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Hawks atone but Freo set for return

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Hawks sink determined Dockers

Hawthorn too strong for Fremantle, winning the 2013 AFL grand final by 15 points despite a spirited late fightback from the Dockers.

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The ball was dribbling towards the AFL members' wing in a swirling wind at the moment Hawthorn atoned for 2012 and won its 11th premiership, a 15-point, blue-collar victory achieved by a star-studded side over the gallant grand final debutant Fremantle.

Buddy Franklin was the closest man to the football when the final siren sounded, perhaps for the last time in brown and gold, signifying perhaps just how unexpected has the script of Hawthorn's season proved as it powered towards the premiership expected of it.

On top of the world: Hawthorn's Luke Hodge, John Kennedy and coach Alastair Clarkson celebrate.

On top of the world: Hawthorn's Luke Hodge, John Kennedy and coach Alastair Clarkson celebrate.

Franklin managed a solitary goal but achieved enough heavy lifting while his sometimes brilliant team-mate Cyril Rioli was neither flashy from the flanks nor streaming across the MCG, rather workmanlike laying seven tackles in a dour, low-scoring but intriguing contest in front of a crowd that cracked 100,000 for just the third time since the AFL was formed.

One year ago, said new premiership captain Luke Hodge, his coach Alastair Clarkson assured his heartbroken team that not a lot of tweaking was required. ''Just a little,'' he said, ''and you'll be standing up there next year with medals.''

Few would have predicted in the immediate aftermath that the most effective tweak of all would prove a 30-something defender traded in from the Western Bulldogs in Brian Lake. Even fewer would have picked Lake as the 2013 Norm Smith medallist and in another twist the chairman of the coveted medallion's voting panel was Lake's old coach, Brendan McCartney.

Hawthorn players celebrate winning the 2013 AFL Premiership. Click for more photos

AFL Grand Final 2013 Hawthorn v Fremantle

Hawthorn won the AFL Grand Final at the MCG in front of 100,000 fans over Fremantle by 15 points. Photo: Pat Scala

Lake was a general in his first grand final, with Hodge directing traffic when the game was on the line early in the last quarter. The match had threatened to become a walkover before Fremantle's devastating post-half-time comeback after a stuttering one-goal opening half.

The game's best and most controversial tagger, Ryan Crowley, was devastating in figuratively strangling the Hawks' generally effective Sam Mitchell but later took little solace in his own game, capturing verbally just how dangerous the Dockers proved in a third quarter in which it quadrupled in 14 minutes its goal tally from the first half.

''It's hard not to think we were coming,'' said Crowley. ''It felt like we were coming, and we were trying to exude that we were coming so maybe they got under a bit of pressure. But it's a long time ago now.''

Crowley sat alongside his shattered teammates as skipper Matthew Pavlich tried to make some public sense of his first grand final in front of a bipartisan stadium studded with purple. ''It's a bitterly hard pill to swallow,'' said Pavlich, who kicked three goals in the second half. ''We'll dust ourselves off and lick our wounds and we'll be back.''

For either coach losing was going to prove all the more poignant. Clarkson had looked to be starting another Hawthorn dynasty when his young team snatched the 2008 premiership and yet it has taken him five years and with a team boasting just nine players from his first flag.

Among the first-time premiership players there was no luckier young man than 25-year-old former Cat Jonathan Simpkin - a VFL premiership player one week ago and called into the side as its substitute Brendan Whitecross was forced out after damaging his knee in the preliminary final. At three-quarter time Clarkson gave Simpkin a fatherly hug as he sent him out to battle, withdrawing ruckman Max Bailey.

For Ross Lyon who has coached Fremantle in two short years to a previously unknown credibility, it was his fourth grand final as a senior coach for no premiership. ''I think I read Malcolm Blight lost his first three and went on to win a back-to-back,'' said Lyon. ''So he had the fortitude to keep working, keep backing himself in. I certainly see that I'm not going to crumble … We are here to win premierships, we fell short, I thought they were a bit better on the day but I thought we were right in it. Who knows?''

While the Dockers sat and stood in football's most sadistic position, watching the Hawks' medal presentations, Lake carried his young son and daughter into the arena shortly before the presentations.

''I'd like to thank Hawthorn for taking me in 12 months ago,'' he said on the dais. ''To the family here and the Hawthorn supporters - bloody fantastic.''

