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AFANA Finals Preview: West Coast vs Collingwood

West Coast Eagles vs Collingwood Magpies (Optus Stadium)

STATE OF PLAY:

The Saturday clash between West Coast and Collingwood is a top four battle of two teams that have been hit hard by injury during the season but have come through in pretty good shape nonetheless.

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Naitanui Out for a Year and Other Injury News

Naitanui with Willie Rioli

The West Coast Eagles have confirmed that Nic Naitanui has a torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on his right knee. His left knee was reconstructed in late 2016 and kept Naitanui out of the competition for all of 2017. American specialist Bill Knowles, who assisted Naitanui with his recovery in Philadelphia last July, has suggested that this second reconstruction could require a longer recovery period. It is expected that Naitanui will undergo reconstruction surgery as soon as the initial swelling subsides. He will miss the rest of this year and most of the 2019 season. The twenty-eight year old has played 160 games for West Coast; he will be nearly 30 when he returns to the game.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Seventeen

Mundy leads Dockers to upset win

Round seventeen was full of upsets, great finishes and some very big injuries. The Giants resurrected their season with a win over the Tigers, the Eagles rode their big forwards to a classy win over Collingwood, and the Crows celebrated the re-signing of favorite son Rory Sloane by banking a win against the highly fancied Cats.

Biggest loser of the weekend has to go to Port Adelaide, who not only forfeited a chance at second place on the ladder by losing to an undermanned Fremantle,

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Eagles Stop Giant Surge

McGovern rises above Davis

The West Coast Eagles won a Sunday thriller to end their run of losses and halt the Greater Western Sydney Giants’ surge towards the finals. The Giants threw everything they had at the Eagles and it was only their inaccuracy in front of goals that cost them the game. Both teams were missing key personnel in their respective forward areas, but the Eagles manufactured goals when needed, and the Giants were off line at key moments.

The game was played at a fierce pace with both teams moving the ball quickly with handball and long kicks into forward lines. West Coast’s Nic Naitanui dominated the Giants’ journeyman ruckman Dawson Simpson at bouncedowns and throw-ins, allowing the Eagle midfielder’s Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey, and Jack Redden to gain an advantage in clearances. However, when the ball was kicked long to the Eagle forwards, the tall Giant defenders Sam Taylor, Adam Corr and Phil Davis spoiled the kicks repeatedly.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Four

Scott Thompson

Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

After a weekend of big wins, more injuries and the previously sole remaining undefeated team going down, there have been some big movers on the AFANA AFL Power Poll this week. Port Adelaide once again failed to handle Essendon on the fast deck at Etihad stadium, taking their first loss of the season in the process. Big wins to Richmond

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Eagles Demolish the Homeless Suns

Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Optus Stadium, Perth.

Lycett and Witts at a throw in.

The West Coast Eagles continued their strong early season form by demolishing the Gold Coast Suns. The Suns have a tough start to the year. Their home ground at the Gold Coast, is being used for the British Commonwealth Games for the first half the season, so they have to stay on the road. With two consecutive games in Perth (Fremantle and then West Coast),

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Three

Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

100 gamer Adam Treloar shoots and scores against the old enemy.

With three rounds in the books, incredibly Port Adelaide remains as the only undefeated team, underlying what shapes up as one of the closest races for the top eight in recent memory. The Power had an almighty scare at home as they scraped in by just five points over a rapidly improving Brisbane Lions. In the match of the round, crosstown rivals the Sydney Swans and the Greater Western Sydney Giants battled it out at the SCG,

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Eagles Attack Injured Cats

Chris Kowald reporting fro AFANA from Optus Stadium, Perth

West Coast defeated a gallant Geelong in a game that will be remembered for its extraordinary changes in momentum and fortune. An epic game against Hawthorn, a six-day break and a trip on the road, seemed to have taken its toll on the Geelong midfielders. West Coast started with purpose with repeated pushes forward. After three entries into the attacking zone, Nic Naitanui scrambled the first goal from short range.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Two

By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

Hawthorn and Geelong gave us yet another Easter Monday classic with the Hawks scraping home by a solitary point in the match of the round. With just two weeks of the season in the books, the AFL brains trust must be delighted that there are just four teams sitting on two wins. Greater Western Sydney, Port Adelaide, Hawthorn and Gold Coast have set the pace with the Suns being the big surprise packet after outclassing an error-riddled Carlton on Saturday.

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Swan, Eagle Succumb To Injuries

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The ball in contest as Boyd and Tippett duel for position
Kurt Tippett (left) battles for the ball
2016 Grand Final

Sydney Swans forward Kurt Tippett has announced his retirement. Tippett, 30, succumbed to a degenerative ankle. He injured the ankle early in 2017, underwent reconstructive surgery at the end of the season and has been working to strengthen it but decided it would not stand up to the rigors of AFL football. He had remained optimistic about his recovery but the time it was taking gave him doubts he would ever return to full fitness to play.

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