

New coach Brenton Sanderson has enjoyed a dream start at the helm of the Adelaide Crows, leading his side to an unbeaten preseason culminating in the NAB Cup title. A near full strength Crows line up took on the West Coast Eagles in the Final and was able to put together a four quarter effort en route to a 34 point win in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

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Eagles Outlast Fast Finishing Blues

A bumper crowd of nearly 43,000 fans witnessed an epic Semi-final contest in perfect football conditions in Perth. West Coast was charged up to win a game and go one step closer to a Grand Final berth. Carlton had never won a Finals match away from Melbourne but this did not seem to faze them as they produced a cracking start in the opening minutes of the game.

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Collingwood Challenged

Collingwood and West Coast have played each other in three Finals over recent years. Each game has been a closely fought affair, including one draw. This was Allan Didak’s 200th game and while most were expecting the Pies to win, the encounter didn’t go entirely to plan.

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Eagles Hit Finals Form Against Crows

West Coast has lost only one game of its last 12 and continues to be the surprise package of the 2012 home and away season. The Adelaide Crows have been struggling and faced their worst finish in the club’s history with only seven wins. Rain bucketed down as the game got under way and whilst this was a blessing to a dry and parched Western Australia, it made for slippery, wet conditions at the football.

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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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Happy West Coast 25th Anniversary

In recent years, Patersons Stadium has been a fortress for the West Coast Eagles against Richmond with 12 of the last 14 matches going West Coast’s way. The Richmond Tigers had been given no chance of winning the Round 20 encounter, particularly with the Eagles celebrating 25 years in the competition and knocking on the door of a Final Four berth. Tiger fans hoped that with nothing to lose, Richmond might come out with a hunger to play and rain on the Eagles’ parade.

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Saints Win For Jeans

Australian Rules Football lost one of its legends this week when Allan Jeans passed away. Jeans was the coach who took St Kilda to their only Premiership in over 100 years. It was going to be an emotional game for the Saints and these occasions can make for either inspiring wins or lamentable losses. St Kilda took the bull by the horns and ripped right into the West Coast Eagles in a cracking first quarter.

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Eagles Win Cat Fight

A sellout crowd of over 40,000 fans packed Patersons Stadium to see the West Coast Eagles take on a determined Geelong Cats. This was a chance for the Eagles to prove that they were real contenders for the Finals even without the in-form Quinten Lynch, who had been suspended for rough contact the week before. Geelong have not lost two games in a row for so long that people have arguments about when that was. The script was supposed to read that the Eagles would put up a valiant fight but go down in the end by five or six goals – but it didn’t go according to the script by a long way.

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Kennedy Haul Topples Dogs

Always a threat when they travel to Perth, the Western Bulldogs suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the West Coast Eagles in front of 37,000 fanatical fans. Prior to this match, the Eagles’ form had been good with four wins while the 2010 Preliminary Finalists had a return to winning form against Richmond last week after a very patchy start to the season. 

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