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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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Hot Hawks Team to Beat

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

A bumper crowd of over 85,000 flooded into the MCG for the Friday night Qualifying Final between Premiership favorite Hawthorn and last season’s runner up, Collingwood. The Hawks were dealt a blow with the late withdrawal of prime mover Jordan Lewis who suffered a hamstring “twinge” at training on the eve of the big game. Shane Savage came into the Hawthorn side at the expense of Lewis while Collingwood added Ben Sinclair for the omitted Jackson Paine. A heavy rain shower just prior to the commencement of proceedings

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Like Tigers Of Old

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

The Round 9 match between Hawthorn and Richmond was billed as a clash between the newly anointed Premiership favorites and the up and coming Finals hopefuls. The recent demise of Carlton and the continuing struggles of Geelong had the bookmakers talking up the Hawks as the team to beat in 2012. With young gun defender Dylan Grimes out of the Richmond team through injury, all signs pointed to a comfortable Hawthorn victory. The late withdrawal of another solid defender in Jake Batchelor left the Tigers' defense ripe for the picking for the Hawks' prize forwards in Lance “Buddy” Franklin and the dynamic Cyril Rioli.

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Hawthorn Douses Dockers Finals Hopes

Fremantle’s hopes of playing Finals may have been washed away after their loss to Hawthorn in a torrential rain-soaked Round 19 game. A crowd of over 30,000 fans braved the weather to watch a one sided contest that, in reality, was decided in the first quarter of the match. There was an air of anticipation before the game as last time the two teams met, Fremantle outplayed the Hawks until a spirited fight back saw the Hawks victorious. Coming into the match, Hawthorn was on Final Four pace, having won nine out of their last 11 games.

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Cats Unbeaten

Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, South Australia

With half the season completed, Geelong remain unbeaten on top of the Ladder but only after a strong challenge from the Hawks. The Round 12 match was hyped as one of the biggest clashes of the year so far and a free flowing, high scoring start to the game certainly had people looking forward to a tight contest.

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Dockers Cats And Hawks Announce Awards

Geelong's 2007 Rising Star winner Joel Selwood has added another award to his bulging trophy cabinet with his first best and fairest award. Selwood polled a whopping 667 votes, 20 votes ahead of 2009 winner Gary Ablett.

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Dockers Deliver For Purple Haze

In the second Elimination Final, the Hawthorn Hawks traveled west to take on the Fremantle Dockers. Paul Hasleby, who announced his retirement effective from the end of the season, was a surprise omission from the side.

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Etihad Officials Promise Surface Improvement

Ian Collins, manager of Etihad Stadium, has finally admitted that the playing surface needs to be improved after months of defending it. This comes after heavy criticism of the ground from commentators, the media, players, coaches and a host of fans in website comments and on talkback radio.

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Controversy After Round 17

A controversial interchange penalty against Hawthorn could well be responsible for denying the Hawks victory against St Kilda. Cyril Rioli had just kicked a goal with two minutes remaining in the final term to give Hawthorn a 13 point lead. However, the goal was disallowed due to Hawk Grant Birchall briefly putting a foot across the interchange line before a teammate had come off the ground. The emergency umpire signaled the infringement to the field umpire who then awarded a 50 meter penalty to the Saints.

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Round 15 Injury Report

FREMANTLE
Michael Barlow, broken leg, season
Greg Broughton, hamstring, 1 week
Antoni Grover, hamstring, 1-2 weeks
Chris Mayne, ankle, 1 week

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