The Lake masterstroke has been attributed to Hawthorn's retired champion turned quiet director Jason Dunstall, who at the end of 2004 overruled his multi-premiership teammate Dermott Brereton in selecting the little-fancied Clarkson, who is now a two-time premiership coach.

Hawthorn's father-figure John Kennedy, who would have presented the cup last year had the Hawks defeated Sydney, handed it to Clarkson one year late and his booming voice was just captured as he instructed the highly sought-after 45-year-old coach: ''That's all yours fella. Go on, get up there.''

Kevin Sheedy, presenting the Jock McHale Medal to Clarkson, embraced him after commenting: ''Well done you angry ant.'' But few vanquished coaches in AFL memory have been more gracious in defeat than the Hawthorn mentor was last year and 12 months later he perfectly captured the tone of the season. ''It's been a tough year for our code,'' said Clarkson. ''But it's when you have days like this and you have 100,000 crowd into the MCG to watch two great sides we still know that our code is thriving.''

Fremantle had never before been on the MCG on September's last Saturday and it showed in a nervous first half when the jittery Dockers became the first team in more than a decade to register a goalless first quarter.

Then after half-time Lyon implemented Plan B and the Dockers' midfield led by the brilliant Mundy executed it.

''At the moment it's pretty raw,'' said Ryan Crowley. ''I hate saying this but a lot of teams have said you've got to lose one to win one … I'm hoping that's the way.''

''We know exactly how you feel,'' Hodge assured the Fremantle camp before accepting his first premiership cup as captain, ''and we have absolutely no doubt you will be back here next year.''

The reality of the football market ensures that Monday could bring sweeping changes for the club, which stands to lose its marquee player and has even endured speculation that its senior coach was being headhunted.

But unholy celebration stands between the final siren and October business and the Hawks can also celebrate their sixth straight decade punctuated by premiership victory. No other team in the AFL can claim that.


  • Can't help thinking how Geelong blew their chance to play in a GF. I thought the GF was an anticlimax compared to others gone by. Thee were no real highlights of heavy hits or run downs or spectacular marks and goals.

    Harry Calihan
    Date and time
    September 29, 2013, 7:28AM
    • I have to agree, Harry. So many times during the tedious first half of yesterday's game, I kept thinking: this would be such a better game if Geelong were playing Hawthorn - or Freo, for that matter! At least the Cats would have managed a goal during the first quarter!!!!

      Harry Taylor Appreciation Society
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 9:21AM
    • First of all, congratulations to Hawthorn. Definitely deserved to win the Flag this year. However I do agree this was a disappointing game as a GF. No great or heroic moments that I can recall. No Dan Hannebery being crunched in a brave mark and setting the standard, no Jetta-Rioli race up the wing, no booming 70 meter goals form Buddy reigniting the Hawks, no Adam Goodes on one leg kicking a clutch goal. There was no Scarlett toe-poke, no horrible Steven Milne bounce or great smother a la Heath Shaw on Riewoldt. Great, solid game from Lake and a redemptive one from Gunston, while the Hawthorn pressure was impressive. But no Grand Final-remembering moments. I'm sure Hawks fans won't care, though!

      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 10:11AM
    • Ha, You'se guys sound more bitter than Caro.

      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 11:06AM
    • You have to let it go and move on. Bitterness masked as analysis doesn't cut it. Envy is the real curse. The best team for the year has won the premiership and those waiting for us to choke have to eat humble pie.

      Steve k
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 11:53AM
    • Geelong didn't play in the Granny because Freo rolled closed.
      Sour grapes boys.

      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 4:26PM
  • Brain Lake, took so many game saving marks in the last qtr, but should get weeks for his very late elbow. Plus Riolis tackle on Barlow which earned him a free kick, he had him by the wrist and twisted his arm up and behind his back.

    But besides those silly acts, what a great game. Freo cane back and made a game of it, but hawks where to strong.

    Date and time
    September 29, 2013, 8:09AM
    • And not forgetting the ugly clawing of Sam Mitchell's face

      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 8:54AM
    • He may not be Luke Hodge, but Lake still plays for MRP darlings Hawthorn.
      He'll get nothing for that crude elbow.

      Harry Taylor Appreciation Society
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 9:19AM
    • I think when Bradley Hill kicked his goal that extended the lead to 30 points half way through the last quarter then the game was pretty much won. Brian Lake played very well in the last quarter but none of the marks he took could really be called game saving.

      One Chance
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 12:49PM

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
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Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
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GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
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Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
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CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
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Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
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Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
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Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
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Round 26
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
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Round 27
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
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AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
View all

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