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New Committee To Empower Players

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After a recent survey and discussions between the AFLPA and players, a "Players and the Game Committee" will be formed to allow players a greater voice on the game and its future. The committee will consist of eight players - one from each state and four from Melbourne based clubs - who have strong and respected voices within the AFL industry and well-developed views on the game.

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No Fear Hawks

Janet Linn, reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

A traditional rivalry began the 2014 Finals series with Hawthorn and Geelong meeting in the First Qualifying Final at the MCG. This was a match up that promised everything and, in front of almost 75,000 excited fans, it delivered on that promise early with a torrid opening quarter of hard physical contests, wayward kicks, nervous fumbles and both teams taking the game on at full throttle.
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Cats Halt Late Tiger Charge

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Geelong went into the Round 7 clash with Richmond holding an imposing record. The Cats had beaten up the Tigers in the last ten clashes between the two combatants with an average winning margin of 65 points. To find the last Richmond victory against Geelong you have to flick the pages of AFL history book back to Round 9, 2006 - a sobering thought for a Richmond team already struggling to regain any of the solid form it displayed in 2013. Complacency would not be an issue for the Cats who tasted defeat for the first time this season at the hands of an impressive Port Adelaide in the previous round.

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Hawks Head to Grand Final After Thriller

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from the Melbourne Cricket Ground

All week Australian Rules Football fans were agog with the excitement of two stunning Preliminary Finals. The first promised a nail-biting encounter between two teams that have shared an astonishing rivalry since Hawthorn upset Geelong - the overwhelming favorites - in the 2008 Grand Final. In the eleven games since taking that Premiership, Hawthorn has not beaten Geelong again. With a week off after winning the Qualifying Final against Sydney, the Hawks had their best chance yet to take the Cats and advance to the Grand Final.

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Geelong Old Guard Sets Up Win

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

After a disappointing loss against Hawthorn in the Qualifying Final last week, Geelong coach Chris Scott was not about to take an over-optimistic approach to the Semi Final against Port Adelaide. However during the week he did say that he was confident “our best footy will still be good enough” to progress the Geelong’s Finals’ campaign.

Port Adelaide was coming fresh off one of the upsets of the season, after bundling huge Melbourne club Collingwood out of the Finals series with their “never say die, run all day” brand of football. Given the basket case that was Port Adelaide just over twelve months ago, coach Ken Hinkley and the Port players could have been excused for resting on their laurels and satisfying themselves with their gains so far but that is not the Power way and so a great contest got underway in front of over 52,000 fans on a glorious evening at the MCG.

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Anywhere Anytime Anyone For Dockers

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon proved his adage that he and his Dockers will take on Geelong, “Anywhere, anytime,” when his team powered away for a win at Simonds Stadium in their Qualifying Final encounter. Geelong had a 99% win ratio at Simonds going into the game and had every reason to expect another notch in their belts. It was a bruising and often spiteful match that epitomized the standard of play in a Finals series.

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Classy Cats Undefeated

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond faced the undefeated Geelong in Round Six action with both teams having plenty to play for. If the Cats could get through with a win, they would carry a sensational 6-0 record into a week seven match up with a potentially 6-0 Essendon. For the Tigers, a solid 3-0 start had quickly turned sour with defeat at the hands of Collingwood then Fremantle by the barest of margins. Geelong has owned Richmond in recent years, the Tigers not having tasted victory over the Cats since Round 9 in 2006.

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Round Six Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Mick Malthouse (CARL) and Kevin Sheedy (GWS) are now tied in second place for all-time wins by a coach. Carlton's Round Five win against Adelaide and the Giants' loss to Gold Coast put both on 388 career wins, just behind Collingwood's Jock McHale (467 wins).

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Eagles Steal Win Over Cats

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Much was at stake when the West Coast Eagles took on the visiting Geelong Cats. The winner would still be in contention for a double chance in the Finals, while the loser risked drifting towards elimination from the Top Eight. The Cats were hot from their win last week against definite Premiership favorite in Hawthorn. It was all up for grabs as the ball was bounced.

West Coast got off to a great start with Dean Cox making the most of the ball landing in his hands to slot the opening goal. Fast movement through the middle of the ground had the Eagles’ second on the board when Quinten Lynch scored. The Eagles looked pumped but were soon brought back to earth when Tom Hawkins scored the Cats’ first goal from a free kick.

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Cats Hot Form Continues

Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Australia

Facing Geelong after a big win over Essendon promised to be a huge challenge for the Adelaide Crows and making it especially hard was the venue being Simonds Stadium. The visitors hadn’t tasted success there since 2003 but their great form presented them with their best chance for some time. The Cats are known as a good performing team in wet conditions. With rain forecast, they were going into the encounter as favorites although perhaps not by as much as previous seasons.

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