As the season winds down, it is that time of year when players decide to retire. Heading into the last weeks before finals, four announced they were hanging up the boots - Sun Pearce Hanley, Bomber Conor McKenna, Adelaide's Bryce Gibbs and Carlton's Matthew Kreuzer.
It took until the third quarter for the Fremantle Dockers to break the shackles after a pedestrian start to take down bottom of the ladder dwellers the Carlton Blues. Carlton were struck a blow when their premier ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was omitted, possibly for the rest of the season, with an elevated heart rate when training the day before the match in Perth. After having lost five of the last six matches in the West, Carlton were going to need all the help they could get.
Richmond ruckman Shaun Hampson has announced his retirement from AFL football, effective immediately. Hampson, 30, has not played a senior game in two seasons due to a chronic back condition. Although both he and the club's medical staff have worked hard to alleviate the condition, but it has not been successful, and Hampson decided to call it quits as he considered his long-term hearth and his family more important than getting out and playing footy again.
1. Adelaide Crows (Last Week - 2)
The Crows take top spot on the Power poll after a stirring win in “The Showdown” against crosstown rivals Port Adelaide. Despite trailing early, the classy Crows posted their third win in as many games, the 17-point win keeping them on the top of the AFL ladder.
2. Greater Western Sydney Giants (3)
The Giants are starting to roll, and they might take some stopping. A 42-point drubbing of the Kangaroos – with a whopping 71 entries inside the 50 meter arc – will have teams scrambling for a plan on how to stop Leon Cameron’s young juggernaut.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Milestones for Round 16 include:
200 games: Justin Koschitzke (StK) and Luke Ball (COL)
150 games: Colin Sylvia (MELB), Joel Selwood (GEEL) and Nathan Jones (MELB)
100 games: Steele Sidebottom (COLL), Matthew Kreuzer (CARL), Craig Bird (SYD), Trent Cotchin (RICH), Stephen Hill (FREM) and Liam Picken (WB)
50 games: Jordan Roughead (WB), Jeremy Howe (MELB), Levi Greenwood (NM) and Trent McKenzie (GC)
50 club games: Jarrod Harbrow and Jared Brennan (GC)
Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from Etihad Stadium for AFANA
A glorious sunny afternoon welcomed spectators to Etihad Stadium for the final appearance of both Carlton and Saint Kilda for the 2012 AFL season. The Carlton faithful turned out to see Brett Ratten’s last day at the helm of the Blues, their loss to the lowly Gold Coast Suns in Round 22 putting an end to Carlton’s Finals hopes and with it, any hope of Ratten retaining his job with the impatient Carlton hierarchy. For first year St Kilda coach Scott Watters, the game would give him an opportunity to look forward to 2013 after disappointingly missing the Finals, despite some positive signs from a team that finally blooded some new talent to support a solid core of veterans.
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
With sixteen consecutive winning games at Patersons Stadium, the West Coast Eagles were favorites to win against the Carlton Blues. This was the 600th game for West Coast since entering the competition in 1987. Carlton has been on a slide going down as they struggle to win with key players out injured. The Eagles were coming off a bye and were well rested ahead of the game played in wet and wintry conditions.
In the highly anticipated Round 1 match-up between self-proclaimed Top Four team Carlton and up and coming Richmond, it was the Blues who had all the answers as they steamed to a 44 point win in front of a massive crowd at the MCG. Carlton was too classy for a determined Richmond outfit, with young ruckman Matthew Kreuzer dominating the clearances to give his midfielders first use of the footy. While Richmond’s new recruit Ivan Maric battled hard all night, he was simply not able to compete with the athleticism of Kreuzer around the ground.
Carlton effectively ended Fremantle’s Finals’ hopes in a comprehensive demolition at Patersons Stadium in Round 21. Fremantle had won the last 12 of 14 encounters with Carlton and got off to a great start winning the ball from the first bounce down. Aaron Sandilands was back after injury and tapped the ball down for a Matthew Pavlich clearance. Pavlich chased up his own kick to goal within the first 30 seconds of the game.
Sydney's Nick Malceski can be considered an AFL pioneer. Several years ago, he wrecked his knee late in the season and was facing a year on the sidelines until a new procedure came along. The LARS system, which uses synthetic fibers to create tissue, saw Malceski back on the field after just four months.