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High Flying Nic In Finals Form

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Nic Naitanui played the best game of his career to lead the West Coast Eagles to a demolition of the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium in Round 18. The Eagles needed a win to keep in touch with the Top Four with six rounds to play. Brisbane had beaten West Coast against the odds last time they played and held a winning record in the last six out of eight encounters. The Lions had every reason to go into the game with their tails up.

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Round 17 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Most Club Games: Stephen Milne (St K) played his 252nd game for the Saints in Round 17, putting him equal with Justin Peckett in eighth place on the club's all-time list. The leaders for most games at St Kilda are: Robert Harvey (383 games, 1988-2008), Nathan Burke (323 games, 1987-2003), Stewart Loewe (321 games, 1986-2002), Barry Breen (300 games, 1965-82), Gary Colling (265 games, 1968-81), Lenny Hayes (256 games, 1999-current), Kevin Neale (256 games, 1965-77), Justin Peckett (252 games, 1992-2006), Stephen Milne (252 games, 2001–current) and Danny Frawley (240 games, 1984-95).

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Dockers Declaw Lions

Two weeks ago at Patersons Stadium, the Fremantle Dockers played their first game against Geelong as if they were Grand Final material. In Round 3 against the Brisbane Lions they looked second rate. First blood went to the Lions with Todd Banfield awarded a free kick after Stephen Hill bamboozled himself and ran too far with the football. Brisbane was all over the more fancied home side which was hesitant in its disposals and not kicking truly when in possession of the ball. Both teams had a full court press on with their zones and the game resembled a chess match as each side tried to move the ball forward. Unfortunately it was not a Boris Spassky-Bobby Fisher level game but more like their unprepared understudies stepping into the spotlight.

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Australia Reclaims International Title

After losing the last series in 2008, Australia has reclaimed bragging rights over Ireland with a hard-fought three point win in the second game. Ireland played a more aggressive attacking game this time round, laying a number of tackles but the Australians held firm even when under siege in the final term.

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Aussies Down Irish

Ireland got off to a slow start and, according to their coach, opted to kick the ball more than use their hands. Australian players ran in groups to stymie the Irish. Small forwards Eddie Betts and Todd Banfield applied plenty of defensive pressure while veteran Dustin Fletcher repelled a number of Irish attacks to help put the game in Australia's keeping.

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