by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
1. Adelaide Crows (Last Week - 1)
The Crows keep top spot after obliterating Essendon by 65 points in front of a rabid Adelaide Oval home crowd. No Josh Jenkins, no Mitch McGovern, no problems for the Crows who are on fire right now.
2. Greater Western Sydney Giants (2)
The Giants didn’t have it all their own way against a feisty Port Adelaide at Spotless Stadium. Despite trailing by four points at three quarter time, the Giants stormed home to win by 31 points, keeping the Power goalless in the final quarter.
St Kilda has once again downed a fancied Melbourne with a frantic 36 point win at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Despite being a vastly improved team in 2016, the Demons could not find the answers to a fast finishing Saints that now hold a fourteen game winning streak over a beleaguered Melbourne. There was reason for optimism early for the Demons as they continually punished the Saints from defense in the first quarter, Jayden Hunt being the catalyst for numerous counterattacks that led to a 17 point lead at the first break.
In one of the biggest upsets of the season to date, a plucky St. Kilda snatched victory in the dying seconds of their match against league pacesetters Geelong in an enthralling contest at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. Despite trailing by nine points late in the final quarter after some stirring football by the Cats, the young Saints willed themselves forward, scoring two brilliant late goals through Jade Gresham and Jack Steven to seal the Saints first victory over Geelong since 2010. This continues the Saints remarkable night game performance at Etihad where they have won more than 80% of their games in recent seasons. If only the Saints were so good at other times and places.
Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA
North Melbourne has survived a spirited comeback by St Kilda to take a seven point victory at Etihad Stadium and remain undefeated after seven rounds of the AFL season. Despite holding a four goal buffer well into the final quarter, the Kangaroos were almost run down by a determined Saints unit that tied the scores late in the match. A Todd Goldstein free kick gave North Melbourne a slender lead that they were able to maintain under intense pressure. A goal on the siren by Mason Wood sealed the win for the Kangaroos who remain atop of the AFL table over the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans.
An energetic and committed St Kilda has stayed the course to force a drawn game against Geelong in Round 21. While players say they never enjoy a tied game, this one had enormous ramifications with the Cats’ Finals chances dealt a heavy blow. For American fans, the most newsworthy facet of the game was the impressive debut of James Holmes from Chicago and the first American-born and raised AFL player. (Read more about Holmes at http://www.afana.com/drupal5/news/2015/08/21/chicago_native_set_debut_saints-7811).
In an entertaining first quarter, St Kilda threw down the gauntlet and ran all over Geelong for the first ten minutes, kicking the first four goals before the Cats could take a breath.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
The annual presentation of AFL Life Memberships will take place during the League's AGM in March. Of the 13 candidates, ten automatically qualified during the 2014 season by reaching the 300 game milestone in their careers. The ten are Jimmy Bartel, Leon Cameron, Kane Cornes, Dean Cox, Nick Dal Santo, Corey Enright, Nick Riewoldt, Brenton Sanderson, Justin Schmitt and Brad Scott. Life Membership was also recommended under the provision of "Special Service to the Game" to long-time club administrators Graeme Allan, Greg Miller and former AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou.
Former Melbourne forward David Neitz has joined Hawthorn in a part time role as a specialist key position coach for the 2015 season. In an AFL career spanning 16 years (1993-2008), Neitz played 306 games, was twice named All Australian (1995, 2002), won the Coleman Medal and Melbourne's best and fairest award in 2002. He was also Melbourne’s leading goal kicker in seven seasons and the first Melbourne player to reach 300 games. He remains the Demons' longest serving captain.