The free agency period began at the end of October and ran through the first week of November. The first day was a busy one with five players heading to other clubs. The breakdown on the first day:
The Brisbane Lions retain top spot on the AFANA AFL Power Poll this week, courtesy of win number seven in a row over a competitive Western Bulldogs outfit. The Eagles remain right on the Lions tail after an impressive road win against a resurgent Carlton, Richmond overcame a slow start to roll the Demons at the MCG and the Giants stayed hot with a win against crosstown rival Sydney.
Geelong once again stumbled, this time losing to an injury hit Fremantle at Optus Stadium, Essendon had its winning streak broken by an up again Port Adelaide, the Kangaroos took care of Hawthorn after a sluggish start and finally the Adelaide Crows showed some form to end Saint Kilda’s finals hopes at Adelaide Oval.
An extended round six kicked off with the unusual Wednesday night game that saw Richmond victorious by 43 points over the struggling Melbourne Demons. The Anzac Day battle between Collingwood and Essendon was a classic that ended with the Magpies hanging on to win by four points in controversial circumstances as the Bombers fell just short of pulling off a great comeback. Brisbane, Port Adelaide, Fremantle and the Giants took care of business as expected while Carlton almost pulled off back to back victories before succumbing by just five points to a frantic Hawthorn down in Tasmania.
The big movers on the AFANA AFL Power Poll this week were the Tigers and the Saints up four places each, while the Adelaide Crows fell four spots after a disastrous loss to the previously winless Kangaroos. Other notable happenings over another topsy-turvy round of footy were the Demons notching their first win for the season up in Sydney, while the previously unbeaten Cats were ambushed late by an impressive Giants outfit despite losing Callan Ward to a nasty knee injury in the first quarter.
With De Goey and Treloar out of the Collingwood team over the past few weeks, few gave Collingwood a chance of defeating ladder leader and reigning premiers, Richmond. They pushed the Tigers for three quarters before the toll of losing two defenders in Howe (to concussion) and Scharenberg (to a knee injury) saw Richmond run away to a 28-point win.
As July days go this was a warm one in Melbourne. It was an overcast day and perfect conditions for footy and 88,180 fans in black and white or black and gold packed the MCG. There was an earlier than traditional Saturday afternoon kickoff time but most fans were in well ahead of first bounce.
Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
Almost a third of the way into the 2018 season and round seven gave us some answers while it also gave us plenty of questions. The West Coast Eagles are for real, Richmond are showing no signs of the dreaded “premiership hangover” and the Sydney Swans have seemingly lost their home ground dominance. Hawthorn is once again a contender after moving out the old and adding some ready- made talent.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
The two week trade period saw a lot of action and concluded on October 17. A number of players requested trades to other clubs while others were moved on reluctantly. Clubs also traded draft selections to strengthen their prospects in picking up needed players.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Jarrad Waite has left Carlton and signed with North Melbourne as a free agent. Waite, 31, was drafted by the Blues as a father-son selection in 2001 and debuted in 2003. Injury restricted him to 184 games in which he kicked 252 goals. He was named Carlton's best first year player in 2003 and ran third in the best and fairest in 2007. His father Vin played in Carlton's 1970 and 1972 Premierships. Waite opted to sign with North Melbourne for two years after Carlton only offered him a one year deal. Although several other clubs showed interest, North was the most serious. Carlton will not receive a compensation draft selection as Waite was an unrestricted free agent.
A blisteringly hot Perth day did not keep over 36,000 die hard West Coast Eagles fans away from Patersons Stadium for their clash against the Western Bulldogs. Round One had already produced some unexpected results, the biggest being the upset defeat of the Sydney Swans by fledgling hometown rivals, the GWS Giants. Wins by Fremantle, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, Geelong and Essendon point to a tightly contested season while Hawthorn’s easy defeat of the Brisbane Lions signals they are again the team to beat. None of these outcomes affected West Coast fan’s enthusiasm at having their “boys” back on the park after a 2013 season which went horribly wrong. Injuries to high profile players, underwhelming performances in home fixtures and a jaded game plan sent the Eagles from a widely-predicted Top Four finish to a lowly 13th on the Ladder.
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium
If the Fremantle Dockers had any aspirations of playing Finals football then a win against the Western Bulldogs at home was a must. The Bulldogs remained a mathematical chance to play in the Finals but this Round 15 game was a must-win game in that campaign. Both sides have been well out of form and languishing well down the ladder, but the Dockers went into the round with a one game lead over their rivals with a huge home crowd in attendance to urge them on.